League Championships 2024 – 18 Teams Enter…

League Championships 2024 – 18 Teams Enter…

Leeds Snooker League Captain Mark Ball is excited to be playing in the inaugural League Championships 2024 this weekend at the Landywood Snooker Club.

Ball, who was a former player director of the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards, admits that although there are more amateur events for people to play in, there are still only a handful of clubs around the country and there needs to be more.

He said: “I guess whilst I was acting player director for the EPSB a few years ago, I do think there is still problems with funding and ensuring facilities are improving! There’s only 2/3 high quality venues throughout the country. In my opinion, there should be more.”

18 teams have been entered into the event with the first qualifiers for the event being held this weekend.

However, this is a relatively low number considering there appears to be a fair few snooker leagues across the UK. Why wasn’t there more entries in the end?

It will be held for the first time at the Landywood Snooker Club this year.

The prestigious Championship is aimed at all snooker leagues across the country and will provide fantastic weekends of snooker, with camaraderie and fun combined with a big prize with a minimum prize fund of £3,550 to be won across the event.

The second qualifiers will be in May with the Grand Finals in June.

Ball, 47, who has played in the Leeds League for almost 30 years, added: “We have two teams representing the Leeds Billiards and Snooker Organisation. I am the Captain of a team of 5 (plus 2 reserves play, but they won’t be playing this weekend) Leeds 1 playing in the first qualifying event this weekend.”

He said that Leeds stand a good chance of going far in the tournament.

Ball said of this tournament that it was the first of its kind, but there is an identical tournament that is held each year at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds.

He personally doesn’t believe that rules or formats in snooker need changing. (We disagree there).

“Rules are fine. Full foul and miss rule!”

When asked if he thought that snooker was creative enough to become an Olympic sport again, he said: “Not sure it’s an Olympic sport in my opinion!”

SnookerZone’s Chris Gaynor believes that if snooker wants to be an Olympic sport, it needs to be more appealing and creative in its format and rules to not just receive the X-Factor but to reward the creativity and talent of the individuals who participate.

Maybe that’s why some sports are not Olympic sports yet. 

 

National qualifiers

  • 13-14 April 2024 – this weekend
  • 4-5 May 2024

Grand Finals Weekend

  • 29-30 June 2024

The 18 confirmed include some good name leagues.

  • Leeds Billiards Snooker Organisation
  • Gloucester Snooker League
  • The Byfleet League
  • Nottingham Snooker
  • Ormskirk and District Amateur Snooker League
  • Malcolm Acaster Snooker League
  • Aldridge and District Snooker League
  • Warrington Snooker League
  • West Wiltshire and District Snooker League
  • Yeovil and District Snooker League
This website and journo Chris Gaynor has covered a lot of the local league snooker in Surrey The Byfleet League for Woking teams B and C…

Kelvin Jones, the Byfleet League Chairman, whom we’ve interviewed many times on this website, and had news articles in the papers on Woking teams C & B for The League, said this of their entering the League Championship and provisional team which maybe subject to change: “It is a 7-person squad. Paul Bunyard is Captain and is selecting a team of available players. It includes so far, Snoo, 900’s Matt Ford, Andrew Vernon, Paul Morrison, a former Shootout winner, and Peter Butler, who this website mentioned in the paper the Woking News when he won the Woking C title with his colleagues, and also made a high break in that season of 63. Peter Butler went onto make a century and has been brought on to replace originally Labeeb Ahmed. (Last time of speaking…)

Jones added: “We have many players in the League that are worthy to be in a League’s best team. I am expecting tough opposition as the prize money is attractive. If they play well, they could go far in the tournament. They will try their best, which, for me, is enough.”

 

From the EPSB website: The provisional format for the event will be as follows:

  • A minimum of 32 teams will compete in group stages to qualify for the Grand Finals weekend.
  • Each match will be played over five frames, with a point scored for each frame won.
  • Each team will be made up of five players, with a maximum of one professional player who will give an 18-points start when competing against an amateur. Each team will be permitted to name two reserve players
  • Each player must have played at least two matches for their league during the current season.
  • Where possible, teams from the same league will be drawn apart during the qualification stage.

There are many Snooker Leagues across the country both big and small and anyone wishing to join a league or considering it, should pop into their local social club/s in their areas if there are ones, or a “big” “snooker” club if there is one in your area, and enquire about the possibility of joining or first and foremost, play some league players and see if it is for you. You are doing these people a favor, NOT the other way around.

No players, no leagues!

Thanks to the WPBSA/EPSB for their updates to SnookerZone over the past few weeks…

And to Kelvin Jones and Mark Ball for the comments…

Good luck to those competing in the first qualifiers this weekend.

In addition to the above, free entry into the 2025 English Amateur Championship will be awarded to each member of the winning team, plus the player who makes the tournament high break and the ‘MVP’ from the qualifying stage.

FIND OUT MORE ON THE EPSB WEBSITE

 

Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web. He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!