Snooker referees earn a comfortable living, especially when compared to referees for other sports. Most snooker referees earn match fees and daily pay rates, rather than full-time salaries. Because of this, there is a significant range for average snooker referee earnings.
Snooker referees are the professionals who preside over snooker matches to ensure that players play by the rules. When a player violates one of the sport's rules, the referee stops the match and may assign a penalty. In any sport, the referee plays the crucial role of promoting good sportsmanship and ensuring a fair competition. The process for becoming a professional snooker referee varies somewhat according to your country, but typically always involves registering with the sport’s national governing board. In the United States, this is the United States Snooker Association.
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New snooker referees earn around $90 per match, which is around $50,000 per year if you work full time.
Snooker referees officiate snooker matches. This requires them to watch matches closely and proactively signal when an infraction occurs. When an infraction does occur, the referee must assign the correct penalty based on the infraction. Referees often face challenges to their calls and may have to rely on instant video replays to support the calls they make.
Although there are salaried snooker referee positions, most snooker referees are paid per match or per day. Because of this, it can be difficult to accurately determine an average salary for snooker referees. Some referees only work part-time, taking jobs when they fit into their regular work schedules. Others make refereeing a full-time career. In addition, because snooker is more popular in the UK and Europe than in the United States, most websites that discuss snooker fees and salaries list them in pounds and euros. Adjusted to U.S. dollars, the average snooker referee earns about $100 per day, plus around $20 for expenses.
For many snooker players and enthusiasts, a logical step toward making snooker a bigger part of their lives is refereeing the sport professionally. The process for becoming a licensed snooker referee varies from country to country, but typically involves these steps:
- Register with your local snooker governing board.
- Attend one or more referee clinics or seminars.
- Pass a written quiz of your snooker knowledge.
- Referee a match successfully under the supervision of a senior member of the association's governing board.
Often, there is a nominal fee for becoming certified.
Snooker is played on a table very similar to the table used to play billiards. Snooker matches often take place in billiard halls. In the United States, snooker leagues and tournaments are overseen by the United States Snooker Association, which was founded in 1991. Because snooker is more popular in the UK, Europe, and now in Asia than it is in the United States, U.S.-based referees can expect to travel regularly for matches if they choose to make this a full-time career.
Years of Experience
As a new snooker referee, you can expect to earn about $90 per match. Working full-time, the starting salary for a snooker referee is typically about $50,000. Keep in mind that this can vary based on where you’re located and the league you’re refereeing for.
The top professional male snooker referees earn as much as $250,000 per year in 2018. The top female referees earn only about $170,000 annually. For international tournaments, professional male referees netted an average of $5,000 in fees while female referees earned $2,500 in fees for the same matches. For regular matches, top-level male referees earned $500 per match while top-level female referees earned an average of $350.
Job Growth Trend
In the United States, snooker is primarily enjoyed by immigrants and international visitors. Although snooker's popularity is growing in many other countries, notably China, it is not experiencing much growth in the United States. This has been attributed to the difficulty of broadcasting snooker matches on television and the price of snooker equipment, which makes many billiard hall owners shy away from adding snooker equipment to their facilities.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials
- TsmSportz.com: Snooker Salaries in 2018 Per Match Fees
- DailyMail: World Snooker Settle Sex Discrimination Battle with Ref Michaela Tabb Over 1,000 Pound Bonus
- Refs.net: How Much Does a Referee Make?
- SnookerUSA.com: Official Website of the Governing Body of Snooker in the United States
- WPBSA.com: How to Become a Referee