The WPBSA has today published the results of its Snooker Insight Survey carried out earlier in the year.
The survey was devised with the aim of learning more about participation in snooker including why people play snooker and what benefits exist for players at all levels. Equally, the WPBSA is keen to better understand what barriers exist to those who don’t play and how these might be overcome by future initiatives.
A comprehensive survey, covering subjects including general snooker habits and also inclusivity, it saw responses from 1,351 people, from 74 countries around the world.
- Click here to view the full results of the 2016 WPBSA Snooker Insight Survey
Of those surveyed, a healthy 77% revealed that they have played snooker during the past six months, with a majority further answering that they play a few times a week.
41% of those not playing competitively cited ability as their key reason for not doing so. Interestingly however, 72% suggested that they would like to play more competitively, suggesting a demand for more opportunities for tournament play.
Benefits of Snooker
The majority of those surveyed believe that playing snooker helps them in their day to day life, in particular suggesting that participation helps their mental health in respect of concentration, patience and keeping them busy.
Others spoke about the physical benefits, for example providing a reason to get out of the house and stop being sedentary, providing an escape from their day to day routine.
An overwhelming majority of 90% of those who have played the game recently stated that they intend to continue playing snooker during the next six months, while 89% feel that there needs to be greater awareness of the benefits of snooker to the general public.
Of those who cited barriers to participation in snooker, issues such as lack of time, facilities and cost were most common.
In particular the perceived issue of facilities was reinforced by the fact that 59% of people answered that improved facilities would encourage them to give snooker a try. Potential improvements such as clean, modern clubs, well-lit environments and modern equipment were among those suggested as factors that would make respondents more comfortable and likely to play snooker.
- Click here to view the results including female respondents only
- Click here to view the results including respondents with disabilities only
In respect of women’s snooker, perceptions were very mixed, with some seeing that area of the game as developing and on the rise, but others highlighting barriers to participation.
These included tradition, a lack of role models, attitude and the club environment, with suggestions that people do not see women’s snooker often enough. Suggestions to help encourage more women to play snooker included opportunities to play the sport in different environments and the introduction of specialist female only sessions in clubs.
Concerning disability snooker, facilities were again pinpointed as an issue, with the lack of accessible facilities the most popular reason put forward by those believing that snooker is not an inclusive sport for people with disabilities.
Some suggested a lack of awareness, although others cited recent television coverage as a positive in helping to raise its visibility.
Interestingly 62% of voters suggested that they would like to see the game adapted to help disabled players to play the game more easily, with a lower table, six reds and height-adjustable wheelchairs suggested as potential aids.
Of the bodies involved in the organisation and governance of snooker at both professional and amateur levels, perhaps unsurprisingly World Snooker and the WPBSA were by far the most widely recognised.
Further back, just under half of respondents were aware of the EASB and WLBS, with newer bodies such as the WDBS and English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards, understandably a little lower.
In terms of information, news from the professional tour and coaching advice were high on the agenda, followed by a calendar of national events and advice and guidance on equipment. The preferred delivery was through our websites, with email newsletters and social media also high on the list.
As stated within the survey, everybody who completed the survey was entered into a random draw to win a £100 voucher to be used at either Marks and Spencer, iTunes, Boots or HMV.
Congratulations to the winner who is Ádám Márkus from Hungary and will be contacted shortly.
Thank you to everybody who took the time to complete the survey which will help us to shape the future development of our sport.