Category: Events

Derby Open 2019: Tournament Preview

The final stop on this season’s World Disability Billiards and Snooker circuit takes place this weekend, as the Cueball Derby once again plays as host to the 2019 WDBS Derby Open.

Supported by leading packaging company DS Smith, the event is staged for players with visual (Group 7) and hearing (Group 8) impairments who will both compete within their own individual classification groups. Using British Blind Sport guidelines, for the first time Group 7 will be split into two sub-categories dependent on the competitor’s severity of impairment.

Open Day

Before the competitive action gets underway at the weekend, Friday will be our regular curtain-raising Open Day where individuals and groups of all disabilities are encouraged to come along and try snooker regardless of previous experience. A mix of both technical coaching and fun activities will be provided by our team of WPBSA World Snooker coaches at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone.

Group 7A

Formation of the 7A category means we are guaranteed a new main event champion in Derby.

Potential candidates for the title include Bob Craft and Gary Gallacher. Craft came close to a maiden WDBS triumph last year when he reached the final of the UK Open, whilst Scotland’s Gallacher is a two-time Challenge Cup winner, most recently at March’s Southern Classic held in Swindon.

Another tour stalwart, Scott Swanson, will also make the trip down from across the border, seeking to go deep in the event. Recent tour addition Hassan Ali will be back in action, whilst newcomers Danny Dyche and Donna Healy-Sharpe make their debuts.

Group 7B

Group 7B contains a trio of former winners and a pair of two-time finalists, but the player to beat is the in-form Nick Neale.

Last year at this venue, Birmingham’s Neale defeated Mike Gillespie, 3-1, in the final. Neale was in irresistible form throughout that weekend, constructing several half century breaks including a top effort of 92. Since then Neale has remained the kingpin in the category scooping further titles at the Champion of Champions, Hull Open and the Southern Classic.

There are, however, players who have the tools to topple him, this includes Gillespie who won at the Cueball during its first hosting of a WDBS tournament in 2017. The player who Gillespie defeated in the final that day – Paul Smith – is a four-time gold medalist on the circuit whose latest glory was at the Open Disability Championship last autumn.

David Baker and Ronnie Allen are aiming to go one better and become a main title winner having both been close in the past with two runners-up finishes each. David Martin and Ben Chappell will also be hopeful of reaching new territory.

Group 8

Shabir Ahmed has pretty much dominated the Group 8 scene for the majority of the past two years and will go to Derby as the tournament favourite once again.

Ahmed has fond memories of the Cueball venue; it was here in 2017 where he claimed his first WDBS title, while 12 months ago he retained the title in dramatic circumstances when he came back to oust rival Lewis Knowles in an epic final that went to the final black in the deciding frame.

In total Ahmed has now won six WDBS titles, including five of the last six Group 8 events staged since the start of 2018. The only blot on that record was at November’s Champion of Champions when Knowles overcame him in a final frame to secure his elusive maiden win. Knowles has since lost to Ahmed in the Southern Classic final some eight weeks ago, but that success in Gloucester proves that he can defeat the group’s number one player.

This category continues to thrive with a record field of 27 set to participate in the coming days. Within the entry are 2016 Woking Open champion David Ingham and 2017 Hull Open champion Blake Munton. WDBS main event finalists Richard Gott and Nikolas De Whytell are also scheduled to be present.

View full tournament information, including draws and results during the event online.

2019/2020 Provisional Calendar Announced

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is today pleased to announce its provisional calendar of events for the 2019/20 season.

As was the case during the current campaign, next season’s newly rebranded 360Fizz WDBS Tour will comprise at least eight weekend events.

The calendar includes a number of returning events, including the Parris Cues Champion of Champions which returns for a second-successive season, as well as the long-established all-classification groups Welsh Open and Open Disability Snooker Championship events.

For the first time players from Groups 1-5 will have the opportunity to compete at a regular Group 6-8 venue, the Tradewell Snooker Centre in Hull, while the Belgian Open will be expanded to include players from all-eight classification groups for the first time in 2020.

The tour will also return to Hazel Grove Snooker Club following a successful first event earlier this year, taking a new January slot in the calendar.

Further information in respect of each event will be released over the coming months, including event entry packs and classification information.

Provisional 2019/20 360Fizz WDBS Tour Calendar

28-30 June 2019
Humber Classic (G1-6) – Hull

9-11 August 2019
Welsh Open (G1-8) – Cwmbran

20-22 September 2019
Open Disability Snooker Championship (G1-8) – Northampton

19-20 October 2019
Parris Cues Champion of Champions (G1-8) – Venue TBC

15-17 November 2019
Hull Open (G7-8) – Hull

10-12 January 2020
Stockport Open (G1-6) – Hazel Grove, Stockport

6-8 March 2020
Belgian Open (G1-8) – Bruges, Belgium

May 2020
TBC (G7-8) – Venue TBC

Please note that all dates are provisional and subject to change 

DS Smith to Support Derby Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is today pleased to announce that the upcoming Derby Open will be supported by DS Smith.

