PDA

View Full Version : In part, how the APA handicap system works



lifelover
05-29-2007, 04:23 PM
The APA Handicap Reward System
By J. Howard ďHankĒ Dowdell

One topic that gets talked about in our pool league circuit is the APA handicap system and to the degree possible I thought it worthy to enlighten the players about some things I feel effect handicaps. The handicap system is in place to HELP players and teams, not hurt them. I feel there are several factors that contribute to how the software works before it generates and assigns a skill level to a player.

First, lets say Congratulations to any player that has just moved up in skill level. This player has improved their ability and has earned the right to move up in skill level, and moving up in skill level is by no means a punishment to the player or the team. It is an accomplishment to be proud of. Iím amazed when I hear that a player improved their game, went up in skill level, and the Captain or other players on the team are upset that their player improved their game. They should be congratulating them on their accomplishment.



The Scoresheet. Have you ever really taken the time to look at an 8-ball score sheet and considered the impact it has on your rating as pool player. The score sheet is probably THEE most vital piece of documentation the system uses to establish your handicap and is well worth taking into consideration. The scorekeeper should ALWAYS make sure that the score sheet is filled out correctly for each player and filled out completely. Were there any early 8-balls, scratches on the 8, and were they marked on the score sheet, etc? Everyone should learn how to keep score, not just one or two players. At the end of each rack in either 8-ball or 9-ball both scorekeepers should compare what they have to make sure everything is accurate.



Who won the lag? You havenít mastered the fine art of lagging to get your ball back to the rail closer than your opponent so you always end up racking first. Racking completely deprives you the opportunity of a break and run or making the eight on the break. It also puts you at least one shot behind your opponent. Thatís one more piece of information that goes into the software program. If the person that wins the lag elects to break it is very important that they are listed first on the score sheet, since the person that doesnít break is the guideline for when an inning is marked on the score sheet after they miss a shot.



How many innings and safeties were tallied up at the end of your game/match? Both scorekeepers should be very attentive to this process. Every time the second shooter misses, an inning should be marked for that game, and every safety shot by either player should be marked. If there is any disparity, Mike and Carol use the average number of innings and safeties marked down between the two score sheets. Donít think NOT marking innings or marking EXCESSIVE innings on YOUR score sheet will help keep your handicap down or be instrumental in raising your opponents skill level. It just doesnít work that way and certainly not that easily. Your innings and safeties are one more piece of information that goes into the system. In 9-Ball the scorekeepers generally ask each other at the end of each rack what the ball count is, innings, and dead balls, wouldnít it be a great idea if after each rack in 8-ball the scorekeepers checked with each other to compare innings, and games won by each player so far in the match?




Did you win or lose and how good or bad was it? This might seem like a no-brainer but thereís more to it than just winning or losing. If the software program is keeping track of YOUR matches, it is sure to be keeping track of your opponents. So it just stands to reason that some factors from both of your histories are entered into the equation for establishing handicaps. Yet, another piece of information entered into the system.




When were you put up during the match? I thought this was insignificant at face value until the end of the LTCís last year. As the matches progressed I watched the winning teams and which player they saved for the anchor game and it was always the same person. It was always a strong handicapped and well-seasoned shooter. Does that player outright win their match all the time or do they play a match and always take it to the hill before they win? What is YOUR average during league play, during single qualifiers, during Higher Level Tournaments? I have to believe all of these pieces of information find their way into the system.



What size table did you play on? Itís right there on the score sheet, a 3 Ĺí x 7í, 4í x 8í, or 4 Ĺí x 9í. Good or bad, the table size has an impact on EVERY player. When regional winners go out to Las Vegas and come home, how many times have you heard the story about their opponent making the 8 on the break multiple times in a single match or running rack after rack? It sounds intimidating and laudable but itís being done on 3 Ĺí x 7í tables. Iíll give the player his due for being good enough to make it to the Nationals, but make the eight on the break or run rack after rack, time after time for me on a 9í table, then Iíll bow down and worship their cue stick. The table size has a tremendous impact on your game and once again, another piece of information entered into the system.

Were you the Home or Away team? In other words, did you play on a familiar table with comfortable surroundings or did you play on a table youíve never seen before at a location not exactly conducive for league play? Guess where that information goes!

Beyond the score sheet there are other forces that influence handicaps. Does the Captain have a higher skill level player keeping score? If the Captain has a lower skill level player keeping score is there a higher skill level player next to them helping identify safeties and defense shots? Mike and Carol benefit from using the Handicap Review Committee. The committee is comprised of well-respected, unbiased players that have been with the league for more than two years. The group reviews score sheets and visually monitors some or several of your matches during a session to assess your playing ability. That doesnít always mean youíre being considered to have your handicap raised. The committee lowers handicaps too. So, the responsibility of raising handicaps is not entirely on Mike and Carolís shoulders. It could be anyone in the league making an observation and providing input for the Konaks and the system.



