English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Billiard Monthly : October, 1911

The Billiard Monthly : October, 1911

Club Form by a Lady Player

We wonder how many club tournament winners put
together, as an ordinary thing their 300 points in the hour,
which is—according to a demonstration witnessed by the
writer on Saturday afternoon—Miss Ruby Roberts’s usual
rate of play. Scoring 400 against Miss Collins, who also
scored 250, the game was over in less than an hour and a
quarter and, for its brightness and correctness throughout,
deserved to have been seen by a much larger audience.

Miss Collins plays a nice game, but her weak point is a
somewhat stiff cue delivery. Neither she, nor even Madame
Strebor, is in the same class as a player as that now held by
Miss Roberts, and the question seems to be: Where is Miss
Roberts’s vogue as a lady billiardist to lie? To our mind
the only satisfactory answer to this question is that Miss
Roberts should be permitted—or should permit herself—to
play single sessional matches with good gentlemen amateurs
—the sort of amateurs who are the best players in their
clubs, and who might, if they liked, concede the lady points,
although, according to the present writer’s view, she would
be likely to need them in very few cases.

Such encounters would be good for the game, good for
the gentlemen amateurs, and good for Miss Roberts, who
has come all the way from Australia to show English ladies
that it is possible for members of their sex to play a fascinating
and healthful game well, and who deserves to be
spiritedly and generously encouraged.

There would, of course, be the question of “professionalism” and of the gate, but these seem to us to be points that
are susceptible of very easy solution. It is absurd to question
the amateur status of a player who draws no profit,
direct or indirect, from any match that he plays, and no
gentleman amateur would dream of exacting a charge or
desire to do other than pay his own expenses if honoured
by being selected to play against Miss Roberts. The gate
proceeds would consequently be otherwise allocated as Miss
Roberts’s managers thought fit or were able to arrange
with the hall proprietors, and that would be an end of
the matter.

That such matches as we have suggested would attract
the public—and especially ladies—can hardly be doubted.

In golf, croquet, and other games, ladies meet gentlemen
and sometimes beat them. In all classes of healthful sport
and pastime—except billiards—ladies and gentlemen are
now constantly meeting in friendly but strenuous conflict.

Why should billiards be the sole pastime in which men and
women do not meet in serious encounter or on anything like
equal terms?

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