The official WDBS rankings have been updated for the final time this season following the Wilson Interiors Hull Open.
The WDBS ranking system includes individual ranking lists for each of the main classification groups, with players earning points from based upon their finishing position at designated ranking tournaments.
The rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis (excluding the 2020/21 season which did not take place), with points earned during 2019/20 to be removed during the course of this season. At this revision no points were removed and those earned at the 2023 Hull Open were added.
Prior to the Hull Open, eight of the places in next month’s WDBS Champion of Champions had already been confirmed, with eight still to be decided based upon results at the Tradewell Snooker Club.
In Group 1+2, Sheffield’s Gary Swift secured second place in the rankings after he reached the final of just his second world ranking event following his victory in Stockport last year. However, it is Shahab Siddiqui who is set to appear in the competition, with Swift unavailable to compete on the 10th June.
Kal Mattu will be joined in the final of Group 3 by Joe Hardstaff, after he claimed his maiden WDBS title in Hull. Fourth in the rankings prior to last weekend, victory for Hardstaff, combined with group stage exits for Nigel Coton and Kit Kennedy, means that the 40-year-old leapfrogs the pair into second place.
There was also a change in second place in Group 4, with Daniel Blunn’s record 15th title victory enough to see him overtake David Church, who lost in the quarter-finals to Steve Cartwright. There was also a chance for Carl Gibson to qualify for the first time, but defeat to Blunn in the last four ended his hopes.
He will take on William Thomson in a repeat of the Hull finale, after the Scot also secured his place by reaching the knockout rounds in Hull.
In Group 6B there was a five-way fight for the second spot alongside Leroy Williams coming into the tournament, but it was Matthew Haslam who was able to seal qualification with victory against the number one in Hull.
Likewise in Group 7, Paul Smith secured a crucial victory against Ronnie Allen in the semi-finals to secure his return to the Champion of Champions, following his appearance in the inaugural edition of the event in 2018.
The final spot was claimed by Lewis Knowles in Group 8, after he reached the semi-finals in Hull. Defeat to Gary Taylor could have cost him qualification, but Taylor’s subsequent loss to Luke Drennan in the final ensured that Knowles will maintain his unbroken run of appearances in the elite event.
The WDBS Champion of Champions will be held at the Landywood Snooker Club for the first time on Saturday 10 June 2023, with a new format seeing the two highest ranked players from each group contest a long format final to crown the winner in each group.