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KellyStick
03-07-2008, 01:20 PM
Calling all APA SL 7s
I have been an SL 6 for six or seven years. I'm actually not sure how long it's been. My win ratio has typically been in the 75% to 90% range for many years. Accept the last 8 months where I have been trying a more agressive style. WE don't have many SL 7s in may area but I have played a few and beaten some and gotten beaten by the rest. The only thing I noticed, I think, is that the SL 7s typically played very agressive. If they did not like the lie of the table the rearranged it. Sometimes they rearranged it a LOT! Sometimes more than once. I tend to try to be more subtle and surgical.

Well to my question. For those SL 7s out there, what, in your opinion, separates you from a 6 that has what I beleive to be an excellent win record? Or perhaps just from other 6s in your league in general?

JoeW
03-07-2008, 05:35 PM
Not a seven but it seems that in our geographical area if you give a 7 a shot they run out or leave a miserable safe. A 6 runs out with any reasonable table but may have trouble breaking up some clusters. Safes are usually good.

All-in-all I think a 7 plays better position to get to a place where they can break a cluster with position on a ball and they play great safes more often than not.

BigRigTom
03-07-2008, 09:06 PM
I Southern California the SL7 is the widest range of the APA. We have some that are really good and some who probably could be pros if they wanted to be a pro.

The thing is that most of them get beat at the Nationals in Las Vegas by players from Florida and other places on the East Coast.
This tells me that the SL7's on the West Coast are not quite the caliber of the SL7's on the East Coast. The best of the best is only as good as they have to be to rise above the rest.

Rich R.
03-08-2008, 09:08 AM
I am an SL6 in the Mid-Atlantic area and I am in a similar position as KellyStick.
In my area, there are many average SL7's, but there are a number of SL7'S playing pro caliber. A former U.S. Amateur Champion is in my area. I have also seen APA SL7's beat pro players in regional tournaments. One in particular, that I remember, is an APA 7 beating Jose Parica.
I have no idea how the APA computer works, but I suspect for a 6 to become a 7, a player not only has to win, they have to win with a minimum of innings and do it on a regular basis.
In my case, I have been trying to get my innings down, so I will let you know if it works.

Bambu
03-08-2008, 10:49 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KellyStick</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Calling all APA SL 7s
I have been an SL 6 for six or seven years. I'm actually not sure how long it's been. My win ratio has typically been in the 75% to 90% range for many years. Accept the last 8 months where I have been trying a more agressive style. WE don't have many SL 7s in may area but I have played a few and beaten some and gotten beaten by the rest. The only thing I noticed, I think, is that the SL 7s typically played very agressive. If they did not like the lie of the table the rearranged it. Sometimes they rearranged it a LOT! Sometimes more than once. I tend to try to be more subtle and surgical.

Well to my question. For those SL 7s out there, what, in your opinion, separates you from a 6 that has what I beleive to be an excellent win record? Or perhaps just from other 6s in your league in general? </div></div>

Someone said it, and I agree. The 7's get better position, and deal with clusters better(better straight pool skills). It seems like the biggest jump, going to a 7 from a 6....but I cant be sure thats true. But what I want to know is if I am a 7, does that make me an "A" player? How do the apa ratings compare to the A,B,C and D rankings?

BigRigTom
03-08-2008, 11:48 AM
The APA supposedly uses the same Equalizer System through out the APA (US and Canada) so the skill levels are supposedly the same through out the system.

The falacy here is that when you rank players locally the pool or field of players dictate the value of the individual ratings. Many APA players never reach the upper level national events and thereby never compete against players from other parts of the country. Their ranking is determined from their local performance against the limited talent in that area.

The East Coast players have a tougher field of players and that makes their higher ranking harder to achieve. I have seen 5's in Las Vegas that could easily take most of our 6's and some of our 7's on a regular bases.

Some will say that is because of sandbagging but truth is that those 5's had a tougher time making 5 that our 6's have making 6.
By the same token 7's on the West Coast can rise to 7 by consistently beating the weaker variety of 5 and 6 and doing it consistently.

It is all statistics and someone once said you can prove anything with statistics.

The APA seems to be the best we have to work with to this date. Maybe someday one of the BIG BRAINS that play pool will figure out a way to compensate in the numbers for the fields being more or less difficult. I believe that is what that round robin format in the WPBA is all about. Trying to equalize the numbers game.

Bambu
03-09-2008, 10:34 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The APA supposedly uses the same Equalizer System through out the APA (US and Canada) so the skill levels are supposedly the same through out the system.

The falacy here is that when you rank players locally the pool or field of players dictate the value of the individual ratings. Many APA players never reach the upper level national events and thereby never compete against players from other parts of the country. Their ranking is determined from their local performance against the limited talent in that area.

The East Coast players have a tougher field of players and that makes their higher ranking harder to achieve. I have seen 5's in Las Vegas that could easily take most of our 6's and some of our 7's on a regular bases.

Some will say that is because of sandbagging but truth is that those 5's had a tougher time making 5 that our 6's have making 6.
By the same token 7's on the West Coast can rise to 7 by consistently beating the weaker variety of 5 and 6 and doing it consistently.

It is all statistics and someone once said you can prove anything with statistics.

The APA seems to be the best we have to work with to this date. Maybe someday one of the BIG BRAINS that play pool will figure out a way to compensate in the numbers for the fields being more or less difficult. I believe that is what that round robin format in the WPBA is all about. Trying to equalize the numbers game.</div></div>

Never been to vegas, but I did hear about the 4's and 5's out there that play like 7's. I find their supposedly not sandbagging tough to swallow, but I guess anything is possible.

wolfdancer
03-09-2008, 01:56 PM
Rich, someone posted here a few years back, with the details/data involved, in an APA rating. Innings was one factor, if I remember correctly...also the system supposedly takes into acc't, the caliber of the local talent pool. In theory, a 7 is a 7, anywhere, but as Tom pointed out "It ain't necessarily so".

SKennedy
03-11-2008, 08:46 AM
I think it is harder to move up to 7 simply because most players you play against are a lower level than you (I'm not a 7!) When I was a 4 I won almost all the time and never moved up because I was playing against 3's and other 4's. I didn't move up until I started playing against and beating 5's and 6's and had low inning counts. I think that as you move up, you play less against higher skilled players as there just aren't as many. In our local leagues, we only have about 2 or 3 7's, and have quite a few more 6's. I suspect that if one were to plot or graph the number of players in each skill level for a specific league, one would come up with a bell-shaped curve. Although scoring, etc. is consistent through-out the nation, local play has to influence your skill level.

wolfdancer
03-11-2008, 10:54 AM
after reading so many horror stories about the apa ratings, I never wanted to play in a handicapped league. It isn't just pool though, where the ratings and abilities seem a little skewed....I've seen 135 avg bowlers, roll a 600 series, and 16 hdcp golfers shoot 3 over. I guess that they, like the sl-3's that score 1.000 on an accu-stat rating...all get an adrenaline rush from the excitement of a big tournament, and play a little over their heads.

BigRigTom
03-11-2008, 11:57 AM
I am still a SL6 in 8 ball and have been working toward the SL7 for a couple of years now. I believe I am just starting to see what it takes to get there in my area. No matter what people say about the APA and the supposed sand baggers I still find the competition to be very good. My friend and mentor has told me for years now to NOT worry about the ranking and skill level and handicaps...just play the game, shoot your best, enjoy the journey and let the numbers fall where they fall. I used to think "Yeah! That is easy to say when you are one of the best SL7's in 8 ball and SL9's in 9 ball in this whole area!" Slowly I started to realize that he was right and if I play for the enjoyment of the competition I can enjoy playing win or lose.

I regularly play the other teams best player. I don't always win but I really do enjoy the game. I enjoy the challenge. I also know that their best player is not sand bagging so why worry about that.

I feel sorry for anyone who feels winning is worth the effort it takes to sand bag anyway. Those people don't belong on a handicap league, they should just do everyone a favor and go back to hustling for beers and dollars in the seedy gin mills so the rest of the pool world can quit giving them undeserved attention.

