It appeared to go right out of the window last night in an evening of mild controversy during Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd's Trump's semi-final third session at the Crucible.
The crowd were raucous and a minority sounded like they were trying to deliberately put Judd off on his shots. He had to realign a number of times and a few loud-mouthed Ronnie fans did little to add to the decorum of the whole event.
|Picture by Monique Limbos|
One fan shouted at the start of the second session earlier yesterday morning: "Suck his arse out, Ronnie."
It's this kind of crowd barracking that would come part and parcel with snooker moving more towards a darts atmosphere. This is the reason proper snooker fans are happy to steer well clear.
One of the great appeals of snooker for me when growing up was the great respect the crowd plays both players and the intense atmosphere that can be created by the silence when players are down on their shots playing a game of great skill and accuracy.
A perfect snooker atmosphere has two key ingredients in my opinion. The deadly silence when players are on shots and then the loud noise when fans applaud a great shot or are entering the arena at the start of a match. Shouting obscenities and trying to distract a player has no place in creating good 'atmsophere'.
A night of controversy wouldn't be complete without a contribution from O'Sullivan.
He has looked as focused as ever in this tournament but let his guard slip in frame 23. He was sternly warned by referee Michaela Tabb for making lewd gestures when wiping down his cue.
Well done to Michaela for not letting her friendship with Ronnie get in the way of a good ticking off. She always does a fantastic job out in the arena and takes charge of the big matches well.
These were two big talking points but there was some great snooker played on the table last night as well. Judd showed some moments of brilliance but it was another session where Ronnie was ultimately too strong all round. He won the session 5-3 and leads the match 14-10 going into this afternoon's conclusion.