I have the opportunity to do a considerable amount of socializing with Mike and Carol and the more time I spend with them and the players at various tournaments and the more I study the scoresheet, the more it appears that the APA handicap system (computer software) is PROFILING its players. And I RESPECT it. I canít think of a better method of checks and balances for applying handicap levels to a player. The APA has been around for over 25 years. Thatís plenty of time to iron out the wrinkles in any system. There is no doubt they use variables in their equations that I canít pinpoint but whatever they are I think the system is 99.9% accurate, honest, and fair. And except for the very few detractors, the other 250,000 APA members nationwide think it is too. Now the next time you get into an intellectual debate about the handicap system you will be a little bit more informed about how I feel the process works.

Bottom line is, keep an accurate score sheet and enjoy your evening of pool. The system of checks and balances will take care of the handicaps, and allow any player of any skill level to have a chance to win a match regardless of who they play against. So do your part, go out, play your game and have fun; and let the league operators Mike and Carol, the Handicap Review Committee, along with the software do their part.

Just my thoughts, and I look forward to playing you in a match, regardless of your skill level.

Hank

BigRigTom
05-29-2007, 04:55 PM
Wow!
Hank that is a great ad for the APA!
Maybe you are well known by some but I honestly don't know you and it reminds me of a History Professor I had in college. She said that in order to write an oppinion I should have some credentials. It sort of ticked me off but she had a point and was pretty blunt in stating it.

If you don't mind saying ...
What is your skill level in 8 and 9 ball?
Where do you live and play...City and State?
How long have you been playing pool?
How long have you played APA?
How many matches do you have under your belt?
What is your win/loss ratio?
Are you a captain of a team?
How many times have you been to the Local Championships?
How many time did you win?
How many times did you go to the Nationals?
How many times did you win?
Do you play in any other leagues, BCA or other?

You don't really need to answer if you don't want to.
It is a free forum we are on but if you want to make an impression regarding just about anything most intelligent people want to know where you're coming from. It will lend credibility to a long winded post like this one.

PS: You didn't mention how that hadicap rewards benefits the team when faces with the 23 rule especially at the Nationals when you have done really well and now you have to play 4 and 19 or 3 and 15.

lifelover
05-29-2007, 10:25 PM
You ask some valid questions and make a good point about having or needing the credentials to write an article about the APA handicap system.

I am a skill level six in both 8 and 9 ball and play under the auspices of Mike and Carol Konak in South Pinellas County, Florida. That would include St Petersburg, Seminole, Largo, and a few other small municipalities.

Iíve been an active APA member since 1985 and have close to 1,000 career matches. That isnít really accurate though because those matches are only for the past seven years, so Iím confident that the actual number would exceed 2,000.

I play on 9í tables for the most part and captain two 9 ball teams and one 8 ball team.

I have been to the City Championships several times as a player and last year our team made it to the final match in 8 ball and the semi-final match in 9ball. I will concede that I have not made it to Vegas with a team though. Itís something of a joke now that I am the Susan Lucci of APA pool.

Beyond that I have a number of Division Title and MVP trophies. I have been the referee for our City Championship matches for the past six or seven years for 8 and 9 ball including the Ladies and Masters Division. I host most of our local qualifiers, about twenty-four per year, and sent more than seventy players to the Regionals last year. I was also a referee for the first time at the Nationals in April of this year in Las Vegas. I will also be going to the National Team Event in August as a referee if my 9 ball team doesnít win at the City Championship.

I am a Division Rep and started a new division for 8 ball two years ago with only four teams and this session is beginning my third year with sixteen teams. Iím also starting a new 9 ball division on Sundays with for teams and am confident I will grow that just as well as in 8 ball.

I was voted ďAPA Player of the MonthĒ in December of 2005 and also received some national recognition this year in the Spring issue of ďThe American PoolplayerĒ by way of an article about me for my contributions to the game and the APA.

I do not play in any other leagues and that has nothing to do with a handicap system. I played in the inferior leagues while I was playing APA pool and simply found the APA to be more professionally operated, better organized, and structured in such a way that makes the playing field level for everyone.

So, those are my credentials. Do you think Iím qualified to address the intricacies of the APA handicap system?

lifelover
05-29-2007, 10:42 PM
I forgot something Tom. I also serve on the Board of Governors.

BigRigTom
05-30-2007, 01:52 AM
Kudo's for your candor!
I am not in a position to say if you are qualified to speak for the APA but sounds like you have enough experience to be entitled to your views and opinions about the regions you are involved in.
This is exactly the kind of forum that you need to exercise those entitlements. There are a few APA players here and some have been around for quite a while and they are also spread from East to West and from Canada to Texas. You should hear their opinions and views as well.
Looking forward to your taking part in more of the subjects and maybe someday we'll even get to meet on a pool table.
Best of luck to you in all things and especially in pool.
Most of us here love the game as you will see for your self.

Ralph S.
05-30-2007, 02:45 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I do not play in any other leagues and that has nothing to do with a handicap system. I played in the inferior leagues while I was playing APA pool and simply found the APA to be more professionally operated, better organized, and structured in such a way that makes the playing field level for everyone.
<hr /></blockquote>

The above statement that you made seems extremely biased. How can you call the other leagues inferior? Personally, I find it quite the reverse, seeing that the APA is SLOP LEAGUE.

