How to Become a Snooker Referee?


A snooker referee oversees the snooker matches and ensures that the players abide by the standard rules and regulations of the game. Referees play an important role in almost every sport. They are responsible for encouraging healthy sportsmanship and ascertaining the fairness of competition. If any player disobeys the laws, the referee would halt the game and assign a suitable penalty.

The exact procedure of becoming a snooker referee differs slightly from one country to another.

How to Become a Snooker Referee?

To become a snooker referee, you need to register with the particular country’s national sports governing board to work as a professional referee. In the next step, you need to attend seminars, pass exams about snooker rules. In the US, this board is referred to as the USSA (United States Snooker Association).

Below is an overview of the job description, eligibility requirements, salary prospects, and other information regarding the profession of a snooker referee:

Snooker Referee Requirements

If you want to be a licensed or certified snooker referee, you will need to do the following things:

  • Register with a local governing board associated with snooker.
  • Attend a few referee seminars or clinics.
  • Clear a specific written quiz that evaluates your knowledge of snooker.
  • Referee or officiate a match properly with the guidance of the governing board’s experienced member.

Usually, you are required to pay a small fee for getting the certification of being a referee. To contribute to the snooker’s game in a significant way, most snooker enthusiasts and players prefer refereeing their match professionally.

Snooker Referee Job Description

Officiating snooker matches implies observing them carefully and proactively sending a signal if any violation occurs. In case of disobedience, the referee is required to assign the appropriate penalty as per the laws and rules of the game. Sometimes, these tasks pose challenges, and the referee has to depend upon the instant video replays to make the right decision.

Snooker Referee Industry

The game of snooker is carried out on a table that looks like the one used for billiards. So, snooker competitions and matches are often held at billiard halls. Snooker has gained more popularity in Europe, Asia, and the UK as compared to the US. So, the US-based referees frequently travel to other countries when they are into a full-time profession.

In the US, snooker tournaments and leagues are supervised by the USSA, an internationally-recognized sports governing body established in 1991.

Snooker Referee Salary Prospects

While there are regular salaried snooker referees, most of them receive earnings per day or match. Some of the referees take up work on a part-time basis as it suits their normal work schedule. Likewise, some others adopt refereeing as their full-time job. For this reason, it isn’t easy to estimate their average salary. Further, since snooker is played more in Europe and the UK than in the US, most websites state the snooker salaries and fees in euros or pounds. When converted to US dollars, a snooker referee’s average salary turns out to be around $100 per day, besides $20 being paid for expenses.

A newly appointed snooker referee receives almost $90 per match. So, a full-time snooker referee will earn almost $50,000 annually. However, the exact salary of a snooker referee depends upon the employment location and the league for which he/she is refereeing.

As of 2018, the top professionals among the male snooker referees received as high as $250,000 annually. Similarly, the best female snooker referees were paid around $170,000 per year. During international snooker tournaments, the certified male referees got an average fee of $5000, whereas the female referees were given fees of $2500 for the same competitions and matches. In regular snooker matches, the top-level male referees received $500 per match, and the top-level women referees earned around $350 per match.

Snooker Referee Job Outlook

In the US, snooker is generally preferred by international visitors and immigrants. Though it is not witnessing much growth in the US, its popularity is rising in most other countries, especially China. This is mainly because it is somehow difficult to broadcast snooker matches and tournaments on TV. Besides, the snooker supplies and equipment are comparatively costly, discouraging billiard hall owners from adding the game to their facilities.

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