This season’s Snookerbacker Classic will see a number of changes. There will be more prize money, an order of merit list and three new venues. There will also be Ref School, an initiative I have been discussing with qualified referee Martyn Royce, who has just finished a stint at Q-School.
Martyn and I would like to encourage new referees into snooker by giving them the opportunity to get involved in the SB Classic next season. We both share a passion to nurture a new crop of gloved-up, eagle-eyed snooker referees.
But enough from me, here is Martyn himself to explain everything and tell you why you should consider getting involved with Ref School.
“Being a snooker referee might not appear to be the most glamorous of roles. Without delving beneath the surface you could be forgiven for thinking it’s simply a case of standing around a green table with two other people wearing white gloves and taking balls out of pockets. But the beautiful thing about being a referee is that you don’t have to be any good at playing the game to don those white gloves and get involved. Whether you’re young or old, male or female, short or tall, anyone can be a snooker referee – even you“.
“My name is Martyn and I have been a qualified snooker referee since March 2009. Over the years I have refereed countless hundreds of frames and overseen dozens upon dozens of matches. I have had the pleasure of refereeing every standard imaginable, right from club level players simply out to have a good time through to the world’s finest professionals playing for the crowds and making their living. Every single shot in every one of those matches brings with it a different challenge, and it’s this challenge which I thrive upon as a referee. I love being the ‘man in the middle’ and being at the heart of the action, and I would love to see more referees enter the fold and take the stage themselves”.
“The Snookerbacker Classic has become an established series of fixtures in the amateur snooker calendar. With the 2014 competition comes a number of big, exciting new changes and the Snookerbacker Ref School is one of them. I will be leading a scheme across all the competition dates whereby you can get hands-on experience of refereeing if you’ve never tried it before. Everything from etiquette and positioning around the table, preparing the table ready for a match and pre/post-match routines will be covered. I will be there every step of the way giving help and advice as you take your first steps to becoming a fully fledged referee”.
“If you have the drive and commitment to become a referee, I have the drive and commitment to get you on the right track”.
“If you’d like to know more then e-mail me at: email@example.com and tell me why you’d like to be a part of Ref School and what (if anything) has stopped you from refereeing before. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, but you are welcome to travel to whichever event you wish if your initial choice is full. So what are you waiting for? Break out of your shell, sign up for Ref School and make your first steps towards the bright lights of the Crucible”.
So there you have it. A chance for budding referees with little or no prior experience to get involved in the UK’s biggest amateur snooker tournament. Who knows? One day you might be the man or woman in the middle on the biggest stage of them all. Don’t forget, the email to get in touch is firstname.lastname@example.org – what are you waiting for?
You can also follow Martyn on Twitter by clicking here – ask him loads of questions.