Today we reach the penultimate part of our guide through the World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) classification system, used to determine which players are eligible to play in WDBS events.
We now turn to the first of our two sensory groups, Group 7, which includes players who have a visual disability.
Check out our group explanations so far:
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.
Profile 37: Players with partial sight
As the description above would suggest, Group 7 includes players who are partially sighted as defined under profile 37 of the classification system.
At our previous events this has included players who have lost the use of one eye entirely, or others who have conditions such as diplopia, which causes constant double vision.
The profile does not however include colour blindness, a condition shared by the likes of former world champions Mark Williams and Peter Ebdon.
The first event staged by the WDBS for Group 7 players was the Woking Open back in May this year, which was won by former professional Paul Smith, who lost one eye in a shooting accident when he was 10.
In the final he defeated Blackburn’s David Baker, who spoke to us recently on World Sight Day about how important snooker has been for him following the loss of his right eye when he was 19 and more recently since he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
“I can honestly say that snooker has given me strength to cope in any situation, determination and taught me to never give up,” said Baker. “It helps with concentration, patience and to give you a form of exercise without really knowing it.
“Above all I have been able to meet some fantastic, like-minded people, so overall I can say that snooker has definitely helped me through life and given me some very close friends.”
Our next event for Group 7 players will be the WDBS Hull Open, which gets underway in a fortnight 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: https://www.wdbs.info/event/wdbs-hull-open-2016/