Gayle in MD
05-15-2002, 10:11 AM
Dear friends,
My team captain and I have been asked to design a new house league format. Our house league follows APA rules for play, but our goal is to come up with a plan which would eliminate sandbagging. Any ideas on how this could be accomplished? If you could design your own league, how could it be arranged so that it would be truly honest and fair? I know there are some great thinkers here on the CCB, so what would be your ultimate dream of a fair format? Thanking you in advance for your contributions.
Gayle in MD

05-15-2002, 10:47 AM
Good afternoon Gayle:

In My Humble, yet overly biased, Opinion; the ONLY way to eliminate Sand Bagging would be to eliminate the handicap system altogether !!!

Dr. D.

05-15-2002, 11:13 AM
Perhaps someone will have a unique, groundbreaking idea, but I am of the same opinion as Doctor_D. Anytime you have a weighted system, there will be potential for sandbagging. If someone comes up with a foolproof system, I will be happily surprised. We had an in-house league here that was unweighted. The hall owner oversaw the makeup of the teams to make sure that no teams were really stacked. It wasn't perfect, but honestly, I think it was as fair as the weighted leagues, and there was no sandbagging. There were 5 on a team, and each member played each member of the opposing team during a match. (25 games) The trick is to see that the teams are fairly balanced. I think the hall owner did a pretty good job, but there is no way to please everyone.

Rich R.
05-15-2002, 11:41 AM
I also agree, if there is a handicap system, there is a way to cheat it.
The APA is not perfect, but some others are worse. The way to eliminate sandbagging, in the APA system, is for the score keepers to honestly mark all entrys. If a player intentionally misses a shot, it should be marked as a defensive shot. However, it is not always easy to determine if a player intentionally missed a shot or not.
Rich R.

05-15-2002, 12:02 PM
Rich R., Absolutely, a lot of sandbagging could be eliminated if score keepers would correctly mark score sheets, and enter appropriate comments in the comment area. Some observations are subjective, but scoresheets need not necessarily agree, and player patterns will become evident when the same comments are entered by different teams over a course of time.

05-15-2002, 01:04 PM
An easier question to answer is, how many fish are there in the sea?

The best way to keep a fair league is to be watchful. I am true believer that a handicap can not be 100% objective. The league director has to be diligent at knowing how their players play, personalities and goals. End result, there is no way to avoid sandbagging 100%.

Good luck!

05-15-2002, 03:17 PM
Jim, in Phx some of the leagues are based on the team rating. Similar to yours but a little more refined. Every player has a rating. That can be from 4 to 10-2. For some leagues we'll say the maximum rating number for a team is 35. So the most rounded team would be composed of 5, 7 rated players. Of course it could be any combination to total 35. It's not a bad system but everyone has to have a rating. You do have to have a committee or persons that evaluate players skills.

05-15-2002, 04:19 PM
Hello Gayle.. good seeing you post again..

My league idea is based on an ole golf league format.

Every one plays their own game. Eveyone plays each other three times. (Tripple round robin format)

At pre-determined Dates (like every 8 weeks) Names are drawn at random to make up teams (2,3 or 4 person teams). The teams standings are only discovered after the draw.

Continue your schedule for another pre-determined time.. and repeat the team drawings.

You end up with players stats from the tripple round robin format and team standings for the over all session.

You never have to sandbag... because there is no handicap.. and the more you win, the better chance you have on being a team winner when the teams are drawn.

John in NH
05-15-2002, 05:02 PM
Hi Gayle,

If your main purpose to designing a pool league format with players assigned to teams based on handicap, Tom in Cinci has some great ideas. In addition to his suggestions in our league when a player has won/lost 3 or more consecutive matches he/she comes up for evaluation by the league officials or a designated handicap chairperson, they are either deducted or added one point based on the determination of the officials.

If you have finals with playoffs involved this system is fair for everyone.

