The blog for British Sports news – and plenty of football to boot

New Short-form Snooker – and a new form of pool

Posted by cjhall31 on April 9, 2009

World Snooker is set to trial a new, shorter format at the World Championships in the first major change to the rules since well,  ever, really.

When the World Championships gets under way in Sheffield later this month, there will be a separate tournament taking place to try out a new, compact format in an attempt to revitalise the sport and attract greater audiences. The changes are simple: instead of playing with the standard fifteen reds, there will only be six. Hence the provisional title – Super6s.

It’s hardly earth-shattering (it’s not as if John Virgo and Jim Davidson are going to spring out of an alcove and start offering a holiday in Mallorca if the players can pull off a trickshot that involves bouncing the white along the length of two cues, flipping a coin into a pint glass and potting the black all in one. Pity though) but this suggestion still threatens to create a rift between camps of traditionalist players and those such as Ronnie O’Sullivan who feel that snooker needs to change if it is to survive.

I say give it a go – maybe it could exist in the same sphere as Twenty20 cricket – but don’t you dare get rid of snooker as we know it. The world just wouldn’t be the same.


On a lighter note,  here are a few ideas for other briefer versions of sometimes dull sports:

Ten pin bowling: the pro’s make it look too easy so here are the new rules. You must order, collect and eat at least two burgers during the match – any delay this causes to the game will be penalised by 1 point every 30 seconds. You must wear shoes that are one size too large, and bonus points for successful moonwalking inbetween shots. Finally, every six turns, the players will not be able to use the ball they want because the guys on the next lane have nicked it.

Swimming: it’s boring, admit it. Like running, but slower. So here’s what we need: All races to be conducted up a rocky mountain stream. First one to reach the top and lay their eggs wins. Swimmers must avoid bears, rapids and fishermen. Bonus points (which can be redeemed by taking ten seconds off your time) for leaping gracefully from the water.

Long Jump/High Jump/Any jump really: Simple this. Replace the sand with broken glass and hot coals – starting at three metres and extending by one metre every heat.

One final thing: these are the rules for a new form of pool invented in the Nobody Inn, Newington Green;

A game for two, three or four. Players play individually, always, and are free to pot any ball on the table, red or yellow. The winner is the first one to pot the black. Standard pool rules apply regarding fouls. No chip shots. The appeal of the game lies in the striking a balance between potting as many balls as you can at one sitting, and avoiding leaving your opponents easy opportunities to clear up. It’s nearly impossible to play a snooker, as all balls apart from the black are fair game. Early confidence and strong potting can be detrimental, especially in a three or four player game, as it leaves fewer balls for the others to contend with.

Next time on ‘Britsport’s New Rules’ – Kitchen Cricket and Hunt the Aerobie


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Brits win around the world – Weekend round-up

Posted by cjhall31 on April 5, 2009

A host of different victories at opposite ends of the earth for our plucky Brits abroad today, as Andy Murray sealed arguably the biggest win of his career to date at the Miami Masters, and Jenson Button made it back-to-back victories with an unusual win at the Malaysia GP. Meanwhile in the Grand National Liam Treadwell rode 100-1 outsider Mon Mome to a comfortable win on his debut yesterday, and earlier today Peter Ebdon beat John Higgins 10-8 in the final of the practically ignored China Open. Honorable mention also to Northern Irish golfer Micheal Hoey, who won his first European Tour event in the Estoril Open de Portugal.

Murray triumphed over Novak Djokovic in straight sets (6-2, 7-5) to give further credit to the possibility of overtaking him in the world rankings before the grass court season starts. Trouble is, that plays havoc with my strong desire to see a Murray-Nadal final at Wimbledon, as you’d expect the third and first seeds to play on the same side of the draw. Might be a thunder-stealing semi-final instead…

Button’s win in Malaysia was one of the stranger episodes of Formula 1: the race was ended after 31 laps due to a torrential downpour. After waiting nearly an hour, race director Charlie Whiting decided there was no chance of resuming the race and awarded victory to Button. But, as less than three-quarters of the race had taken place, only half points were awarded. Nick Heidfeld and Timo Glock made up the podium finishes, with Lewis Hamilton picking up a point for his seventh-place finish.

In other news: Manchester United came from behind to beat Aston Villa in one of the season’s most exciting matches so far. With so much riding on the game – renewed pressure to compete with Liverpool after Yossi Benayoun’s last-minute goal against Fulham yesterday, as well as the desire to avoid three consecutive league defeats (something that hasn’t happened since 2001) – United were left in the debt of reserve team sensation Federico “Kiko” Macheda as the 17-year old scored an astonishing injury-time goal to complete a 3-2 win. The Quintuple dreams live on!

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Formula 1 video – Sebastian Vettel goes over the new cars.

Posted by cjhall31 on April 5, 2009

Check out this video for a neat explanation of all the new technical changes to the Formula one cars this season. Video courtesy of

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Shearer isn’t Newcastle’s (April) Fool

Posted by cjhall31 on April 2, 2009

So, it wasn’t the funniest, most superbly orchestrated joke ever to cross the world of football (well, apart from Eric Djemba-Djemba). Alan Shearer really is taking control at Newcastle United, but ONLY until the end of the season, they are at pains to point out. To me that means if this new messiah saves the toon, he will definitely stay. No doubt about it; mark my words, there will be a clause in the contract leaving the door wide open.

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England vs Ukraine – match predictions

Posted by cjhall31 on April 1, 2009

England are playing Ukraine tonight at Wembley in a World Cup qualifier – kick off in just under an hour, and I’m going to massively over-exert my clairvoyant capacities and predict the following:

England will win 3-1 (1-0 at half time)

Gerrard, Agbonlahor and Rooney will score – perhaps even in that order. At least one Beckham assist (that’s right, another cap for Becks)

Fate-tempter: Shevchenko WON’T score

And…oh, I don’t know…3 yellow cards for each team, at least one shot will hit the woodwork and the commentators will make a terrible April Fool’s joke within the first three minutes, possibly combined with a remark about England’s new kit.

How wrong can I be? Post your own predictions below:

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Posted by cjhall31 on April 1, 2009

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World Map of Sport

Posted by cjhall31 on April 1, 2009

Check out my new google map showing British sporting acheivements across the globe. It’s just a bit of fun, but I thought it would be interesting to see just how far-flung our sportsmen and women are all year round, not just during major events. More additions will follow soon.

Posted in Boxing, Cricket, Europe, Football, Formula One, Golf, Olympics, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Snooker, Snow Sports, Tennis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Shearer new Newcastle manager

Posted by cjhall31 on March 31, 2009

Alan Shearer has been named as the next Newcastle United manager, taking charge immediately until at least the end of the season. That makes him Mike Ashley‘s fourth managerial appointment in one season, after Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear and Chris Hughton, which must be some kind of record.

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The most exciting Formula 1 season I can remember – already

Posted by cjhall31 on March 31, 2009

Four or five years ago, I would have struggled to tell you what I really liked about Formula 1. I love cars in general, and so the idea of watching some of the fastest and craziest-looking vehicles race around should be a no-brainer. It’s glamorous, exclusive and dangerous – all things that make for great television.

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Blatter Separates Fifa from football logic

Posted by cjhall31 on March 6, 2009

Being Sepp Blatter‘s head of communications must be a constant nightmare, a hair-pulling, desk-pounding, heart-attack-waiting-to-happen bastard of a job. Imagine the exertion required to ensure that Sepp doesn’t spend all day, every day, exposing his laughably one-sided beliefs and shocking lack of knowledge concering the world of football. Maybe the answer is that he doesn’t employ any communications staff. It would certainly explain the regular appearance of comments in the press such as these.

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