Championship Tour changing to straight knockout

CUESTARS has announced a change of format for the Championship Tour.

In a bid to make the ever more popular series “manageable”, a best-of-five straight knockout plus a best-of-three plate will replace the traditional round-robins.

Numbers have increased year-on-year and organisers were forced to act. But players will not actually miss out on many frames.

Cuestars director John Hunter said: The main reason for the change is to make the competition manageable.

“I appreciate there are some players who enjoy the round-robin format. However, this change still means a player is guaranteed five frames when under the round-robin format it was six.”

Prize money for the plate winner will be subject to entries. Ranking points will be awarded for the plate semis and final.

Seedings will still apply in the main competition. The four highest ranked players will be placed in separate quarters of the draw.

Entries last season were nearly 10% up on the 2017/18 campaign. Interestingly, smaller clubs – like Chandler’s Ford, Newbury and Havant – seem to attract the biggest fields.

Anyone who was there will remember the record 48 on Top Spot, Havant’s nine tables in 2017. We finished after midnight but thought the massive turnout was a freak event.

It wasn’t. Last season we had 46 at Chandler’s Ford, 41 at Havant and 45 on Newbury’s eight tables.

Picture by Tim Dunkley

Championship winner Christian Chislett (left) and sponsor Marc Lockley, from

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)