Players unhappy with ranking system

Players unhappy with ranking system

Word Snooker’s decision to scrap away with the archaic points-based ranking system and adopt a more modern prize-money based ranking policy -- much like golf on various tours – has pricked many of the top players and World No 1 Neil Robertson too gave it a big thumbs-down.

“I don’t like it really,” was Robertson’s terse reply when asked about it after his crushing 4-1 win over Noppon Saengkham on Monday. “It almost means whoever wins the world title finishes as the world no 1 because it carries so much more prize money -- almost double of any other major tournament.

“I think the point-based ranking system was good but Barry Hearns (chairman of World Snooker) wants the public to see how much the players earn. The problem with the prize money rankings is the big invitational tournaments are excluded from that -- like the Masters and the Champion of Champions. I think you can have the points-based ranking system and the money list along with it as well,” added the ambidextrous Australian who plays left-handed.

Robertson also said while the players strongly dislike the changeover, they don’t have much of a say in preventing it. “Barry tends to have his ideas and he’s been right with everything and we have to trust his decision. Pretty much all the players are against it but we can’t do much about it.”

Another decision that World Snooker has done in the recent past is adopt a flat playing structure. Unlike earlier times when the top players qualified directly for the last-32 stage directly while the lower-ranked players slugged it for an entry into the main draw, all players have to go through the qualification process for a spot in any ranking event.

Robertson felt the new style opens the window of opportunities for upstarts. “I don’t have a problem with top players having to play the qualifying rounds. It’s a much fairer system than what was in place earlier. When I began in 2003, I had to win five matches just to make the last-32 stage whereas now you have to win just two matches.

“Obviously all the top players don’t like it because they’re not automatically guaranteed a certain prize money as they’re not guaranteed a last-32 spot. I think it’s fair all players start from scratch.”

In 2010, Robertson created history by becoming the first Australian and third non-British player to win the coveted world title. “It is a fantastic achievement to win the major championship and make snooker not so dominant amongst the British players. It’s important for the health of the sport. 

“Ding’s success in many tournaments in China and mine have inspired more overseas players as well. Pankaj (Advani) and Aditya (Mehta) are doing well now and are based in the UK. It is great that we a lot of overseas players amongst the top-16 in the world.”

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