What recourse does a player have when a referee makes a scoring mistake in snooker?

Sports Asked on May 30, 2021

Today in the World Championships, the referee, Jan Verhaas, made a scoring mistake in the eighth game of the quarterfinal match between Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson. The error occurred in Wilson’s second visit to the table after breaking off. This is the way it went:

red     referee: one
pink    referee: seven
red     referee: eight
blue    referee: thirteen
red     referee: fourteen
black   referee: nineteen
red     referee: twenty
black   referee: twenty-seven
(miss)  referee: Kyren Wilson, twenty-seven

So, as you can read in the above transcript, the referee errored on the sixth ball of the second visit. He scored a black for five points, as though it was blue, instead of for seven points. This led to the overall point total for visit being two points less than it should have been. Although Wilson did indeed win the frame, at one point it could have made a difference in the outcome if Robertson had played perfectly.

So, in this situation, what are the player’s options when a referee makes an error like this? Is it encumbent on the player to notice the error immediately and petition for it to be corrected, or can it be corrected later? So, for example, once the total for the frame had been called, was it too late to fix it?

One Answer

Whilst the onus is generally on the referee to keep score - it is also the players' responsibility to ensure that the correct score is being applied, insomuch as it's actually in the rules:

Section 4: The Players

6. Scoring Responsibility

As well as the referee, it is the players’ responsibility to make sure that the correct score is being applied, either on the scoreboard or by the referee announcing the scores. If any player notices that the score is incorrect, it is their responsibility to inform the referee at the earliest opportunity.

"earliest opportunity" is a little vague, but I would imagine that the latest is the end of the current frame. I also seem to recall a player once pointing out to a referee that they had incorrectly scored their opponent's break, once that break had ended (though I can not seem to find it).

Answered by ImClarky on May 30, 2021

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