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View Full Version : My take/classification of pool leagues/players



jjinfla
01-21-2005, 06:02 AM
Here is how I classify pool players:

APA: The vast majority of pool players. (Now at a quarter million) Equivalent to grade/grammar school. Very beginners to 8th graders.

BCA: A level up. Corresponding to High School. The better players.

"A" players: Real good players who are favored to win local tournaments. Equivalent to College/University students.

Shortstops: The home town hero. Beats everybody locally. This is the person working on his Masters Degree.

Pros: Top of the pile. Cream of the crop. These are the guys/gals who possess a Doctor's Degree.

To progress through one level to the next one takes time and a lot of hard work, just like real life in reaching for a Doctor's degree. And in pool, just like in the real life academic world, we have our prodigies who seem to sail through the stages with minimum effort. These are the gifted ones.

Not all goals are attainable by everyone.

Jake

9 Ball Girl
01-21-2005, 07:10 AM
You know what I've noticed with a majority of APA players, at least the ones that I've come across, that they don't know much about pool outside of the bar. To that I mean that they've never heard of the Pros, they didn't know of matches shown on ESPN, they don't know of local tournaments or things like the U.S. Open, the Mosconi Cup, or other Pro tournaments that are local.

IMO, it's not just practicing at the table that makes you a better player, I think that one should attend such tournaments. Seeing is learning, ya know? And, of course, playing in weekly tournaments always helps too.

My 2 cents.

SpiderMan
01-21-2005, 09:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 9 Ball Girl:</font><hr> You know what I've noticed with a majority of APA players, at least the ones that I've come across, that they don't know much about pool outside of the bar. To that I mean that they've never heard of the Pros, they didn't know of matches shown on ESPN, they don't know of local tournaments or things like the U.S. Open, the Mosconi Cup, or other Pro tournaments that are local.

IMO, it's not just practicing at the table that makes you a better player, I think that one should attend such tournaments. Seeing is learning, ya know? And, of course, playing in weekly tournaments always helps too.

My 2 cents. <hr /></blockquote>

NBG,

I think that your observations may be localized. I try to play in about 2 Dallas-area tournaments every week, and I see quite a few of the 6- and 7-speed APA players participating. Sometimes they beat me /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

SpiderMan

jjinfla
01-21-2005, 09:38 AM
Just like Venn diagrams, some of these classifications may overlap.

I have noticed the same thing 9-ball girl. A few years ago I was in a pool room and there was Nick Varner matching up. Not only was nobody watching him but I would guess that the majority of them didn't have an idea who he was, and could care less.

Jake

Rich R.
01-21-2005, 09:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> APA: The vast majority of pool players. (Now at a quarter million) Equivalent to grade/grammar school. Very beginners to 8th graders.

BCA: A level up. Corresponding to High School. The better players.
<hr /></blockquote>
Jake, what basis do you have for rating the BCA players above the APA players?

IMHO, they are just two different leagues, all amateur players.

In some areas of the country, the BCA has a very stong presence, but, in other areas, like mine, the BCA is almost nonexistent and the APA rules.
The one small BCA league, that I know of in my area, is made up of people who also play in the APA.

Using your example, I would have to say, from what I have seen, league players in general, run from grade school through high school, at least.

I also have to say, I have seen local APA players beat some of the pro players in regional tournaments, more than once.

GeraldG
01-21-2005, 03:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> Here is how I classify pool players:

APA: The vast majority of pool players. (Now at a quarter million) Equivalent to grade/grammar school. Very beginners to 8th graders.

BCA: A level up. Corresponding to High School. The better players.

"A" players: Real good players who are favored to win local tournaments. Equivalent to College/University students.

Shortstops: The home town hero. Beats everybody locally. This is the person working on his Masters Degree.

Pros: Top of the pile. Cream of the crop. These are the guys/gals who possess a Doctor's Degree.

To progress through one level to the next one takes time and a lot of hard work, just like real life in reaching for a Doctor's degree. And in pool, just like in the real life academic world, we have our prodigies who seem to sail through the stages with minimum effort. These are the gifted ones.

Not all goals are attainable by everyone.

Jake <hr /></blockquote>

I dunno, Jake...I played BCA before I played APA. I haven't noticed an across-the-board difference like you suggest.

