WORLD Snooker has announced a new format for the 2012 partypoker.com Premier League Snooker competition.
The annual tournament featuring the sport’s top names is to make its return in August.
This year’s tournament will see ten of the world’s top players be drawn into two groups of five. The five players in each group play each other once with the top two in each group making the semi-finals of the competition.
Matches will be six frames long with the winner collecting two points and just one point for a draw. If two players in a group are equal on points their league position will be determined by most frames won. If this is still level then the result of the match between the two players will prove decisive.
The semi-finals will see the winner of Group A take on the runner-up of Group B and vice-versa – over the best of nine frames and the final being a race to seven frames.
Normal Premier League rules apply with a 25-second shot clock in operation with each player having two 25-second extensions in each frame.
Players who qualify for the event will the defending Premier League champion and the winners of this season’s UK Championship, World Championship, The Masters, China Open, Australian Goldfields Open, World Open, PTC Grand Final, Shanghai Masters and the Championship League.
This means Ronnie O’Sullivan (defending champion), Judd Trump (UK Championship), Neil Robertson (The Masters), Mark Selby (Shanghai Masters) and Stuart Bingham (Australian Goldfields Open) have already booked their place in this year’s Premier League.
In the event that one player wins more than one qualifying event, the additional spot/s will be filled by invited players.
Chairman of World Snooker Barry Hearn said: “We’re delighted to announce an exciting new format for one of snooker’s great invitation events. A top drawer line-up of players is taking shape and the players who have not already qualified know exactly what they have to do to earn a place.”
Details of match dates and venues will be announced later in the year.