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View Full Version : Good, Bad, and Ugly about APA?



AnimalChin
04-06-2004, 10:34 PM
I talked to a guy that plays in APA league today, but was on my way out the door and had to go. It sounds interesting, since I want to play more competetitively without losing my shirt or getting hustled. But I went to the website and downloaded the manual, and it may as well be written in ancient Greek. I've never played league anything before, and have no idea what this is about. Plus, after reading about all the fees and dues, I wonder if it might be cheaper to take my chances with the hustlers. I was also a little concerned with the whole team aspect. If I don't know anybody in the league, do I just get stuck on a team? If I choke (which is one of the things I would be trying to get over by playing in a league), am I going to get thrown out for sandbagging? It's all so confusing...somebody explain this to me like I was a five year old. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

I'd also like to hear some general opinions and experiences regarding the league play.

thanks all,

Andy

sevenball
04-07-2004, 05:58 AM
i found the APA alot of fun the first few years i was in it. it helped me become a far better player.

go to a local club/bar and find out from some players who the league rep is and give him/her a call and they will be able to tell you who's looking for players. then you can talk to the teams and see what team is best for you. finding a team you like to be on is up to you and in your best interest. and no you will not be booted for choking but bagging some thing that may or may not appeal to a team. hence one problem. bagging is relative to what? i dont know, was that a safe or did he just miss? its a fine line that is hard to read thats for sure.

i've found after a while that in APA there are a few problems but they could be my areas or my aditude. but as i said the APA helped me in alot of ways with my game.

problems i see.
1.) you dont really know who your playing unless its a 2 or a 7.
2.) handicaps do change from one division to the next. im speaking from experience and purely a players view and really know nothing about the internal doings of the league handicapping system. i think it has to do with size a range of players in each division.
3.) APA is about getting new players in and turning over old teams. you cant keep a team together very long because people cant help getting better and the 23 rule will be hit fast. to be honest i beleave you need a 23 team to go to vegas. what im saying is a team grows untel it becomes to hard to hold 23 and then split makes two or three other teams, has to find new players and does all the work for APA bussiness. kind of like being an ameba split and grow. good for bussiness right? bad for building a team.

this post is filled with my own thoughts and experience and should not be taken as gospel. as a young player i found the APA expereance to be of great value to my game and a great time. i hear people that are casual players enjoy it more over the long haul. i do beleave giving it a chance to make your own opinion is worth your time and money unless your already a 7.

thing i like about APA.

1.) it was fun to get out a meet new people that like the game and i made alot of friends.
2.) it made me realize that ball in hand is the farest way to play the game. but you probly know this, but in my time safe was cuncidered p***y pool and BIH was kiddy pool. thank god that changed.
3.) the competition really helped my game
4.) alot of good players are ready to give you advice for free.

all and all its good for a young player and fun for more advanced players that want to play casual. IMO

sorry cant get my spell checker to work so please bear with my bad spelling sorry.

=k=
04-07-2004, 06:38 AM
sevenball pretty well sumed it up. then only thing he didn't address was your concern was price.. to me it's cheap entertainment.. cheaper than the movies.. here the price is yearly dues 20.00, week dues are 7.00 a little more if you don't have a full team..
APA was a good time for me, i play TAP leauge now as i prefer no slop. Good luck. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

KGeeED
04-07-2004, 07:01 AM
I played in the old Busch League that I think turned into the APA. It was a fun league and does give you a chance to meet and play against other players. The things that I did not like was no point money was ever returned. If your team does not get past the local level do not expect to get any money back at the end of the season. The other was the 23 rule. If everyone "strives" to move up a level your team will not have the players to stay under the 23 limit. This causes a lot of sandbagging. As stated in another post not every league rates the players the same so if your team does go beyond the local level you may end up playing against a 4 level player that should be a 8. This is a little extreme but players seem to "improve" real fast before a tournament and when real money is involved.

If you go into the league to enjoy a night out, play against some good competition, meet other pool players and use it as a learning experience it serves the purpose. Don't worry about the rules and all of the other bs that may be involved. The team captain will explain the rules and you should make some new playing buddies.

Good luck

Predator314
04-07-2004, 07:22 AM
I don't know a lot of the details on the APA, but I believe it's good for the game and can bring a lot of newer players to the sport.

I'm getting together with some people this summer and we are going to try to get an APA league started in these parts. We have no such creature around here right now.

