Who is playing at the 2024 Q School snooker?

Three-time Crucible qualifier Liam Highfield is looking to regain his professional tour card via Q School. Credit: George Wood/Getty ImagesThree-time Crucible qualifier Liam Highfield is looking to regain his professional tour card via Q School. Credit: George Wood/Getty Images
Three-time Crucible qualifier Liam Highfield is looking to regain his professional tour card via Q School. Credit: George Wood/Getty Images
A preview of the upcoming action in Leicester as amateur hopefuls aim for promotion to the professional circuit

Following the completion of professional snooker’s blue riband tournament, attention now turns to one of the amateur circuit’s most important events; Q School.

An annual fixture since 2011, the Q School is open to any player without a World Snooker Tour card and provides direct qualification to the professional circuit. A plethora of familiar names on the sport’s top tier earned promotion through the system, including recent world championship runner-up Jak Jones who was a graduate in 2018 having been relegated from the pro tour a few weeks earlier.

The 2024 installment takes place at the Morningside Arena in Leicester between May 21 - June 1. There will be two separate knockout events with the four semi-finalists from both (eight in total) all claiming two-season WST cards for 2024/25 and 2025/26. All matches are the best of seven frames.

The players involved

Over 165 players representing at least 26 nations are set to feature at the 2024 Q School.

This field includes an eclectic mix of recently relegated professionals, established former pros, seasoned amateur talents and promising junior prospects.

A host of cueists who lost their tour cards during the world championship are in the draw later this month, this includes players such as Mark Joyce, Andy Hicks, Liam Highfield and Ashley Hugill - the latter being the highest ranked player at the end of the season to miss out on retaining professional status.

Experienced exponents Barry Pinches, Peter Lines, Rory McLeod, Craig Steadman and Gerard Greene - the first four have all previously been graduates - are back and trying to re-establish themselves on the top flight after time away from it.

68-year-old former world number two Tony Knowles and 61-year-old two-time ranking event finalist Dean Reynolds also return to the Q School scene, as does three-time world women’s champion Ng On-yee.

Amongst those trying to reach the professional circuit for the first time include Haydon Pinhey, who has been denied in the final round of Q School in each of the last four years, and Florian Nuessle, who agonisingly lost on the colours in a deciding frame 12 months ago. Alfie Davies, eighth on last year’s order of merit and someone who has picked up wins as a top-up player in pro events this term, is another contestant.

Current English Amateur Champion Steven Hallworth is aiming to make his way back, while last year’s EAC winner and current national under-21 champion Paul Deaville is trying to claim his maiden ticket.

Teenage entries include 15-year-old Vladislav Gradinari and 13-year-old Shaun Liu, who both broke records by winning live televised matches at the Shoot Out in the event’s two most recent editions.

For the Q School draws, visit the WST website here.

Table one in Leicester is set to be livestreamed on the World Snooker Tour Facebook and YouTube pages throughout the event.

Please note, for the third consecutive year there will also be an Asia-Oceania Q School in Bangkok, Thailand that offers four tour cards across two events. This is scheduled between May 22 - June 2. Details on the entered players and draws have yet to be released.

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