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View Full Version : No Luck 9-Ball - Looking for your valued opinion



08-02-2002, 08:34 AM
I promote a series of 9-ball tournaments in MA & RI for strong "B" players. I'm going into my 4th season starting in September. Lately, I've been playing with the idea of changing the 9-ball rules of my events to reduce the luck factor.

I'm thinking about making the games "called pocket". If a player does not make the called ball in the called pocket, his/her inning is done. The pocketed ball(s) would stay down except for the 9-ball.

I'm also thinking about eliminating the win when the 9-ball is pocketed on the break. If someone pockets the 9-ball on the break, the incoming player has the right to break over or spot the nine ball and play the table as it stands.

I want to hear what you all think about this type of event. Would you be more interested in playing in a tournament with these rules or not? Do you like the luck factor in 9-ball and don't want to see it go away? Are there other luck factors in 9-ball that should be addressed?

I would greatly appreciate your input on this matter.

Mario S. Barriere
Battle of the Killer B's Promoter

Lester
08-02-2002, 08:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: MSBPromo:</font><hr> I promote a series of 9-ball tournaments in MA &amp; RI for strong "B" players. I'm going into my 4th season starting in September. Lately, I've been playing with the idea of changing the 9-ball rules of my events to reduce the luck factor.

I'm thinking about making the games "called pocket". If a player does not make the called ball in the called pocket, his/her inning is done. The pocketed ball(s) would stay down except for the 9-ball.

I'm also thinking about eliminating the win when the 9-ball is pocketed on the break. If someone pockets the 9-ball on the break, the incoming player has the right to break over or spot the nine ball and play the table as it stands.

I want to hear what you all think about this type of event. Would you be more interested in playing in a tournament with these rules or not? Do you like the luck factor in 9-ball and don't want to see it go away? Are there other luck factors in 9-ball that should be addressed?

I would greatly appreciate your input on this matter.

Mario S. Barriere
Battle of the Killer B's Promoter <hr></blockquote>
&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;Mario, do you have a good turn out for your tournaments? Because what you propose runs the risk of alienating quite a few entrants, both good and fair. 9 Ball is famous for it's "incorporated luck" factor. Some good players would not play because they have learned to play reducing their opponents ability to "luck" shots in. And the fair players only enter because they feel they may get "lucky" playing a more skilled opponent. My advice is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it. JMHO ***Lester***

08-02-2002, 08:54 AM
In technical terms, nope. Nineball's flavor includes the unexpected especially snapping the nine for the win. I've always thought that the pro level should play call pocket though. Seems wrong to me to see anything except intentional shots fall at their level...sid

08-02-2002, 09:38 AM
Your point is well taken that is why I posted this. I have regular players who have suggested these changes, but I have avoided it due to the fear of lesser skilled players not participating and as a result smaller fields.

My last series, which concluded in June, averaged 42 players per event and I've had as high as 64.

Basically, I'm trying to gage the interest of the "No Luck" factor to help me get a better feel for how most players feel.

Doomsday Machine
08-02-2002, 09:55 AM
You said that the "incoming player has the right to break over or spot the 9-ball and play the table as it stands" in the event the breaking player makes the 9-ball on the break. If I understand you correctly this would penalize the person breaking as the "incoming player" would then be at the table. It would make more sense to have the 9-ball spotted up and the BREAKING player continue his/her turn at the table playing the table as it lies with the option of pushing out in the event he/she has no shot on the lowest valued ball on the table.

08-02-2002, 10:07 AM
You can get a feel for people's thoughts in general by posting here. However, I think what really matters are the thoughts of the people who actully play in your tournaments. I suggest taking a poll as people are signing up to enter the tournaments. Gather data for a season, year or whatever timeframe you feel is adequate. This serves two purposes. You will be getting feedback from people in your area. Also, they won't be surprised when/if you do make the change.
Personally, I don't like the luck factor in 9-ball.

Lester
08-02-2002, 10:20 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: MSBPromo:</font><hr>
Basically, I'm trying to gage the interest of the "No Luck" factor to help me get a better feel for how most players feel. <hr></blockquote>
&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;The best way would be to put on an "extra" tournament using this format. Advertise it at the "Killer Bees Tournament" and see how many people sign up for this new one. Then, based on turn-out, and opinions taken after the tournament, you could decide if it's worth changing. ***Lester***

08-02-2002, 10:22 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: MSBPromo:</font><hr> I'm thinking about making the games "called pocket". If a player does not make the called ball in the called pocket, his/her inning is done. The pocketed ball(s) would stay down except for the 9-ball.
<hr></blockquote>

Mario, call pocket 9-ball is not easy to pull off. It must be played in tandem with a "constant" push-out rule. If it is not, it is too easy to play safe.

