Senior referee Jan Verhaas has been elected to join the WPBSA board at this year’s Annual General Meeting in Glasgow today.
Following the decision taken by Alan Chamberlain to step down from the board on medical advice, Verhaas stood for election for the first time. He received 14 votes in favour and 4 against.
Verhaas has enjoyed a distinguished career as a professional referee on the main tour for in excess of 20 years, notably having become the first person from outside of the UK to officiate the World Championship final in 2003. He has since gone on to referee each of the sport’s ‘triple crown’ finals on at least four occasions, including a record-equalling eight Masters finals in London.
In recent years he has also fulfilled a significant role as a refereeing assessor and as part of his new position, will play a key part in the advancement of junior referees and tournament officials around the world.
“I am extremely excited to be joining the WPBSA and would like to thank the members for the support that I have received already,” said Verhaas.
“Snooker has been my life since I first began refereeing over 25 years ago, but I am as enthusiastic as ever about the sport and have all of the energy in the world to get on with the tasks ahead of me in this new position.
“In particular it is an honour for me to succeed Alan Chamberlain, who played a key role in the sport for so many years and was an inspiration to me and so many others when I joined the game. He leaves a big pair of shoes to fill, but I look forward to the challenge and cannot wait to get started.”
WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson said: “I am delighted to welcome Jan to the board. He is a highly respected figure on the World Snooker Tour and has been a recognisable face to fans and players alike on television for a number of years.
“Alongside his career as a referee he now has a vital role to play in respect of the management of the rules of the game and the development of the next generation of referees globally.
“I am looking forward to working with him over the coming years and to the continued growth of our organisation.”
Steve Davis OBE was also re-elected to the board at today’s AGM, receiving 12 votes in favour and 6 against.