WHAT a terrible week it has been for Irish amateur snooker with three major cancellations at a time when everyone was looking to the re-opening of the game and the AGM of the national governing body primed for a fresh new look at the game in Ireland.
The RIBSA Re-Open championships fixed for last weekend and in a couple of weeks’ time, plus the International Challenge Cup and the AGM have all been cancelled and postponed to a later date, which has now decimated the forthcoming revised calendar of events and throws the national championships into serious doubt.
Chairman of RIBSA Dylan Rees from Youghal CYMS said on behalf of RIBSA:
“It is with deep regret that RIBSA have to postpone both Re-Open events which were due to be held in the Ivy Rooms snooker club in Carlow this month. Government guidelines and restricted travel has left RIBSA with no other option but to reschedule the tournaments for a safer time.
"It is essential that RIBSA look to protect all of its players and officials in all circumstances and at all times. RIBSA has informed every player by email and are offering a full refund or a place in the rescheduled event, which will inevitably take place as soon as it is fully safe to do so.
"RIBSA wishes to apologise for any inconvenience caused. We will be following the safety guidelines from Sport Ireland which clearly states that there should be no travel into any of the counties in lockdown.
"Nobody should go to Kildare, Laois or Offaly unless for essential purposes and in regard to sport, no sporting events or matches should take place, with the following exemptions, non-contact training outdoors in a maximum group of fifteen people may continue, professional and elite sports and horse-racing may continue behind closed doors, inter-county training (max 15 people) and fixtures may continue behind closed doors.
"All indoor gatherings should be restricted to a maximum of six people from no more than three households in total while maintaining physical distancing. With these travel and playing restrictions now in place it was impossible for us to carry on."
Meanwhile, the ICC snooker championship between the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, France and Scotland has also fallen by the wayside. Scheduled to take place in Cookstown Northern Ireland in late October the event like so many others will not happen in 2020.
Speaking to Echo Sport ICC Chairman Robert Murphy said: “On behalf of the ICC committee it is with deep regret that this year’s event has been postponed due to Covid-19. As a committee, we have done everything we could to try and stage this year’s event in Cookstown, but everyone’s health and safety must come first. We will be in close contact with all the nation's captains over the immediate months to see what we can arrange in the New Year and we hope that until then everybody stays safe and healthy."
RIBSA have also announced the postponement of the AGM which was to be held on this coming Saturday.
The AGM was originally scheduled for May but had to be postponed during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and after the latest restrictions announced by the government, RIBSA has postponed the AGM to protect all our members and officials at this time.
RIBSA will keep everyone up to date as we get more information on a new date for the AGM.
With the country on the verge of lockdown and the uncertainty ahead over the coming weeks and months it is hard to know where the next action is coming from, but all credit to Youghal’s Ross Bulman who is in Sheffield at the moment at the World Snooker Q-School.
Ross played four brilliant rounds of snooker and just came up a little short in his last match.
Q-School is most definitely the toughest route to the golden ticket of a two-year tour card on the WST.
Ross came to within a frame of gaining one of those tickets last year and again he is showing his talent and bottle in Sheffield, but this year there are no announced wild cards so with twelve cards on offer, surely World Snooker will recognise his hard work and his great results if he doesn’t win one in the two remaining Q-School tournaments.