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Billy_Bob
06-05-2006, 10:22 AM
It was mentioned in another thread that skill tests do not measure strategy or defensive skills. This is an important part of some games.

So I was wondering how you could design such a test for this?

Any ideas?

randyg
06-05-2006, 10:50 AM
The test is called

P.A.T

randyg

Billy_Bob
06-05-2006, 10:56 AM
I've seen the web site for the "PAT- Playing Ability Test" test here...
http://www.pat-billiard.com/index1.aspx

But how do they test for strategy and defensive skills?
(I don't see anything about the actual test(s) on the web site...)

PoolSharkAllen
06-05-2006, 11:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr>
But how do they test for strategy and defensive skills?
(I don't see anything about the actual test(s) on the web site...)
<hr /></blockquote>
The PAT tests consists of the following components:

PATs 1 &amp; 2 comprise of (besides others):
1. Stroke speed
2. Stroke straightness
3. Stroke efficiency follow shots
4. Stroke efficiency draw shots
5. Position play in small area
6. Position play in large area
7. Ball frozen to rail
8. Continuos exercises
9. Standard and standard position shots
10. Table clearing situations in 9-Ball

In PAT 3 some of the exercises are replaced with more sophisticated ones. Newly added are:
confidence in long and angle shots, banking, as well as much more difficult variations of those in the
preceding PAT sections.

wolfdancer
06-05-2006, 03:33 PM
The P.A.T. sounds pretty complicated...is this something that you also do at the school?

Billy_Bob
06-06-2006, 09:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote PoolSharkAllen:</font><hr>The PAT tests consists of the following components:

PATs 1 &amp; 2 comprise of (besides others):
1. Stroke speed
2. Stroke straightness
3. Stroke efficiency follow shots
4. Stroke efficiency draw shots
5. Position play in small area
6. Position play in large area
7. Ball frozen to rail
8. Continuos exercises
9. Standard and standard position shots
10. Table clearing situations in 9-Ball

In PAT 3 some of the exercises are replaced with more sophisticated ones. Newly added are:
confidence in long and angle shots, banking, as well as much more difficult variations of those in the
preceding PAT sections. <hr /></blockquote>

That all looks like "shot making" to me. I don't see anything which would test strategy or defensive skills which would be more of a "thinking" sort of thing.

For example I started my 9-ball league last night. On my team we were not running out from the get go. Everybody on my team frequently shot in one or two balls, then played a safety. We did this a lot! There were a possible 10 points for each game and my team got many 10 zips (I got two 10 zips myself).

And we got almost twice the points the other team got, but not by running out from the beginning except rarely. We did this by thinking, using strategy, and playing safeties.

So I scored 59 points out of a possible 90 points. But I mostly would start by pocketing one or two balls before playing safe.

PoolSharkAllen
06-06-2006, 10:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr>
That all looks like "shot making" to me. I don't see anything which would test strategy or defensive skills which would be more of a "thinking" sort of thing.
<hr /></blockquote>

Unlike some of the break-and-run drills that measure offensive abilities, it's not obvious how you would measure a defensive play. So rather than try to measure or test for defensive plays, I think it's more important to recognize when a defensive play is called for rather than always trying to make difficult or impossible shots.

Some examples of defensive strategies:
- In 9-ball, a common ploy is to hide the cue ball behind a blocker ball.
- In 1-pocket, a defensive play might be to move an object ball up-table, while bringing the cue ball back to the bottom rail.
- In 8-ball, one can gently nudge open a cluster and hide the cue ball behind those balls without leaving your opponent a shot.

IMO, playing defense is an under-appreciated skill, as a defensive play can often accomplish more than an offensive play.

Eric.
06-06-2006, 12:43 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr>
That all looks like "shot making" to me. I don't see anything which would test strategy or defensive skills which would be more of a "thinking" sort of thing.

<font color="blue"> Shotmaking and good position play are the holy grail of Pool. Defense and strategy are secondary to shotmaking &amp; position. </font color>

For example I started my 9-ball league last night. On my team we were not running out from the get go. Everybody on my team frequently shot in one or two balls, then played a safety.

<font color="blue">That would mean everyone is just above rank beginner. If that's the case, how strong were the safeties? </font color>

We did this a lot! There were a possible 10 points for each game and my team got many 10 zips (I got two 10 zips myself).

