PDA

View Full Version : 2005 WPA President's Report



Harold Acosta
08-29-2005, 01:34 PM
This information is posted here to help some of our fellow CCB'ers understand the purposes and activities that the WPA serves. This year's President Report might help enlighten some of you to the positive purposes and direction of the WPA.

The following letter is for immediate release to all Billiard Media. The WPA President has authorized or granted approval for the public release of this report which will be delivered to the 2005 WPA General Assembly convening in Klagenfurt, Austria in September 2005 during the WPA Junior World 9-Ball Championships:

<font color="blue">
President’s Report

September 2005 – Klagenfurt, Austria


Activity keeps increasing and each year there are more and more events available for players to participate in. This in itself is a good thing, but can sometimes come at a cost. As you are all aware there have been recent announcements from a group in the USA called IPT. We have seen many of such groups come and go over the years, but most have failed because of the inability for them to raise the necessary funds to make their ideas turn into reality. Money however does not appear to be a problem for this group as it is organised by a person of considerable reputed wealth.

With that aside, there has been a steady growth in events and this past year has been no exception. The only regret is that we have not been able to stage a world championship for the women. This will change however for 2006/07/08 with an offer from Mr. Tu Sports in Taiwan to conduct this event over that period.

During my first term as President I am pleased to say that the WPA has been able to consolidate itself in the world of cue sports. We have been the prime reason that has seen a dramatic change in the make-up of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS). They now have a new constitution, a new membership structure and voting between the groups is more democratic and reasonable. All three divisions appear for the first time to have a harmonious working relationship with each other.

At the recent World Games, the WCBS conducted its General Assembly and Jorgen Sandman was re-elected as President for another term. The current WCBS Board members are:-
Pool – Jorgen Sandman, Ian Anderson and Stephen Ducoff;
Carom Jean-Claude Dupont, Farouk Barki and Wolfgang Rittmann;
Snooker – Jim McMahon, Adrian Metcalfe, Pascal Guillame and Michael Peachey.

This year was the second time our sport has been part of the World Games; the previous time being the Games in Akita, Japan 2001. This time we played the event in Bottrop, Germany, about twenty minutes away from the main venue in Duisburg. The venue was great; the matches were a sell-out; we being the first sport in the 2005 Games to sell all their tickets. The organising was well orchestrated and the standard of play in all divisions was very high. WPA Sports Director, Thomas Overbeck, did a magnificent job as Tournament Director, handling all of the official functions that were asked of him in a thoroughly professional manner.

The final day was opened featuring our discipline: the men’s and women’s 9-Ball finals. Jasmin Ouschan of Austria was victorious in the women’s event, defeating Taiwan’s Jennifer Chen 9-5. The men’s final was a much closer contest: Pei-Wei Chang of Taiwan won in a thrilling match against Thorsten Hohmann of Germany 11-10. Chang led 10-7, but Hohmann staged a great comeback to level at 10-10, but missed a simple 7 ball to clinch the match; leaving an easy run-out for Chang.

The snooker final went to 4-3, with Gerard Greene of the UK beating the young sensation, and favourite from China, Ding Junhui. The carom was played at the same time, and this also proved to be a thriller. The two players finished tied at 40-40, which forced a sudden-death playoff; and Spain’s Daniel Sanchez was able to win, beating Dick Jaspers of the Netherlands. This was a repeat final result from the 2001 Games in Akita.

The next World Games are scheduled for 2009 in Kaoshiung, Taiwan. There is little doubt that billiard sports will be invited back.

Our own world championship events are our major events and just prior to the World Games we had our Men’s World 9-Ball Championship played in Kaoshiung. 128 players from 45 countries contested this event and the winner was an amazing young sixteen year old Taiwanese player, Chia-Ching Wu. He defeated fellow countryman Po-Cheng Kuo 17-16. This may have been the best ever final we have had; just when Kuo appeared to have the trophy in his hand leading 16-12, needing just one more game, he fouled, and from there young Wu ran out winning the last five games without Kuo ever getting back to the table.

In November 2004 we were able to stage the World Junior’s Championship in my own country of Australia. This was a very proud time for me personally, as it was an event of firsts: the first time Australia had been able to stage a proper world championship event in our sport; the first time we had a separate division for the girls; and also for the first time we were able to have this junior’s event televised. This has opened the door for bigger events to be staged in the country as it has aroused the interests of television, which may assist somewhat in the difficult area of raising sponsorships, which of course is critical for the success of any event.

The winner of the girl’s event was China’s Meng-Meng Zhou, who defeated Jasmine Ouschan of Austria 9-6 in the final. Taiwan provided the two finalists for the boy’s division, Chia-Ching Wu and Yu-Lun Wu. Yu-Lun Wu convincingly won the final 11-8.

To demonstrate the very high level of play at these junior’s world championships, Jasmin Ouschan - who lost the final of the girls - went on the win the Gold Medal at the World Games, and Chia-Ching Wu who lost his final, went on to win the Men’s World Championship in Kaoshiung this year. It was interesting to see that junior world champion, Yu-Lun Wu, didn’t contest the men’s event.

We have been able to establish a five year contract with people in Fujairah, part of the United Arab Emirates, to produce our World 8-Ball Championship annually. Last year was the inaugural event and the evergreen Efren Reyes was our first champion. The fact that we have now been able to open up into this part of the world could also be of great benefit. It has made our spread even wider, and given us more opportunity to develop the game into countries that may have seemed too remote or impossible to us not so long ago.

Our relationships with long time promoters remains very positive, we continue to have very good rapport with Matchroom and Matt Braun. It is refreshing to see that we are sanctioning the US Open with Barry Behrman and the World Summit of Pool with Robert Lipson also this year; relationships that I trust can continue to develop over time. Mr. Tu Sports is very active and a great supporter of the WPA. We appreciate his continuance in our sport.

I am sorry to report that after commencing with such a great boom in 2001, IBC has not been able to continue with its ideas and promotions. You will recall their event back then, offering the highest ever first prize for a pool tournament, $160,000. Unfortunately we are now down to just one event with them, and even this one has caused some recent problems with their late request to change dates.

Following on from the World Games, I travelled to New York, accompanied by EPBF President, Gre Leenders, to meet with the UPA people. At a meeting with their President, Robert Lipson, and Vice President, Harold Siegel, a number of issues were raised and discussed. We have been able to give the UPA leadership a better understanding of the WPA and its role in the sport, and as a result there is little doubt that a positive relationship between the UPA and WPA has developed. Of course we realise there are issues in the US, and they have become firmly entrenched over the years, but there are good prospects that we will all be able to work together in the future on a better understanding.

It was hoped that when this visit was being planned it would also include a meeting with the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA). However in a reply from their President after my initial email suggesting a meeting, the WPBA President said that she was busy and didn’t live near to New York and therefore unable to make it there to meet. I responded to say that we would be happy to meet halfway, or even come to where she lived, but that suggestion fell upon deaf ears as there was no reply forthcoming; nor was there any other offer to meet with other WPBA officials.

During the World 9-Ball Championships, I had the opportunity to meet with officials from the JPBA. They informed me that JPBA had now agreed to allow all JBC players to join their organisation. This had been the stumbling block for some time, because JPBA wouldn’t allow some key people from JBC to join. Following a number of meetings with Gaku Nishio over a period of time, this condition was finally overturned. I was given a letter from the JPBA confirming all of this. As this matter is on the agenda for the Board meeting, the other details will be discussed then.

Also during the Kaoshiung world championship I met with Mr. Tu and discussed his proposal to sponsor the Women’s World 9-Ball Championship for the next three years. I confirmed the meeting with Mr. Tu by letter, and I understand it has been accepted. The event will take place early next year during the March/April period. This is a great result as the women’s event has been very difficult for us to place.

The APBU informed me there that they have resolved the problems they had with their Filipino member being only a billiards and snooker association, and therefore not representing the many great players from there. There is now a Confederation in place with snooker and pool now represented by two entities.

Matchroom continues to produce top class events, the men’s World 9-Ball Championship being the jewel in the crown. This event goes out on television to approximately eighty countries with a potential audience of some 500,000,000. In a meeting with Matchroom Chairman, Barry Hearn, Matchroom will agree to lifting first place prize money to $100,000 for next year, which is an increase of $25,000, to a total of $375,000, but the figure could go to $400,000 US.

We have also spoken about a new event for 2006. This would be a team-formatted event, with just two players per team. Prize money will be in the order of $250,000 and the event would be guaranteed for a minimum of three years. Following the AGM in Klagenfurt I am scheduled to travel to London to meet with Barry Hearn to finalise details of the increased money for the world championship and this new event.

At the World Games I met with some friends from Russia. They informed me that they would like to stage the World Artistic Championships and would also be looking to stage an international pool event next year. My understanding is that our sport is really growing there, and according to the EPBF this appears to be the case.

After my visit to New York with Gre Leenders, I returned home via Africa and was looked after very nicely by our colleague and Board member Peter Hawley. It was an ideal opportunity to see what was happening in at least South Africa, and I am pleased to report that everything is as good as we could expect it. There is no doubt that Blackball is by far the most prevalent game, with the availability of American style pool tables practically non-existent.

During my visit in Johannesburg I met with several government officials, including Mr. Banele Sindani, CEO of South Africa Sports Confederation &amp; Olympic Committee (SASCOC) together with Mr. Dan Moyo, Chief of Operations, South Africa Sports Commission, and a separate meeting with Mr. Tubby Reddy, General Manager of SASCOC. I also visited the High Performance Centre in the University of Pretoria and met with Toby Sutcliffe CEO of the HPC together with Charles Heiman, Principal Director of the United Cue Sports Academy.

I was interviewed on national live television one morning during their “Today Show” formatted program which is the country’s highest rated program. From there I met with Julian Remba, Brand Manager of South African Breweries. SA breweries are one of the world’s largest brewers and are a major sponsor of pool in Africa. In speaking with Mr. Remba I mentioned to him that South Africa would be an ideal location for our inaugural World Blackball Championship. He said he would seriously consider such a request.

