Concerning recent comments circulating on social media about this season’s upcoming Under-21 Premier Development Tour, the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards would like to publicly issue a response.
The EPSB listened to the opinions of several players and the format for this season’s tour was discussed at length amongst various stakeholders. We appreciate that there will always be positives and negatives towards certain formats – and cost implications too – but the players’ progression is our top priority. It is our aim to produce top talent.
This exclusive tour consists of the top 32 amateur players under the age of 21 in England; they have all earned the right to be there. The EPSB feels that the chosen format will best benefit their development; Saturday’s group stage will guarantee them quality matchplay against fellow top opposition, while Sunday’s event hones their skills and experience in a knockout environment. We understand that the professional circuit is largely straight knockout, but as an amateur organisation, we believe this format is the correct balance for players in this age bracket.
Regarding the structure of Under-21 Premier Development Tour events this season, for clarity, we would like to confirm that each weekend is one event, effectively split into two phases. Ranking points are accumulated for how well players do each day, and although all players feature in Sunday’s knockout phase, there will be seeding for this in relation to how well players fare in the groups the previous day. In summary, players on Saturday will be playing for ranking points and seeding.
Thank you for your time
The EPSB Board of Directors