The 2016 Eden Resources World Ladies Championship in Association with Northern Snooker Centre will be held between 31st March and 5th April in Leeds.
Staged by the sport’s newly restructured governing body, World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS), the event is arguably the most eagerly anticipated edition of the sport’s biggest tournament in recent years.
For the last decade it has been Dudley’s Reanne Evans who has reigned supreme over the ladies game, winning the tournament on a record ten successive occasions from 2005-2014.
Last year however saw the world number one suffer a shock defeat at the World Championship, falling 4-2 to Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee at the semi-final stage, the 24-year-old going on to defeat Emma Bonney and win the biggest tournament of her career to date.
Following her big win, On Yee repeated her victory against Evans to win the UK Championship last September and prove that her world title success was no accident, although it is Evans who has now won the three most recent events (Eden Masters, Connie Gough Memorial and Eden Classic), as she prepares to try and win back the world crown in Leeds.
In a change to the format for 2016, the top eight seeded players will be automatically seeded through to the knockout stages, with the remaining players required to come through a two-day round robin phase to complete the last 16.
This means that the likes of Evans and On Yee, as well as other top ranked players including four-time World Championship runner-up Maria Catalano, 2015 finalist Emma Bonney and Latvia’s Tatjana Vasiljeva can focus on the final two days of the main event.
World Festival of Ladies Snooker
The main World Championship tournament is however just one of the competitions that will be staged over the course of a six day World Festival of Ladies snooker.
During the first two days of the event there will be a ladies pairs event (won last year by Reanne Evans and Jasmin Bolsover) and a mixed pairs event (won by Reanne Evans and Michael Holt).
In tandem with the round robin matches there will also be seniors (won by Jenny Poulter last year), and under-21 competitions (won by Jasmine Bolsover) played at the Northern Snooker Centre, with a plate event, also won in 2015 by Woking’s Bolsover.
Members of the public are welcome to come and watch all events, while live updates will be posted via both Twitter (@WLBSA) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/wlbsl).