Trans-Identified Male Set To Compete Against Women As The Reigning Women’s Snooker Champion Following Victory Against 11-Year-Old Girl

A trans-identified male is set to compete against women as the reigning Women’s Snooker Champion at the English Women’s Snooker Championship on May 24 in Walsall, UK. Jamie Hunter, 27, became the top women’s player following a semifinal victory against a young girl last year.

Hunter first rose to prominence during the English Women’s Snooker Champion finals in 2023 after he came out victorious against Mary Talbot-Deegan, finishing 3-1. Hunter had managed to make it to the finals after he beat out Ellise Scott, an 11-year-old rising star in the snooker world, taking 2-0 against her in the semifinal grouping. The event had been Scott’s debut in the tournament, and, prior to her match against Hunter, she had achieved three match victories against experienced female opponents.

Hunter had been participating in women’s cue sports since 2021, just one year after he “came out” as transgender.

Within his first year of competition, he rose to the fourteenth position in the women’s billiards world rankings, and has since won a total of 7 women’s titles. Among them, the 2022 US Women’s Open and 2022 Australian Women’s Open, where he was awarded $9,000 AUD in prize money.

Jamie Hunter.

Prior to transitioning, Hunter played in a mixed-sex amateur league for five years. Speaking with Snooker Zone in 2021, Hunter admitted that he had no intention of competing professionally until he discovered that there was a women’s tour.

“Until this year, cue sports was just a hobby, something I done once, maybe twice a week, but now finding out about the Women’s snooker tour, I believe that will change,” he said at the time. “They make out as if I played snooker as a man, I was rubbish, so decided to do it in the women’s instead. I changed my gender for my wellbeing and my life, not for anything else.”

Hunter received significant backlash after his 2022 US Women’s Open win, when former women’s world champion Maria Catalano criticized the policies enabling males to compete against females. In an interview with The Sportsman, Catalano argued that women’s snooker should exclude males from female categories, as some rugby leagues have, to ensure fairness for women. 

“We have fought so hard for our rights in the past – myself, Reanne Evans and others got people to write letters to allow us to play in leagues and clubs that banned women. I don’t believe that women can compete against men on a level playing field in sport. We are wired differently, we think differently. We are mentally different,” said Catalano. 

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) publishes a mixed sex international ranking of players. The highest-ranking female on their current list, Mink Nutcharut, is listed at 119.

In response to the criticism of his wins against women, Hunter has framed the backlash as transphobia.

“Everybody’s human. Regardless of what choices you make. You should treat everybody with respect,” said Hunter speaking to a BBC journalist last fall. Bizarrely, Hunter was interviewed while he sat in a gaming chair in a dark bedroom — which he refers to as “the dark girl cave.” The room has a transgender pride flag pinned up on the wall behind him.

The upcoming English Women’s Snooker Championship is set for May 24, 2024. It is being organized by the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards (EPSB), which is the national governing body for the sport in England. They describe their goal as creating a “structured coaching environment that will inspire all regardless of gender, ability, or ethnicity to fulfil their potential in our sport.” 

The EPSB has a diversity, equity, and inclusion policy with a lengthy section on discrimination, including a ban on any “condition, rule or practice [that]… particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic.” As for their list of protected characteristics, the EPSB includes “gender, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, religion, age, disability, HIV positivity, working pattern, caring responsibilities, trade union activity or political beliefs.”  

The English Women’s Championship is set to take place at the Landywood Snooker Club in Walsall, UK, on May 24.

This is not the first time a male has dominated women’s cue sports, sparking backlash from players and fans.

Last November, a female pool player refused to compete against a trans-identified male opponent at a women’s championship in Wales. Lynne Pinches received an outpouring of support as video began to circulate showing her walking away from the table after being matched to play against Chris Haynes.

Days later, two more female pool players refused to compete against Haynes in solidarity with Pinches during the Ultimate Pool tournament in Blackpool, UK.

In January, Pinches headed an effort to launch a lawsuit against the World Eightball Pool Federation (WEPF) and Ultimate Pool Group (UPG), accusing the governing bodies of subjecting women “to direct sex discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sex.”

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Amy Hamm

Amy is a contributor at Reduxx hailing from British Columbia, Canada. Amy juggles being a mom, writer, and healthcare professional while also being one of the nation's most visible advocates for free speech and women’s sex based rights.

Amy Hamm
Amy Hamm
Amy is a contributor at Reduxx hailing from British Columbia, Canada. Amy juggles being a mom, writer, and healthcare professional while also being one of the nation's most visible advocates for free speech and women’s sex based rights.