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View Full Version : Winning APA Nationals almost impossible?



Billy_Bob
02-12-2005, 10:50 AM
When playing APA throughout the regular season, if you do well, your skill level goes up. This is a slow process. But during regional/national tournaments, you play a bunch of matches all at once, so your skill level can go up in just one day if you are playing well...

You get a team with all excellent players and win win win - Then all the skill levels go up, everyone is a SL7 and you can't play as a team any more because you are beyond the maximum team skill level number. Would not even be able to play in the nationals!

So how in the heck does a team win the APA nationals?

You would of course need to win all your matches to be the winner. But then all your skill levels go up. But then there is the maximum team skill level number. This is mind boggling!

What is the makeup of teams which win the APA nationals? I.e. What mixture of skill levels do they have going in to the national tournament?

What are all their skill levels by the time they win the tournament?

Seems to me the highly skilled teams would get to the point where they exceeded the maximum team skill level amount and couldn't play any more.

KGeeED
02-12-2005, 11:33 AM
You need to be good at sandbagging. That is the problem with a handicap pool league. It develops sandbagging. All the stuff about becomming a better player and moving up does not work for all the reasons you stated. I believe that if you don't like getting beat than practice and get better so you can beat the other players.

GeraldG
02-12-2005, 01:05 PM
That is the most frustrating thing about playing APA leugue play. I think it is actually designed to break up better teams so that no one team can dominate. It would probably work better if they would do away with the rule that says you can't make roster changes if you are qualified for the finals. If you play well as a team through a couple of sessions you will end up, as you said, with a team that has difficulty posting to a maximum of 23. If you could make some roster changes and bring some new players in with lower skill levels it would make posting more of a possibility.

It is also possible to have multiple players moved up multiple skill levels during the finals, in the middle of the tournament. There is a little-known rule that if two or more players on your team are increased in skill level during the tournament your team can be disqualified no matter what your standing is in the tournament. That results in a 2-year suspension for every player on the team.

It's a good idea when you start into the final rounds of qualifying for the Nationals (Vegas), to carefully assess the skill levels of each of your players. The captain of your team will get a package before the final qualification round. Read it carefully. If you have any players that you think are "on the cusp" of being moved up, that you go ahead and note that on the paperwork you have to send back and call the LO and ask them to move that player up BEFORE you get into the final qualifying rounds. You'll know who they are. They are the ones that everyone says every week "Yep..he'll be moving up soon..he's won ever match for the last 5 matches." The problem is that the handicapping runs behind a few weeks. Also, the matches played in the qualifier cups, finals, money cups, etc. carry more weight in determining skill levels than the matches in regular season play do. So, if there is a protest by another team (that's what always triggers these mid-match adjustments), the LO will immediately pull all of the team's records from the previous season and look at it. Now thay have all of the current information, plus whatever the team has done in the tournament up to that point. The chances of being moved up are much greater then, especially if the player has done well for the last few weeks of league play. If he(she) is getting complaints during the tournament that means that they have been winning in the tournament. Nobody ever complains about a player that's loosing matches.

I was on a team one time that was disqualified in the last match of the Cities...the match that would have sent us to Vegas. The complaint was actually instigated by a team that we had beaten the day before, and they were already out of the tournament. They came back on Sunday for the express purpose of convincing the team we were playing then to complain about us. They had complained themselves the day before, but the LO decided not to move anyone up at that time. Then when the second team complained (at the urging of the previous team), they decided to pull the records and re-evaluate us. They decided to move three players up, on of them was moved up two skill levels. We were disqualified and suspended for two years. We did not cheat, we simply practiced a LOT and improved every player on the team. Our captian had not carefully read the captain's package and did not realize it was his responsibility at that point to recommend moving players up. He assumed it was the APA's responsibility to keep skill levels current.

A good team will end up giving up weight just about every match. You just have to get used to it and play harder. As you move up in SL, you will end up playing lower ranked player most of the time. The worst is if you are, say a 6 or 7, and have to play a 1 or 2 that can actually make a ball or two. It will definitely make you work on your safety game. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Harold Acosta
02-12-2005, 06:51 PM
Sandbagging, hustling, cheating, fixing...only a few reasons why pool will not make it as an Olympic sport, nor it will be seriously considered as a "true sport" by major corporations, potential sponsors, and even our own Government (pool/billiards as a subject or part of a curriculum).

Just my 2 cents on this matter.....