MrLucky
05-30-2007, 04:46 AM
As another long term APA player and Captain (also a 6) welcome to the forums sadly there are, as in most things, some here that either had bad experiences or have bought into the propaganda that abounds surrounding the APA ! So it is a constant challenge on the site to try and rebut some of these misguided ideas.
I also started back in the early 80's (1983) and have been to the big show a few times and made MVP in the cities here in 1989 as a 5sl so I have seen a lot and heard a lot ! Presently I have been working on helping folks to understand the importance of accurate scorekeeping in order to eliminate or at least control sand bagging of unethical players. /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif

Rich R.
05-30-2007, 06:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ralph S.:</font><hr> The above statement that you made seems extremely biased. How can you call the other leagues inferior? Personally, I find it quite the reverse, seeing that the APA is SLOP LEAGUE. <hr /></blockquote>
When are people going to stop bringing up this "SLOP LEAGUE" crap? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

You make it sound like all APA players just bang the balls as hard as possible and hope that something falls. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I have been playing in the APA for a number of years and I would guess that I witness about 5 slop shots per session, if that. I don't think I have slopped in 2 balls in the last year or more. Yes, if a ball is slopped in, it does count, according to the APA rules. However, it doesn't happen that often. APA players, like those in any other league, try to play the best pool possible.

I'd also like to know what league requires you to call your pocket when playing 9-ball? I guess they are all "SLOP LEAGUES" Too. BTW, I don't know of any pro tournaments where players are required to call their shot, in 9-ball, so they would also fall into the "SLOP LEAGUE" category.

I would also add, I have seen APA players from my area, playing in non-APA regional tournaments, and some have beaten notable pro players, such as Jose Parica, Mike Davis, as well as others. Not all APA players count on slop.

Cornerman
05-30-2007, 07:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> I have been playing in the APA for a number of years and I would guess that I witness about 5 slop shots per session, if that. I don't think I have slopped in 2 balls in the last year or more. <hr /></blockquote>
Oh, I've seen slopped balls at a much higher rate than that. But, usually not with the higher level players.


That being said, I've said this before and it's been misunderstood like everytime, but I'll try again...

When the APA was started, it was started by two professional players... Larry Hubbart and Terry Bell. At that time (early 80's), whatever common rules the professional players were playing, that's what went into the APA 8-ball rules. And the APA rules have remained constant ever since. That is, the 8-ball on the break was a win. No calling of shots and slop counted. You had to call the 8-ball pocket (the APA has the 'mark the pocket' rule). So, it's not an amateur rules type of thing. It's just the rules that that the professional were using back in those days. Many World Championships were won under these rules.

Fred

jjinfla
05-30-2007, 07:30 AM
After all those years you guys are still 6's.

Not bad, I see you have that sandbagging mastered.

LOL.

Jake

Snapshot9
05-30-2007, 07:31 AM
Well, that was a nice little political correct speech about the APA .... LOL

I have played in all 3, and this is how I rate them and always have:
1) BCA
2) VNEA
3) APA

Notice that the ranking corresponds with handicapping levels. The BCA is the most finite, the VNEA is next, and the APA with its 9 levels is last. This lack of a more finite ranking system promotes more sandbagging, more disparities of skill within 1 level, and then they add insult to injury with the '23' rule. The APA is fine for a beginner league, but not for the serious player.

All those 'checks' and 'balances' he stated don't happen in real life, plus you always have problems with league operators that have their own agendas, some that are not fair to all players.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Scott Lee
05-30-2007, 08:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Snapshot9:</font><hr> The APA is fine for a beginner league, but not for the serious player. <hr /></blockquote>

Holy cow Scott! How many times do you NOT understand? The APA is DESIGNED around beginner players. BTW, the league has 7 levels, not 9 (the league was built around 8-ball, and there are at least 10x as many 8-ball players, as 9-ball players). The APA was developed to encourage participation by social players. The league is built around 2's, 3's &amp; 4's...not the 7's! It has only been in the last couple of years that the APA even took an interest in the higher skilled players (Master's leagues, etc). Say what you like about APA...it IS the dominant league out there, by a factor of 3 or 4 to 1! Quit badmouthing APA...you don't have to play in it! Didn't your mother teach you that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?

Scott Lee

SpiderMan
05-30-2007, 08:27 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote lifelover:</font><hr> The APA Handicap Reward System
By J. Howard ďHankĒ Dowdell

Donít think NOT marking innings or marking EXCESSIVE innings on YOUR score sheet will help keep your handicap down or be instrumental in raising your opponents skill level. It just doesnít work that way and certainly not that easily.
Hank
<hr /></blockquote>

Unfortunately, this is not correct. Innings marked have such a direct affect on computed skill level that this is the primary method of "handicap management" by "successful" team captains. Not only by incorrectly marking innings, but also by having their players prolong games without resorting to obvious safety play (or by not being strict in marking safeties). And there may be some incentive for league operators to "overlook" the practice in order to keep handicaps down and allow their players and teams to do well at the national level.

