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Jan Verhaas

Name: Jan Verhaas

DOB: 5th October 1966

Nationality: Dutch

First Pro Match: 1993

147’s Officiated: 4

Memorable Moments: Officiated four World Championship finals, All three of Paul Hunter’s triumphs at the Masters, becoming the first overseas person to referee finals in the ‘big three’ events.

Twitter: @janverhaas


Career Summary

One of snooker’s leading referees, Holland’s Jan Verhaas has come a long way since his days working as a process operator for Shell Chemicals during the 1980’s.

It all began back in 1989 when as he told the BBC back in 2006, one of his close friends set up a snooker club in Rotterdam:

“It was by chance that I started refereeing,”

“In 1989, one of my best mates opened a snooker club in Rotterdam and I began putting the balls back for him in the finals of their competitions.

“English referee Michael Clarke used to come over for our tournaments. He taught me the ins and outs of the game. I did my exams and that’s how my rise to the top started.

“I began looking after amateur matches, but I admired top officials such as Len Ganley, John Street, John Williams and Alan Chamberlain, and I wanted to get to where they were.

“They were on the TV and big celebrities during the 1980s and 1990s. I’ve been very lucky to have achieved my ambitions, but I did work hard to get where I am.”

Jan and Tony Drago at the 1995 World Championship

And achieve his ambitions he certainly has done, taking charge of four World Championship finals, six Masters finals and many others relatively early in his career. Particularly memorable for Jan is the fact that the first three of those Masters finals involved the late Paul Hunter who recovered from seemingly hopeless positions in each of them to win 10-9 each time.

Jan was also in charge for one of the most controversial moments in recent years, the infamous walk-out from Ronnie O’Sullivan against Stephen Hendry in the quarter-final of the 2006 UK Championship. As he later told Jesters Snooker, at the time he was totally stunned like the rest of us!

Jan at the 2010 UK Championship

During 2008 Jan experienced problems with his back which resulted in an operation shortly after refereeing the World final in May. Happily however these were soon resolved and he was since able to resume his refereeing career, as well as continue of his major hobbies, cycling.

Major Finals:

Event Year
World Championship 2003, 2006, 2008, 2011
UK Championship 2005, 2006, 2008
Masters 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010
Grand Prix 2004, 2007, 2009
German Masters 2011
China Open 2012
International Championship 2014
  • anonymouse

    how tall is he, 6 foot 5?

  • matt2745

    I’ll have that information soon hopefully, these refereeing pages will be improved significantly over the summer.

  • matt2745


    I shall pass on your message to him and hopefully get back to you.

  • Andrew Kinlan


    I have always been a keen player in snooker. I started playing snooker when i was 5 years old, and used a crate to stand on, so i could reach the table. My granfather thought me and in a small conservative club called the D.C.C (Dublin Conservative Club). As the years went by, i became very consistant to the game and played very well against the members of the club. I was the best player in the club at the age of just 11. They all wanted me to become a professional and be committed to the game. They would of sponsored me and members of the club would put alot of money into me. I used to get breaks of 80’s 90’s, and my best break was 102. That was when i was 12 years old with my highest break. I did listen to them, but when i reached my teenage years a drifted away from the game and socialised to much. Problems a home didnt help either. I played now and again but was not consistent. I am now 27years old and i regret not taking up that oppertunity because i love the game so much, and i know it was in my blood to become a world class player. I live in London now and play in the Putney Club where Jimmy White used to drink with his father. Steve Davis brother also used to look after the tables there and i have to say, they are the best tables i have ever played on. I still play well, but only getting breaks of 30’s 40’s, but if i put in more time it would increase. Do you think it is to late for me as i am 27? If so, i would love to become a referee. Sorry for boring you with my story but just thought you would like to know. Any information of you would be great. Keep up your great work Mr.Moth man:)

  • http://agroturystyka-kaszuby.com stediuk

    The informations about masters finals, when he was referee are bad… He was referee in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010…

  • Alex

    Stediuk – that is incorrect. Jan definitely did not referee the 2000 Masters Final, Alan Chamberlain did. That was the match where Doherty missed the final black for a 147. I am also not convinced that he did the 1999 final either – it seems too early for him. Between 1988 and 1997 the Masters final alternated between Chamberlain and John Street. I am not sure who refereed in 1999. All your other years are correct though.