<font color="blue">Running 2 balls at a time, that would make it a 4-5 inning game of 9 ball every game!!! </font color>

And we got almost twice the points the other team got, but not by running out from the beginning except rarely.

<font color="blue">Apparently the other team is worse than your team (if that's even possible) </font color>

We did this by thinking, using strategy, and playing safeties.

<font color="blue">A strong "D+" player would have murdered anyone on your teeam or the other team. Constantly playing safes sounds like a band aid approach to winning when one's offensive skills are weak. While this might work for an opponent that can't kick and can't run more than 2 balls ata clip, anyone at a "C" level or higher will torture you with this strategy. With that strategy, you will have another "didn't win a single game!" day. Your team (and you) need to stop looking for ways to get around poor shotmaking. </font color>

So I scored 59 points out of a possible 90 points. But I mostly would start by pocketing one or two balls before playing safe. <hr /></blockquote>

I feel bad about picking on you, B_Bob, but reading your posts, you talk like you area much better player than you apparently are. While, it's a free world and you are entitled to your opinion, I feel bad for the unknowing reader that reads your posts and actually takes your "advice" as gospel. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

BTW, did you try the 10 ball drill? The whole forum would be interested in your scores.


Eric &gt;no hard feelings

PoolSharkAllen
06-06-2006, 05:41 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote PoolSharkAllen:</font><hr>
IMO, playing defense is an under-appreciated skill, as a defensive play can often accomplish more than an offensive play. <hr /></blockquote>

Eric, I thought that this post made by someone else in another forum on the value of defensive play might be of interest to you:

"Through the round of sixteen, Allen Hopkins, who, possibly excepting Nick Varner, probably had more tactical weaponry than any player in the field, was thriving on trapping his opponents in the defensive portion of the matches. His match against the young and gifted Nico Otterman was a clinic in how to win with defense. Allen's wonderful safety play coupled with his dependability as an offensive technician made him one of the best stories of the event.

Engert was the only player I saw that had his way with Hopkins in the safety play, and he did not fall into the traps Hopkins had succeeded with against many opponents along the way. Great defense bought Engert some extra chances in the quarterfinal, and the result was a blowout victory."

If you ever watch Allison Fisher play 9-ball, her defensive skills are amazing to watch. As an example, rather than try to make a difficult shot, she will oftentimes send the object ball up the table while hooking her opponent behind blocking balls. After her opponent misses the shot, Allison will then run out the table.

As I indicated before, playing good defense is an invaluable skill that can win games for you too. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Fran Crimi
06-07-2006, 05:01 AM
I got the impression from Billy Bob's post that he and his team were playing safeties, not because there was no shot or no chance at a runout, but just so they could lock up their opponents. How could you possibly equate Fisher and Hopkins to something like that? No one is saying here that defense isn't important. However, there does come a point where it doesn't make sense.

Fran

Eric.
06-07-2006, 09:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote PoolSharkAllen:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote PoolSharkAllen:</font><hr>
IMO, playing defense is an under-appreciated skill, as a defensive play can often accomplish more than an offensive play. <hr /></blockquote>

Eric, I thought that this post made by someone else in another forum on the value of defensive play might be of interest to you:

"Through the round of sixteen, Allen Hopkins, who, possibly excepting Nick Varner, probably had more tactical weaponry than any player in the field, was thriving on trapping his opponents in the defensive portion of the matches. His match against the young and gifted Nico Otterman was a clinic in how to win with defense. Allen's wonderful safety play coupled with his dependability as an offensive technician made him one of the best stories of the event.

Engert was the only player I saw that had his way with Hopkins in the safety play, and he did not fall into the traps Hopkins had succeeded with against many opponents along the way. Great defense bought Engert some extra chances in the quarterfinal, and the result was a blowout victory."

If you ever watch Allison Fisher play 9-ball, her defensive skills are amazing to watch. As an example, rather than try to make a difficult shot, she will oftentimes send the object ball up the table while hooking her opponent behind blocking balls. After her opponent misses the shot, Allison will then run out the table.

As I indicated before, playing good defense is an invaluable skill that can win games for you too. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif <hr /></blockquote>

I think you are missing my point. I never said defense is not important. What I am saying is that Offense is more important than defense.

