Category: Events

Open Disability Snooker Championship 2018: Enter Now

Entries are now open for the Open Disability Snooker Championship 2018 which will be held on 28-30 September.

To be held for the first time at Barratts Snooker Club in Northampton, this year marks the fourth staging of the event by World Disability Billiards and Snooker since its first edition back in 2015.

This year however the event returns with a fresh new twist as for the first time players from ALL EIGHT classification groups will be eligible to enter the competition, with Groups 7-8 joining the competition. In a significant difference to the recent Welsh Open, players will compete within their own disability classification groups with matches to be played under the full 15-Red format of the game.

Barratts is the home of former Shanghai Masters champion Kyren Wilson and previously hosted the WDBS UK Open back in February which saw victories for Paul Smith, Shabir Ahmed and Daniel Harwood. The venue boasts an impressive 22 snooker tables with food served all day.

Format

The weekend will begin with a Friday Open Day, at which people with all disabilities are encouraged to attend and try snooker, with free practice and coaching from accredited WPBSA World Snooker coaches available.

The open day will be attended by Paralympic broadcaster and snooker Master of Ceremonies Rob Walker, who earlier this year agreed to become an ambassador for WDBS.

In another first, there will also be an opportunity for players to receive English Billiards coaching during the Friday, with a competition to be organised subject to there being sufficient interest on the day.

The weekend will then see two days of competitive snooker, with group matches set to be played on Saturday and knockout rounds played to a conclusion on Sunday. There will once again be a Challenge Cup competition held on Sunday for players who do not progress to the knockout stages.

We also plan to hold a special photoshoot for WDBS players during the Saturday, with all players encouraged to take part. Photographs will be used for future WDBS promotional material and you will be sent your photos for your own use.

Enter online

In a change from the normal entry process you can now enter the main competition online HERE.

To enter, please complete the fields requested and click ‘Enter & Pay’, following which you will be redirected to PayPal and have the option to either log in and pay by PayPal, or to checkout as a guest and pay by credit or debit card.

Regular players are also reminded of the recent changes announced to the dress code and WDBS classification system as explained HERE.

If you are unsure, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Simon Berridford and Liam Bairstow smiling

Corrie’s Bairstow to play at Humber Classic

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is delighted to confirm that British soap star Liam Bairstow will be among the players competing at next month’s Humber Classic tournament in Hull.

Liam is best known for his role as Alex Warner in ITV’s Coronation Street, after he famously became the first actor with Down’s Syndrome to be cast in the world’s longest running soap opera just over three years ago.

Away from the studios Liam is also a keen snooker fan and first met the WDBS team last May when he visited the World Championship to watch Mark Selby take on John Higgins on final day. Having kept in touch ever since, we are now looking forward to welcoming Liam to what will be our first-ever weekend competition exclusively for players with learning disabilities.

“I am really looking forward to this event,” said the Bradford-based actor. “I have been a fan of snooker since I have been watching Ronnie O’Sullivan who is my favourite.

“It was amazing to visit the Crucible last year because so many people were there. It was really exciting to meet legends like Stephen Hendry and John Parrott who I remember watching play.

“It was also a lot of fun as we had a challenge in the Cue Zone where if a boy beat me he would get a tour of Coronation Street and he did, so I was able to take him round the set.”

As well as being able to pick up a cue for himself, Liam is looking forward to being able to meet new people during the event which will be held at Hull’s Tradewell Snooker Centre from 17-19 August.

“I love socialising and meeting new people,” added Bairstow. “It’s so nice to be able to talk to different people and then keep in touch through social media. I love Facebook and Twitter to be able to let my friends know when I will be on TV.”

Of his fellow cast members at Corrie, Liam identifies Charlie de Melo, who plays lawyer Imran Habeeb in the soap as a talented snooker player on a set which has welcomed the ‘Weatherfield Snooker Hall’ as a recent addition to the iconic street.

