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View Full Version : Why no heads up leagues?



houseman
10-06-2004, 09:39 AM
I know i`ll be sorry I asked this but,
Are there any leagues where you are not required to sandbag?
do any leagues play even?

I hear all the crying and bitching about the sandbaggers but no one seems to try and stop it.
Then I hear the same players on how they set up their own players to win or lose!!!
Seems like the best sandbaggers all go to vegas.
I hear all the storys about the 5`s in vegas that are really 7`s etc.

So no one wants to play in a heads up league and test their real skill, where you have to really play to win. I just don`t understand.

I know the lesser players need to have a chance to win, but not with all the tricks. Why can`t the players with the same exact rating play each other??

J.M.O.

Wally_in_Cincy
10-06-2004, 09:44 AM
The Cincinnati Straight Pool League is not handicapped. I like it that way. If you somehow beat a better player you know you earned it.

SpiderMan
10-06-2004, 09:47 AM
It's probably a function of where you live. My BCA and ACS 8-ball leagues are scratch (no handicaps). Some leagues may compensate for skill differences by having different divisions for the beginning players.

SpiderMan

woody_968
10-06-2004, 09:55 AM
I just started playing in VNEA and I am enjoying it alot more than APA. Its the first time I havent been asked to "control" my handicap.

Like you said, in APA if you want to compete on a higher level you have to watch your handicap. Alot of that has to do with the different level of players in different regions IMO.

I would love to play in a scratch league but unfortunatly after some of the lower skilled players have played in a handicap league they just dont or wont see the advantage and thrill of getting in and playing even with better players. Its sort of a double edged sword, handicap has many players playing that might not have played otherwise. But I think they miss the fun and learning opportunities that are had by playing low cost scratch tournaments and leagues.

Barbara
10-06-2004, 10:09 AM
Mickey,

The bar league I play in is scratch. But if you think all the whining is done in the handicapped leagues, you should hear the b$tching that goes on with heads-up play in this league! Not to toot my own horn, but at one point in time some of the other teams wanted to ban ME because I was "too good". Gee, if they would go out and get themselves a couple of instruction books, dedicate 2-3 hours a night to practicing, take lessons from some pros and BCA Master instructors, then THEY might find out they're "too good", too!

I used to love it when Tacony had their no-handicap 9-ball tournies. I'd go play in them. I hate getting weight from some of those players. It totally changes they way they'll play me.

Barbara

Popcorn
10-06-2004, 10:20 AM
No one would play since they have no chance to win. Pool is pretty decisive.

woody_968
10-06-2004, 10:47 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> No one would play since they have no chance to win. Pool is pretty decisive. <hr /></blockquote>

I dont agree with this one Popcorn /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Granted it may be a harder sell, but promoted correctly it could be sold. An in house league that paid back to all players based on points is one way to do it. Granted everyone will know that there may only be one or two people in the league in the running for being number one, but seeing who they CAN finish ahead of could be a draw for this type of settup.

Lets face it, one of the great things about pool players is we all think we are better than we really are, and most people will feel they can finish in the top half at least, so participation may not be a hard to get as you think.

Of course I could be wrong, but its my dream and Im stickin to it /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

landshark77
10-06-2004, 11:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> No one would play since they have no chance to win. Pool is pretty decisive. <hr /></blockquote>

I agree with this to a point. Amongst other things, the APA got me playing pool. Now that I have been playing a while I must admit that I hate it. (I still play because I'll take what I can get). I have grown to hate handicaps and slop ball pool. I am not some great player either, only a SL 3, but I think heads up pool will help my game MUCH more than stupid slop ball where all I need is 2 games to "win". I just can't get that around my parts. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Deeman2
10-06-2004, 11:13 AM
I think you have to be in a fairly big town/market for a non-handicap league to work very well. Small places have two of three dominant players and the less skilled get tired of losing to the same guys every time. I like scratch pool but most people want quick winning records and it takes time, against better players to develop winning as a skill.