I, personally, don't really like handicapped tournaments/leagues because it leads to people cheating to get a lower rating (sandbagging I guess?) and can get ugly. But, I think non-handicapped tournies scare some of the newer players away. I know back when I was first starting, I wouldn't play in a lot of the tournaments because I knew I was just throwing money away.

Pelican
04-07-2004, 08:03 AM
Mornin' AnimalChin, I have been playing APA for a few years and agree with all the positive aspects everyone else has stated. Naturally any time you are dealing with a group of folks there is going to be a butt or two in the crowd but just let them slide off. If I was in charge of APA there are two rule changes I would make.
A. I would make it "call pocket" on all shots. Not call everything like some bar rules are but at least make the ball in the pocket you are trying for.
B. Open table after break. Side would be determined by the first legally pocketed ball.

It really is a great league and is not any more expensive than shooting in your bar tourneys on a weekly basis. One thing you are going to notice is a feeling of more pressure to win. When you are shooting on your own a loss only affects you. Shooting on a team makes you want to win for team and you feel it.

Go ahead and join, make new friends, and enjoy /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif. Pel

stockman4180
04-07-2004, 08:07 AM
I played BCA for several years and APA for four years and am now in TAP. Any organization can be good for the game. It depends on how the local operator conducts the league. I liked the rules of BCA (no slop). APA I did not like the rules as much because of slop. TAP is call ball/pocket and combines the best of BCA and APA. I agree with the posting on handicaps. The APA local operator has complete control over the handicaps of the players and thus it can fluctuate from region to region. The 23 point handicap rule does break up teams. In TAP the operator has no say in the handicap and is truly a national handicap system and the team limit is 25. All leagues rely on the operator to promote for national events. This is where the handicap system fails for APA. Everyone has their own ideas on leagues. Everyone should have a choice. I think there is dissatisfaction out there with all leagues. That is why there are more national organizations coming into being. No system or league is perfect. Play the league you like and have fun!

Wally_in_Cincy
04-07-2004, 08:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stockman4180:</font><hr>
...The APA local operator has complete control over the handicaps of the players....

<font color="blue">While this may have been true in the past I don't believe it is now. The database is now partially, if not completely, national. At least that's my understanding after talking to my LO. </font color>


and thus it can fluctuate from region to region.

<font color="blue">It can fluctuate from region to region but not for that reason. If a region has stronger players the handicaps will be lower due to winning percentages. </font color>


.... No system or league is perfect. Play the league you like and have fun!

<font color="blue">Well stated </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

stockman4180
04-07-2004, 08:39 AM
Pelican,

I'm glad you said you would change those two rules. I agree. That is why I am with TAP now. APA is a great national organization for the average player but I think for someone to progress further they have to play call. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of very good players in APA but I think if given the choice they would like those same two rules changed.

stockman4180
04-07-2004, 08:49 AM
Hi Wally,

It has been a while since I was in APA and it may have changed. That type of control really needs to be out of the hands of the operator in order to give credence to the overall system.

I disagree a little with your statement on the stonger players having lower handicaps because of lower winning percentages. It used to be in APA that for a player to go down in their handicap they had to have a very low winning percentage...something like 30% if I remember right. If that was the case then that person should not have been that highly rated anyway. By the way, speaking of handicaps and winning percentages, APA used to compute your handicap based on your last 40 matches throwing out the LOWEST 20 and THEN computing your handicap. That is if the league operator followed those rules. Throwing out you worst scores artifically inflated your handicap and thus breaking up your team because you exceed your 23 limit. That is why 23 was determined to be their limt and that is why they computed their handicap that way. Like I said APA has done a lot of good for the billiard industry. If you like to play pool pick a set of rules and an organization you like and have fun.

pooltchr
04-07-2004, 08:53 AM
I would also like to see them allow a push out after the break in 9-ball.

I have played APA for several years. We have kept the same core team of 5 players, and added others here and there. For the lower skill level players, it is a great way to get some competition, and learn from the higher sl players on your team. Learning to deal with the pressure of playing on a team rather than as an individual is something that actually helps when you get in tournaments. Just understand that for the most part, league players play as much for the social event aspect as they do for competition. Play, Enjoy, and don't sweat the petty stuff.

stockman4180
04-07-2004, 09:00 AM
I never played 9-ball in APA because it was never started in my area. I did not realize that you could not push out in APA 9-ball. I have always played that you could and assumed that everyone else did as well. I agree with you that a push out should be allowed. What next...no ball in hand? /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
04-07-2004, 09:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stockman4180:</font><hr> ....That type of control really needs to be out of the hands of the operator in order to give credence to the overall system....