The APA handicap system has been revealed in several forums, and to my knowledge no one has proven the published information wrong. I did some comparisons with my own team's scores and handicap movements, and they seemed to be following the formula. The only exceptions were "direct intervention" by the league operator, whereby an individual's handicap was overridden and manually changed.

SpiderMan

lifelover
05-30-2007, 03:50 PM
My view of the other leagues is unbiased since I have played in a few of the major amateur leagues. The APA is superior in that it boasts 250,000 players and that number is predicated on the new and renewed memberships annually, which includes the United State, Canada, and now Japan.

I won't make this a long response but the other leagues base their membership on anyone that has purchased a membership since day one, over twenty years ago, and their number of card holding members is well under 100,000. In addition to that, there is a considerable number of those players that play APA.

Just the size of the APA organization alone makes it superior to all of its competitors.

lifelover
05-30-2007, 04:15 PM
Thatís good point Rich. Anyone that contends the APA is a ďslopĒ league obviously knows little about the game and its standards at any level. They have been ill advised by other leagues or players. The slop rule is an existing rule in the professional circuit, which begs the question, ďhey other league players, how many professional matches have you watched and witnessed a slop shotĒ? It virtually never happens.

In my humble opinion, the worst of offenders that complain about slop shots come from another league or they are bar shooters that neglect to take into account what the APA is. Itís an AMATEUR league with the majority of its players ranked at a skill level 4 or 5, then 2ís and 3ís, and then 6ís and 7ís.

A slop shot is very rare when you consider the number of games played in the course of a league match. And because the APA is full of amateur players, the occasional slop shot lends itself to accelerating the game. Can you imagine how long it would take a team full of 2ís and 3ís to play a match against another team of 2ís and 3ís where they had to call every pocket and how the object ball was going to get there?

There is no doubt the APA is a business but regardless, the organization promotes the learning of how to play the game of pool and have fun in the process.

lifelover
05-30-2007, 04:34 PM
I never said that high innings and the lack of marking safeties DIDNíT directly affect score keeping or establishing handicap levels. In essence, I said ďkeeping your innings HIGH and NOT marking safeties is not the end all be all to establishing a handicap. The number of innings and defensive shots are just a ďpartĒ of what goes into establishing a handicap. It all goes into your profile.

Scott Lee
05-30-2007, 06:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote lifelover:</font><hr> Just the size of the APA organization alone makes it superior to all of its competitors. <hr /></blockquote>

As much as I agree with a lot of your original post, I have to laugh at this statement. Just because APA is a larger group does NOT make it superior, per se. You cannot really compare APA to Valley or BCA. They are different animals, with different goals. BCA caters to better players, and many BCA leagues don't handicap at all, since there is no handicap at the national level. Valley offers a handicap at the local level, but not at the national level. Valley also does not differentiate between good players and beginners...so it too, caters more to the 'better' local players. At least, everywhere I've seen Valley leagues, the top 2-3 teams are comprised of the best players in the area...and those players go to Vegas every year. APA caters to the beginner/social player, and offers a handicap that allows the possibility of beating a higher skilled player...although the better player will win more often than not.

Scott Lee

Scott Lee
05-30-2007, 06:25 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote lifelover:</font><hr> Itís an AMATEUR league with the majority of its players ranked at a skill level 4 or 5, then 2ís and 3ís, and then 6ís and 7ís.<hr /></blockquote>

Your numbers are backwards. While that may be the case in your league area, nationally, there are many more 2's, 3's &amp; 4's, than there 5's, 6's &amp; 7's. St. Louis verifies this.

Scott Lee

SpiderMan
05-31-2007, 11:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote lifelover:</font><hr> I never said that high innings and the lack of marking safeties DIDNíT directly affect score keeping or establishing handicap levels. <hr /></blockquote>

I quoted you directly in my prior post.

What you said was "Donít think NOT marking innings or marking EXCESSIVE innings on YOUR score sheet will help keep your handicap down or be instrumental in raising your opponents skill level."

Most know this to be incorrect, and I'm sure that many who have played APA have been exposed to the practice of drawing out games to increase innings. This is done because it WORKS - innings per win are directly related to handicap. If you're not aware of this, you must be naive or play in a league of saints. My local league lacks saints.

FYI - failure to mark safeties is also one of the MOST PREVALENT techiques for manipulating effective inning totals for those who have, or suspect, the APA formula and it's treatment of defensive shots. A safety should be marked every time a shooter deliberately ends his inning. This requires scorekeeper judgement in detecting "sham" pocketing attempts, and is one reason NOT to have low-skilled players keeping score.

I'm not going to incite further controversy by publishing the APA formula here, but if you're really interested you can probably still find the links by googling older RSB postings.

SpiderMan

SpiderMan
05-31-2007, 11:50 AM
Good post, and I agree.

The basic concept of the APA is good. It allows participation by players who could not otherwise be competitive in a league environment. My own choice to join APA was made so that I could play on a team with friends who could not hang with the players in my non-handicapped BCA or VNEA leagues. There are many teams in APA with husband/wife or BF/GF combos that would not be likely in a scratch league.

The bad part is not the system, but the dishonest individuals who see any system as an opportunity to be manipulated for rewards.

