Just over a week after the conclusion of the 2017 World Championship, there is more snooker to look forward to as Q School takes centre stage. Here’s everything you need to know about the annual tour qualifying event.
What is Q School?
Q School is an annual amateur snooker competition in which non-professional players battle it out over several rounds to earn a place on the main tour.
First established in 2011, the event offers a pathway for all amateur players and recently relegated tour professionals to secure a two-year card on the main circuit.
When is Q School?
The 2017 competition will run for 11 days from May 9-20 across two events at the Preston Guild Hall.
Event one will take place from May 9-14, while event two will be contested from May 15-20.
Played at what is an iconic venue in snooker history, the competitors are bound to be inspired as they aim for the eight golden tickets and many more magic moments in the sport.
What is the format?
There will be two events played over several rounds in a straight knockout format, with all matches will be contested over the best of seven frames.
The last four men standing in each event will earn a two-year card on the professional tour.
Who are the key players in action?
Players like David Grace, Stuart Carrington and Robbie Williams have all earned their professional status via this route and, subsequently, gone on to qualify for the Crucible in the future years, so there is plenty up for grabs for all the hopefuls.
There are plenty of big names to keep an eye on during this year’s event including the recently relegated Joe Swail, as well as Jamie Cope, Martin O’Donnell and Sean O’Sullivan.
Fellow former professionals Tony Drago, Andy Hicks, Tony Knowles and Mike Hallett will also be looking to turn the clock back by securing a return to the circuit, while Welsh teenager Jackson Page is eyeing the leap into the professional ranks after impressing at the Welsh Open earlier this year.
Elsewhere, 11-time ladies’ World champion Reanne Evans launches her latest bid to re-join her male counterparts on the tour, where she participated during the 2010/11 season but failed to win a match in that time, while reigning title holder Ng On Yee is also representing the female contingent.