Coaching, Competitions, Community | WEBSF celebrates 15 years of providing Billiards and Snooker for all

On September 25th 2004, the West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation was born. An official launch day was held at the Victoria Snooker Centre in Plymouth, hosted by WEBSF Patron and six-time world professional snooker champion Ray Reardon MBE.

A not-for-profit community group run by a small band of passionate and dedicated volunteers, the Foundation had a vision to encourage participation in grassroots billiards and snooker, providing opportunities into these wonderful sports for all, regardless of age, ability or location within the West of England. 

Despite difficult economic times and trying logistical issues, these goals throughout the past 15 years have been achieved. Maintaining a sustainable model, the organisation is stronger today than it has ever been, as it continues to help those who may otherwise have been unable to realise and develop their potential within the sports.

Coaching, competitions, community. Let’s look back at some of the images from the last 15 years…..

WESBF Patron and six-time world professional snooker champion Ray Reardon MBE hosted the launch day in September 2004 at the Victoria Snooker Centre in Plymouth.

The WEBSF have provided countless community and group coaching sessions in safe venues and environments across the West of England. Priding themselves to facilitate personal improvement through coaching, their unique, bespoke certified assessment scheme allows students to track and evaluate their progress.

Structured, tailor-made one-to-one coaching (and ecoaching) sessions have also been in demand. These too have remained accessable and affordable for all.

The foundation has already held over 200 tournaments, catering for players of all levels and ages, many of whom were making their first steps into tournament action. The flagship Gold Series has remained a constant throughout the 15 years – featuring several former and future professional players. In total, over 9,500 matches and 55,000 frames have been completed so far. This season, 100% of all entry fees will be awarded out straight away as prize money – nearly £60,000 has been paid out to date since 2004.
The WEBSF has helped over 750 different cueists find their competitive edge.

In more recent times the invitational Gold Masters Championship has been held for the best performing players from that season’s Gold Series.

The WEBSF Ladies Open has been a permanent annual fixture on the tournament calendar, and there is an exciting rebranding of the event on the horizon!

Serious about the three-ball sport too, two tournaments per year are hosted – the English Billiards Open and the West of England English Billiards Open

One of the WEBSF’s most publicised successes has been the rise of established professional player Sam Baird; a two-time World Championship Crucible qualifier. The Silver and Gold Series’ helped aid Baird’s snooker education and development.

A platform for gaining new skills, the WEBSF continues to create volunteer opportunities and pathways for a wide range of roles – no experience is neccessary and no barriers to personal development can’t be overcome!
Passion and volunteering have always been the heartbeat of the Foundation.

The West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation – Billiards and Snooker for all. Here’s to the next 15 years and beyond!

Lloyd lifts West of England Snooker Open trophy

Teenager Mark Lloyd added his name alongside the established list of former champions after claiming the 2019 edition of the West of England Snooker Open. 

Soon to be celebrating their 15th year anniversary, the West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation (WEBSF) cut the ribbon for the new 2019/20 tournament season at familiar tour venue Jesters Snooker Hall. A total of 32 players from across the south-west of England and beyond made the trip to Swindon, all vying for the prestigious title and a slice of an £800 prize fund that consisted of 100% of entry fees. 

The Groups

Lloyd, from Gosport, qualified top of Group D with six wins from seven, constructing breaks of 71, 58, 63, 60 and 98 in the process. Joining him in the knockout rounds from the same group was second-placed Martin Pitcher who ousted last year’s runner-up James Height into third courtesy of a better frame difference by just one. 

Since the tournament’s rebirth in 2013 under the WEBSF banner, no player has won the title twice, yet alone defend it. 2018 champion Ryan Mears put up a spirited performance attempting to alter both those facts throughout the day. The Aldershot cueist finished first in a tight Group B with James Lee acquiring the other qualifying place, both just one win ahead of hot-prospect Liam Davies from Wales and Andy Symons. 

Ben Hancorn made no mistake in Group A as he progressed with a 100% record – registering an effort of 105 along the way – whilst Lee McArthur advanced in second with just one loss to his name. Cornwall’s Darran Lock was the table-topper in Group C, and after Steve Brookshaw lost his final fixture 2-0, youngster Connor Benzey was elevated into the second qualifying position courtesy of frame difference. 

Former winners Tom Kevern (left, 2013) and Dale Branton (right, 2017) stood either side of this year’s defending champion Ryan Mears and the new West of England Snooker Open perpetual trophy.

