Anything can change when it comes to the World Snooker tour with dates and venues. But the provisional dates for 2018/19 calendar have been released by World Snooker. The dates also include the new exciting Challenge tour where around 64 players plus top ups will be fielded across ten events to see who gains a spot on the lucrative main tour. The set-up originally fielded, but of course subject to change was:

  • Ten events staged across the UK and Europe with the events being played in venues already staging World Snooker tour events and some snooker clubs. From the tour calendar, the Challenge tour events in Europe will likely be played in Belgium, Riga in Latvia, Germany, and one other venue which has yet to be confirmed by WS.
  • The top 64 from the QSchool Order of Merit will compete on this tour, as QSchool continues in Burton for the next few days with the first Challenge tour to be held in Burton after QSchool 2018.
  • Entry fee was apparently £50 with the winner of a single event scooping £2000.
  • Players were able to play in both Challenge tour events and in WS events if eligible.

The first ranking event of 2018/19

The first ranking event of the season begins in July with the usual event the Riga Masters - which was last season won by Ryan Day, who picked up his first ever ranking event win in Riga, and then went onto have a sterling season picking up wins in Gibraltar as a ranking event and also his Romanian Masters non-ranking win.

Riga qualifiers begin on the July 2nd to 9th as well as the World Open. The TV stages of Riga Masters will commence on the 27th to 29th July - so still a way to go until snooker resumes on the TV!

It was announced also earlier this week that the south would be hosting the first of the Home Nations 2018/19 events the English Open down in Crawley at the K2 which held a qualifying event a few seasons ago for the Australian Open qualifiers. Ronnie O'Sullivan claimed his first ranking event of the 2017/18 season in Barnsley, as he went onto claim four others and have a sterling season - along with the two other class of 92 players John Higgins and Mark Williams, as they all won 10 out of the 20 ranking events.

There are 20 ranking events again this season.

QSchool Qualifiers so far...

Fans already know the first four qualifiers for the 2018/19 tour from QSchool event one, who are four professionals who bounced back onto the tour immediately after being relegated. They were:

  • Sam Craigie
  • Jak Jones
  • Hammad Miah
  • Sam Baird

Events two and three will see eight more qualifiers book their place on the main tour and then the Challenge begins.

QSchool ends on the 31st May with the Challenge tour beginning on June 2 to 3rd.

Sandwiched in between the WS ranking events are also the new lucrative World Seniors tour events which I will report more about later on in the up-coming season. For the full SP on the Tour calendar, visit the official World Snooker website.