This may all seem confusing for players and parents just starting out on the long and exciting snooker road. But it does all follow a logically course.
It certainly helps if you belong to a club where other players are at various stages along the path. Talk to other parents. If that is not possible, contact any of the section organisers and ask for advice. If your child is already on the Bronze or Silver Tour, have a chat with the organisers or pick the brains of other parents.
The majority of young snooker players begin their careers in the junior clubs.
Click Junior Clubs above to find your nearest one in central southern England.
Once they have made a 20 break in a proper frame, or are getting close to that standard, they are encouraged to compete on the Cuestars Under-21 Bronze Tour. These are Sunday tournaments held roughly once a month across central southern England.
There is a natural progression from Bronze to Silver to Gold, either by automatic promotion or by making a qualifying break in a competition. A 40 break earns you a place on the Silver Tour. A 60 break earns you a place on the Gold Tour.
Many Gold Tour players also compete on the Cuestars Championship Tour, which is a higher standard and open to players of any age.
In parallel to the Cuestars Under-21 Tours is the Regional Junior Tour which is run by our national governing body, the English Partnership for Snooker & Billiards (EPSB). It’s open to any player aged under-20. The Southern region is slightly bigger than the area covered by Cuestars.
The EPSB also runs national championships for under-14s, under-16s, under-18s and under-21s. The first steps in these are regional qualifiers.
In addition to EPSB and Cuestars events, many clubs across the country host independent Pro-Ams.
All these national events are run by the EPSB and the top players in each earn places in the junior and senior England teams for the Home Internationals and in international championships.
The Premier Junior Tour is a national circuit for England’s best under-21 players. The only route to this is promotion from the Regional Junior Tours.
The English Amateur Championship is the country’s blue riband event outside of the professional circuit. Again, it starts with regional qualifying events.
The English Amateur Tour is an open national event but it is a high standard.
EBSA European Snooker + World Snooker Federation + World Snooker Q School → World Snooker Challenge Tour
The selection criteria for championships run by the European Billiards & Snooker Association and the World Snooker Federation is laid down on the EASB website EASB Selection Criteria.
These events usually offer places on the professional circuit to the winners.
World Snooker’s Q School is open to anyone and is a direct route to the professional circuit. Many of the unsuccessful players are invited to compete on the Challenge Tour, which also offers a route to the World Snooker Tour.
These pathways can be followed by men, women, boys, girls and disabled players. But, in addition, females can also play on the World Women’s Snooker circuit World Women’s Snooker website and disabled players can compete on the World Disability Billiards and Snooker circuit World Disability snooker website.