<font color="blue">Absolutely. Up until a couple of years ago our LO could set handicaps arbitrarily. He can't do that now unless it is approved by St. Louis. I'm pretty sure he's happy about that. It takes the pressure off him. Coincidentally several long-time 6's have moved up to 7's in the last 2 years /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Actually that sucks because these 7's are long-time league supporters who just want to play and now they don't get to play as often but that's APA I guess... /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif</font color>

...APA used to compute your handicap based on your last 40 matches throwing out the LOWEST 20 and THEN computing your handicap....

<font color="blue">They now use 20 and throw out the worst 10 </font color>

That is if the league operator followed those rules. Throwing out you worst scores artifically inflated your handicap and thus breaking up your team because you exceed your 23 limit...

<font color="blue">Yep. And that's why their database is national now, I would presume /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

Wally_in_Cincy
04-07-2004, 09:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stockman4180:</font><hr>
...In TAP the operator has no say in the handicap and is truly a national handicap system and the team limit is 25.....<hr /></blockquote>

But.... I have a friend who wins in TAP playing as a 6 (He was a 5 in APA). But I, as an APA 5, can give him at least 2 games on the wire in a race to 7. So the 25 rule may be deceiving.

stockman4180
04-07-2004, 10:05 AM
I am an APA and TAP 7 and it still petrifies me to play a 5 from anywhere. The only thing that may be as scary as a 5 is a 4 /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I see APA is changing...and that's good. Any organization that stays stagnant will not grow.

bluewolf
04-07-2004, 11:17 AM
I think APA is good for two types of pool players.

1) The recreational type who are want a night out with friends and for those who are serious but have no non handicapped tournies in their area.

2) Playing in a league also helps to build confidence and skills in a beginner or lower intermediate player who is not yet ready for the tougher competition of the non handicapped tournies.

I guess I fall in between, having the confidence, but not quite the skills to do that well in non handicapped tournies. I know a few, a bit better than me who would do well in such tournies but do not have the condidence.

Laura

catscradle
04-07-2004, 11:52 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stockman4180:</font><hr> I never played 9-ball in APA because it was never started in my area. I did not realize that you could not push out in APA 9-ball. I have always played that you could and assumed that everyone else did as well. I agree with you that a push out should be allowed. What next...no ball in hand? /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif <hr /></blockquote>

APA 9-ball is very different from regular 9-ball not just the absence of the pushout. You don't play for x number of games won by pocketing the 9, rather you play to acheive x number of points by counting pocketed balls. Except for the 9 balls are 1 point each, the 9 is 2 points. Therefore if you ran a whole rack you get 10 points. Your handicap determines how many points you have to go to. I actully like it better than Texas Express as everything doesnt' come down to getting the 9 in.

catscradle
04-07-2004, 11:55 AM
I also like the fact that APA leagues are a team effort. Teams are just a lot more fun than solo activities.

Pelican
04-07-2004, 11:57 AM
Howdy Stockman, yep, I wish we had a TAP league in my area. I called to see about starting one and they sent me the info but, man, I have so many irons in the fire now it's about to put the damn fire out.

I played in a local men's league for several years and it was call everything about the shot. There was rarely more than a couple of weeks go by without a big rah-hoo about "your object ball brushed that other ball going in the pocket" "no it didn't it went clean" "yada yad yada". Got on my nerves. That is why I think just call pocket is better.

woody_968
04-07-2004, 12:43 PM
Im sorry I didnt read everyones response to this, so if I say something that has already been said please just bash me in the head /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

To some degree I think your enjoyment will depend on your current skill level. IMO the APA is set up for the most part for lower to average skilled players. It is great for some mild competion (some of them can really play!) and I consider it to be cheap. Our weekly dues are $4. And I do believe it will help you improve.

The good.
You get to play many people of different skills.
You get to know some of the better players in your area.
Higher level play offs can be filled with excitement.
Low cost compared to the amount you can lose gambling.

The bad.
Skill levels change between regions.
There is no limit to a 7, could barely be a 7 or could be a world beater.
Sometimes you set around all night to play one match, or not play at all. (This is good or bad depending on the people on the team)
When people start to go up in SL it can cripple a team.
Many people feel to be able to win at higher level they must sandbag.
It can be frustrating for a low player to have to play someone that either runs out or hooks them on every shot.