Entries are already open for the final event of the 2018/19 season which will take place for a third time at the Cueball Derby, one of our most well-established venues.

The weekend will begin on Friday 17 May with an open day for people with all disabilities to come and try snooker, with expert coaches on hand to provide advice and support at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone.

Over the following two days (18-19 May) both deaf and visually impaired players will then compete in tournaments, with a Challenge Cup event on the second day for players who do not progress from the group stage to ensure that everyone has plenty of snooker to enjoy throughout the weekend.

DS Smith is a European leading packaging company of customer-specific packaging with emphasis on state-of-the art packaging design and local service close to customer facilities. The company has a product portfolio that includes transit packaging, consumer packaging, displays and promotional packaging, customised protective packaging and industrial packaging.

The support provided by DS Smith comes as a result of exhibition evenings featuring Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White, held over the last year in Lincoln and organised by former WDBS champion Nigel Coton and his wife Ali. Both events were made possible with the support of DS Smith, with surplus funds from ticket sales donated to WDBS.

Michael Buckley, Managing Director of the DS Smith Featherstone business, who lives near Derby, will be in attendance over the weekend to understand how the WDBS has grown and to present prizes on the Sunday.

Learn more about DS Smith online: www.dssmith.com/uk/packaging

Southern Classic 2019: Tournament Preview

The World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) circuit moves on to Swindon this weekend with the 2019 Southern Classic.

The three-day event takes place for the first time at Jesters Snooker Hall and will include the first tournaments of the year for players from WDBS classification groups 7-8 (sensory disabilities), as well at the latest competitions for our groups 6A and 6B (intellectual disabilities) players.

Open Day

Once again the weekend will begin on Friday with our regular open day, open to people with all disabilities who are encouraged to come along and try snooker regardless of previous experience. A mix of both technical coaching and fun activities will be provided by our team of WPBSA World Snooker coaches at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone.

We are also looking forward to welcoming a number of special guests for the day, including local schools, team members from local charity Wiltshire Sight and also Robert Buckland QC MP (Conservative, South Swindon).

Groups 6A / 6B

As at last month’s Northern Classic in Stockport, players from both Groups 6A and 6B will compete across two days in separate competitions.

Group 6A is open to people who have an IQ under 75 and evidence of adaptive behaviour or social adaption and so far the group has seen victories for Mike Busst and Mohamed Faisal Butt since it was introduced late last year. Both players will be back in action at Jesters as part of a bumper 16-player field which will include a large contingent from Bristol.

Meanwhile over in Group 6B, which is made up of competitors who have an IQ over 75 and Autism Spectrum Disorder, the field includes the likes of former Northern Classic winner Leroy Williams and reigning Humber Classic champion Peter Geronimo who are among those looking to claim the title.

Joining them will be youngster Oliver Hanson and two newcomers Robert Brennan and Christopher Goldsworthy.

Group 7

Our latest Group 7 event for people with visual disabilities boasts a strong 11-player field which is set to include three debutants in Swindon.

Among the favourites to take the title will be Nick Neale and Paul Smith who between them have won eight of the nine tournaments staged for this group during the past three years, Mike Gillespie’s triumph in Derby back in 2017 the exception to the rule.

They will be joined by regular players including David Baker, and Ron Allen and Bob Craft, all of whom are former WDBS finalists.

Group 8

The biggest field during the weekend will be for the Group 8 deaf competition with 18 players set to battle it out to become champion.

Five-time champion Shabir Ahmed will head to Swindon as the man to beat on the back of his latest success in Hull last November, while the man who defeated him last year at the Champion of Champions Lewis Knowles will be hoping to stop him and claim his second WDBS title.

Former Hull Open champion Blake Munton, Welshman Adam Townsend and regular Tony Davies will be among the other familiar faces joining nine first-time WDBS players going for the title.

The Southern Classic runs from 22-24 March 2019 at Jesters Snooker Hall in Swindon and you can follow updates online at our website and via our social media pages.

Southern Classic Open for Entry

Entries are now being accepted for the all-new Southern Classic which will be held at Jesters Snooker Hall in Swindon from 22-24 March 2019.

The event will be the first of 2019 for people with visual and hearing disabilities (Groups 7-8) and will also incorporate a two-day tournament for players with learning disabilities (Group 6).

Once again the weekend will begin with a day of coaching and practice at which people with all disabilities are encouraged to get involved and participate in snooker. The day will be supported by our team of official WPBSA World Snooker coaches who will be on hand at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone to help people enjoy the day.

