View Full Version : April 1,2004 SAD DAY for BCA

04-07-2004, 05:08 PM
I guess everyone heard about the BCA League operations getting sold. I don't know all the details, but I have known John Lewis and Cecil Messer collectively for 21 years. These two men have spent their lives promoting the
BCA League Players and the Sport of Pocket Billiards.
As a National Certified Head Referee with the BCA, I strongly support these two and I hope everyone else does
also. Bill Butler BCA Head Referee

04-07-2004, 05:37 PM
Support these two gentlemen in what respect? I don't know either of these people nor the person who bought the leagues, but from what I read, he is no stranger to the Billiard industry. As of now, he doesn't plan on changing anything. Future maybe. Check some prior threads on this subject.

DG - just wonderin'

04-07-2004, 06:09 PM
What is there to support? John Lewis was given the option to stay on and he declined. If he's out it's his own decision. Has anyone else heard that he stabbed his employer, the BCA, in the back by organizing the rebellion? If so, I don't think I would want him working for me.

The players can walk out and form their own organization whenever they want. The smart ones are waiting to see what happens first. Some of those who claimed so many walked out before the sale now have egg on their faces because it seems many of those claims were false.
Ken in CT

04-07-2004, 07:54 PM
Well Bill Butler,

You must also know Patti Ireland and Roger Glenn and Bruce Baker. If they would post their opinions on this situation, I, for one, would welcome hearing what they want to say on the situation.

Barbara~~~dropout of Bruce's/Patti's/Roger's class of Refs, but I made it the next year... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

04-07-2004, 11:35 PM
I fail to see why this is a sad day for the BCA.

They wanted to sell the leagues, they did and they will get their money.

What has John Lewis got to do with this? If he was doing such a fine job, why was the league up for sale?

Too bad the 'instructor certification program' wasn't sold also.

I can only see a better future ahead for pool players.

The BCA can now get on with what they do best.. hold conventions in Vegas. And, not mess with the pool players anymore.

04-08-2004, 01:46 AM
I have known of the possibility of the BCA's intentions to sell the league system since the Head Referee's meeting in CO Springs last year. I had no idea when the sale would occur, or to whom, and CERTAINLY wouldn't have thought it would happen a few weeks prior to our National 8-Ball Championships. LET MY FEELINGS BE KNOWN!!!!! I have been an avid billiards enthusiast since childhood and will remain so until I can't hold a cue anymore. This league sale to Mr Griffin and the American Cuesports Alliance's endeavor have absolutely no bearing on how I feel about my personal position as a BCA National Head Referee. The road is presently uncertain and my loyalty and support will always remain with the referee program, dedicated staff, and players, regardless of what the future brings. I have not, am not, and will probably never be a member or part of any political entanglements. What I know about the present turmoil is upsetting because the Referee Program and Staff are innocent bystanders. I can't stress enough that "WE" referees need to remain a strong nucleus with the same goals. We must maintain our collective strength as a united group and remain representatives of the most elite, well trained, dependable, unbiased and fair billiards officials in the world. We must accomplish this NOW and not wait until the political dust cloud clears. In spite of the uncertainty with recent developments, we still have a National Tournament and thousands of players depending on us in May to provide our knowledge, experience, and dedication to insure another successful event for them. We should be able to do just that without fear of some dreadful reprisal because of influence, pressure, or authority from outside sources, regardless to whom they belong. In my opinion, our only course as members of our Referee program is to remain neutral, avoid the political arena, and support the 2004 Nationals "FOR THE PLAYERS" and not prematurely misplace our loyalty. The players will be there and we should be there to support them. I intend to do just that and hope the referee staff will assist me. I can't do it alone. I'm sure in time we will all see how events unfold and be able to make logical, thoughtful, intelligent decisions concerning our individual positions. Quite frankly, I doubt that any of us have all the information we need about the recent turmoil to do that. I can only plead to the BCA Referees' "loyalty" to themselves and the players to support the 2004 event and take the more decisive steps as time goes on. Lastly, I know many of those people involved in the recent developments and they know me. That is, I say what I mean and mean what I say. Let me say this. I'm proud to have been a part of the BCA Referee Program since 1993 and have absolutely no intention of abandoning it for political reasons. I will remain loyal to all the Referee staff and players who spend an inordinate amount of time and money to enjoy themselves at State, Regional and National Events. It goes no further than that with me at this point in time.

