View Full Version : Differences between BCA, ACS, APA, VNEA?

06-18-2004, 05:36 AM
I'm new, thinking about joining a league, & reading a lot of posts about these different organizations, which appear to be competing for players. I live in Minnesota, and leagues here have apparently changed affiliations, with lots of arguments flying back and forth about why. Anyway, I'm interested less in the politics and more in what the basic differences are. Would appreciate some background -- and maybe a little explanation why there are so many different organizations.

06-18-2004, 06:43 AM

Chris Cass
06-18-2004, 06:54 AM
Hi Terry,

I'm not sure of anything about the rule changes or formats of any of them. I have played only BCA. My boss is I think President of the ACS. Here's what I know. The BCA plays on Diamond Smart tables. The Nationals will be at the Riv. in Vegas.

The ACS plays on Valley's and the Nationals will be held in Reno, Navada. The VENA are played on Valley's and the Nationals are held at the Riv, in Vegas after the BCA tourney. They play sets. I think 2 out of 3 to win a match.

I think the APA is all about sandbagging and this is strickly of what I've only heard (rumor control). I was told once that if I were to attend a tourney allowing both that me just playing in the BCA leagues would put me at their highest level. So, I'm thinking the players are more like the average joe. Who knows? It was put to me that way once.

Your better off listening to some other replies and I too will learn as they post. I've been interested in the subject too for awhile now.



06-18-2004, 07:55 AM
I think you are being a little harsh on the APA. Granted, there is some sandbagging, but I think it's more the exception than the rule. APA is geared more toward the average player, but most teams have one or two high level players as well. I have played APA for several years and have had some pretty intense matches along the way.

I think the BCA probably has a higher percentage of the stronger players, but it also depends on where you are located and the local league operator. In our area, the APA is huge and BCA leagues virtually non-existent, so if you are playing league around here, it's probably APA.

The bottom line for me is my team. We are all good friends, and enjoy the weekly outing while trying to stay out of all the politics of the league. It ain't life or death, it's pool for the fun of it. If I want to get serious, I play in tournaments.

06-18-2004, 09:30 AM

Yes, there is more sandbagging in APA than other leagues, but I feel the primary difference, as far as a player is concerned, is the format of matches.

Your five-man APA team matches up with another five-man APA team, and you will be matched against only one player on the opposing team. Play will start at 7:30 pm, and often runs until 11:00 or even midnight. For each player, 80% of that evening will be spent waiting on your "one" match, because they are run serially. The captains choose who to put up "next" based on how the prior match goes. I've decided that the APA format was conceived as a way to keep the greatest number of players in the bar for the maximum length of time, with nothing to do but sit around and drink. I quit APA because of that format, as well as the sandbagging. As an honest player, I tired of having to give local shortstops (who should play me even) two games on the wire because their captains are having them sandbag in preparation for nationals.

By comparison, my BCA league starts at 8:00, finishes at 10:00 or 10:30, and I spend the whole time playing because I'm matched up separately with every player on the opposing team. We play nonstop on three tables. BTW, the owners of my BCA league have chosen to go ACS, but say it won't change their weekly format or playing rules. They're planning to use BCA rules (probably under a different name) for 8-ball and Texas Express rules for 9-ball.

The one good thing about APA is that most all of the local teams are sponsored, so there are no weekly dues to pay.

I also played VNEA one season. It was a BCA-like format and rules, but expensive because of weekly dues on top of coins in the table. Around here, BCA leagues are mostly played on "time" tables, so there are no hungry slots to feed.

One additional benefit, which probably varies by region, is that (in Dallas) BCA league participation generally comes with free-practice "perks". My BCA/ACS league plays out of a regular poolroom (time tables), and costs me $10 a week dues. About half of that comes back at the season's end in cash payback. For my $5-a-week net cost, I get to practice free, from open to close, seven days a week, with the exception of Friday and Saturday nights after 8 pm or when there is a waiting list for tables. At those times, I can choose to go on the clock or give up my table. Basically, I play free as long as it's not getting in the way of normal revenue.

If you think that's generous ... one season several years ago my local BCA house was giving it's league players free pool, free soft drinks, and half-price food!!!! I practically lived in that damn place for a year, and tipped really well because I had so much spare cash /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif


06-18-2004, 11:12 AM
Thanks to everyone....so far, very helpful. What about games?.....do all play 8-ball, 9-ball, etc.?


06-18-2004, 12:06 PM
BCA, ACS and APA all have both 8 and 9

I don't know about VNEA.