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Mark Allen blasts Shoot Out's ranking status as a mockery

By Frank Brownlow

Mark Allen has slammed the decision to make snooker's Shoot Out a ranking event.

Matches at the tournament are played over one frame, lasting a maximum of 10 minutes.

The event, which began in 2011, features a shot clock of 15 seconds for the first five minutes and 10 seconds for the last five, with players often running around the table.

Ulsterman Allen, who has won three ranking events during his rise to world number seven, said: "This is a massive mockery of our sport to have this count. The event is a bit of fun nothing else.

"You can't take it serious when it's 10 seconds a shot and not even normal rules."

Allen's views have been echoed by other top players including former world champions Neil Robertson, Mark Williams and Peter Ebdon.

But World Snooker chief Barry Hearn says the game's stars are being "snobbish".

"I can't let a handful of traditional snooker players take the moral high ground and say this is not proper. It's a bit snobbish," he said.

"Sport is about all the participants, not just the chosen few. There has never been a player in the top 16 that has ever won the Shoot Out. It's good news for those other players trying to make their way in life."

The tournament, which will take place from February 24 to 26, will be open to all 128 World Snooker Tour players this year, rather than the top 64 seeds who enter, as has been the case in previous years.

Belfast Telegraph


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