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View Full Version : APA 8-Ball League Players, Just a Comment



Bassn7
12-26-2005, 01:59 PM
After 20 years of Wednesday nights, I've seen all the types of players. 1) Just having fun, win or lose 2) Trying to be the best at their current handicap and manipulate their way to championships 3) Move up, always try to be your best and win in the most efficient manner possible. All 3 believe in their hearts that they are doing the right thing. The bottom line . . .a 90% winner at your current level or a 75% winner at the next level up. . .choose the next level up. THAT'S what makes a champion, not trophies or cash. There are thousands of people that are going to grow old knowing they "beat the system", and actually believe they should be proud of that accomplishment. If you or your team wins a championship and you held back from winning or running out just ONCE, you're a loser regardless of the outcome. Try to win every game and every match and in your heart you'll sleep like a champion.

randyg
12-26-2005, 04:08 PM
AMEN!

pooltchr
12-26-2005, 05:13 PM
I would love to see that printed in the next APA league magazine. I have seen too many good players leave the leagues because there were too many people who didn't understand this logic.
Thank you for a great post!
Steve

UWPoolGod
12-27-2005, 02:36 AM
Gonna ramble because I have been drinkin, so beware....

I agree with everything you said in that post Bassn7. The only thing that ends up happening is that eventually all the lower players move up in rankings, and if they continue with that scheme they will continue up to a SL7. Which is a great accomplishment and everyone who plays APA should strive to get to (if you have such desires). And what happens then? You have too many points to field a competitive team. The best players cannot all play in the same given night. And then you take a team who has grown together as pool players and you have to split them up. Usually when that happens some players tend to quit due to not being about to shoot with their close friends they have hung out with the past few sessions.

Like you said there are several types of teams/players that contribute to each league. My team has been competitive and eventually made it to Vegas this past year for 8ball. How me made it? I do not know. Throughout Tri-cups/regionals we had players who had played the same speed for 4 sessions magically move up when we won regionals, prior to entering Vegas. So we were screwed for Nationals. We could not field the same competitive team. As a result this session we had to split our team up. And as a result I pretty much quit APA. I fancy myself good SL7, won the only all 7s mini I played in Vegas. I did not want my points being in the way of our lower ranked players who were there more for fun being able to play in a given night. I have since moved on with my other good local pool players to play BCA and ACS where it doesn't handicap you to have a stacked team. Guess you can put me in the group who likes the trophies/cash.

Once you reach an SL7 and beat up on SL4/5s every week cause you team needs the points, does that make you a champion? Or based on being an SL7 are you supposed to play the other teams best players because of the honor/challenge aspect of it? Just wondering.

Ramblings, Ramblings like I said.

Cornerman
12-27-2005, 08:32 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote UWPoolGod:</font><hr> Or based on being an SL7 are you supposed to play the other teams best players because of the honor/challenge aspect of it? Just wondering.

Ramblings, Ramblings like I said. <hr /></blockquote>You move on because win or lose, it's tough to have fun.

Fred &lt;~~~ would rather have fun

supergreenman
12-27-2005, 11:15 AM
Around here we have the CPA which is from what I understand the Canadian version of the APA. Because of it's format the locals consider it more of a beginners league. Something to get people interested in competitive pool. Anybody I know that has played in that league has switched either to the BCA type league that I play in or the Valley type league because of thier desire to compete without worrying about being "too good".

I guess if there isn't something else in your neck of the woods to join then as you say Bassn7 live with what you have and try to the best of your abilities, sleep good at night knowing you aren't a sandbagger.

Just my $0.02

James

Bassn7
12-27-2005, 12:07 PM
You are completely correct. Teams that get better have to break up. That's what competetive league pool is all about. Growing and leaving the comfort of the nest is often painful. Some choose to quit, I understand. (Note: I come from an area where pool is huge. Our pool hall alone has 30 teams. Swapping and moving to other teams because of handicap issues is very common. There are 100s of players to choose from when breaking up and re-building.)

Every week I teach my players, so that they will have the skills to build there own team and become the teacher when they have to move on.

This points to what I have always believed, there are two types of teams:
A)Players that exist to make a great team. (Winning cash and prizes.)
B)A team that exists to make great players. (Moving up and out to new teams and feeling great about accomplishment.)

As a "7", I believe in having the responsibility of helping others grow.

jjinfla
12-30-2005, 05:20 AM
You both are right.

Anybody know why they don't go up to a 9 in 8-ball? Or why they do in 9-ball.

Jake

jjinfla
12-30-2005, 05:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> I would love to see that printed in the next APA league magazine. I have seen too many good players leave the leagues because there were too many people who didn't understand this logic.
Thank you for a great post!
Steve <hr /></blockquote>

Logic? I guess I don't understand.

What really happens is that players play their hearts out for three sessions, Fall (2nd), Spring (1st), Summer (2nd) and they get moved up in SL's to their level of incompetence and have no chance of winning the Vegas playoffs.

Jake

pooltchr
12-30-2005, 05:39 AM
Bassn7,
I agree. I have been an APA captain for several years. The players on my team have changed frequently, but the goal for my team is always the same...Each player only has to do their best, and have fun. If they aren't doing their best, they are letting the team down, and if they aren't having fun, they are letting themselves down.
I expect my players to improve, move up in skill level, and eventually, move on. Often, the owner of the room has asked me to take the players who signed up for league but don't have a team, and captain a team from them. Those teams never won a division, but many of the players are still in the league playing on other teams. And when I see them, they are enjoying what they are doing.
I don't care if I ever take a team to Vegas, but if I can help get more players involved in league play, and they enjoy it, I am pretty satisfied.
Steve

Buzzsaw
12-30-2005, 02:57 PM
Unfortunately, I've been a SL7 since the second week of my initial league play. The APA handicapping system is extremely subjective. A person playing in a competitive league will have a handicap relative to the players in that league, let alone any sandbagging going on. Therefore, if I go to a tournament that has a player from one of these leagues I could be giving games to someone better than myself. I know they say they will adjust handicap during the tournament, if necessary, but it's never happened to anyone I've been playing.

With that being said, I can tell you that when I go to league night I ask/want to play the other teams best player. Generally, when I don't get to play this person it's because the other team is trying to be "strategic".

Alfie
12-30-2005, 06:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> Anybody know why they don't go up to a 9 in 8-ball? <hr /></blockquote> They already have to truncate the races with only six SLs in order to fit into their target match time length.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> Or why they do in 9-ball. <hr /></blockquote> Because they are counting balls instead of games (a bad thing), they are able to have more SLs (a good thing), keeping in mind the target match time length.

IMO

Scott Lee
12-30-2005, 07:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Alfie:</font><hr> Because they are counting balls instead of games (a bad thing), they are able to have more SLs (a good thing), keeping in mind the target match time length.

IMO <hr /></blockquote>

Alfie...I respectfully disagree that the APA way of playing 9-ball (counting balls, instead of games) is a bad thing. Fundamentally, the APA is about the lessor skilled player having a legitimate chance to win. The chance to win a match, even though a player never made a single 9-ball, is exciting for the beginning players. IMO, nothing wrong with that. As you get better, playing the game under normal circumstances (best player wins, generally) is SOP. However, for tens of thousands of new players, APA 9-ball is a great way to introduce them to the game. You'll also notice that the upper level players winning the national singles finals in Las Vegas, are well-known 'pro-caliber' players...so they still come out on top, even with the tougher handicap. That's, of course, because they are capable of stringing racks together. JMO

Scott Lee

Bassn7
12-31-2005, 12:51 AM
Handicap differences exist in different areas at identical levels (ie. 5 vs 5) because of poor score keeping, having nothing to do with the skills of that area. If a single skilled and knowledgable player watched EVERY APA match, the handicap system would work and be fair. Too many people are lazy, don't have the skill base, or just don't want to score correctly. The difference is in the ability and desire to perform CORRECT scorekeeping, not the players.

Cornerman
12-31-2005, 08:09 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bassn7:</font><hr> Handicap differences exist in different areas at identical levels (ie. 5 vs 5) because of poor score keeping, having nothing to do with the skills of that area. <hr /></blockquote>This isn't really correct. Of course it is regionally dependent. If players don't hit back or run out when they are supposed to, your innings per win will be falsely lower. This is a very well understood concept across the country, by players who have several years of APA experience at several different regions.


