14.1.09

SOMETHING A-MISS

Willie Thorne was wrong to criticise Jan Verhaas, the referee for the Mark Allen v Ryan Day match at the Masters last night, for calling a miss on Day in the last frame.

Day was snookered behind the green and got very close to hitting one of the six reds.

Because he was close, Thorne asserted in BBC commentary that Jan should not have called a miss.

Of course he should. Nowhere in the rules does it state that getting close is the key factor. Day played on that particular red because he was trying not to leave a red on for Allen.

It was relatively easy to hit one of the reds, therefore Jan was correct.

I know from talking to the refs that they get very frustrated when commentators question decisions that they make when all they are doing is applying the rules.

It leads viewers who don't know any better to conclude that they can't do their jobs.

34 comments:

Wolfgang said...

There were plenty of reds to play for and Ryan wanted to hit that particular red really thin. So I too think Jan was right to call a miss.

But I am wondering about a scene in the other match (Higgins vs. Fu).
I'm not sure but I guess it was in frame 4 where I think Marco send the white in-off intentionally.

There were 3 reds left, two of them on the right cushion and one over the middle pocket but just far enough so Marco couldn't pot it. It was very difficult to get the white back into baulk and for me it looked like he did so by just potting it.

Maybe the ref should have called a miss there too?

Anonymous said...

Good call Jan.

Anonymous said...

Wolfgang

A Miss can only be called if you fail to hit the ball on. Any other kind of deliberate foul is outised the scope of the Foul and a Miss rule.

I think it was Ray Reardon who once admitted, years after the event, that he had deliberately gone in-off in some world final because it was his only route back to baulk. Nothing can be done against it - I suppose it's like all tactical considerations, do you lose the four points or leave a potential opening? The state of the scores at the time would affect the decision, of course.

Anonymous said...

Wolfgang

A Miss can only be called if you fail to hit the ball on. Any other kind of deliberate foul is outised the scope of the Foul and a Miss rule.

I think it was Ray Reardon who once admitted, years after the event, that he had deliberately gone in-off in some world final because it was his only route back to baulk. Nothing can be done against it - I suppose it's like all tactical considerations, do you lose the four points or leave a potential opening? The state of the scores at the time would affect the decision, of course.

Anonymous said...

The sneakiest foul I ever saw was committed by one of the commentary team last night. Years ago they used to hold the world qualifying at Preston Guildhall. The gentleman in question was in a tight game, about 6 all. He played to clip a red thin and come back to baulk. (This is pre miss rule by the way. He missed the red and saw that the white ball was going to hit the black which happened to be on the green spot. Quickly he nudged the brown with his hand before the white hit the black and pointed this out to the ref. (John Williams). Thus saving himself 3 points. Stones and glasshouses spring to mind.

John

SupremeSnooker.com said...

I cannot remember the last time a referee made a serious error during a match. Occasional, tiny errors, and sometimes not being strict enough with the crowd are the only mistakes we normally see.
Jan was spot on last night, and we are lucky to have such good referees. They do not deserve to be undermined by the commentators. Jan knows the rules a lot better than Willie Thorne.

Anonymous said...

Please BBC bring back Clive and dump Thorne.

Anonymous said...

Whilst Jan was right to call a miss under the letter of the law, I have to say that on first viewing, given the difficulty of the shot, I thought a miss call was a little bit harsh. In Thorne's defence, I think he was looking for a bit of common sense to be applied.

However (and I think JV may have pointed this out to WT on commentary), Verhaas may well have felt that Day could have played the shot harder, so overall a miss was fair comment.

Anonymous said...

Yes, please bring back Clive and get rid of Thorne. It's a complete travesty.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the old guard still don't understand the miss rule. It's understandable - I have an old coaching video where Dennis Taylor suggests missing's not such a bad thing because it's only four points, exactly the behaviour the rule was supposed to tackle. But I think that for players where this was a natural part of the game and where the old "deliberate miss" was extremely rare and contentious, the relatively new rule is alien.

Anonymous said...

i think it was the correct call and wt got it wrong. i dont think it needed a blog about it, but thats obviously your choice. if anything being negative about other commentators will be good for ce's situation

Dave H said...

I wasn't mentioning it in relation to Clive's position

I was mentioning it to clarify the rule for viewers and defend the referee

Anonymous said...

I wasn't mentioning it in relation to Clive's position

** i didnt say you were. i just commented that it will be good for ce's position, which is my humble opinion. if it is or isnt is open to opinion.....

I was mentioning it to clarify the rule for viewers and defend the referee

** i know you were. i didnt think any different.

7:48 PM

Sleepy Eyed Virgo said...

I take it it was Willie Throrne who did the dirty foul on the brown. It would be something he'd be capable of, especially in the past considering the dodgy betting stuff he used to do. Does anyone remember the story where he bet on a player to lose (Parrott?) because he had inside information about his cue/tip being damaged?

Anonymous said...

the story is in his book

Sleepy Eyed Virgo said...

I'm not buying his book! I read it online for free. I'd rather not give him any more money to wipe his bald head with.

Sleepy Eyed Virgo said...

I read the story online for free I mean. Not his book. I doubt anyone would bother uplaoding that in the first place. How did he manage to marry a Miss England though?

Anonymous said...

Not sure Willie did anything wrong regarding the so called "dodgy" bet on the match where Parrot had to use a strange cue.
He put his money down and lost it, and now he mentions this in after dinner speeches and in his book as well.
He gave an opinion last night which is more than Dennis T would have done and the shot was not easy.
Willie may have been wrong though (I would have called a miss.....just) but thats a matter of opinion and referees do have the facility to use common sense, or else we could train a monkey to do the job.

Anonymous said...

a big factor in the calling of a miss from a difficult snooker is whether there was an easier escape to avoid playing a foul. If the easiest escape is not attempted a miss should always be called.
John H

Donal said...

I live in Canada where the only way I can watch snooker is by downloading it from the internet. Sometimes I don't get around to watching a match until a couple of days after it's been played. Therefore, I would really appreciate it if you could indicate in the heading of your blog posts whether the following text contains 'spoilers'. Keep up the great work.

Sleepy Eyed Virgo said...

Donald, to be honest, during tournaments, most blog posts would contain spoilers. You probably should quickly scroll down to the bottom of the page and work your way up, stopping at a date where you have watched the matches.

Nice to see a fan from Canada though. Perhaps there is some way of hacking the bbc internet feed so you can view it abroad? Or can you watch live online some other way? I'm sure it's possible, not sure if snooker is popular enough for someone to have bothered to make a feed. Although I would never have thought that matches would be available to download so maybe it is more popular than I thought!

Lets get the boys on the baize! Yaaay! Woohoo! said...

Being a referee is tough work. I've noticed Jan has been coughing a lot the past few years. Is he ok? As Willie T himself says, he's one of our best referees.

Whilst I appreciate and somewhat admire them, what makes someone want to be a referee? It's like being a butler. True, you get to watch the match close up, but is the enjoyment dulled by the fact you have to keep getting the balls out and keeping score? And you have to stand. I hate setting up the balls, that must get so boring doing it again and again, and then your not even setting it up for yourself, it's for two other muppets.

Btw is it actually a referee's job to put away the rest etc? Do you think a player is being rude leaving it to the ref, or are they just concentrating on potting the balls?

Maybe, to liven the game up a bit, the players should take it in turns to set up the table. Or they could be butler to each other. Not doing actual refereeing work, but the easy stuff like getting the long tackle out for the other player when needed etc. The real ref would do the scoring and cleaning of the white, because the players would probably drop the ball.

What happened to Colin Brindead by the way? He used to be my favourite. Quiet but wise. Although they are all quiet really. Apart from Jan coughing, and when Michaela yelped in some Ding v Higgins match. That was so funny. Aryan Williams is my new favourite now though, since Colin seems to have retired.

Dave, you should do profiles on the refs. Maybe you already have though. You could ask them questions such as:

1. Favourite food/book/film/player/actor/actress
2. Quiet night in or night out
3. Ronnie or Steven
4. Best moment of career
5. Most embarrassing moment (Michaela was asked this a while ago on tv, think she said something boring, but she can change it to her yelp now)
6. Nicest/rudest/most arrogant player
7. Ray Stubbs or John Parrot
8. John Parrot or John Prescott
9. John Prescott or Jonathan Porrit
10. Michaela or Hazel
11. Daddy or chips.

And you can ask Aryan if he has any tips for cleaning glasses. Mine always get dirty, and he might have a few tricks up his sleeve seeing as he has to clean balls all the time and because he also has glasses.

Donal said...

@Sleepy Eyed Virgo

I haven't found any way to hack the BBC's online feed, and even if I did, it wouldn't be much use to me because of the time difference, i.e. I'm in work while the matches are being played.

My only option is to download the matches via BitTorrent, which means I generally get to see the matches (at the earliest) 24 hours after they're played.

Although I could avaoid the snooker blog completely during tournaments in order to avoid spoilers, it doesn't seem like a huge effort for the author to just append "(spoilers)" to any posts that contain information about the result of a match.

Anonymous said...

People,

I'm a fellow referee of Jan's and would like to point out the following: the miss rule only states that the player shall to the best of his abilities endeavour to hit the ball on.

That's the miss rule, no more, no less. What I think people often confuse it with is what the PLAYERS conceive the miss rule to be: I'll do my best to hit the ball on AND not leave my opponent a chance.

I restate...the miss rule only says you should do your best to hit the ball on, it doesn't mention anything about keeping it "safe".

In Ryan's case I think Jan was spot on as well. Going for a loose red, rather than for a pack of 6 reds means he's got way less to go for so regardless of how close he'd get it's more likely to be a miss than anything else.

Cheers,
Jurgen.

stuartfanning said...

Willie Thorne loves to criticize but holds grudges if he is the subject of mild criticism. Hence him not being prepared to work with Clive Everton on commentary because of a mild rebuke from Clive on his broadcasting technique.

jamie said...

Why are people getting at Thorne, I think Jan was right looking but at the time I agreed with Willie. I think this piece is a dig at Thorne as hes there and Everton is not. Also why do people keep saying Clive and Willie don't get on there is no evidence for this.

Dave H said...

Well you're wrong

It's a defence of a very good referee

stuartfanning said...

What you've never noticed that Everton & Thorne haven't been in the same commentary box for years Jamie?

Gary M said...

"Nowhere in the rules does it state that getting close is the key factor"

Dave as you will be aware nowhere does it also state you must hit the ball. I must say Dave in my opinion you are wrong with this one. I think Jan was incorrect in his call of miss. Stretching, with the Spider and with the cue ball close to the cushion it was very difficult to just an the angle even if playing into the main body of the other reds. Ryan played a great shot, reached the balls and missed the ball by a millimetre.

The WSA have taken the rules entirely out of context. As I qualified referee myself it is the refs assesement if the player has to the best of his ability tried to hit the ball on. It is now the case that you MUST hit the ball on.

This situation leads down into the amateur game when everyone who plays sees this on the TV and then incorrectly thinks when playing against their friend, in the local league or club handicap that every failure to hit a ball on is a miss.

The rule is needed but it has been taken too far and surely a better alternative exists. I watched a PIOS event in Pontins where the player was missing a ball by a millimetre upteen times and gave away about 70 odd in fouls and yet the ref continues farscially to call a miss. Clearly the player is not either missing intentionally and is just to the best of his ability trying to hit the ball. This is why this rule is now interpreted wrongly as per the way it was supposed to have been.

Anonymous said...

Wliie and Clive do NOT get on at all and will NEVER be heard in tandem as a commentary team unless forced to kicking and screaming by the BBC or Sky.
This is no secret in the sport and there is palpably no love lost between them.
Even David Hendon could probably confirm this without giving away any trade secrets.

Sleepy Eyed Virgo said...

Having worked with both, I can confirm that Willie and Clive do not get on.

I'm not John Virgo though, even though my nickname suggests otherwise. But I do always look and sound like I've just woken up.

jamie said...

Wrong about what? Im entitled to my view as much as Willie is. Im not attacking Verhaas I think he is best referee out there. However mistakes can be made and Willie is allowed to say what he feels, otherwise what is the point. As for Willie and Clive I thought they were not paired together as they were both seen as lead commentator in the way barry davies and john motson are and you wouldnt pair them for a football match. Getting close was not the issue here it was the difficulty of the escape that made it a wrong call I felt. I like this blog Dave but you cant say my view is wrong any more than I can about yours this is not a right or wrong issue.

Dave H said...

You were wrong to state that I wrote the post as a 'dig at Willie because Clive isn't there'

It was nothing to do with that

jamie said...

Okay sorry for having at go. Although like someone else said did it really need a blog post. It was not like Thorne said anything riduclous and you could see Day was not that impressed. Other commentators have questioned referees before. I understand you making a defence of the ref, but Thorne did say how much he rated Jan as well.