Snooker will return on June 1st in the UK for it’s for first tournament since the outbreak of Covid 19. According to BBC Sport, the event will be the Championship League, which will be held behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
Strict guidelines will have to be adhered to. Players, match officials and contractors will be tested before entering the venue. Moreover, they will be kept in isolation until results of those tests were known. BBC Report that players will have to give a negative test in order to fulfil the event. The main reason behind the choice of venue is because there is on site accomodation. This of course means the 64 players who are competing in the tournament could be contained there if something was to occur.
BBC Report that six other measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of all players, staff and officials. Social distancing methods will be in place right across the venue. Furthermore, players will be seated at least 2m apart at games, while handshakes will not be permitted. In addition, players will be required to use hand sanitiser before matches. Referees will also try to keep the 2m distance between themselves and players where possible. There will no access for guests of players and finally first aid personnel will be onsite at all times. The prize for the winner of the tournament is £30,000. The total prize fund is £200,000. . The winner will secure a place in the Champion of Champions in November also.
Barry Hearn has said that player safety will be a top priority when snooker returns. He said, “Players who have any doubts about their own welfare can rest assured that all precautions are being taken,”. Hearn continued,”I am confident that there is no other major sport which can meet health and safety criteria on isolation and social distancing as stringently as snooker can, so we are able to return more quickly than others.”