The Welsh Open will be trialled with a brand new format in 2011 as part of the new face of snooker. In an attempt to make snooker more entertaining and television friendly.
The early rounds will be reduced in length by two frames so best of 7 frame matches without an interval. The matches will be played on two tables instead of three so there is the option to air every match on BBC Wales.
The Welsh Open is the the tournament before the seeding list for the World Championship is determined so players fighting for a place will have an extra competitive edge to their game. A spokesman for World Snooker was keen to point out that the new formats will add variety to the season and they’re looking forward to feedback from both fans and players so judge the success of the changes.
The Welsh Open will be held at the Newport Centre between the 14th and 20th of February 2011. John Higgins is defending champion having beat Ali Carter in the 2010 Welsh Open final. The format for the event will be best of 7 matches up until the last 16, best of 9 in the quarter finals, best of 11 in the semi finals and best of 17 in the Welsh Open final. The Welsh Open qualifiers will take place the week before at the World Snooker Academy between the 8th and 11th of Febuary. The players who progress the qualifiers will face 16 seeded players determined by their points after the 2010 UK Championship.
What do you think of the new format for the Welsh Open? The potential for showing live coverage of all matches is certainly an advantage but will it make the event more entertaining and exciting?