My LO manually entered me as a "7" handicap our second week, and I had no problem with that. After going to 'Vegas in singles, I understand that I'm now a "lifetime 7", ie my SL supposedly will not be allowed to drop regardless of performance. I do, however, find it odd to be spotting well-known money players 2 games in APA when they would be spotting me if I gambled with them on another night. Especially after the opposing team captain says "yeah, we're keeping him as a 5 for the city and nationals" /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

SpiderMan

BigRigTom
05-31-2007, 12:14 PM
I too find it amazing that when I got to upper level events that the 5's at those events are much better players than I ....in many cases.
There are all kinds of excuses from the League Operators why this is the case but it IS the case.
The area where I play has it's share of questionable handicaps and we all know who they are but that doesn't help on league night....they play just good enough to win the match and that depends on who they are playing against that night.....when barely beating a 3....it is "O WELL I AM JUST HAVING A BAD NIGHT!" ....yeah right. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

The system has flaws...but it is still the best system I've seen yet for the social players and I agree with that too!

Rich R.
05-31-2007, 07:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> After all those years you guys are still 6's.

Not bad, I see you have that sandbagging mastered.

LOL.

Jake <hr /></blockquote>
Jake, I know you think everyone in the APA is trying to sandbag and cheat the system, but in this case you are dead wrong.
I have never claimed to be a great player, but I try to win every match I play, in the least amount of innings. I started as an SL-4, per APA rules, and I have slowly moved up. There is no sandbagging here. Unlike others, I don't even try to figure out the APA handicapping system, because I don't try to manipulate it.
Also, it is common knowledge that APA handicaps are, in part, determined by the people you are playing against. I happen to play in one of the largest APA areas in the country and competition is stiff. There are many good players.
I can say, I rarely lose more than 3 or 4 matches in a session and I have had one session with a record of 13-1. That is not the record of a sandbagger.
For whatever reason, I have not been bumped up to an SL-7, but that has not been for a lack of trying. If you know so much about the system, maybe you can tell me.
If you want to accuse someone of sandbagging, you'll have to look well past me.

Rich R.
05-31-2007, 07:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> After all those years you guys are still 6's.

Not bad, I see you have that sandbagging mastered.

LOL.

Jake <hr /></blockquote>
Jake, I know you think everyone in the APA is trying to sandbag and cheat the system, but in this case you are dead wrong.
I have never claimed to be a great player, but I try to win every match I play, in the least amount of innings. I started as an SL-4, per APA rules, and I have slowly moved up. There is no sandbagging here. Unlike others, I don't even try to figure out the APA handicapping system, because I don't try to manipulate it.
Also, it is common knowledge that APA handicaps are, in part, determined by the people you are playing against. I happen to play in one of the largest APA areas in the country and competition is stiff. There are many good players.
I can say, I rarely lose more than 3 or 4 matches in a session and I have had one session with a record of 13-1. That is not the record of a sandbagger.
For whatever reason, I have not been bumped up to an SL-7, but that has not been for a lack of trying. If you know so much about the system, maybe you can tell me.
If you want to accuse someone of sandbagging, you'll have to look well past me.

jjinfla
05-31-2007, 09:17 PM
You're jumping to conclusions again Rich. I really don't think everyone in the APA sandbags. Nor do I think a lot of them do. Of course some do. The best ones are the ones who can hide out as a 4. But I don't know anyone good enough nor smart enough to do that. None at all. By the time they are good enough at the game to think of doing that they are already a 5 or a 6. Too late for them.

When I played in the APA it never bothered me what a person's handicap was. It is what it is. On any given day a person can play +- 2 skill levels.

Really, when you think about it all a person can really do is slow down the process a little. Add a couple innings here and there, just barely win the match. But eventually it all catches up and he gets bumped up in skill level.

Sure, a person can go play and keep losing week after week but who wants to do that? Pay good money just to go and lose a match? You keep losing and your team can't get into the playoffs.

As far as you going 13-1 in one session it all depends on who you played, how badly you beat them, and yes innings. More than likely you played people at the same skill level as you or a lower skill level and your games were close, and your innings were close to, or slightly above, the expected norm for your SL. You are expected to beat someone who is rated lower than you so beating them should not raise your level.

Now if you were playing as a 5 and playing 6's and 7's every week then I would suspect that the LO just likes you.

Ultimately everything depends on the data that the LO puts into the computer.

Sandbagging is a highly overrated, overused term by frustrated pool players.

Jake

Rich R.
06-01-2007, 07:15 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> You're jumping to conclusions again Rich. I really don't think everyone in the APA sandbags. Nor do I think a lot of them do. Of course some do. The best ones are the ones who can hide out as a 4. But I don't know anyone good enough nor smart enough to do that. None at all. By the time they are good enough at the game to think of doing that they are already a 5 or a 6. Too late for them.

<font color="red"> Jake, I don't think I jumped to any conclusions. You were the one who said, " Not bad, I see you have that sandbagging mastered." If you were kidding, I'm sorry. It is hard to tell on the internet.
I do agree, that there really isn't a lot of sandbagging going on in the APA.
</font color>

When I played in the APA it never bothered me what a person's handicap was. It is what it is. On any given day a person can play +- 2 skill levels.

