Category: General News

PHMG Foundation to Support Manchester Classic

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is pleased to announce that next month’s 2017 Manchester Classic will be supported by the PHMG Foundation as prize fund sponsors.

PHMG Worldwide is a provider of audio branding services, with major offices in London, England, Manchester, England and Chicago. In 2013 they established the PHMG Foundation with the objective of assisting any charity whose aims include relieving poverty, distress, sickness and disease.

The event will be staged from 10-12 March 2017 at Q’s Sports and Entertainment Bar, Manchester. The main two-day competition will again be open to players from WDBS classification groups 1-5, with a Friday open day at which players with all disabilities are encouraged to attend and try snooker.

The Manchester Classic will be the first of at least five tournaments to be staged by the WDBS in 2017, following the announcement of the full calendar earlier this month.

As with each of our previous two events, with the support of prize fund sponsors LITEtask and now the PHMG Foundation, we can confirm that prize money will be available in Manchester. A further announcement will be made closer to the event as to how this will be distributed.

We are still accepting entries for the 2017 Manchester Classic, with the entry deadline set to fall on Friday 3 March 2017. Further information is available in the entry pack, however please do not hesitate to contact us via our website or social media should you require further information.

WDBS Announces 2017 Events Calendar

World Disability Billiards and Snooker has today announced its calendar for 2017, which will see at least a record five snooker events held for people with disabilities during the year.

As in 2016, there will be multiple events staged for players with physical and sensory disabilities, including return visits to Hull and Manchester, as well as tournaments at new venues in Derby and Wolverhampton.

For the first time, there will also be an event open to players from all eight WDBS classification groups, to be held at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester and played under the increasingly popular six-red format.

Groups 1-5

The first WDBS event of 2017 will be the previously announced Manchester Classic, which following a successful inaugural weekend last spring will return to Q’s Sports and Entertainment Bar on 10-12 March 2017.

This will be followed by the Open Disability Snooker Championship, which for the first time will be held at the Golden Cue Snooker Club in Bilston, Wolverhampton on 22-24 September 2017.

A new venue for the WDBS, the Golden Cue is open 24 hours a day and houses 16 snooker tables in total, including two competition tables.

Groups 7-8

The first event to be held in 2017 for players with sensory disabilities will be the Derby Open on 12-14 May 2017.

The event will be held at the Cueball, a venue that boasts 14 snooker tables and has previously hosted World Ladies Snooker events, as well as English Amateur competitions.

Later in the year, the WDBS will return to the Tradewell Snooker Club for the Hull Open, following a successful inaugural event last November which was recently featured during the BBC’s coverage of the UK Championship.

Again open to groups 7-8 players, the event will be held from 10-12 November 2017 and mark the final WDBS tournament of the year.

Six-Red Championship

For a third year the WDBS returns to the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester, but this year with a difference as the venue will host a Six-Red Championship, open to people with any disability.

Further information including entry packs for all events will be announced in due course.

WDBS Chairman Nigel Mawer said: “The WDBS is going from strength to strength and we are expanding our events year-on-year. I want to thank the WPBSA for supporting us and enabling us to put on our events.

“We have built up a large player base from the UK and we have players from as far afield as India who play in our events. We are in negotiations to run events in Belgium and Ireland, as we need to grow our events into Europe and beyond to achieve our goal of returning to the Paralympics.

“We have attracted some sponsorship for our events in the UK and in order to maintain our growth we would welcome sponsorship support from small and large companies who can become partners in helping the WDBS provide these rewarding opportunities for people with disabilities.”


To learn more about World Disability Billiards and Snooker visit:

If you would like to join the WDBS Team as an event sponsor please contact us via our contact form for more information.

WPBSA Launches ‘Six Red Nose Day’ Challenge

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) has today launched the Six Red Nose Day Challenge, a fresh and exciting way for people of any level of snooker experience to support Comic Relief, just by playing snooker at your local club!

Originally founded in 1985 by Richard Curtis and Lenny Henry in response to the famine in Ethiopia, through its biennial Red Nose Day event the charity has raised over £1 billion globally over the last 30 years and helped to raise awareness to help the kids who need support most at home and around the world.

Snooker has previously been involved in supporting the charity, in 2010 former world champion Dennis Taylor and Willie Thorne memorably performing a rendition of ‘Walk This Way’ during that year’s night of festivities.

But for the first time anyone can now get involved and help to raise money for this year’s Red Nose Day campaign ahead of the main event on 24th March 2017, by taking on the ‘Six-Red Nose Day Challenge in your local club.

