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11-02-2004, 04:44 PM
The 2004 IBSF World Snooker Championships will be the final IBSF Championships in the tenure of Finland's Anthony Hull as president, though in his final annual report, of which ibsf.org publishes online here, Mr. Hull talks about his confidence that the IBSF will continue to grow ever stronger and how honoured he has been to have held the position for five years.

IBSF PRESIDENT'S REPORT 2003-2004

1 November 2004


The past year has seen the IBSF steadily moving forward in terms of promotion, events and sponsorship and even though we have had negative affects from the World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS) issue, I am confident that the Federation will continue to grow stronger in all areas.

The very fact that we have forty-one countries entered in this year's Championship, with no less than one-hundred-and-sixty-eight players taking part, tells its own story.

I have always said that every member country should be ready to send in their thoughts on any issue they wish to the board, and by doing so help improve our organisation. I am saddened and concerned therefore by the negative activities by some of our Membership.

In reply to certain accusations of the IBSF board allowing our Federation's standing as a world body to be questioned, I am bound to comment that we have never created a policy to isolate the IBSF from other organisations and have constantly sought co-operation from others to take our sport forward. I will leave it however until the AGM to discuss the activities of your board, when every issue can be qualified, and you may make your own judgement on the way we have dealt with the affairs of the Federation and the progress it has made.

There are fortunately a number of good and competent people within the IBSF, whose standards will always put the rights of the IBSF Membership and our sport first, ensuring our certain future growth.

WCBS

As you will all know, the arbitration taken out by the IBSF against the WCBS, ended with a judgment against our Federation. After reviewing the documents on many occasions, information available and seeking outside advice, I am still at a loss how such a decision could have been made.

I would ask you to remember that Mr. W. Y. Chin, a professional and highly experienced arbitrator, has put an enormous amount of time and energy to uphold the rights of the Federation, and I send him my sincere thanks for his loyal and unflinching service to the IBSF. I would also thank Sindhu Pulsirivong for his firm support and hard work over this issue.

It is also my opinion that the work and effort put in on your behalf for these matters has not been wasted, as it shows very clearly that the board have done their job by looking after your rights, even to the lengths of being accused otherwise. As always with hindsight, certain things could have been approached in a slightly different way but the decisions and reasoning behind the situation have been absolutely correct, and I would without hesitation do the same all over to defend the IBSF, its Membership, and our sport.

The board will now review the WCBS situation in the Netherlands during the forthcoming Championships, and make its recommendations to the AGM as to the best way to go forward on this issue.

IBSF DRUGS & ALCOHOL POLICIES

The IBSF is at present having a revised drugs policy being considered by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). An IBSF policy had been in place since 1995, but further to discussions with WADA, it was felt that to establish a consistency with other sporting bodies it would be changed to fit the WADA template for drugs control in sport.

The IBSF will discuss at the AGM a proposed alcohol policy which, if accepted, will be implemented in 2005.

WPBSA

The IBSF has always been positive in its approach to working with the WPBSA and has never been the source of any negative reasoning between our two organisations. The changes within the WPBSA over the past twelve months have however produced some surprising decisions from them, which simply have not been good for the image of our game.

In the early part of this year Bill Telford and I had a meeting with three WPBSA representatives in Leeds, England, which can only be described as a one-sided meeting because of their pre-set agenda which did not allow any form of open discussion or opinion to be aired by us.

The most unacceptable action by the WPBSA has been not to support the IBSF (the world governing body for non-professional snooker) regarding the WCBS and 2005 World Games.

The matter of the IBSF/WPBSA relationship and the future direction we wish to take will be fully discussed at the forthcoming AGM, but in the meantime the IBSF will continue to do its part in leaving doors open to enable a better working relationship between our organisations it must also be remembered from where past, present and future professional players do and will come from.

I was very pleased however that World Snooker agreed to our request and gave two IBSF World Under-21 quarter-finalists direct places on the 2004-5 Challenge Tour, which was certainly a step in the right direction.

The new Cheif Executive of World Snooker, Mr. Tim Howland, has been invited to visit the Championships in the Netherlands to have some informal discussions on how to go forward together for the benefit of our sport.

Sponsorship

A new increased sponsorship agreement with Milliken has been signed, giving the Federation extra benefits for the next three years (2004-2006).

The IBSF's official website, ibsf.org, which is now reviewing its first year's statistics, will apply a more aggressive policy in 2005 to realise extra income from the site.

Negotiations are due to take place during the Championships in the Netherlands with Saluc (Aramith), for the renewal of the three-year ball contract.

It should be noted that various sponsorship leads are constantly being progressed and I would extend my thanks to both Mike Peachey and Keith Horwood for their input, not only on sponsorship matters but also with IBSF promotion.

IBSF World Snooker Championships

The IBSF Championships have been growing from strength to strength with more players and countries taking part, something which bodes well for the future. I would like to extend my many thanks to Jim Leacy, Bill Telford and Keith Horwood for their work on the Championship Conditions.

2003 IBSF World Championships: A total of eighty-eight men and thirty-two ladies represented thirty-five countries in the Championships held in Jiangman, China. My thanks go to the Chinese Billiards & Snooker Association (CBSA) who did a magnificent job in hosting the event, with every effort made by them to look after their guests.

The CBSA should be commended for taking on the hosting of these Championships at the request of the IBSF, to assist in our last chance efforts to promote billiard sports to the Chinese Olympic Committee representative before the final selection of participating sports in the 2008 Olympic Games in China was made.

The 2003 Championships saw the inaugural hosting of the IBSF World Ladies Snooker Championship, which was won by Kelly Fisher of England who defeated Belgium's Wendy Jans 5-2 in the Final.

