World Snooker has added the one-frame Shoot Out tournament to its ranking events for next season in a move criticised by some players.
Matches at the tournament, which began in 2011, are played over one frame, lasting a maximum of 10 minutes.
The event 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.
World number seven Mark Allen called it a “massive mockery of our sport”.
Former world champions Neil Robertson, Peter Ebdon and Mark Williams also criticised the decision on social media.
“Absolutely nuts. A huge slap in the face to any player who has actually won a proper ranking event,” Robertson said.
Ebdon said: “Somebody please tell me this is a complete wind-up.”
The tournament, which will take place from 24 to 26 February, will also 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.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn told BBC Radio 5 live: “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.
“What we are talking about is 128 players, the entire membership, a level playing field for everyone. It will make sure players are incentivised to enter and take it seriously.
“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 Shootout. It’s good news for those other players trying to make their way in life.”
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