SKennedy
03-11-2008, 01:13 PM
I was about a 175 bowler and one night in league play had a 740+ series. Played well over my head. But, I bet the next week I looked like a 130 average bowler. It's what we can do consistently that really counts. I won last week in league play, but I played a guy who is a 3 and has played 4 and 5's all season and had not lost yet....but still a 3? In fact, he beat me the first week of the season. I did beat him, but it was a struggle for me as I did not play that well. On the other hand, I've played very well and still have been beaten by a better player. As long as I played well, then I can live with the outcome.
APA is not perfect, but I do enjoy it. Of course, I like my teammates and I like the other folks we play against. It is a lot of fun and you can compete on a routine basis against a wide variety of players. I play APA for the "fun" of playing.

TCIndepMo
03-11-2008, 11:30 PM
I think the intensity with which the different league operators (LO) police their sandbaggers can be a big factor in skill level movement. This applies to all player levels, not just the better players. And that intensity and experience level has to vary from area to area. Some have been LOs for over 28 years, some for less than one year; with most in between. Some have become very experienced at reading player win-loss patterns and other scoresheet info.

All 255 APA LOs use the same computer program and get the same "guidelines" and training from APA, St Louis but sometimes what is NOT on the scoresheet is as important as what is! Like teams/players who turn in scoresheets week after week with few (if any) safes recorded while winning week after week and always managing to shoot the same number of innings/range.

The players that play for fun/competition and let the handicap system take care of itself (like the rule book says you're suppose to)do have an advantage in most APA areas. Your record makes the honest players easier to spot while insuring the suspected sandbaggers stand out from the rest - once the LO knows what signals to look for.

Not saying the system is perfect. The world will always have its sandbaggers mucking about. But their greed and impatience eventually make them obvious to all, including their LO.

IMO.

Bambu
03-12-2008, 09:21 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am still a SL6 in 8 ball and have been working toward the SL7 for a couple of years now. I believe I am just starting to see what it takes to get there in my area. No matter what people say about the APA and the supposed sand baggers I still find the competition to be very good. My friend and mentor has told me for years now to NOT worry about the ranking and skill level and handicaps...just play the game, shoot your best, enjoy the journey and let the numbers fall where they fall. I used to think "Yeah! That is easy to say when you are one of the best SL7's in 8 ball and SL9's in 9 ball in this whole area!" Slowly I started to realize that he was right and if I play for the enjoyment of the competition I can enjoy playing win or lose.

I regularly play the other teams best player. I don't always win but I really do enjoy the game. I enjoy the challenge. I also know that their best player is not sand bagging so why worry about that.

I feel sorry for anyone who feels winning is worth the effort it takes to sand bag anyway. Those people don't belong on a handicap league, they should just do everyone a favor and go back to hustling for beers and dollars in the seedy gin mills so the rest of the pool world can quit giving them undeserved attention.</div></div>

I dont enjoy sandbagging it either, but thats the nature of the apa. Most league operators just dont make the effort, or have the time to weed out the 4's who are incognito 6's and 7's. I have seen well established apa and tap divisions, but with better reps. And there are few surprises in that league, so in the playoffs you dont run into 4's who play like 6's. Here in NY though, lots of teams have aces in the hole. There are so many ringers, and its not like a small town where everyone knows each other. So often times, those are the teams that win. No, I dont like it. But thats the way it is. A good captain cannot ignore the numbers, he has to play them. When the apa allows a 5 to run the league because he had the $5,000, they cant expect him to sort out the 6's and 7's properly. In my opinion(as always)it takes one to know one.

MrLucky
03-12-2008, 02:45 PM
I am a six and have been for several years now after being a 5 for about 8-9 years

First of all every area will have some differences from others ! If their is more competition the levels will be higher and more skilled! I have gone to places like parts of Oregon and the 7's Ivew encountered would not have a chance against some of the better more consistant 6's here (Atlanta) and for instance in the Frisco or New York area!

BigRigTom
03-12-2008, 02:55 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: MrLucky</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am a six and have been for several years now after being a 5 for about 8-9 years

First of all every area will have some differences from others ! If their is more competition the levels will be higher and more skilled! I have gone to places like parts of Oregon and the 7's Ivew encountered would not have a chance against some of the better more consistant 6's here (Atlanta) and for instance in the Frisco or New York area! </div></div>

That is exactly what I keep saying.
The higher the quality of competition the harder it is to rise in skill levels, and it does not necessarily require players to sandbag.

I am in the edge of Ventura County which is Northwest of L.A. and we have very good League Operators who try very hard to keep the skill levels accurate based on the system. The fact is, every time we go up against the San Diego area those players seem to be a lot better players while in the same skill levels. We then go up against players from the East Coast (New York to Miami and Atlanta is in there!) when we get to Las Vegas and those players seem to be at even another level above those from the San Diego area.

SKennedy
03-13-2008, 10:08 AM
What about the guy in our league who is a 4, but acts like he is sandbagging and thinks he is much better than he really is....keeps losing matches but indicates if there was signficant reason (money) to win, he would easily do so?
Guess it takes all kinds....
My thought is "go ahead and just keep losing in league play."
Then again, this guy may be losing and then playing money games afterwards and winning.

BigRigTom
03-13-2008, 11:52 AM
I have known guys like that.
Some of the mouth is just that it is just BS but some guys play seriously only when there is money involved.
It is not easy to tell where the BS stops with those guys.
Those are also the kinds of guys I would just rather not have on my team, I would rather recognize them on the opposing team then take em to the cleaners on points for my team.

wolfdancer
03-13-2008, 02:30 PM
740 is awesome !!!! I bowled for years, best around a 165- 170 avg, and can count my 600 series on one hand.
I agree with you about the consistency factor. We all play over our heads, at times. Shoot, I even ran a table once, and I don't know what stun is.
There's a statistical term in sports "regression to the means" that takes this into account....say a .500 avg free throw shooter....makes 10 in a row. Then he might miss 15 of the next 20...at the end of the year he'll still be around 50/50
"740"......and there were no bumpers in the gutters????

SKennedy
03-13-2008, 02:44 PM
I can vouch for "regression to the means."
And there were no bumpers, I just managed to bowl way over my head for 3 straight games...nothing but luck! I had one game with 11 strikes...but forget the actual score and I did not miss on the last roll. I think my middle game was about a 273...and the last game was somewhere near 200. I remember that the league presented me with a watch and I also got high series (with handicap) for the season. I would say it would be equivalent to me having 3 break and runs in a row. I get one once in a while, but 3 in a row? Hasn't happened yet, but I'm hopeful. You should have seen the"stun" shot I tried to make Tuesday night in league play....I know what it is, but evidently the cue ball didn't!

wolfdancer
03-13-2008, 05:59 PM
My best bowling story took place in my late teens. We had an Italian teammate, Ken....who needed them rail bumpers...rolled around a 120 avg. His Mom told us that she would bake Pizza if Ken ever bowled a 200. The great day finally arrived, and I've never sweated out more, the results of a sports event (well, maybe SF Vs
Dallas,"the catch", or Super Bowl XVI , SF Vs Cincinnati.
I thought for years after, it was the best Pizza....ever.....

SKennedy
03-14-2008, 09:26 AM
Heck Wolf! Why did you go bring up the "catch?" I cried for 2 days after that catch!

Roger Staubach was my hero! What rivalries back then between Dallas, SF, and Pitts......Staubach, Montana, and Bradshaw! I loved every minute of it. Roger was my hero, but I still claim that Montana is still the best ever!

Deeman3
03-14-2008, 10:50 AM
For what he had in size and teammates, Fran Tarkington was at least an APA 7.

wolfdancer
03-14-2008, 11:28 AM
Before Joe, Roger and Dallas was my team to root for. Nobody was more disappointed in 1979 -Super Bowl VIII Pittsburg Steelers 35, Dallas Cowboys 31. The game was out of reach in the 4th quarter, but Dallas scored a td, recovered an onside kick, and scored again to make the score respectful. Kind of a bittersweet loss for me, since my $25 super bowl, square numbers were 5-1...and everybody knows 5 is a loser. I won $900 as they paid $500 per quarter, and they guy running the thing, took $100 for his efforts.
But this is all off topic,re: what makes an SL7....I thought it was sugar and spice, an everything nice.....