The Challenge

It could not be simpler to get involved at your local participating snooker club, following a few simple rules:

For each counting attempt a donation to the Comic Relief charity of £1.00 must be made

Set the table with just six reds and no colours, with the cue ball positioned within the ‘D’

With a timer starting from the break-off, the player must pot all of the six reds as quickly as possible, with the timer to be stopped once the sixth red is potted

Your time will then be added to the official list at your club and following the end of the competition the fastest player will win a prize to be determined by the club, with the remaining money to be donated directly to this year’s Comic Relief appeal. The winner from each club will also be entered into a prize draw to win to tickets to a major World Snooker event.

All participants are encouraged to get engaged via social media and share images and photos from your attempts with us using the hashtags #6reds #rednoseday

Chris Hornby, WPBSA Sport Development Manager said: “It’s great for the WPBSA and its supporting partner organisations to be able to support such a great cause as Red Nose Day. It’s important for local communities to be able to get together to raise money which will support vital Comic Relief projects, whilst at the same time giving snooker clubs an opportunity to encourage new people to their venues and showcase what snooker as a sport has to offer the community.”

To learn more about Comic Relief visit:

Paul Smith shakes hand of Allan Morley of Think Telecom

Companies Back WDBS

For the first time, recent World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) events held in Gloucester and Kingston upon Hull have both carried prize money for competitors reaching the final stages.

This has been possible thanks to the support of a variety of national businesses, who have become involved with WDBS events as prize money sponsors.

Open Disability Snooker Championship 2016

The first company to announce their support of the WDBS was Renishaw plc, a global company with core skills in measurement, motion control, healthcare, spectroscopy and manufacturing.

With their support, we were able to offer prize money to all six finalists across the three main competitions staged at this year’s Open Disability Snooker Championship in Gloucester.

We were also able to provide an overall high break prize for the event, as kindly donated by the Paul Hunter Foundation which was won by regular player Daniel Blunn.

Hull Open 2016

Our most recent tournament, the Hull Open, saw the overall prize fund double from Gloucester with the backing of two national companies.

Thanks to the support of legal services provider Hudgell Solicitors and telecoms provider Think Telecom, we were able to offer prize money not only to the finalists of our Group 7-8 events, but also the semi-finalists of our Group 8 event for deaf players.

We were also able to provide individual high break prizes for each of the two groups, which in the case of Group 8 was made possible thanks to a donation from the Hull Deaf Centre Sports Committee.

Brand exposure

Through our own website and social media channels, as well as external media outlets, all of our prize money sponsors have featured extensively as part of our event coverage.think_logo

All prize money sponsors have been offered the opportunity to join our presentation party at events and to learn more about the benefits of becoming part of the wider WPBSA network.

Get involved!

If you or your business is interested in becoming involved and supporting future WDBS events, we would love to hear from you via our contact form.

Our next event will be the 2017 Manchester Classic from 10-12 March 2017 with LITEtask, the UK’s largest Independent Commercial Lighting Designers and Distributors, already having pledged their support.

Selby Mencap Welcomed at Hull Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker welcomed members from the Selby Gateway Leisure Mencap Society to its latest open day at this month’s Hull Open.

Led by Martin Waterhouse, who is a trustee and volunteer support worker of Selby District Mencap, the attendees were given the opportunity to practice snooker and receive coaching from WPBSA World Snooker coaches including Bob Hill, Tim Squires and Mark Parsons.

Picture of Martin Waterhouse playing snooker

Martin Waterhouse

“We did not know what to expect but it’s great to see disabled people being supported in the way that they have been in a setting like this,” said Martin. “I wish that there were more events similar so that people can get more involved in it.”

In particular, Martin was impressed by the coaching provided by Mark Parsons, who recently completed the WPBSA World Snooker Level 1 Community Coaching course and competes in WDBS events as a Group 2 wheelchair player.

“The actual coaching is fantastic,” said Martin. “The trainers and coaches are there to provide support and they are really on the ball.

“The one guy that stood out for me was Mark Parsons from Bristol. As a wheelchair user, the coaching that he provided was as good as any of the other coaches and I think that is a big positive message there.”

Photo of Selby players with Bob Hill

Team photo with WDBS coach Bob Hill

Waterhouse echoed the thoughts of WDBS director Bob Hill, who earlier this year told that he felt that snooker is an ideal sport for people with learning disabilities.

“Snooker as a sport is great for these guys because they don’t have to think a lot other than just potting balls,” added Martin. “It doesn’t really matter if they are any good at it – just potting one ball is a success. It’s a knock on effect of the better you get, the better it is. But I know from our experiences in Selby that just potting one ball in ten shots is fantastic for them so bring on the next event!”