Overall if you have never played league I would highly recommend it. After a while you will decide if you want to keep playing or not, but I dont think you will be sorry you at least played a few setions.

Wally_in_Cincy
04-07-2004, 12:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Pelican:</font><hr>
...If I was in charge of APA there are two rule changes I would make.
A. I would make it "call pocket" on all shots....<hr /></blockquote>

I used to think it didn't matter that much. In a typical match you only see 1 or 2 balls slopped in. If the players are 5 or above you usually don't see any.

but....

Last week this guy (s/l 4) slopped in 10 balls in 6 games against me /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

After that happened I agree with you whole-heartedly /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

stockman4180
04-07-2004, 12:55 PM
I know what you mean. I run some 8-ball bar tournaments and they wanted bar rules calling EVERYTHING. I finally convinced them to go call pocket and things quieted down by 99.9%. I just started a TAP league and I can sympathize with you on irons in the fire. Somehow its working. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

stockman4180
04-07-2004, 12:59 PM
It sounds interesting. I guess I am from the old school and like Texas Express rules. Actually I run a 9-ball tournament on the weekend and the most popular format is round robin. Everyone wants to get their moneys worth. I usually do a race to 3 but I am getting so many I am having to reduce it to a race to 2. It is definately getting the interest up in my area.

Fred Agnir
04-07-2004, 01:38 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stockman4180:</font><hr> I guess I am from the old school and like Texas Express rules. <hr /></blockquote>This is contradictory, isn't it?

Fred

Fred Agnir
04-07-2004, 01:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stockman4180:</font><hr>
I disagree a little with your statement on the stonger players having lower handicaps because of lower winning percentages. <hr /></blockquote>The relationship is pseudo indirect. If you lose more in a stronger region, it follows that you are winning less games and gaining more innings. And since the handicaps are based on a ratio of innings and wins, then it further follows that the strength of a region will cause players' handicaps to be lower on average than if they were playing in weaker area. This is a known problem with the APA handicapping system and handicapping systems in general.

It's a readily seen phenomenon just in adjacent regions within a state, let alone regions from different parts of the country.

Fred

stockman4180
04-07-2004, 01:45 PM
See what age does to you? /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif I like 9-ball no matter what the rules.

stockman4180
04-07-2004, 01:51 PM
Fred,

I don't disagree with what you are saying but the way APA computes your handicap is they take your last 20 matches (used to be 40) and throw out the worst 10 (used to be 20) and then compute your handicap. Is stands to reason that if you play other 7's for example, that you could lose. If you play a 4 or 5 you could lose also but not probable. That is why I disagreed "a little". Those thrown out games would not be counted. This brings up the other problem in APA handicap is that because of the way it is computed the resulting handicap is artifically high because it does not take an average of all your matches (whether 40 or 20) but only your 10 (or 20) BEST games. In addition that is why APA is also taking the handicap computation out of the hands of the local operator and rightfully so.

SPetty
04-07-2004, 02:12 PM
The one thing I remember about my several seasons playing in an APA league is that it forced me into places I would never ever have ever considered going into, in parts of town I have never been. Nasty places. Scary places. /ccboard/images/graemlins/ooo.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
04-07-2004, 02:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> The one thing I remember about my several seasons playing in an APA league is that it forced me into places I would never ever have ever considered going into, in parts of town I have never been. Nasty places. Scary places. /ccboard/images/graemlins/ooo.gif <hr /></blockquote>

SPetty,

You would never make it in Hamiltucky /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

But I agree. Nasty and scary is bad. The good thing is you usually don't have to worry about getting in a fight. The bar owners take care of the league players. If some idiot tries to start something he will be gone in an instant.

The only time I ever got in a fight in the APA it was with a bar owner /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif. Every team complained about that place and eventually refused to go there.

