Following an online strategy meeting earlier this week, the EPSB would like to announce its intentions for the remainder of the 2019/2020 season that is currently suspended due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With the country still under lockdown, there are a lot of uncertainties and no guarantees surrounding when we will be able to travel and compete together in a tournament environment. However, when restrictions are lifted for sports clubs to start operating again, we will be working very closely with the relevant authorities to make sure that snooker clubs and venues can open too, although possibly with an initial limited capacity and under certain conditions. This is something that we continue to monitor and have already discussed with a cross-section of our 147 clubs regarding a ‘club reopening scheme’.
2019/2020 Season Summary
- Cancelled – English Seniors Snooker Championship, English 6Red Snooker Championship, English Billiards Championship
- Commitment to be completed – English Under-14 Snooker Championship, English Under-16 Snooker Championship, English Under-18 Snooker Championship, English Under-21 Snooker Championship, English Over-55 Snooker Championship, Junior Play-Offs
The English Amateur Snooker Championship, English Women’s Snooker Championship and all four EPSB snooker tours have already been completed this season, although there are several scheduled EPSB events that have either reached a certain phase or not yet started.
We have made the difficult decision to cancel this season’s English Seniors, English 6Red and English Billiards Championships due the fact that none of these three tournaments had started. Automatic refunds to all players who entered these events will be issued out in the coming weeks.
However, we have made the commitment to finish off all other remaining 2019/2020 events, namely the English Under-14, 16, 18, 21 and over 55 snooker championships, and the end of season Junior Play-Offs. All these competitions are at different stages, having seen qualifying action earlier on in the season. We don’t know when we will be able to complete these events, but when restrictions are lifted these will be a priority and therefore, they will be kept ‘open-ended’.
All players in these events have earned the right to play in the latter stages and should not be denied the opportunity to win a national title – or in the case of the play-offs – secure promotion to the Under-21 Premier Development Tour. There are already finalists in the over-55 championship and this season’s successful under-14 rebrand – which began with 119 youngsters – is now down to just 16.
Regarding the ongoing junior events, we understand that several players may be over the relevant age threshold of a particular event when they play again, but we have taken the view that all players entered under the same criteria and that it is fair to complete them.
In order to finish the season in a timely fashion, though, all remaining competitions may have their schedules altered – this could mean completing multiple events over a weekend and reducing the length of matches.
During the meeting we discussed the impact this will have on the 2020/2021 season and solutions on how to overcome potential issues.
The EPSB continues to work hard behind the scenes and we will act immediately as soon as circumstances change. All members will be informed should there be any progress.
Thank you and please keep safe.