Category: Events

World Snooker Disability Day 2018

World Snooker Disability Day will once again be staged during the Betfred World Snooker Championship in Sheffield on Wednesday 25th April 2018.

With activities to run throughout the day at the ‘Cue Zone’ situated at the Winter Garden, close to the Crucible Theatre, the event aims to raise awareness of disability snooker and encourage people with disabilities to participate in snooker as either players, fans or officials.

The event is jointly organised by World Snooker and World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS), a body established in 2015 which has to date hosted 13 world disability snooker events across the UK and mainland Europe. The long-term goal for the WDBS is to see snooker return to the Paralympics, at which snooker was one of its founding sports and was held most recently in 1988.

Cue Zone activities

Under the guidance of WPBSA World Snooker coaches Steve Rutter and Ian McAllister, the day will see regular WDBS competitors demonstrating their skills in matches against members of the general public, both in individual and doubles matches.

There will also be a session staged with members of Sheffield Mencap and disability snooker will be featured throughout the day’s BBC coverage, including footage from last month’s Belgian Open in Bruges.

Sheffield Mencap residents play snooker in Sheffield

#Cue4All

For the second consecutive year World Snooker Disability Day will form part of the #Cue4All initiative organised by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, which aims to promote the inclusive nature of snooker and billiards.

Even if you cannot make it to the Crucible on the day, be part of the celebrations by hosting open days at your club, offering free taster sessions, running snooker challenges, promoting your community snooker sessions and sharing stories on social media about the groups or individuals who access your snooker facilities.

Remember to tag in the hashtag #Cue4All across social media so that we can share your inclusive activities during this year’s Betfred World Championship!

Belgian Open to be sponsored by 888lcd.co.uk

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is pleased to announce that this weekend’s Belgian Open will be sponsored by 888lcd.co.uk

The event will be the first WDBS competition to be held outside of the UK and will include competitions for players with physical (Groups 1-5) and learning disabilities (Group 6). Like previous events, the programme for the weekend includes a Friday open day at which players with all disabilities are encouraged to attend and receive coaching, as well as the opportunities for players competing in the weekend’s tournaments to practice.

As part of the sponsorship, players will be provided with branded waistcoat patches to wear during competition and media activities.

888lcd.co.uk supplies mobile phone screens to a customer base of approximately 5,500 across the UK and previously sponsored last year’s Hull Open.

Simon Berrisford, WDBS director and owner of 888lcd.co.uk said: “We are delighted to once again support what promises to be a landmark first overseas event for the WDBS. To stage an international event outside of the UK is a key milestone in our development going forwards and 888lcd.co.uk is proud to be a part of the tournament.”

The event will be staged at The Trickshot, a fully accessible venue home to 11 full-size snooker tables and located close to the centre of the historic city of Bruges this weekend (23-25 March).

Full tournament information, including draws, results and photos will be available here at wdbs.info or via our social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook).

2018/2019 UK Calendar Announced

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is today pleased to announce its provisional calendar of UK events for the 2018/19 season.

Having previously announced events on an individual basis, for the first time were are able to confirm a full schedule of seven UK events for the season ahead, which will run in line with the professional World Snooker Tour calendar.

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

2018

The new season will begin with the return of the WDBS Welsh Open, to be held for the second successive year at Redz Snooker Club in Cwmbran. As in 2017, when Daniel Blunn emerged victorious from a 48-player field, the event will be open to players from all eight WDBS classification groups and contested under the increasingly popular Six Red format. The event will take place across the weekend of 29 June – 1 July 2018.

From the circuit moves on to Barratts Snooker Club in Northampton for this year’s Open Disability Snooker Championship, to run from 28-30 September 2018. The longest-running WDBS event dating back to November 2015, the tournament will be the first time that players from all eight WDBS classification groups will compete in their specific groups at the same venue for the first time. The event will be full 15-red version of the game.

In another first for the WDBS, the Northampton weekend will also include opportunities to play billiards, with coaches available and a tournament to be held subject to entries received.

October sees the WDBS return to Gloucester’s South West Snooker Academy for the inaugural Parris Cues WDBS Champion of Champions event from 19-21 October 2018. The main two-day competition will see the most successful players from each classification group since our first event in 2015 invited to compete to become this year’s ‘Champion of Champions’ from their respective group.

