The English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards (EPSB) is keen to offer as many young people as possible the opportunity to take part in our sport.
The under-14 age group is a mix of young players at different levels who are starting out on their journeys in cue sports. We’re working with our affiliated clubs to engage young people through holiday clubs, via links into the local school sport networks and through installing proper safeguarding procedures, creating a better environment to allow young players to develop.
We also want to offer these young players at all levels a competitive opportunity.
To encourage more players in this age group to take part in events, this season’s English Under-14 Championship will begin with club-based qualifiers, run by a club’s regular coach or tournament director, predominantly at venues with an established junior set-up.
This is how it will work:
· Club-based qualifiers around the country during October and November
· Players aged under 14 on the 31st December 2019 can enter one event of their choice
· Entry must be made through the EPSB website
· A minimum of eight players must enter for an event to go ahead
· Two players will qualify for the next stage from each event
· Further players may be invited to the next stage at the discretion of the EPSB, based on total entries for a club event and number of club events in total
· Players qualifying from Stage One will take part in a North or South event (14th/15th December)
· Players qualifying from Stage Two will take part in a national last 16 event (16th May)
· Players qualifying from Stage Four will take part in a national final event (27th/28th June)
UPDATE – The full list of events has been published since this article, you can view this announcement HERE
Further events may be added. Affiliated clubs have until Wednesday 11th September to confirm they are running an event, by an expression of interest email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Host clubs will be sent an EPSB resource pack to support the event. The tournament will feature short-format matches and the option to play in a plate competition to ensure everyone enjoys plenty of involvement.
Jason Ferguson, WPBSA Chairman said: “I am pleased to see this new structure for under-14 players in England which we believe will lead to a significant increase in the amount of juniors playing competitive snooker in this country
“From Jimmy White, to Ronnie O’Sullivan, and now our current world champion Judd Trump, all of these greats of our sport developed their game on a thriving amateur circuit in England and this is something that we are now determined to recreate through the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards.
“Youth is the future of our sport and it is fundamental that boys and girls of all ages are given the opportunity to compete and improve with the ultimate goal of earning a place on the World Snooker Tour.”
The EPSB will review the format at the end of the season, although feedback is welcome by email to email@example.com