Australia Will Host a First World Ladies Snooker Ranking Event
World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) and the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council (ABSC) are today jointly announcing that a World Women’s Snooker Tour event will be staged in Australia for the first time ever later this year.
This is the second tour event to be announced outside of the UK in the last two weeks after the announcement the European Women's Masters in Belgium recently.
The Australian Women’s Snooker Open will take place from 25-28 October at the Mt Pritchard District and Community Club, known as “Mounties” in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia.
The tournament will become the third event of the upcoming season and be open to women from across the globe. The event will carry full ranking status, ensuring that it will immediately become a highly sought-after title on the tour.
The tournament will be sponsored by Mounties and will carry a total prize fund of AUD$9000.00, with AUD$8000 to be won in the main event, including a top prize of AUD$3000 for the champion. A further AUD$1000 is allocated for the Challenge Cup event for players who do not qualify for the knockout rounds of the main competition.
Australia has a strong history on the women’s tour, with Lesley McIllrath one of just two non-UK winners of the World Women’s Snooker Championship (alongside current champion Ng On Yee) following her title triumph back in 1980.
In more recent years Jessica Woods has also enjoyed success both at home and abroad, recently claiming her fifth national women’s championship winning 21 of the 24 frames that she played.
Mandy Fisher, WLBS President said: “It has always been an ambition of mine to see a World Women’s Snooker Tour event take place in Australia and therefore I could not be happier with today’s announcement. This is an important milestone in our history as we continue our global expansion as a body and I would like to thank both Frank Dewens and World Snooker Federation Treasurer Mike Peachey who have both contributed significantly to helping make this prestigious new event happen.”
Frank Dewens, ABSC President said: “It is indeed a great pleasure in opening up our Women’s Australian Open Snooker Championship to the world. We are looking forward to seeing the best women players in the world competing against Australia’s best.”
Billiards Boutique Opinion
Whilst any progress or additional event added to the women's game is fantastic news the tournament being held in Australia will price most of the regular tour players out of competing.
The cost of travel and accommodation will be far too high for the majority of the players to afford to do the travelling.
Whilst the prize money is not to be sniffed at, the equivalent of £1680.00 to the winner, it would only just about cover expenses for a player travelling from Europe.
Some of the top ranked players like Reanne Evans and Ng on Yee that have some sponsorship behind them might still be OK to travel and compete but for others it would be a struggle unless they make a holiday out of it.
What I do like though is that any lady that enters will be eligible for ranking points, this will give some of the Australian ladies and possibly some from New Zealand an opportunity to get onto the ranking list.
If in future the tour looks to expand further there could be satellite tours like in golf or tennis making travelling easier if prize monies do not increase.
I am not knocking the announcement just looking at it from a logistics point of view.
Further information, including full entry details will be released in due course.
For more information about Mounties visit their website: www.mounties.com.au
View the latest WLBS 2018/19 events calendar: www.womenssnooker.com/events