Really, when you think about it all a person can really do is slow down the process a little. Add a couple innings here and there, just barely win the match. But eventually it all catches up and he gets bumped up in skill level.

Sure, a person can go play and keep losing week after week but who wants to do that? Pay good money just to go and lose a match? You keep losing and your team can't get into the playoffs.

As far as you going 13-1 in one session it all depends on who you played, how badly you beat them, and yes innings. More than likely you played people at the same skill level as you or a lower skill level and your games were close, and your innings were close to, or slightly above, the expected norm for your SL. You are expected to beat someone who is rated lower than you so beating them should not raise your level.

<font color="red">I am one of the few who don't really care who I play. Most of the time, my captain puts me up first and lets the other team decide who to play against me. In each session, I play a variety of players, at all skill levels. In my 13-1 session, IIRC, I beat at least three 7's and and three 6's, as well as a variety of other SL's. My one loss came at the hands of a 5, who was playing very well that day.
As I don't know what the normal number of innings is for my level, I can't tell you if I was above or below that. Since I don't consider myself good enough to miss shots on purpose, I can only say that no game lasted one inning longer than necessary to win. </font color>

Now if you were playing as a 5 and playing 6's and 7's every week then I would suspect that the LO just likes you.

<font color="red">As I said before, our APA league is very large, I believe somewhere around 700 teams, the last I heard. If you put the LO and me in a room and asked him if he knew me, he may recognize the face, but I doubt if he could tell you my name. </font color>

Ultimately everything depends on the data that the LO puts into the computer.

<font color="red">I agree and all I can say is that our team marks everything on the score sheet, as we are supposed to do. We do not try to manipulate the system.</font color>

Sandbagging is a highly overrated, overused term by frustrated pool players.

<font color="red">Again, I agree. And those who actually do sandbag are the ones who can't play good enough to win a fair game. </font color>
<hr /></blockquote>
<font color="red">My team does the best we can to do everything on the up and up. We can't control what other teams do, other than mark the score sheets correctly. Mostly, we just have fun playing pool each week and we don't worry about winning the most expensive "free trip" in the world. </font color>

jayman
06-13-2007, 11:46 PM
why was my post deleted?

Jager85
06-15-2007, 11:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ralph S.:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
I do not play in any other leagues and that has nothing to do with a handicap system. I played in the inferior leagues while I was playing APA pool and simply found the APA to be more professionally operated, better organized, and structured in such a way that makes the playing field level for everyone.
<hr /></blockquote>

The above statement that you made seems extremely biased. How can you call the other leagues inferior? Personally, I find it quite the reverse, seeing that the APA is SLOP LEAGUE. <hr /></blockquote>

I do personally see alot of slop shots made that are irriating. Especially when I play a killer safe and the opponent kicks 3 rails and hits it extremely hard and the ball hits 2 other rails along with 3 bals and is pocketed.

On the other hand, with it being slop I cannot call a safety and pocket my ball, I have to do one or the other. In a case where you have alot of clusters and your opponent doesn't you cannot pick off one ball at a time and play safe. You have to be able to break them apart one by one and then be able to run them out.

I personally love ACS because I can pocket a ball and play safe in the same shot. Also because there is always an open table.

Curtis

jjinfla
06-15-2007, 02:59 PM
Why worry about slop? It's there and it happens. Nothing you can do about it but deal with it and go on.

I played Tracie Hines at Capones in a Kingsbay Amateur Tournament and managed to hide the CB three times on her. Out comes her jump cue. She makes a nice jump and gets a good hit on the OB. Does not make the OB where she played it but on each occasion the OB or some other ball found a pocket. What could I say? Good shot. Of course since she is a pro I would never call that a "slop" shot. Heavens no.

If you make contact sometimes good things happen. When good things happen you must make the most of them. She did. Ran out each time.

Jake

OnePocketChamp
06-27-2007, 07:58 AM
This is one of the best threads I have read concerning the APA handicap system and our league in general. I am a APA skill level 7 with 9 years league playing history and I am also a league operator.

A correctly filled out score sheet by a knowledgeable player is the key to fair and accurate skill level assessment but also a competent LO doing handicap review is a must to read between the lines of any score sheet. By this I mean: How does a player win his last two matches to capture the match? Were they winning the previous games at a high inning total and then the last two matches their innings per game dramatically improved? Looking back over that players recent match history to see if this is a trend may give you the facts needed to identify a player that is intentionally manipulating the system.

Also, while the APA is promoted as a fun and entertainment league, the big money at the National Tournaments is a consideration at the back of every ones mind. What wasn't mentioned is the fact that every year at these tournaments players and/or teams are disqualified for sandbagging. As a Lo I work diligently to insure that the teams we send to these tournaments are playing at a true and honest skill level - I don't want to have a reputation for running a sloppy league.

Concerning the BCA, I have played on BCA teams for the last 7 or 8 years and enjoyed every minute of it. When recruiting BCA players into our league the question I ask them is; If your goal is the get to Vegas then why not open another avenue for getting there, one that I will pay you for? I have never bad mouthed the BCA because I have nothing bad to say about that fine organization. For pool to remain healthy and grow in popularity we need all league formats to draw the players to the game-period.

