Championship League Snooker Ranking Event: Information and a Potted History

Matchroom Sport/Championship League Snooker
The Championship League Snooker Ranking Event is a professional snooker competition on the World Snooker Tour.

A 128-player event, it is open to all professional tour card holders. For those who elect not to enter, amateur ‘top-up’ players from the Q School order of merit are invited to fill the quota.

Ranking points earned in this event (prize money won) count on the one-year list and towards qualification for the Players Series events later in the term.

Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Championship League Snooker Ranking Event was first contested in 2020.

The invitational version of Championship League Snooker had long been established on the professional circuit, but with the need to provide new events to replace those that had been halted due to COVID-19 restrictions, a ranking event iteration was added to the programme. It has remained on the calendar since, being the curtain-raiser for the new professional season.

The tournament is organised by Matchroom Multi Sport and is held without a live audience in attendance - an element that the invitational version has always had.

What is the format for the Championship League Snooker Ranking Event and how does it work?

The tournament features a unique and relatively short format consisting of three group phases followed by the final.

To start with, the 128 players are drawn into 32 round robin groups of four. A seeding system is used meaning the world’s top ranked players can’t be drawn together in the opening phase.

Everyone plays each other in the group. After all the fixtures have been completed, the group winner advances to the next phase. This process is the same for the next two phases.

This means the second phase consists of 32 players split into eight groups of four, and the third phase (aka Finals Day) consists of eight players split into two groups of four. The two group winners from the third phase then play each other at the end of the same day in a best of five match to decide the overall title.

Within each group, matches are the best of four frames, meaning there can be a 2-2 draw. If a player reaches the winning target of three frames, the match finishes (no need for the fourth frame if it is a 3-0 result)

Match winners receive three points, if the match is drawn 2-2 then both players receive point, match losers receive no points.

Whoever has the most points after all the fixtures are played is the group winner. If players are tied on points then positions are determined by net frame difference. If net frame difference is the same, head to head results come into play, including if this involves three players.

If the players still can’t be separated, their highest breaks during the day’s play determine the positions.

Each phase of the event is completed before the next one begins, meaning group winners need to return on another day, although the finalists (and those who make phase three) are only engaged for three days of action.

Championship League Snooker Ranking Event - Most Successful Players, Stats 

From the four completed editions to date, there have been four different winners and eight different finalists in the Championship League Snooker Ranking Event. 

Shaun Murphy is the only player to have remained undefeated on his way to winning the title, doing so in 2023 with seven wins and three draws. 

David Gilbert’s triumph in 2021 was his first (and to date only) ranking event title. 

Credit: Matchroom Sport/Championship League SnookerCredit: Matchroom Sport/Championship League Snooker
Credit: Matchroom Sport/Championship League Snooker | Matchroom Sport/Championship League Snooker

Championship League Snooker Ranking Event Roll of Honour and Event Locations

2020: Kyren Wilson 3-1 Judd Trump (Milton Keynes, England)

2021: David Gilbert 3-1 Mark Allen (Leicester, England)

2022: Luca Brecel 3-1 Lu Ning (Leicester, England)

2023: Shaun Murphy 3-0 Mark Williams (Leicester, England)

Championship League Snooker Ranking Event 147 Breaks 

2020: Ryan Day, John Higgins

Two maximum 147 breaks have been made in Championship League Snooker Ranking Event history. Both efforts came during the inaugural edition in 2020.

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