So why should you join the IPA?
This is something we get asked all the time and so we thought we would summarise why we think this is the place to play top class tournament pool.
The IPA Tour is the home to the finest players in the world, both Professional and Amateur, the place where you will find a true test of your skills on the 7 x 4.
It is run by a team of professional tournament managers and referees with many decades of experience between them. All events are played in top quality hotels all around the UK.
In the 2016 season, an IPA tour member plays in two of three events depending on their status:
The Open Tour
First up in the Open event are the amateurs who play each other in a double elimination format (every player gets two lives) to find the last few players who will meet the seeds in the last 128. At this point the event becomes a single elimination event.
All tournaments are played on 20/23 Supreme Winner tables with sets of brand new Aramith Pro Cup Balls. The top table team pick a match from each session to be featured on the live streaming table.
This is not just for the professionals. Amateurs are featured on the stream also. The production values are very strong with full HD quality output and represents the best stream available for pool today.
The event is structured so you can move up through your ability band and are not thrown in the deep end with world class elite players from the start, however, you have the opportunity to “win your way” to them within a few matches.
The Amateur Tour
This is played to a single elimination format right through to the finish.= and the races are best of 13’s.
Again, amateur matches are streamed the same as the professional matches.
If you lost all your matches in all competitions, you would still play a minimum of three matches – so there is plenty of pool and experience to be gained for everyone.
Remember also that juniors and ladies can play for £60 in a one-off event, so that is incredible value at just £20 a match to experience world class pool. Even at £30 a match for an amateur man, it still represents good value to test the water.
The Professional Tour
This is for the elite of the tour only.
You can’t just apply to be a professional, you must qualify by virtue of performance on the open tour and earn your spot by finishing in the top 64 at the end of the year. At this point you can apply for professional status – the true elite of the sport.
Can you cope with the pressure of potting the winning black against the cream of the crop?
There is only one place to find that out.
Wondering what it is really like?
Then why not cast your eye over this article written by 16 year old James Hammond, following his first ever tour experience at the 2015 European Open at Warwick in August 2015. These are his OWN words and no edit has been made by IPA staff in any way whatsoever.
|2016 Prize Breakdown||OPEN||PRO||AMATEUR|
How the rankings work and turning Professional
In order to become a Professional player, you must finish in the top 64 in the Tour ranking list, after the final event has been completed at Brighton.
If you reach the top 64, the IPA Secretary will contact you by the 30th November, and ask if you wish to become a Professional player. All players that wish to take up the status, will be nominated at the following AGM and voted in by the current Professional players. It is at this point you are deemed to be Professional – not before.
It is optional as to whether you want to become Professional (assuming you are in the top 64), but any player who reaches the top 16 will not have such an option, and if they wish to continue playing in the following years Tour events, will have to do so as a Professional player.
The system works on 2 years ranking points (Open event only)
At the end of a year, the player with the most ranking points is the Number 1 ranked player. This is based on the last 2 years points accumulated. The player who finishes at Number 1 will start the following year as the Number 1 seed in all the Open events.
When we start the new year, the points gained from 2 years ago are taken away, so players start the new year with the points they gained from the last year only. The person with the most points from the last year may not be the same person as the Number 1 player.
2014 2015 Total
1 Gareth Hibbott 20 10 30
2 Neil Raybone 10 15 25
From the above example we can see that Hibbott is the Number 1 ranked player and so will be seeded in 2016 as such. But Raybone gained more points in 2015 and so with the 2014 points dropping off, will start the rankings as Provisional Number 1.