Rich R.
03-18-2008, 04:46 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I dont enjoy sandbagging it either, but thats the nature of the apa. </div></div>
Sandbagging is not "the nature of the apa". It is the nature of some people in the apa. It is their nature to cheat the system, no matter what it is. To them, winning is more important than playing fair. They have no self respect and they don't care how they have to cheat to get that trip to Vegas.
Don't blame the apa system for a few bad people. Sandbagging is not the "nature of the apa".

Bambu
03-18-2008, 08:19 AM
Correction: In NYC, sandbagging is the nature of the apa.

Cornerman
03-24-2008, 01:20 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KellyStick</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Well to my question. For those SL 7s out there, what, in your opinion, separates you from a 6 that has what I beleive to be an excellent win record? Or perhaps just from other 6s in your league in general? </div></div>Everything. But in general, the SL-7's in my area are generally a threat to runout from anywhere. They also play tighter safeties, look ahead with more clarity, and runout with better patterns, but in the APA, your skill level is mostly influenced by your overall innings. And if you're running out from every often, then your handicap will go up.

During tournament play, you'lll see more aggressive outs compared to safety dancing.

I know that when I'm playing well, nobody in my area wants to see my make a ball on the break. OTOH, my break is so bad at times, there's not much for them to worry about.

Fred

Cornerman
03-24-2008, 01:23 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">But what I want to know is if I am a 7, does that make me an "A" player? How do the apa ratings compare to the A,B,C and D rankings? </div></div>Definitely not. There are SL7's that are pro speed. There are SL7's I've met across the country that are C's. The individual areas play a big factor.

When I first became an SL-7 in the early 90's (when it wasn't as easy to get your handicap to rise), I couldn't have been better than a B-minus player.

Fred

BigRigTom
03-24-2008, 01:44 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Cornerman</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">But what I want to know is if I am a 7, does that make me an "A" player? How do the apa ratings compare to the A,B,C and D rankings? </div></div>Definitely not. There are SL7's that are pro speed. There are SL7's I've met across the country that are C's. The individual areas play a big factor.

When I first became an SL-7 in the early 90's (when it wasn't as easy to get your handicap to rise), I couldn't have been better than a B-minus player.

Fred </div></div>

I can vouch for that too.
I am an APA 6 in Southern California currently winning around 70% of my matches and based on the evaluations that I have been doing lately of my game I think I must be what you BCA guys call a D Player.

dave
03-25-2008, 08:55 AM
It's not a matter a of your win ratio. It's more about the number of innings you average in attaining those wins. If you are averaging three or four innings per game, you're not going to get raised. It's about being more aggressive and offensive in your play. You need to be winning in 0-2 innings per game. Even if you lose, you are still averaging those innings and forcing the other player to win with low innings and risking having THEIR handicap raised. So they are forced to play a few safes or dog a few shots to keep there innings down and this gives you more opportunities at the table and more chances of success in the games and match. Even if you lose 5 in a row with 0-2 innings the other guy is screwed and knows it.

Bambu
03-25-2008, 09:12 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Cornerman</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">But what I want to know is if I am a 7, does that make me an "A" player? How do the apa ratings compare to the A,B,C and D rankings? </div></div>Definitely not. There are SL7's that are pro speed. There are SL7's I've met across the country that are C's. The individual areas play a big factor.

When I first became an SL-7 in the early 90's (when it wasn't as easy to get your handicap to rise), I couldn't have been better than a B-minus player.

Fred</div></div>

I agree, the area has alot to do with apa ratings. But, I cant see any C guys being 7's anywhere, unless the field was really weak. Any 7 I ever saw, was at least a b player(in my book anyway). Then again, I can only speak for what I have seen... new york and some florida.

BigRigTom
03-25-2008, 11:37 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dave</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It's not a matter a of your win ratio. It's more about the number of innings you average in attaining those wins. If you are averaging three or four innings per game, you're not going to get raised. It's about being more aggressive and offensive in your play. You need to be winning in 0-2 innings per game. Even if you lose, you are still averaging those innings and forcing the other player to win with low innings and risking having THEIR handicap raised. So they are forced to play a few safes or dog a few shots to keep there innings down and this gives you more opportunities at the table and more chances of success in the games and match. Even if you lose 5 in a row with 0-2 innings the other guy is screwed and knows it.</div></div>

Dave, all you say there is true but as I have mentioned in other threads, I make a habit of trying to play the best player on the other teams and most of the time it works out that way. I still am winning 70% of those matches. A game is usually 0 to 2 innings unless there are multiple safes. I am a skill level 6 and have been a couple of years now....sooooo....I am expecting that my skill level will go up pretty soon now.
None of that means much when I go to Vegas and match up against players from the East Coast. The East Coast 4's &5's are like the West Coast 7's. I see East Coast 4's and 5's in Vegas break and run all the time. They play great shape and killer safes.
Even when I become a 7 in Southern California I know I am still no where near as good as those 6's that come into Vegas from the East Coast. <span style="color: #FF6666">(I edited this because I originally said it backward)</span>

SKennedy
03-25-2008, 11:55 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">For what he had in size and teammates, Fran Tarkington was at least an APA 7.</div></div>

Fran was always an overrated QB. But, I will admit he was surrounded by a bunch of really great QBs in the league. Fran in today's league would be really great.....behind Brady....

SKennedy
03-25-2008, 12:02 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dave</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It's not a matter a of your win ratio. It's more about the number of innings you average in attaining those wins. If you are averaging three or four innings per game, you're not going to get raised. It's about being more aggressive and offensive in your play. You need to be winning in 0-2 innings per game. Even if you lose, you are still averaging those innings and forcing the other player to win with low innings and risking having THEIR handicap raised. So they are forced to play a few safes or dog a few shots to keep there innings down and this gives you more opportunities at the table and more chances of success in the games and match. Even if you lose 5 in a row with 0-2 innings the other guy is screwed and knows it.</div></div>

While this is generally true, I see that most 6's and 7's in our local leagues do play a lot of safeties and defensive shots against another decent player (5 & up). I don't think they are at a higher level because of their agressive behavior. They just know when to be aggressive and run out, and they also know when to be patient and play it safe. I'm too aggressive and it hurts me...except when I'm shooting really well and can't miss (which only rarely happens).

Cornerman
03-25-2008, 01:13 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dave</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It's not a matter a of your win ratio. It's more about the number of innings you average in attaining those wins. </div></div>This isn't quite right. It's youf overall innings, not just the inning of your wins, in case there's confusion. So, winning percentage plays a big part simply from the fact that your overall innings are going to be lower if you're winning more.

The base of the APA handicap system has always been overall innings minus safeties divided by wins.

Fred

Cornerman
03-25-2008, 01:17 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
I agree, the area has alot to do with apa ratings. But, I cant see any C guys being 7's anywhere, unless the field was really weak. Any 7 I ever saw, was at least a b player(in my book anyway). Then again, I can only speak for what I have seen... new york and some florida. </div></div>I've been across the country and back watching league players. There are some SL-7's that it wouldn't be hard for them to slip into D status. Definitely without a doubt, there are C-level SL-7's in weak areas of any state.

Fred

dave
03-25-2008, 04:38 PM
When I made that statement I was attempting (poorly) to indicate that you can win every match all session long, and if your inning numbers are up there, you can easily remain the same handicap. It happens all the time. Most league operators are too busy, too indifferent, or too uninformed to really know all the players players true skill levels and appropriate handicap. They simply rely on plugging the numbers into the program formula and leave it at that. Your above statement is correct and I appreciate the clarification.

Bambu
03-25-2008, 05:08 PM
Interesting, thanks Fred.

Deeman3
03-26-2008, 07:18 AM
Fred,

I dislike handicapped pool leagues. I know, they draw in the crowds but all the drama should be in the game not on the handicap system and I see no way around it. Good people seem to have to play the system if they want their team to compete and stay together for more than a season. At least with open competition, that does not come into play.

But you are right, there is a wide variation in 7's across the country. More than most would imagine.

Bambu
03-26-2008, 08:00 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Fred,

I dislike handicapped pool leagues. I know, they draw in the crowds but all the drama should be in the game not on the handicap system and I see no way around it. Good people seem to have to play the system if they want their team to compete and stay together for more than a season. At least with open competition, that does not come into play.

