Monday 11 December 2017

Snooker stars fume at 'slap in the face' after novelty event is deemed more important than The Masters

Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson

Neil Robertson and Mark Allen have expressed their disgust at the decision to make the Snooker Shoot Out a ranking event from next season.

The format, in which matches are decided over a solitary 10-minute frame, has several different variants to the traditional game, including a shot clock of 15 seconds per shot for the first five minutes and 10 seconds thereafter.

Nigel Bond was the competition's inaugural winner in 2011 while current world number 59 Robin Hull triumphed in its last staging in February.

From next year, however, all results will count towards the money rankings list for the first time, even though the winnings from the prestigious Masters event, which makes up one third of snooker's triple crown, do not.

World number five Robertson was outraged.

He wrote on Twitter: "Absolutely nuts. A huge slap in the face to any player who has actually won a proper ranking event"

World number seven Mark Allen said: "Ridiculous decision. This sums up the governing body.... 10 minute shock clock frames count on ranking list but the masters doesn't!! WOW"

The 2017 tournament, which will be open to all 128 World Snooker Tour players, will run from February 24 to 26.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said: "The Shoot Out is all about who can handle the pressure and think fast when the clock is ticking. And that pressure will be intensified now that every pound earned counts towards the ranking list.

"For the players, competition will be fierce, and that's the way sport should be. And they have 18 other ranking events to compete in next season so there is plenty of opportunity to climb the ranking list.

"The Shoot Out has quickly become established as one of the most thrilling events on the calendar, much loved by fans."

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