The final event of 2018 will once again be the Hull Open, to be held at the Tradewell Snooker Club over the weekend of 16-18 November 2018. The two-day weekend competition will be open to people with sensory disabilities (Groups 7-8), with a tournament for players with learning disabilities (Group 6) to be contested on the Friday.

2019

The new year will provisionally begin with the Northern Classic at the Elite Snooker Club in Preston from 8-10 February 2019. As with this year’s tournament, the event will be contested by players with physical disabilities (Groups 1-5) at the club owned by former professionals Chris Norbury and Shokat Ali.

This is set to be followed by two events for people from Groups 7-8, firstly the new Southern Open as we head to the 22-table Jesters Snooker Hall in Swindon from 22-24 March 2019. This will be followed by the third staging of the WDBS Disability Classic to be held at the Cueball Derby as the season comes to an end.

Once again, both events will include a Group 6 competition for people with learning disabilities, held concurrently with the regular Friday open day.

WDBS Chairman Nigel Mawer QPM said: “Since 2015 the WDBS board and team have seen fantastic growth in playing numbers and interest in our events. It is great that we are now in a position to announce a full calendar which will hopefully enable our players to plan ahead and encourage our continued growth.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our players, officials, supporters and volunteers that have supported WDBS so far and look forward to greeting you all at our events in the coming season.”

Get involved!

With a record number of events to be held over the next 12 months, there are more ways than ever before to get involved with the WDBS and its events.

Whether you are interested in competing in events as a player, or perhaps you and your company would like to take advantage of the opportunities that exist by supporting one of our competitions as a sponsor, we would love to hear from you via our contact form.

Learn more about individual tournaments at our Events page.

Disability Snooker Success at Parris Cues UK Open

A trio of former winners on the World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) circuit claimed more silverware at the Parris Cues UK Open at Barratts Snooker and Sports Club, Northampton, last weekend

The event was the second WDBS event of 2018 following the Northern Classic earlier in the month and saw players with both sensory and learning disability return to competitive action.

The weekend began with the Group 6 event for players with learning disabilities and saw Daniel Harwood win his third WDBS title from four attempts.

Harwood topped the round robin group with a 100% record and went on to meet fellow Liverpudlian Leroy Jay Williams in the final. Williams was the champion of the previous Group 6 event in Preston a fortnight ago and has now reached four consecutive WDBS finals

However, Harwood denied him a title double, winning the final to add to his previous victories on tour in Wolverhampton and Hull last year.

The remainder of the weekend saw attention turn to the Group 7 and 8 events for players with visual disabilities and deaf players.

On Sunday, the first championship to be decided was the Group 8 competition where Shabir Ahmed took the honours.

Ahmed won all his group matches on Saturday to qualify top and reach the semi-finals where he would face reigning Hull Open champion Blake Munton. In one of the most exciting finishes of the weekend, Ahmed recovered from the loss of the opening frame to take the contest on the final black in the decider with a fantastic long-range effort.

The final would be a repeat of last year’s Paul Hunter Disability Classic decider between Ahmed and Lewis Knowles. Looking for his first WDBS success, Knowles was also undefeated throughout the weekend, having not dropped a frame en route.

In an engrossing final, though, an emotional Ahmed wrapped up a 3-1 win for his second WDBS title on the circuit.

Elsewhere, former professional Paul Smith won his third WDBS title, but first since 2016 in Group 8 following a 3-0 victory over maiden finalist Bob Craft.

Smith was irresistible in Northampton, not losing a match, and compiled the tournament’s highest break with a run of 68 in the final.

The event was supported by title sponsor Parris Cues, with founder and renowned cuemaker John Parris in attendance on the final day at Barratts to present the medals.  The event was also sponsored by Deaf Hub UK, who provided interpreter services and additional media support throughout the weekend.

Also supporting the event were recent Masters finalist Kyren Wilson and World Ladies Billiards and Snooker number eight ranked player Diana Schuler from Germany.

The next stop on the WDBS circuit will be a historic one as the tour heads overseas for the first time for the WDBS Belgian Open, to be staged in Bruges from 23-25 March 2018.

Entries for the event remain open, with full information available HERE.

WDBS Success at Northern Classic

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) held the J&S Trading Northern Classic, its first event of 2018 in Preston, England last weekend.

