EASB Guide For Players Refereeing Local League Snooker Matches


Some tips for players refereeing in their local leagues

Author – Dan Lewis – EASB Director of Referees

Never call out the score when spotting a ball, until you have completed the task, as this is the signal for the striker to continue with his break/make the next shot.    Also, never call out the score when a ball is potted, until you are sure that no foul can result from any balls still in motion.

Never turn your back on the table (when the striker is about to make a shot) and always retain control of the cue-ball between frames and whilst it is in hand, until you are ready to continue.

You should always try to take up a position out of the line of sight of the striker & remain still whilst he/she is down on the shot. We consider the striker to be standing @ 6 o’clock, the referee should stand between 4 o’clock & 8 o’clock, whichever side affords the best view of any likely infringement of the rules. i.e. any object balls that could be fouled by the strikers person or attire, or by the path of the cue-ball.

Whenever there is a possibility of a “Miss” occurring, the Referee should ask the player to allow him/her to view the exact line of the shot & to take a mental image of the cue-ball and object balls positions. This is especially important where only a thin shot is available or the player is playing a thin contact (across a ball) or in any occurrence where the Cue Ball is Snookered.

All attempts to escape from a “Snooker”, must be played with sufficient strength to reach the ball on, either directly or indirectly, failure to strike the Cue Ball with sufficient strength to reach the/a ball on will always result in a “Miss”. The “Miss” rule and how to apply it within your league(s) is attached separately – this has been applied successfully in the SWDSL for 20 years!

In an Impossible to escape snooker situation, the only criteria is that the player strikes the cue ball with sufficient strength (in a direct or indirect line), so as to reach / contact the/a ball on – in which case no Miss will be called – regardless of the difference in scores.

A player can ‘nominate’ his intended ball by his stance, but should this not be immediately obvious then the referee should ask the player to “Declare” which ball he is playing (state clearly – Please Declare). It is a foul if the player plays without first replying to this request. The striker does not have to declare/nominate, unless specifically requested to do so by the referee.

When balls are almost touching, the striker is allowed to declare that ball but he must make only the thinnest possible contact when so doing. You only state “Touching Ball” if that ball is a “ball on” (which should be followed immediately by “Please Declare”), and any movement of that ball is a foul unless it moves because of the vagaries of the table; i.e. moves forward into the space vacated by the cue-ball or settles onto an uneven spot.

N.B.     When there is no Referee (such as in a social or local competition), the opposing player will be regarded as such for the purposes of these rules.   Remember that we play for fun as well as to win, so all decisions should be made within the spirit of the rules.

Revised August 2014 – version 4.