Popcorn
02-12-2005, 07:14 PM
It is supposed to just be fun and not really geared for the really better players. I honestly don't think just winning should be the objective, getting out playing some and having fun should be what it is about and the bar having a little better night due to the league. Really good players like to match up and play tournaments, I don't think handicapped league play is really for them. I know a few really good players who play leagues and I honestly don't see what they get out of it. I guess it makes them feel important being a big fish in a little pond or something.

GeraldG
02-12-2005, 08:41 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> It is supposed to just be fun and not really geared for the really better players. I honestly don't think just winning should be the objective, getting out playing some and having fun should be what it is about and the bar having a little better night due to the league. Really good players like to match up and play tournaments, I don't think handicapped league play is really for them. I know a few really good players who play leagues and I honestly don't see what they get out of it. I guess it makes them feel important being a big fish in a little pond or something. <hr /></blockquote>

That's really not the point at all for me, Popcorn. I stay with the league because I get a kick out of watching the lower ranked players get better and knowing that I had something to do with that process. The people on my team are friends that I made through the league, and I enjoy watching their reactions when they get a trophy or a little cash prize or even just make a difficult shot we've worked on for the first time...or start to discover that they CAN make the cueball go where they want it to. I have a good time with it myself, too....I don't consider myself a big fish at all. I'm just another player on the team...I may not get to play as much as the rest of them, but that's OK, too.

As far as tournaments, I hate handicapped tournaments. I would rather just get my butt kicked by the best of them in a straight-up race (and it's happened more times than I care to remember) than to have to listen to the whining and crying about who's rated how.

mksmith713
02-12-2005, 08:59 PM
pool/billiards as a subject or part of a curriculum).
I don't know about that.
There are lot's of colleges that have pool teams.

I don't imagine they have handicaps though and that's a good thing.

I also agree with whomever thinks handicapped tournament stink.
I'd rather take a butt whooping from a really good player who exercises goos sportsmanship than to hear the complaining from a decent player trying to shark me.

Popcorn
02-13-2005, 12:20 AM
You are exactly the person I am talking about. You enjoy it in the spirit in which it is meant to be., A night out of fun with friends. The players that play having some fantasy they are playing in the US Open and make it miserable for everyone complaining about everything are the ones I mean. Especially the really good players that don't really belong there with people just out trying to have some fun.

GeraldG
02-13-2005, 02:10 AM
Yep, and I know one that is exactly that way. He does play some tournaments too, and he acts exactly the same way in those. He is a good player (SL9), but it seems that his mission in life is to make everyone else miserable. He will try to shark an SL2 (I've actually seen him do it with my own eyes). Even though he is an accomplished player, he is a miserable loser. If he actually realized what everyone thinks about him he would probably be so humiliated he would never show up again, but he's such a narcissist that he can't comprehend it if you know what I mean...it's not like plenty of people haven't told him he's a jerk (including myself). Here's the really odd thing about him, though...from what I've heard (strictly grapevine, not sure of validity) he TOLD the LO to make him a SL9 when he joined the league and wouldn't allow them to move him down. He's a good player, but not as good as he thinks he is. There aren't a lot of SL9's in our area, but the other ones would beat him to death if he played them. He usually plays lower ranked players (4 and down) when he plays. That way, if he beats them he can say things like "Yeah,, I played 2 that plays like a 5 and beat her even though I had to give up all that weight". If he loses he can say "Well hell, I played a 2 that plays like a 5...it's impossible to give up weight like that and win." He thinks he's got it covered from all angles. His mistake is that his narcissism leads him to believe that nobody else is smart enough to figure him out.

MrLucky
02-13-2005, 07:53 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr> When playing APA throughout the regular season, if you do well, your skill level goes up. This is a slow process. But during regional/national tournaments, you play a bunch of matches all at once, so your skill level can go up in just one day if you are playing well...

You get a team with all excellent players and win win win - Then all the skill levels go up, everyone is a SL7 and you can't play as a team any more because you are beyond the maximum team skill level number. Would not even be able to play in the nationals!

So how in the heck does a team win the APA nationals?

You would of course need to win all your matches to be the winner. But then all your skill levels go up. But then there is the maximum team skill level number. This is mind boggling!

What is the makeup of teams which win the APA nationals? I.e. What mixture of skill levels do they have going in to the national tournament?

What are all their skill levels by the time they win the tournament?