Say the 1 ball is hanging in Pocket A. There are balls immediately around it, so you can't get position on the 2 (but you can still make the 1). Simply "call" the 1 in Pocket B, and make it in Pocket A. Since you "missed" the intended pocket, the 1 stays down, and your opponent is now shooting an impossible 2. In short, it's too easy to play safe because by pocketing the object ball, you only need control the cueball to a bad area of the table. Defense no longer involves controlling two moving balls.

What needs to happen, if the above occurs, is for the incoming player to now have the choice of accepting the shot. He has this choice because the previous shooter did not successfully complete his "call".

While this will negate the players' ability to play cheap safes, it will add a ton of complexity to the game. Many sets will take quite a bit longer than you are used to.

- Steve Lipsky

Rod
08-02-2002, 10:35 AM
Luck comes and goes. I don't like the luck factor especially if giving up any balls as a handicap. Anyway I can't imagine why you would change the format with an average of 42 players!

Kato
08-02-2002, 11:10 AM
If you make the 9 on the break you should spot the 9 and get ball in hand. Seems to me you take away the victory you should at least increase the breakers chance of winning the game.

Kato

08-02-2002, 11:56 AM
Steve,

As always, you have made a very good point. I know that Grady's rule are like that at some of his events. If a player misses his called shot, the incoming player has the choice of making the other player shoot.

There is no doubt in my mind that the events would last longer without the luck factor.

I appreciate your insight.

Mario

08-02-2002, 12:01 PM
I understand the confusion here.

What I should have said is, the player with control of the table. If the breaker pockets the 9 and does not foul, he/she would have the option to re-break or spot the 9 and play where the balls stand. But if the breaker fouls/scratches during the break and pockets the 9, the incoming player has the same options.

Does that make more sense?

08-02-2002, 01:15 PM
I've run a few tournaments in my time and the thing I think you have to watch out for is whether players are offering you a legitimate opinion and that they really feel that way, or whether they're cry-babying, because cry-babying goes away and all is well again at a later date.

No one likes to lose due to their opponent's luck. But I highly doubt that anyone can tell whether a set was actually won or lost on luck because both players would have to shoot perfect pool with luck being the only factor.

About changing the format, I think that two-way shots have become a big part of 9-ball since tournament rules took over. There are lots of either-or potentials, and they can be skillfully executed shots. For me, I wouldn't like to see that part go away. I see that as one of the creative aspects of the game.

Fran

9 Ball Girl
08-02-2002, 01:54 PM
Calling your shots in 9 ball, as Steve pointed out, IMO would not go over well. I do believe, though, that maybe the 9 ball should be called in. That's usually done in the pro games.

As far as making the 9 in on the snap and spotting it, that's okay, I guess. It would just really suck for someone who's never pocketed the 9 ball on the break, does it for the first time, and then has to spot it. JMO

DEADSTOKE32
08-02-2002, 01:57 PM
ALTANATE BREAKS AND OLD SCHOOL RULES.NO BALL IN HAND
OR YOU CALL THE NINE.AND HOW LONG R THE RACES IN THE MATCHES?MIGHT MAKE THEM SHORTER.OR LONGER.
JUST SOME THING 2 THINK ABOUT.
GOOD LUCK .....

08-02-2002, 02:10 PM
I appreciate everyone's input on this topic.

This topic pops up from time-to-time. In the past, my response has been to go with my gut instincts and leave the game as is. Recently, I felt that maybe I was being closed minded, so I decided to approach this forum for your opinions.

As a promoter/director, I like to make sure that my events and series are run in the manner that the majority of the players respect. It is impossible to make everyone completely happy, but it is possible to be open to changes, if warrented.

Thanks again, for all your input and if you are a "B" player and ever in the RI &amp; MA area, please feel free to come to my events. If you are interested in information about my series, feel free to contact me directly at MSBPromo@hotmail.com.

Mario

SpiderMan
08-02-2002, 02:42 PM
I wouldn't think that the two events you mentioned (high-B players lucking ball into wrong pocket; 9-on-the-snap) happen often enough to cause anthing other than an occasional bit of excitement. I wouldn't change the rules.

