Cork's European champion Aaron Hill would love to have snooker back

Cork's European champion Aaron Hill would love to have snooker back
Europe's number one Aaron Hill with sponsor Tomás Singleton of Singleton's SuperValu in the beautiful new snooker room at his home.

DOUBLE European champion Aaron Hill is biting at the bit to get going again, but the young man is pretty honest about the whole situation and has his priorities completely right.

“It is very tough at the moment, but what can you really do about it,” Hill said. “I know that sport comes a long way second to the health and safety of everyone’s family and friends, but as a player you really want to get some competitive matches under your belt.

“I have been practicing on my own table and I am lucky that way. We have had some good fun online with the Blue Ball Challenge raising funds for the HSE. 

"We had a group of players online working out different challenges and that was fun, but with the World Championship qualifiers coming up I need to get some tough games to get me back to the level I need to be at going into that event.

“It really is a weird time with no Cork hurling, no soccer and everything on hold and we all seem to be just waiting to see what happens next and that goes for snooker as well.

“I am constantly in touch with players all over the country and I think everyone is in the same kind of limbo at the moment. It will be really interesting to see what happens when we do return and all I know is that this time will change our game forever. 

"We will adjust and adapt and as I said already our health is the most important thing, but to have snooker back will be great.”

The crowning moment for Cork Snooker in 2020 was when Aaron Hill won both the European U18 and U21 championships in Portugal.
The crowning moment for Cork Snooker in 2020 was when Aaron Hill won both the European U18 and U21 championships in Portugal.

Meanwhile, with players just itching for any information in relation to re-opening the game the National governing body RIBSA held a committee meeting on April 18.

RIBSA chairman Ger Murray said that RIBSA continued to urge its members to abide by Government advice throughout all of this.

“The government has acted on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and the National Public Health Emergency Team and we should continue to follow that advice too,” Murray said. “Whilst some progress is being made, we must all continue to play our part to encourage physical distancing and to look after our physical and mental health.

“The RIBSA met again last Sunday, May 17, by Skype to review the situation and they will continue to keep their members updated.”

The Home International Billiards and Snooker Association, the HIBSF, held their AGM by Skype.

The HIBSF didn’t make any decision in regards to the cancelling this year’s Home Internationals in Leeds from August 7-14, and RIBSA did agree, however, that postponement to a later date was not an option.

The HIBSF have agreed to meet again on June 15 by Skype to review the situation and RIBSA is committing to update members on discussions about the Home Internationals following its next meeting.

Following the publication of the governments Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business and their proposal to permit behind closed doors sporting activities events where arrangements are in place to enable participants to maintain social distancing, RIBSA has formed a working group to engage with Sport Ireland to provide detailed proposals to prepare comprehensively for a return to playing our sports.

Under the Roadmap, indoor sports snooker and billiards will be permitted to re-open in Phase 3, starting June 29.

RIBSA has proposed to organise a national/regional tournament as soon as possible after this date as a test run prior to running the 2020 national championships before the end of the year.

When the proposals are in place RIBSA will publish guidance to its clubs and members on how best to re-open in a controlled and gradual manner. In the interim the RIBSA advice is very simple, follow all HSE guidelines and stay safe.

Cork snooker made itself very clear months ago that their season was over for 2020 and it was a very clear cut way of wiping away any confusion about the situation.

Munster snooker is different in terms of its playing calendar compared to RIBSA and the CBSA as its season runs from January to December.

The Munster Snooker Council Chairman Lloyd Myers said they are not making any decisions right now.

“We are not going to make any decisions just yet, time at the moment is still on our side and we will wait and see the rules and directives for the return to snooker before we decide what the 2020 season hold for Munster snooker,” Myers said.

“We have three very big tournaments that we still have to complete, the Munster Close, the Munster Masters and the Munster Intermediate Snooker championship. Ideally it would be fantastic to get them played, but as with everything at the moment uncertainty surrounding the sport makes it very difficult. 

"We still have seven and a half months left in our season and looking on the positive side we are hopeful of getting our business done.

“We will see what RIBSA come back with, we know they are working hard behind the scenes and we will I hope have some competitive snooker back in Munster in the near future.”

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