Why snooker is exactly the sport the world needs right now


If events around the globe are weighing on your mind, we think we might have the perfect remedy for you: snooker.

It might seem an unlikely source of comfort, but the return of snooker to the BBC is well timed. The year 2016 has been hectic to say the least, and we believe the UK Championship is just the thing to chill out to - here's why.

The commentary and coverage will soothe you.

Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis - (Martin/Rickett PA)
(Martin/Rickett PA)

There's really nothing like the snooker coverage. The BBC has long dominated the terrestrial offerings, with Hazel Irvine's soft tone and friendly demeanour offering the perfect welcome for tired minds.

But more than that, it's Dennis Taylor, John Parrott, Terry Griffiths and Steve Davis in the commentary booth, whispering sweet nothings of snooker into your living room. It's John Virgo punctuating the peace with shouts of "WHERE'S THE CUE BALL GOING?" as the white ball passes perilously close to the pocket.

It's just lovely, lovely stuff. Like a sporting library.

The maths and patterns are absorbing.

Mark Selby - (Mike Egerton/PA)
(Mike Egerton/PA)

At the heart of snooker is cold, hard mathematics, a labyrinth of geometry dictating where the balls end up via the cushions. We understand if, at first, that sounds stressful.

But there's a strangely absorbing quality to snooker, a rhythm and rhyme which, after a short while, can hypnotise viewers into hours of viewing.

Allow all thoughts of the US presidential election to be replaced with cue ball control and positional play.

It's low level drama, which is just enough to cope with.

A snooker fan dozes in the audience - (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)
(Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Don't let us undersell the sport - there's drama to be had, and plenty of it. It's just gripping in a different way.

Instead of a red card offence, a snooker player might accidentally pot the cue ball; instead of a penalty incident, someone might ask for a ball to be polished; where a 90th minute winner might be scored at Wembley, someone might calmly compile a frame-winning break of 50.

This is drama that knows you've had a difficult couple of weeks, and wants to look after you.

The sport has embraced walk-on music and nicknames, and it's ace.

BBC presenter Rob Walker - (Andrew Matthews/PA)
(Andrew Matthews/PA)

Potentially the best addition to snooker in the recent past has been master of ceremonies, Rob Walker. He's had quite the impact.

Players now often arrive in the arena with walk-on music, similar to darts, but without the atmosphere. It's as weird as it sounds, and it's brilliant.

But before they can enter the arena, it's MC Walker's job to bring them in, introducing the players with nicknames such as Stephen "On Fire" McGuire, "Gentleman" Joe Perry, and the ever-originally named, Alan "Angles" McManus.

Sometimes Rob makes them up, sometimes he sticks with the old nicknames. It's all part of the experience.