Sex & Gender /

Female Pool Player Refuses to Compete Against Trans-Identifying Competitor

'I'm worried now about the future of the game for women,' said Lynne Pinches of changes in World Eightball Pool Federation's gender policy

A female pool player refused to compete with a transgender-identifying competitor, who was in turn named the tournament’s winner.

Spectators applauded Lynne Pinches, who withdrew from the English Pool Association’s 2023 Champion of Champions in Wales rather than compete against Harriet Haynes in the final match.

Haynes, a biological male who identifies as a transgender woman, is a World Masters Champion as well as a European Champion and European Team Champion in 2023. In 2022, Haynes was named the National Ladies Singles Champion and the International Pool Association World Champion, per Fox News.

In a video of the incident, Pinches and Haynes can be seen taking a lag shot to determine who would go first. Pinches then approached the referee and opted to forfeit the game.

The decision to do so – rather than simply not turn up – could perhaps have been done with the intention of making it clear the reasons for her not taking part in the match, rather than having her message misconstrued as a no-show for the event,” reports The Daily Mail.

The outlet also reported that Pinches’ brother, Barry, praised her decision not to compete against Haynes in a post on social media.

“Full credit and great respect to my sister Lynne Pinches yesterday for taking a stand and not playing in the biggest match of her pool playing life because she feels it’s so unfair to have to compete against a trans woman,” he wrote. “I completely agree with her view that it is totally unfair to expect women to compete against trans women in pool or any other sport for that matter.”

Haynes’s stature provided a height and reach advantage.

“For the record, this post is about fairness in women’s sport, that is all. I have no problem whatsoever if somebody wants to identify themselves as whatever they want to be and I have nothing against Harriet Haynes,” Mr. Pinches added.

This is the second incident in recent days where a female pool player has refused to compete against a biological male.

Alexandra Cunha, the fifth highest-ranked female pool player in the world, announced on Nov. 11 that she would not compete against biological men who identified as transgender women moving forward.

“I recently played a transgender player, and I was destroyed when I lost,” she said in an interview, per Breitbart. “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.”

Cuhna’s decision appears to be largely a reaction to the World Eightball Pool Federation’s Oct. 24 decision to allow biological men to compete in the women’s league to accommodate their gender identities. 

When I heard the announcement last week I spent most of the day in tears – especially because it came after the announcement eight weeks earlier that it was finally going to be a fair field,” said Lynne Pinches of the governing body’s decision when speaking with the Daily Mail. “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.”

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