August 18, 2013

Ref School: More from Roycey

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 4:24 pm
Ref School is proving a big success already.

Ref School is proving a big success already.

It’s now just over a month until the start of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic where amateur players from around the UK will be competing for over £6000 worth of prize money and the right to be crowned the third Snookerbacker Classic champion.

Every year I like to make the event a little bit different and this year a new joint initiative between myself and World Snooker referee Martyn ‘The Roycemeister’ Royce called Ref School is really taking shape.

You can read more about Ref School on the official page here and you can read more about the Snookerbacker Classic here.

I’ll now hand you over to the man himself who has penned a few choice wise words…..

In case it had somehow passed you by, the 2014 edition of the Snookerbacker Classic begins NEXT MONTH. It hardly seems like yesterday that this year’s competition came to a close and players have come flocking back to participate again this year.

As you will have also read I’m sure, we are also trialling a new Ref School initiative at this season’s event dates. This is your chance to see and feel at first hand what it’s like to officiate a snooker match. Whether you’ve done some refereeing on the side in your local league or you haven’t even watched snooker before in your life (if the latter is true I’d love to know how you’ve somehow wound up on Snookerbacker’s blog, but each to their own!), you are more than welcome to come and spread your wings at this year’s Snookerbacker Classic.

If you want to get yourself involved, have a look at the tournament dates, then see if there are any you would like to attend and let me know via [email protected] – you can even use that address for any questions you might have before you commit to a venue or any questions in general about refereeing snooker. Those of you who have already replied back to me with potential dates and venues, I will get back to you individually shortly and confirm attendances.

Even I was a shy young 18-year-old wondering where to go with refereeing once upon a time. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 118: if you want to have a taster for what refereeing is like, come on board!

What are you waiting for? See you at Ref School!!


Also a quick reminder to players with reserved places for the opening weekend at Gloucester that the deadline for entry fees to be paid is fast approaching. Click here for details.

June 10, 2013

Ref School: Roycey Answers Your Questions

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:00 am
Ref School is proving a big success already.

Ref School is proving a big success already.

Martyn Royce has been replying to all the early candidates for this year’s pioneering Ref School which was launched a couple of weeks ago on the blog here. Since the launch support has come in in the form of retweets from World Snooker, Michaela Tabb and Paul Collier. Martyn’s enthusiasm grows and he writes…..

So it’s been about a fortnight since the launch of Ref School and I have been taken aback somewhat at the popularity it seems to have already acquired. I have had plenty of e-mails from people all across the country expressing a desire to get themselves involved, all of which are bursting with enthusiasm and love for all things snooker.

Remember, it’s not too late to get involved. Just drop a message to me at [email protected] and I will get back to you. Don’t be shy – if you’ve always wondered what it takes to be a referee, this is your chance to see and feel it for yourself.

Those who have already submitted an interest in Ref School have been asking me quite a few questions regarding the course. I figured that rather than answer everyone individually, I ought to give a basic rundown of the most frequently asked questions received so far. That way, both those who have already registered an interest and those yet to do so can get a clearer picture of how it’s all going to work. Now, are you ready class? Then I shall begin…

Q) How much does Ref School cost?
Nothing. Zilch. Zip. Zero pounds and zero pence. The Ref School course is FREE for everyone who wants to get involved. The only costs you will incur are your own travel costs. You will even receive lunch on the day. All you have to do is turn up and then leave the rest to Snookerbacker and I.

Q) What is the dress code for Ref School?
White shirt (long sleeve preferable)/blouse, grey or black trousers, smart black footwear. No trainers, tracksuit bottoms or denim of any kind. No tie, bowtie or jacket required. In other words, follow the above, look smart and you’re on to a winner.

Q) What will the course involve on the day?
Ref School will primarily focus on the practical elements of refereeing. This will involve table positioning, calling procedures, setting the table, pre and post match routines, general refereeing etiquette and match analysis from a referee’s perspective. We will also have a rules and Q&A session at the start of every event in order to allay any on the day queries you might have. By the end of the day you will have the opportunity to take to the floor and referee a few frames of snooker after which I will give feedback and analysis to help you improve.

Q) What will I need to bring with me on the day?
Yourself. That’s all! The necessary equipment (triangles, gloves etc.) and lunch (as mentioned above) will be provided for you on the day. You will also have the opportunity to take away your own set of gloves on the day – more information about that will be given to candidates at a later date.

Q) Will I be an officially qualified referee at the end of Ref School?
No. The purpose of Ref School is not to examine people and give official qualifications, but to get budding referees onto the table, give them the chance to gain experience refereeing and try refereeing for the first time. Neither the Snookerbacker Classic nor Ref School are associated with any national or international governing bodies. If at the end you would like to take refereeing further I will be delighted to guide you towards the relevant people, but this concept is designed purely to give potential referees a chance to take part in refereeing competitive snooker.

Q) How many people will there be at each session?
This will all depend on the venue and number of player entries. We will have spaces for AT LEAST three applicants per venue, rising to anywhere up to six. These exact figures will be confirmed closer to the tournament commencing. Whatever size the group, we will be working together throughout the day, only breaking up to cater for lunch breaks. Further exact figures will be released to candidates closer to when the dates are released.

This should be all you need to know to get you started and whet your appetite for Ref School. Every single referee in the world started with a little bit of uncertainty as to how to start off. If you’re one of those people also uncertain where to turn, take your first steps with Ref School and see how far your ambitions will take you.

May 23, 2013

Introducing….Roycey’s Ref School

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:35 am

Eggs Ref SchoolThis 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 protected] 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 [email protected] – what are you waiting for?

You can also follow Martyn on Twitter by clicking here – ask him loads of questions. 

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