<I know this is a couple of months out of date now, but I hesitated a lot about whether the Dope was the right place for a Brit-China focused sport. But anyway…>
Snooker virtuoso Judd Trump recently expressed the view that the game of snooker was outdated, and outlined some ways to improve the game.
I don’t agree with all of his points, but I really applaud him for raising this discussion. And, before you say it, I know many of these changes are unlikely to happen in the near future, but at least talking about them is step 1.
Change the outfits / relax the rules on dress
Agree completely. I think sports benefit from uniforms, and I know Steve Davis has said the waistcoat / bowtie thing should be kept for that reason.
But, one of the primary benefits of a uniform is that fans can buy the uniforms to show their support and contribute something back, which is not a thing here. So either relax the rules completely and have casual dress, or have a uniform that is uniquely “snooker”, not just dinner dress.
Players should play more open, attacking snooker
Here’s where I part ways with Trump. There is no sport where flamboyancy and effectiveness perfectly overlap. If exhibition-style shots are effective, then natural selection will start to see them get played more often, which actually does seem to be happening. But you can’t force it; players must play to win.
Furthermore, professional snooker players often think long breaks are the pinnacle of great play, and hence what fans want to see, but actually tactical battles are often equally, or perhaps even more, entertaining for the audience.
Need new, young commentators / old commentators are boring
Yes and no.
The John Virgo and Dennis Taylors do a fantastic job. They add so much character and humor to the games.
Furthermore, “old hands” often can give very deep insight from many years of watching games, and accordingly, virtually all sports have at least some seniors doing commentary or analysis.
However, fresh voices and analyses are good too, and I’m all for giving more opportunities to new people.
Sports channels should follow new players more
I agree, but it’s a hard thing to force. Apart from getting far in a major tournament, the only other way to get noticed is if there is something unusual about their play e.g. “So-and-so new guy has the most amazing banana shot you’ve ever seen”.
This is the same as with any other sport – an unproven talent with nothing unusual in their game is not going to get TV time until they are playing the creme de la creme.
One of my own
I would consider cutting down the number of frames in the major championships. I love the game, and even I don’t have the patience to watch a whole quarter final even of the world championships, let alone the actual final. Life is too short.