But you are right, there is a wide variation in 7's across the country. More than most would imagine. </div></div>


I know everyone says how great the apa is because they bring people to the bars. But personally, I think the format sucks. Someone is always looking to come late, and play last. Others leave after their match if playing early. By the end of the night, many teams have only the captain and his last man left.
During regular league night(non apa)its just the opposite. 19 games for the night, and you can play any 4 of them your captain wants. Good captains know who to play, and when. That way everyone is there until the end.

SKennedy
03-26-2008, 08:34 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Fred,

I dislike handicapped pool leagues. I know, they draw in the crowds but all the drama should be in the game not on the handicap system and I see no way around it. Good people seem to have to play the system if they want their team to compete and stay together for more than a season. At least with open competition, that does not come into play.

But you are right, there is a wide variation in 7's across the country. More than most would imagine. </div></div>

Dee,
Is the drama really from the handicap system itself or is it from people who just can't be honest or from those who always complain? Not everyone can compete, or feel comfortable playing in open competition, which intimidates many players...especially those new to the sport. In our area we just don't seem to have all the drama about sandbagging and handicapping, etc. Things aren't perfect, but our focus is still on the game/match itself.
Last night a young couple from Corpus was watching us play league and inquired about playing. They do play already and after watching them I would say he is a level 3, 4 at the most, while she is a 2 or 3...likely a 3. The league is about bringing new players to the sport and about giving lower skilled players a chance to compete against better players and still have a chance to win. And, the league affords a player an opportunity to increase his skills and test himself/herself in a measurable way against other opponents. The leagues are not an answer to all things, but they serve beneficial purpose and are, in general, good for the sport. And in our area, they help fill the places with the pool tables on the slower nights.
Leagues aren't for everyone....and neither are various tournaments, open competitions, gambling, etc. But each, like league play, do provide a niche for the player interested.
I know you already know all this......I'm just venting a little here as I don't understand why so many are so negative about the leagues.

Deeman3
03-26-2008, 08:58 AM
I'm not, on the whole, negative about pool leagues. I think they add participation but just feel a handicap system probably slows learning and motivation to really improve.

You are right. It is individuals and teams who make it bad but its hard to control and unfair the the ones who play fair.

Bambu
03-26-2008, 09:09 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dave</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It's not a matter a of your win ratio. It's more about the number of innings you average in attaining those wins. If you are averaging three or four innings per game, you're not going to get raised. It's about being more aggressive and offensive in your play. You need to be winning in 0-2 innings per game. Even if you lose, you are still averaging those innings and forcing the other player to win with low innings and risking having THEIR handicap raised. So they are forced to play a few safes or dog a few shots to keep there innings down and this gives you more opportunities at the table and more chances of success in the games and match. Even if you lose 5 in a row with 0-2 innings the other guy is screwed and knows it.</div></div>

Dave, all you say there is true but as I have mentioned in other threads, I make a habit of trying to play the best player on the other teams and most of the time it works out that way. I still am winning 70% of those matches. A game is usually 0 to 2 innings unless there are multiple safes. I am a skill level 6 and have been a couple of years now....sooooo....I am expecting that my skill level will go up pretty soon now.
None of that means much when I go to Vegas and match up against players from the East Coast. The East Coast 4's &5's are like the West Coast 7's. I see East Coast 4's and 5's in Vegas break and run all the time. They play great shape and killer safes.
Even when I become a 7 in Southern California I know I am still no where near as good as those 6's that come into Vegas from the East Coast. <span style="color: #FF6666">(I edited this because I originally said it backward)</span></div></div>

Zero to 2 innings is the same in any part of the world. The only better 6's from out east are the ones who are incognito 7's, and other sandbaggers.

SKennedy
03-26-2008, 09:49 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm not, on the whole, negative about pool leagues. I think they add participation but just feel a handicap system probably slows learning and motivation to really improve.

You are right. It is individuals and teams who make it bad but its hard to control and unfair the the ones who play fair. </div></div>

Not everyone is motivated to improve or learn.

The only potential sandbagging I've seen is 2 guys in our league that are both level 4's. They lose enough matches to stay at a level 4, but seem to play a lot of money games afterwards. When money is on the line they both seem to play much better. One of them claims the money motivates him, while league play does not...and he's the captain of his team. But to be honest, I suspect it's more of a ploy to make others think they are sandbagging. Neither of them take losing very well and always think they are much better than they really are....like many of us.... Pool has a wide variety of games, and I guess it just has an even wider variety of characters that play. It makes things interesting.
Bottom line....we have fun in league play, and while we always want to win, we enjoy ourselves. We've been in first place all season with several teams right behind us. They are all gunning for us with only 4 weeks left. That's what we want....bring it on baby!

Deeman3
03-26-2008, 09:58 AM
[quote=SKennedyBottom line....we have fun in league play, and while we always want to win, we enjoy ourselves. We've been in first place all season with several teams right behind us. They are all gunning for us with only 4 weeks left. That's what we want....bring it on baby!
[/quote]

Steve,

And that is all that really counts if improvement is not the main issue and maybe it should not be for some. After all, if your not having fun, why do it?

I think your team's attitude carries it for you guys. I have seen teams and players who are absolutely miserable playing. Go figure?

SKennedy
03-26-2008, 11:59 AM
[quote=Deeman3
I have seen teams and players who are absolutely miserable playing. Go figure? [/quote]

Kind of like staying married to the same woman for over 30 years? It's miserable, but somebody's got to do it?

Our team captain often takes things too seriously and I'm on him about it and he's getting better. Most of us on the team are striving to improve and we want to be the best we can be...that time and our lifestyles (and wives) will allow....and the competition in our league is just as good as any other in this area (which you are familiar with), as long as you are matched to the same or higher skilled player.

KellyStick
03-26-2008, 04:06 PM
So I started this question a few weeks back and then fell off the face of the earth. IT's been a slow climb. I car pool and "fortunately" my carpooler forgot he was carpooling and is coming back for me and I have a few minutes.

So what I got is this.
1. SL 7's play better than 6's (deadly defense when needed and successful agressive play). That's pretty simple.
2. Different areas have different SL ranking skills based on the local competition. Didn't know that but I recall a conversation I had with someone from the Houston area who moved to the Baton Rouge area. He said it was more difficult to compete in Baton Rouge than Houston. But that conversation meandered between skill and sandbagging so it's hard to say.

I'm choosing to ignore the whole sandbagging concept for the most part. It just ruins things. Thanks for the replies.

eb_in_nc
03-27-2008, 08:19 AM
Hello all, I'm new to this forum. I'm 56 and have been playing pool since I was 10, we had a table at home and my parents ran the food service at a local bowling alley so I spent the greater part of my adolescence in the bowling alley pool room. My game was always pretty good, but I never took it that seriously until about 1 year ago when I myself got a table at home and decided to get involved in the local APA. I have now been with the APA for about 6 months and have 32 matches under my belt. As with all new men, I came in as a SL 4 and now am at SL 6. This last session I joined two leagues in two different locations because I wanted to be exposed to more players and did not want to get in a rut playing the same people week after week. From my own early observations, I can see a difference in skill level from location to location so I have to believe state to state, region to region is even more variable, and the demographics definitely have a huge effect on this outcome. As far as what separates a SL 6 from a 7, in my mind it is better speed control on the ball (resulting in better position) and being able to consistently run out the table, while knowing when to play a defensive shot. Most of the 7's where I play can do this consistently unless the lie of the table is such that a run out is not an option. Out of my 32 matches, I have played 4 7's and so far have won 3 out of the 4. In my mind, only the one that beat me really had what I thought differentiated his play from mine, otherwise the other 7's were 7's as they probably have played more lower skill level players to keep their own scores high, or they have been to Vegas and now are "locked in" as a 7 regardless of their play.. Either way, my advice to get your skill level up is to play your own game and don't be intimidated about who it is you are playing and what their SL is.. A game I played with myself coming into the APA is to not ask what your opponents SL is prior to the match and only ask how many games you need to win to secure your match. This way you are more playing against yourself and not letting the pressure of SL get involved in your playing ability.

