Snooker is set to introduce an inclusive new tournament in September that showcases the world's best male and female players together in a doubles format.
The BetVictor World Mixed Doubles will consist of a random draw that pairs one of the top four male players with one of the top four female players, before the mixed teams go head-to-head in a round-robin format.
The tournament will be the first televised mixed doubles snooker event since 1991 in Hamburg, when Steve Davis and Allison Fisher teamed up to win the title.
Seven-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has confirmed that he'll take part in the tournament, with the 46-year-old joined by Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson in the men's category.
Each will be paired with either Reanne Evans, Ng On Yee, Nutcharut Wongharuthai and Rebecca Kenna.
Milton Keynes' Marshall Arena will host the event, scheduled to take place over the weekend of Saturday September 24 and Sunday September 25, with ticket details set to be announced soon.
The event will also be televised live on ITV.
The four pairs will compete over two days in a round-robin format, followed by the final with the winning team to be crowned inaugural champion.
Each round-robin match will be four frames, with all frames to be completed. Teams will score one point for each frame. At the end of the group phase, the top two teams will go through to the final, which will be best of seven frames.
The two players in a team will make alternate visits to the table (rather than alternate shots).
Session times are 1pm and 7pm on both days. Each of the first three sessions will feature two group matches, so all eight players will be in action. The final will then take place on Sunday September 25 from 7pm.
Who is competing?
The eight players taking part in the tournament are the top four ranked male and female players in the world.
Ronnie O'Sullivan - Current World Champion, world No.1
Judd Trump - 2019 World Champion
Mark Selby - Four-time Crucible king and current world No.3
Neil Robertson - The best player of the 2021/22 season, winning four titles
Reanne Evans - The most successful ever World Women's Snooker player with 12 world titles
Ng On Yee - Three-time World Champion
Nutcharut Wongharuthai - Won her first world title in 2022
Rebecca Kenna - Women's world No.4 and multiple title winner
A 'significant moment' for snooker
WST Chairman Steve Dawson was pleased to announce the tournament's plans this week, and labelled it a 'significant moment' in the history of snooker.
"This is the first time that a mixed doubles snooker event will be broadcast live on free-to-air television so it's a very significant moment for our sport. We're delighted to partner with ITV and BetVictor for this fantastic tournament.
"Snooker is a game for everyone, regardless of age, gender and nationality, and we have proved this with the expansion of our tour and of the sport at grassroots level. There is no reason why men and women can't compete together and we are thrilled to have - for the first time - four women on our professional tour in the coming season.
"The BetVictor World Mixed Doubles will be an opportunity for the eight players to compete in pairs, creating a different dynamic to the usual individual formats. It will be fascinating to watch both for the live audience and television viewers.
"We look forward to delivering a high quality event and we hope to make this a regular fixture on the circuit."
BetVictor's Global Sponsorship manager Sam Boswell echoed the words of support in his statement.
"We're proud to be sponsoring the BetVictor World Mixed Doubles in September, it's an event that showcases how the game is for everyone, and we look forward to growing our presence in world snooker by supporting this unique tournament."