michaela tabb
Michaela Tabb will take charge of the Betfred.com World Championship final for the second time next month.


Pic: Michael Cullen/irishphoto.org


Scotland's 44-year-old Tabb, snooker's top female official, will referee the final at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield on May 6 and 7.


Tabb has refereed professional snooker since 2001, and officiated the world final for the first time in 2009 when John Higgins beat Shaun Murphy 18-9.


"I was absolutely elated when I found out I was doing it again this year," she said. "I loved it when I did the final in 2009. It went really well for me without any mistakes so I just hope it will be the same this time.


"It's such a huge tournament with a lot of history and potentially hundreds of millions of people watching on television. And there's no venue like the Crucible in terms of the atmosphere. When it falls silent it is so intense.


"The good thing about the Crucible is that once you get to the semi-finals and the one table set-up, you breathe a sigh of relief because there is so much more room to move around. In the early rounds it's really difficult because it is so tight for space.


"Sometimes you have to stand in the wrong place because you've just got no choice, otherwise you'd bump into a wall or one of the cameramen. Once you get to the one table set-up it's much easier to concentrate on the match as you have to think less about your position."


Tabb is one of the most successful female officials in sport, and has paved the way for more female snooker referees, including China's Zhu Ying who has established herself on the pro circuit this season.


"It's amazing to see the difference between now and how things were when I started, when refereeing was dominated by men, and I'm very proud of the part I have played in that," Tabb added.


The Betfred.com World Championship runs from April 21 to May 7 and will feature 32 of the world's best players battling for prize money of £1.1million.


Tickets for selected sessions are still on sale - BOOK NOW by calling 0844 6565 147 or visiting sheffieldtheatres.co.uk


For fans who are looking for an extra special experience at the Crucible, there are also outstanding Premium and Hospitality packages available.


The Hospitality Package includes a ticket to a session of your choice to the final (subject to availability). THE FINAL IS SOLD OUT SO THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO BUY A TICKET. It also includes a two-course meal with drinks, an appearance from a snooker legend and much more! Packages are priced at £200 per person per session, for further information call Frank Smith on 01277 359925 or email frank.smith@matchroom.com


The Premium Package allows fans to benefit from an exclusive bar area within the Crucible Theatre, a picnic box with complimentary drink on arrival and a goody bag with a commentary earpiece, a souvenir programme and a poster. The cost is just £40 per person per session (tickets should be purchased separately). The packages are expected to sell quickly so BOOK NOW by calling 0844 6565147.