Matt Williams took the first Gold Waistcoat tournament of the season, aided by a 96 break, beating Sam Baird 2-0 in the final. For further details and report go to Gold Waistcoat. Also some great pictures on Deborah’s Photo Album

This tournament is open to any member player. Thanks to Baulkline Snooker SW and Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth who sponsored the event

This time 91.6% of the entry fees went as prize money!

Last seasons overall runner up, Dale Branton the potting machine from Plymouth, came through victorious winning 2-0 in a close fought final against Mitchell Grinsted, also from Plymouth. For further details and report go to Silver Waistcoat.

This tournament is open to all those that will be under 21 on the 31st December 2008.

Thanks to Baulkline Snooker and Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth who sponsored the event

This time 84.6% of the entry fees went as prize money!

The WEBSF are considering changing the format for at least the first of this years Gold, Silver & Bronze snooker tournaments or to hold a separate 6-6 tournament, frames will consist of 6 Reds and 6 Colours. It is hoped this short format will produce exciting attacking play as well as levelling the ‘playing field’ giving encouragement to any player capable of making a frame wining 40 break. Entry fees are as last season and at least 80% of the entrance fee will being given out as prize money.

Since the 80’s Billiards & Snooker has gone into a steady decline. County Associations have mostly disappeared, Local Leagues are operating with less teams year on year and in some cases merging with other leagues in order to survive. Clubs are closing or at best reducing the number of tables giving way to American Pool and function rooms. Tournaments that once attracted over 100 competitors and played over two days have either disappeared of operate with a fraction of entrants. The reasons are many fold and in some cases complicated, we all have views on these but rather than debate these at length I would like to focus how we can make our sport more attractive to those still playing competitively or playing for fun and relaxation.

The WEBSF was set up in 2004 in an attempt to arrest this decline and provide a safe and emergent environment that would entice & develop new blood, encourage old players back into cue sports and help improve the few quality players we still have in the region. Over the past 4 years the WESBF has made significant steps towards this aim. However, we must not rest on our laurels and continue to develop and push the boundaries, any suggestions that will help us meet our objectives will be gratefully received.

With regard to the previous statement a proposal for this year is to consider the introduction of 6-6 Snooker into the existing tournaments or as an additional tournament. Other sports have variations along similar lines Rugby 7’s and Cricket 20-20 and in past years long gone many different games have been played on an English Billiard table. The 6-6 format is just 6 reds and 6 colours, playing to the conventional rules for Snooker. This article will hopefully provoke debate and prompt members to respond with comments and suggestions as to what extent this format should be introduced into the WEBSF series of tournaments.

Some of the pro’s:-

A shorter format will produce more attacking play and exciting results
With fewer chances in the frame the better player will not be able to ‘relax’ during the early stages of a frame
With just a 40 break securing the frame this will act to level the ‘playing field’ giving encouragement to a wider range of player standards
More players would be encourage to play in the tournaments
Shorter frame times will give the opportunity for bigger groups of players playing more frames.

Some of the con’s:-

The full range of safety play and tactics would be less evident
Prolonged concentration required to master significant break building will be less practiced
‘Levelling the playing field’ will not give a true measure of ones skill against better opponents
As it is not ‘real’ snooker it could turn better players away
Full snooker match-play is invaluable in preparation for National tournaments (no 6-6 national tournaments)
The 100 break benchmark cannot be achieved with 6 reds.

Thanks to the two members that have already responded regarding this proposal. It is important that we receive more views on this before the Management Team make a final decision on the way forward. Don’t leave it to someone else to comment on your behalf, this is your foundation!

Please contact the WEBSF Management Team with your comments now!

Feedback Updated:

From the comments that have been received from members this has proved an interesting proposal generating lively discussion. The WEBSF Management Team have taken on board feedback from the members and are now voting on a final proposal to:-

Agree and support a pilot in Redruth and Exeter Bronze providing the majority of players are also in agreement.
Agree to a 6 Reds pilot to take place in this years Exeter Bronze Waistcoat Round Robin stages subject to a majority player approval
Hold a 6 Reds tournament this season
Not introduce this format in the Plymouth Bronze, Silver and Gold tournaments.

Voting results are now in.
The WEBSF Management Team have voted by a majority in favour of the above proposal. We now have to see what comes about from the pilots and allow the players to come to a view as to what extent this format will be used in the future. Thank you to all those that participated in the debate…..nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Sam Baird (Halberton), has been at it again! Sam played for the senior England squad that had a clean sweep in the Home Internationals. For further details go to Global Snooker.

