Inclusion of Women in the US Open 9-Ball
The word is already spreading fast that Barry Behrman has decided to welcome women with open arms into the field of the 2010 U.S. Open. The WPBA wishes to send a big “Thank You” to owner, promoter, and producer Barry Behrman.
Though it is recognized in full that the gender barrier was broken roughly thirty years ago when Jean Balukas was permitted to compete in the main draw of the World 14.1 Championship, the truth is that significant female participation in open events has been quite limited over the years. Most serious pool fans are familiar with the successful exploits of Karen Corr on the star-studded Joss Northeast tour, the many successes enjoyed by Jasmin Ouschan against the men, most notably in the 2008 World 14.1 Championship, in which she beat Mika Immonen and Oliver Ortmann in back-to-back races to 200. In addition, nobody who was there will ever forget Yu Ram Cha’s 10-8 victory over Shane Van Boening at the Predator 10-ball Classic in Las Vegas in May, 2009.
Of course, the WPBA organization is not so foolish to think that the top women play at a level comparable to the top men, but the WPBA takes pride in the fact that its top players have dared to mix it up with the top men, and while doing so, have enjoyed some scattered successes. In point of fact, like the majority of men players, the ladies of the WPBA are awed by the skill of the top men, feel honored when afforded the opportunity to compete against them, and understand that doing so allows them to grow as players.Barry Behrman, it must be noted, has not only welcomed the women, but has generously guaranteed 16 spots to the top ranked WPBA players, four of which will be seeded. Other female entrants are invited to participate and can, for the month of May, enjoy a reduced entry fee offer of $450. Further equity with the men is realized by the invitation and seeding of previous champions (1984-1994) whose entry fees will be paid by Barry. Seeding will also be afforded to both male and female BCA Hall of Famers. No tournament in America is more renowned than the US Open for giving those who dare to dream a shot at the world’s most elite pool players, and here at the WPBA, we feel strongly that the inclusion of women in the US Open field brings this legacy to a higher dimension.
The WPBA is committed to supporting Barry in his trailblazing efforts and is equally committed to ensuring that its members will compete with excellence, dignity and sportsmanship. It is a long awaited WPBA vision of men and women pool players competing on equal footing, side by side, vying for the Championship. May the best player win!