FROM THE EDITOR: Out of Body!
by Linda Mojer
Im having an out-of-body editorial experience! Its as if
Im floating above myself, looking dispassionately
at the most recent series of covers. And what do I see?
I see the March/April (featuring John Ellis) as the first to mark a
change in approach that focuses on a single personality. I see the
May/June (featuring Michelle Gould) pose an important question: What
will it take to Beat Her? Now the July/August edition gives the
answer: Robin Levine has what it takes to topple Michelle Gould. And
she did it in the semi-finals twice in eight weeks. I couldnt
have asked for anything better to establish continuity and at the same
time address the pro/amateur argument that always comes up at this
time of year.
Although Robin didnt win the pro nationals, she did win the
USRA national singles open title. How can she play in both? Since this
is also the annual rulebook issue, you can go right to page R-11 for
your answer. The USRAs policy on retaining amateur status is
cited in rule C.1, and practically all of the women on the WIRT elect
to do so. The Amateur Sports Act of 1978 governs the USRA in making
sure that it provides an equal opportunity to amateur athletes
... to participate in amateur athletic competition. Its
not just a rule, its also law.
Several years ago, the IRT mandated that the top eight mens
pros would be fined a portion of their tour winnings if they continued
to compete on the amateur circuit. The strength of the mens tour
at that time, and since meant that those fines could be
considerable. This keeps the top eight motivated to compete
exclusively on the tour. Below that benchmark, many players are
equally motivated to gain experience by competing on the pro tour,
while still keeping a high profile (for themselves and their sponsors)
at amateur national events. As long as they retain their amateur
status, the USRA must provide equal opportunity by
So where does that leave the women? The WIRT is just not in the same
boat ... yet. Could it be in the near future? Maybe. Might it help to
showcase the depth and diversity of the womens pro tour in the
magazine? We like to think so. Will I be criticized for back-to-back
covers featuring women? Well, obviously ...
Now, just give me a minute while I slip back into my body ...