As for his own hopes in Hull, Liam is keeping his cards close to his chest but says that it would give him ‘a very warm feeling’ if he is able to take home a medal from the event.

Entries for the Humber Classic remain open with players with all disabilities welcomed to our free Friday Open Day, ahead of the two-day tournament for our Group 6 players.

Download the entry form now: https://www.wdbs.info/event/humber-classic-2018-group-6/

WDBS to Stage Landmark Group 6 Event

We are today excited to announce the first staging of the Humber Classic – the first-ever World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) event which will include a weekend Group 6 tournament exclusively for players with learning disabilities.

The landmark event will run from 17-19 August 2018, beginning with a Friday open day for people with all disabilities to come and try snooker, ahead of a two-day competitive tournament for our Group 6 players.

The venue for the weekend will be the Tradewell Snooker Club in Hull, home of the WDBS Hull Open for the past two years. The club is fully accessible and has received significant investment since our last visit in November 2017, making it the ideal choice for this new event.

Previous Group 6 competitions have taken place alongside our Friday Open Days at existing events using the 6-red format, however in response to increased demand from players we are now delighted to be able to provide a two-day tournament played under the full 15-red format of the game.

Simon Berrisford, WDBS vice chairman said: “We are really excited to be able to stage our first full 15-red event for players with learning disabilities. Over the past year this category has shown significant growth with several new players joining our events and without doubt they deserve this opportunity to compete and meet new people across the full weekend.

“Thank you also to Antoni and the team at Tradewell who have always welcomed us with open arms and been strong supporters of disability snooker.”

For more information about the event and venue details please click here.

Daniel Lee Wins in Wales

Daniel Lee emerged victorious from a record-breaking field of 55 players to win this year’s Welsh Open in Cwmbran last weekend following a 2-1 victory against Aslam Abubaker.

Organised by World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS), the event returned to Redz Snooker Club following a successful first staging a year ago and once again welcomed players with a range of disabilities including physical, hearing, visual and learning disabilities who competed against each other across the weekend.

Incredibly, the quarter-final line-up included players from seven of the eight WDBS classification groups (2-7), in a demonstration of the strength in depth across the field and the inclusivity of what was the biggest WDBS field to date in its three-year history.

Title hat-trick for Lee

Aylebury’s Daniel Lee, previously successful at Groups 1-2 WDBS tournaments in Wolverhampton and Preston during the past 12 months, made it through to his first mixed-classification final following victories against Ron Allen, David Moore and another former WDBS champion David Church in the knockout rounds.

There he would face fellow wheelchair player Aslam Abubaker, who stunned the defending champion Daniel Blunn 3-1 at the last 16 stage before adding the scalps of Lewis Knowles and three-time Group 6 champion Dan Harwood to qualify for the showpiece match.

In keeping with the rest of the weekend, the final proved to be a dramatic affair which swung one way and then the other, eventually coming down to the final colours in a deciding frame. Ultimately it was Lee who would prevail after Abubaker had looked set to win before snookering himself on what would have been the match-ball pink when attempting to clear.

The highest break of the six-red competition was 43, made by Nick Neale during the group stage.

New doubles winners crowned

Elsewhere the Mixed Classification Doubles event saw Richard Gott and Danielle Findlay claim victory following a 2-0 success against Graham Bonnell and newcomer Peter Yelland.

The competition, which included players who had not qualified for Sunday’s knockout rounds following the previous day’s group matches, saw 13 pairs battle it out for the title and Gott make it third time lucky having twice finished as runner-up at the Hull Open, while Findlay claimed her second victory following success at the Challenge Cup in Belgium earlier this year.

The weekend was generously supported by tournament sponsors FizzThinks360 and RBF Comms, with Jonny ‘Fizz’ Welch on hand throughout the final Sunday to present the medals and participation certificates to the competitors.

The event was also attended by leading World Snooker referee and tournament director Paul Collier, who kindly donned his white gloves to officiate several matches during the round robin stages.

