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"Brilliant Idea" or "Silly Suggestion" - Your Choice

After my post on the HOF and its history of what happens to female candidates, I think we can draw some conclusions. First, a wide variety of opinions are out there, and second, no easy solutions are available.I do, however, have a suggestion that I've shared with a few people. Some think it brilliant. Others think it silly - or unworkable. As we say in the bridge world - you be the judge.

So - here it is.

More than a few of us agree that it is disconcerting to have national events where we have at best only a few teams or sections. Yet - what to do? For some years now, turnout for women's events has been skimpy.

Well. Suppose that we did away with "women only" events. Yet, in the interests of allowing all female pairs and teams to compete with one another as such, let's say we chose to model NABC events like A/X regional events. That is, we would have an open field - and a female field.

All pairs or teams would compete against one another. Women only pairs/teams would compete against mixed or all male combos, rarely or occasionally, depending upon the makeup of the field.

If a female pair or team ends up #1 overall, they are #1 in the open competition. If they are 4th - or 8th - or 23rd - but the top female competitors, then they are 1st in the female competition. 

What would such a change achieve? Here are what I see as pluses and minuses.

Pluses

 

  • Women competing against men mitigates or removes the charge of "they're not playing against the best of the best". All competitors will be in this event.
  • If you believe (as I do) that you improve playing against the toughest competition, then more women will be improving their games.
  • Women will be able to compete for a woman's title, yet be in a large, competitive event - and compete for an open title concurrently.
  • For Hall of Fame considerations, this will afford more opportunities for women to compete against women, yet also compete against an open field.
  • Those women who do not like women's events (for whatever reasons) will be able to compete against other women, yet not be in a "women only" field.
  • Female professionals who would have a tougher time if women's events were eliminated would still be able to play with their clients as female partnerships and teams.

Minuses

  • How do we seed women's teams in KO events?  Beats me.
  • Some women prefer playing against women only. The end of "women only" events would make this impossible.
  • Some would view having an "A/X" field insulting to women.

OK; have at it! Your thoughts?

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