/ Snooker

Snooker tour set to expand

Updated: Thursday, 20 Oct 2011 19:25

World Snooker supremo Barry Hearn has been at the heart of a new snooker revolution
World Snooker supremo Barry Hearn has been at the heart of a new snooker revolution

World Snooker has announced the number of players on the professional tour will rise from 96 to 128 from the 2013/14 season.

The move is designed to offer greater opportunities to players from countries where snooker is a developing sport, and it will be bolstered by a revision of the qualifying school system.

Players who qualify for the main tour will have a two-year exemption rather than one year under the current system, and the step will apply to those who succeed at the 2012 school.

The changes were agreed at a World Snooker board meeting, with chairman Barry Hearn saying: "Our sport is changing and we need to adjust the structure of the pro tour to reflect that.

"We are expanding on a global scale and we need to provide more opportunities to international players, and allow all players to develop their careers with the most talented ones rising quickly to the top.

"We are currently in a consultation process and will continue to work closely on this with the WPBSA. Further updates will be announced in due course."

The world rankings could also be overhauled, with positions based on prize money rather than points.

World Snooker, in tandem with the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, the game's rule-making body, is considering the rankings proposal during their review of the professional game.