World champion Judd Trump is among the snooker stars taking part in the Championship League on June 1, when the sport resumes ©Getty Images

The world's top snooker players are set to take part in a new-look tournament behind closed doors on June 1, as the sport resumes following its shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Championship League will be a non-ranking tournament, however the event, snooker's first since the sport's shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, has attracted top names including world champion Judd Trump, plus a host of players from the top 16 including Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson.

It will take place at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes in England, with the venue selected as it has on-site accommodation.

The tournament is likely to be the first elite sporting event staged in the country, with the United Kingdom Government not allowing any major sports events to take place until that date at the earliest, as part of its gradual easing of lockdown restrictions.

It looks on course to go ahead as scheduled, from June 1 to 11, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced at today's UK Government daily briefing that the country is likely to move to its next phase of lockdown, which permits elite sport to take place, on that date.

The tournament will be played behind closed doors and all players and tournament staff and officials will be tested for coronavirus before entering the venue.

They will then self-isolate until the results of their test are known.

Other measures in place during the event include social distancing, with players sitting at least two metres apart during matches, players using hand sanitiser before matches and handshakes being avoided.

Referees will also aim to maintain social distancing from players as much as possible during play.

The tournament will feature 64 players participating and over the course of the first eight days of the event group matches will take place.

Players are split into 16 groups of four with all matches the best of four frames.

Three points are awarded for a win with one point for a draw and the player top of each group after this phase progresses to the next stage.

Phase two, played over two days, sees the remaining 16 players split again into four groups of four, with the top player in each group progressing to the tournament finals. 

Finals day sees the top four players compete over the same format to determine the winner who will take home £30,000 ($36,000/€33,000).

The tournament is being organised by Matchroom Sport whose chairman Barry Hearn said: "During the challenging times of the past few weeks we have examined the opportunities which still exist and worked relentlessly towards the goal of getting our tour going again. 

"While most other sports remain sidelined, we are ready to return from June 1. This sends out a message to the sporting world that snooker is at the forefront of innovation.

"Our first priority has to be safety and we have had detailed discussions with Government in creating a set of approved guidelines for the event which will be rigorously followed. We are making this very clear to the players and everyone working on the event.

The Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes will host the Championship League from June 1, as snooker resumes following the coronavirus pandemic ©Getty Images
The Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes will host the Championship League from June 1, as snooker resumes following the coronavirus pandemic ©Getty Images

"We will be the first major sport to get back to live televised action in the United Kingdom. That’s not by chance, it’s because of the hard work and preparation we have done during the lockdown to make sure we are ready to get going again as soon as it is legal.

"Liaising with Government advisors, we have prepared highly detailed health and safety documents which will be followed to the letter during the tournament. These measures surpass any others made in any other professional sport right now.

"In particular, procedures are being put in place for testing players, staff and contractors, which ensure that we are doing everything possible to keep the event safe. Players who have any doubts about their own welfare can rest assured that all precautions are being taken.

“One of the reasons we have selected the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes is that the accommodation is on site, which means that once players arrive for testing the night before they play, they don’t need to leave until their matches have finished, and they can remain isolated within the venue. 

"Following testing, the players will remain in an isolated environment until they are eliminated from the event. It is a group format so the group winners will leave the venue, then come back for their next group when the process begins again. 

"Keeping players isolated at all possible times is an integral part of the procedures we are putting in place.

"These are challenging times but as always we are looking at the opportunities rather than the limitations."