I read a story in one of the newspapers last week which questioned why Reanne Evans, as women's world champion, should earn so much less than Ronnie O'Sullivan (who isn't the men's world champion but is someone the paper presumably thought its readers would know).

This is a question often asked and has a very simple answer: because the standard in the women's game is nowhere near as high as that in the men's, so sponsors, TV and the public are less interested.

I say the 'men's' but women have never been barred from playing on the professional circuit. Allison Fisher, the best women's player of all time, beat Mike Hallett and Neal Foulds in the Matchroom League but her highest ranking was only 192.

Barry Hearn televised the women's World Championship a few times but it didn't really catch on.

In 1997, the WPBSA took the women's game under their wing, staging finals during major ranking tournaments, including at the Crucible.

A few years later the women were cut adrift and now have to fend for themselves with meagre sponsorship but a circuit of sorts.

Fisher, Karen Corr and Kelly Fisher have all gone to America to play on the far more lucrative 9-ball pool circuit, where they are all doing well.

Evans has vowed not to follow them. She loves snooker and would like to make a decent living from it.

For this to happen she needs a more competitive circuit and that will only happen if more women take up the game.

Snooker has always had a strong female following but playing standards have not really risen. If they did and a woman emerged who could challenge the leading male players the game itself would receive a huge boost.

As snooker is not a physical game there is no reason in theory why this could not happen.

Only time will tell if it actually does.


Anonymous said...

This little girl seems to be heading in the right direction.


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