Open to players from six disability groups covering a range of physical and learning disabilities, the event ran for three days at the Elite Snooker Club, owned and run by former professional players Chris Norbury and Shokat Ali.

Daniel Lee made it back-to-back titles in the Group 2 wheelchair competition with a 3-1 victory against Tony Southern in Sunday’s final. Lee, who was born with spina bifida, previously won the Open Disability Snooker Championship in Wolverhampton and avenged defeat against Southern in the round robin stages to take the gold medal home to Buckinghamshire.

In Group 3 there was also a second title for Scotland’s William Thomson, who edged out four-time winner Daniel Blunn 3-2 following a dramatic final. Thomson, who previously won the 2016 Manchester Classic, was in fine form all weekend and sealed the title with a break of 41 (his seventh over 40 during the weekend), in the deciding frame.

Coached by former world champion Graeme Dott, Thomson has also been nominated by his national federation to compete in the EBSA European Championships this week in Bulgaria and will be looking to carry his form over into that event.

There was another new winner in the Group 4-5 tournament as local debutant Michael ‘Mickey’ Chambers defeated another former WDBS champion Andy Johnson 3-0 to claim the title. Chambers, whose left foot was amputated when he was younger following treatment for meningitis, dropped just one frame throughout the competition and impressed with a break of 51 during his semi-final victory against Gareth Ward.

Friday’s Group 6 competition saw Leroy Jay Williams claim his first WDBS title with a 2-0 win against Ryan Riding. Williams, who was previously runner-up at events in Wolverhampton and Hull, ensured that it would be third time lucky by coming through the field to take victory.

Finally, the Challenge Cup event, for players who did not qualify for Sunday’s knockout rounds, was won by WDBS stalwart Kal Mattu, who edged out Craig Welsh in a best of three frames final.

Simon Berrisford, WDBS director and owner of event title sponsor J&S Trading said: “As always it has been fantastic to be see a mix of new and returning people coming together to provide an action-packed weekend of snooker in Preston. It is particularly exciting to see how competitive these events are becoming as the standard of play continues to rise, but without losing any of their magic and the special atmosphere that WDBS tournaments have.

“On behalf of WDBS I would also like to extend my thanks to Chris, Shokat and the rest of the team at the Elite Snooker Centre, who could not have been more accommodating to us all weekend. With further plans in place to improve what is already a fine example of a modern, safe snooker club, we are already looking forward to returning in the future.”

WDBS will next head to Northampton for the first Groups 6-8 event of 2018, the Parris Cues UK Open to be held at Barratts Snooker Club from 16-18 February. Open to players with learning, hearing and visual disabilities, entries remain open with more information available at www.wdbs.info.

View draws and results at MySnookerStats.

Leroy Joy in Preston

Leroy Jay Williams won his first World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) competition on Friday at the J&S Trading Northern Classic in Preston.

Competing in the Group 6 classification for people with learning disabilities, Williams came through a strong field to eventual claim the title by defeating Ryan Ryding in the final.

Having finished as runner-up in his group at competitions in Wolverhampton and Hull in late 2017, it was third time lucky for the the Liverpool-based player who appropriately becomes the sixth different player from his classification to lift a title.

There was also a first semi-final appearance for 29-year-old Alexandra Mendham, who has been described by onlookers at the event as one of the most improved WDBS players so far. Having started to play snooker just six months ago, ‘Alex’ was competing in only her third event and enjoys both the opportunity to compete and meet new people.

The J&S trading Northern Classic is being played at the Elite Snooker Centre, owned by former professional snooker players Chris Norbury and Shokat Ali.

The action continues during the weekend with three competitions for players competing in classification groups 1-5.

View updated scores and draws via MySnookerStats from Saturday morning.

WDBS Calendar 2018

2018 calendar of events graphic

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) has today confirmed its calendar of events for the first half of 2018.

Last year saw five competitive snooker events staged for people falling under up to 36 different disability profiles, a total which is set to be equalled within the first six months of 2018 alone.

With interest continuing to grow both within the UK and internationally, we will continue to provide tournaments for players with physical, learning and sensory disabilities.

Physical disabilities

People with physical disabilities, including wheelchair and ambulant players (Groups 1-5) will have opportunities to play at two new venues in 2018 as we head to Preston and Bruges for the first time.

The first WDBS event of the year will be played at the Elite Snooker Club in Preston from 2-4 February for the J&S Trading Northern Classic, before we stage our first ever event outside of the UK, the Belgian Open from 23-25 March at The Trickshot club.

Sensory disabilities

The first event of the year for deaf and visually impaired players (Groups 7-8) will be the Parris Cues UK Open, which again will be held at a new venue to the WDBS as we head to Barratts Snooker Club in Northampton.

Home to current top 16 professional Kyren Wilson, the venue boasts over 20 snooker tables and like all WDBS venues is fully accessible.

We will also return to the Cueball Derby for the Paul Hunter Disability Classic between 18-20 May following last year’s tournament which new winners across all participating groups.

Learning Disabilities

We will also stage competitions for Group 6 players at all events alongside our regular Friday open days, subject to sufficient entries being received.

Six-Red ChampionshipWide shot of multi tables at WDBS event

We will also return to Redz Snooker Club in Cwmbran for the Welsh Open from 29 June – 1 July following a successful inaugural event at the venue last year.

The event will again be open to players from all eight WDBS classification groups, who will compete against each other with matches to be played under the Six Red format of the game.

WDBS Chairman Nigel Mawer said: “Last year was hugely encouraging for WDBS as we hosted a record number of events and so we are looking forward to be able to offer even more opportunities for disabled people to be able to play snooker competitively in 2018.

“We are particularly looking forward to our first tournament in Belgium, which is another significant development as we look to expand our global presence and attract further international support.”

If you would like to support the WDBS team as an event sponsor please get in touch via our contact form for more information.

Parris Cues to Sponsor UK Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) has announced that world renowned cue makers Parris Cues will become the headline sponsor of next month’s UK Open event in Northampton.

parris cues logo copyAn expert at his craft for over 25 years John Parris, the eponymous founder of the London based company, has worked successfully with many of snooker’s top professionals throughout the years, in both the production and repair of cues when called upon. Ranking event winners this season alone using a Parris cue include Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams and Michael White.

WDBS is delighted that he has chosen to support the event, which will now be known as the Parris Cues UK Open, to be held at Barratts Snooker Club from 16-18 February 2018. The main two-day event will be open to players from Groups 7-8, following our regular Friday open day at which people with any disabilities are encouraged to attend and try snooker. There will also be a Group 6 event for players with learning disabilities held alongside the open day.

Deaf Hub logoJohn Parris said: “Parris Cues is excited to proudly sponsor the WDBS UK Open Tournament in Northampton. We fully support the World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association in its recognition of people of all abilities, ages and genders, taking part in cue sports.”

The event will also be supported by Deaf Hub, an organisation that provides a wide range of services and activities to benefit the deaf community. They will provide BSL interpreting and will assist with the promotion of the tournament.

  • Learn more about Parris Cues and view their full product range HERE.
  • Learn more about Deaf Hub and their services HERE.
Tony Southern playing snooker shot using rest

Tony Southern Q&A

A name who will be familiar to most with an interest in disability cue sports, Tony Southern will be among those in action at next month’s J&S Trading Northern Classic, to be held at Preston’s Elite Snooker Club for the first time.

We caught up with Tony recently to preview the tournament and look back at his time in the sport…

Hi Tony, we begin 2018 with the J&S Trading Northern Classic in Preston. How much are looking forward to the competition?

Yes, I am really looking forward to the first event of the year. I played a few pro-ams at the Elite Snooker Club back in the early 1990’s when I was at university in Preston, so it will be good to see how the club has changed.

Tony Southern shakes hands with Craig Welsh

Tony reached the final of the 2017 Manchester Classic, narrowly losing out to Craig Welsh

You entered your first WDBS competitions in 2017, notably coming so close to winning in Manchester, losing on a re-spotted black. Can you go one better this year?

Hopefully! After a break from snooker due to injury and other priorities it was good to be back, and Craig Welsh played really well in the event and to beat me in the final.

Of course you are no stranger to snooker having competed in events for nearly 35 years – how do you reflect on your time in the sport?

I’ve achieved a lot since my first national win in 1985 at age 16! I’ve won 24 national disabled championships under the old BSAD/DSE framework (four of which were classed as World Opens when World Snooker was previously involved in the 1990’s), I still hold the highest event break of 87 and had a decent amateur career against able bodied players. But all of that was as a standing player and since I’ve comeback I’m playing from a chair, as that what I’ve done in my other cue sports to good effect.