You can hear people say they want to make the sacrifices to play better but complain the minute they have to match up against a player. Go figure...

Deeman2
10-06-2004, 11:20 AM
More rant...

Reminds me of living in Detroit. On Tuesday evening you could go and play against the best players in Detroit and guys would complain that the same players were winning each week! Now, let me get this straight, we get the chance to complete for about $10 against the likes of Cornbread Red, Big John, Eric, etc. and you feel cheated. How about the asking a middle level PGA Pro to play you for a buck a game? Gee, what a bunch of whimps! /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

I feel better now.

Deeman

Sid_Vicious
10-06-2004, 11:33 AM
I feel that Popcorn has a valid issue. I played on new teams in the past in heads up leagues where it was automatic that the legacy teams from that league "used" several of the newly formed teams to gain huge amounts of points against for the trophy and individual prizes($$$.) The team scores did not matter except for overall tip-top position, it was individual points you got paid for, BUT it is my analysis from my old team mates during and after each season that the lopsided scores was demeaning and no fun, so most of them quit altogether. If you ask 5 guys to form a team and then not create a team score importance factor, it, IMO, is a contradictory format.

Having said all this, if that league was to set a quota on the number of A and above players per team, the format would work great. Thing is that the top, older-formed teams would cry about being broken up, "Waaa, we need this team in full to get ready for Vegas next May, Waaaa!" It spoils the fun for those coming in new to the league and eventually diminishes the overall league...sid

Wally_in_Cincy
10-06-2004, 11:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> The Cincinnati Straight Pool League is not handicapped. I like it that way. If you somehow beat a better player you know you earned it. <hr /></blockquote>

But, on the other hand, if a guy joins the league and only wins one match out of his first 20 he will usually quit at that point. So popcorn certainly has a valid point.

Popcorn
10-06-2004, 12:05 PM
Most people like to be good sports and participate but they get tired of donating every week. I have seen this numerous times in weekly tournaments without handicaps. Same people always win and it ends pretty quick.

woody_968
10-06-2004, 12:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Most people like to be good sports and participate but they get tired of donating every week. I have seen this numerous times in weekly tournaments without handicaps. Same people always win and it ends pretty quick. <hr /></blockquote>

I have seen this happen. But in this case an adjustment to the format might work instead of going to a handicap system. I used to hold a race to 3 loser breaks 9ball tournament that went over very well. The short race gave the lesser players a chance to beat anyone, but still gave the overall advantage to the better player, which is where the advantage should be. Making it loser breaks made even the weakest players feel like they were involved in every rack.

I still remember when I beat our local pro in this format. At that time it was a big deal for me and felt as good as winning any of the tournaments that I have won.

bsmutz
10-06-2004, 12:23 PM
In my area there are APA and BCA leagues. I just started in a heads up bar league last night. There is no formal organization. 7 guys from about 30 bars (some bars have more than one team) play each other in 5 divisions. No handicaps. It looks like it's going to be a lot of fun with little or no whining and no reason to sandbag. At the end of the season, we have playoffs and a big party. No chance to go to Vegas, but who needs that kind of notoriety anyway? I know from experience that if I want to be able to beat better players than I, I need to improve my game. Personally, I wouldn't feel all that great about beating someone who was obviously a better player than I am by winning two or three games to their 5 or 6. I would rather bring my game up so that I had a decent chance of beating them at their level. That's just me, though.

Chopstick
10-06-2004, 12:48 PM
The foundation of the APA leagues is the premise that because it's handicapped anyone can have a chance to win. I recognize that this is necessary because it gets more people involved in the game. I do not agree with how it is implemented sometimes but it does serve a purpose. Sand bagging is a very dishonorable thing to do. I have heard of some team captains will insist that you do it to be on their teams. In Florida, a player who is believed to be sand bagging is reported to the league operator and usually their handicap is corrected. Our operators are pretty good. I haven't run into any sand baggers myself.

