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Big event in Netherlands coming up in crisis time

Posted by on September 14, 2020

 Big event in Netherlands coming up in crisis time

© BEN organization
The poster for the Dutch event, a tv-event for Ziggo Sport 25, 26 and 27 of November

NISTELRODE - The Dutch billiard stronghold BEN announces a major event today (Monday, September 14), with sixteen of the best European players, 77,000 euros prize money and a location on the golf course of main sponsor Jumbo. The tournament, which will be played without audience on November 25, 26 and 27, will be primarily a TV event. Ziggo Sport will broadcast all matches live for three days with the streaming of Kozoom Europe team. World class players like Dick Jaspers, Eddy Merckx, Torbjörn Blomdahl and other top players from Europe are invited to the Duke Hotel. The southern Europeans such as Dani Sánchez, Marco Zanetti and Semih Sayginer will receive an invitation.

The event is an initiative from the well-known organizers Harry Mathijssen and Ad Smout of the BEN Foundation with the support of main sponsor Jumbo, the supermarket chain in the Netherlands and Belgium, which is known these days for the prominent performance of the Jumbo team in the Tour de France with riders like Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin and Wout van Aert. The former director of Jumbo, Karel van Eerd, is a billiards lover and makes his hotel available on the golf course 'The Duke' in Nistelrode. The location is in the middle of Brabant, the most famous billiard region in the Netherlands.

Organizer Ad Smout: ''We have the permission to organize from the KNBB (Dutch billiards association), UMB (world fedeeration) and CEB (European federation), but it is our own project and initiative. We choose the 16 players, we determine the schedule and ensure a complete 'Corona-proof' tournament, without audience and with strict measures. We have given Ziggo Sport, the international sports channel, the guarantee that the tournament will certainly continue.''

The name of the three-day event is 'Driebanden Challenge', it is played at one match table in a knock-out system. The sixteen players first meet in eight matches according to the schedule, winners continue, losers are eliminated directly, until the final with two remaining players. The match format is not yet known. The main goal is to be flashy, fast and attractive to the viewers with a 30 second time clock, because it is a TV event. The organizers choose between two options: matches in sets of 9 points, or a 40 minutes playtime, in which the player with the most points is the winner.

''Due to the Corona crisis and the travel problems for players from Asian and other countries outside of Europe, we choose players from the Schengen countries. Dick Jaspers from the Netherlands, Eddy Merckx from Belgium, Torbjörn Blomdahl from Sweden, Martin Horn from Germany, Jérémy Bury from France and Roland Forthomme from Belgium have already committed. We further invited Marco Zanetti (Italy) and Dani Sánchez (Spain), who will decide this week because of impending quarantine. We also consider to invite the Turkish players Semih Sayginer and Tayfun Tasdemir and other players from the top of the world rankings. For the Netherlands, we have not only invited Dick Jaspers, but also Jean van Erp, Jeffrey Jorissen and young player Joey de Kok.''

The prize money is 77,000 euros, the winner gets 16,000 euros. All players receive a starting money of 3,000 euros. The timetable will be announced later and adjusted to the wishes of Ziggo Sport.

Dick Jaspers, the world's number 1, is topping the list of players

Torbjörn Blomdahl, the world champion, is among the 16 players

The Duke hotel of main sponsor Jumbo, where the event will be organized



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My Comments

Good news but questions about UMB
1. Great plan for European players. But, why does the organizer get permission from UMB?
The event is only for the limited European players.
I understand permission from KNBB and CEB are necessary.

2. Can a specialist or billiard journalist explain the UMB Official Statement in simple words?
If UMB only wanted Egypt World Cup, was Egyptian Federation going to organize the 2020 El
Sheikh World Cup as planned?

We need UMB events to be managed by global standard, not by hard-to-understand practice.
Players and fans may feel they are ridiculed again and again. We need new management, don't we?

UMB, Lausanne , September 13th, 2020.

Dear Billiards friends,

Since the Worldwide COVID-19 lockdown, UMB was recently offered the opportunity to organize the remaining 2020 Sharm El Sheikh World Cup, scheduled from 6th to 12th December, 2020, with the regular implications for the World Ranking.

For the first time since the worldwide lockdown period, a UMB Federation is willing to organize an International event, in accordance with the health measures and safety regulations recommended by the WHO.

Upon receiving the request from the Egyptian Federation, UMB contacted the CEB and the Turkish Federation, organizers of the World Championships for Ladies and Individuals, both planed for January 2021, for combining the 2 events with the World Cup in Sharm El Sheikh.

In view of the cooperation between UMB and the Turkisch Federation, especially in this difficult Covid-19 period, and with the future of billiards in mind, the 2 World Championships could be played in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in the period between 13th and 20th of December 2020, directly after the World Cup.

UMB was extensively informed by the Egyptian Federation about the severe health measures and protocols applied by both the Egyptian Government and the Hyatt Regency Hotel Resorts, respectively described in the below website links.

After consultation with the Players Representatives and considering the travelling risks from the respective Player Countries, UMB, however, decided to cancel the World Cup of Sharm El Sheikh, scheduled to take place from 6th to 12th of December 2020.

The World Championships, for Ladies and Individuals will remain as published on the UMB calendar.

Meanwhile, UMB will remain in search for opportunities to organize International events, that have no effect on the Players World Ranking.

Website links:

Message 1/1 - Publish at September 15, 2020 2:41 PM

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