One of the most crucial aspects of English snooker and billiards is the junior game and the development of the next generation of stars who will represent our sport at all levels.
The EPSB is committed to both increasing participation among younger players and helping to nurture elite talent to be able to reach their potential.
English Junior Tour
At the start of the 2023/24 season we announced the creation of an all-new English Junior Tour in place of the previous Under-21 Premier Development Tour.
The new structure ensures that for the first time, there are opportunities for all junior players to compete together nationally on a regular basis, with a new innovative format including both elite players based on results the previous season and all other juniors hoping to rise through the ranks.
This ensures healthy competition between aspiring youngsters in our sport, whilst also recognising the achievements of elite talent at the end of each season, who will qualify to represent England on the international stage.
EPSB Junior Elite Performance Programme
Linked to the Junior Tour, 2023 also saw the creation of a new talent pathway programme aimed at helping to support the best young snooker players in our country with the tools required both on and off the table to embark upon a successful career in our sport.
Featuring the top eight eligible players from the previous season, in addition to four additional places recognising inclusivity and elite talent across English snooker, the EPSB Junior Elite Performance Programme will comprise a minimum of two activity days each year and is supported by snooker’s world governing body the WPBSA.
In 2019 we launched an all-new format for the English Under-14 Championship with the introduction of club-based qualifiers at venues with an established junior set-up. The result was an impressive 119 entries – up from just 33 the previous year with many young players competing nationally for the first time – and has continued to grow since with over 160 players in 2022/23.
Through our competitions we are also able to provide direct access for our younger players to be able to compete on the international stage at event staged by the World Snooker Federation and the European Billiards and Snooker Association.
Summer Holiday Clubs
Since 2019, with the support of Sport England and Sport Structures, we have also led the organisation of Junior Snooker Holiday Clubs across the country which have seen over 200 young players engage with our sport for the first time.