Scott Lee, thanks for the lesson you gave me a few years ago at Sky High Billiards in Fort Worth and thanks for your thoughfull and balanced opinions concerning posts regarding the APA or the BCA.

BLACKHEART
06-27-2007, 08:19 PM
I'm probably a little older than the average poster here, but if you offer a bag of sh77t as a prize, someone will try to cheat,to get it...JER

MrLucky
06-28-2007, 04:54 AM
Thanks for a great post and analysis of the APA Leagues and the importance of correct score keeping ! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif If all defenses and 8 on breaks etcetera were marked accurately it would go a long way toward eliminating a lot of the issues and banter about handicaps ! I have only one issue and that is with the 7SL rule regarding not being able to drop ! I think in many cases this hurts the league and frustrates many otherwise loyal and good APA players! I also would like to recognize Scott Lee and his training skills and abilities ! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

jjinfla
06-28-2007, 07:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote MrLucky:</font><hr> I have only one issue and that is with the 7SL rule regarding not being able to drop ! I think in many cases this hurts the league and frustrates many otherwise loyal and good APA players! <hr /></blockquote>

Are you saying that a player who works himself up to a 7SL is not really that skilled and should be made a what? a 6SL? Or a 5SL? Just so he can win all the time?

The APA in their literature states that the APA is for beginners and intermediate players but skilled players are also allowed. However, a skilled player is expected to be a mentor for the newer, less skilled players and teach them. An SL7 usually is the captain of a team that he organized.

Don't fight the system, just enjoy it. It is what it is.

Jake

Puck
06-28-2007, 09:36 AM
I'm not sure what it's like in other areas, but in the CT APA an SL7 can go down...although it's not easy and it typically the player is under review for a couple weeks. But it does happen.

We also have varying skill levels for captains. Usually the captain of the team isn't necessarily the most skilled...just whomever can be trusted to send in a check that won't bounce every week... :-)

A lot of higher skilled players prefer to pass on being captain so they can spend more time practicing on league night. I was captain of my team until I went up to an SL7, and then I deferred so I could focus more on my game. I still call a lot of the shots, plan matchups, timeouts, contact the league office, etc. Basically I make the same contribution I used to as captain, but I split the work and someone else handles the paperwork for me.

I'm not captain on any of my teams anymore, but my teammates feel comfortable knowing that they have someone who can step up and lead in a pinch. I've found that I can make a greater contribution by being the "glue guy" for my team...although that might have more to do with my personality I guess... :-)

MrLucky
06-29-2007, 09:16 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote MrLucky:</font><hr> I have only one issue and that is with the 7SL rule regarding not being able to drop ! I think in many cases this hurts the league and frustrates many otherwise loyal and good APA players! <hr /></blockquote>

Are you saying that a player who works himself up to a 7SL is not really that skilled and should be made a what? a 6SL? Or a 5SL? Just so he can win all the time?

The APA in their literature states that the APA is for beginners and intermediate players but skilled players are also allowed. However, a skilled player is expected to be a mentor for the newer, less skilled players and teach them. An SL7 usually is the captain of a team that he organized.

Don't fight the system, just enjoy it. It is what it is.

Jake <hr /></blockquote>
<font color="red"> Not at all! What I am referring to is the situations like one of my ex team mates who I recruited a year ago, He should be a strong 5 or low to mid level 6 at best but he played a 6 his first match who wasn't playing up to his game (for whatever reasons?) and my player trashed him 3 - 0 in low innings then the next week my plyer was a 6 he then played a 5 and trashed him again in low innings and the 3rd week was a 7 never to return from that lofty height and struggled as a seven the rest of the year till he quit the league! </font color> /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif <font color="green">Also in my league one of the largest Atlanta Metro ! Captains are not usually 7's I have been a captain for sometime now and am a 6 SL we have 126 teams in our division a in house league (Mr Cues II ) and very few captains are 7's ! </font color> /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

jjinfla
06-29-2007, 06:40 PM
<font color="red"> Not at all! What I am referring to is the situations like one of my ex team mates who I recruited a year ago, He should be a strong 5 or low to mid level 6 at best but he played a 6 his first match who wasn't playing up to his game (for whatever reasons?) and my player trashed him 3 - 0 in low innings then the next week my plyer was a 6 he then played a 5 and trashed him again in low innings and the 3rd week was a 7 never to return from that lofty height and struggled as a seven the rest of the year till he quit the league! </font color> /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif <font color="green">Also in my league one of the largest Atlanta Metro ! Captains are not usually 7's I have been a captain for sometime now and am a 6 SL we have 126 teams in our division a in house league (Mr Cues II ) and very few captains are 7's ! </font color> /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Now whose fault was that?

You should know that a new player starts as a 4. If he plays a 6 and wins big then he moves up. The only stats that the computer has to look at is that one match. Then in the 2nd match he wins big again. Now the computer looks at two matches, both are very favorable for your player, therefore the computer can't lower him. The only choice the computer has is keep him the same or raise him. He wins the 3rd match same thing. Computer is looking at 3 matches which he won. Can't lower him. Can only keep him the same or raise him.