Seems to me the highly skilled teams would get to the point where they exceeded the maximum team skill level amount and couldn't play any more.
<hr /></blockquote> <font color="red">I've played APA since 1982 been to the Nationals 3 times 2x Vegas and 1x St Louis, my handicap has floated between a 5 and now a 6 for the last 24 years for a short period in the late '80s I was a 7 then went back to a 5 for 6 years! Yes some players will go up and need to be dropped on a team but a good captain when formulating his or her team should know the approximate skill levels of the players brought on the team and anticipate where they will wind up if they are not established players / handicaps already! I have a new team of my own now and I have 3 players (incuding myself) that will be in the 6 level with one of them who is now a 5 but a potential 7 level, I have anticipated the highest levels that each of these 3 will rise to and accordingly have 1 new player who is now a 2 that will go to a 3/4 level and 2 established 3 level players that will never rise over a 4! </font color> /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

opposedtwin2
02-13-2005, 06:26 PM
First and foremost the existence of the APA is a business venture designed to make the owners as much money as possible at which it has been greatly successful. The owners count money and react to whether income is increasing, staying the same, or down. If revenue is down they will react to your concerns. If revenue is the same they will take your concerns under advisement for future consideration. If revenue is increasing they will know the present business is working and plan vacations to places they haven't visited yet.

sack316
02-13-2005, 09:22 PM
the handicapping and 23 SL limit is actually also part of what helps it grow so big. Of course new players are oing to learn and go up, and as teams improve they will no longer be able to stay under the limit, so in turn they divide off and form more teams. I mean, the 23 limit is designed so no team can be too topheavy and dominate, but the splitting of teams is also a byproduct of it. (personally I think a team of ones and two's banging balls around against a team of 8's and 9's would probably win though).
Also, yeah it sucks during tournament play going up. A friends team had lost a few original members that moved away before city, so they actually only had 5 players and were barely under the limit. Well they did very well and we almost to vegas when 2 people moved up, and they could no longer stay under the limit. They would have to win in 3 matched to win, and of course that's quite a tall task. So it cost them Vegas.
As with anything there are pros and cons to just about everything. I know the idea of how the APA system works is designed with good intentions and if everyone did like they were supposed to it would be an awesome system. but like communism it looks great on paper, but in reality there are a whole lot of flaws.

Billy_Bob
02-14-2005, 08:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote sack316:</font><hr>...A friends team had lost a few original members that moved away before city, so they actually only had 5 players and were barely under the limit. Well they did very well and we almost to vegas when 2 people moved up, and they could no longer stay under the limit. They would have to win in 3 matched to win, and of course that's quite a tall task. So it cost them Vegas...<hr /></blockquote>

Hummm.... That what I was thinking would happen. You put together and excellent team, you win, then your skill levels go up, then you can't play any more!

So I get it. Put together a not so good team, then just wait for all the excellent teams to knock themselves out of the running, then slide into victory!

But wait... The not so good team would not be likely to win their matches and would not be in the running for long....

I'm getting a headache thinking about this. I think I'll go take some aspirin.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

MrLucky
02-14-2005, 09:15 AM
The trick is to set your team up properly in the beginning ! most new captains will try and get the "best" players they know on their team! This is a mistake ! I now have my own team after playing on others for over 20 years ! I have 2 players that I know will be 6's (including myself Ihave been a six in 8 ball for 7 years) and 1 of which is now a 5 but I anticipate will go to a 7 ! my other teamates are a older lady who is a solid 3 andher husband who is a solid 3-4 both have played in the league as long as I have ! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif I have a young lady who is a solid 4 and has been to the nationals 2x as one ! one other lady who is now a 2 but I doubt will go higher than a 4 if she goes there, but she is very coachable and likes to play and one other gentleman who is new and is now a 3 but may go to a 4 or 5 ! since I have players who I know are good at where they are but are never going into the 5-6- or 7 range I will keep a balanced team that can compete for years! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

TCIndepMo
02-17-2005, 02:58 AM
Quoted from previous post - "You need to be good at sandbagging." This is the problem, not the solution.