Hope this helps,


Gayle in MD
05-16-2002, 08:35 AM
Thank you for your kind responses. And thank you Tom, that sounds very good to me, and I will run it by the Captain of my team, who will be the League director for our next session. Again, thanks to everyone who responded, Whatever one may need, fortunately, may always be found right here on the CCB, including good friends. Thanks again to each of you for your responses.
Gayle in Md.

05-16-2002, 08:40 AM
Good morning:

Seeing as you are one of the more special women on this forum, the pleasure was all mine.


Dr. D.

05-16-2002, 08:55 AM
In my opinion, sandbagging cannot be eliminated. If it could, someone would have designed a system by now and sold a zillion dollars worth of franchise league business. Sure, you could employ the "three wins and get evaluated" idea but that requires a board of players, who are comprised of the questioned player's peer group, who may or may not be biased, one way or the other. Also, what is to prevent the player from "laying down" before winning that pre-determined number of matches that gets him/her evaluated? It's a tough call.

The only answer is to create a non-handicapped league, open to players of all skill levels and teams "stacked" like crazy. This should leave a few lesser talented players on the sidelines, so now, start a second league for them. This will leave the true rookies in the railbird seats. Start a third league for them.

Now you have the Major League Baseball scenario...The "Show", Triple A and Double A. As players improve, they can be bumped up to the next level (and dropped down, should they pull a hamstring while power breaking). It will still require an unbiased committee to evaluate players. I suggest employing the defrocked Olympic Skating Judge, unemployed child actors and hosts from cancelled television game shows. They have no horse in the race and pool players have neither enough influence or cash to bribe them.

Eliminate cash leagues and keep the winnings to a cheap trophy, that transfers like the NHL Stanley Cup, from one winner to the next.

I nominate Keith McCready as the league spokesman.

Hell. eliminate leagues all together. This is starting to sound like a bad idea.


Ken (starts league next Tuesday! YIPPEE!)

Scott Lee
05-19-2002, 12:57 PM
You're right! The responsibility lies more with the League Operator, than anywhere else. That will work effectively when you are a small operator with, say around 100 teams. I managed my APA league with NO sandbagging! The only way for sandbagging to happen at all, is if BOTH teams allow it to go by unoticed. When teams reported sandbagging to me, it was dealt with by making the offender a permanent 7 (or 9). They can sandbag all they want at that level! In my league, if you continued to cause problems, you were 86'd from the league. My 800 players ALL knew this, and chose to play by the rules! It also helped that I was very influential in making sure everyone knew how to keep score properly, including the use and marking of defensive shots.

However, once you get to be like the size of some of the larger APA League Operators, who might be managing from 400 to over 1000 teams, it becomes more difficult to 'know' every player, and who potential troublemakers are. You must now rely on the instincts and integrity of the people you having working below you. Sometimes favoritism does rear it's ugly head...even in the best of situations.

I still maintain that APA is the best league opportunity for the average player, who wants to have fun, and learn while they play. Until something better comes along, the APA Equalizer handicap system is the best one available. Sandbagging can only be a problem to the extent that the players themselves allow it to go on. If the players in a league banded together and demanded that the league operator "take care of business", or they would leave and form their own league...surely the L.O. would pay attention! He/She would have to be pretty dumb to ignore that! jmo

Scott Lee

05-19-2002, 04:28 PM
Gayle- our league is BCA format, and we use a whole ball system, so handicaps are adjusted weekly. the handicap setup is that points given to the weaker team are divided by the total # of rounds, with any remaining points stacked in the last round-and the session is based on x number of weeks, with a playoff at the end of the session for final standings and added money. we hold 2 divisions in the playoffs, the top 3 teams and a wild card draw, double elimination for added points and money, the lower bracket is single elimination for final standings, with added money for the top team in this bracket. All teams receive a payout based on total points earned in the session. This seems to help with reducing sandbagging- every player must play their best throughout the season to try to get into that top bracket! I don't know if this can be incorparated into an APA league or not..... regards, Patti I