The deadline for entries is Friday 15 March 2019.

Hazel Grove Hosts Successful Disability Snooker Event

The first World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) event of 2019 was staged at the Hazel Grove Snooker Club last weekend.

The Northern Classic, sponsored by BB Scaffolding, welcomed players with a variety of physical and learning disabilities to contest six individual competitions across the weekend.

Physical disabilities

There was a familiar winner in the latest Groups 1-2 wheelchair competition as Daniel Lee completed the successful defence of his Northern Classic title with a 3-0 victory against Aslam Abubaker of India.

Winner of the mixed-classification Welsh Open and Champion of Champions competitions already this season, Lee progressed from his three-player round robin group with victories against Tony Southern (3-2) and Shahab Siddiqui (3-1), while Abubaker comfortably saw off Scotland’s Gavin Gormley and Glyn Lloyd without the loss of a frame.

Following a first close frame won by Lee however, the next two would be more one-sided as the 39-year-old secured his first silverware of the new year.

In Group 3 there was a comeback victory for John Teasdale after the Lancaster potter recovered from 2-0 down to defeat Joe Hardstaff 3-2 in the final.

Competing in a newly-revised classification group exclusively open to players with absent or significant upper limb impairments, both came through a four-player round robin group, with Teasdale claiming his first WDBS title since the Challenge Cup back at the 2016 Manchester Classic.

With a number of players having switched from Group 3 to Group 4 for this event, there was a bumper 21-player field with previous winners from both groups to contest the title.

Ultimately however it was 27-year-old Daniel Blunn who emerged victorious to secure a record eighth WDBS win following a 3-0 victory against Peter Yelland.

Competing as a Group 4 player for the first time, Blunn came through his group with a perfect 6-0 record before defeating John Fenwick and David Church in a close semi-final to reach an unprecedented 11th final.

His opponent Peter Yelland meanwhile had a marathon final day in Stockport, initially coming through a three-way play-off match to secure his place in the knockout rounds, before defeating Andy Johnson, Danielle Findlay and defending champion William Thomson to reach the final.

It would though be Blunn who would prevail with a whitewash victory in the showpiece match to extend his unique record of having won a title during each year since the formation of WDBS in 2015.

The highest break of the weekend was made in this competition by Scotland’s William Thomson with a run of 64 during the group stage.

The final competition for players with physical disabilities was won by Preston’s Mickey Chambers, who completed the successful defence of his Group 5 Northern Classic title with a 3-1 success against David Weller.

Chambers, who has previously played for England’s amputee football team, had won his previous two WDBS events and maintained his flawless run for the loss of just two frames during the weekend.

Learning disabilities

The Group 6A competition for people with learning disabilities saw a repeat final from the previous event in Hull, but a different result as Mohammed Faisal Butt defeated Mike Busst 3-1 to claim his maiden WDBS title.

There was however a further repeat winner in the Group 6B tournament as Daniel Harwood claimed his seventh title with a 4-0 final victory against Leroy Williams.

It was their second meeting of the weekend after the pair had earlier met in a five-player group stage, which proved to be far closer with Harwood edging their initial contest 3-2, before the two faced each other again in a one-sided final.

Challenge Cup

The Challenge Cup competition for players not qualified for the knockout rounds was contested between Phil Woodwiss and Wayne Grew, with Skipton’s Woodwiss coming through a 2-0 winner to win his first WDBS medal.

Woodwiss competed in his first competition at the Welsh Open last summer and has been a regular face at events since competing in Group 5.

Open day

Once again the event began with a special open day, which welcomed both regular faces and a number of local organisations to come and try snooker and receive coaching and advice at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone.

Among those to attend were students from two local students, as well as members of the Stockport Cerebral Palsy Society. They were joined by Councillor Walter Brett, Mayor of Stockport for 2018/19 and Coronation Street actor Liam Bairstow, who plays Alex Warner in the ITV soap.

DSActive

The event was also supported by DSActive as part of the new partnership between the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and the Down’s Syndrome Association, with the aim of providing more opportunities for people with Down’s syndrome to play snooker.

Prior to the event a special workshop was run by DSActive for individuals associated with WDBS including the board of directors, referees and coaches. This provided important information about terminology, communication and awareness to enhance the way in which WDBS events are run to give players with Down’s syndrome the best possible experience.

The workshop will also lead to the first snooker club-based sessions led by coaches who attended the session accredited by DSActive, based at clubs affiliated the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards.

WDBS would like to thank our title sponsors BB Scaffolding, represented by owner Bradley Wosahlo and his business partner Brett Downs, as well as club owner Dino Georgiou and his team for their wonderful hospitality over the course of the weekend.

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.

 

Northern Classic 2019: Tournament Preview

The opening World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) event of the new year takes place this weekend at the renowned Hazel Grove Snooker Club in Stockport, which will be hosting WDBS competition for the first time.

