The entry pack for the 2015 Haining Open has today been published by World Snooker. This will be the first event of this season’s Asian Tour and will take place between 19-23 October 2015.
Importantly, there have also been revisions to the standard conditions of entry in respect of the operation of the Asian Order of Merit and how both Players Championship places and tour cards for the 2016/17 season will be allocated.
Players Championship Qualification
As was the case last season, it was originally envisaged that of the 32 players to compete at this season’s Players Championship event, eight of those would come from the Asian Order of Merit, with the remaining 24 to come from the European Order of Merit.
With the amount of Asian Tour events on the 2015/16 calendar having been reduced however, this has now been amended, with alternative criteria laid down depending on whether there will ultimately be one or two Asian Tour events held this season, something that has yet to be confirmed.
If the Haining event proves to be the only Asian Tour event held this season, the following provision shall apply:
- “If there is only 1 Asian Tour event, the top 24 players on the Kreativ Dental Clinic European Tour Order of Merit will qualify for entry into the Players Championship. In addition, the winner and runner up of the one Asian Tour event will also qualify for entry into the Players Championship. The remaining 6 places will be awarded to the top 6 players, who have not already qualified, on a combined Asian Tour and Euro Tour list.”
In practice, that the winner and runner-up of the event would qualify is not a significant change, as both those players would have been effectively guaranteed to qualify under the previous system due to the amount of prize money won.
The decision to award the remaining six places to a combined European and Asian Order of Merit is a more notable departure however, although such a combined list has previously been used to determine seedings for the Players Championship event.
If however there are two Asian Tour events held this season, the following alternative criteria shall apply:
- “If there are 2 Asian Tour events, the top 24 players on the Kreativ Dental Clinic European Tour Order of Merit will qualify for entry into the Players Championship. In addition, the winner and runner up of the two Asian Tour events will also qualify for entry into the Players Championship. The remaining 4 places will be awarded to the top 4 players, who have not already qualified, on a combined Asian Tour and Euro Tour list.”
In essence therefore the criteria is the same as above, with the winner and runner-up of any second event effectively reducing the amount of qualifiers from a combined Order of Merit.
It is also noted that:
- “Qualification for the Players Championship will be determined chronologically. If a player qualifies through being the winner or runner up more than once, the space will be allotted to an additional qualifier through the combined Asian Tour and Euro Tour list.”
2016/17 Tour Qualification
There is also a notable change to tour qualification for the 2016/17 season, with the amount of tour places available now reduced from four to two.
As previously, these two places will be earned by those who are able to finish highest on the Asian Order of Merit, who are not already qualified for the main tour for 2016/17 and will again be full two-year tour cards.
This change will apply whether there are one or two Asian Tour events held.
The entry deadline for the Haining Open is at noon on Tuesday 6th October 2015.