Following consultation with players and other interested parties the decision was taken earlier this year to introduce a restriction on the wearing of hearing aids and cochlear implants during Group 8 tournaments at World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) events.
This rule was implemented on a trial basis of three events (Open Disability Snooker Championship, Champion of Champions and the Hull Open) in order to evaluate its impact upon players and WDBS tournaments.
Following the end of that trial period and after careful consideration, taking into account feedback from players, we have now taken the decision to remove the restriction on the use of hearing aids and cochlear implants during play. This is to be effective immediately, with players again able to wear their aids at the next Group 8 event which will be the Southern Classic next March.
We do, however, remain supportive of the Deaflympics programme and have the aspiration to see snooker take its place at the Deaflympics in the future. Should we move closer to achieving this goal we would look to stage tournaments without hearing aids for elite players who wish to play in Deaflympics competitions, at which their use would remain strictly prohibited.
We understand that this issue has been a serious matter for our deaf players in recent months and we would again like to thank you for your patience and understanding.
We look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.