If I were running an APA league and I suspected you of sandbagging I would raise your handicap (and anyone else on your team I suspected) faster than you could say "rack 'em". It is true that the application of the anti-sandbagging rules by their LOs is subjective, but this is their business we are speaking of. What better motivation than the making of money! I suspect most captains know what kind of team (range of their player handicaps I mean) they are putting together before the league operator does. Aren't a lot of people just grumbling about "he won't let us sandbag like we want" instead of this "our original 8 players have to split up"? The vast majority of APA players are honest and I think they like to see the sandbagging teams get caught (raised!)and have to deal with problems with their 23 RULE, etc.
If all 8 of your players are completely honest, never sandbag yet find themselves butting up against the 23 limit obviously you put together a very strong team to begin with.
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? The whole intent of that rule is for the stronger teams to HAVE TO PUT UP some lessor skilled players at some point in the match. Read the rule book, like the 3rd para on page 34 which says "when forming a
new team, team members should exercise caution regarding the number of highly skilled players they recruit".
Their rule book tells you not to load up a team with all power. Their rule book tells you what will happen when they spot your sandbaggers.
As for the orignal thought posed in the title of this thread "winning APA nationls almost impossible" I submit someone has won it every year. So it's not impossible, right?
Have fun. See you in Vegas in August.

GeraldG
02-17-2005, 06:22 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TCIndepMo:</font><hr> Quoted from previous post - "You need to be good at sandbagging." This is the problem, not the solution.

If I were running an APA league and I suspected you of sandbagging I would raise your handicap (and anyone else on your team I suspected) faster than you could say "rack 'em". It is true that the application of the anti-sandbagging rules by their LOs is subjective, but this is their business we are speaking of. What better motivation than the making of money! I suspect most captains know what kind of team (range of their player handicaps I mean) they are putting together before the league operator does. Aren't a lot of people just grumbling about "he won't let us sandbag like we want" instead of this "our original 8 players have to split up"? The vast majority of APA players are honest and I think they like to see the sandbagging teams get caught (raised!)and have to deal with problems with their 23 RULE, etc.
If all 8 of your players are completely honest, never sandbag yet find themselves butting up against the 23 limit obviously you put together a very strong team to begin with.
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? The whole intent of that rule is for the stronger teams to HAVE TO PUT UP some lessor skilled players at some point in the match. Read the rule book, like the 3rd para on page 34 which says "when forming a
new team, team members should exercise caution regarding the number of highly skilled players they recruit".
Their rule book tells you not to load up a team with all power. Their rule book tells you what will happen when they spot your sandbaggers.
As for the orignal thought posed in the title of this thread "winning APA nationls almost impossible" I submit someone has won it every year. So it's not impossible, right?
Have fun. See you in Vegas in August. <hr /></blockquote>

That's true, and all well and good if you are in a place where there are plenty of people around that want to join a team. Then you have lots of different skill levels to choose from. It's not easy to fill a roster.

I started a team for the 2004 Summer Session (9-ball). I started the team with two other people that I knew (an SL2 and an SL3 and myself). I filled the roster from there with people that the LO sent me that were looking for a team. Recruiting was tough sledding...there just weren't that many people around the PHs we played who wanted to play on a team.

We finally got started in the 4th week of the session in dead last place with zero points. We had to play double matches for make-up for 4 weeks. We came from behind and finished in 1st place that season by 20 points. In the Fall 2004 Session, we held first place through most of the season and finished there again. We made it through the Qualifier cups in both sessions and finished 3rd in the Money Cups both sessions. This session, so far we are in second place and closing fast on 1st place (there were some byes in the first couple of weeks). The team in first place right now is an all-new team formed by the cook in one of the PHs...all are experienced players (but new to the APA) whose handicaps haven't caught up with them yet. They have been AVERAGING 70 points per night. We haven't played them yet, but when we do it will be the first week this session that they don't win by a blowout. We will beat them. We're used to giving up weight to people that shouldn't be getting weight. We like it that way. It makes us play harder.

Our players have been bumped up so much since we started that we now have trouble posting sometimes. We are dependent on our two 3's and two 4's to show up every time. If our 3's don't show, the rest of us can't possibly post under 23 points. We end up playing down (giving up weight) every week. We win anyway.

We may last one more session as a team, and we may not. We have 2 players that are subject to being moved up again at any time. When that happens, it will take one more of our 4's away and one more of our 5's. We will have to split the team up then because we won't be able to post. We can't do it right now (until the spring session and City Finals are over) because we will lose our qualifications. They won't let us make ANY roster changes.

We don't sandbag. I won't allow it. What's happening to us is the result of that. Other teams do it all the time by manipulating the number of innings, etc. so they keep their SLs down. Their claim is that the APA forces them to do it. There are several players that are playing at SL 3 and 4 that could easily play as 5 or 6.

Our skill levels are honest. When out LO sent a couple of these players over, they sent them as 4's. I had to call the LO after the first week and tell her to bump one of them to 5. The other had lost his first match (nerves) and I told her not to bump him down because he could play as a 4. Unfortunately MOST of the other team captains don't play that way.