Following recent comments made via social media the WPBSA today seeks to clarify its policy in respect of both original and replica tournament trophies.
Historically, it was not practice to provide replica trophies to every tournament winner, with players instead receiving a commemorative plaque or medal to keep. However, last year, the WPBSA undertook a full review of all its trophies on the World Snooker Tour, this included the commissioning of new high-quality and meaningful trophies for new events. The WPBSA made also made a further commitment to provide replica trophies to a number of past champions, many of which have now already been provided. These include ¾ size World Championship trophies, handmade by an original Sheffield Silversmith, the UK Championship, International Championship and the German Masters since the introduction of the new Waterford Crystal bowl.
We are also working alongside our incredible partners, Waterford Crystal, who are renowned for quality and excellence to produce bespoke replica trophies for winners, not only for our Masters, but also for other prestigious World Snooker Tour events. It is our expectation that the Masters trophy will be available for the 2018 Dafabet Masters, this is in accordance with the timeframes previously discussed with individual players.
Many of our current trophies have significant historical value. We work on the principle that players are proud to put their hands on the original iconic trophy when they earn their place in history and become a champion.
The current policy is that players who win major titles can take home the original trophy until the event next takes place. At this point, players will be provided with a suitable replica worthy of a champion. Again, the principle being that players are proud to take home the actual trophy to be on display, it is also an opportunity to assist players with local media around their achievement.
This policy was in place at the 2017 Dafabet Masters. Ronnie O’Sullivan was offered the original Paul Hunter Trophy to take home, he was also informed that he would be provided with a suitable replica when it was to be returned. He refused to take the trophy and World Snooker have retained the trophy. Ronnie has since been offered delivery of the trophy on a number of occasions, however has continued to refuse it. Ronnie was also offered the original English Open trophy following his exceptional performance in Barnsley last week, he also declined to take this trophy away.
The WPBSA will continue to work with its partners to reward players when they achieve their dreams.