Del Mar’s table tennis tournament on March 21 got off to a controversial start when men and women were split into different divisions. But Kristy Urbick, intramural director and instructor of kinesiology, said it’s actually a common practice.
Urbick said the issue wasn’t about gender, but they had never seen that much of a female turnout before. With 12 men and six women competing in table tennis, Rogerio “Roy” Moya, recreation supervisor and equipment manager of the gym, decided to base the bracket on gender.
“With our population here, and the amount of females that come out to our activities, most of the time we do co-ed,” Urbick said. “I think what happened was when (Moya) saw six girls playing in table tennis, he thought that was cool and we could have a winner from the girls division and from the guys division.”
Moya, who has been working at Del Mar for 34 years, said he’s never had six women compete in the tournament and didn’t want to miss an opportunity for the girls to compete against one another.
“When I saw they weren’t ready with the bracket, I said to do the women’s and men’s division,” Moya said.
Players are divided into skills, Moya said, and it was never his intention to separate by gender.
“You don’t play the ‘D’ players against the ‘A’ players,” Moya said. “I separated them so it would’ve been equal for the women. They’re competing against other women. I wanted to give the girls a shot at winning first place, in their division.”
Urbick agrees with Moya and said she’d take it one step further.
“We can advertise it better by saying if we have enough girls, we can break it up into two divisions,” Urbick said. “If we would’ve had more time, it would’ve been great to have the winners from both divisions play each other to see who was the ultimate winner.”