Using your example, defense at higher levels can be the difference between winning and losing. That's because at the top player level, everyone is an offensive juggernaut. Anyone can run out from anywhere. How do you get an edge? Defense and kicking. When all things are equal(run out offense) you need the secondary and tertiary things to win. You need to win the safety battles to get to the first open shot before your opponent. From there, your offesive skills kick in and you run out.

Playing 1-2 balls and ducking will only work at the very lowest levels of competitive Pool. If you are at or below the "D" player level, you can expect to play any safe, even a poor one, and get ball in hand. Once you play better players, that strateggy will get you killed. If you give a decent player too many chances to kick at a ball, you will find that he/she may safe you back or even make the ball and run out on you. At the higher levels, no safe is necessarily "safe".

The biggest problem with beginners like Billy Bob is that defense becomes a crutch. When you don't have the ability to make more than a few balls at a time, you rely on safeties to get you another shot. Now, I'm not saying that you should always go for the shot, what I am saying is that you need to improve your shotmaking.


Eric

PoolSharkAllen
06-07-2006, 09:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> I got the impression from Billy Bob's post that he and his team were playing safeties, not because there was no shot or no chance at a runout, but just so they could lock up their opponents. How could you possibly equate Fisher and Hopkins to something like that? No one is saying here that defense isn't important. However, there does come a point where it doesn't make sense.

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

Fran and Eric: In Billy Bob's posting about his team's safety strategy, I'm not really sure what they were trying to accomplish. There's a big difference between playing a pre-meditated safety after 1 or 2 balls as Billy Bob's team did, and in playing safeties because that's the better play to make. It obviously doesn't make much sense to play safeties after 1 or 2 balls when you can still continue your run.

Regarding the comments that I was trying to make on defensive strategies, please understand that my comments were an extension of another thread. In retrospect, my comments are probably out-of-place for this particular thread.

Sometimes these threads go off in unexpected tangents...so I'd like to put this to bed, as I think we're all essentially in agreement regarding offensive/defensive plays. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

bsmutz
06-07-2006, 10:35 AM
Eric, I can kind of understand where you are coming from but I think your fears are somewhat groundless. I don't really think that there is a flock of newbies out there that are hanging on Billy Bob's posts as their only means of information regarding how to play. While you may not think that this strategy that BB's team used was a sound one for all circumstances or against all opponents, apparently it worked for them this time. I really have no idea what the ratio of greatly skilled players is to not so greatly skilled players, but I know that in my experience I have played and seen many more players that were at or below my level than those above. I would venture to guess that there are millions of players who don't really devote the time or energy into advancing their game that would be required to play as well as the best players. I would also guess that the number of really good players would number in the thousands. What this means to me is that when playing the "average" player, many types of strategies and moves that may not work against "the best" can be employed to give yourself an advantage against this "average" player. My conclusion is that while you may not agree with all of BB's posts (or any other "beginner" poster, for that matter), it does not mean that their input or "aha", if you will, does not have value to someone, even if it is only because someone else pointed out the flaws in their logic. Certainly feel free to poke holes in our arguments and discuss alternate ways of looking at things, but please don't take a condescending attitude because of your superior knowledge and playing ability. I commend BB for being as open as he is and being willing to take some criticism for being so bold as to postulate a theory. I also commend him for enjoying the game as much as he does and for devoting as much time as he does into learning as much as he can about the game.

Now, back to the post. As far as I know, there isn't a test for strategy and defense that one could use kind of as a measuring stick to see if they are progressing in those skill areas. If I were going to design such a test, I think you would need to evaluate every shot without prejudice. It would be too much to try to do this with every game, so I think I would play two or three games of the type that you most often play in tournaments or league once a week. Make sure you are warmed up and ready to concentrate (give it your best effort). Play your normal game (against the ghost) except record each shot and the game overall. For each shot, I would rate it on a scale of 1-5, poor to perfect. For the game, I would rate the overall strategy. Did you beat the ghost using the strategy employed? You could add up the points for each shot to give yourself a score for the week to have a goal to beat. If you are primarily playing 8 and 9 ball, there's not much point in rating yourself for 1-pocket, straight or 10-ball that I can see or vice versa for that matter. I could be totally wrong here, but I actually think that the best guage of your ability (offense, defense, and strategy) is how well you do against the competition you normally face. I lived in a very small town for a few years where there was only one pool table and all we ever played was 8-ball. There were about 8 or 9 of us that played all the time. We all played about the same speed and won our share of games. We would play 1 and 15 in the side and last pocket to make the game harder and last longer. There would have been no point in practicing 9-ball or 10-ball. It was all about the comraderie; drinking beer, playing pool, and having fun. Some of the best times of my life...

