Snooker’s Golden Oldies Rule: For How Long?
This season has already seen two winners over 30 and over 40 win on the World Snooker tour in Riga and in Yushan. Neil Robertson and Mark Williams started off the average age of winners this season at 39 after two ranking events.
Sportradar, a sports statistics website calculated that between the years 2011 – present, the age of winners on the tour had increased by eight years within seven years.
In 2011, the average age was 31 years and by the current, it’s now 39.
Stuart Bingham began a big resurgence in 2015 well into his thirties and won the World title for the first time after at least 20 years of toil on the amateur and pro circuits.
Last season, Ronnie, Mark, and John Higgins, all who turned pro in 1992, won 10 out of the 20 ranking events and earnt hundreds of thousands in prize money between them.
The data suggests you now have to be a winner much older now in snooker – with only a handful of “young” players entering the winners’ enclosure such as Kyren Wilson (2015), Anthony McGill and Judd Trump all under 30.
With Mark Williams winning the World title at the age of 43, the oldest since Ray Reardon, and both he and five-times World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan being born again by the product training method of SightRight, it may be a while yet before fans see a decline in the number of older players dropping out of the winner’s enclosure and replaced by the young ones.
SportRadar commented on the findings: “Of the younger generation who can reverse the current trend; Kyren Wilson (26), Michael White (27) and Anthony McGill (27) have already entered the winner’s circle with Jack Lisowski (27) looking ready to join them in the near future. While 17-year-old Welsh star, Jackson Page is developing a reputation as ‘one to watch’, but to put his achievements into context, O’Sullivan had already won the second biggest title on the professional circuit by the age of 17.”