Mandy Fisher, who oversees women’s snooker, predicts that the “next generation” of female players will be capable of competing against males and receive a higher professional salary.
Fisher, who presently serves as the head of the organisation World Women’s Snooker, which she formed in 1981, is also a former women’s snooker world champion.
Fisher thinks that snooker is getting closer to having an equal playing field now than it was once when some clubs had banners saying “No women allowed.” The women’s game has advanced significantly in recent years, according to Fisher, who spoke to the BBC snooker podcast Framed.
To bring snooker to the point where female players are “role models” to girls coming through and where Ng On-yee, who defeated former world champion Ken Doherty in a qualifying event last year, is a “superstar” in Hong Kong, two-year tour cards for women on the World Snooker Tour will be introduced in 2021.
“It’s incredibly enormous. A platform, indeed,” Fisher added. “It has attracted more female players to the game because they realise that, for example, [19-year-old British Open winner] Bai Yulu, who most likely would have stayed in China and continued to play from there had we not been awarded the tour cards. She, therefore, made her first-ever appearance at the Women’s World Championship this year to obtain that tour card.”
“It provides tremendous opportunity, not just for women but also for minority nations that don’t play snooker,” continued Fisher. The women’s game, she said, has improved significantly since the 1980s, when she won the world championship.
“The majority of women avoid snooker clubs,” she continued. “They play mostly in bars, where snooker tables are available. I’m not denying that snooker requires skill. Simply put, it’s incredibly hard to go from being good at pool to being good at snooker.”
Fisher added that it took many years for people to get over the fact that she was either the first woman to play snooker at these places or that she was unable to play in all of them due to signs that read, “No women permitted”.