Hold The Back Page: 30/10/2010



It's a big weekend for...




Power Snooker


First there was chess. It was pretty dull. Then came speed chess. It was still quite dull.

Similarly, there was snooker. It was OK, especially when Bill Werbeniuk and Alex Higgins were matching each other pint for pint, pot for pot. But now there is Power Snooker, which, as the website says, "cues the revolution". Today the Indigo2 (Millennium Dome to you and me) sees the debut of this "high-octane phenomenon" – 30-minute games, 20-second shot clocks, powerplays, a powerzone and even a special red called the powerball. What else does the average unreconstructed snooker fan need? Of course, scantily clad promotion girls.

We applaud you wholeheartedly

Australian stereotypes

Some Australians are clever, very clever indeed. Germaine Greer comes to mind, and so do the wags who beamed an image of Ricky Ponting and his vice-captain Michael Clarke on to Big Ben this week – a gentle reminder to MCC officials that they should remember to take the Ashes urn Down Under lest the inexplicable happens and England lose. But some Aussies conform to stereotype and aren't that sophisticated, such as the marketing guru who decided to baptise the country's planned Twenty20 competition the, wait for it, Big Bash League.

And the stories you may have missed

Targeting Innovation

Shooting officials are making changes so the sport is "more exciting" at this week's World Cup final in Munich, with an eye on ensuring the 2012 Olympics is no 12-bore-fest. We're not sure of the detail, but a secret dry run on Exmoor this week yielded fine results, albeit to the chagrin of the locals. Actually, it's not that far-fetched. Several Games early last century included the men's 100m running deer event and the double shot running deer. And innovation has its place in sport – remember in Russia recently, the parascending donkey that caused an international outcry? Word is this was an amalgam of deer and clay pigeon shooting but the marksman's gun jammed. Munich beware, animal rights activists are watching.

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