Snooker IS getting a makeover, T20 style. It is set to become shorter, more exciting and unpredictable.
Under the new regulations, the baize sport, earlier played with 15 red balls, will now have just six. The scoring is also set to change, as the first player reaching 100 points would win the frame.
According to him, the duration of billiards matches in the 'time' format too had been shortened to two hours and the player scoring more points in the stipulated time would win the match.
“The new format is very unpredictable. Anybody can win. We want to train our cueists in this format. It is already becoming popular with youngsters,” said national coach Subhash Agarwal who is in the Capital for the three-day coaching camp --- from June 18- 20 --- orgainsed by the DBSA. About 24 boys are getting coaching from top former cueists like Mukesh Rehani and HS Bhogal in the new format.
But does the new format place traditional Indian snooker and billiards players at a disadvantage? Agarwal thinks so.
“Indians are not very good at this format as of now. A lot of adjustments have to be made to their game,” he said.
“The game has become tougher now, it is more competitive and the margin for error is very less,” said Delhi state snooker champion Pulkit Thukral.
More like the Twenty20 cricket format? “Yes, the new format can be likened to T20 cricket. It is quick and unpredictable, just like T20,” said Rehani.
But double Asian Games gold-medallist in 1998, Ashok Shandilya, thinks otherwise. “I think Indians are at an advantage because they are adept at scoring 60-points breaks,” said Shandilya.m “We are trying to familiarise the players with this format for the Asian Games in Guangzhou next year.”