Watching the Women’s British Open right now and had the thought about highlighting the best women finishers from Pinburgh. Similar to my thoughts before launching the IFPA Women’s WC, I never really know if it’s “appropriate” or not. Figured I would pose the question and let the women share their opinions.
Pretty basic … take the 4 highest female finishers during session play at Pinburgh, have them join the final 8 of the A division final on stage/stream to be highlighted. They play a round like the other groups. Winner gets a medal and some fanfare and it’s something to highlight that demographic of the sport.
At quick glance here were the top 4 from this past year:
SAmerican ninja warrior does similar… I guess in an effort to promote their participation and try to get more women contestants. They don’t compete separately but get extra ‘invitations’ to the finals for being top women qualifiers.
I think it might be cool to have a group ongoing in the finals or right before as pure promotion. Again to encourage more participation- vs separate division
I personally think this is an awesome idea that needs little if any tweaking (and I’m not just saying that because I would have gotten a chance to play on Saturday). I don’t think there needs to be a separate division, just the top 4 qualifiers in A (unless fewer than 4 women qualify for A, in which case you’d want to keep moving down the standings to fill the Top 4). It recognizes the achievement of talented female pinball players whether or not they also make it to the finals; I like the idea of playing the women’s final in the gap between quarters and semis. The only issues there that I could foresee would be if a woman playing in the coed finals a) had already competed on the women’s finals bank or b) got to compete on the women’s finals bank and then get to play the same bank again in the semis/finals, and I don’t know if people care that much about that.
In the past, I have heard the suggestion that if a woman also qualifies for Main finals (as I like to think I would have this year were it not for Round 7 and playing Elwin and Stone on a bank of games I’d never played a single one of), she should not participate in the Women’s final because that’s for recognizing women not already being recognized, and I respectfully say that’s bull. It should be the top X women, full stop, no strings. If/when we reach a place where all four top women are all qualified A finalists, that could be fodder for discussion, but that would also signal to me that we’ve made a lot of positive progress in the gender equity/parity of our pastime.
I’d love to hear more women weigh in on this! (Especially because the first four responses to this post were from men )
I’m into this idea. I’d love to watch (I mean, ideally play in, but more likely watch) a women’s final at Pinburgh. I agree with Zoe that qualifying for A finals shouldn’t disqualify someone from playing in the top four women’s final.
I mentioned this thread to Julie Schober, who was #4 on Josh’s list… her response was that she didn’t like the idea, because she wants to be recognized as a strong pinball player (full stop), not just strong in some subset group.
I think until women are equally represented I would be down for any additional opportunities to compete. Especially if i can win more stuff. Also I think I would play harder against other women. It would be just more chances to strenghten myself as a player.
Part of the reason I like the idea of a women’s final is the same as the reason I like women’s divisions in other sports: the more female representation women and girls see in a certain sport, the more likely they are to participate (think US women’s soccer). Roughly 100 of 800 Pinburgh participants this year were women. I’d like to see that get closer to parity. I think women’s leagues and women’s finals will help continue to shift the balance. If we reach 50% female participation, then we won’t need additional highlighting of female performance!
Re: prizes, I don’t think it would be fair to dip into the collective prize pool for women’s finals, but trophies would be nice.
I think we will find a mixed opinion among the women. I haven’t been told this directly by another skilled female player, but it was pretty clear to me by her recent actions at a PAPA major that make me believe she is in Julie’s camp. This player ignored the women’s tournament completely, and continued focusing on qualifying in A Main and A Classics. She qualified for both and was a top finisher in Main. The prize pool for the women’s tournament was padded, and was significantly more than Classics. She basically turned down free money in my opinion.
not sure I agree with that analogy. Women’s divisions are created in those sports due to the physical nature and the advantage men have with that by simply possessing significantly more testosterone. There is no advantage from that with pinball. I think men and women are on equal footing with pinball, and can develop the same level of skill.
Pretty sure what was meant by @pinballr was that other sports have separate womens and mens competitions/divisions based on the fact that men and women are different physically. They’re not split as some kind of promotion of womens sport.
Women and men compete together at the Olympics in the Equestrian events where the physical differences aren’t as much of an advantage/disadvantage.
Personally I don’t believe that there should be any additional competition or trophies for women based purely on the fact that they are women. The message it sends out is that you did well to finish in the top 4 of your (implied inferior) subgroup here’s a chance to have a further game while we wait for the main competition to resume.
Why not have a similar sub ranking competition for Asian competitors, another under represented group (at least in the UK) or people who are gay, or redheads, or over 50s, etc. etc.?
To further promote the inclusion of women in competitions it should be about making the whole environment more appealing, not by offering trophies, which don’t stand up against the rest of the field.
A think a subranking system is patronising to those it is actually trying to promote.
These are my personal opinions - however,
My partner was extremely happy to receive a trophy for finishing outside the top 100, but 3rd highest placed woman at the London Championships a number of years ago.
I also am the overall coordinator of the UK League, where again, trophies are awarded to the highest ranked women across the country, despite the fact that they often don’t even compete in the same regions thus not even playing against the same players.
They’re compatible as I have only just taken over the league, as opposed to just being a regional coordinator, and all of the regional coordinators have an opinion as to how we should proceed.
I would guess that there are at least some decisions made by the PAPA members which you do not 100% agree with but go along with as you may be in the minority?