A new Federation has been launched for World Snooker by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) - which aims to grow the game at amateur level across the globe. According to the PR release, the Federation will encompass bodies across the world in order to help new emerging talent step into the professional game on the 128 man World Snooker Tour.

The announcement comes as in the last few days - snooker's No 1 talent Ronnie O'Sullivan has been very vocal on the state of the pro tour to date. A new WSF Amateur Championship will be launched towards the end of this snooker season, and before the start of next season.

The PR release says there will be a place on offer for the World Snooker tour - assuming just for the winner.

The Snooker fraternity has hailed the new initiative "a step in the right direction."

Michael Waring, who runs the SnookerHub website, a one-stop shop for news and information on snooker amateur tournaments in the UK, plus exhibitions, commented on Facebook: "Definitely looking like a step in the right direction."

Key initial questions

Asides to the fluff in the PR release, there are some key initial questions to ask:

1) How many will get a tour card on this new WSF Championship? Just the winner?

2) Which bodies have already signed up to join this revolution in growing the game at amateur level?

And who will?

3) How will the structure of the WSF Amateur Championship work and what clubs will be involved? Will it be played at a venue/s etc? Where will it be played? In the UK or overseas?

4) In the release, it says that the plan is to offer elite amateurs and new emerging talent the opportunity, but what about lower down the amateur pecking order - should there not be a focus on "lower" amateurs and more tournaments for those in a better structure?

At the moment, it's difficult to know which events to enter in the UK on the amateur scene as there is such a mish-mash.

5) How is it all going to be costed re prize money for the WSF Championship and sponsorship - despite being Not for Profit?

6) How can local snooker clubs in the UK get involved in this, who may not necessarily be primarily involved at the outset, and what role could there be for coaches in this exciting new set up?

7) Without trying to dampen the mood - will this really encourage a new generation of UK players to pick up a cue at the real grassroots level, or, will this just be yet another process for the "elite" amateurs to dominate at the top?

The fluff

When you look at the scores and results on the mysnookerstats for the amateur game, you see the same old faces there. The point is here that there needs to be a structure lower down the trough to cater for those "lower" amateurs who might well have aspirations of becoming a top amateur and, indeed, eventual pro? Is enough being done there?

The release ends with WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson fluffing: "Following a restructure of the professional sport in 2010, the World Professional Snooker tour has never been stronger.

We have seen unprecedented growth and we are now a truly global sport."

He adds: "With this growth comes a responsibility for us to ensure sustainable pathways for elite talent and playing opportunities for all at all levels. We must ensure there are no barriers in our sport."

There have been successes in the last few years in snooker though. The introduction of a World Disability Snooker tour. An expanding World Ladies Snooker tour. And record prize money on the actual World Snooker tour.

However, you could argue that with the lack of clubs in the UK, as opposed to that of the growth in China, that if you live in an area where there is a top quality academy, then you are more likely to improve than in an area where there are hardly any clubs or if there are, you don't get the same kind of experiences as you do playing in a top quality academy such as in Sheffield or Gloucester.

You still might say that in order to grow the game, you need clubs. More of them.