The qualifying rounds for the 2020 World Snooker Championship will take place from July 21-28 the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
A total of 128 players will battle it out for 16 coveted places in the sport’s show-piece event – which is scheduled to take place from July 31 to August 16 at The Crucible Theatre.
The qualifying rounds will be open to all tour professionals ranked outside of the world’s top 16, as well as 16 WPBSA invited players.
The qualifiers will be held behind closed doors at the EIS and be subject to Covid-19 testing, sanitisation and social distancing measures, as seen in the recent Championship League.
WST and the WPBSA are working closely with the UK Government to assist players travelling from outside the UK with regard to visas, quarantine and travel issues.
For safety reasons and to minimise the risk of breaching social distancing guidelines, the opening three qualifying rounds will feature a reduced format of best of 11 frames, as opposed to the traditional best of 19.
However, the fourth and final qualifying round will remain best of 19 frames, with matches split across two sessions.
WST Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are delighted to stage the qualifying rounds at the English Institute of Sport as we know from many years of experience that it is a fantastic venue.
“We look forward to working with the venue to ensure that the health and safety of our players and officials is the highest priority throughout the event.
“We have already proved that we are at the forefront of sport by staging events in the current conditions.
“Alongside the WPBSA we are already doing all we can to give as much assistance as possible to players coming from overseas. We want to see a full and international field.
“The Betfred World Championship, our biggest tournament, starts from the first ball struck of the opening qualifying round.
“Everyone dreams of a place at the Crucible, from legends like Jimmy White and Ken Doherty to exciting young talent. The drama of the final round, when places at the Theatre of Dreams are on the line, can barely be matched.
“This is another important step in the right direction as our tour gets back on track. While fans will not be able to go to the venue, we expect a further exciting announcement shortly on how fans will be able to watch the live action.”
Notable players in qualifying action are set to include two-time world finalist Ali Carter, six-time world finalist Jimmy White, former World Champions Ken Doherty and Graeme Dott, last year’s semi-finalist Gary Wilson and Championship League winner Luca Brecel.
The draw and schedule of play for the World Championship qualifiers will be confirmed in due course.
|1977||John Spencer 25-21 Cliff Thorburn|
|1978||Ray Reardon 25-18 Perrie Mans|
|1979||Terry Griffiths 24-16 Dennis Taylor|
|1980||Cliff Thorburn 18-16 Alex Higgins|
|1981||Steve Davis 18-12 Doug Mountjoy|
|1982||Alex Higgins 18-15 Ray Reardon|
|1983||Steve Davis 18-6 Cliff Thorburn|
|1984||Steve Davis 18-16 Jimmy White|
|1985||Dennis Taylor 18-17 Steve Davis|
|1986||Joe Johnson 18-12 Steve Davis|
|1987||Steve Davis 18-14 Joe Johnson|
|1988||Steve Davis 18-11 Terry Griffiths|
|1989||Steve Davis 18-3 John Parrott|
|1990||Stephen Hendry 18-12 Jimmy White|
|1991||John Parrott 18-11 Jimmy White|
|1992||Stephen Hendry 18-14 Jimmy White|
|1993||Stephen Hendry 18-5 Jimmy White|
|1994||Stephen Hendry 18-17 Jimmy White|
|1995||Stephen Hendry 18-9 Nigel Bond|
|1996||Stephen Hendry 18-12 Peter Ebdon|
|1997||Ken Doherty 18-12 Stephen Hendry|
|1998||John Higgins 18-12 Ken Doherty|
|1999||Stephen Hendry 18-11 Mark Williams|
|2000||Mark Williams 18-16 Matthew Stevens|
|2001||Ronnie O’Sullivan 18-14 John Higgins|
|2002||Peter Ebdon 18-17 Stephen Hendry|
|2003||Mark Williams 18-16 Ken Doherty|
|2004||Ronnie O’Sullivan 18-8 Graeme Dott|
|2005||Shaun Murphy 18-16 Matthew Stevens|
|2006||Graeme Dott 18-14 Peter Ebdon|
|2007||John Higgins 18-13 Mark Selby|
|2008||Ronnie O’Sullivan 18-8 Ali Carter|
|2009||John Higgins 18-9 Shaun Murphy|
|2010||Neil Robertson 18-13 Graeme Dott|
|2011||John Higgins 18-15 Judd Trump|
|2012||Ronnie O’Sullivan 18-11 Ali Carter|
|2013||Ronnie O’Sullivan 18-12 Barry Hawkins|
|2014||Mark Selby 18-14 Ronnie O’Sullivan|
|2015||Stuart Bingham 18-15 Shaun Murphy|
|2016||Mark Selby 18-14 Ding Junhui|
|2017||Mark Selby 18-15 John Higgins|
|2018||Mark Williams 18-16 John Higgins|