Jan Verhaas was elected to the WPBSA board of directors for the first time in December 2016. Currently the most senior referee actively involved in the sport, Jan has officiated 17 ‘triple crown’ finals, including a record-equalling eight Masters finals in London.
Having looked up to legendary refereeing figures such as Len Ganley, John Street, John Williams and Alan Chamberlain during the 1980s, Jan took up refereeing in 1989 after a friend opened a snooker club in Rotterdam. The Dutchman subsequently qualified as a class 1 snooker referee in 1990, before going on to referee his first professional match three years later.
During the years that have followed, he has taken charge of finals at all of the sport’s most prestigious tournaments, notably becoming the first person from outside of the UK to referee the World Championship final in 2003. He has since gone on to referee a further four world finals, most recently in 2013 when Ronnie O’Sullivan lifted his fifth crown at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.
In recent years, Jan has also taken an active role as a refereeing assessor, passing on the knowledge gained from his years of experience to help the sport’s most promising referees improve and develop their skills.
Prior to becoming a referee, Jan was a process operator for Shell Chemicals throughout the 1980s.