Canned applause is being played out loud at the Crucible to make up for fans not being allowed to watch the World Championship.
The fake applause has been played whenever a player has played a good shot, made a century break or won a frame or match.
The new feature appears to have come into force from today (Sunday) at snooker’s famous home.
At first it appeared it was a BBC television gimmick for viewers as has been seen in other sports in recent months such as football and cricket.
But it became apparent that the sound effects could be heard by the players themselves at the Crucible Theatre. While commentating Steve Davis said he believed a decision to include the fake applause was made by the World Snooker Tour.
It comes two days after the Government announced it would suspend its plans on running a pilot scheme to allow a limited number of spectators at sporting events – the Snooker World Championship being one of those.
This means that the most of the tournament will be played behind closed doors with a chance of fans being allowed in for the final in two weeks time – which the Government would need to approve.
The noise seemed to confuse Ronnie O’Sullivan early on in his first round match against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh with referee Marcel Eckardt having to inform him what it was.
It also appeared to catch Matthew Stevens by surprise when he made a century break during his opening round match against John Higgins.
One player who is not impressed is Mark Williams who yesterday booked his place in the second round with a 10-5 win over Alan McManus.
Asked what he thought of the new feature on Twitter, he replied: “Don’t like it at all. Don’t see the point of it”.
During commentary six times world champion Davis joked that more fake noises could be added to the setup including the movement of sweet wrappers and ooh’s from the crowd when there had been a foul or an unexpected miss
What do you think of the canned applause sounds? Comment below.