Pankaj Advani of India was the player who held the Men's winners trophy in the air, after beating Pakistan's Saleh Mohammed 11-6 in an excellent final.

2004 IBSF World Under-21 Championship: The Republic of Ireland Billiards & Snooker Association (RIBSA) were the hosts for this year's event held at the Ivy Rooms in Carlow. Sixty-four young players from twenty-two countries took part in what turned out to be a Championship with some of the highest standard snooker ever seen in this event being played.

Special thanks must be given to Jim Leacy and his committee for taking on the Championship after China, the nominated host, withdrew at the last moment. This did not however deter the RIBSA from providing first class facilities and wonderful hospitality a trademark of Ireland.

England's Gary Wilson became the 2004 Champion when he defeated Kobkit Palajin of Thailand 11-5 in a high-class final.

2004 IBSF World Snooker Championships: This year's Championships being hosted by the KNBB-Snooker will be the largest IBSF Championships ever held. With events for Men and Ladies, plus the addition of a Seniors' Championship, one-hundred-and-sixty-eight players from forty-one countries on five continents will be taking part at the twenty-two table NH Koningshof venue in Veldhoven, where no less than eight-hundred-and-sixty-one matches will be played over the fourteen days, under the watchful eyes of forty-eight referees

My sincere thanks go to the Dutch Association for hosting the Championship, which I am sure will be an outstanding success due in no small part to John den Hartog and his hard working committee.

Future Championships: The 2005 IBSF World Championships are scheduled to be held in Pakistan by the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), who wish to assure member countries that their security will be the top priority. A delegation from the PBSA will be coming to the Netherlands to discuss all issues.

The future championship calendar will be discussed by the board and recommendations made to the AGM.

I would like to mention that the IBSF World Under-21 Championship for 2005 is open for hosting and that any member wishing to hold this Championship should contact the IBSF secretary.

IBSF World Billiards Championships

2003 World Billiards Championship: Hosted for the Billiards & Snooker Federation of India by the Andhra Pradesh Billiards & Snooker Association (APBSA), forty-eight players from nineteen countries took part in the very successful event held at the magnificent Taj Krishna Hotel in Hyderabad.

The APBSA, under the leadership of Capt. P. V. K. Mohan, must be congratulated for the outstanding presentation of the Championship with all visitors being treated to hospitality and facilities second to none, which were in addition to the generous sponsorship each player and referee was given for their travel and accommodation costs.

I would also send my thanks to the sponsors and especially to Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu, for his solid support of the Championship.

The Championship played in the 150-point format, was won by Lee Lagan of England who beat home favourite Geet Sethi of India 6-5 in a nail biting final in front of a packed house.

It was a Championship I will always cherish because of the level of friendship and respect given to guests and hosts alike, and something I was privileged to be part of in representing the IBSF Membership.

Future Championships: Due to no member country being able to host the 2004 World Billiards Championship, the event will not be held. Fortunately though, following enquiries by our billiards committee, the Maltese Billiards & Snooker Association (MBSA) have agreed to host a Championship in March 2005, for which details will be sent out to Members at the beginning of December.

My thanks go to chairman Ray Habgood and the billiards committee for their work in promoting billiards and the IBSF Championships.

Referees & Rules

Further to the two rule amendments being accepted by the 2003 AGM in China, what can only be described as unacceptable activities, they created problems which included players being warned off from playing in events using these two amendments. At the world board meeting held in Austria during the 2004 European Snooker Championships, it was decided to provisionally withdraw them until they could be further discussed at the 2004 AGM in the Netherlands.

I am bound to comment that the behaviour of certain individuals over this matter, in completely ignoring the democratic process, created unnecessary bad feeling within our Federation.

I have realised over the years that referees certainly do have their special slant on the way they look at life, and on occasions wondered why many of them have not gone into politics. That aside, I would like to sincerely thank them all for the dedication and hard work that they have put into, not only the Championships, but our game world wide.

The IBSF Website

The ibsf.org website has progressed over the last twelve months and with 2004 coming to an end, statistics will be available to allow us to find more commercial benefits.

I do not think that there is any member who is not aware of how important the site is for world promotion. I would therefore ask you to send in any information about your National Championships or International Events, otherwise we will be unable to truly promote our sport on a world scale.

With the co-operation of the host country, it is anticipated that live scoring will be available on the IBSF website for this year's Championships in the Netherlands.

My sincere thanks to Alan Morris of the United States Snooker Association, who has and is doing an outstanding job in making sure we have a first class website to look at.

The Future

The IBSF has continued to grow and with good honest management will continue to do so, During this last year we have had only one black patch, that being the WCBS issue, which I am very confident will be resolved in the not to distant future. The present board has worked well together, with their priority always being to look after the rights of players and all member countries. I sincerely thank those who have actively participated in this, for their work and dedication over the past year.

There are always things that can be done to improve the Federation and I would say once again, ideas and suggestions from member countries are always welcome. It is your IBSF so take an active part in its growth.

With this being my swan song, I would like to say that the past five years as President have been a real life experience. It has been a great personal honour that I was chosen to represent you all during this period. I thank you most sincerely for the support and friendship I have received from many of you.

To Linda den Hartog, William Telford and W. Y. Chin, I wish to extend my special thanks for their hard work and understanding, which have been invaluable over the past years, not only to me but also to the IBSF.

Last but not least I would like to thank the players, referees and officials for their work and commitment, who all have been a big part in the growth of our sport. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours and hope that we will all see a world of friendship, brotherhood and understanding in the coming years, in which to play our special game.

Thank you, the pleasure has been mine.

Anthony Hull,