Eric.
06-07-2006, 11:04 AM
bsmutz,

I'll apoligize if I come across as condescending, that's not my intent.
I can care less if someone plays good or bad, it really doesn't mean that much. Although, just like BB is entitled to his opinion, so am I. What irks me is when I hear bad advice passed around as gospel, especially if the advice giver doesn't know what the F they are talking about. There is a difference btween sharing opinions vs. posturing yourself as some kind of "expert". Posturing is nothing more than someone feeding their own ego for self serving purposes. Sometimes it's thinly veiled in stories and anecdotes but ultimately, it's for their own self serving purposes.

What does irk me about guys that so freely pass out half right advice or just plain bad advice is my own personal experience:

I had a guy in the poolroom, years agao, "help" me with me game. I was a new player and struggling to make a cut shot with consistency. This guy comes over and tries to help me be saying "You're doing it all wrong. You need to hold your cue like this and shoot every cut shot with a little outside english to help the OB in." As a new player, I didn't know any better so I took his advice. For years, I cut balls with OE all the time and it took me years to find out how much it held my game back. After I got better, I realized how bad the advice was, how much it plateau'd my game and how not ggod the "expert" was that gave me the lousy advice. If I saw him today, I would break his cuestick.

BTW, where's B_Bob at?

Eric

bsmutz
06-07-2006, 02:38 PM
Your story was interesting to hear. I have to agree that in those circumstances, the advice you were given was detrimental to your development. I think there is a big difference between someone approaching you in a pool hall and giving you advice and posting on this bulletin board about something that worked once for somebody. I weigh everything I hear and read against my own experience and what I've read or heard from other sources. The ones that make sense to me, I try for myself. I'm sorry that this happened to you and has jaded you against anyone who may be inadvisedly offering their experiences for others to potentially learn from. The good news is that this has probably happened to many players (and is probably happening somewhere right now). So you are not alone.

I know I'm guilty. Many years ago, I took my son to play pool. He had been playing with some friends from high school. We had never played together before and I wanted to pass along some of my learnings. Last year when he visited, we were playing and he slow rolled a shot into the side pocket and missed his shape. I said something to him about it and he said that I had told him to shoot soft at the side pockets. I had to laugh, no doubt I had said that to him years earlier 'cause back then it WAS easier to make balls in the side if I shot them soft. I've never said this to my wife, though. She slams them into the side like she's playing that Russian pool where you have to cram the ball past the cushions even if they are hanging, lol.

I see a long, tough road ahead if you make it your job to correct all of the posts made by people who don't know what the F they are talking about...(and that's if you just stick to pool related posts)

Bob_Jewett
06-07-2006, 06:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Eric.:</font><hr> ... What irks me is when I hear bad advice passed around as gospel, especially if the advice giver doesn't know what the F they are talking about. ... <hr /></blockquote>
As you note, it's not only on-line that this happens. Books and videos have the same problem. The difficulty for the reader/viewer/listener is to sort out the pearls from the piles. As far as the books and videos go, I think we were better off when it was harder to make them and you had to have significant help and backing to publish. These days anyone with Word and a Kinkos or a handycam and a DVD burner can put out bunk.

And since we're doing confessions here, I have to admit that for a while in my teaching career I told students when shooting at a ball frozen on the cushion to hit the ball and the rail at the same time. (Anyone who still thinks that's the right way to play a frozen ball hasn't been paying attention and their pearls/piles filter is broken.)

PoolSharkAllen
06-07-2006, 07:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Eric.:</font><hr>
I had a guy in the poolroom, years agao, "help" me with me game. I was a new player and struggling to make a cut shot with consistency. This guy comes over and tries to help me be saying "You're doing it all wrong. You need to hold your cue like this and shoot every cut shot with a little outside english to help the OB in." As a new player, I didn't know any better so I took his advice. For years, I cut balls with OE all the time and it took me years to find out how much it held my game back. After I got better, I realized how bad the advice was, how much it plateau'd my game and how not ggod the "expert" was that gave me the lousy advice. If I saw him today, I would break his cuestick.

