MATCHROOM SPORT can announce an exciting new ten-man format when the 2011 Premier League Snooker season gets underway on Thursday August 18th.

Following on from its recent history as a seven man round robin event, there are wholesale changes to the format as each evening of the League sees a mini four-man tournament. Each of the ten players will compete in four events, with points awarded for frames won.

With three matches per evening - two semi-finals and a final - each match is the best of five frames with no dead frames played. In the event of a match reaching two frames each, the decider will be played to the rules of the hugely successful 'Shoot-Out' tournament, which means a maximum of ten minutes, a 20 second shot-clock for the first five minutes and then 15 seconds for the remaining five.

In addition, the decider will see all fouls penalised by ball-in-hand anywhere on the table, and a ball must strike the cushion at some point following every shot, or be pocketed.

The first four frames will run to a 20 second clock following several seasons at 25 seconds. The 'miss rule' will also be modified in that players will have three attempts to make a legal contact. If they fail to do so, ball-in-hand anywhere on the table will be awarded to the incoming player.

Points will be awarded for frames won; therefore the maximum number of points a player can gain are six in one evening and 24 over the whole qualifying section of the Premier League. By contrast, the minimum number of points a player can win is zero.

The ten players are seeded which has an impact on the opponents they face in their four participating nights.

Commented Matchroom Sport Chairman Barry Hearn, "Snooker has moved on rapidly in the last 12 months and with the success of events like the World Snooker Shoot-Out, we felt that the Premier League was ready for a major overhaul.

"We took our inspiration initially from our hugely successful Prizefighter boxing events, whereby a number of boxers compete in a tournament which starts and concludes all in one evening.

"For Premier League Snooker fans in the arena and watching on Sky Sports, the emphasis will be firmly on excitement and entertainment and I believe the new format will go a long way to achieving that goal."

The total prize-fund for the Premier League Snooker is £210,000 and gone is the £1,000 per frame system of remunerating the players.

Instead, the payouts are as follows;

Winner £60,000

Runner-Up £30,000

Semi Final Losers £20,000 (x2)

5th Place £17,500

6th Place £15,000

7th Place £12,500

8th Place £10,000

9th Place £ 8,000

10th Place £ 6,000

In addition, there is a highest break prize of £1,000 for each night of the League and a similar high break prize at the Play-Offs. There is also £25,000 on offer for a 147 maximum.

The Play-Offs will be played to the same rules and conditions as in previous years with the top four players at the conclusion of the League section contesting the semi finals. The semis will be over the best of nine frames with the final the best of 13.