SKennedy
03-27-2008, 09:57 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eb_in_nc</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hello all, I'm new to this forum. I'm 56 and have been playing pool since I was 10, we had a table at home and my parents ran the food service at a local bowling alley so I spent the greater part of my adolescence in the bowling alley pool room. My game was always pretty good, but I never took it that seriously until about 1 year ago when I myself got a table at home and decided to get involved in the local APA. I have now been with the APA for about 6 months and have 32 matches under my belt. As with all new men, I came in as a SL 4 and now am at SL 6. This last session I joined two leagues in two different locations because I wanted to be exposed to more players and did not want to get in a rut playing the same people week after week. From my own early observations, I can see a difference in skill level from location to location so I have to believe state to state, region to region is even more variable, and the demographics definitely have a huge effect on this outcome. As far as what separates a SL 6 from a 7, in my mind it is better speed control on the ball (resulting in better position) and being able to consistently run out the table, while knowing when to play a defensive shot. Most of the 7's where I play can do this consistently unless the lie of the table is such that a run out is not an option. Out of my 32 matches, I have played 4 7's and so far have won 3 out of the 4. In my mind, only the one that beat me really had what I thought differentiated his play from mine, otherwise the other 7's were 7's as they probably have played more lower skill level players to keep their own scores high, or they have been to Vegas and now are "locked in" as a 7 regardless of their play.. Either way, my advice to get your skill level up is to play your own game and don't be intimidated about who it is you are playing and what their SL is.. A game I played with myself coming into the APA is to not ask what your opponents SL is prior to the match and only ask how many games you need to win to secure your match. This way you are more playing against yourself and not letting the pressure of SL get involved in your playing ability. </div></div>

Good comments and good advice. I've been playing APA now for about 1 year. I also thought about not asking for my opponents SL, but can't help myself....I just got to know. Besides that..after a year in the league you already know what everybody's skill level is anyway....

One more thing I would add about SL 7 vs lower levels, which you did reference.....consistency. Their game is consistently good, whereas mine is more hot and cold and unpredictable. However, I have been practicing more and I have beem playing more consistent...imagine that! I've seen 5's that will beat a 7, but these same 5's will turn around the next week and lose to a 4. To me, consistency is the key and that doesn't develop unless you have the correct fundamentals (proper stroke, etc.) and practice, practice, practice. And, the consistency I'm refering to is not just about shooting on your home table, but playing well and quickly adjusting to any table and cloth conditions.

BigRigTom
03-27-2008, 10:14 AM
This is my opinion of what make a true Skill Level 7 in the APA.

A real 7 will usually be able to clear the table in 1 inning. If he sees that he can not get out he will work his way around the table into a position that will allow him to play a killer safe that will likely result in a run out condition for him.

The consistency with which a player can accomplish the above will determine just how good of a skill level 7 he is. Some can do it 3 ro 4 out of 10 while others will make it 9 out of 10 times and that is about a pro level player. Unfortunately for the rest of us the APA has now way of telling you which are the low level 7's and which are the pro level 7's so we have to just play our best against them and take the beatings that are dished out.....I suppose.

SKennedy
03-27-2008, 10:34 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">This is my opinion of what make a true Skill Level 7 in the APA.

A real 7 will usually be able to clear the table in 1 inning. If he sees that he can not get out he will work his way around the table into a position that will allow him to play a killer safe that will likely result in a run out condition for him.

The consistency with which a player can accomplish the above will determine just how good of a skill level 7 he is. Some can do it 3 ro 4 out of 10 while others will make it 9 out of 10 times and that is about a pro level player. Unfortunately for the rest of us the APA has now way of telling you which are the low level 7's and which are the pro level 7's so we have to just play our best against them and take the beatings that are dished out.....I suppose. </div></div>

Sometimes 0 innings will work. I played a 5 Tuesday night, and I'm a 5 also. After the first 2 games of the match we had a total of 1 inning and were 1 and 1 for the match. I did win the match 4-1, and by the end we averaged 3 innings per game and I had about 3 defensive shots. Our average innings for the match is consistent, imo, with being a level 5. I wish we both could play like we did the first 2 games all the time. I think that I can go up to a level 6, but I don't think I'll ever be a 7. But, I always have fun playing!

eb_in_nc
03-27-2008, 12:10 PM
It sounds like the real issue is that within the SL 7 bracket, there is not enough separation and perhaps the best solution would be for the APA to amend the SL's to 2 through 9 like it is in 9-ball so that the true skill level can be better understood. If you took BigRigTom's analysis, the guy who can run out 3 or 4 out of 10 racks might be a SL 7 while the guy doing it 9 out of 10 would certainly be a SL 9. I may be simple minded but somehow I think this would shed more light for all of us.

Bambu
03-27-2008, 01:14 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eb_in_nc</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It sounds like the real issue is that within the SL 7 bracket, there is not enough separation and perhaps the best solution would be for the APA to amend the SL's to 2 through 9 like it is in 9-ball so that the true skill level can be better understood. If you took BigRigTom's analysis, the guy who can run out 3 or 4 out of 10 racks might be a SL 7 while the guy doing it 9 out of 10 would certainly be a SL 9. I may be simple minded but somehow I think this would shed more light for all of us.</div></div>

There is little doubt that this is true, and is part of why the apa is flawed. Strongest teams I have seen have 2 heavy hitter 7's and a couple of 3's that play like 4's. The other problem is that nobody scores the safeties. Most teams want to jack up the score sheet anyway, so safeties are of little interest to them. That keeps the 6's down at level 6, as well as other ranks. Works for me since I dont want to be a 7, but thats bad for the league. A good league operator would run a tighter ship, but ours doesnt.

BigRigTom
03-27-2008, 01:17 PM
The APA makes no secret out of the fact that it is by design that teams must continually bring in new non-experienced players. There is that infamous "23 rule" again. They don't actively encourage the higher skill leveled players other than as team coaches and player mentor/teachers. Most of the higher level players that I know who want to continue to play in the APA will organize their own teams as I have and will learn from the act of teaching and coaching, almost as much as from other means. Once a player reaches a certain skill level he must go outside the APA to advance his own knowledge of the game and the sport.

The point is the APA doesn't care that the skill level 7 has such a broad range. There is no real benefit for them to change they way they are doing it now. It is the new players who join the sport that make the money for the APA and increases the size of the organization. That is also good in the long run for the sport as a whole.

eb_in_nc
03-27-2008, 01:57 PM
I get what you say BigRigTom, but this only shows the shallow sided thinking of the APA if this is truly the case of what is going on. The reason I say this is without the leadership and mentoring ability of the seasoned player, the new players as a whole would not feel encouraged to stick with a team where no one can provide them with this experience and guidance to make their own game better or more meaningful to them individually. If 3's are only 3's, I would suspect no one is going to get better over time and most would leave the league out of frustration with the game.

One would think that a system designed to keep everyone challenged and growing would better serve the total purpose, both for the APA monetarily, as well as for the players trying to increase their own skills.

eb_in_nc
03-27-2008, 01:58 PM
correction, meant to say " if 3's are only playing 3's"

SKennedy
03-27-2008, 02:23 PM
I don't disagree with anything being said here, but from what I have seen, is level 7 really any broader than level 4? I think 4 is just as broad and think both 4 and 7 are the broadest. I thought there were levels 8 and 9 "Master Levels"? Or is that just in 9-ball or another league?
Been doing APA thing now for 1 year and learned just this week that 9-ball has more levels than 8-ball and also learned in 8-ball that men can be a level 2.
APA isn't perfect, but what is? And I just checked and from what I can see, there is not BCA league currently in the Longview/Tyler, Texas area. While we're not very big, we are still talking about 200,000+ people and no BCA league? Yet, APA is going pretty well.

Cornerman
03-27-2008, 02:26 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SKennedy</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I don't disagree with anything being said here, but from what I have seen, is level 7 really any broader than level 4? I think 4 is just as broad and think both 4 and 7 are the broadest. </div></div>Hear! Hear!

In fact, a good argument can be made that all of the levels are pretty broad. A player who is a "bad 5" will lose to a person who is a "good 3" or whatever. Pick your Skill Level. If you're close to the top of your Skill Level, you'll win more; if you're at the bottom of your Skill Level, you'll lose more.

Fred

Deeman3
03-27-2008, 02:37 PM
Fred,

If I didn't tell you before, you did a great job in the Action Room at Derby City. I know I got very little sleep, you must have stayed up day and night.

