June 16, 2017 l Matt Huart
The World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS) has today announced that snooker will be contested as a mixed gender event this year for the first time in its history at the World Games.
The news follows the recent announcement from the IOC that mixed-gender events in athletics, swimming, table tennis and triathlon have now been approved for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The IWGA World Games are held every four years in the year following the Olympic Games and are organised to promote sports representing affiliated federations and physical culture in general. The Games act as a showcase for sports with the ambition to become the next participating Olympic sport.
Billiards is already a strong mixed gender sport as there are a significant number of women competing at a high level. The World Snooker Tour is currently run as an open tour and allows men and women to compete equally.
Both 2017 WLBS World Women’s Champion Ng On Yee and IBSF World and European Champion Wendy Jans will join a 16-player field to compete at next month’s World Games in Wroclaw, Poland.
WCBS President Jason Ferguson said: “We are delighted to have reached this landmark agreement with the IWGA to host a mixed gender snooker event for the first time in the history of the Games. It is a rare occasion when a sport can place men and women on the same field of play, to compete on an equal basis. Billiard sports may not be a physical or contact sport where power and physique can play a part, but are about technique, hard work, discipline and accuracy as a precision sport, all key values of the Olympic Movement.
“Earlier this year WLBS world number one Reanne Evans competed at a world class level in her own right, winning her World Championship match against Finland’s Robin Hull and we are seeing a rapidly growing number of women players with the talent and ambition to join her at the top of the sport.
“I am sure this year’s World Games will be a great success with medal events being played in Pool, Carom and Snooker.”
The 2017 World Games will be in staged in Wroclaw, Poland on 20-30 July 2017.