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Jean Claude Dupont: billiard needs more dynamic

Posted by on October 8, 2011

Jean Claude Dupont: billiard needs more dynamic

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Jean Claude Dupont, better a well-considered decision than a quick and worse decision.

Three cushion billiards all over the world is in the middle of a stage of brainstorming and discussion, towards an era of renovations. The game system, the tournament format, the system of the Word Cups with ranked players, wildcards and qualifiers have to be renewed. ,, We don’t want to go too fast, but there is certainly much to be done in the short term, ''said Jean Claude Dupont, president of the UMB, the world federation of billiards.

We spoke with him during the World Cup in Vienna, where there was a lot of commotion in the weeks before the start due to the inscription system for 128 players. The field had been fully booked after a few days.

Frits Bakker: 'The impulse for innovations is given by the CEB during a conference in Famagusta, Cyprus. You were there yourself, how far do you think the UMB is willing to conform to the plans of one of your confederation?''
Jean Claude Dupont: ,,We are still in primary stage and we’re thinking in a later stage about how and whether we will go in a certain direction. We agree that there must be uniformity in our sport, which to some extent we decide to apply. It has been a misunderstanding, that I’ve said after the conference that the CEB decision about the playing format, with the 40 points matches, is a great plan. I know that not all federations are willing to do that in their tournaments, not everyone has welcomed that. I realize that the CEB system can impose the plans to its federations, for the UMB it will be very difficult, actually it’s impossible to verify that in all the Asian and South American countries.''

FB: The trend, nevertheless, is that also within the board of the UMB everyone agrees, regarding matches of 40 points and shorter.
JCD: ,,What I want to say, is that, regarding to play to 40 points with unequal innings, the UMB will never follow these rules. We always want to play with equal innings. Therefore we will try to find consensus. The 40 points system, seems to be a betterment for all of us, but it is very important that we, as we have done in Vienna, listen to the opinion of players about things. There are voices that we need more dynamic in our sport ''

FB: What everyone agrees: the system of inscription and qualification for the World Cup does not work and is widely criticized.
JCD: ,,There are plans in our board and organization, that we want to handle a new system of assigning wildcards and allow more qualifying players to the main tournament. That plans have just been launched, nothing is decided yet. What we think about is, that we bring back the system of wildcards from eight to four. So we want to remove one wildcard for each confederations, which have two now, and one for the organizing federation.’’

FB: Another revolutionary decision of the CEB is: not to organize a European championship just once in a year but once every two years?
JCD: ,,For our organization, the UMB, it’s not an option, we certainly will not imitate that. We have no problems to find an organizer and accommodation for our championships every year. We have an organizer for the World championships in 2012 and 2013 and we are in negotiating for 2014. The CEB wants to give the classic disciplines another chance.We have given up long ago. About a championship every two years we think differently. I have verified and have concluded that many of the Olympic sports, perhaps more than half, do organize a world championship every year.''

FB: Which new rules does the UMB talk about and what do you expect regarding the inscriptions for the World Cups?
JCD: ,,We agree that we can’t maintain the system as it is now and like in Vienna, the field is fully booked after two or three days. We want to change that for the next season. The most important change will be, that we are going to announce for every tournament at what day the inscription will be opened, so that no-one can be surprised. Now there are 32 players with preferential treatment, we want to extend that number. Maybe we should take a percentage of the total number of inscribers. We could also make a special reservation for players due to point system on the ranking and not by date of registration. Those are all things we’re going to talk about very soon.’’
,,It has surprised me that, for the World Cup in Vienna, the players who were currently playing a tournament in New York, have complained in a hard way. They had no right to speak, because New York is not an official event. It’s a tournament in which players even risk a suspension. Top players will never participate there, because they know it’s not on the international calendar. I especially had problems with New York, while the World Cups in Las Vegas and Mexico were cancelled.’’

FB: How long do you think that it will take to introduce the new rules?
JCD: ,,We are not going to force in any case. We want to make a handbook for the World Cups, mainly for the organizers, with many practical tips. When we’re going to realize, it’s not known yet. Better a well-considered decision than a quick decision.''

FB: Are you worried about the calendar for next year? Until recently there was only one World Cup in the planning.
JCD: I certainly don’t worry, we are almost sure that we will have at least four World Cups next year in Antalya, Porto, Hurghada and Suwon. With a fifth organizer we are negotiating. We are working hard in this important year of innovations and we are sure to handle it very soon.’’


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