SKennedy
03-27-2008, 02:38 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Cornerman</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SKennedy</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I don't disagree with anything being said here, but from what I have seen, is level 7 really any broader than level 4? I think 4 is just as broad and think both 4 and 7 are the broadest. </div></div>Hear! Hear!

In fact, a good argument can be made that all of the levels are pretty broad. A player who is a "bad 5" will lose to a person who is a "good 3" or whatever. Pick your Skill Level. If you're close to the top of your Skill Level, you'll win more; if you're at the bottom of your Skill Level, you'll lose more.

Fred </div></div>

As a matter of fact, our team refers to other players and ourselves as bottom-end, top-end, and mid-level players, etc. within each level. We will try to match a high-end 4 on our team vs a low-end 4 player on another team, or our high-end 3 vs their low level 4, etc. We try not to throw up a 3 vs a 4 unless we know the difference between them is really less than a full level. All in all, if you look at APA statistics you will see that the advantage is with the higher level player. However, we seem to win a lot of matches playing lower skilled players vs higher level player. I think the reason for our success is we strongly consider the strength of a player within his own lskill evel. Our team captain is a level 5 player and is certainly not the best player on our team. But he really knows the players well and has a real knack for matching up players. We are consistently at the top of our league because of his strategy in matching players.....that and are sandbagging skills are second to none...just kidding!

Cornerman
03-27-2008, 02:39 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Fred,

If I didn't tell you before, you did a great job in the Action Room at Derby City. I know I got very little sleep, you must have stayed up day and night. </div></div>Thanks Dee!! I think I slept, but I can't remember!

I had to go home on Saturday, before Alex and Shane Round II. When I got home, I immediately paid for the TAR PPV, caught the end of SVB vs. Lion Rd. 2. I fell asleep with the laptop on, and woke up the next morning to catch the end of SVB vs. the Lion Rd. 3 !!!

Fred &lt;~~~ loves the Action Report guys!!!!

Deeman3
03-27-2008, 02:52 PM
Fred,

I have everyone they have done, aside from a couple of early noise issues, I love the commentary on all of them, very thoughtful and not just filler. Great way to examine strategy especialy in the one pocket games. Putnam is much better at commentary than I would have thought before hearing him. You can actually distinguish balls on a 42 inch TV and for the price with no shipping, never seen more great pool for the money.

JoeW
03-27-2008, 04:39 PM
I think that APA is basically for the casual player. If the game is taken seriously, practicing two hours a day, then the player will work themselves out of the league in a year or two.

For a 6 or a 7 some of the fun in competitive pool is lost unless the player simply likes beating up on other players. All that is left is the social aspects and the idea of mentoring others.

The 6 - 7 is there for team support and to get a "win" when it matters. When a six plays a three the three only needs two games and this is not enough room when there is no warm up and luck becomes a major factor. It is a challenge but not enough of one to make it worthwhile over a long period of time for a serious player. The wide range of skill in these players merely reflects their commitment to the game and there willingness (or lack of it) to move on to the next level of play. Some are just darn good casual players and seek noting more from the game than the social aspects.

The broad range of 6 - 7 level players allows for the players to stay in the league for social purposes as they develop and get some seasoning. There is a real need and a place for these players and they gain experience on their way to tournament play.

A serious (defined above) player will need to look elsewhere for competition. Sitting in a tavern for four hours and getting to play for 45 minutes is not really about serious pool playing. It is fun, interesting and the experience is great.

In this sense the sandbagging is just part of league play and the woofing that goes on as part of the social aspect of the "my team can beat your team" or "you guys only won becasue you sandbag" type of thing. Lots or room for lots of arguments about who is the alpha dog and part of the fun when you have lots of good excuses. It certainly is taken seriously as part of league play but has little meaning to a really serious player because the leagues are merely a training ground for wannabe tourament players.

I think it is good that there is not a lot of money in these leagues. People might get too serious. They get all heated up now over a trip to Vagas and the possibility of winning big once a year. We all need dreams and ways of encouraging the dreams.

I think that all of this means that it is probably not difficult too be a 6 or a 7 if you take the game seriously -- most people do not. But if you take it that seriously you will work yourself out of the league. On-the-other hand there are people who are just naturally talented and like a night out. We all wanted the easy "A" in school too, only some people have the talent. What they do with it is another matter.

It is all about goals, commitment and practice for most of us.

I think that some sort of an open or handicapped) individual player's league in a hall with eight or more tables is the next step. In my neck of the woods there is a room that has a weekly handicapped 9-Ball tournament with a $15.00 get in. There seems to be several people who used to be a 6 or a 7 in these weekly tournaments. Many are "average" players in this format. Most of these games look more like a pro tournament than a league with less than three innings per game (not counting safties). The players are playing for most of the night from 7PM to about 11PM. After that everyone stays to watch the finals until 1 AM or so.

eb_in_nc
03-28-2008, 09:38 AM
Since I have been with the APA only 6 months, I am still trying to figure this whole thing out. Considering I came in as a SL 4 and today I am a 6, I find it difficult and challenging just to stay at a level 6, forget about progressing to SL 7. I say this as my team captain found out early on that I was a much better player than my SL suggested, so he used me as a "bird in the hand" by playing me against 6's and 7's feeling that I was a good bet to win the match based on how many games I needed to win. And he was right because my win ratio is greater than 80% and it helped to advance me to a SL 6 in a short period of time (maybe more settling into my own skill level rank rather than advancement). But today it seems all I do is play 6's and 7's and have not played a lower rank player for over 5 weeks time. In fact, last night I had two matches against 2 7's, one of them a super 7, and lost both matches which ended up on the hairy edge (both hill/hill matches). So I can see I am faced with a dilemma to just sustain my SL 6, but also know I cannot grow further by not playing more advanced players.

The other side to this is that there are SL 5 players on my team that whine when they have to play someone of higher ranking then themselves as they are fearful of losing and want to artificially hold on to their SL by not being challenged by a more seasoned player. I take JoeW's comments to heart and feel I am committed to playing the game to the best of my ability and want to grow at the same time. If more players felt this way it would make the whole experience a much more meaningful and rewarding one for all of us. If all we want to do is preserve our SL by playing the easier matches, then are we not in a sense "sandbagging" the match by stacking the odds in our own favor to win?

Appreciate the comments from the peanut gallery.

SKennedy
03-28-2008, 09:57 AM
Joe, that is an excellent assessment! Thanks. Your logic and communication skills are appreciated.

Right now I am in the "fun" group and a SL-5 (8-ball). While I do want to improve my game, I'm not sure I have the time, dedication, and physical qualities at the age of 53 (eyes) to get too serious at this point. Yes, I do want to improve, but any real potential ended 30 years ago.....

I did manage to have a sweet break and run last night on 9-ball where everything worked to absolute perfection. It was like hitting the sweet spot of the gold club or hitting a home run....it was effortless and I was very confident. My opponent was very complimentary on the game. My shape was excellent. The problem is that those games are way too infrequent! To be able to do that 30 to 40% of the time, or even more, would be absolutely wonderful! I'd be tempted to quit my job and just play all the time....and then starve to death!

JoeW
03-28-2008, 12:36 PM
Personally I am not too sure about the age thing. I am 65 years old this year. Ten years ago I was an SL5 as that was all I wanted to devote to the game at that time. In the last year I started playing about one hour a day, bought a set of billiards glasses, and started reading everything I can. I am a life long student of whatever interests me at the time. Now I find that I play much more like a seven and do well in tournaments too.

The leagues have been a good way to keep up my interest and I have lots of fun with good friends, etc. My wife goes to most of the matches and we do have a "night out" once a week.

I think, given no serious health issues, that I will be able to play at this level or better into my 70s. One of the best things about playing pool is that it is consuming, frustrating, and one can continue to learn with effort. Some of my friends want me to go back to playing golf, but that does not have the appeal, for many reasons, that pool has.

My point is that I don't think that you should let the age thing get in the way. I know I am not good enough yet to play in some of the senior pro tournaments -- but I am working on it and it is one of my goals to place well in such a tournament.

