Michaela, storming the male bastion

Michaela, storming the male bastion

Michaela, storming the male bastion

Women have stormed into almost every profession that was once considered men’s bastion. From holding top ranks in armed forces to leading major corporate houses, the fairer sex have left nothing unturned as talent has taken precedence over gender. Michaela Tabb is one such example.

A former professional pool player, Michaela has been making waves in the World Snooker circuit ever since becoming the first woman referee to call a match in 2002.

In the last decade, the Scotswoman has been commanding plenty of attention, not only due to the novelty factor but for sowing the seeds of a new career choice among women in Europe and China.

“I started out playing pool and took up snooker to aid my pool. I didn’t play snooker professionally or competitively,” the 45-year-old told the media. “My husband is a former world professional and he was invited for an American televised pool tournament in Scotland and he knew there were no referees.

“He also knew that when you play for your country you officiate each others’ games and he suggested that I referee for them. I didn’t even know what American pool was so I had to Google the rules and they asked me to send my CV and I’ve been with them ever since.

“All their tournaments are televised and World Snooker officials saw that there was a lady officiating in cue sports. They were looking at changing the profile of their referring and they wanted some ladies and young people so in 2001 they called and asked if I wanted to join snooker. I said ‘yes’ and started officiating in October 2001,” Michaela said about her incredible journey.

Professional snooker is known for its strict etiquettes and rules, completely different from the somewhat loose pool. While Michaela made the transition to the grueling world rather smoothly, she did agree she faced initial resistance.

“It was different coming into snooker. It is more resistant and traditional. A number of people were not sure about a female coming into the game. I’m glad to say the players were very supportive and I proved myself. I had to work very hard to win everybody over because maybe they saw me more as a gimmick.

“So, I had to prove that I was up to the job and I could do that. It was very hard for the first couple of years. I don’t mind making mistakes now, but in the beginning if I put the ball in the wrong spot I would come off and think I had a terrible match,” added the mother of two who famously warned reigning world champion and the lengendary Ronnie O’Sullivan in last year’s World Championship final for an ‘indecent’ gesture.

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