Striaght Pool --- Men and Women

Why are the total balls run so much lower for women than men in straight pool? It is my understanding that strength is not important in straight pool.

[slight hijack]Along the same lines, why to women compete separately from men in sports like DARTS, where strength is not an issue[/slight hijack]

Aside from the break, I can’t see any component of the game where strength would matter. And even in the break leverage and speed are probably equally important.

Reach might be important, and as men are (generally) taller than women this could come into play.

There is also a debatable point about whether men generally have better spatial perception abilities than women. If this is true then it would obviously be an advantage.

My guess would be tradition that nobody really cares about breaking. If it were a more important issue, say, voting, maybe people would make more of a stink about it. Thing is, a lot of people enjoy tradition when it really makes no difference in the long run.

I really like pool and snooker but crass as it sounds, I find my boobs get in the way quite a bit when playing. I could probably work out ways around this if I played more or actually cared about winning, but I don’t so I haven’t. They do impede a good queue action tho imho.

But in straight pool, you don’t have powerful breaks anyway, not like in other games, so the strength difference would be even less important.

The answer I think is that any given person has a limit to how good he can get. Some people have a natural talent to be better, so if they devote their lives to it, they will be the best of the best. But how many people devote their lives to it in order to find where their limit is? There are far greater more men who live to play pool than there are women, so there could be women out there who are just as good straight pool players as Steve Mizerak if they played that much, but 99.99% of them never try.

May I ask you where you got this information? Like Curt C said, straight pool discourages big breaks. I play APA league 8-ball, and new women players are automatically rated lower than men due to presumed weaker breaks and less aggressive style of play. These factors don’t come into play in straight pool.


Would you rather have boobs or big ol’ beer belly and man titties? Those probably get in the way, too.

I read once that while average IQ for men and women is the same, men are more likely to be at the extremes, ie. more geniuses and more morons. My source is fairly dubious, but there may be some truth to this claim. Additionally, I think it’s pretty widely accepted that men generally have better visual spatial skills than women. Men also tend to be more competitive.

You’ll excuse a newbie for persisting, but TJ555, once again, can you tell me where you found this information? BaldTaco, can you cite a source for the visual spatial skills claim?

I play pool with the big boys. I’m a 36C. I adjust my stance. My opponents respect my skills more than my rack.

Curt C, you make a lot of sense. I’m not sure why more women don’t play, but our division has over 80 players, and only 10 are women.

So far I’ve found that Willie Mosconi holds the record with 526 consecutive balls (in an exhibition match). In world championship competition the record is 182, held by Joe Procita.

I couldn’t find anything definite on any women’s records, but I saw a few mentions of runs around 100 balls. You may find the exact world records in this book.

The woman’s highest run was held for a long time by Loree Jon Jones. It was somewhere around 86. I think Ewa Mataya eventually beat her with a 93? When I was last following pool, no women had broken 100.

On the men’s side, running 150-and-out is common, even among good regional players.

I have no explanation for the difference between men and women. It’s not just experience - Loree Jon Jones has been playing since she was 5 years old, and started playing professionally at 14.

In the U.K., Allison Fisher was the top female snooker player, and no one else was even competitive with her. So, she went to the men’s tour - and got clobbered. I don’t think she cracked the top 100. Now she’s the top 9-ball player in the U.S. on the Women’s 9-ball tour.

I have no explanation for the difference between men and women other than the obvious - men are physically superior in other ways besides raw strength. Perhaps better hand-eye coordination? Ability to focus harder on individual tasks? More precise control over their muscles?

Or perhaps the fact that the game of pool isn’t as fascinating, intriguing, or even as popular for the female sex as it is for the male sex, so the “pool” (so to speak) of great female players isn’t as rich or pervasive as it is for the male players?

Just a thought…

Remember something too, we are talking about the extreme tail end of the curve here. If we plot pool skill on a chart, you’d wind up with some sort of bell shaped curve, one for men and one for women. The smallest change on that curve in the men’s favor, will result in wide swings on the tail end. The best of the best would be men, even if the average players are equal.