WPBSA takes women’s organisation under its wing

The World Ladies Billiards and Snooker Association (WLBSA) has rebranded as World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) and become a subsidiary of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) in an effort to boost development of the women’s game.

The newly named WLBS will work to restructure ladies snooker in an effort to ensure that events and governance both fall in line with WPBSA process. The organisation plans to work with national governing bodies to provide a fuller calendar of events and establish a fair rankings system for female players around the world.

Former WLBSA board members will retain their positions within the restructured WLBS. In addition, WPBSA vice-chairman Nigel Mawer will assume responsibility for discipline and governance, while Jason Ferguson, WPBSA chairman and World Snooker director, will assist the board in an advisory role.

The new WLBS will focus on development areas such as increasing female participation in the sport, as well as working to attract more female referees and coaches.

“I am looking forward to a bright future for ladies billiards and snooker,” WLBS president Many Fisher said: “These are two of the few sports where gender is no barrier and there is no reason why women can't compete at the highest level, alongside men.”

Ferguson added: “There should be no boundaries to participate in sport. As snooker’s world governing body, we have a responsibility to provide opportunity for all. There is a demand for ladies snooker and there is no reason why ladies can’t compete at the highest standard. I am delighted to see this latest development coming together.”

The WLBS also said it plans to launch its new calendar for the 2016-17 season at the World Championship in Sheffield, England, in April next year.