A Norfolk pool player has turned down her first professional contract in protest at the "unfairness" of a decision to allow transgender players to compete. 

Lynne Pinches, from Norwich, was offered a place on the Ultimate Pool Tour - featuring the game's top 32 players - but did not accept. 

She said the "nail in the coffin" was a U-turn by the sport's governing body, the World Eightball Pool Federation (WEPF), on its transgender policy. 

The WEPF had said in August that transgender players would not be able to play against "naturally-born women" but has since reversed this decision. 

Pinches, who has been dubbed the 'matriarch' of a pool and snooker-playing family from Norwich, walked away from the chance of a national title in protest against facing a transgender player in November. 

She shook hands with opponent Harriet Haynes before she put away her cue and conceded the final of the Women's Champion of Champions tournament without playing a single shot.

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Norwich Evening News: Harriet Haynes, who won the tournament by defaultHarriet Haynes, who won the tournament by default (Image: EPA)Pinches told BBC Sport: "I'm absolutely gutted that I've dropped out, my heart wants to be on the Ultimate Pool Tour. I feel excluded even though I've self-excluded.

"I'm sticking to my principles. I don't want to face the transgender players who would be on that tour. I don't think it's fair.

"You can't bring up the hopes of hundreds of women and say you're going to have a female-only section in August, and then change that eight weeks later."

One of the concerns among critics like Pinches is that an opponent who was born male might have greater upper body strength, allowing a more powerful break shot at the start of the game, as well as a slight height and reach advantage which could prove pivotal on the table. 

Hanyes responded by stating that transgender people have competed in female categories for 20 years and said there was "no categoric evidence" of an advantage in the sport.