If I did I would crush them, same as I do to every one else. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

SPetty
10-06-2004, 12:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> Having said all this, if that league was to set a quota on the number of A and above players per team, the format would work great. Thing is that the top, older-formed teams would cry about being broken up, "Waaa, we need this team in full to get ready for Vegas next May, Waaaa!" It spoils the fun for those coming in new to the league and eventually diminishes the overall league...sid <hr /></blockquote>Funny you should mention this now. I just got an email from BCA stating that they've dropped the "3 original members" rule from their Masters teams events in Vegas with the very exact reasoning you mention here!

Check it out! (http://www.playbca.com/images/mailer/1005.php)

SPetty
10-06-2004, 12:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> No one would play since they have no chance to win. Pool is pretty decisive. <hr /></blockquote>I play in a non-handicapped league that rewards on a team basis, except for personal best things like "break and run" or "nine on the break" type of things. If you're playing in league in order to make money, well, that's just dumb.

The payback in our league is so paltry anyway, and the differences between the amount paid back to the teams is so little, that it doesn't make a lot of difference to most people.

It's the only way I have of playing the better players. I don't expect to make money from it. But then I'm one of those idiots to whom winning isn't everything. Learning is a lot of fun, win or lose. Playing is a lot of fun, even if you lose sometimes. And losing to better players makes you want to play better, right?

TonyMN
10-06-2004, 01:13 PM
I play in a VNEA league that is not handicapped. The best teams play in a 'masters' division, then there is AA, A and B. Some towns have C as well. If you win your division, you move up. Occasionally there will be a stronger player in a lower division, but in the 5-person, 25-game format you only play each player once, so it does not ruin your night if you get beaten in one game. I always enjoy playing the best player on the other team.

The only sandbagging comes at the end of year singles and team tournaments, (e.g. when a strong 'A' player or team enters the 'B' tournament) and even that is being controlled as the league organizer is assigning tournament divisions based of league performance compared to known players, previous tournament finishes etc.

Tony.

Leviathan
10-06-2004, 04:11 PM
Houseman:

One problem I see is that heads-up leagues are often competing for the time, money, and interest of people who have the option of playing in weekly heads-up tournaments. If someone can get the heads-up competition he prefers in weekly tournaments, why is he gonna mess with league play?

Man, that's a nice looking room you've got there!

AS

dg-in-centralpa
10-06-2004, 04:33 PM
Houseman,
I'm just west of you in Lebanon. We have two leagues, one is basically a VNEA with handicaps and the other is straight up. No handicap. We have our "stacked" team but everyone still plays and has fun. The handicap is more stressful and not quite as fun.

DG - crushed the local "pro" quite a bit the past year

houseman
10-06-2004, 04:53 PM
Im not doing anything with a league. Just interested in the reasoning behind not playing better players to get better. plus I have to listen to all the bar league guys that practice here. I have have 8, 9, and 10 ball tournaments every sunday, so they have no reason not to play and get better.
Thanks to all who replied to this post and have a great day.
Also thanks for the compliment on the pool room.

Barbara
10-06-2004, 06:32 PM
Hey Mickey!!

I wish I lived closer 'cause I'd play in your tournies!!

Just keep up the faith and keep explaining that this is the way you have to get to Valley Forge to make some money!!

Say hi to Petey for me.

Barbara

Rod
10-06-2004, 07:57 PM
I played in an open BCA league for two or three seasons. It was always fun playing the best in town. Problem was after the first three teams the compitetion was not as stiff. Given a choice that's what I prefer to play. Matter of fact, in later years before I quit league all I played was open division.

Rod

Rich R.
10-07-2004, 06:03 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr>But then I'm one of those idiots to whom winning isn't everything. Learning is a lot of fun, win or lose. Playing is a lot of fun, even if you lose sometimes. And losing to better players makes you want to play better, right? <hr /></blockquote>
Tap, Tap, Tap.

It is better to have played and lost, than to have not played at all. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif