Female Player Rule

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.
Mike Truran
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Mike Truran » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:54 pm

I would have thought that the people most affected by the regulation are actually the Division 1 and 2 captains who have to find the female players to comply with it (and we will be seeking their opinions in due course, as I said at the captains meeting).

My own views for what they're worth (which may not be much) are that (a) the rule has reached the end of its useful life and should be removed; (b) it's easy for people who don't actually have to find the female players to enthusiastically support the rule's retention in its present or in an amended form; (c) the views of the Division 1 and 2 captains are the most important in deciding the way forward; and (d) if people feel that they want to support the principle in the absence of a rule there is nothing to stop them either fielding female players in existing teams anyway, or indeed forming new all-female teams if they want to.

Richard Bates
Posts: 3009
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:27 pm

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Richard Bates » Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:38 pm

Mike Truran wrote:I would have thought that the people most affected by the regulation are actually the Division 1 and 2 captains who have to find the female players to comply with it (and we will be seeking their opinions in due course, as I said at the captains meeting).

My own views for what they're worth (which may not be much) are that (a) the rule has reached the end of its useful life and should be removed; (b) it's easy for people who don't actually have to find the female players to enthusiastically support the rule's retention in its present or in an amended form; (c) the views of the Division 1 and 2 captains are the most important in deciding the way forward; and (d) if people feel that they want to support the principle in the absence of a rule there is nothing to stop them either fielding female players in existing teams anyway, or indeed forming new all-female teams if they want to.
Well i would have thought that when a rule exists for the benefit of women players (much as it is much more pleasant to have a more even distribution of sexes, i presume that nobody is arguing that the rule exists for the benefit of men?), the first group whose views should be canvassed are, well, women! If it were found that those who are supposed to benefit from the rule are pretty indifferent towards it, then all further debate should become redundant!

Also, maybe not directly the responsibility of the 4ncl, but presumably it shouldn't be ignored that widening participation to low participation groups is often a condition of government or other funding, and generally I suspect makes events more attractive to sponsors.

Just because the regulations arguably aren't working well at present, it doesn't mean that the whole principle should be abolished. IMO, it hardly helps to suggest that individual captains should launch solo campaigns, possibly to the detriment of their own team's chances of success. As for a rather unnecessary IMO jibe about "people who don't actually have to find the female players" - I am perfectly happy to have my contributions to Richmond's default fines last season refunded :wink:

Mike Truran
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Mike Truran » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:31 pm

The "jibe" (which it wasn't) was not aimed at you. I was making a general point that people are more likely to support initiatives when they themselves are not called on to provide effort or resources. That's just human nature.

The 4NCL have no government funding, so there is no obligation imposed on us by our lords and masters to encourage participation to low participation groups - and in saying that I make no comment as to whether such encouragement is desirable, I simply observe that it has been relatively unsuccessful over the history of the 4NCL. Is that because the rule is badly framed, or because we are pushing water uphill anyway? And anyway, is it really the 4NCL's responsibility to do it?

Why is it unhelpful to suggest that individual captains launch solo campaigns? If they feel strongly about it I would have thought that's exactly what they should do. It's certainly worth debating whether or not it's the 4NCL's job to impose a rule on Division 1 and 2 captains when, if it were such a worthwhile thing to do, captains in all divisions would adopt the principle voluntarily. Or rather, a la Madame Harman, should we extend the obligation to Division 3 as well on the basis that it's the principle that matters, regardless of the difficulty and cost of compliance?

Richard Bates
Posts: 3009
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:27 pm

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Richard Bates » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:55 pm

Mike Truran wrote:The "jibe" (which it wasn't) was not aimed at you. I was making a general point that people are more likely to support initiatives when they themselves are not called on to provide effort or resources. That's just human nature.

The 4NCL have no government funding, so there is no obligation imposed on us by our lords and masters to encourage participation to low participation groups - and in saying that I make no comment as to whether such encouragement is desirable, I simply observe that it has been relatively unsuccessful over the history of the 4NCL. Is that because the rule is badly framed, or because we are pushing water uphill anyway? And anyway, is it really the 4NCL's responsibility to do it?

Why is it unhelpful to suggest that individual captains launch solo campaigns? If they feel strongly about it I would have thought that's exactly what they should do. It's certainly worth debating whether or not it's the 4NCL's job to impose a rule on Division 1 and 2 captains when, if it were such a worthwhile thing to do, captains in all divisions would adopt the principle voluntarily. Or rather, a la Madame Harman, should we extend the obligation to Division 3 as well on the basis that it's the principle that matters, regardless of the difficulty and cost of compliance?
Apologies for misinterpreting your comments then, Mike. However i don't really detect any sense that this thread has split along captaincy/non-captaincy lines, so I would argue is a bit of a non-seqitur.

Mike Truran
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Mike Truran » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:06 pm

That's a fair point - however, that may be as much about who actually reads/contributes to this forum as anything else. Thus my comments may indeed be a non sequitur in this particular environment, but may be very relevant to, for example, the captains who, although not forumistas (you read that word first here, folks), are actually the people who have to make the rule work.

User avatar
Ben Purton
Posts: 1622
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:53 am
Location: Berks

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Ben Purton » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:18 pm

Mike no offence but you should read your emails prior to some 4NCL's/ask the arbiters before suggesting ive easily filled my female slot. Thats quite frankly a ludicrous statement.

Ben
I love sleep, I need 8 hours a day and about 10 at night - Bill Hicks
I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

Mike Truran
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Mike Truran » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:39 pm

Ben

????????????

Where on earth do you get the idea that I think you (or any other Div 1 and 2 captain) find it easy to manage your female board requirement?????? The whole point of my comments has been that Div 1 and 2 captains often find it exceedingly difficult.

User avatar
Ben Purton
Posts: 1622
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:53 am
Location: Berks

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Ben Purton » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:46 pm

Well easy things are no fun....if chess itself was easy none of us would enjoy it as much. My female player is the core example in 4NCL of a player who would otherwise not play any FIDE games if she wasnt part of Sharks.
I love sleep, I need 8 hours a day and about 10 at night - Bill Hicks
I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 9085
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:00 pm

Richard Bates wrote: 3) However enthusiastic, I suspect that some people may find that they are not suited to running university sporting organisations unless they can moderate their views.
Don't worry about it, after this one, there's an election for the President (according to the constitution). Assuming I stand for it, the teams who enter are at liberty to vote for someone else if they so desire. (The President makes the rules for the tournament though, such as a female-players board. How he or she goes about that is up to him or her.)

There's nothing wrong with a strong opinion, as long as it's backed up, and not personal.

I admit that not knowing when to keep my mouth shut is my biggest failing. :oops:

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 9085
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:06 pm

Ben Purton wrote: Im saying that in professional chess it will always be the people with the money who have the stronger teams.
That's fine by me. I think that should apply irrespective of whether the players who are paid to play are men, women, juniors, or any other category of people you might choose to create.
Ben Purton wrote: Your complaining that women can demand more money, Im saying that in professional chess it will always be the people with the money who have the stronger teams.
I'm complaining that women shouldn't get paid to play if there is a significantly better male player who could be in the team without wanting to be paid.
Ben Purton wrote:My friends in Russia?
Nope, the one Russian who plays chess for Aston University. As I say, "apparently". I have no idea whether it was truthful or not. Whether it is or isn't, the conclusion of the story is the last thing the 4NCL wants, but it admittedly probably won't come to.
Last edited by Alex Holowczak on Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
IM Jack Rudd
Posts: 4003
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:13 am
Location: Bideford

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:10 pm

My numbers weren't in support of any particular point or other; they were there to help others support their points.

Michele Clack
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:38 pm
Location: Worcestershire

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Michele Clack » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:24 pm

It's true that being difficult does not necessarily make a thing not worth doing. It is interesting that Ben, a young 4NCL captain, would like to keep the rule as he thinks it adds something to the League, despite it causing him a lot of difficulties at times. This is the only argument that I can see in it's favour. That said if Ben is correct and the League is a better place for the enforced addition of female players then the 4NCL is itself making a gain from it. So it doesn't really matter in that case whether the League should feel responsible for encouraging women's chess or not. The judgement that needs to be made is whether Ben's feeling is widely held.

If so then the rule would be best kept even if it needs some modification. What I can't see is why you would have this rule in some divisions and not all.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18344
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:53 pm

michele clack wrote:What I can't see is why you would have this rule in some divisions and not all.
That's simple enough. When the size of the 8 board 4NCL was extended to 36 (now 32) teams, there weren't enough female players willing to play 11 matches for 36 teams , so the lower divisions were diluted by replacing the female requirement with a junior requirement.

Jonathan Rogers
Posts: 4004
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:26 pm

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:51 am

I agree that captains' views should have more weight than the views of any other equivalent numbers of persons. Goodness knows, I must have spent working weeks (not just days)in finding women players over the last ten years - and even then not always successfully. But I don't agree that captains' views should be paramount. If the vast majority of women and other regular participants happened to think that the rule should not be abolished, then it shouldn't be.

I say this partly because the atmosphere of the competition does in my view gain a lot from the greater female participation than is usually to be found in English chess - precisely as one would expect. (Similarly yoga classes and book clubs feel they would gain a lot from more male participation!). And that is why the views of all regular participants should count, not just the captains'.

I don't think it is a good answer to say that the same number of women would still play in the 4NCL, but only on merit, meaning in most cases the third division. This is wrong - numbers would surely decline. I don't believe that third division captains would (generically - obviously there would be exceptions) be as able and/or willing to promote female chess and to find new female members even if they would make the team on merit. Many third division teams (helped by the fact that they only need to find six boards) are drawn from existing club or county structures where there is a particular dearth of female activity. Moreover, even if we did have lots of female layers willingly switching to new third division teams, they would be missed if and when the third division were to play at a different venue from the other divisions.

Atmosphere aside, I also think that the 4NCL has a proper role in promoting the standard of women's chess, if only because the ECF has not the resources to do it - indeed, only since Lawrence assumed his post has it shown very much willingness to address the situation. When I said that the development of female chess has pretty much stalled since 1993 I did not mean that the 4NCL has caused it - of course not, that is due to other factors - just that the "woman or default" rule has not proved as effective as it had been hoped, at least not since the expansion of teams to over 20.

So I suppose that I would be currently inclined to support modification (but not abolition) of gender rules in the 4NCL.

Mike Truran
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Female Player Rule

Post by Mike Truran » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:32 pm

Jonathan, any thoughts on how the rule might be modified?

Post Reply