Angel_R
01-21-2005, 10:54 PM
just curious, where does VNEA come in? although this is my first year in a APA league, I found a good number of players that knew more about pro players then what is being portrayed here. I think when you talk about player skills, you have to look at the environment and the opportunity to play in tournaments or better quality players. I think saying that saying that a majority of APA players are not as good as BCA or any other league is a blind statement that doesn't have enough facts to form that opinion. Maybe I don't have enough facts to disagree, but I think you'll find a number of players anywhere that may not not be knowledgable of pool players and in the same instance you may find a number players in small town USA who know alot of about the pros. Alot of the leagues have the same mixtures when it comes to players that know and don't know about pool. IMO, geography plays a big part on how you learn and how much you can play. I hope this makes sense

Cali
01-22-2005, 01:42 AM
I agree with spiderman, I have been beaten in local tourneys by nobodys and non league players and I have beaten local pros and money players. I myself play BCA on 9 footers. APA mostly plays on 7 1/2 and bar boxes. I like to think I play better than most APA 7's in the area, and I do. Largly in part because I play on 9 footers and I feel that is a great advantage when I jump down to a smaller table, I don't miss very often. The average APA player does'nt play on different tables and because of the variety of skill levels I found that APA was more of a recreational family league. Its also a hell of a lot easier to go to Vegas in BCA. I play in an A division in BCA which consist mainly of "players" and wanna be local pro's so their mentality and approach to the game is a little more serious IMO. " If it smells like fish, scrub it with a brillo pad and douse it with bleach" Jon

dbankjr
01-22-2005, 02:16 AM
There seems to be a lot taken for granted here that there are some of us in this sport who do not choose to be in the choreographed atmosmosphere in this sport who are not accounted for. Some of us just enjoy the game, not wishing to be in the format of league competition for one reason or another. Yes I've been there, and enjoyed it. It's not necessary &lt;league&gt; to being proficient in this sport.
An empty can makes the most noise in league or not.. the proof is on the table.

mike6262
01-22-2005, 04:36 AM
I agree with 9 Ball Girl no matter what you choose to do, if you want to improve significantly you must also change your state of mind, and watching these pro tournaments is part of that process. Unless of course you have that god given talent where you can fall out of bed and start running tables and winning tournaments, haha

GeraldG
01-22-2005, 07:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cali:</font><hr> I agree with spiderman, I have been beaten in local tourneys by nobodys and non league players and I have beaten local pros and money players. I myself play BCA on 9 footers. APA mostly plays on 7 1/2 and bar boxes. I like to think I play better than most APA 7's in the area, and I do. Largly in part because I play on 9 footers and I feel that is a great advantage when I jump down to a smaller table, I don't miss very often. The average APA player does'nt play on different tables and because of the variety of skill levels I found that APA was more of a recreational family league. Its also a hell of a lot easier to go to Vegas in BCA. I play in an A division in BCA which consist mainly of "players" and wanna be local pro's so their mentality and approach to the game is a little more serious IMO. " If it smells like fish, scrub it with a brillo pad and douse it with bleach" Jon <hr /></blockquote>

In my area in APA we play on 9-foot tables. The only time we play on 8-foot or 7-foot tables is in the City Cup playoffs and in Vegas at the Nationals. The entire regular season is played on 9-footers, from house-to-house and from Gandy to Olhousen to Brunswick to whatever table and whatever condition. So we have to be able to switch back and forth. I have played both BCA and APA (as well as TAP), and I would say that they are, on average, about equal in skill...at least in the Atlanta area.

SecaucusFats
01-22-2005, 05:29 PM
I play on an APA team that is part of an in house division. We play on 9 foot Brunswicks GCIII's the last I time I played on a bar box in APA was at the 8 Ball Team Championship in Las Vegas this past summer.

How strong a player really is, independent of league affiliation or lack thereof, varies from town to town and region by region. Some areas simply produce more solid players than others because they have a more competive pool scene.

An APA 6 in one area may be the equivalent of a 4 in another, and a 7 in yet another area. Such disparities, IMHO are not the result of sandbagging; although yes, sandbagging can and does occur. The same can be said for individual match players. A guy may be a big fish A in a pond full of guppys. He may find himself in a match with another player that is rated a B but who has spent years in an ocean full of sharks and barracudas. The 'the big fish' is now just a tasty snack to the B.

SF

jjinfla
01-23-2005, 08:38 AM
I really do have to stop putting my rambling thoughts out on a message board. Didn't think there was that much confusion about APA and BCA.

Anyway, by definition APA is designed for the beginner and the average player. BCA is designed for everyone and welcomes the very best. So it makes sense (to me) that there will be better overall quality players in the BCA.

Of course there are players who play in both the APA and the BCA and anything else out there.

But face it if you have a BCA team and really want to win your division you had better have the team filled with the best players. Even though there is a handicap during season play the handicap system goes out the window when it comes to the playoffs. At least here it did. And it was just heads up race to 13 for the team. Best player will usually win that format.