The Knockout Rounds

With the grueling group stage action over, the main event had been whittled down to just eight remaining hopefuls. 

Undefeated Hancorn recovered from losing the opening frame to overcome Pitcher 2-1, and after setting what would be the highest break of the competition with a 118 in the first frame, Lee also needed a deciding frame to eliminate Lock. There was no such requirement for all three frames in the bottom half of the draw, though, as defending champion Mears (49 break) saw off Benzey 2-0 and Lloyd (54 break) ended the hopes of McArthur. The fast route to victory was also taken in the semi-finals as Lee and Lloyd denied both Hancorn and Mears, respectively, 2-0. 

In a predictably close final affair, current English Under-21 champion Lloyd secured the opener before Lee forced a decider. The 19-year-old responded by starting the third frame positively with a break of 52, and although Lee created himself a counter-attacking opportunity, a subsequent miss was the beginning of the end as Lloyd completed his triumph, some 14 hours after the first cue ball was struck. 

In the West of England Snooker Open Plate event for those who finished third or fourth in their groups, Anthony Rice collected the prize money when he denied the talented Davies in the final on the colours. 

WEBSF Tournament Director Steve Canniford said “It has been a long day but worth the effort to facilitate a tournament where amateur snooker players from around the region compete in a competitive but friendly atmosphere. A great way to start the season and celebrate 15 years of volunteering with the WEBSF”

For an overview of the tournament’s results, please visit our page on cuescore.com here.

Article written and published by Michael Day

2019 WEBSF West of England Snooker Open | PREVIEW

Another season of quality and entertaining West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation tournament action gets underway this weekend. 

Opening the ten-event campaign will be the eagerly awaited 2019 West of England Snooker Open which takes place on Saturday at Jesters Snooker Hall in Swindon. With a rich history dating back decades, this annual competition is one of English amateur snooker’s most established and sought after accolades.

A full capacity of 32 cueists will compete during the one-day extravaganza in Wiltshire with entrants spread across the south-west region and beyond, but who will be left standing with the recently revealed perpetual trophy come the close of play?

The Contenders

Aldershot’s multi-talented Ryan Mears (pictured above) will make the trip to defend the title he won twelve months ago – later in the same season Mears completed a unique double by adding the West of England Billiards Open, too. Since the competition’s resurrection in 2013 under the WEBSF banner, no player has won this title twice, yet alone retain it.

The consistent James Height (Bristol) was runner-up to Mears in 2018; he’ll be present attempting to go one better, while a two-time winner on last season’s Gold Series and the victor of the invitational Gold Masters, Andy Symons (Tavistock), will also launch a bid for glory. Steve Brookshaw (Plymouth), claimant of a brace of trophies last term, and Gold Event Four champion Ben Hancorn (Bristol), are other candidates aiming to build on recent success.

Former champions and Plymouth duo Tom Kevern (2013) and Dale Branton (2017) will both be seeking to create history by getting their name etched onto the plinth for a second time, but with a talented pool of both younger and very experienced hopefuls present, this promises to be an exciting, unpredictable and ultra-competitive 2019/20 curtain-raiser.

Throughout the day we will be providing live updates on both our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and for the first time, you can keep abreast of the results via our dedicated tournament page on CueScore.

Previous WEBSF West of England Snooker Open Finals

2013 – Tom Kevern defeated Wayne Branton

2014 – Haydon Pinhey defeated Harvey Chandler

2015 – Eddie Manning defeated Steve Downing

2016 – Billy Castle defeated Eddie Manning

2017 – Dale Branton defeated Tom Kevern

2018 – Ryan Mears defeated James Height

Article written and published by Michael Day

2019/20 WEBSF Tournament Calendar Announcement

The West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation (WEBSF) is proud to announce its tournament calendar for the upcoming 2019/20 season. 

Since 2004 we have remained true to our ethos of providing a series of affordable, worthwhile and trusted one-day competitions held in the West of England that are open to players of all ages and abilities. 

The WEBSF circuit has featured several future main-tour professionals in its ranks over the last few years; Sam Baird, Eden Sharav, Billy Joe Castle, Harvey Chandler, Ian Preece and Jackson Page. These star names competed alongside fellow top amateurs and rising talents in a portfolio of flagship tournaments. 