Tony Southern plays snooker shot against Glyn Lloyd watched by Vic Hartley

Tony plays a shot as opponent Glyn Lloyd and referee Vic Hartley look on

What has competing in snooker events done for your life in general, what positive effects has this had physically and mentally? 

I have made lots of new friends, and it is always nice to see some old faces, and in some cases very old (Glyn Lloyd and referee Vic Hartley) still involved! I have got to know a lot of the top pros as well and travelled the length and breadth of the country. It will be good to play my first international snooker event in Belgium, after playing American pool around the world the last 10 years.

Tell us about your disability, how does this affect your snooker? Has this changed over your career and what challenges has this given you?

I have cerebral palsy which affects my legs, as mentioned above most of my snooker career was spent playing standing up, but as you get older, muscles get weaker and I started using a chair for my other cue sports in 2006. It made sense to do this for snooker too, as I was getting too fatigued walking around table.

Tony Southern places cue ball

Tony in WDBS action at the 2017 Open Disability Snooker Championship in Wolverhampton

You had spoken of retirement in 2017, but posted recently that your health has improved and you are looking forward to continuing to play for the foreseeable future. What are your goals for 2018 and beyond?

I was diagnosed with two prolapsed discs in my back in 2016, which meant I was having real issues with bending to play any shots, even from a chair. It cost me matches and several titles in my other cue sports, so was getting really down about my future prospects, as I always want to be competitive.

However, a series of treatments on my back in 2017 and a recent knee operation have really helped, and I’m now the president of the British Pool Federation, looking after the interests of the American Pool players in the UK, both at a professional and amateur level. So if I have to be at events in an administrative role, why not play as well!

Tony Southern and Andy Johnson point at balls arranged to look like Belgian flag

Tony will be competing at the inaugural Belgian Open in March (pictured with Andy Johnson)

How important is the social aspect of WDBS events, both catching up with old friends and meeting new people?

It is really important, I’m one of the few left from the mid 1980’s still competing and it’s nice to see the older players and referees still going. It is also good to see younger players grow and improve, I recall seeing Daniel Blunn as a young teenager many years ago and telling his father that he was very good and would win lots of titles, which of course he has done!

What message would you have for anyone out there considering entering a WDBS event for the first time?

Basically, come and give it a go, no matter what your standard of play. It is almost guaranteed that your level will improve just being around the WDBS scene and utilising the coaching days, and competing against players on a level playing field in terms of disability. Three days of fun, coaching and events is a great experience for all involved.

There is still time to join Tony and enter the J&S Trading Northern Classic from 2-4 February 2018. Click HERE to learn more and download the full entry form.

UK Open Announced

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is today pleased to announce the UK Open, a new event to take place at Barratts Snooker Club in Northampton next month.

The three-day event will run from 16-18 February 2018 and will be the first competition of the new year for players with visual (Group 7) and hearing (Group 8) disabilities. There will also be a Group 6 competition for players with learning disabilities staged alongside our regular Friday open day.

Entries for the main competition are now open, with further information and full entry packs available to download below:

Click BBS logo to learn more

Group 7 Assessment

Players with visual disabilities (Group 7) are to be aware that following feedback and player consultation during the Hull Open last November, we now require that players competing in this category MUST now undergo classification by British Blind Sport to compete in WDBS events from this event onwards.

The cost of classification for members of British Blind Sport is £18.00, however to ensure that you as players do not incur this additional cost, we will accept a reduced entry fee of £7.00 for your first event following classification.

For more information about the British Blind Sport classification system and to become a member please visit their website HERE.

Group 6 Tournament

Ahead of the Group 7-8 tournament, there will also be a Friday event held for players with learning disabilities (Group 6), who are also encouraged to attend for practice and coaching even if they do not want to play competitively.

Open Day

As at all WDBS events, the weekend will begin with a Friday open day, with free practice and coaching available from accredited WPBSA World Snooker coaches.

Players from ALL EIGHT classification groups are encouraged to attend the open day, whether having previously attended an event or visiting for the first time to meet the WDBS team and experience the weekend.

Further information

For further information about the event please contact us using our contact form, or alternatively via social media (Twitter or Facebook).