Respectfully to all,

Roger D. Glenn
BCA National Head Referee

04-08-2004, 06:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> Too bad the 'instructor certification program' wasn't sold also.<hr /></blockquote>

Tom, I don't understand why you feel this way. The BCA has done a better job than anyone else when it comes to promoting the game of pool. The instructor certification program is the only one of it's kind anywhere. It operates under the BCA umbrella, but for the most part, is run by the instructors. We had an opportunity to meet with Randy and Bob last week, and all the instructors were invited to share their opinions as to the direction the program should be going. The committee will review the input, and make the final decisions on the items we discussed. The BCA promotes the instructor program with advertising. I personally don't think being part of the BCA is a bad thing for the instructors...in fact, just the opposite. I would like to hear your thoughts as to why you think it should have been part of the sale.

04-08-2004, 07:17 AM
For more information on this from the person who bought the league (Mark Griffin) you can go to www.bcapoolleague.com (http://www.bcapoolleague.com)

04-08-2004, 07:18 AM
Go to www.bcapoolleague.com (http://www.bcapoolleague.com) for up to date information.

04-08-2004, 07:22 AM
RGLENN: Well said...randyg

04-08-2004, 08:33 AM
I've shot in the BCA here in Illinois for a couple of years but never really paid too much attention to the organization. Following some of the posts on this board you seem a lot more knowlegeable about the system than I am. How can you sell a non profit organization? Who gets the money? Are the president and board of directors elected positions? What power did the states and some league operators have before that they feel now they will be losing?

04-08-2004, 09:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> I fail to see why this is a sad day for the BCA. <hr /></blockquote>

I see it as a bad day because now players will have to decide which league to play in. The BCA or the BCA. That is the Billiard Cuesports Alliance(I think?)or Billiard Congress or America. To me that means these leagues could be half as strong as it is now. So the National tournaments for both could be a lot smaller which doesn't help anybody.

I find it hard to believe that going from a non-profit league to a for profit league is going to make that much of a difference to the actual players. But I am not a businessman and may not have a clue.

I plan on waiting until Mark Griffin proves to be a screw up before I switch away from his league since its the one supported by the BCA that I have played for many years.

Chris...Knows he really doesn't have a clue.

04-08-2004, 09:07 AM

Thank you very much!! Well said!!


Rich R.
04-08-2004, 09:53 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ChrisW:</font><hr> I see it as a bad day because now players will have to decide which league to play in. The BCA or the BCA. That is the Billiard Cuesports Alliance(I think?)or Billiard Congress or America. To me that means these leagues could be half as strong as it is now. So the National tournaments for both could be a lot smaller which doesn't help anybody. <hr /></blockquote>
Please let me know if I am missing something here. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Unless I am misunderstanding something, there will no longer be leagues run by the Billiard Congress of America. That is what they sold.
You will either play in the new BCA leagues or you will have to switch to another organization, like APA or TAP.
It goes without saying, there will be only one BCA, National Tournament, not two.

04-08-2004, 10:09 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> Please let me know if I am missing something here. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif<hr /></blockquote>I don't have all the right words here, but in layman's terms, how I understand it is: BCA sold their league to that Diamond guy, who intends to continue to run it without change for a year.

The other BCA referred to is the league organization being created by ex-BCA folks who got pissed at BCA for selling the BCA league.

So, there are two organizations currently being called BCA league organizations.

04-08-2004, 10:46 AM
Info on the former BCA guys league

http://www.mnbilliards.com/ae/servlet/visit?path=A1x67x1y1x66x1y1x86x1y1x1dffx1y1x1d53x1 x71

And as posted earlier for the new purchased BCA League

www.bcapoolleague.com (http://www.bcapoolleague.com)

Rich R.
04-08-2004, 11:52 AM
Thank you both. I was definitely missing the point of the second, independent group. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

04-08-2004, 02:11 PM
I just got an email from the BCA Pool League concerning the Referee program. Congratulations on being appointed Chief of Referees!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Even though I won't be in Vegas this May, I'm sending you a congratulatory handshake!! I know you'll do a great job!!

