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Page last updated at 10:50 GMT, Thursday, 9 April 2009 11:50 UK

Snooker to trial shorter format

John Higgins (left) and Ronnie O'Sullivan (right)
Higgins and O'Sullivan have both criticised the WPBSA recently

A new shorter form of snooker is set to be trialled at the World Championship in Sheffield later this month.

The reduced version - provisionally titled 'Super6s' - will feature the same number of colours per frame as the regular format but only six reds.

It is hoped the new format will help snooker replicate the success of Twenty20 cricket.

It will be trialled with a contest between a legends team and a rising star side at the Crucible event.

"As an observer of snooker you cannot churn out the same diet year after year," said the chairman of World Snooker, Sir Rodney Walker. "Look at what Twenty20 has done for cricket.

"It has brought in a whole new audience so what we have in mind we think would be appealing to a younger audience.

"The working party who looked into this thought that a six-ball tournament with matches that take an average of six to seven minutes to play, with maybe the best of five, best of 10 frames," he added in the Guardian.

606: DEBATE
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World Snooker has come in for some criticism of late for not doing more to keep the sport fresh or appealing.

World number one Ronnie O'Sullivan branded snooker a "dying" sport and called for the governing body to seek ways to revitalise it.

Two-time world champion John Higgins has been particularly critical of the inability of the WPBSA to promote snooker overseas.

In August last year, the sport's two biggest sponsors - World Championship backers 888.com and Saga Insurance who supported the Wembley Masters - terminated their contracts, costing the game £1.5m.

However, on Wednesday, World Snooker announced online bookmakers Betfred.com had signed a four-year deal to sponsor the World Championship.



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see also
Snooker droopy?
13 Jan 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan wrong says Griffiths
12 Jan 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan wants X Factor glitz
12 Jan 09 |  Snooker
Grand Prix draw
17 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Grand Prix final scores
19 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
20 Jan 09 |  Snooker


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