queer the/(one's) pitch

queer the/(one's) pitch

To ruin, spoil, or undermine someone's efforts, plans, or ideas. Primarily heard in UK. The president's recent decision to back out of the trade agreement has queered the pitch for many companies seeking to enjoy lower export/import costs. I fear that sticking to an inflexible agenda may queer our pitch as we head into general elections.
See also: pitch, queer

queer someone's pitch

mainly BRITISH
If someone or something queers your pitch, they make it very difficult for you to achieve what you are trying to do. Being followed by a camera crew was queering his pitch. Note: You can also say that someone or something queers the pitch if they make something difficult to achieve. They don't want to queer the pitch in their dealings with foreign governments by publicly criticizing their actions. Note: In the past, a pitch was the place where a showman set up his tent or stall. If anyone, especially the police, spoiled or interrupted his show, they were said to queer the pitch. There is an old verb `queer' which means `cheat' or `spoil'.
See also: pitch, queer

queer someone's pitch

spoil someone's chances of doing something, especially secretly or maliciously. British
This phrase originated as 19th-century slang; early examples of its use suggest that the pitch referred to is the spot where a street performer stationed themselves or the site of a market trader's stall.
1973 Elizabeth Lemarchand Let or Hindrance He's a decent lad…he would never have risked queering Wendy's pitch with Eddy .
See also: pitch, queer