Colin Whitelaw(Credit: WPBSA photo – Colin Whitelaw with the finalists in the 2018 World Championship final in Leeds)


  • Location:
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Profession:
  • Retired Detective Constable after 35 years
  • Referee Grade:
  • Class 1/Tutor at both Billiards and Snooker
  • Highest Break Refereed:
  • 339 by Peter Gilchrist in the 2015 Scottish Open
  • Biggest Honour:
  • Refereeing two World Championship Finals (2016 short format and 2018 long format)


  • Colin was part of the team of referees chosen to officiate the 2014 World Team Championship Final, where India B beat India A 5-4.
  • Colin spent recent years working with Steve Cowie to learn the role of Tournament Director. He has been appointed as Assistant Tournament Director for three World Championships, including most recently the 2019 event in Melbourne, and as the Tournament Director for the UK Open in 2018 and two Scottish Opens (2017 and 2018). Outside of WBL, Colin has also been the Tournament Director at two British Police Championships.
  • Colin’s proudest achievement as a referee is being appointed to take charge of two World Championship Finals in Leeds. Firstly, the 2016 short format final between David Causier and Dhruv Sitwala, and in 2018 the long format final between Sourav Kothari and Peter Gilchrist.


  • Colin was born in 1961 and played his first local junior tournament at the age of 11, beating his younger brother in final. He joined the Police at 18 and continued playing for one of their teams in the Edinburgh League. In 1995, he joined the Edinburgh League committee as Match Secretary and has remained in this role ever since. Having participated in many rule disputes at meetings, he decided to become a referee in 2005, undertaking his Class 3 in both disciplines.
  • Colin has officiated matches in the Edinburgh League, Scottish national events and Pro-Ams alongside numerous World Billiards events. He progressed through his Class 2 and 1 certifications and is now a referee Tutor and Examiner.
  • Colin is grateful for the support of his colleagues which has helped him progress his Billiards career, including his mentor Bruce Duncan, Willie Craig and Peter Leslie. He also thanks Steve Cowie for his support and advice to help him learn the role of Tournament Director.
  • Colin says “Billiards has meant that I have met many great players from all over the World and have refereed all the top players from the last eight years. I still tell everyone I am like a kid in a sweetie shop being able to watch those players playing at such a high standard. I have the best view in the house being a Billiards referee.”