CRITERIA SET FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP INVITATIONS
Snooker's world governing body the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) has today announced the selection criteria for the amateur players who will be invited to compete at this year's Betfred World Championship qualifiers.
Tickets for the qualifying rounds at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield (April 5-12) are on sale now and cost just £10 per day.
The top 16 players on the world ranking list following the 2017 China Open will be seeded through to the final stages of the Betfred World Championship, which celebrates its landmark 40th anniversary at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre from 15 April – 1 May 2017.
The remaining 112 professionals will head to Ponds Forge, Sheffield a week prior, each needing to win three matches to qualify for the venue stages. They will be joined by 16 amateur players, who have achieved success through the WPBSA qualifying criteria.
8 – Home Nations NGB qualifiers – Jackson Page (WAL), Tyler Rees (WAL), Ross Vallance (SCO), Chris Totten (SCO), Jordan Brown (NIR), Patrick Wallace (NIR), Jamie Bodle (ENG), Wayne Townsend (ENG)
1 – 2016 IBSF U-21 Championship winner – Xu Si (CHN)
1 – EBSA European Championship winner – TBC
1 – EBSA European U-21 Championship winner – Alexander Ursenbacher (SUI)
1 – EBSA European U-18 Championship winner – Amir Nardeia (ISR)*
2 – EBSA Order of Merit 2016/17 – Gerard Greene (NIR), Zack Richardson (ENG)
1 – 2017 World Seniors Championship winner – TBC
1 – 2016 WLBS World Women’s Championship winner – Reanne Evans (ENG)
*Israel's Amir Nardeia takes a place as EBSA U-18 Championship runner-up because winner Jackson Page has already received an invitation as a Home Nations NGB qualifier. 2016 IBSF Championship winner Soheil Vahedi was also invited but could not obtain a visa in time to compete, however WPBSA looks forward to welcoming him to the 2017/18 World Snooker Tour.
The draw for the qualifiers will be made following the China Open, which finishes on 2 April.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: ''As the sport's world governing body it is important that we are able to encourage development by working with partners in different regions and these qualification places to our World Championship allows us to do just that.''
''15-year-old Jackson Page is an example of a player who has taken the opportunity presented to him with both hands already in 2017. Having qualified through the WPBSA's development work with national governing bodies and during the Welsh Open last month won two matches against current professionals and gained enormous exposure in the media. ''Last week he became the 2017 EBSA European U-18 champion in Cyprus and he continues to battle it out in the European Championship to try and earn that golden ticket to the World Snooker Tour. We look forward to welcoming him and the other successful qualifiers to Sheffield next month and seeing who will be able to take full advantage of the opportunity and perhaps even make it all the way to the Crucible ! ''