Senior official Jan Verhaas, supervising for the German Masters, was a conflicted man just moments before the big walk-ons ahead of Sunday’s Tempodrom final. His beloved Feyenoord were locked in battle with deadly rivals Ajax in Holland’s Eredivisie, but duty called and there was Maike Kesseler to support as she strode out to referee a first major final in her home event. The big Dutchman admitted “my head isn’t really here” after carrying the trophy out to the table, and about the time Rolf Kalb was winding up the preliminaries Ajax scored what proved to be the winner, leaving Verhaas desolate.


Inside Snooker were kindly presented with the most recent set of the WPBSA rules of the game this week by leading official Jan Verhaas.

While most of us think we know most of the rules, there are from time to time situations that crop up in a match where reference to the laws and consultation with referees is extremely useful and helpful to better describe what has happened, and the rules do get updated from time to time.

You would be amazed how many football reporters don’t actually know some of the key laws of football – or maybe you wouldn’t.

Clearly the donation could not pass without some good-natured stick being aimed at the media fraternity. Verhaas signed the tome: “Have a good read, you might learn a thing or two!” while top referee Michaela Tabb inscribed: “You might have a chance of getting it right now, then!”

No chance of that. What’s the green worth, again?

Referee Jan Verhaas has been busy planning his wedding, with the registry office ceremony due to take place in fiancée Alena Skarabahataya’s home country of Belarus in the summer. The couple plan to live in Holland after tying the knot, and Alena has been busy swotting up on Dutch history and culture as well as learning the language for the exam foreign nationals have to take before taking up residence in the country. The happy couple will get hitched in Minsk, in front of a small number of family and friends, including Verhaas’s parents who will travel from the Netherlands. Many congratulations go to both Jan and Alena, and we at Inside Snooker hope you enjoy your big day.