World Snooker Tour announces shake-up of calendar
WST chairman Barry Hearn: "For the players there are plenty of opportunities to compete and I am delighted to confirm that there will be no reductions in prize money for the above events, despite the current Covid-19 crisis"
Last Updated: 03/08/20 2:28pm
The World Snooker Tour has announced a shake-up of its calendar after it was revealed that China would not host any international sporting events until 2021.
Events such as the Shanghai Masters, the World Open and the International Championship have traditionally been held before Christmas, but the impact of the coronavirus pandemic means they are absent from the first half of WST's 2020-21 schedule, which was published on Monday.
A selection of UK and European events have been brought forward to fill the gaps, with the Championship League becoming a full ranking event played across three legs in September and October.
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The European Masters moves from a January slot to become the second ranking event of the season in September, while the Shoot Out will run from October 29 to November 1, having previously been held in February.
The Champion of Champions will follow from November 2 to 8.
The Home Nations series is unaffected, with all events barring the Welsh Open taking place before the turn of the year, while the UK Championship also retains its usual spot, with the final set for December 6.
The first event of the Coral Series, the World Grand Prix, will be squeezed in before Christmas, taking place from December 14 to 20, moving from February.
Venues for all events are yet to be confirmed amid uncertainty over when spectators will be permitted to return following an aborted pilot at the World Championship.
I’m very proud to have announced the Snooker calendar up to the end of the year today. Despite covid 19 we have a busier than ever event calendar with prizemoney unaffected by the current pandemic. Our attitude remains one of resilience mixed with creativity and hard work.— Barry Hearn (@BarryHearn) August 3, 2020
WST chairman Barry Hearn told the organisation's official website: "In recent months there has been uncertainty for all sports in terms of future events, but we have worked alongside all of our partners to find solutions.
"Our players and fans will be thrilled to see that we have a packed schedule for the first half of 2020-21.
"For the players there are plenty of opportunities to compete and I am delighted to confirm that there will be no reductions in prize money for the above events, despite the current Covid-19 crisis.
"We are working towards confirming plans for the second half of the 2020-21 season, with full details to be announced later this year."
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