I did play BCA back in 1999 and sure our team won a few games in the playoffs but luck only takes you so far. Skill prevails. I really don't want to be on a BCA team that has players who play worse than I do. But when I found that team they didn't want me either. LOL

Jake

mksmith713
01-23-2005, 10:38 AM
I don't play in leagues for simple reason that my best friend and playing partner is my 16 year old son.
He's not old enough to play APA and all the APA leagues in my area are played in places that serve alcohol and they won't let him play either.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.
We've had the opportunity to sit in and watch local, regional APA and BCA tournaments at a big pool room in our area and I have to agree. BCA is a step up from APA.
APA allows slop play. No calling of pockets except for the 8-ball.
Hell, they might as well be playing 9 ball.
It's kind like going fishing and using dynamite instead of a fishing pole.

When he hits an age where he can play in leagues, we'll probably play BCA. No sense taking your game backwards.

Rich R.
01-24-2005, 04:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> Anyway, by definition APA is designed for the beginner and the average player. BCA is designed for everyone and welcomes the very best. So it makes sense (to me) that there will be better overall quality players in the BCA.<hr /></blockquote>
Jake, although this may be the basic design for the two leagues, the reality of the situation is quite different.
As I stated, the BCA has a minimal presense in my area. It is also filled with people that play in the APA and TAP leagues, and they are not necessarily the best players.
Therefore, the reality, in my area, is that the best players are playing in the APA.

I'm sure this is not the situation in all areas.
My only point is, that there is not a lot of difference, overall, in the quality of play between the two leagues.

GeraldG
01-24-2005, 05:16 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> Anyway, by definition APA is designed for the beginner and the average player. BCA is designed for everyone and welcomes the very best. So it makes sense (to me) that there will be better overall quality players in the BCA.<hr /></blockquote>
Jake, although this may be the basic design for the two leagues, the reality of the situation is quite different.
As I stated, the BCA has a minimal presense in my area. It is also filled with people that play in the APA and TAP leagues, and they are not necessarily the best players.
Therefore, the reality, in my area, is that the best players are playing in the APA.

I'm sure this is not the situation in all areas.
My only point is, that there is not a lot of difference, overall, in the quality of play between the two leagues. <hr /></blockquote>

That's my experience in my area, too. I know one APA SL-9 that I would put up against most of the pros and give him a good chance. In a 9-ball race to 7 (not APA format) he will usually have 2 break-and-runs on average (sometimes more), has a dynamite safety game, is one of the best I've seen at kicking and banking. He is a very good A player. To tell you the truth, I don't really understand why he keeps playing in amateur leagues. Even with the APA handicapping system, there is really not much chance at all of winning against him. If you almost never get out of your chair, and when you do you're ALWAYS kicking at something...it's hard to win. He's one of the nicest guys in the league, but just almost impossible to beat. I think he does it just to help the lower ranked players on his team....not sure. Anyway, BCA doesn't have anyone in this area that I know of that can beat him.

jjinfla
01-24-2005, 12:16 PM
aaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh

I was speaking in general terms. Not looking at any one or two or 100 players.

If you take the 250,000 APA players and figure out their rating, say on a 1-10 basis, 10 being best, you might come up with an average of 4.5.

Then if you take the 80,000 BCA players and rate them using the same standards you might come out with an average of 5.0.

At least that is my perception.

Therefore "generally speaking" the BCA would be slightly better as to quality of players.

It does not mean that there are not a lot of really, really good players in the APA or that there are not a lot of really, really bad players in the BCA. All I was saying is that on balance there will be a higher percentage of better players in the BCA.

Of course I have been know to be wrong before so this might make the 2nd time I am wrong.

But if you join a BCA team with a bunch of SL 2's and 3's then you can be assured of not winning your division.

Jake

GeraldG
01-24-2005, 12:22 PM
OK...I gotcha. I'm just not sure about it on a national basis...I can only relate what I see in my area. You may be right.

Deeman2
01-24-2005, 12:58 PM
I've been lucky/misfortunate/perplexed enough to see APA and BCA in about twenty different parts of the country as my alimony recipents all played in one or the other and I believe BCA is stronger in general as well. As far as league play on children's tables, I don't really love it but stack it up against Bob Vanover, Randy G. or any of a large number of them and you'll quickly promote them to post graduate studies on any table.
/ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Deeman
is newly amazed at what some people can do on a toy....

