WORLD Snooker has announced changes to its Q School competition.
The annual event, which is held every May and gives amateur players the chance to earn a spot on the main tour, will this year only see eight players win professional status instead of its usual 12.
World Snooker has said the changes made are because of snooker’s global expansion with many players making it through to the main tour from all the world.
The changes mean that instead of having three chances to earn a place on the tour, entrants will now only have two chances with the eight semi-finalists getting the golden prize of a two-year tour card playing in the top competitions.
Players will now only pay £600 to enter the competition rather than the £1,000 admittance fee requested in the past two seasons. The deadline to enter is on Friday, April 4.
As has been the case in previous seasons, a ranking list will be compiled during Q School, with players earning one point for every frame won.
During the main tour season, should any of the tournament draws fall below a total entry of 128 then the field will be topped up with the highest ranked players from the Q-School list who have not gained one of the eight tour cards.
The ‘top-up’ system meant seven amateurs played at the UK Championship last month.
Amateur Mitchell Travis, who reached the last 32 stage after recording memorable wins against Marco Fu and Kurt Maflin scored said the tournament was a great chance for keen players to make the grade.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity, to play in the biggest tournaments,” he said. “It just shows that even if you don’t make it through Q School, as long as you win enough matches you will still have the chance to play in a lot of ranking events.”