It was back In September 2004 that WEBSF Patron Ray Reardon M.B.E. (six times former World Professional Snooker Champion) launched the West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation (WEBSF).

The WEBSF Management Team believe in order to arrest the decline in players turning to cue sports is to encourage more young people to participate at grass roots level. The benefits to the sport long term are obvious, more players being exposed to the sport that will lead to them joining clubs, entering leagues & county competitions and more importantly, less youths walking the streets with ’nothing to do’.The WEBSF offers to visit your club or league and discuss ways in which we can work together to put Billiards & Snooker back on the map, providing opportunities for players to realise their potential and provide enjoyment for all.

For the fourth year running the WEBSF has in place a full calendar of well run and administered tournaments catering for players of all age groups. Tournaments are scheduled to take place in Exeter, Plymouth, Redruth & Falmouth with other locations planned for the near future. Since these tournaments have been available the overall standard of play in the region has steadily increased. WEBSF players exposed to tough competition on a regular basis along with access to a high standard of coaching has been instrumental in a number of them being included to represent England at the World, European and Home International Amateur Championships.

Matt Williams, Kris Vincent, Neil Chiswell, Lee Lamerton, all from Plymouth. Sam Baird (Halberton), Greg Batten & Darren Bond (Tiverton), Andy Symons-Rowe (Tavistock) and Andy Radford & Mike King from Exeter, have all represented their country over the past 4 years. All have expressed gratitude to the WEBSF for providing an environment which has proved invaluable in helping them make their mark in national competition.

In 2007 the WEBSF Management Team in association with Rileys, Plymouth organised and ran the Plymouth International Snooker Channel Island Challenge. This tournament pitched teams from the Channel Islands against teams from South & South West England and Wales. The one day event cumulated in victory for Pontins International. This team was made up of three WEBSF players who are regulars on the national circuit; Matt Williams & Grant Cole (Plymouth) and Darren Bond (Tiverton). Cornwall did the double by winning the Billiards and Junior Snooker. The tournament was hosted by Rileys, Plymouth. A total of 252 frames of snooker and 17 hours of billiards where played on just 15 tables on the day. This is thought to be some kind of record for an international tournament. The tournament was regarded by all as a resounding success.

It’s not just the gifted & talented that have benefited from the sterling efforts of the WEBSF Management Team and Coaches. On a weekly basis there are Coaching Schools in Plymouth, Redruth & Exeter that not only foster and improve local talent but help give the youth an alternative to potentially anti-social behaviour. The WEBSF have developed a Billiards & Snooker coaching scheme that includes a process for training and assessing potential coaches of various grades. The coaching team is now 15 strong, All WEBSF coaches undergo self declaration & Criminal Records Bureaux checks in order to comply with Child Protection requirements and to ensure that the safety and welfare of children & young adults remains paramount at all times. At progressive stages of their development, young players can test their skills & knowledge of Billiards & Snooker as part of the WEBSF Player Assessment scheme. increasing levels of competency form the basis for Bronze through Silver to Gold. Each competency level achieved is recognised with a certificate. Annual Membership of the WEBSF is just £5 for Under U16’s and £10 for Senior players. Non playing officials, coaches & volunteers pay just £10 for life. Each member receives a waistcoat/blazer badge & ID card. Other benefits include access to top quality tournaments, excellent coaches, referees & tournament organisers, the WEBSF also help with obtaining sponsorship, promoting tournaments and fundraising.

Roger Cole spokesman for the foundation said “These are very exciting times for Billiards & Snooker players in the West Country. The sports of Billiards & Snooker have been in steady decline since the golden era in the 80’s. The continued support of respected former World Champion Ray Reardon and the hard work of WEBSF officials and volunteers can only continue to prove beneficial to young and old alike who take pleasure from playing this wonderful sport”.

Event 1 of the EABA Under 18’s Junior Billiards series is coming to Plymouth on Saturday 6TH September 2008. The event takes place at the Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth. The WEBSF will be assisting with the running the tournament on the day. A full calendar & entry pack will follow shortly. All you young snooker players that want to have a go at English Billiards should contact Steve or any of the WEBSF Management Team. Coaching in the rules and how to play Billiards is available leading up to the tournament. The event commences 11.00am, registration 10:30am. Entry is £7 for non EABA members. Go on, give it a go!

Unfortunately this event had to be cancelled due to lack of support from players probably not wanting to travel long distances to the Plymouth venue. This is something West Country players have to overcome on a regular basis. Hopefully we can try again in the future.

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