    Matt 2745, he also refereed the Grand Prix Finals in 2004, 2007 and 2009. The WC and UK finals are correct.

  • matt2745

    Cheers for the advice guys, would be nice to have a full list but given how much trouble I had finding out who did the UK in 2005 I think I would get stuck fairly quickly.

    No idea on 1999 to be honest, I had a look but could find little.

  • Offer

    jan where are u ?
    you skip the final
    i was waiting for you

    you r a great guy and very professional

    keep going

  • Michael J Mc Auliffe

    About a month ago I sent an e-mail about my idea to make snooker a
    much better and honest game to the WPBSA and I din not recieve a
    reply,so I have
    decided to send this open letter to
    various media institutions and will give the first one to react the
    exclusive rights to my idea.I am fully confident that it”s going to
    blow the roof off snooker and only in a positive way.

    My name is Michael Mc Auliffe I was born on the 23rd of June 1958 in
    Cork city in Ireland, From a very early age I fell in love with the
    game of snooker.I must have seen every game
    since it was first broad casted on the BBC. Of course my heroes were
    Jimmy White and the famous Alex (hurricane ) Higgens.I remember the
    first time Mr Barry Hearn entered the
    arena to congratulate Steve Davis on his first world title. Who s this
    guy I said to myself,and from that moment I have followed his
    involvement as a sports promoter for the likes of
    darts , golf , and The Matchroom snooker players.When I heard that Mr
    Hearn was to be the new chairman of snooker I was delighted,because
    the game I love would be in good hands.
    The reason for my enthusiasm about Mr Barry Hearn goes back to the
    eighties in Holland where incidentally I have been living for the last
    thirty years. I was involved in snooker as a
    player and as an advocate to get the two organisations in Holland to
    affiliate with the WPBSA but to no avail.I enjoyed the sport and
    played it to quiet a high standard, ( armature champion 1984 &1985).
    I lost interest in the sport because of the lack of motivation shown
    in Holland at the time. Well thanks to Mr Barry Hearn the situation
    has changed and some old friends are crawling out of the woodwork
    to play on the green Baez once again.The new ranking system to my
    understanding gives everybody the chance to pursue his or her dreams
    and enjoy playing this wonderful game.Now ! I have come up
    with such a simple but extremely effective way of bringing a huge
    change ( the rules do not change) into the television and
    entertainment side of the game. I am like the guy that walked into the
    Coca Cola
    company and said CAN it.This idea of mine will also enhance the
    integrity of the sport and I know as a player will give peace of mind.

    Are you intrested..

    PS please be.
    Kind regards Michael J Mc Auliffe

  • james oliver hugo valentine

    I think Jan is a great official i am 22 and i watched him a lot I will see him when i head to the crucible in april

  • Alex Blakeley

    Jan will referee the 2011 World Snooker Championship Final and also refereed the final of the 2011 German Masters.

  • Kevin Watson

    Coul;d you please advise the list of all referees for the 2011 snooker championships held at Bendigo 2011.

    Many thanks,,
    Kevin Watson
    24 July 2011

    • matt2745

      Jan, Michaela and Brendan were certainly there while Paul Collier was marking. Will try to confirm the others for you.

      • Brendan Moore

        As you say myself, Michaela and Jan, plus Leo Scullion, Terry Camilleri and Colin Humphries. Paul was there in the office as tournament staff, not marker.

  • Frans

    Hi Jan,
    I have just see you contolling the match Mark Selby against Dominc Dale in the Welsh Open.
    Being a Referee myself for more than 40 years,I consider you as a model for Referees ,but to my astonishment I witnessed you committing a blantant mistake,when calling “Foul and Miss” when Dale was Snookered on the Blue near the Yellow pocket,with “NO ANGLE AT ALL”
    So much so that he had to go in the jaws of the Pocket.And he hit the object ball because at the third attempt you moved the cue ball nearer to the pocket
    The rule states clearly that in such occasions as the cue ball reaches the ‘Object ball” ( in this case the Red ) A “miss shall not be Called”
    Still you are one of the best Referees
    Examiner from Malta