Eric <hr /></blockquote>

Eric, The advice that you got on using outside English for cut shots wasn't bad at all. As you said, you were struggling to make cut shots with consistency. Properly applied, using outside English can help you make cut shots consistently. In that sense, this guy probably helped your game considerably by sharing his "limited knowledge" about cut shots.

Since then, you've probably learned that you can also make cut shots with inside English and possibly improve your cue ball position too.

Billy_Bob
06-08-2006, 12:32 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr>...it's not only on-line that this happens. Books and videos have the same problem. The difficulty for the reader/viewer/listener is to sort out the pearls from the piles...<hr /></blockquote>

Actually it has not been difficult for me the last several years to figure out what works and what does not work.

Some methods work better than others. I just try them all out and see what works best. By trying everything, I sometimes stumble onto something fantastic. Well worth the time spent.

My rule #1 is learn all I can - have open mind - try different things.

My rules #2 is (drum beat!) anytime anyone says anything wrong on the internet (including myself), someone will come along with a quickness to point out the error. So another good way to learn...

A quote from Louis Pasteur; "Worship the spirit of criticism. If reduced to itself, it is not an awakener of ideas or a stimulant to great things, but, without it, everything is fallible; it always has the last word."

Eric.
06-08-2006, 07:37 AM
Bob, I sympathize completely. I'm guilty of passing on bad advice too, only because I didn't know better.


bsmutz, I hear what you're saying but I don't see much difference between a real poolhall and a virtual poolhall. The talk is the same and the people are the same. One thing that does get old is thinly veiled brags that may or may not be true, but definately make for a boorish conversation.
As someone that has learned a lesson about bad/half right advice, sometimes I feel like I don't want others to have to suffer the same misery. In my case, I didn't have the experience to differentiate between good advice and bad advice. Using my example about outside english, it seemed to make sense and actually worked. Sort of. It took years to figure out the "sort of".

PSAllen, while I agree that OE is good for some shots, more times than not, OE will make the shot more inconsistant and more difficult than it needs to be. I found that on alot of shots, it's better to adjust my aim 1/16 of an inch w/ no english, than to use OE to "help" the cut shot. I found that once you get to a point in skill level, you have to find smaller things to improve to make you more consistant. After all, once you reach a certain level, the only thing separating you from the better players is how consistantly the better players can execute the same shots, right?


Eric

Scott Lee
06-08-2006, 01:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr>

And since we're doing confessions here, I have to admit that for a while in my teaching career I told students when shooting at a ball frozen on the cushion to hit the ball and the rail at the same time. (Anyone who still thinks that's the right way to play a frozen ball hasn't been paying attention and their pearls/piles filter is broken.) <hr /></blockquote>

Well Bob...My filter is not broken, and I still DO teach ball and rail at the same time (for some shots)...along with using inside and outside spin. What works for some may not work for others...case in point!

Scott Lee

Qtec
06-08-2006, 07:44 PM
[ QUOTE ]
No one is saying here that defense isn't important. However, there does come a point where it doesn't make sense. <hr /></blockquote> /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Thats what I was thinking. If you are playing someone who can't run more than 3 balls, why play a safety on the 3ball!! You could play it over the pocket for him and if he plays 'out his boots'he will leave you the 8! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Lower level players should be going for every bal, all the time- even in competition. If they want to improve that is.

Q

sofy60
06-10-2006, 02:41 PM
balls out offense beats good defense all the time.

Your ability to run 2 balls and play safety may be your best play for an rookie player or a player who is overmatched. Unless you can pocket the next ball you should play safety every time. But the guys who can run all the balls out will eat your safeties for lunch. They will kick it into a new safety which you wont be able to cope with. Then they will run it out on you. As a rule of thumb people that play offense better than you will also play defense better than you as well. They kick at balls better and pocket kickshots often. And when they play safe on you its usually ball in hand for them. Your strategy is sound and it works on equally matched players but will not work on better players. Most safeties are just as difficult as pocketing the ball itself.