Lynn Pinches (pictured) refused to play Harriet Haynes in the Women's Champions final. Photo: Jason Bye
Poole The player lost the chance to win a top national title in protest at the sport allowing a transgender woman to compete against women born born.
Lynn Pinches told Telegraph Sport she turned down the offer become a full-time professional amid despair over the “reversal” of international rules.
On Saturday, spectators cheered for Pinches when she collected her cue and refused to play as the Women's Champion of Champions final began. Her opponent, Harriet Haynes, reacted with disbelief and then took the trophy by default.
“Quitting was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in a game in my life,” Pinches said. 50 years old, from Norwich. “I've been playing for 30 years and I've never missed a frame, let alone a match. It was only my fourth final, but the trophy or the money meant nothing to me without fairness, and that's what I told the tournament director afterwards.”
Pinches, who did receive £500 after finishing second in the English Pool Association tournament, is among a number of female players who have been left devastated by the restrictions review in recent weeks. Players say they have received assurances that transgender women or non-binary players will not be allowed to compete against women. Instead, however, the World Federation of Eight-Bit Pool and the Ultimate Pool Group said in new guidelines last month that “transgender and non-binary players will be able to participate in the women's series.”
“I do not condone this. '
“I can't even explain the devastation I felt,” said Pinches, whose son, brother and father all played pool or snooker at an elite level. “I didn’t eat or sleep properly for two days. I cried until 3 am. I was devastated. My son Tommy, who plays in the Ultimate Pool Challenger series, wrote to me: “I know you must be absolutely devastated mom because I know you hated it from the start.” He really wanted to write about it on his Facebook, but he was afraid that he would be banned. And it honestly drove me over the edge. I thought, “You’ve been keeping me quiet for years.” You will not silence my child either.” I won't tolerate this…
“I don’t care about the money, the title or the trophy. I care about justice. If they hadn't made that U-turn, we wouldn't be here now. We were all thrilled when they initially said they would have a strict category for biological women.”
Lynn Pinches refused to participate in the final of the women's tournament “Champions of Champions”
Pinches says she has transgender friends and her protest was not intended to “cause any offense.” “I would never do this to embarrass anyone, but no one cares how humiliating it is for us women,” she added.
English Pool Association guidelines say that “any transgender person (male or female) is permitted to participate fully, that is, to train, play in informal matches, or participate in pool competitions, consistent with their verified gender.” The rules add: “Gender verification must be no more stringent than what is expected of any other player.”
Concerns about more powerful breakaway shots
Renewed World Eight-Bit Pool Federation and Ultimate Pool Group say: “Subject to regulatory conditions…transgender and non-binary players will be able to compete in women's series at World Eight-Bit Pool Federation and Ultimate Pool Group events.” .< /p>
Pinches explained how she has been leading her life since becoming sober about three years ago. After finishing in the top 20 of the Ultimate Pool Tour rankings, she was offered a pro slot for the following year.
“This is the first time in my career that I've been asked and I paid £200 for a slot but when they did a U-turn , I got my money back,” she added. “My trust just disappeared.”
More than 60 professional female pool players are reported to have joined forces through a WhatsApp support group. Alexandra Cunha, ranked fifth internationally, has also vowed never to play transgender players in protest at recent rulings.
Players calling for tighter restrictions say transgender women often have more upper body strength body, which allows them to achieve success. a stronger initial breakthrough.
Sharron Davies, an Olympic swimmer and women's sports activist, told Telegraph Sport the pool was another example of how sport was not putting safety and fairness first.“Both the UK government and British sport have told the sports NGB that, based on peer-reviewed scientific research, they must prioritize safety and fairness for women,” Davies added.
“This is simply discrimination on the basis of gender after decades of mistreatment of women's sports. This has a huge impact on the mental health of female athletes, who are told by sports federations that their right to fair sport simply does not matter. I really want to ask governments to do more than just ask NSAs to do the right thing and then ignore them. It's time for female athletes to get their act together, and for the government to stop funding sports in the UK from those sports that simply don't care about their athletes.”
Athletics, cycling and swimming have transformed transgenderism. policy over the past 12 months, while both rugby codes have also moved to protect the sport for biologically born females.