Recently we started to have a handicapped round robin tournament at our house on Saturday nights and are having a ball. Some play cards, dance, go boweling on Wi or play Wi golf. The rest of us are intensely interested in the tournament. There is not much money involved ($10.00 get in) but the competition is fierce with an age range from 20 something to 70 something.

So before you think that your past it with playing pool, give it a serious try if the game holds your interest. In my "retirement years" it makes for a very entertaining life style that keeps me young. No country club dues, greens fees, jerks on the course, waiting in line and I get to play whenever I want to.

Good friends, good food, old time rock and roll -- and a pool table. Life doesn't get any better.

eb_in_nc
03-28-2008, 12:53 PM
I'm with Joe, I'm 56 years old and just started in the APA. Another guy who is on my team is 74 and is still shooting 5 nights a week, so I'm encouraged I haven't lost all these years of league play since I hope to have many more in front of me.

Having spent the bulk of my life playing pool on and off, this is the only time I have ever really taken it seriously and also feel devoted to excelling at it. Somehow the mental challenge of defeating the table (and of course your opponent) provides a euphoria that I have not been able to find in other things other than downhill skiing or flying a plane. This is what drives me now to do better at the game. I might be interested later when I get to be Joe's age to play in senior level tours, but right now I bask in the light of running out the rack and sinking the 8 (or 9-ball), and watching my opponents jaw fall to the ground in astonishment. For some reason, there is nothing at the moment more rewarding.

SKennedy
03-28-2008, 01:12 PM
Glad you guys are doing well. And I really expect to move up to a level 6 sometime in the next session or 2. I think the limiting thing for me right now is time. I only get to play once to twice weekly, although I've played 3 times this week....and that includes league night. I have a table at home, and while it is OK, I prefer a nicer table; therefore, I don't practice at home. And Joe, if I lived nearby I'd donate $10 to the cause and participate.

JoeW
03-28-2008, 06:13 PM
And you would be more than welcome. The players on the internet are a small community but the distance from Tyler to Rogers might take a little time. None-the-less, If your in the area ...

hal houle
03-28-2008, 06:53 PM
an apa sl7 would have no chance at all

pooltchr
03-28-2008, 08:14 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SKennedy</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I'm not sure I have the time, dedication, and physical qualities at the age of 53 (eyes) to get too serious at this point. Yes, I do want to improve, but any real potential ended 30 years ago.....

</div></div>

Steve,
I don't mean to be harsh, but that's just an excuse. I'm 56 and have seen my game steadily improve over the past 5 years. While it's true the eyes start to go, and the hands may not be as steady as they once were, the knowledge of so many years gives me an edge. Not to mention, attending pool school, becoming an instructor, and teaching what I consider to be the best billiards course anywhere. I've won a lot of matches against younger players who were better shooters than I. I don't try to out-shoot them, I just out-play them.
Steve

Rich R.
03-29-2008, 07:16 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">For a 6 or a 7 some of the fun in competitive pool is lost unless the player simply likes beating up on other players. All that is left is the social aspects and the idea of mentoring others.</div></div>

<span style="color: #FF0000">Joe, there is a huge difference from league to league and how they operate between teams. I am an sl-6 and I rarely get to play anyone lower than an sl-5. Depending on the team we are playing, I normally play other sl-6's or an sl-7.
If you are always playing lower level players, you should talk to your captain. He is the one putting you up against them. </span>

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">A serious (defined above) player will need to look elsewhere for competition. Sitting in a tavern for four hours and getting to play for 45 minutes is not really about serious pool playing. It is fun, interesting and the experience is great. </div></div>

<span style="color: #FF0000">This paragraph reminded me that I am one of the lucky ones.
Unlike your description, my APA division is totally in house. We do not travel to different taverns each week. We play in a real pool room and we play on 9' Gold Crowns. We also have a number of practice tables available throughout the night.
It is also difficult to move up in skill levels, at any level, because there is very little sandbagging and everyone is playing at their correct level. People are less likely to sandbag, when they see all of the same people each week.
I know my situation is fairly rare, but, in my area, I know of a number of others who play in similar conditions. It is a matter of getting a pool room to support the leagues.</span>

SKennedy
04-01-2008, 09:32 AM
My mother in-law, who normally lives with us, is in Ohio (Lancaster) having an extended visit with another daughter. Please keep her there as long as Ohio can put up with her.
There seem to be quite a few folks from Ohio who have moved here over the last few years or so. Currently, we have a real influx from California.

JoeW
04-01-2008, 12:36 PM
Well thee is a juvenile correctional facility in that area. Perhaps we can put her to work !

SpiderMan
04-02-2008, 02:01 PM
Kelly,

In order to be ranked a "7" in APA 8-ball, I believe your average "innings per win" must be 2 or less. Most 7's I know are around 1. Remember, innings which end in marked defensive moves are subtracted in the league software, so if your scorekeepers tend to ignore marking safeties, you will be less likely to move up.

This is a notorious sandbagging trick often used to gain unfair handicap advantage - mark safeties on your opponents but not on your own players.

SpiderMan

SKennedy
04-02-2008, 02:09 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SpiderMan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Kelly,

In order to be ranked a "7" in APA 8-ball, I believe your average "innings per win" must be 2 or less. Most 7's I know are around 1. Remember, innings which end in marked defensive moves are subtracted in the league software, so if your scorekeepers tend to ignore marking safeties, you will be less likely to move up.

This is a notorious sandbagging trick often used to gain unfair handicap advantage - mark safeties on your opponents but not on your own players.

SpiderMan</div></div>

Which is why we always check to make sure both sheets match up on innings and defensive shots recorded.

SKennedy
04-02-2008, 02:12 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Well thee is a juvenile correctional facility in that area. Perhaps we can put her to work ! </div></div>

That would constitute cruel and unusual punishment for the kids! But, the return rate would be 0%.

Bambu
04-03-2008, 08:24 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SpiderMan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Kelly,

In order to be ranked a "7" in APA 8-ball, I believe your average "innings per win" must be 2 or less. Most 7's I know are around 1. Remember, innings which end in marked defensive moves are subtracted in the league software, so if your scorekeepers tend to ignore marking safeties, you will be less likely to move up.

This is a notorious sandbagging trick often used to gain unfair handicap advantage - mark safeties on your opponents but not on your own players.

SpiderMan</div></div>

Some call not marking safeties sandbagging, others call it a clueless league operator.

BigRigTom
04-03-2008, 08:43 AM
When 5's or 6's are consistently playing 4 or more innings but not showing any safes while still winning more than half of their matches the League Operator should definite realize there is something amist! Of course some league operators may not care to notice such things. Just leave it up to the powers that be in Las Vegas to DQ the individuals or teams when and if they get near the money.

Bambu
04-03-2008, 06:03 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">When 5's or 6's are consistently playing 4 or more innings but not showing any safes while still winning more than half of their matches the League Operator should definite realize there is something amist! Of course some league operators may not care to notice such things. Just leave it up to the powers that be in Las Vegas to DQ the individuals or teams when and if they get near the money. </div></div>

Good point Tom, and I agree. But I dont think anyone cares about the money, only the free trip to veags, and the glory of winning it.

SpiderMan
04-04-2008, 08:38 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SKennedy</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SpiderMan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Kelly,

In order to be ranked a "7" in APA 8-ball, I believe your average "innings per win" must be 2 or less. Most 7's I know are around 1. Remember, innings which end in marked defensive moves are subtracted in the league software, so if your scorekeepers tend to ignore marking safeties, you will be less likely to move up.

This is a notorious sandbagging trick often used to gain unfair handicap advantage - mark safeties on your opponents but not on your own players.

SpiderMan</div></div>

Which is why we always check to make sure both sheets match up on innings and defensive shots recorded. </div></div>

Lower-skilled players often don't catch safeties. They just don't have the experience and insight to understand some tactical moves. If only 6- and 7-ranked players kept score, you'd probably see a lot more safteties recorded.

SpiderMan

Deeman3
04-04-2008, 08:48 AM
Good Point Spiderman. How you doing lately? Fully healed?

SKennedy
04-04-2008, 08:51 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SpiderMan</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SKennedy</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SpiderMan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Kelly,

In order to be ranked a "7" in APA 8-ball, I believe your average "innings per win" must be 2 or less. Most 7's I know are around 1. Remember, innings which end in marked defensive moves are subtracted in the league software, so if your scorekeepers tend to ignore marking safeties, you will be less likely to move up.

