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Barry Hearn blasts slow players “Dull as dishwater”

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn will continue to monitor shot times (credit: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn has hit out at snooker’s slowcoaches and says he will follow up on his initial vow to take action to combat persistent slow play.

Hearn announced in May that World Snooker were to publish quarterly reports listing players' average shot times, with those exceeding 30 seconds at risk of being warned or even fined.

World Snooker have since listed average shot times on their live scoring page but are yet to issue any sanctions to those at the bottom of the list.

The topic has been widely debated on social media, and Hearn insists he will not tolerate persistently slow play throughout the duration of a match.

"You can't run sport just for sportsmen or traditionalists, we don't live in that world," Hearn told Live Snooker.

"We live in a world of casual fans and digital media.

"I've got to listen to young people, I'm looking at the next generation of fans, not my old fans.

"Does that make me a bad guy? Yeah, maybe it does to the old fans, but in the same way as boxing, people when I was promoting years and years ago used to talk about a nice left jab, today's fan wants to see knockouts.

"We have to change, and in the snooker side, players taking more than 30 seconds for a shot over the period of a whole match, not just one frame, frankly are as dull as dishwater and there's no room for them in entertaining sport."

Five players are currently averaging in excess of 30 seconds per shot for the season, with Rod Lawler's 33.43 the slowest average shot time of the field.

Chris Totten, Martin O'Donnell, Lukas Kleckers and Lee Walker are also above the 30 second mark, while a further seven players are averaging 29 seconds or more.

"We are an entertainment sport, we have to entertain and bring in new customers," added Hearn.

"We have to show them something that is worthy of the price of a ticket.

"It's not a shot clock, it's an approximate shot time that we'll be monitoring this year.

"If we feel that people are taking too long and making our game boring, action will be taken and they'll only be one winner."


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Barry Hearn blasts slow players “Dull as dishwater”

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn has hit out at snooker’s slowcoaches and says he will follow up on his initial vow to take action to combat persistent slow play.

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