But it sounds like your new player was trapped by the 1st 6 he played. The 6 laid back and let your guy win big. (Yes there are devious players who think ahead) Now your guy is stuck with a very high computer score that will stick with him for 20 matches before it drops out.

Next time you get a new player you better tell him not to win too big in any of his first few games. Ha Ha. Some people might call that sandbagging. I think it is common sense.

Of course when all else fails you can go and talk with the LO and explain the situation to him/her. Mainly, that your guy was lucky to win his first few games big and is stuck as a 7 and that he really should be a 6 or a 5. The LO has a special button on the computer where he could bypass any SL and make it whatever he thinks it should be. Don't tell anyone though.

Of course, it might be hard to convince the LO to do that if your guy keeps winning as a 7.

Jake

MrLucky
07-01-2007, 07:29 AM
actually the point of the post is that once a seven you can not drop ! at least here in the atl! As far as seeing in the future and not posting my guy against the six !!! LMAO! I will consult with you in the future! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Cydpkt
07-01-2007, 12:11 PM
We had a SL9 drop to an 8 for a few weeks. He promptly called a lot of safeties to keep the innings low and is back to a 9. There was also a 5 who hadn't played in 4 weeks and when the end of session tourney started he was a 6. He had been on the watch list and was intentionally not played so he would be a 5 at tourney time. The one I didn't agree with was a 2 that lost every match she played then at the tourney she was a 3. If she couldn't pull it together as a 2 how was she going to as a 3?

MrLucky
07-02-2007, 05:56 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cydpkt:</font><hr> We had a SL9 drop to an 8 for a few weeks. He promptly called a lot of safeties to keep the innings low and is back to a 9. There was also a 5 who hadn't played in 4 weeks and when the end of session tourney started he was a 6. He had been on the watch list and was intentionally not played so he would be a 5 at tourney time. The one I didn't agree with was a 2 that lost every match she played then at the tourney she was a 3. If she couldn't pull it together as a 2 how was she going to as a 3? <hr /></blockquote>
<font color="green"> </font color> the same thing happened to my team this past Division Cup my 3 was made a 4 about 4 weeks prior to the divisions I played him against 5 and 6's the last weeks he immediately went back to a 3 and stayed there not winning a match then somehow in division playoff he was again a 4 !!!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif which meant we could only make the 19 rule playing 4 players through the Division Playoffs /ccboard/images/graemlins/ooo.gif <font color="green"> it sounds like you play 9 ball we are an 8 ball team 7 is as high as you can go! </font color> /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

BigRigTom
07-02-2007, 08:46 AM
A few of the teams in our Regional Championship matches had this issue where their 3's were ranked 4 in the Regional or their 4's were 5's
Our LO said that the player must play in the Regional Chamipionship at the highest rank he or she has attained durning the season immediately preceeding the event.
That is again the APA's way of limiting the sandbaggers from benefitting from laying down just before the championship.

Cydpkt
07-02-2007, 09:08 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr> A few of the teams in our Regional Championship matches had this issue where their 3's were ranked 4 in the Regional or their 4's were 5's
Our LO said that the player must play in the Regional Chamipionship at the highest rank he or she has attained durning the season immediately preceeding the event.
That is again the APA's way of limiting the sandbaggers from benefitting from laying down just before the championship. <hr /></blockquote>
Its still hard to see a 2 who has never won become a 3 who will struggle even more. I have watched her play and she isn't sandbagging.
We just put together a new team, our 9 ball team would have taken first (by 30 points)last session if our score sheets had been turned in on time. Instead we took 4th. The team captain was going thru some financial times and was taking the $25 and gambling. Well that won't happen to us again. Nothing like working all session only to be taken down from within.

BigRigTom
07-02-2007, 09:38 AM
I feel your pain.
I see it happen all the time regarding the skill levels.
3's that play like 5's and 2 that get bumped up to 3 for no explainable reason.
Teams are always getting in trouble because someone forgot to do something...or the check got misplaced, or the score was not right on the score sheet and on &amp; on.
I honestly don't know how LO keep their sanity.
Our league operators are great at the details and run a tight ship but there is ALWAYS someone pissed off about something and maybe some of them have legitimate reason but the real devil is in the details and the LO's are the guardians of the holy grail which is the APA Equalizer System.....similar to the Da Vinci Code....and almost as mysterious.

underdog
07-02-2007, 11:33 AM
Explain this garbage...We were playing in Finals to go to Vegas and our 6 played a 7. We only had to get 18 balls to win because of the match points we already had. Our 6 barely won 18 to about 35. I mean, the 7 was whipping our guy's @#$. the next match, our 6 was a 7. He has not played since being a 7 but is now a 6 again. WTF!!!

MrLucky
07-03-2007, 04:46 AM
Sorry but I am not that familiar with 9 ball APA handicapping /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif ! I have my hands full keeping track of our 8 ball handicaps ! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif From watching some of our team play 9 I can see that you seem to need a math major ! /ccboard/images/graemlins/ooo.gif