And if I may make a suggestion? Always bring in Bob Jewett to teach the physics of calling a hit for the Ref school. That was a real eye opener!


04-08-2004, 04:38 PM
Hi Barbara:

I’ve been following with great interest the posts in reference to the divestiture of the BCA League System by BCA corporate. Let me say first this comes as no surprise although I will agree with Roger that the timing may be a little suspect. Reality is I was first told of the possibility of this as far back as 1999 but it then died down. At that time as you may remember, I was with the BCA League and Program Department. No matter the time frame and how it occurred – the fact is it has happened and we must make a decision as to how we proceed from here.

As former Director of Referees and as Sr. National Head Referee I have to be concerned about the future of our league system as well as the future of the BCA Nationals, and the BCA Referee Program. My ONLY concern lies with the PLAYERS and with the BCA REFEREES as it always has, even though I have many hats to wear. Right now I’d like only to address the referee program as I see it and will post my thoughts regarding some of the other pressing issues in the next few days.

Any of you who know me personally know that I am and always have been an outspoken proponent of first rate, well-trained referees. The players deserve this! In the same light the referees have a right to representation and without regard to any personal agenda. The BCA referee program should have long ago been a stand alone program. It should have been completely and totally unencumbered. I stand by my position then and it’s no different now. I’ve always tried to make decisions which are player based, but with an open mind to change, and by gathering as much information as possible. I run my leagues that way, I ran my programs at the BCA that way, and when I was Director of Referees I presented program proposals that way. Did I ruffle feathers and did I step on some toes? Of course I did and you know this is not healthy in the political arena. I fell victim to personal political agendas and to those who live by personal political agenda.

My friend and fellow Head Referee Roger Glenn and I spent considerable time together over this past weekend discussing the future of the BCA system and of course the referee program. We both strongly agree that in order for the referee program to remain a viable entity it MUST be a stand alone program – something I’ve advocated for many years. It must not involve “good old boy” appointments or preferential treatment. Every referee that becomes a part of the program must go through the rigors of adequate and continued training. This doesn’t mean reading and understanding only the rule book. It means relating to the players, undergoing sensitivity training, being ready and able to handle difficult situations, being forthright and non-biased, being impartial; maintaining credibility – in short being about the players. Referees must take their training seriously and be able to apply what they’ve learned. The program MUST be based on quality and not on quantity. When Mark Griffin says we now have the opportunity to stand alone, I support this wholeheartedly and I believe so does Roger Glenn. It’s long overdue and it appears to me that it may now become a reality.

In 1997 I had the pleasure of promoting Roger Glenn to the position of BCA Head Referee and it was a wise decision. Roger has been an asset and a strong advocate of bettering and strengthening the program and of continuing education for the referee staff. These are goals that were long ago established as a part of our program. This past weekend I very strongly urged Roger to accept the position of Director of Referees if offered as I was aware that there likely would be a change at the top. He said to me that he had reservations due to the time constraints of his position with the US Army. I assured him that I would not only support him in total but that I would offer all of my years of experience in the furtherance of the program. I feel very confident that under Roger’s leadership we as a player oriented group will remain impartial and steadfast in our commitment to the sport and to the players. The referees must not become embroiled in the politics of this transition. Our focus and responsibility is to the players and the events – especially what is on the horizon - the 28th National BCA 8-Ball Championships. Beyond that, what occurs remains to be seen.

Yours for better billiards,

Bruce Baker
BCA Sr. National Head Referee and former Director of Referees

04-08-2004, 05:24 PM

It is so good to hear from you!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I applaud your comments and agree with both of you for your comments and commitments and future plans. We need a more comprehensive program to groom and train referees. The program does need to be expanded. Personally, I was a little disappointed in the training I got - there were some conflicting explanations. And this cannot happen when you're trying to explain all the rules that apply in a given situation.

I, for one, would like to see ALL of the Referee staff more fairly compensated for working the Nats. They deserve it! It's hard work and mentally draining. Been there, done that, and it's very interesting work, but for two weeks, you can get really burnt. I feel for those guys and gals.

