Challenge Tour (snooker)
|Venue||World Snooker Centre|
The tour has been revived for the 2018–19 season, having previously run between the 1997–98 season and the end of the 2004–05 season. The series was originally known as WPBSA Minor Tour and then UK Tour.
The concept of a secondary professional tour was first experimented with in the 1994–95 season in the form of the WPBSA Minor Tour to provide competition for lower ranked professionals, but only ran for a season. Due to over-subscription of the World Snooker Tour, a two-tiered tour structure was adopted from the 1997–98 season resulting in the Main Tour and the UK Tour. The Main Tour had an exclusive membership, whereas initially the whole professional membership could compete on the UK Tour and the best performers could earn promotion. From the 1999–2000 season, entry was limited to players not competing on the Main Tour, and from the 2001–02 season the UK Tour itself had an exclusive membership. From the 2000–01 season it was rebranded the Challenge Tour.
In its first season there were five events, but the number was reduced to four in the following seasons. There were two official maximum breaks at the UK Tour, both in the 1998–99 season; the first was made by Stuart Bingham against Barry Hawkins in Event 3, and the second by Nick Dyson against Adrian Gunnell in Event 4.
The tour was discontinued after 2004–05 season, but the concept was revived with the introduction of the Pro Challenge Series in 2009–10. Only four of the planned seven events were played before the series was axed due to low player participation. The 2010–11 season saw the introduction of the Players Tour Championship, a secondary tour comprising tournaments carrying ranking points, but at a much lower tariff than the major televised tournaments.
The Challenge Tour was revived in the 2018–19 season, consisting of ten events each played over one or two days, with prize money offered and a maximum field of 72 players (top 64 of the Q School Order of Merit, plus eight wildcards). The top two players from the Challenge Tour Order of Merit received a tour card for the following season. From the 2020–21 season, the Challenge Tour was rebranded as the Q Tour.
Order of Merit winners
|UK Tour (non-ranking)|
|Challenge Tour (non-ranking)|
|Challenge Tour (amateur)|
- "World Snooker Challenge Tour 2018/19". worldsnooker. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
- "WPBSA Secondary Professional Tour". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 28 February 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
- Hayton, Eric (2004). The CueSport Book of Professional Snooker. Suffolk: Rose Villa Publications. pp. Introduction, 166, 167 & 171–186. ISBN 978-0-9548549-0-4.
- "2000 / 2001 Challenge Tour". fcsnooker. Preston, Lancashire: The Frank Callan Suite. 26 April 2002. Archived from the original on 2010-10-10. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- Hendon, Dave (30 June 2009). "Pro Challenge Series Launched". Snooker Scene Blog. Snooker Scene. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Hendon, Dave (2 March 2010). "Pro Challenge Series Axed". Snooker Scene Blog. Snooker Scene. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "WPBSA Q Tour Launched". WPBSA. 2020-07-21. Retrieved 2021-07-22.