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Q-SCHOOL - A POTTED HISTORY SO FAR...


So then, the pupils have been dismissed as another edition of Q-School is completed.


Congratulations to the 12 who made it through this year, 8 of which will be making immediate returns to the professional circuit having been 'relegated' only last month.


As for those who didn't graduate, some will be encouraged and feeling positive about their performances in Preston, whilst others may be questioning whether it's the end of the road.


This was the seventh annual edition of Q-School. Instigated by Barry Hearn when he took over the sport, the first edition was played in 2011 at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield. Since then we have had a number of tweaks in the format and venue.


We have seen a whole number of stories emerge from it, but how did those players do? Below I have listed everyone who has qualified from Q-School, and how they did as a result come the conclusion (or expiration) of their professional tour card.


* I included Lee Spick's qualification in 2013, but didn't take into account his results due to his illness and tragic death.​​



2011 (only one year tour cards were awarded)

​​David Grace – stayed on tour ever since 
Andrew Norman –relegated at the first avenue 
Robin Hull – relegated at the first avenue 
Adam Wicheard – relegated at the first avenue 
Li Yan - relegated at the end of the 2013/2014 season
Tian Pengfei – relegated at the first avenue (although given a CBSA wildcard nomination straight away)
David Morris – relegated at the first avenue 
Simon Bedford – relegated at the end of the 2013/2014 season
Stuart Carrington – relegated at the first avenue 
Adam Duffy – relegated at the end of the 2013/2014 season
David Gilbert – stayed on tour ever since 
Kurt Maflin – stayed on tour ever since 

 
2012 (two year tour cards from this point)
Sam Baird – stayed on tour ever since 
Ian Burns – stayed on tour ever since 
Martin O'Donnell – relegated at the first avenue 
Chen Zhe – relegated at the first avenue 

Paul Davison – relegated at the first avenue 
Jamie O'Neill – relegated at the first avenue 
Sean O'Sullivan – relegated at the first avenue 
Daniel Wells – relegated at the first avenue 
Rod Lawler – stayed on tour ever since (won a PTC the next season) 
Joel Walker – relegated at the end of the 2015/2016 season 
Michael Wasley – relegated at the end of the 2015/2016 season 
Robbie Williams – stayed on tour ever since 


 
2013 
Alex Davies – relegated at the first avenue 
Hammad Miah – relegated at the first avenue 
Lee Page – relegated at the first avenue 
Elliot Slessor – relegated at the first avenue 
Ryan Clark – relegated at the first avenue 
Ross Muir – stayed on tour ever since 
Ahmed Saif – relegated at the first avenue 
Alexander Ursenbacher – relegated at the first avenue

David Morris – relegated at the end of the 2015/2016 season 
Fraser Patrick – relegated at the end of the 2016/2017 season 
Chris Wakelin – stayed on tour ever since 

Lee Spick

 
2014 
Zhang Anda – stayed on tour ever since 
Chris Melling – relegated at the first avenue 
Tian Pengfei – stayed on tour ever since 
Craig Steadman – relegated at the first avenue* (immediately re-qualified via 2016 Q-School)
Michael Georgiou – relegated at the first avenue* (immediately re-qualified via 2016 Q-School)
Liam Highfield – stayed on tour ever since 
Michael Leslie – relegated at the first avenue
Lee Walker – stayed on tour ever since 

 
2015 
Rhys Clark – stayed on tour ever since
Eden Sharav – stayed on tour ever since

Daniel Wells – stayed on tour ever since
Sydney Wilson – relegated at the first avenue 
Gareth Allen – relegated at the first avenue 

Paul Davison – relegated at the first avenue* (immediately re-qualified via 2017 Q-School)
Duane Jones – relegated at the first avenue* (immediately re-qualified via 2017 Q-School)
Jason Weston – relegated at the first avenue 

 
2016 
Fang Xiongman 
Christopher Keogan 

Cao Yupeng 
Chen Zhe 
Michael Georgiou 
John Astley 
Alex Borg 
David John 
Craig Steadman 
Jamie Curtis-Barrett 
Ian Preece 
Adam Duffy 



2017

​Allan Taylor

Ashley Hugill

Lukas Kleckers

Billy Castle

Paul Davison

Duane Jones

Chen Zifan

Sanderson Lam

Zhang Yong

Sean O'Sullivan

Joe Swail

Martin O'Donnell



​Some notes...

​It appears that if you qualify from Q-School, the odds are stacked against you surviving on the tour. Of the 51 expired tour cards from 2011-2015 (not including Spick) 28 of them - over half, were relegated straight away.


4 of the 12 graduates from 2017 will be making their professional debuts on tour. In total, since the introduction of this event in 2011, 29 of the 76 tour cards dished out have gone to brand new professionals. These rookies are listed above in blue.


A few players have graduated more than once from Q-School, although Paul Davison made history this week by becoming the first player to qualify from QS on three separate occasions (2012, 2015, 2017).


With a new 'Challenge Tour' being introduced in the near future, it is uncertain how that will affect numbers for Q-School, and how many spots will be available in editions to come.


What are your thoughts on Q-School? Does it work; do you think it is fair?



Written and published by Michael Day on the 21st May 2017