Pool: why is men's and women's separated???

Ok, I’m not much of a pooler, so I’ve always wanted an answer to this question… I watch the pool gods and goddesses on ESPN2 every now and then (right between underwater basketweaving and synchronized kayaking - god bless ESPN2) and I can’t help but note that they actually have separate divisions for men and women…

OK, this is not Football. It doesn’t seem to me that a man or a woman would have any kind of advantage over the other. So why is it always divided? Is there a pool player out there who can actually give me some kind of answer, or are they just trying to get some sort of bar-chick-fetished fan base at 3 in the morning on ESPN2???

I know it’s lame, but I gotta know!

  • Rog

Are you kidding? It’s obvious isn’t it? Who wants to play with girls? You wanna get cooties or something?

They do this so women can win money and be attracted to the sport. This sounds sexist, but its the truth. Men played pool all the time and could compete as they got older with other men at a level that women (who had not been playing all thier life) could not compete on. So seperate divisions were made.

Now, WHY are thier STILL a womans division? Because there still isn’t a large enough female pool to pull from for the tournaments.

The truly scary part is, that if you take the women’s records (most racks ran, etc…) they can’t touch the mens. But hey, give them time.

There are also a couple of “muscle” shots in pool. The break is one and a what I call a force follow is another. These shots it really does help to be a bit stronger.

Darts is the same thing… go figure…


It’s a sexual harassment thing.

The lady players go tired of all the accidents when Mississippi Slim was chalking his cue while they were leaning over the table. :slight_smile:

:couldn’t resist:

The simple fact is that women are not competitive with men. Not even close. If the best woman in the world were to join the men’s tour, I doubt she could crack the top 50.

Why? I don’t know. In 9-ball strength plays a part because the break is very important (although technique is more important here - Nick Varner has a very hard break, and he weighs 120 lbs). But it’s not just strength - it’s consistency, focus, and all those other intangibles.

In straight pool, which requires absolutely no strength whatsoever other than the ability to lift a cue, the highest recorded run for a female EVER is 89 balls. I know ten guys in my city who can run that many, and I’ve done it myself. In men’s straight pool competition (a race to 150 balls), it’s common for one person to run 150 balls without missing to win the match. The highest recorded run by a male is 562 balls.

Again, I don’t know why this is. But women are rarely competitive with men in physical activities. Even pure mental games like Chess have a wide gap between male and female abilities.

There is one exception: Aviation. Women have always held their own in the flying world. Women compete with men in the Aerobatic championships, and Patty Wagstaff has been world champion several times. Women had lower accident rates in WWII as ferry pilots, and the few female fighter squadrons in WWII (Russian) had excellent results (much better than the average for male squadrons).

I guess the point is that the differences between the sexes are much more complex than pure physical strength. We think differently, and excel at different things.

I’m sorry–I have to disagree with you there. I’ve seen female players on the pro circuit who could chalk their palms with ANY man on the tour. I don’t pay enough attention to Pro Billiards to name any, I just like watching the Asian chick :wink:

But then, with the exception of Tennis Mixed Doubles, there are no sports that I can think of which are combined men/women. Even the ESPN2 sports: bowling, freestyle punk biking, golf (which is the only thing in the world which could bring together Republicans and Lesbians, but that’s a whole 'nother thread)

Reining horse is one. It’s the first western riding discipline approved for international competition, and will be part of the 2008 Olympics. There are no separate men’s and women’s classes, and women frequently beat the men. While there are youth classes, the youth are also free to compete with the adults, and frequently clean their clocks. My 12-year old daughter can and does consistantly beat men twice her age. Drives them crazy. The horse does most of the physical work. The rider’s job is mostly mental, though, obviously, technique and experience make a big difference.

Blessedwolf: You disagree, but you haven’t watched enough pool to actually know anyone’s names? May I suggest that you watch a little more pool before forming an opinion?

I’ve been playing pool competitively for years. I’ve played with some of the best in the world, both male and female. And trust me, it’s not even close. Jeanette Lee (the ‘asian woman’ you spoke of) is good, but she’s not even the best female on the circuit right now. Allison Fisher is. And trust me, they can’t beat the men at the highest levels.

I believe Rifle and Yachting are two Olympic events in which men and women compete directly. I heard this once as the answer to a trivia question.