During a season in which we will be celebrating our 15th anniversary, both the annual West of England Snooker Open and the five-event Gold Series will return. As too will the lucrative Gold Masters; an invitational, only open to the top 16 ranked players from this campaign’s Gold Series.  

The curtain-raising West of England Snooker Open will take place on Saturday 7th September. Entries for this event will be open this Saturday 10th August at 09.00. Spaces are limited for all WEBSF events, so please secure your entry as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Entry for each event will be made open at a certain time, please check either the website or our social media channels for regular updates. 

2019 West of England Snooker Open entry details

Once again, we will also host a duo of English Billiards events – the Billiards Open and the West of England Billiards Open, whilst we are very excited to stage a new competition for female players – the Carpenter Snooker Tournament. Further details about this new concept will be delivered in due course. 

All tournaments throughout the season will be run on a 100% pay out basis. All entry fees that come in, will go out again as prize money. 


2019/20 WEBSF Tournaments 


Saturday 7th September 2019
West of England Snooker Open, Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon

Saturday 19th October 2019
The Gold Series event one, Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon 

Saturday 23rd November 2019 
The Gold Series event two, Galaxy TQ, Torquay

Saturday 30th November 2019
The Billiards Open, Frames Snooker & Pool, Weston-super-Mare 

Saturday 4th January 2020
The Gold Series event three, Top Q Snooker Club, Gloucester

Saturday 8th February 2020 
The Gold Series event four, Frames Snooker & Pool, Weston-super-Mare

Saturday 22nd February 2020
West of England English Billiards Open, Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon 

Saturday 7th March 2020 
The Gold Series event five, Top Q Snooker Club, Gloucester

Saturday 4th April 2020
The Gold Masters (Invitational Event), Frames Snooker & Pool, Weston-super-Mare 

Saturday 2nd May 2020
The Carpenter snooker tournament for female players, Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon 

(All dates and venues are subject to change in certain circumstances)

Sponsorship and partnership opportunities are available for either a series of our events, or on an individual basis.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of supporting our not-for-profit organisation, please contact us.

West of England Snooker Open

West of England Snooker Open 2018

Just in case you missed it the first time around, book your place NOW on the WoE Snooker Open, sponsored by Totally Reward. Takes place on Saturday 29th September 2018 at Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon. See WoE Open Snooker entry for more details.

 

 

Where the Prize Money went

The total amount of prize money won by the WEBSF players since 2004 to-date is £53,116.50

The WEBSF pays out over 95% of entry fees as prize money. The WEBSF Management Team have been able to achieve this through volunteers, the generosity of sponsors and the support of Snooker Clubs who provide their facilities.

On behalf of the players, we Thank You!!

Gold Snooker Series Event 6 – Result

Andy Neck Gold Series Event 1 Winner 2017/18

Andy Neck wins event 6 and with it the Overall Gold Series. The top sixteen rank players will now receive invites to compete for the Gold Masters Championship 2018 and Dominic Dale Exhibition at Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon on the 26th May 2018. This, the final event of the season was hosted by Top Q Snooker Club, Gloucester.  Select Gold Snooker Series 2017/18 to find out more.

Gold Snooker Series Event 5 – Result

Andy Neck reclaims top spot as Andy Symons closes in. The event was hosted by Galaxy Centre, Torquay. Select Gold Snooker Series 2017/18 to find out more.

The final Event 6 is on 14th April 2018 at Top Q Snooker Club, Gloucester

Gold Snooker Series Event 3 – Result

Gold Series Event 3 Highest Qualifier Break (99) - Andy Neck 2017-18

All gather behind Andy Neck as he wins event three of six in the Gold Snooker Series and takes the highest break prize to-boot. The event was hosted by 147 Snooker Club, Swindon. Select Gold Snooker Series 2017/18 to find out more.

Event 4 is on 17th February 2018 at Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon

Benzey ‘Totally Rewarded’ at Special Event

Bronze Snooker Open Winner - Connor Benzey with Tournament Sponsor 2017-18
Bronze Snooker Open Winner – Connor Benzey with Tournament Sponsor 2017-18

Connor Benzey played solid snooker all day on his way to lifting the 2017 WEBSF Bronze Snooker Open title.

To make a complete day of Billiards & Snooker the WEBSF held Coaching Workshops where WEBSF Coaches and special guests; ex-Professional, Manager & Coach Hassan Vaizie and Snooker Professional Sam Baird gave masterclasses in break building and coaching clinics.

Go to Bronze Open 2017 to find out more