Bruce, it's so good to hear from you again!! Love to you, Roger, and Patti!! Take care, my friend./ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif


04-08-2004, 05:32 PM
Fair question Steve,

But first, what makes you think that the BCA has promoted the game of pool better than anyone else? I would think that the APA, VNEA and TAP would argue that. I certainly would. The APA, VNEA and TAP leagues have more to offer pool players on a weekly basis. And they all have national and regional events.

It is my opinion that the Instructor program would be better off, not being under the BCA umbrella. Too many issues have been muffed by the BCA. Leagues, Tours, Rules, Olympic sanctions are just a few muffed items the BCA couldn't or wouldn't resolve except by washing their hands of them. Why would they change their ways with the Instructor progam?

just my opinion.. somewhat biased by the long time failure of the BCA to do what I think it should've been doing in the last 20 years.

BTW, this isn't in anyway a slam on the instructors. I just wish there was at least one qualified instructor in every pool hall.

04-08-2004, 09:34 PM
Hey you! Out here, it has been named the ACA, American Cuesports Alliance. It is sort of following the path of the CCA, Canadian Cuesports Alliance. They have been against the sale since the day it was announced and have already formed their own organization, guidelines, etc. Leagues will be formed and the changes will begin to take place June 1, 2004. I believe the ACA is made up of league operators and the like.

To me, it doesn't make much difference in which league I choose to be sanctioned in. I will agree, however, that the money that has been paid into the BCA league system is definitely NOT paid back to the players at their state events! Our women's team took 2nd place in the Open division and only received $100 a piece. That is out of 52 teams! A friend of mine took 17 - 24 place in the open singles, out of 256 women, and only won $85! There is definitely something wrong here. I would like to see more of the money that is paid into the league system, be paid back to the players in the end, but it's not all about the money for me, that's just a plus. I play because I love the game, not because I'm in it for the money!

Now that I'm going on a tangent, I'll step off my soapbox, LOL.


04-12-2004, 06:36 AM
I agree that all of those organizations have done a lot to advance our sport. I was more specifically speaking of what the BCA has done with the instructors program. None of the other leagues have done anything in this area that I am aware of. The BCA program has (through the instructors themselves) have at least got some type of organization so that instructors are teaching most of the same concepts. The fact that there is a system in place to evaluate instructors, and specific requirements to advance through the ranks gives the student some assurance that if they work with a BCA instructor, they are reducing the risk of having someone teach misinformation.

There are some politics involved with the program, and that is the one negative aspect of the program as I see it. Some of the requirements for advancement I presonally believe might be the result of some of those politics, but that is more of an issue for instructors than it would be for any students.

I do agree that any room that wants to build and maintain their pool business should offer quality instruction. The problem is there are not enough of us to go around. For example, if you look at the list of active instructors on the BCA web site, in my state, there are only two instructors on the active list. Some states have more, some less, but no where near the number it would take.

The biggest challenge is educating players on the value of having a qualified instructor work with them. I wonder how many players got new cues last month at VF that paid several hundred and even thousand dollars, but won't pay an instructor to really help them improve their game. This is where I see the value of an organization like the BCA. I can't afford to put an ad in BD, or IP, but as a group, the BCA can and does help promote all of us, and try to get the message out that instructors really can help most any player.

The program is not perfect, but I stand by my original statement that it is the best thing going as far as reaching the most students with a somewhat standardized, proven course.


04-12-2004, 08:06 AM
I did apologize for this post. Please see Bill Butler apologizes

04-12-2004, 08:18 PM
I personally know Mark Griffin and his wife and know how much they support and promote billiards. I would give them both a chance.

Mr Ingrate
04-12-2004, 08:43 PM
Hey Heide,

Actually I'm not sure the 'Alliance' will be using ACA as their initials. Here is their logo:

And a link to the web page (http://www.americancuesports.org).

Say hello to Chris and Spike for me.

04-13-2004, 04:06 PM
You are correct. I heard about the "ACA" immediately after the big meeting in Chicago the weekend before we left for our state tourney. Just yesterday did I find out about "ACS". We have quite a few league operators out here who firmly support the new ACS.

Thanks for the correction, Dave.