Category: Belgian Open

Winners Crowned at Belgian Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) crowned its latest champions last weekend at the Belgian Open in Bruges, Belgium.

Hosted by the Trickshot Snooker Club for the third successive year, the event welcomed its biggest ever field to date including entries from over 40 players representing six different countries.

For the first time the event ran tournaments for players from all eight main disability classification groups, including cueists with physical, intellectual and sensory disabilities, making it the most significant event staged in mainland Europe so far on the 360Fizz WDBS Tour.

Groups 1-3

England’s Tony Southern completed the successful defence of the title that he first won 12 months ago at the Trickshot following a 3-0 victory against compatriot Shahab Siddiqui in the Groups 1-3 event final.

The competition, which saw wheelchairs Groups 1-2 combined with the ambulant Group 3 classification for players with upper body disabilities for the first time, saw six entrants contest an initial round-robin phase before the knockout rounds.

Just as at last September’s UK Disability Snooker Championship it was in fact Siddiqui who in fact topped his group ahead of Southern, before the pair came through semi-finals against 2018 champion Kurt Deklerck of Belgium and Germany’s Hannes Hermsdorf – the 26-year-old having impressed on his WDBS debut this weekend with a high break of 53.

The final however was to go the way of Southern, who having taken the opening frame on the black then added the following two to seal his third-career WDBS crown.

Group 4

The biggest tournament of the weekend was to be the Group 4 competition which saw Daniel Blunn defeat Andy Johnson 3-0 to a record 11th WDBS title.

Previously a winner at the Trickshot during each of the past two seasons, Blunn was once again in imperious form in Belgium as he captured his first title of the decade without the loss of a frame from his five matches played on his way to glory in 2020.

Having come through a group including Gary Sanderson, Peter Hull and Gunter D’Hondt, the 28-year-old then saw off Church and finally Johnson – the latter in a deceptively close final – to add yet another honour to his illustrious CV.

The high break of the group was a run of 44 made during the round-robin stages.

Group 5

England’s Mickey Chambers was to maintain his 100% record on the WDBS circuit having claimed his sixth Group 5 crown with a 3-0 success against David Moore.

Like Blunn, the Preston Potter underlined his status as the leading Group 5 player on the circuit by claiming his latest title with a flawless record, winning all four group matches before seeing off Humber Classic winner Moore for a second time in the showpiece final. He also made the four highest breaks in the group, including a run of 35 during the round-robin stage.

For Moore to reach the final was nevertheless an impressive feat as he recovered from the loss of his opening two matches to progress ahead of David Langridge, Dean Simmons and Phil Woodwiss.

Group 6

There was a return to form for Peter Geronimo in the Group 6 competition for players with intellectual disabilities after the 30-year-old defeated Leroy Williams 3-2 in a closely contested final.

Both players progressed from a four-player group stage which saw Faisal Butt and Christopher Goldsworthy eliminated to set up a fifth meeting in a title decider at a WDBS event.

Having defeated Williams earlier in the day during the round-robin phase, it was Geronimo who was never headed in the final as he led 1-0 and 2-1, before Williams hit back impressively to force a deciding frame with a match high break of 39 in frame four.

Inevitably the final frame was to be decided on the colours, with Geronimo potting pink and black to triumph and claim only his second victory over Williams and his first title since his maiden win at the 2018 Humber Classic.

Group 7

Another two-time winner was to be crowned in the Group 7 tournament for players with visual disabilities after Ireland’s Dylan Rees added the Belgian Open title to his victory at the Hull Open last November with a 3-0 success against Mike Gillespie.

The pair progressed to the final following a dramatic group stage which saw a play-off required to separate the top three players including Welshman Ronnie Allen, who each had finished with an identical record.

The final however would prove to be more one-sided as Rees, who had impressed during the group stage with an impressive break of 87 – the second-highest ever to have been recorded during a WDBS match – ran out a 3-0 winner to maintain his 100% record on the circuit so far.

Group 8

A new winner was crowned in Group 8 as Belgian debutant Kristof De Bruyn defeated 10-time champion Shabir Ahmed to win the first WDBS competition for deaf players held in mainland Europe.

Paired in the same round-robin group, De Bruyn and Ahmed contested a hard-fought group match won by Ahmed to progress to the knockout rounds, where they saw off Nick Cash and Lewis Knowles respectively to set up the title decider.

It was 10-time WDBS champion Ahmed who took the opener before 44-year-old De Bruyn claimed two tight frames on the colours to take the lead, before sealing his maiden title in the fourth frame with a break of 32.

There was also a maiden win in the Challenge Cup event for Christopher Goldsworthy after the Group 6 player defeated Kal Mattu 2-0 to claim gold in the tournament for players who had not made it to the knockout rounds of the main tournaments.

The WDBS team would like to thank Olivier Vandenbohede of the Trickshot and his team for supporting the event once again and already we look forward to returning in 2021.

The final event of the 2019/20 360Fizz WDBS Tour season will be the Derby Open, to be held at the Cueball Derby from 15-17 May 2020.

 

Belgian Open 2020: Tournament Information

Tournament information for this weekend’s Belgian Open to be held at The Trickshot Snooker Club in Bruges is now available:

To be played in Belgium for a third successive year, for the first time the Belgian Open will see tournaments staged for players from all eight main classification groups, helping to attract a record field of 45 players representing seven different nationalities.

In a change to the original schedule, the tournament will now begin on Friday evening with an initial ten matches to be played, with the remaining group stage and knockout matches to be concluded over the course of the weekend.

If you have any questions please contact a member of the team via our website or social media.

New WDBS Dates Announced For 2020/21 Season

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is today pleased to announce four new event dates for the upcoming 360Fizz WDBS Tour 2020/21 season.

As we prepare to celebrate our fifth anniversary this summer, we have moved quickly to confirm a number of regular venues that have supported WDBS over a number of years.

In doing so, we have also taken the opportunity to carry out a full review of the previous calendar to provide a better spread of tournaments throughout the year for each classification group.

Confirmed dates

The new calendar will see players from each of the main eight classification groups guaranteed at least three UK tournaments.

The first confirmed event will be the Welsh Open, which is set to return to Redz Snooker Club in Cwmbran for a fourth staging, on the later date of 4-6 September 2020. Once again, the event will be open to players from all classification groups and be played under the 6-Red format of the game.

Also set to return for a fourth staging is the Derby Open, which will be held at the Cueball Derby in a new calendar slot of 23-25 October. Significantly, for the first time this event will be open to players from Groups 1-5 as a new venue for those with physical disabilities.

Please note that this does not affect the upcoming Groups 7-8 tournament in Derby which will be held from 15-17 May as the final event of the current season.

As has been the case since 2016, the final event of the calendar year will be the Hull Open, which will return to the Tradewell Snooker Club for a fifth time from 13-15 November and be open to players from Groups 6-8.

Finally, we can also confirm the return of the three-day UK Disability Snooker Championship, which will again be held at Barratts in Northampton and be open to players from all classification groups. However, to provide better balance to the calendar the event will move to a new slot from 26-28 March 2021.

Champion of Champions

In addition to the dates announced above, we can also confirm that the Parris Cues Champion of Champions will return next season at a new venue to be confirmed.

For the first-time, this will be staged as the season-finale in May 2021, with the best players on the tour during the previous two seasons qualifying for the prestigious event.

Overseas Events

As part of our wider ambitions to return snooker to the Paralympic Games for the first time since 1988 we are also committed to developing new opportunities for disability snooker outside of the UK.

In addition to the Belgian Open, which we also anticipate will return early in 2021, we are also currently looking at opportunities to stage further overseas events next season, with talks currently ongoing in respect of a planned event in Poland this summer.

Further information regarding additional tournaments will be released in due course.

2020/21 Provisional Dates So Far:

4-6 September 2020

Welsh Open (G1-8) – Redz Snooker Club, Cwmbran

23-25 October 2020

Derby Open (G1-5) – Cueball Derby, Derby

13-15 November 2020

Hull Open (G6-8) – Tradewell Snooker Club, Hull

26-28 March 2021

UK Disability Snooker Championship (G1-8) – Barratts, Northampton

All dates are provisional and subject to change.

Belgian Open 2020 – Enter Now!

We are now accepting entries for the WDBS Belgian Open which is set to return to the calendar from 7-8 March 2020.

As in previous years, the event will be held at The Trickshot Club owned by Olivier Vandenbohede in the historic city of Bruges. The venue is fully accessible and has hosted the tournament successfully during each of the last two years.

For the first time the event will include competitive tournaments for players from all eight disability classification groups, with players with intellectual and sensory disabilities joining those with physical disabilities.

There will be no formal Open Day held on the Friday, but there will be practice opportunities for players arriving on the day and a barbecue meal organised at the club in the evening.

Tournament Format

As is the case at all WDBS events, individual tournaments will only run if at least four entries are received. We reserve the right to combine groups where at all possible, for example Group 3 with Groups 4-5, Groups 7A and 7B.

We therefore advise that players do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until enough entries have been received in their group.

Velotel Hotel exterior

Hotel Velotel

For this year’s tournament the Hotel Velotel Bruges is offering a 15% discount on bookings made directly through their website.

To access the discount please use the code WDBSSNOOKER when booking and the discount will be applied at checkout.

Please be aware that accessible rooms are limited so we advise booking as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Travel Options

Bruges is easily accessible from the UK via car, rail or air. Further travel advice will be published shortly.

We are aware that several groups of players have already made plans to travel together (including from Hull, the north of England and the midlands) and we strongly encourage everyone to join our WDBS Facebook group and discuss travel options together.

We are continuing to explore options to run a service from London similar to in 2019 and will provide further information as soon as possible if this is to go ahead.

If you are considering entering the event and are not sure, or have any further questions, please contact us.

Belgian Open 2020 – Expressions of Interest

We are looking forward to returning to Bruges, Belgium from 6-8 March 2020 for what is set to be the biggest edition of the WDBS Belgian Open to date.
Previously the event has been held as a Groups 1-5 competition, however next year our intention is to include players from all eight classification groups as we look to grow the tournament further.

Entry numbers

Our WDBS policy is that each tournament must receive at least four entries to be able to run as a standalone tournament. If a lower number of entries is received, the tournament for that group will either be cancelled, or where possible merged with another group.
We do appreciate that this means it is difficult for players and their supporters to make firm travel and hotel arrangements at an early stage, particularly in groups that have not been included in this event before or have previously received a low number of entries.
To encourage early commitment, there will be an earlier entry deadline for this competition than normal. We will keep you posted on the progress of entries.

UK Bus Service

In order to help UK-based players travel to the event, last season we successfully ran a coach service from London to Bruges, returning to the UK on the Monday following the event.
This service however did incur significant cost to WDBS, particularly as a number of players who had initially expressed an interest in using the coach did not end up using the service.
As a result, before we commit to running a similar service in 2020 and to know the size of a bus we would potentially require, we are asking for a firm commitment from players who would intend to use this service should it run again. At the point of entry for the event, we will be requiring a non-refundable deposit from players who wish to use it.

Expressions of interest

Please therefore respond below as soon as possible to the following two questions:
1) Do you intend to compete in this season’s WDBS Belgian Open?
2) Do you plan to use our coach service, as detailed above?
Many thanks
WDBS Team

Disability Snooker Success in Belgium

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) returned to Belgium for the second staging of the WDBS Belgian Open last weekend.

Held at the Trickshot club in Bruges, the event attracted entries from the UK, Belgium and India with a variety of physical disabilities to compete for the latest silverware on the WDBS Tour.

Groups 1-2

England’s Tony Southern claimed his long-awaited first WDBS title following a 5-2 success against defending champion Kurt Deklerck from Belgium to win the Groups 1-2 wheelchair tournament.

The opening day saw both players claim back-to-back wins in a four-player group stage, Southern notably earning a deciding-frame victory against Shahab Siddiqui on the colours to ensure that he would progress to the title match.

With the final round-robin match between the pair effectively a dead match, the pair were given the opportunity to contest an extended best-of-nine frame final to decide the champion.

It would prove to be a final full of drama with each of the opening two frames being settled on the final black, with the scoreline progressing to 2-2 at the mid-session interval.

From there however it would be all Southern as he edged two close frames to move one away from the title at 4-2 up, before sinking a tournament-high break of 42 in what would prove to be the final frame to take home the gold medal.

Groups 4-5

While there was a new winner crowned in the wheelchair competition, the Groups 4-5 event for players with ambulant disabilities saw a familiar face emerge victorious as Daniel Blunn claimed a record eighth WDBS title.

Having dropped one frame in the group stages to David Moore, Blunn progressed to the final with knockout victories against Olivier Biernaux and David Church, the latter in a repeat of last year’s final in Belgium.

There he would face India’s Raja Subramanian, himself a two-time WDBS champion and competing in his first competition since the 2016 Open Disability Snooker Championship. Previously undefeated in WDBS play, Subramanian maintained his flawless record by coming through the round-robin stage without the loss of a frame, before defeating Gunter D’Hondt and Welshman Ben Rawson to set up a clash of the titans in the final.

As with the wheelchair final, the decisive match would initially prove to be a closely contested affair, Blunn taking each of the first two frames on the pink to move two ahead with a possible three to play.

Ultimately however the 27-year-old from Sutton Coldfield would save his best until last, dominating the third and final frame with a top break of 35 to seal his third consecutive WDBS title following previous wins at the Northern Classic and Champion of Champions tournaments.

Blunn also made the high-break in his classification group with an excellent run of 55 during his quarter-final match.

Challenge Cup

The Challenge Cup competition for players not qualified for the knockout rounds was contested between Danielle Findlay and Phil Woodwiss. Although Woodwiss was competing in his second Challenge Cup final in the space of a month following success at the Northern Classic, as in 2018 it would prove to be Findlay’s day as she repeated her success from last March with a 2-0 victory.

Once again WDBS would like to thank club owner Olivier Vandenbohede and his team at The Trickshot for their generous hospitality during the three-day event. We would also like to thank all of the players who made the trip to Bruges as WDBS continues to expand outside of the UK.

View full tournament results from the main competition via MySnookerStats here.

View event photos at our Facebook page here.

View the updated WDBS Roll of Honour here.

Entry Open for Belgian Open 2019

Entries are now being accepted for this year’s Belgian Open which returns to The Trickshot, Bruges following a successful first staging of the event last March.

The event will run from 8-10 March and begin with a practice day for people with any disabilities to come and try snooker, prior to a two-day tournament for people with physical disabilities (ambulant and wheelchair groups 1-5).

The venue is fully accessible and based in the centre of the historic city of Bruges. We would once again like to extend our thanks to owner Olivier Vandenbohede and his team for their hospitality and support with the event.

Velotel Hotel exterior

Hotel Velotel

As was the case in 2018 we have agreed a special rate with the Hotel Velotel Bruges for people who will be competing in the event as follows:

  • Single room incl. breakfast €65.00 (+ €2.12 city tax per night)
  • Double room incl. breakfast €75.00 (+ €2.12 city tax per night)
  • Upgrade to superior room: + €25.00 Free pa

The rate will be available from 07/03/2019 – 11/03/2019 and to reserve a room players should contact George Edwards and confirm:

  1. Which nights are required
  2. Whether a double or twin room is required
  3. If an accessible room is required

Please note that rooms are limited, so interested players are urged to contact George as soon as possible to avoid missing out.

Learn more about the hotel at their website.

Belgian Open 2019 – Travel Options

Following our successful first WDBS event in Belgium earlier this year we are delighted to be returning The Trickshot, Bruges from 8-10 March 2019 for the Belgian Open (G1-5) competition.

To assist as many people as possible from the UK to travel for the event we are considering running a coach service from the UK to Bruges and back. This will be part-funded by money kindly donated to WDBS, including by Nigel Coton and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.

For us to determine whether this would be possible and to choose the best service available, we would be grateful to receive expressions of interest from players by completing and returning the linked form to us by 18th January 2019

Download the form in pdf or .docx format.

Details:

  • The coach would leave the UK on the morning of Friday 8 March 2019.
  • The return trip would leave Belgium on Monday 11 March 2019.
  • The trip would be part-funded by WDBS with a contribution of a proposed maximum of £60.00 from each player
  • Subject to space availability, there may be an option for each player to bring one guest on the coach. The guest would pay for their place in full with a proposed maximum cost of: £120.00
  • We expect that there would be a maximum capacity of 30-35 people on the coach.
  • To help us decide whether the coach should leave the UK from please indicate your preferred location.