Do you really see a frequent problem with lesser players coming out on top because of a luck factor? If so, you'd probably be better off lengthening the races by one game.

SpiderMan

ObeOne
08-02-2002, 07:18 PM
The tournaments here are almost always "call the 9" whether you are going to combo it or it's the last ball on the table. If you slop it in early, it is spotted, and your inning ends.

Tom_In_Cincy
08-02-2002, 08:05 PM
MSB Promo

Make a list of what is working correctly in your current format.
Make a list of what isn't.

If the list of what is working correct is bigger.. then maybe you ought to think about the items on this list shrinking if you changed something.. Just a thought.

Your current format is known by a lot of your players. If you want to make the players feel better about being beaten by LUCK. Let them have a buy back option. First round loosers get to bid on any "byes"

08-02-2002, 09:33 PM
I would strongly suggest keeping it simple and sticking with the current application of 9-ball rules - BCA / Texas Express version preferably. If the races are long enough (which I assume they are) even among B players (as opposed to A players) the luck factor won't likely by itself change the outcome of many matches.

More importantly for your sake as a TD, the potential for conflicts and arguments with calling all shots or even calling the 9-ball will be a nightmare and just asking for problems IMO.

The luck factor in 9-ball is a non-factor for higher level tournament players anyway. Rarely is any ball ever slopped in and rarer yet the 9-ball - as the game is just not played that way. The run-out or safety is always the preferred percentage play. Those that go for the luck rarely stick around for long in the draw. - Chris in NC

cheesemouse
08-03-2002, 05:26 AM
Chris in NC,
You hit the nail on the head, I would leave things as they are. Luck is the pool gods gift to ua all, it can't be legislated.

NH_Steve
08-03-2002, 05:45 AM
I completely disagree with the premise that there is anything wrong with a lesser player winning once in a while as a result of luck! Most players will not enter a tournament unless they think they have at least a small chance to win -- and lesser players are going to factor in short races &amp; luck to give themselves a chance. If you lengthen races &amp; eliminate luck, you're absolutely right, the stronger players will nearly always win, and you're going to have mighty small entry fields, IMO. How to shoot yourself in the foot as a tourney director!!!

John in NH
08-03-2002, 05:39 PM
Hi Mario,

I would not be in favor of changing the rules of 9 ball under any circumstances, unless the pros would lobby for a change, one example is look at the state that 8 ball is in around the Country, variations of the rules are found everywhere, in NH where I'm from, you must call the pocket for every shot made, if you luck in a ball it is automatically spotted, and a scratch must be played from the kitchen. If you scratch on the eight ball it's loss of game, if you pocket the eight ball in a pocket not called it's loss of game, and the list of exceptions goes on in other States around the Country. Let's make the game simple and fair for everyone, play by the same rules as everyone else.

Regards,

John

Troy
08-03-2002, 06:31 PM
I agree Chris. From my perspective as a TD, players depending on luck to win are the first to complain about luck when they lose, even more so in a handicap tourney.

Troy...~~~ Q. What's the difference between Pool players depending on luck and Puppies ???
A. Puppies very soon stop whining..... /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Troy
08-03-2002, 06:45 PM
John... Some of your complaints are part of the BCA 8-Ball Rules. http://www.bca-pool.com/cgi/site/framegate.cgi?url=http://www.bca-pool.com/play/tournaments/rules/rls_gen.shtml&amp;cat=p

Examples : Call Pocket is part of the game, although a slopped ball stays down (4.2).
A scratch on the 8-Ball is loss of game, as is making the 8 in the wrong pocket (4.20).

Troy...~~~ Carries a Rule Book

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: John in NH:</font><hr> Hi Mario,

I would not be in favor of changing the rules of 9 ball under any circumstances, unless the pros would lobby for a change, one example is look at the state that 8 ball is in around the Country, variations of the rules are found everywhere, in NH where I'm from, you must call the pocket for every shot made, if you luck in a ball it is automatically spotted, and a scratch must be played from the kitchen. If you scratch on the eight ball it's loss of game, if you pocket the eight ball in a pocket not called it's loss of game, and the list of exceptions goes on in other States around the Country. Let's make the game simple and fair for everyone, play by the same rules as everyone else.

Regards,

John <hr></blockquote>