Fred Agnir
04-07-2004, 02:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stockman4180:</font><hr> Fred,

I don't disagree with what you are saying but the way APA computes your handicap is they take your last 20 matches (used to be 40) and throw out the worst 10 (used to be 20) and then compute your handicap. Is stands to reason that if you play other 7's for example, that you could lose. If you play a 4 or 5 you could lose also but not probable. That is why I disagreed "a little". Those thrown out games would not be counted. <hr /></blockquote>Just to put into light a real world situation that I bring up quite often, I have a friend that played on my APA team. That region, there were several legitimate SL-7's and SL-6's. He was playing as an SL-4 and squeaking by at 50% winning percentage. He moved to another town and another region where the best player (who was rated an SL-7 there) would never be rated an SL-7 in my area. Anyway, the overall competition is terrible there, so my friend somehow wins most of his matches because the simple fact is that the vast majority of that leagues players couldn't run out with two balls on the table and a ball-in-hand. So, he wins more, his innings don't climb, there's nothing to throw out as far as games go, and he's now an SL-6 with a few "highest winning percentage" sessions.

Granted, his game may have improved a bit, but not two skill levels. When nobody is hitting back, and I mean nobody, the skill level artificially increases.

This is the biggest reason, not sandbagging, why at higher level tournaments there is such an outcry that "so and so plays like a SL-6." It's simply because there is such a disparity between skill levels of the different regions. And people overall have no idea.

Fred

bluewolf
04-07-2004, 02:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stockman4180:</font><hr> Fred,

I don't disagree with what you are saying but the way APA computes your handicap is they take your last 20 matches (used to be 40) and throw out the worst 10 (used to be 20) and then compute your handicap. <hr /></blockquote>

If it were that simple, I would be a sl4 instead of an sl3, based on that percent and slightly lower than expected innings, but I am not a sl4, so really think it is a little more complicated.

just my .02

Laura

Pelican
04-07-2004, 04:00 PM
I think the best thing would be go back to forty then throw out the worst 10 and the best 10. That way you have a fair average.

woody_968
04-07-2004, 05:18 PM
Fred, good expanation of a bad problem.

Rich R.
04-08-2004, 04:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> The one thing I remember about my several seasons playing in an APA league is that it forced me into places I would never ever have ever considered going into, in parts of town I have never been. Nasty places. Scary places. /ccboard/images/graemlins/ooo.gif <hr /></blockquote>
SPetty, not all APA leagues are like that. I have played in two APA leagues in neighboring regions. In both, the league was totally in house, no traveling involved until higher level playoffs, and both had 9' foot gold crowns. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
I guess this situation is not typical of APA leagues, but good situations are available, in some locations.

catscradle
04-08-2004, 05:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> ... The good thing is you usually don't have to worry about getting in a fight. The bar owners take care of the league players. If some idiot tries to start something he will be gone in an instant...
<hr /></blockquote>
Of course, that doesn't get you out to your car safely. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

cycopath
04-08-2004, 12:33 PM
I think TAP is the way to go, the only thing they need to change is the Skill Levels. I think they need a wider spectrum. I mean there are far more than 6 levels of players. They should double that number. Of course they would have to change their team SL limit to coincide.

Pelican
04-08-2004, 08:42 PM
One thing that none of the various rating systems used by any of the league organizations can factor is the inconsistant player. All of the rating systems seem to assume you will play within one level of your rating at any given time. Some players will, for unknown reasons, one week shoot like a SL2 and the next week like a SL7. People will accuse them of sandbagging when they shoot bad but in reality they are simply highly inconsistant.

SPetty
04-09-2004, 06:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Pelican:</font><hr> Some players will, for unknown reasons, one week shoot like a SL2 and the next week like a SL7.<hr /></blockquote>Oh, you've seen me shoot! hahahaha /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Pelican
04-09-2004, 08:53 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr>Oh, you've seen me shoot! hahahaha /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif <hr /></blockquote>

What you doin' SP, following me around and copying my style /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

CrimsonWolf
04-09-2004, 09:17 AM
APA is the perfect solution for the player who wants to get into competition and better their game. I was asked by a good friend of mine to play on his team one night after a few beers and $10 worth of pool. I was reluctant to play b/c i never thought I would have a chance to play competitively. After my first game (which I won) I became an instant enthusiast. I'm batting .500 right now and sitting on a SL-3 and I love it!
However, be sure that you choose a team that fits your style. My team (9 ball) is very cohesive w/ the exception of our captain (he's a genuine a$$hole) he isnt much help when I call a time either. Also, 9 ball and 8 ball are very different in handicaps and playing styles..so make sure you learn the difference if you dont already know.
Good luck and have fun! Just watch those women (both of my losses were to women) they know they dont have to whack the crap out of the object ball to make it go in. we guys need to take note. /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif