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View Full Version : BCA rules more fair than bar rules?



Billy_Bob
01-04-2006, 09:42 AM
We have a local 8-ball bar tournament which "died". Everybody stopped showing up, so something needed to be changed. The bartender asked me for help to get the tournament going again. We switched from "bar rules" to BCA rules. Switched from race to two to race to one so it would end earlier (week night tournament). Switched from 8-ball break requires breaking from within the "box" to breaking anywhere in kitchen. Safeties allowed. And from paying 2 spots to paying 4 spots.

Prior to the tournament, the local "bangers" were screaming like stuck pigs about going to BCA rules, ball-in-hand, double hit rules, etc. But they liked the race to one, breaking from anywhere in kitchen, and paying 4 spots.

When the tournament started, the out of town sharks (top players) showed up (never go to bar except for tournaments) and were really screaming like stuck pigs about the rule changes, going to race to 1, breaking from anywhere in kitchen, and paying 4 spots.

Well after an almost "bar brawl" and "words exchanged" between the "out of town sharks" group and the "local bangers" group, the tournament started.

And something interesting happened. I saw a bunch of local bangers playing by BCA rules and getting the hang of it quite quickly. Quite a site! When they got ball-in-hand a few times, they REALLY liked BCA rules! Anyway they seemed to like BCA rules by the end of the tournament.

And for the most shocking thing of all... The local bangers won, won, won taking 1st, 3rd, and 4th places! They were happy as can be with their victories, jumping up and down, yelling, etc. (When the out of town sharks win, there is no excitement as it is just another win for them.)

Some observations: First of all, you can't have a tournament without the local people. These people need to get up early the next day to go to work and can't stay up very late. And you will get them to attend these tournaments with a race to one (finish by 10 pm) tournament, but will lose them with a race to two (finish at 1 am - 2am) tournament. I don't understand why the "out of town sharks" can't understand that you need to keep the locals happy if you want to have a tournament. And so far as paying 4 spots instead of two, I guarantee that those locals who won or who almost won will be sure to play in every tournament from now on. So I feel attendance at the tournaments will be higher paying 4 spots. And given the choice, I feel it is important to do what the locals want rather than what the out of town sharks want i.e. paying 4 spots, break from anywhere in kitchen, race to 1 - go home early.

Now my big question: I got the impression the out of town sharks were not happy switching to BCA rules. Do the out of town sharks have an advantage playing by bar rules? I feel they have an advantage when no safeties are allowed as they can make it look like they are shooting for a pocket when in fact they are playing a safety. The lesser skilled players can only shoot obvious safeties. So I feel BCA rules are more fair so far as safeties are concerned. Also the better players can scratch on purpose if all the opponent's balls are in the kitchen, but will have no advantage doing this with BCA ball-in-hand rules. The lesser skilled players can't intentionally scratch without making it obvious and would not think to do this.

Comments?

Bob_Jewett
01-04-2006, 10:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr> ... Do the out of town sharks have an advantage playing by bar rules? I feel they have an advantage when no safeties are allowed as they can make it look like they are shooting for a pocket when in fact they are playing a safety. ... <hr /></blockquote>
So the bar rules encourage cheating by slightly more knowledgeable players. I think that's the answer.

I used to play in a league where it was against the rules to play safe. Lots of players shot the "oops, it got safe, how did that happen" shots. None of them could play well enough to win, fortunately. I think the chance to cheat actually kept them in the league -- they felt like they had an edge.

Deeman3
01-04-2006, 10:16 AM
I think you did well in going to the BCA rules. I don't think any good pl;ayers would object to this change but would welcome it. Maybe your "out of town Sharks" are just a bunch of bar players who like to play illegal safes.

I think BCA rules as opposed to bar rules always favor the better player unless the skill levels are way down the charts. JMO. The shorter races will negatively impact the better players but the better players should usually still win.

Deeman

rackem
01-04-2006, 10:51 AM
Wondering what you are doing on the 8 ball break. Is it a win? Or is it spotted. Also is the table open after the break? Basicly are you using all the rules or just some.
The other way to go would be playing the 3 option rules. With fouls it is ball in the kitchen, play it from where it lies or make them shoot again. You get what you make on the break. An 8 break is a win, Spot nearest if all are in the kitchen. That's the way our local league and some of our tourneys go. Kind of satisfies both ends and reduces conflicts.

Billy_Bob
01-04-2006, 11:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rackem:</font><hr> Wondering what you are doing on the 8 ball break. Is it a win? Or is it spotted. Also is the table open after the break? Basicly are you using all the rules or just some...<hr /></blockquote>

The only rule modifications are...

-8 on the break wins when breaking from anywhere in kitchen.

-And not a foul if clothing touches object ball or player accidentially moves an object ball. Just move object ball back to where it was.

Otherwise all other BCA rules used. Safeties OK, ball-in-hand anywhere on table, etc.

SpiderMan
01-04-2006, 11:13 AM
If your out-of-towners are truly "sharks", they would probably:

1. Dislike dropping to a race-to-1
2. Dislike paying 4 places vs 2

3. Like switching from "bar" to BCA rules
4. Like the added flexibility on the break shot

Perhaps they were not "sharks" at all, just slightly bigger fish than your locals. And, as Deeman pointed out, perhaps they liked to use the bar rules to cheat a little against "go for it" cowboys.

Change #1 increases the influence of chance in the outcome - the lesser player can win a game and advance, instead of the shark gaining his ground back in a longer race.

Change #2 is the best way to discourage sharks from cruising your weekly bar tournaments to rob the pots. If the top prize shrinks, it's not worth their trouble.

Change #3 is actually good for everyone, once the dust settles - "bar" rules tend to vary from house to house, and it's good to work with standardized rules that aren't subject to so much interpretation. Plus, the BCA rules are, for the most part, less prone to "judgement" calls that invite beer-fueled arguments. Having said all that, the ball-in-hand reward for a missed hit probably favors the shark.

Change #4 is almost a don't-care because when a runout player is matched against a lesser-skilled shooter, he'll want to break from nearer the center anyway (due to an increased likelihood of a runnable table). If he doesn't drop a ball, his opponent will probably fail to get out, leaving a second-inning run for the shark. If I'm playing a good shooter, or down a game facing a decent shooter, I am more likely to break from the side on a bar table. The probability of making a ball seems similar, but the layout is generally a little tougher. This may give me an option to choose the favored group and duck, or at least leave a more difficult run if I fail to drop a ball. It' better than watching a good opponent run an easy rack. Most casual bar players don't "get" this, making flexibility slightly favor the shark if he comes across a decent opponent.

Since the "sharks" objected to changes 2 and 4, perhaps they weren't really the sharpest teeth in the tank.

SpiderMan

rackem
01-04-2006, 01:19 PM
-And not a foul if clothing touches object ball or player accidentially moves an object ball. Just move object ball back to where it was.

That should be the non offending players option to move back or not! Not the guy that moved it.
Now after all this Please don't tell me 8 ball has to go clean. (stupidest bar rule I ever heard) But that's another thread.

Sid_Vicious
01-04-2006, 03:50 PM
"When the tournament started, the out of town sharks (top players) showed up (never go to bar except for tournaments) and were really screaming like stuck pigs about the rule changes, going to race to 1 , breaking from anywhere in kitchen, and paying 4 spots ".

Your visitors from out of town we crying about the payout first, and the shortened race second. That's the nature of money players IMO, and the rest of the alterations really didn't mean nuthin' to them...sid