That's one of the reasons you hear an outcry of sandbagging: because one region doesn't realize how weak their area is or how strong another is. So they say things like "they had 5's that played like 7's." That's because a strong 5 in a pool rich community is going to play nearly as strong as a 7 in a pool poor community. It happens everywhere, even from one city to another.

Fred

Billy_Bob
12-31-2005, 10:24 AM
Very true! You come in as a 4. Then your wins or losses will determine if your skill level goes up or down.

If you are in a league with lousy players and you win every match, your skill level will go up.

If you are in a league with very good players and you lose every match, your skill level will go down.

So then you have a player at a certain skill level from an area with lousy players playing someone with the same skill level from an area with excellent players. The player from the area with excellent players will be a much better player. The player from the lousy player area will accuse the other of sandbagging.

For example, I've heard that east coast players in general are better then west coast players (same skill level).

Around here, the players at the same skill level from the big cities are better than those from rural areas. So you go to regionals and see a 3 playing exceptionally well and say "he is no 3!". Well he is a "big city 3", but might be a "rural area 4"...

Bassn7
12-31-2005, 12:56 PM
7s must average less than two innings per game to be a 7. A 5 must average less than 4 but greater than 3. So if a 5 plays like a 7 anywhere, he or she would play there games in less than 2 innings . . . meaning someone is not scoring their matches correctly to make them a 5.

Side note though: I travel for work and see a lot of APA matches played on 9 foot tables. I would think that those players would probably average a full handicap below bar table players, making them tougher to beat when getting to regionals or Vegas. My 2s and 3s would take 15-20 innings to get out on a Gold Crown with tight pockets. On a bar table about 6-10 innings.

Rich R.
12-31-2005, 02:17 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bassn7:</font><hr>Side note though: I travel for work and see a lot of APA matches played on 9 foot tables. I would think that those players would probably average a full handicap below bar table players, making them tougher to beat when getting to regionals or Vegas. <hr /></blockquote>
This is a double edged sword. Although the 9' foot table players play strong, when they get to regionals, they also tend to get their SL bumped up.

Several years ago, I was playing at regionals and between an afternoon match and an evening match, 3 of our players got bumped up a SL. This makes it very difficult to field a competitive team.

Also note, this bump in SL's had nothing to do with sandbagging. It was simply the difference between players used to playing on 9' tables being put in a match on 7' tables.

I would love to see the APA start a separate division for players on 9' tables. I have emailed that recommendation to them, in the past, but I never received a response.

Alfie
12-31-2005, 02:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr>I respectfully disagree that the APA way of playing 9-ball (counting balls, instead of games) is a bad thing. Fundamentally, the APA is about the lessor skilled player having a legitimate chance to win. The chance to win a match, even though a player never made a single 9-ball, is exciting for the beginning players. IMO, nothing wrong with that.<hr /></blockquote>I agree with you, Scott. My "bad thing" label was only wrt it not being true nine ball in that the score is not kept by games won. Its really no biggie.

Alfie
12-31-2005, 03:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> Also note, this bump in SL's had nothing to do with sandbagging. It was simply the difference between players used to playing on 9' tables being put in a match on 7' tables. <hr /></blockquote>I was under the impression that there was a place on the score sheet to mark table size, and the SL's reflected this. Not true?

Cornerman
12-31-2005, 03:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Alfie:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> Also note, this bump in SL's had nothing to do with sandbagging. It was simply the difference between players used to playing on 9' tables being put in a match on 7' tables. <hr /></blockquote>I was under the impression that there was a place on the score sheet to mark table size, and the SL's reflected this. Not true? <hr /></blockquote>True

catscradle
12-31-2005, 03:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr>...they get moved up in SL's to their level of incompetence and have no chance of winning the Vegas playoffs.

Jake <hr /></blockquote>

Yup, the "Peter Principle" in action, but I personally still will play as well as I can every match. If I my SL goes up to the point that I'm useless to a team's makeup, then I guess I no longer play APA or I somehow raise my "Peter Plateau".

Cornerman
12-31-2005, 03:13 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bassn7:</font><hr> 7s must average less than two innings per game to be a 7. A 5 must average less than 4 but greater than 3. So if a 5 plays like a 7 anywhere, he or she would play there games in less than 2 innings . . . meaning someone is not scoring their matches correctly to make them a 5.
<hr /></blockquote> I don't think you quite have an understanding of how the APA handicapping system works, or else you'd understand what I wrote. I'm very correct on this.

The handicap is based on total innings vs. your wins. THat's total innings. So, (and this is the most important part of this point) in a weak area, you're not going to lose as many games as you would against a strong area. This will make your handicap falsely increase in a weak area. It's total innings, not just the innings in your wins. If you lose less games because the region is weak, you total innings will remain relatively lower. Understand yet?

Your theory of poor scoring doesn't really hold since it can be safely assumed that good and poor scoring is consistent across regions. What isn't consistent across regions is the actual skill levels of the players.

Many people have written about this phenomenon. You have an opportunity to learn something about the APA that you obviuosly haven't encountered in your "20 years."


[ QUOTE ]
Side note though: I travel for work and see a lot of APA matches played on 9 foot tables. I would think that those players would probably average a full handicap below bar table players, making them tougher to beat when getting to regionals or Vegas. My 2s and 3s would take 15-20 innings to get out on a Gold Crown with tight pockets. On a bar table about 6-10 innings. <hr /></blockquote>THe APA has had a table size factor in its sheet for several years. It's not perfect, but it's something they've attempted to consider.

There should be a factor of how good or how crappy the conditions are. That makes a huge difference.

Fred

catscradle
12-31-2005, 03:25 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Alfie:</font><hr> Because they are counting balls instead of games (a bad thing), they are able to have more SLs (a good thing), keeping in mind the target match time length.

IMO <hr /></blockquote>

Alfie...I respectfully disagree that the APA way of playing 9-ball (counting balls, instead of games) is a bad thing. Fundamentally, the APA is about the lessor skilled player having a legitimate chance to win. The chance to win a match, even though a player never made a single 9-ball, is exciting for the beginning players. IMO, nothing wrong with that. As you get better, playing the game under normal circumstances (best player wins, generally) is SOP. However, for tens of thousands of new players, APA 9-ball is a great way to introduce them to the game. You'll also notice that the upper level players winning the national singles finals in Las Vegas, are well-known 'pro-caliber' players...so they still come out on top, even with the tougher handicap. That's, of course, because they are capable of stringing racks together. JMO

Scott Lee <hr /></blockquote>

Personally I think counting points instead of games in APA 9-ball is a GREAT thing. First of all I think it is a much more accurate handicapping system than giving games on the wire. I have never found games on the wire to level the playing field very much. The APA system makes the team concept much stronger in 9-ball. Even if a lower ranked person loses his match, he still earns team match points. He might only get a 2-18 score, but his 2 points may result in a 51-49 win for the team. That is what team sports are all about. I think for a beginner having their measly 2 points push the team over the top to a victory more meaningful than any game win by pocketing the 9. The thrill of a 9 on the break and a early 9 are still there, resulting in winning the break.
With games on the wire when a person, especially a beginner, gets way behind he'll tend to give up and quit. However with the APA system, 1 more ball may make a difference in the TEAM outcome so he keeps plugging.
JMHO too.
Steve.

Cornerman
12-31-2005, 03:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bassn7:</font><hr> So if a 5 plays like a 7 anywhere, he or she would play there games in less than 2 innings . . . meaning someone is not scoring their matches correctly to make them a 5.
<hr /></blockquote>

I think you'll need to print this.

It's total innings divided by wins. Even the innings where you lose are counted in total innings. Your total innings will increase if you lose more games.

If you win 4-2 in 12 inngings, it's not the same as winning 4-3 in 14 innings. The first example gives a base of 3 TI/W, while the second gives a 3.5. Big difference.

Here's how it works. This is a very real world example.

Let's say a player always goes for the runout, but always falls short, leaving the 8-ball. Against weak players, he's still has a chance to win. Against weak players who can run several wide open balls but can't close the deal, he has a good chance to win at his next turn up. Therefore, he will have many opportunities to win games and keep his overall inning low.

The same player, same style, against a region full of above average players, he'll lose a higher percentage of games if he continues his run-to-the8-ball style. Result? He loses more games, and his innings go up. It would be easy to see this if you had to play Jeff Sargent, Scott Tolefson or a Jesse Bowman every week.

Again, this is a very well known and completely understood regional "problem" that really has no easy solution.

Anecdote: I've told this story in the past, but I'll tell it again because you need it. A friend of mine played on my team in a heavy pool area. The area {Fitchburg/Gardner, MA} was home to three of the best players Massachusetts has to offer. Two of them are/were Joss cashers, and the third is the four-time New England 14.1 Champion. So, overall, the play was simply better. The champions teach their students well just by example. Players will see better patterns, see better safeties, etc. My friend who is an above average player was struggling as an average player for that particular division. He was about a 50% player as an SL-4 in that division.

He moved to a college town, where the best player in that area had a skill level of SL-7, but would doubtfully be an SL-7 in Fitchburg/Gardner. That is, that area's best player was a weak SL-7. Most of the players were/are transient college students, and no consistent play is passed on from the better players. My friend ended up playing players that simply had no concept of running a wide open racks. He always was in every game, won a lot more games than he should have, and consequently had less innings than he would have if he had played anyone decent. Result: he was/is an SL-6 in that area, and was always one of the highest winning percentage players.

But, he knew/knows very well that he'd get killed as an SL-6 against stronger regions. He's experience in APA, afterall.

Regional difference are responsible for much of the perceived sandbagging. It's simply because the players don't know how strong or weak their area is.

Fred

SpiderMan
12-31-2005, 09:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bassn7:</font><hr> You are completely correct. Teams that get better have to break up. That's what competetive league pool is all about. <hr /></blockquote>

That's what APA League is all about, but it's incorrect to apply the statement to league pool in general. The APA formula is a money-making machine - the required constant team breakups and new-player recruiting mean growth, and more teams mean more money.

Other formats, such as BCA, ACS, and VNEA, may choose to dedicate entire divisions by skill level.

We have all the above formats in our area, plus APA, and I've participated in all over the past 10-15 years. My BCA/ACS team has been together for nearly 10 years.

For many, APA is attractive because it offers the lower-skilled players an opportunity to be essential to team performance. We had many husband/wife or BF/GF duos participating because APA offered the chance for them to compete together in spite of a wide disparity in their abilities.

SpiderMan

rackem
12-31-2005, 11:27 PM
Yeah and then they get to the nationals and they are playing on barboxes with simonis. That jumbles everything up. who knows??

Bassn7
01-01-2006, 02:37 AM
I see the light now. I do agree that different areas can produce different handicaps, makes sense.

But. . .something I don't thing anyone has understood yet, the innings that go into the computer have nothing to do with what is written on the sheet, they are automatic when you win. It makes no difference once you go over your "estabished" innings based on your handicap. When you win your match you get an automatic number of innings based on your winning percentage. The loser of the match gets what you wrote on the sheet. The program and the inning chart for this is the "secret" handicapping sytem the APA owns and uses.

Cornerman
01-01-2006, 06:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bassn7:</font><hr> But. . .something I don't thing anyone has understood yet, <hr /></blockquote>
Anyone on the internet who has read the inner workings of the APA formula (as it was in the late 90's) has a working understanding of it. A post on it (not a good situation) has been floating around for many years.


[ QUOTE ]
the innings that go into the computer have nothing to do with what is written on the sheet, they are automatic when you win. It makes no difference once you go over your "estabished" innings based on your handicap. When you win your match you get an automatic number of innings based on your winning percentage. The loser of the match gets what you wrote on the sheet. The program and the inning chart for this is the "secret" handicapping sytem the APA owns and uses. <hr /></blockquote>Not quite, but close.

For the winner or the loser, the number input is capped. For the winner, the number is capped based on his handicap and winning percentage. The loser's number is capped at 10 (as of 10 years ago).

However, if the number is lower than the cap, the lower number is put in. That's how handicaps are raised. For SL-7s, the lower numbers are what keeps them from dropping to a SL-6.

Fred

Bassn7
01-01-2006, 02:06 PM
Yes, your comment is exactly how I understand it as well. Thanks for the more detailed description.