Consisting of five separate tournaments, the 2019 Northern Classic features players with a range of physical and learning disabilities who will contest their respective classification groups and will be sponsored by BB Scaffolding.

DSActive Day

Ahead of the competitive action the weekend will begin with a special open day which will be supported by the Down syndrome initiative DSActive.

People with all disabilities, including Down syndrome are welcomed to the club to try snooker regardless of experience and receive coaching from our team of WPBSA World Snooker coaches at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone.

Groups 1-2

The wheelchair category continues to be one of the most exciting and competitive sections on the WDBS scene, although Daniel Lee is currently the player to beat.

Lee enjoyed a terrific 2018 campaign that saw him secure a trio of titles; the multi-classification Welsh Open, the Champion of Champions and he heads to Stockport as the defending Northern Classic champion.

He faces a difficult task holding onto his crown, though. Reigning Open Disability champion Aslam Abubaker broke his WDBS duck in Northampton last September and now he has a taste for more success.

There will also be no lack of motivation for fellow entrants Tony Southern, Glyn Lloyd and Shahab Siddiqui – all previous finalists on the circuit who are hoping to go all the way this time around.

Group 3

Following feedback received from players Group 3 will consist solely of ambulant players with one or more upper limbs either absent or severely impaired.

This means that a number of previous Group 3 winners with either full use, or moderately impaired upper limbs will be re-classified either as Group 4 or Group 5 players.

Of those who are set to contest the Group 3 tournament however is Nigel Coton, a former winner back in 2016 at the Open Disability Snooker Championship.

He will be joined by the likes of John Teasdale, Joe Hardstaff and Kal Mattu, all experienced competitors on the WDBS circuit.

Groups 4-5*

Several familiar names appear in the line-up for the Group 4/5 tournament that boasts a healthy number of entries, boosted further by those previously classified as Group 3 competitors.

Headline players include reigning champion Mickey Chambers and recent Champion of Champions winner David Church, who will resume their ongoing struggle for supremacy in the division – they have shared the last four titles between themselves.

Within the field of cueists who are seeking to break up this recent dominance are former Manchester Classic champions Andy Johnson and David Weller. They will also be joined by multiple WDBS champions Daniel Blunn and William Thomson, who met in the Group 3 final of this event a year ago.

In form David Moore will also be another player to watch. Moore benefited from being a late replacement for Gloucester a few months ago where he topped the round robin before losing to Church in the final.

A quarter-finalist on debut at Barratts in the Autumn, Marcin Kubalski will once again make the trip across from Poland to pit his wits on the WDBS tour.

Female players Danielle Findlay and Maureen Rowland also form part of a diverse jigsaw.

*Note that subject to entries, there may be individual competitions for Groups 4 and 5.

Groups 6A / 6B

For only the second time players with intellectual disabilities will have the opportunity to compete in Group 6 events across the full weekend.

Twelve months ago, in Preston, it was third time lucky for Leroy Williams in a WDBS final as he recorded his first triumph on the circuit. The defending champion is back aiming to retain his title in the 6B autistic section but faces stiff opposition from several quarters.

This includes fellow Liverpool based star Daniel Harwood, who is looking to continue his impressive streak on tour. Already a record equaling six-time WDBS winner, Harwood claimed the prestigious Champion of Champions and Hull Open titles towards the back end of 2018.

Reigning Humber Classic champion Peter Geronimo will also be making the trip up from London.

In the Group 6A learning disabilities discipline, Mike Busst will try to build on his maiden victory in Hull last November.  Among others, he will be joined by Hull finalist Faisal Butt and Alexandra Mendham, who was a semi-finalist in this event last year.

The Northern Classic runs from 8-10 February 2019 at the Hazel Grove Snooker Centre in Stockport and you can follow updates online here and at our social media pages.

Preview by Matt Huart and Michael Day.

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.

Northern Classic 2019: Enter Now!

Entries are now open for the Northern Classic 2019 which will be held for the first time at the Hazel Grove Snooker Club from 8-10 February.

The event is the first World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) event of the New Year and will include full two-day tournaments for people with physical and learning disabilities, with Group 6 to join players from Groups 1-5.

The weekend will begin with our regular Friday Open Day, to include the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone at which people of any level of experience are encouraged to participate in snooker.

Parris Cues Champion of Champions 2018: Live Stream

Watch our live stream from the Parris Cues Champions of Champions 2018 at the South West Snooker Academy below:

Streaming schedule:

Saturday 20th October

  • Dan Harwood v Leroy Williams (G6)
  • William Thomson v Daniel Blunn (G3)
  • Nick Neale v Mike Gillespie (G7)

Sunday 21st October

  • TBC
  • FINAL TBC