From Johannesburg I was able to travel to Cape Town and meet with Andre V/D Merwe, President of the National Blackball Association. Mr. Merwe was a wonderful host for two days. Again the same story as Johannesburg, Cape Town is mainly a Blackball city.

Before leaving for home, I performed my final duty, visiting the Republic of South Africa’s Sport &amp; Recreation Department in Pretoria to present a beautiful hand carved pool table to the Minister, Rev Dr M.A. Stofile. The table was graciously accepted and will remain within the ministry for their convenience and use.

From a financial point, the WPA is still in good shape. Income has increased due to higher sanction fees from increased prize funds, but of course expenses increase also as a result of the extra activity and the usual customary inflation. The WPA is spending more money in other areas in supporting more activities. We hope to continue to increase this and still maintain our current membership dues.

As a result of the extra activity in our sport, it is becoming increasingly difficult to conduct our affairs in the same fashion that we have been doing. We need to look at all areas and make changes where needed in order to better accommodate today’s requirements. Issues relating to this will be dealt with in greater detail during our Board meetings in Klagenfurt, Austria.

This meeting in Klagenfurt brings to an end my first term in the Office of President. It has been a pleasure to serve in this capacity. I have made a conscientious effort to try and go about my duties in a satisfactory and responsible manner to which I trust has met with your approval. I thank you all for your support throughout this period.


IAN ANDERSON
Sydney, Australia
</font color>

BigRigTom
08-30-2005, 01:17 PM
Mr. Anderson does get around.
Could he be the same one as in "The Matrix"?

Seriously though ..."Very interesting read!"

Ralph S.
08-30-2005, 07:18 PM
In response to what I read in this report from the WPA President, I must say that it seems that virtually everything they are doing for pool, is being done for over-seas events. Unless I am mistaken, I only read a very breif mentioning of anything to do with events in the United States. That particular portion was about two or three sentences at best saying that dealings are going on with Barry Behrman.

Of all the times that prize monies was mentioned, was that they were increased for over-seas events only. What about domestic events in the U.S.? Even if many of the top American players were to travel to any of the over-seas events, would the prize money be enough for one to come out ahead or at worst break even for say a 7th-8th place finish?

Why can't all this additional prize money being added to those events have been used to build up bigger and better tournaments here in the U.S.? Also, the report mentions all these television viewers worldwide. Have they failed to notice that virtually none of these events are televised in America?

As for the WPBA not joining along with the WPA, I can hardly blame them. While it gets old watching the same matches aired over and over, and several months after they have taken place, atleast their tour is successful. While they do have room for improvement, atleast we can watch those matches on television here in the states.

Bob_Jewett
08-30-2005, 07:47 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ralph S.:</font><hr> ...

Why can't all this additional prize money being added to those events have been used to build up bigger and better tournaments here in the U.S.? Also, the report mentions all these television viewers worldwide. Have they failed to notice that virtually none of these events are televised in America?
... <hr /></blockquote>
I think you answered your own question. It seems to be impossible to break into TV in the US. Do you recall the ESPN fiasco with the Mosconi Cup last year? Absolutely pitiful. In Asia or Europe, they can get 60 hours of live TV of the World Championships on the air, and four or five hours per day of the Mosconi Cup. I'm guessing there is zero chance of that in the US.

You have to make hay where the sun is shining.

Rich R.
08-30-2005, 07:55 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr> Mr. Anderson does get around.<hr /></blockquote>
The real question is, who is paying for all of his travel.
I would guess that his travel is being paid for by the WPA, from funds received for sanctioning tournaments and membership fees. If you remember, in the previous letter, Mr. Anderson stressed that the WPA is a non-profit organization and money was channeled back into the sport of pool. Obviously, that includes Mr. Anderson's globe trotting.

Also, with all of that travel, I have to assume that Mr. Anderson doesn't have a day job and I also have to assume that he is drawing a salary from the WPA. I guess that is more santioning money being channeled back into the game of pool.

We won't even discuss the probability of an expense account, when he is traveling.

As with many "non-profit organizations", I would guess that a number of people are making a lot of money, at the WPA.

Irish
08-31-2005, 05:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr> Mr. Anderson does get around.<hr /></blockquote>
The real question is, who is paying for all of his travel.
I would guess that his travel is being paid for by the WPA, from funds received for sanctioning tournaments and membership fees. If you remember, in the previous letter, Mr. Anderson stressed that the WPA is a non-profit organization and money was channeled back into the sport of pool. Obviously, that includes Mr. Anderson's globe trotting.

Also, with all of that travel, I have to assume that Mr. Anderson doesn't have a day job and I also have to assume that he is drawing a salary from the WPA. I guess that is more santioning money being channeled back into the game of pool.

We won't even discuss the probability of an expense account, when he is traveling.

As with many "non-profit organizations", I would guess that a number of people are making a lot of money, at the WPA. <hr /></blockquote>

True. The WPA is an excuse for two martini lunches and travel all over the place for Mr. Anderson as he bleeds money out of the WPA. They have had a long time to move the sport forward in the past few years doing some actual real work, instead the player that gets top 4 in the Worlds this year actually thinks about quiting pool because the WPA cannot make a proper environement for professional pool to flourish.