Mark Allen has once again spoken out to World Snooker boss Barry Hearn about his concerns over ranking points for the snooker shoot-out which is currently been held this week.
The popular snooker event is unlike any other professional snooker tournament, where players only have 15 seconds to take a shot which is reduced to 10 seconds after five minutes. Some of the rules differ slightly too; If a foul is committed, the player can place the white ball anywhere on the table unlike regular snooker, where the white ball can only be placed in the D area.
Up until now, the shoot-out has been exclusively a non-ranking event. In mid last year, Barry Hearn announced that the shoot-out would become a full ranking event which sparked controversy amongst players and fans.
Mark Allen voiced his opinion on Twitter today saying;
“Love the shootout but for me should never be a ranking comp. Atmosphere nothing like the years before. I always enjoyed the crowd involved.”
It’s difficult to measure atmosphere with accuracy, but one thing that can be measured is viewer ratings.
Barry Hearn, who made the questionable decision over ranking points said;
“Interesting that peak audience Thursday night of shoot out 20 percent higher than last years Friday night. Early doors – let’s wait and see.”
“334k peak with a reach of 1.2 million. Not bad when it was up against the darts and Tottenham football.”
In response to Hearn’s Tweets, Mark Allen said;
“I doubt most people who watch this event have jobs.”
“How can you argue with this??? Let’s make all the tournaments like this then please.”
“Would less have entered if it didn’t carry ranking points? I think not!! Not questioning the event, I’m questioning the validity of points.”
“It’s laughable!! I enjoyed the event as it was. Having ranking points is beyond a joke. Not even snooker rules.”
Neil Robertson who was also vocal about the shoot-out carrying ranking points last year said;
“Many people asking why I didn’t enter the shootout even though I haven’t played in it for 5 years. I think it’s a great fun event but under no circumstances should it carry ranking points as it’s not even the rules of snooker. Just my opinion.”
Shaun Murphy is one of the snooker player’s who is backing the event. He said;
“Amidst the criticism of the shootout I have to say that I absolutely love it. I wish more tournaments had that atmosphere.”
The shoot-out ranking argument is one that’s not going away anytime soon. Both sides of the argument have pro’s and con’s but there’s only one man who makes the final decision. Barry Hearn.