OK, screw my old question, this brings up another:

Why is it that the “asian chick” from ESPN2 pool is the single most recognized female sports figure in the world, anyway? EVERYONE has at least SEEN the asian chick once…

She doesn’t suck though…

*Originally posted by blessedwolf *

Hey! What about Republican lesbians, like moi? :slight_smile:

I don’t follow billiards or snooker as much as I used to. My dad has always been very into pool (playing and watching). I wonder if this could be because of the stigma of women hanging out in pool halls. Just a hypothesis here, but don’t most guys start earlier because they go and play in the pool halls and such when they are younger. That’s how my dad got started. Even though it’s changing now, girls hanging around in pool halls has generally been frowned upon by their parents in the past, whereas with boys it was much more acceptible and thus they started earlier. Now pool halls are not considered as unsavory as before. It’s family entertainment.
My mother remembers when she couldn’t go into pubs. And then when she could, women still had their own side. Something about women seeing men drunk. And that wasn’t that long ago (late 50’s, early 60’s). So women generally didn’t have the opportunity to play at a younger age.
This is just a guess, mind you. I don’t know if this is true. I’m just making a guess based on what dhanson said, which from what I’ve seen seems to be the case.

Almost all of the top women have played pool since they were small children. Loree Jon Jones had a special raised track built around her pool table at home so she could play at the age of 7. She won the women’s U.S. Open at age 14. And her highest run ever in straight pool is 82 balls.

A good college-level male straight pool player can run 100 balls on a regular basis. I started playing pool seriously when I was about 28, and within three years could run that many.

I don’t know why we have to always treat women and men as identical. They clearly aren’t. Each sex has its own strengths and weaknesses. Male and Female brains function in different ways. In my experience, women are better at multitasking, and men are better at ‘deep focus’ activities. Given that our societal evolution required women to take care of all the details while men hunted, it makes sense that our brains should evolve this way. So perhaps we should learn to celebrate our differences rather than try to be equal in all respects.

Not everyone. I’d never heard of her until I read this thread and I didn’t recognize her name when dhanson mentioned it. And as far as I recall, I’ve never seen her picture.

On the other hand, while I also don’t watch tennis, gymnastics, or figure skating, there are a number of women athletes in these sports who I’ve heard of and would probably recognize if I saw.

{Side Note}

Womwwn and men compete side by side in dog sled racing. Libby Riddles and Susan Butcher have both won the Iditarod. (Butcher won it 4 times) But, like reining horse, mentioned above, the animals do most of the work.

I used to work in a pool hall that participated in a league, sent players to Vegas (who often won money) and had tons of pool tournaments. Not professional players, but really good ones.

IMHO, the best players, men or women, could compete against each other.

I did find that men who weren’t very good players were good about competing with the good players. Women who weren’t very good only wanted to play with other women players (and by women players, they meant bad players, although that wasn’t always the case). We actually managed to appease them by paying out for the top lady player in a tournament. This went well as long as one of the top lady players weren’t playing, because they would take first or second prize, plus top lady.

Hey I’m not arguing with you that women’s pool isn’t competitive as a whole…yet. However, the high run for Women’s straight pool is 158 not 89…while this still isn’t close to the men and wasn’t in a pro-event, the fact is most of the men’s records aren’t in pro events either and most women don’t play straight pool. I think it is mostly a cultural difference between men and women. Most women don’t start playing until later and have a lot more to worry about than playing a “man’s” game. As for the “muscle” shots, it is misconception that either the break or force follow require strength beyond what a 10 year old can muster. They are both way more about precision. Jasmin Oaschan has statistically the most consistent break in pool out of men AND women…this was in a special that ESPN ran on her before a match. In most of her matches, she AVERAGES 2+ balls on the break. I am only playfully arguing here…and only because my girlfriend is one of the best pool shots I have ever seen. She is one of the few girls I have ever met that take the game as seriously as a guy. I have personally watched her run 6 racks in a row of 9 ball…on a 9ft table. That is why I say it may be a cultural thing…if women actually put the time in that men do, I think they could just as easily kick our asses.

Good. Because no one has been waiting around for 12 years for an argument! :slight_smile:

Welcome to the boards, aaronhalf.

Seeing as how the last post in this thread prior to yours was made 12 years ago, maybe the 89 number was accurate way back then?

Is this what we would call ‘Zombie Pool’?