WDBS would also like to thank all of the players who travelled to compete in the event and our hosts Redz Snooker Club for their support during 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.

New Sponsors announced for Welsh Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is pleased to announce that the upcoming Welsh Open will be sponsored by FizzThinks360 and RBF Comms.

To be staged at Redz Snooker Club in Cwmbran from 29 June – 1 July, the unique event will once again see players from all eight disability classification groups compete against each other with matches to be played under the 6-Red format of the game.

FizzThinks360 is a successful promotion, marketing and management agency with a talent portfolio boasting both well-known celebrities and up and coming talent. Fizzthinks360 offers a ‘360’ service including promotion, strategy, web design & development, app development, email marketing, digital media and social media.

Jonny Welch, founder of FizzThinks360 said: “I have heard many good things about WDBS and its tournaments and we are delighted to support an event like this which offers people with all disabilities the opportunity to play snooker competitively.”

The event will also be supported by RBF Comms, first established in 1993 to supply and repair telephone equipment for the communications industry. RBF provides a ‘one stop shop’ solution to collect, refurbish, repair, resell and dispose of stock from their base in South Wales.

Stellan Barton, director of RBF Comms said: “We are proud to support such a significant local sporting event in South Wales and wish all of the competitors the best of luck for the tournament.”

With the support of both FizzThinks360 and RBF Comms we can confirm that prize money will once again be offered at the event. As in 2017, there will also be an extra prize for the best performing player at the event from each of the disability classification groups.

Entries for the event remain open until 22 June 2018. Please click HERE for more information and to download the full entry form.

Learn more about FizzThinks360 and RBF Comms at their websites:

www.fizzthinks360.com

www.rbfcomms.com

Welsh Open 2018 – Entries Now Open

Entries are now open for the Welsh Open 2018 which will return to Redz Snooker Club in Cwmbran on 29 June – 1 July 2018.

As in 2017, the competition will once again be open to players from all eight disability classification groups and all matches will be played under the 6-Red format of the game.

The weekend will begin with a Friday Open Day, at which players with all disabilities are encouraged to attend and try snooker, with free practice and coaching from accredited WPBSA World Snooker coaches available.

There will also be a Mixed Classification Doubles event held during the final day for players who have not progressed to the knockout rounds of the main competition. Players are to note that this will be a fun event and that you may paired with a player of lesser ability.

Group 7 players are also to be aware that British Blind Sport classification will not apply for this event and therefore they will not receive a points start in any matches.

Derby Success for Neale and Ahmed

The Paul Hunter Disability Classic successfully returned to the Cueball Derby last weekend as World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) staged its latest event for players with learning and sensory disabilities.

The final event of the 2017/18 season, the weekend saw a significant increase in entries from the inaugural competition at the same venue a year previously as two past champions claimed their latest WDBS titles.

The Group 7 tournament for players with visual disabilities saw Birmingham’s Nick Neale claim his second WDBS gold medal following a dominant display in Derby.

Nick Neale playing snooker

Following victories against Phillip Murphy and David Baker in the knockout rounds, the title match saw Neale face defending champion Mike Gillespie in a repeat of last November’s Hull Open final. The pair split the opening two frames, but it was the rapidly-improving Neale who added the next two to secure victory.

Neale also secured the highest break of the weekend with a brilliant run of 92, further breaks of 82, 67, 57 and 54 meaning that he finished with four of the five highest breaks of the category.

The Group 8 deaf event meanwhile saw Shabir Ahmed complete the successful defence of his first WDBS title earned year ago following a repeat victory against Lewis Knowles in a dramatic title decider.

A year ago it was Ahmed who ran out a comfortable 3-0 winner but as Knowles moved 2-1 ahead it appeared as though the three-time finalist was closing in on gold for the first time at a WDBS competition. Ahmed however was not to be denied and stormed back to take the final two frames, the last on the final black with a magnificent clearance of 33 from the last red.