Each of the players who attended from the group was presented with a WDBS polo shirt and visited York earlier this week for the start of the 2016 Betway UK Championship from the Barbican Centre.

Learn more about Mencap and support their work via social media using the hashtag #HereIAm

Hull Stages World Disability Snooker Event

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) held its second event for players with sensory disabilities last weekend at the Tradewell Snooker Centre in Kingston upon Hull.

The inaugural Hull Open welcomed players from classification Groups 7-8, including players who have either hearing or visual disabilities and saw entries more than double from the previous event for the same categories in Woking earlier this year.

The event was supported by prize fund sponsors Hudgell Solicitors, Think Telecom and the Hull Deaf Centre, who all contributed to a prize fund of £600 across both competitions.

Paul Smith shakes hand of Allan Morley of Think Telecom

Paul Smith and Allen Morley of sponsor Think Telecom

As in Woking, the Group 7 competition for players with visual impairments was won by Paul Smith from Stevenage, who defeated WDBS debutant Nick Neale 4-1 in the event final.

Having lost 3-0 to Neale in the group stages on Saturday, Smith, who lost one eye in a shooting accident when he was 10 and previously competed on the main tour during the 1990s, turned the tables in the final to become the third player so far to win multiple WDBS titles.

There was some consolation for Neale however as in addition to making it through to the final, he also took home the Group 7 high break prize for his opening day run of 40.

Andy Burton and WDBS Chairman Nigel Mawer

Andy Burton and WDBS Chairman Nigel Mawer

The Group 8 final was contested by two WDBS debutants, Warrington’s Andy Burton securing his first gold medal with a 3-0 victory against Hull’s Richard Gott.

A particularly competitive tournament, having received entries from players including a number of local players, as well as four members of the Warrington Deaf Snooker League who travelled together, it was Burton who dropped just two frames during the weekend to take the title. The high break prize was won by Mike Bryan who hit 39 during the group stage.

As at previous events, there was also a Challenge Cup event held, which was won by Group 7 semi-finalist David Baker, who defeated Hull’s Kevin Bentley over a single frame to add to his silver medal from Woking.

The event was preceded by a Friday open day, which as well as the players involved in the weekend tournament, welcomed players from Selby Gateway Leisure Mencap and NHS Humber CTLD.

The weekend was supported by WPBSA World Snooker coaches Bob Hill and Tim Squires, as well as former professional Ian Glover and our team of referees and coaches including those who play at Group 1-5 events.

WDBS director Clive Brown said: “It has been another fantastic weekend and it seems to be have been thoroughly enjoyed by everyone that has taken part as a competitor, as an official or as a helper. It is great to see that the visually impaired and the deaf are increasing in numbers at these events and let’s hope that we can continue to grow them further.”

The next WDBS tournament will be the 2017 Manchester Classic on 10-12 March 2017 at Q’s Sports and Entertainment Bar, Manchester. As in 2016, the event will be open to players with physical disabilities (Groups 1-5) and further information including the entry pack will be made available soon.

View event photos on the WDBS Facebook page at each of the following links:

Final results are available via the following links to MySnookerStats:

Hull to Host WDBS Event

This weekend World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) heads to East Yorkshire for its final event of 2016, the WDBS Hull Open at the Tradewell Snooker Centre on 11-13 November.

The WDBS has seen sustained growth following its first event held just under a year ago in Gloucester and its visit to the UK City of Culture for 2017 marks the first world disability snooker event to be staged in Yorkshire.

The weekend will be supported by Hull-based national legal services provider Hudgell Solicitors and telecommunications company Think Telecom, as well as the Hull Deaf Centre. With their support, the event will carry a record prize fund of £600, to be distributed across two competitions including players who fall under Groups 7-8 of the WDBS classification system.

The event will be the second open to players with sensory disabilities, specifically visual and hearing disabilities, and will see entries more than double since May’s Woking Open.

Among those to have entered are players from the Hull Deaf Centre, including Lee Douglas, Kevin Suddaby and Lewis Richardson who all competed in Woking. Both former professional Paul Smith and David Baker also return to the field, having contested the Group 7 final back in May.

As at previous WDBS events, the competition will be preceded by an open day on 11 November, at which people with any disabilities are encouraged to come and try snooker. This will run from 10:30am until 7:00pm and be supported by WPBSA World Snooker coaches including former professional Ian Glover.

Full coverage and updates throughout the weekend will be available at, in addition to our social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook. The latest results and group standings will be updated regularly via the MySnookerStats service.

