Top Pool Player Boycotts Matches Against Trans Women, Igniting Discussion on Inclusion in Sports

After a recent announcement that transgender women will be allowed to compete in women’s pool competitions, a high-ranking pool player has stated that she will only play against biological women. Here’s the story. 

A Bold Declaration

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“I will stand up for what I believe is fair” – top-ranked pool player Alexandra Cunha has declared that she will not compete against any pool player who is not a biological woman. 

Dramatic Changes in Women’s Pool

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Cunha took the stance in opposition to a new rule change to the sport.

Last week, it was officially decided that the rules for ladies’ tournaments would be adjusted to allow transgender women to participate.

World-Class Player

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The 49-year-old Cunha, who is the captain of the Portuguese women’s national pool team and the fifth highest-ranked player in international women’s pool, explained her perspective to the Mail on Sunday.

Risking It All

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 “I’ve been playing pool since I was 17 and I’m fifth in the world but I’m risking throwing everything away over this because I hate unfairness,” she said.

“I recently played a transgender player and I was destroyed when I lost.”

Reaching Out

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She also made the decision to contact the organizers of the International Rules Pool Tour, a major international competition, informing them that she would not be participating following the new rule change. 

Standing Up for Fairness

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“As we live in a free world and I will stand up for what I believe is fair,” she wrote to the organizers, “I will not play against any player that wasn’t born a woman independently of being a first-round or a final.”

Not the Only One

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The rule change was officially passed by the World Eightball Pool Federation (WEPF) on October 24. And Cunha is just one of many female pool players who have spoken out against the new decision. 

Competitive Biological Advantage

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These players believe a transgender allowance is inherently unfair for female players, as transgender women may have a competitive advantage in ladies’ competitions due to their biology.

Upper Body and Arm Span

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Players have cited greater upper body strength and longer arm span, amongst other biological differences, as advantages that make biological males more likely to win games against biological females. 

Decision Reversed

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The WEPF decision was a shock to many players. In August of this year, the WEPF and its sponsor, Ultimate Pool Group, officially stated that all of their events were “exclusively open to individuals who are born female.”

However, this decision was reversed just eight weeks later, with some suspecting the organization had buckled under the pressure of legal threats.

60 Players Unite

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Just one week following the policy change, a group of 60 professional female pool players reportedly came together to protest the change, all communicating via a WhatsApp group.

Worried for the Future

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When I heard the announcement last week, I spent most of the day in tears,” pool player Lynne Pincher said.

“I’m worried now about the future of the game for women. If next year we had eight trans players, they would probably be in the top eight.’

Sharron Davies Joins the Conversation

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Olympian Sharron Davies, who has repeatedly spoken in support of restricting women’s sports to biological female competitors, called the WEPF decision “Heartbreaking.”

“Pool is a male-dominated sport, like so many, and these women have worked hard to get their own tour,” she said.

Stand Up for Women

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“These organizations know their game is sex-affected,” Davies continued. “They know women need their own tournaments to grow female participation & opportunities. They must show courage and decency and stand up for women.”

Ongoing Controversy

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Cunha’s announcement comes at a time when transgender participation in professional sports has caused enormous international controversy, from competitive swimming to weightlifting to football. 

The post Top Pool Player Boycotts Matches Against Trans Women, Igniting Discussion on Inclusion in Sports first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Marko Aliaksandr. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

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