The 2023/24 WST season is just a few weeks away and there will be plenty for snooker fans to look forward to on the calendar once again.
Just 56 days after Luca Brecel beat Mark Selby in a thrilling World Championship final at the Crucible, 10 months of non-stop drama and excitement will commence at Leicester’s Morningside Arena for the Championship League.
Up to 133 players – including the top 68 from the two-year ranking list at the end of last season and around 30 new professionals – will compete across 16 ranking tournaments and several invitational events (subject to change), with over £10million in prize money at stake.
Below, we take a closer look at the key events and things to look out for during the forthcoming campaign.
Triple Crown events
As always, all eyes will be on snooker’s big three events will all venues and formats set to remain unchanged from last year.
First up, Mark Allen will defend his UK Championship title at the York Barbican between November 25 and December 3, while Judd Trump is the reigning champion at the Masters, which takes place at Alexandra Palace from January 7-14.
The season will then reach its dramatic climax at the Crucible, where the World Championship takes centre stage between April 20 and May 6.
Snooker’s second-most prestigious series is now into its sixth year, comprising of the World Grand Prix, Players Championship and Tour Championship.
The top 32 players on the one-year list will contest the World Grand Prix at the Morningside Arena in Leicester from January 15-21.
The top 16 players on the one-year list will then compete in the Players Championship at the Telford International Centre from February 19-25, before the top eight do battle at the Tour Championship, which runs from April 1-7 at Manchester Central.
Home Nations Series
Another firm favourite on the tour since its establishment in 2016-17, the Home Nations Series has produced four different events winners in five of its previous seven seasons.
The English Open will kick off this year’s series at the Brentwood Centre from October 2-8, before Belfast’s Waterfront Hall hosts the Northern Ireland Open between October 22-29.
The Scottish Open takes place at Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Sports Centre from December 11-17, while the series concludes at Venue Cymru in Llandudno with the Welsh Open between February 12-18.
Snooker returns to China
The World Snooker Tour will return to China for the first time in four years, with a minimum of three tournaments to be staged in 2023.
Aside from last year’s Hong Kong Masters, which was an eight-player invitation event, these will be the first professional snooker events to be staged in China since the World Open in November 2019.
The Shanghai Masters, a 24-player invitational event, will take place from September 11-17, before Wuhan hosts a ranking event for the first time – the Wuhan Open – from October 9-15.
The International Championship will then return to the calendar from November 5-12, with the host city for the lucrative ranking event still to be confirmed.
Along with the old faithfuls like The Crucible, Alexandra Palace and York Barbican, the season also sees the introduction of several new venues to the tour.
Telford International Centre – host of the UK Championship between 2007 and 2010, as well as the 2000 Grand Prix – returns to the tour after a 13-year absence, with the Players Championship taking centre stage in February.
The Manchester Central will welcome the World Mixed Doubles and Tour Championship, which will be staged back to back at the end of March and beginning of April, while Swansea will host the Shoot Out in early December with a venue still to be confirmed.
Provisional WST 2023/24 calendar
|26-June 6||Q School||Leicester|
|1-14||Asia-Oceania Q School||Bangkok|
|24-29||European Masters qualifying||Leicester|
|14-19||British Open qualifying||Leicester|
|1-9||English Open qualifying
Wuhan Open qualifying
|18-23||International Championship qualifying||Sheffield|
|25-Oct 1||British Open||Cheltenham|
|16-20||Northern Ireland Open qualifying||Sheffield|
|22-29||Northern Ireland Open||Belfast|
|30-Nov 3||Scottish Open qualifying||Leicester|
|13-19||Champion of Champions||Bolton|
|18-23||UK Championship qualifying||Leicester|
|25-Dec 3||UK Championship||York|
|18-23||German Masters qualifying||Sheffield|
|15-21||World Grand Prix||Leicester|
|22-28||Welsh Open qualifying
Six Red World Championship qualifying
|29-Feb 4||German Masters||Berlin|
|26-Mar 2||CLS3 (invitational)||Leicester|
|4-9||Six Red World Championship||Bangkok|
|30-31||World Mixed Doubles||Manchester|
|8-17||World Championship qualifying||Sheffield|
|20-May 6||World Championship||Sheffield|