WDBS Welcomes Leonard Cheshire

The WDBS was delighted to welcome residents from Leonard Cheshire Disability to the recent Open Disability Snooker Championship at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.

Residents Visited Sheffield in April

Residents Visited Sheffield in April

A major charity supporting disabled people in the UK and around the world, Leonard Cheshire Disability helps provide the opportunity and support to live independently. Earlier this year, they were selected as the official charity partner for World Disability Snooker Day, which was held at the World Championship event in Sheffield.

Sue Kent, who acts as a physiotherapy assistant at Leonard Cheshire Disability was among those who made the trip to South Yorkshire earlier in the year and six months on in Gloucester, explained that the Sheffield visit had proven to be a real spark for interest in snooker among their residents:

“The trip to Sheffield was a real catalyst for snooker with our residents,” said Kent. “People think ‘oh snooker, I could do that’ and the interest has developed from there.

“We will soon have a table installed and although we are a very busy and very active home, people have kept asking us when the table is coming and are really looking forward to it. One of our residents Joe is really keen to join the club at the South West Snooker Academy and become a regular member, while 18 of the 36 residents have expressed an interest in wanting to play.”

One player who travelled to Sheffield in April was Nicholas Haworth, who also was in attendance at the South West Snooker Academy earlier this month. As well as being able to watch other players in action, he was also able to receive coaching from Mark Parsons, who is a regular player himself and one of seven WDBS players to have completed the WPBSA World Snooker Level 1 course in 2016.

“Everything has been absolutely fantastic,” said Haworth. “This has been so good for us in Gloucester and having one to one coaching as I have had was amazing. Now that we will have our own table I feel that it will really help us along.”


Tim Squires coaches Joe Davis in Gloucester

Kent said that for players like Haworth and others supported by Leonard Cheshire, snooker is an inclusive sport and that support has been easy to access with the support of the WDBS and WPBSA this year:

“The support received from the WDBS has been very good,” continued Kent. “It is a brilliant sport. It is all-encompassing and anyone can play snooker with the correct aids and coaching.

“Most of our residents have a physical disability and snooker is brilliant as it allows them to sit up and use their arms. Anything they see on television as well, they recognise it and that’s something that they want to be a part of.”

The next WDBS event will be the upcoming WDBS Hull Open, which will run from 11-13 November 2016 at the Tradewell Snooker Centre, Hull. For more information on how to take part, please click here.

For more information about Leonard Cheshire disability visit their website:



WDBS Classification Guide: Group Eight

In the final part of our series of articles examining the WDBS classification system, today we look at the second of the sensory groups, Group 8, which includes players who have a hearing impairment.

Check out our group explanations so far:

WDBS Disability Classification

The WDBS classification system comprises 36 individual profiles, which have then been allocated to eight groups, used to categorise events.

The system has been taken from the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) profile toolkit and revised to suit snooker and billiards.

Group 8 (profile 38)

Profile 38: Players who are deaf or have a hearing impairment

As with Group 7, there is just one profile included within Group 8, which includes players who are deaf, or otherwise have a hearing impairment.


Player view

Perhaps the most notable deaf snooker to have played the game is Northern Ireland’s Joe Swail, who is partially deaf in both ears and more recently has developed related conditions such as vertigo and tinnitus. The two-time World Championship semi-finalist spoke to us recently about  his own experiences and his disability has affected his career to date.

The first WDBS tournament open to Group 8 players was the Woking Open back in May, which was won by David Ingham with a 3-2 victory against Hull’s Lee Douglas in the final.

“I started playing snooker at Mary Hare Grammar School in Newbury in the 1970s,” said Ingham. “At that time I was a pretty average player, never going very far in the school’s annual tournament. I then continued to play at my first employer, which had two snooker tables until the site was sadly demolished in 1995.

“From that time I did not play again until I visited Woking Snooker Centre a couple of years ago. My interest in the game was rekindled and I usually play there every Friday between September and April as I am a keen golfer in the summer months.

“Playing snooker there brought my friends together and we spend quality time having a good game, plenty of laughs followed by a few beers in the bar!”hullbannerpartners2

As well as emerging as the winner, Ingham said that he found the Woking event to be a positive experience and is looking forward to playing in future WDBS events.

“I thought the Woking event was a great success,” added Ingham. “My game improved during the event, as the games against the players from Hull were very keenly contested. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

Hull Open

Our next event for Group 8 players will be the WDBS Hull Open, which runs from 11-13 November 2016 at the Tradewell Snooker Centre in Hull.

There is still time for players with either visual, or hearing impairments to enter the event, with more information available: