How much do Professional Snooker Referees get paid?

Discover the earnings and responsibilities of snooker referees, pivotal yet often overlooked figures in the game's integrity.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-05-17

Naim Rosinski

6 minutes read

Snooker, with its thrilling 147 breaks and gripping matches featuring stars like Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump, captivates millions of fans worldwide. Yet behind the spotlight, there exists a cadre of unsung heroes crucial to the game's smooth operation: the referees.

These men and women, often overlooked amidst the dazzle of the players, are the silent guardians of the sport's integrity. Their role extends far beyond merely enforcing rules; they navigate the intricate web of regulations under the intense scrutiny of global audiences tuned in to televised matches.

But it's not just about ensuring fair play within the confines of the green baize. Referees find themselves thrust into the midst of player altercations and, on occasion, even confronting unexpected disruptions like table invasions by protesters.

Amidst the glamour and tension of professional snooker, a pertinent question emerges: What is the financial reward for those who uphold the sanctity of the game? 

Let's delve into the earnings of snooker referees to uncover the truth behind their dedication.

How much money do Snooker Referees earn per game?

The compensation for snooker referees varies based on the level of competition they officiate. At the entry level, referees can expect to earn between £35 and £70 per game.

For referees within the World Snooker circuit, the financial landscape changes significantly. Professional referees start with a base salary of approximately £20,000 per season. However, esteemed referees like Paul Collier, Marcel Eckardt, and Olivier Marteel command higher base rates reflective of their expertise and experience.

In addition to their base salary, referees receive match fees for every game they officiate. These fees can amount to as much as £500 per match. With tournaments like the World Championship spanning multiple matches, referees can accrue substantial earnings throughout the event.


Image credit: WST

Do Snooker Referees have any costs?

World Snooker provides comprehensive coverage for referees participating in major tournaments. Travel, accommodation, and meal expenses are covered, easing the financial burden on referees during these extensive competitions.

While some referees choose to dedicate themselves fully to officiating snooker matches, others maintain secondary professions to supplement their income. This flexibility allows individuals to pursue their passion for the game while managing their financial obligations.

Understanding the Role of a Snooker Referee

Snooker refereeing is a demanding yet gratifying profession that demands not only a deep understanding of the game but also the ability to maintain composure under intense pressure while always keeping a vigilant eye on the table.

But what precisely does a snooker referee do? Referees undertake a multitude of responsibilities, including:

  1. Initiating Fair Play: Conducting the coin toss to determine the breaker for the initial frame and announcing subsequent breakers for each subsequent frame.
  2. Enforcing Rules: Adjudicating instances of fouls and "A Miss" situations, issuing penalties, and allocating penalty points as appropriate.
  3. Upholding Integrity: Ensuring fair and equitable play by judging actions as either conforming to or violating the rules.
  4. Attending to Player Requests: Fulfilling player requests such as cleaning balls and providing information regarding ball colours or positions upon request.
  5. Deciding Outcomes: Awarding frames and games based on the outcome of play and resolving situations such as ball swaps or calling "Touching Ball."
  6. Resolving Deadlocks: Nullifying points in cases of stalemate to facilitate game progression. 

The intricate web of responsibilities undertaken by snooker referees underscores their pivotal role in maintaining the integrity and flow of the game. And with such a comprehensive array of duties, it's no surprise that snooker referees command substantial earnings commensurate with their expertise and dedication.

Referees vs. the players

In contrast to the substantial earnings of top-tier referees, it's noteworthy to compare their compensation to that of the players. The winner of the World Snooker Championship, for instance, receives £500,000 in prize money, highlighting the disparity in earnings between players and referees within the sport.

As the allure of snooker continues to captivate audiences worldwide, understanding the financial landscape for referees sheds light on the dedication and commitment required to uphold the integrity of the game.

For additional guidance to elevate your snooker proficiency or deeper understanding of the professional circuit, stay connected with Stay informed and up to date on all things snooker with our comprehensive coverage and expert insights.

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Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.