Stretch
01-24-2005, 07:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman2:</font><hr> I've been lucky/misfortunate/perplexed enough to see APA and BCA in about twenty different parts of the country as my alimony recipents all played in one or the other and I believe BCA is stronger in general as well. As far as league play on children's tables, I don't really love it but stack it up against Bob Vanover, Randy G. or any of a large number of them and you'll quickly promote them to post graduate studies on any table.
/ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Deeman
is newly amazed at what some people can do on a toy.... <hr /></blockquote>

I'm doing my phd. (Pool Hall Diploma) on 4x8's, but i'm majoring in 9 ball. A few more years and i'll have my Doctorate. Most leagues whether they're BCA or APA are about the same as getting your GED's. It's a good start...but you'll need more. St.

mksmith713
01-24-2005, 08:31 PM
It's a shame you can't skip grades like in a real school.
I have a 16 year old son who can't even participate in APA, BCA, TAP, etc.
He's been relegated to being the smartest kid in kindergarten. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

SpiderMan
01-25-2005, 08:36 AM
I'm not aware of any age limit for BCA participation. If such exists, it's probably a locally-administered thing in your area.

SpiderMan

Deeman2
01-25-2005, 08:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> I'm not aware of any age limit for BCA participation. If such exists, it's probably a locally-administered thing in your area.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> In Longview, we have a smoking ban in any place that anyone under 18 goes in. Therefore, the kids are barred from playing BCA over that.

Spiderman, wish you were coming tomorrow. We will miss you, but not on the 7 footer... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif </font color>

Deeman

jjinfla
01-25-2005, 09:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> I'm not aware of any age limit for BCA participation. If such exists, it's probably a locally-administered thing in your area.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

We have one bar here that does not allow anyone in the place who is under 21. They have an APA team and when they play the one team that has a person under 21 they play away.

Then Ocala has instituted an ordinance where no one under 18 is allowed in after 9pm in an establishment that serves alcohol.

APA used to restrict play to persons 21 or over but they dropped that requirement.

APA doesn't care what kind of table you play on. Whatever the owner has in the place is okay. Don't know what BCA does now. It didn't matter before. I think I read that playoffs for BCA in Vegas will be on Diamonds. If not this year then next year.

You got it Stretch!!!

Jake

Stretch
01-25-2005, 10:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote mksmith713:</font><hr> It's a shame you can't skip grades like in a real school.
I have a 16 year old son who can't even participate in APA, BCA, TAP, etc.
He's been relegated to being the smartest kid in kindergarten. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif <hr /></blockquote>

I here home schooling is all the rage lol. But then you'd need a table and games room and lots of your Pool Playing buddys or he'll get all his friends in on it.....Presto! He's making a little lunch money at University. St

mksmith713
01-25-2005, 02:16 PM
They have a law here aswell stating that if the establishment serves booze, under 21 folks have to be out by 7 P.M.
The one establishment that we know of that hosts BCA leagues is a huge billiard room.
I think they have somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 7 foot tables.
They host APA, BCA and TAP events.
But, since they do serve alcohol, he isn't allowed to play.
It's leaving a bad taste in my mouth.
I guess we'll play the rinky dink tournaments at the pool hall that's about an hour from where we live.
They serve no booze so anyone can play.
Too bad most of the participants are upper teens to twenty somethings with really bad attitudes.
Oh well, I guess I'll go and lick my butt and see if I can get that bad taste out of my mouth... /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

HALHOULE
03-19-2006, 04:16 AM
What will they see? See what? Unless an A player takes you into his confidence, you will have no idea what method that player uses to pocket, bank, carom, combo. You will watch for an eternity and divine nothing. You can watch how A players use strategy, position play, and safeties, but that's about it.

randyg
03-19-2006, 06:08 AM
DEEMAN: You use my name with one of the greatest of all time, I'm humbled and honored....Thank you-randyg

Leagues are leagues, you get out of them what you want. In Dallas we are blessed with 3 strong Leagues. BCA-APA-VNEA. We have a Pool League Meca.

mikeindayton
03-20-2006, 12:26 AM
Hello everyone! I'll have to agree with randyg's last statement about getting out of the leagues what you put in them. I'n OH we also have many great leagues, but the thing i see the most here is if one is not tough enough for people or you have people dominating you are able to move up or even made to move up. I'm still curious on everybodies take on where the VNEA fits in this classification. I shoot two leagues in the VNEA and my team is competeing in the OH state Championships and the Vegas Internationals, and I know that there are players from all the leauges in these comps. The open division for both is very tough and they have all kinds of players from beginners to semi pro road players.

SpiderMan
03-20-2006, 07:04 AM
You guys are posting to a year-old thread. What's up?

SpiderMan

RonMont
03-21-2006, 01:25 PM
"Anyway, by definition APA is designed for the beginner and the average player."

Where did you get this definition? I have played both BCA and APA for the last 12 years and could not see any difference in the players. When it comes to playing skill good is good and bad is bad, the league has nothing to do with it.