Peter Ogburn Q&A
It’s been a whirlwind few months for Nottingham referee Peter Ogburn. At the end of September I was watching him referee the Notts Amateur final at Stapleford Cue Club and a little over two months later I was watching him on Eurosport refereeing the Li Hang v Shaun Murphy match in the Scottish Open.
I recently caught up with Peter to find out what it was like to referee his first televised match.
Question: Is this the first time you have refereed a match in a WST event?
This was my first time refereeing at a WST event although I have also refereed at two Q-School events prior to being asked to referee at the Scottish Open.
Question: How did you get the opportunity to referee this match?
I received a phone call from Jan Verhaas on the Saturday prior to the event starting, so on this occasion it was quite short notice, but being asked for the first time it wasn’t something I could refuse.
Question: What was the experience like?
Before I refereed the Shaun Murphy v Li Hang match I had already refereed six matches at the Scottish Open so I wasn’t really nervous.
The players were all fantastic, they knew it was my first event as they had never seen me before wearing referee’s attire.
Before I started my first match I received an incredible amount of help and support from all of the officials at WST, they are one big family and want you to be successful. Before the Shaun Murphy v Li Hang match I was shown how to use the Mic pack and microphone as I had never used one before (Thanks Carl Whitby) and I also received some guidance from Jan Verhaas.
Question: Was there anything you were particularly worried about?
First time refereeing a high ranked player live on Eurosport, hmmm worried? Not as far as refereeing the match was concerned but I had to concentrate a little more than usual to ensure I didn’t say anything naughty.
Question: What was the response from your family and friends?
I have received an incredible amount of messages from all over the world from friends/family and people who I have refereed with over the years.
Question: Did you have to take time off work to referee at the Scottish Open?
Yes, I’m a Business Management Information Analyst and I was away from the office for a week.
Question: Would you like to make refereeing your full time career, if that’s possible?
That would be a lifelong dream come true but I have to not only consider my own dreams I also have to consider the impact on my family as I would be away from home for weeks at a time.
Question: What is the best thing about being a snooker referee?
Tough question but I think having the front row seat is the best part of being a snooker referee and working with an amazing team of people from referees, tournament directors, security/media officers and the lady who sews the logos onto our shirts.
Question: What is your ultimate goal regarding refereeing?
A question that is always asked to referees and most say walking out at the Crucible Theatre. Before refereeing at the Scottish Open my ultimate dream was to one day referee a professional tournament, I have now reached that milestone so what next? Becoming a regular that is called on to referee would be a fantastic success and then maybe I would reassess my ultimate goal again at that point.
Question: Have any other referees offered you advice and support?
From my first time being a referee when living on the Isle of Wight many players encouraged me to go as far as I could. After re-qualifying a few years ago with Brendan Moore & Rob Spencer I have officiated in China where many referees from around the world supported me, especially Bart Tournel from Belgium who officiated at WST events before the Pandemic. More recently with two Q-Schools like I said earlier, all experienced referees/officials offer help & support in many different ways and without that I do wonder if I would be where I am today.
Question: Do you get time to play snooker when you are not refereeing?
I play a few frames a week these days on a Tuesday night, maybe one practice frame and two league frames. I spend a lot of time away from home so it’s not really fair to my wife and daughter to be out playing as well.
Question: Can we expect to see you refereeing at more WST tournaments?
Yes, I’m delighted to say that I will be officiating at the BetVictor European Masters which will be held at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes from 21st to 27th February 2022.
I will also be officiating at the BetVictor Gibraltar Open which will hopefully be held in Gibraltar between 24th and 26th March 2022.