In a field of 128 players, there will be 32 amateurs plus 96 professionals.
The event will take place at the SECC, Glasgow on 18-26 September 2010 and will feature a random draw throughout. There will be three qualifying rounds which will culminate with the top 32 taking on the round two winners, with at least four of these matches held over to the venue stage. All matches leading to the final will be a best of five shootout, the final will be contested over 11 frames.
The qualifying rounds will be held at the World Snooker Academy.
The amateurs will be selected by the governing bodies of China, Middle East, Africa, Belgium and Germany.
In addition there will be 20 non-professionals places, the winners will come through qualifying events held throughout the UK, 10 from Rileys Clubs and 10 from independent snooker clubs.
WSL will issue invitations to two former World Champions, the Ladies World Champion plus one other female player and two juniors. The BBC, Eurosport, CCTV5, Great Sports Channel (Shanghai) and Now TV (Hong Kong) will provide extensive coverage of the final stages. The tournament will have a new relaxed dress code to enhance the atmosphere.
Barry Hearn, Chairman of the WPBSA stated: “The new format creates a hugely exciting and challenging tournament for the players. A real David and Goliath clash which will capture the public imagination. The World Open will give everyone the opportunity to take part and maybe earn the chance at playing the very best in the game.”
“The World Open will be a great event which will show the changes that snooker is making to make the game more appealing to the fans and players. It is another world class event in Scotland and I hope the fans will turn out to support it,” said Current Betfred.com World Champion John Higgins.
Reanne Evans winner of six consecutive Ladies World titles is relishing the prospect of competing against her male counterparts, “it’s been a long time coming for the women’s game. I’ve done everything I can in the sport but this will be a great chance, it’s exactly what I have worked so hard for.”
Scott Taylor, Chief Executive, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We’re delighted that for the first time, the World Snooker Open will welcome both male and female players of all ages, as well as those from an amateur level. This reflects the exciting period of change that snooker is currently undergoing and should further heighten its appeal.
“Glasgow City Marketing Bureau is proud to continue its support of the event, which is set to bring around 4,000 attendances to the SECC, as well as around £335,000 to Scotland’s economy and almost £1million worth of TV exposure.”
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency said: “We are delighted to be supporting the World Snooker Open as it announces some exciting new changes. EventScotland has supported the event since 2006, and over that time it has grown significantly in international appeal. This new format will guarantee the World Snooker Open generates even more exposure for Scotland as this is the first time that both amateurs and male and female players of all ages will be invited to participate in an official ranking event.”