Snooker referee; an unsung hero – Part 2

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The treatise regarding the unsung heroes of the sport continues.

Michaela Tabb – Queen of the baize, Michaela is the first female referee in the history of snooker. The 43-years-old English became the first female to referee a ranking event’s final in 2007 at the Welsh Open.

Setting up a number of milestones for the females in cue-sport, Michaela went on to take charge of a world snooker championship’s final in may 2009, thus becoming the only woman to referee the most coveted match in the sport.

Michaela prior to her refereeing career was a professional pool player; she captained the Scottish ladies pool team in 1997/98, and won two Grand Slam events, the Nations cup, European championship, and the world championship during
the same season. Nonetheless, Michaela did not just stop there as she moved on to win the UK women’s pool champion title and European women’s pool championship in 1997.

Following her successful venture on the blue baize, Michaela involved herself as a referee in the sport of pool at an amateur level. Encouraged by her husband to adopt refereeing as a career, she went on to take charge of the much
more important and professional eight-ball and nine-ball matches, and they were often televised.

Following her experience in pool, Michaela switched from blue baize to the green in 2001. However, Michaela was extremely lucky as she was given a wave-off from the compulsory five-year refereeing edification from the CEO of ‘world
snooker association’ Jim McKenzie. Starting her professional snooker refereeing career on a fast track, she was inducted into the sport in 2002, as she made her debut in the ‘Welsh open’ in a match between Ken Doherty and James Wattana.

A year later she made her world championship debut at the Crucible. In the midst of exasperation from her fellow referees Michaela became the queen of baize pretty fast. However in July 2003 Michaela and another referee Johan Oomen
were terminated by the World snooker association due to the diminishing revenues.

However, world snooker association reversed her termination two months later, after signing the new contract she moved on to referee the Welsh open final between Neil Robertson and Andrew Higginson. She refereed the Masters’ final
and China open final, however her honored distinction came about as she presided in the 2009 world snooker championship final where John Higgins beat Shaun Murphy 18-9 to win his third world title.

The mother-of-two, Michaela has set a milestone in the sport of snooker. Her most memorable match remains her debut at the Crucible between Drew Henry and Mark King in 2003. Interestingly Michaela left the ball marker on the table
after cleaning the cue ball for Ken Doherty in the UK championship. Michaela considers it as an embarrassing moment of her career.

Terry Camilleri – Regarded as Malta’s favorite snooker son, after Tony Drago. Terry turned a professional referee in 2001. The 37-years-old Maltese qualified as a referee in 1990 and supervised his first professional
match in 2001.

Terry has presided in various finals in Malta and China; he also refereed the 2008 world snooker championship quarter-final between Ali Carter and Peter Ebdon, where Carter scored his maximum break.

However, the final match of the Malta cup 2007 between Shaun Murphy and Ryan Day remains his most memorable match, as it also happened to be his first ranking-event’s final.

Malta is regarded as a snooker loving nation, as some Maltese players have made it to the world snooker scene and gained popularity. Terry signifies that there is much to come yet from Malta. Fan of Manchester united football club,
Terry is a devoted family man and snooker referee.

Olivier Marteel – Another professional snooker referee, the Belgian Olivier qualified as a referee in 1994 and made his professional ranking event refereeing debut in the 2006 Masters.

The 42-years-old Belgian snooker referee considers the 2009 European open final as his most memorable match; it was an encounter between Tony Drago and Roy Stolk. Olivier likes to read Medical books, watch Science fiction movies
and football.

Colin Humphries – Witty Colin is a professional snooker referee from Liverpool, England. He qualified as a referee in 1988 and by 1994 he had passed all compulsory exams in-order to acquire an ‘A’ class accreditation.

His first professional match as a referee came about in the year 1996 during a challenge tour match. However, a world championship match between Stephen Hendry and Nigel Bond remains Colin’s most memorable if not Stephen’s.

Leo Scullion – Leo is one of the most senior referees around, qualifying as a referee in 1984, Leo refereed his first professional match in 1999 during the old ‘challenge tour’. Amazingly Leo’s Crucible debut came
about in 2010.

His most memorable match remains the one between Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams in the UK championship, another match that Leo still remembers is his first semi-final of the 2008 Grand Prix between Ryan Day and Ali Carter.

Peter Williamson – The last referee on the list and one of the most experienced, as he first refereed in 1970’s. However he put on the white gloves as a professional referee in 1991, Peter has refereed in the semi-finals
of British and welsh open.

Peter has presided six 147s; nonetheless his most memorable match to this day remains the one between John Higgins and Anthony Davies, Higgins won that match with the help of four centuries and a break of 90.

A referee is an integral part of the sport, as it is his duty to setup the table, take the reds out, declare fouls and to monitor the match as close as humanly possible. However most of the time referees are left out of the picture,
which needs to be changed and they should get the due credits they deserve.


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