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:

Stage One

· 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

Stage Two

· Players qualifying from Stage One will take part in a North or South event (14th/15th December)

Stage Three

· Players qualifying from Stage Two will take part in a national last 16 event (16th May)

Stage Four

· Players qualifying from Stage Four will take part in a national final event (27th/28th June)

 

The list of confirmed events so far is as follows and can be entered now:

UPDATE – The full list of events has been published since this article, you can view this announcement HERE

Saturday 5th October – Cueball Derby, Derby

Saturday 5th October – The Winchester, Wigston

Sunday 6th October – Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon

Saturday 12th October – Northern Snooker Centre, Leeds

Saturday 19th October – Mill Brow Snooker & Social Club, Widnes

Saturday 26th October – Breakers Snooker Club, Leicester

Sunday 27th October – Chandlers Ford Snooker Club, Eastleigh

Sunday 27th October – Legends Snooker Academy, London

Saturday 9th November – Sams Snooker & Pool, Hartlepool

Sunday 10th November – Lincoln Snooker Club, Lincoln

Saturday 16th November – Elite Snooker Club, Preston

Saturday 23rd November – Club 147, Leicester

(All dates and formats are subject to change at the discretion of EPSB. The above dates have been added to the 2019/2020 EPSB Tournament Calendar)

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 clubs@epsb.co.uk

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 competitions@epsb.co.uk