Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Power Snooker: It's not all bad

Whether people love it or loathe it, everyone will be dishing out their verdict on Power Snooker as it returns to our screens for a second year in succession this weekend.

Plenty of the game's purists have already done their best to pour cold water over the competition, ridiculed by many as a format full of gimmicks, a wild shot clock and rules that are hard to keep up with.

For those who love watching snooker in its traditional form, you can certainly put a case forward for these being fair comment, but it's not all bad.

After all, Power Snooker provides a welcome return of snooker to terrestrial television.

The tournament - being broadcasted on ITV - is the first time the sport's top names have appeared on the nation's primary channels since John Higgins beat Judd Trump in this year's World Championship on the BBC in May.

While the concept of Power Snooker may not tickle the taste buds of people who live and breathe the game, the event is also a great chance chance for the sport's many casuals fans to catch a glance at some of their favourite players.

That's why the idea to invite the entire top 16 to this year's matches is a great one. The inclusion of Luca Brecel and Jimmy White gave the event a wildcard feel last time out. But with each of snooker's top players in the draw this year, it feels like there's more structure to play - although this may quickly disappear once the first cue ball is struck.

All joking aside, Power Snooker has pace and atmosphere to be a fair success in Manchester this weekend. For two days of the season, I think I can live with it and go along with the fun. It's great chance for the top players to earn some extra cash, an opportunity for part-time fans to become more familiar with the current top names in the sport and a timely teaser ahead of snooker's return to terrestrial television in December for the UK Championship.

It's also likely we'll see how good these top stars really are. With the freedom to play in relaxed exhibition style, there could be some great snooker along the way.

My only fear is that the media will point the finger at snooker this weekend for staging a desperate attempt to entice a new younger audience.

If this accusation is made, real snooker fans know this isn't true. The sport's audience is already attracting younger faces and Power Snooker is just one of many changes supremo Barry Hearn is making to liven things up.

Instead of criticising it for what it isn't, I'm going to enjoy it for what it is.

1 comment:

  1. The main problem with Power Snooker is that some see it as a thread to snooker. It isn't. It's a variation on the game that particularly suits the video game generation well and it's entertainment. As such it's good. It's good exposure, it's fun and it's good money. So why not enjoy it? I will.