Michaela Tabb
Queen of the Baize

Michaela Tabb is snooker's leading female referee. A former nine-ball pool player and referee, she became the first female to referee the final at the World Snooker Championship when she took charge of John Higgins and Shaun Murphy at the Crucible in 2009. She refereed the final again in 2012.

 

The mother-of-two from Dunfermline in Scotland swapped the blue baize for the green in 2001 and is now a regular on the Tour. She has also refereed the final the Masters and various ranking events.

 

Date of birth: December 11, 1967

 

Born: Bath

 

Lives: Dunfermline

 

Highest break: 26

 

Qualified as Referee: Class 3 in September 2001.

 

First Pro match: Main Tour, it was Ken Doherty against James Wattana at 2002 Welsh Open.

 

Most memorable match: Got to be my first match at the Crucible - Drew Henry v Mark King in 2003 - though the 2004 Grand Prix semi-final between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Paul Hunter was up there as well.

 

Most embarrassing moment: Cleaning the cue ball for Ken Doherty at the UK Championship in York, walking away from table and leaving ball marker on it.

 

If you weren't a referee what would you do: Anything to do with sales.

 

Which is the toughest rule to apply: Replacing the balls correctly after a foul. I'm all for using television replays if it helps speed up the game and gives confidence to the players everything has been replaced correctly. But it must be at the referee's discretion.

 

What do you carry in your pockets: Hankie, two ball markers and a coin - the largest I have in my purse at the time!

 

Where do you get your gloves: Sudbury's of Torrington - have to have them made because of my smaller fingers.

 

Interests: Most things to do with Pool, the family and playing poker.