The win is Ahmed’s third WDBS title overall and sees him become the first-ever player in Group 8 to claim back-to-back titles following his victory in Northampton back in February, also against Knowles for whom the wait for a maiden title goes on.

Once again the event was sponsored by the Paul Hunter Foundation, with WPBSA World Snooker coach Steve Rutter present on behalf of the Foundation to present medals and certificates to participants and winners. Thank you also to Yvonne Thomas who again provided excellent BSL interpreting throughout the weekend.

The event was visited by professional snooker player Eden Sharav and the Mayor of Derby Councillor John Whitby, who watched our Group 6 players in action during the Friday competition won by WDBS debutant Andrew Galley. WDBS also welcomed Craig Crowley MBE, a well-known figure in the deaf community and former Deaflympics President who visited to discuss future developments with players.

The next stop on the WDBS circuit will be another return trip from 2017, this time to Redz Snooker Club in Cwmbran for the 2018 Welsh Open. Taking place across the weekend of 29 June – 1 July 2018, the unique event will be open to players from all eight disability classification groups and will be played under the 6-Red format of the game.

Full information, including the event entry pack will be released later this week.

Nigel Mawer and Andrew Galley

Golden Galley Makes Dream Debut

Andrew Galley announced himself on the World Disability Billiards and Snooker circuit by claiming the 2018 Paul Hunter Disability Classic Group 6 title on debut.

The fourth stop on this year’s WDBS calendar saw a welcome return to the Cueball Derby for the second edition of the Paul Hunter Disability Classic.

With healthy numbers across the long weekend, the opening day focused on the Group 6 category for those players with learning disabilities. The entries were split into three groups with the top two from each qualifying for the knockouts.

Liverpudlian youngster Galley settled into his new surroundings by progressing through in second place. His only loss was to fellow city cueist and three-time WDBS tournament winner Daniel Harwood, who topped the group. Harwood didn’t drop a frame in qualifying whilst registering several useful breaks throughout, including the day’s highest effort of 66.

Galley eliminated Jacob Gherson 2-0 in the play-offs to set up a re-match with Harwood. He was instantly able to make amends for his earlier defeat by reversing the scoreline to book a final berth.

His opponent there was the consistent Leroy Williams, another member of the strong contingent from Liverpool.

Wiliams was once again showing his consistency on tour; champion at the Northern Classic in Preston during February, this was his fifth consecutive final appearance. He was undefeated on route to his latest title match, ending the hopes of Group C winner Ryan Ryding (also from Liverpool) 2-0 in the semi-finals.

As expected, the final was a close affair, but it was Galley who secured both frames on the colours to take the honours and complete a dream start to life on the WDBS scene. He is the seventh different player from this classification to claim a title.

The action continues from Saturday with the round robin stages of the Group 7-8 events for players with visual disabilities and deaf players.

David Baker playing snooker

Cueball Derby Set for Paul Hunter Disability Classic

This weekend’s Paul Hunter Disability Classic is set to be one of the biggest events staged by World Disability Billiards and Snooker to date.

To be staged for a second time following a successful competition in 2017, the three-day event has received a bumper 48 entries from players with a range of disabilities including learning disabilities, visual impairments and deaf players.

The event will again be held at the Cueball Derby, one of an increasing number of snooker facilities in England to have affiliated with the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards as a ‘147 Club’ and will continue to be supported by title sponsor the Paul Hunter Foundation.

As well as the competitive action, the event will also include a Friday Open Day at which people with ANY disabilities are encouraged to attend for free coaching and practice, with no prior membership or registration required.

Players from other categories, such as wheelchair and ambulant disabilities who are not eligible for the weekend tournaments are also encouraged to provide support and meet the team during the weekend.

Anyone still interested in being a part of the weekend should contact us to learn more about how they can become involved.

Regular updates from the weekend will be available at our website and via our social media platforms. Latest scores will be accessible via MySnookerStats.