This is a notorious sandbagging trick often used to gain unfair handicap advantage - mark safeties on your opponents but not on your own players.

SpiderMan</div></div>

Which is why we always check to make sure both sheets match up on innings and defensive shots recorded. </div></div>

Lower-skilled players often don't catch safeties. They just don't have the experience and insight to understand some tactical moves. If only 6- and 7-ranked players kept score, you'd probably see a lot more safteties recorded.

SpiderMan </div></div>

That's certainly true! In fact, during our final match on Tuesday I was keeping score and did ask the opponent if 2 shots were defensive shots. Both of them were, but he came very close to making both shots and both were very difficult shots...so it wasn't easy to tell, except for how he left his opponent. This guy was honest but only he could know for sure what his intent was on the shots. Most scorekeepers in our league would not bother to ask since it was not obvious.
And, I think most 5's in our league would fit into your scorekeeping 6 and 7 group as far as recognizing a safety.

SpiderMan
04-10-2008, 02:27 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Good Point Spiderman. How you doing lately? Fully healed? </div></div>

Everything that shows, anyway. I was released from the physical therapy about 6 or 8 weeks ago. I also gained back about 10 pounds laying around drinking cokes and stuffing my face.

I sold the wrecked Valkyrie and bought a new Harley, then sold it with only 600 miles on it.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the new EFI Harleys run, and also with the fact that it didn't leak oil like I feared, and that I didn't have to push it home any, but it was just too short for a man with a 38" inseam. I mean, my knees were up above the gas tank. I thought about moving the pegs way forward, but I was just never a fan of that "sit-up-and-beg" riding posture. So I sold it and shopped for a bike with more legroom.

Anyway, about 10 days ago I bought this: BUELL ULYSSES (http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii168/funkychateau/Craigslist/NTRide2-1.jpg)

It's about a foot taller, and a lot faster /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

SpiderMan

Eric.
04-11-2008, 09:51 AM
"I was pleasantly surprised at how well the new EFI Harleys run, and also with the fact that it didn't leak oil like I feared, and that I didn't have to push it home any, but it was just too short for a man with a 38" inseam. I mean, my knees were up above the gas tank. I thought about moving the pegs way forward, but I was just never a fan of that "sit-up-and-beg" riding posture."

I think that sit up & beg position is when you ride a Sportster (or any other bike without forward controls), where you legs are tucked below ass and your hands are up around shoulder height giving you that "shake hands for cookie" look, lol.


Eric &gt;loves Sportsters, but they're too small

SpiderMan
04-11-2008, 03:00 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Eric.</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I think that sit up & beg position is when you ride a Sportster (or any other bike without forward controls), where you legs are tucked below ass and your hands are up around shoulder height giving you that "shake hands for cookie" look, lol.
</div></div>

Eric,

I considered forward controls, but to me sticking the legs out straight isn't the cure for a lack of legroom in general. It might be OK for cruising down to the bar, but for any sort of extended riding it's much better (both for comfort and technical control) to have your legs active in transferring weight to the bike, instead of everything being on your butt. Forward controls do make you look silly, but I would have put up with that if it otherwise felt right.

The user groups were so full of short-legged guys complaining about the Ulysses that I knew I might be onto something there, so I checked it out. Legroom-wise, it fits me like a glove. Not a perfect bike by any means (I have some reservations about the short windshield and the rear-cylinder cooling), but it's the closest I've found in several years.

Cruiser Harleys have come a long way in reliability (or I wouldn't have considered a harley-powered Buell), and they look good sitting in the driveway, but for a long-legged guy like me it just doesn't work. Their designers have been driven (by market surveys and bean-counters?) to only produce bikes that women and midgets can flat-foot at a stoplight. This makes sense if you want a spot in almost everyone's garage, but it no longer works for us beanpoles in the 95th percentile.

But hey, I'm used to not being catered to. Last time I found a down ski jacket that fit off-the-rack, I bought 3 of them knowing that the maker would soon realize it was an unpopular size and drop it. Same for pants - I really liked the Levi's "dockers", but the smallest waist they offered in my inseam was 34/38. Then one year they temporarily came out with a 32" waist in 38" inseam, and I bought about six or eight of them. They're all worn out now, and no replacement available.

SpiderMan

Cornerman
04-12-2008, 08:39 AM
[quote=Eric
I think that sit up & beg position is when you ride a Sportster (or any other bike without forward controls), where you legs are tucked below ass and your hands are up around shoulder height giving you that "shake hands for cookie" look, lol.[/quote] Could be worse...

Wait... am I just a dummy? Can't we upload an image directly here?

Okay, try this:

Talk about forward controls. I think Marty might have a better shot reaching these.

http://forums.azbilliards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=64082&stc=1&d=1208011082

Okay, that didnt' work


Fred

PlayersChoiceSTL
04-27-2008, 08:01 AM
I've really enjoyed reading this thread (and just read the whole 9 pages since I'm a fairly new member), so I'm going to pull it back into the subject of skill levels in the APA. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

A lot of folks have made great points here, and I'm so encouraged to see the overall attitude here confirming that those who are quality players play for the joy of it and play to win.

I, too, am one of the "returning players" to the sport. I started when I was 10...Dad taught me at home, and I didn't realize I could even play decently until I was 22. I played seriously until I was in my late twenties, and then concentrated on my family, giving up pool as a serious endeavor and started bowling (it was more family friendly).

I began playing APA in 2002 when I dislocated my thumb and couldn't bowl anymore leaving a 196 average and 757 high series behind (see I told you I really enjoyed this thread!). Since then I've coasted along at a SL5 but wanting to be a better player. Thanks to the folks in this area who are true mentors in the APA, I have had the benefit of great coaching and my game has improved significantly.

I have also discovered that lessons are so important. Yesterday, I had my first day of lessons with Mark Wilson (http://www.playgreatpool.com/) , a pro player and contributor to Billiards Digest for instruction. What a day!!! I just discovered that as good of a stroke I THOUGHT I had, I had a LOT to learn. In just one day I've visibly improved my stroke and accuracy. Today will bring a lot more revelation, I'm sure.

So...if you're really interested in improving your game, invest in lessons. If you're in the St Louis area, I highly recommend Mark. You will be amazed at what you learn. I fully expect my skill level to go up as a result, and hopefully one day, I'll be one of those 7s that can consistently complete a game in 1-2 innings.

Oh by the way, I don't understand...for one minute...what the attraction is to sandbagging. Why would you ever want to play less well than you're capable of playing?

I know I rambled...sorry /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/blush.gif but thanks for your patience in reading!

Gettin' better in St. Louis

SpiderMan
04-28-2008, 03:28 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: PlayersChoiceSTL</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Oh by the way, I don't understand...for one minute...what the attraction is to sandbagging. Why would you ever want to play less well than you're capable of playing?

I</div></div>

It is attractive to those who view an unethical win as just another win. Sandbagging during the regular season provides a real and measureable advantage in APA tournament play. Some may do it because of an overpowering need to win, others may see it as an intellectually challenging facet of the overall system, and some may just do it for the money and trips. But it IS cheating.

I dislike sandbaggers, but they weren't the biggest issue I had with APA.

SpiderMan

JJFSTAR
04-29-2008, 11:07 AM
There are all levels of sandbagging in lots of different types of situations. Not trying particularly hard to win and trying particularly hard to loose are 2 very different things. I would consider the latter to be less than ethical, but would not consider it to be "cheating".

It is a very interesting question and I would welcome such a debate. Is there any official rule that states that sandbagging is in fact cheating? I think I will post this question.

Deeman3
04-29-2008, 12:13 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SpiderMan</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Good Point Spiderman. How you doing lately? Fully healed? </div></div>

Everything that shows, anyway. I was released from the physical therapy about 6 or 8 weeks ago. I also gained back about 10 pounds laying around drinking cokes and stuffing my face.

I sold the wrecked Valkyrie and bought a new Harley, then sold it with only 600 miles on it.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the new EFI Harleys run, and also with the fact that it didn't leak oil like I feared, and that I didn't have to push it home any, but it was just too short for a man with a 38" inseam. I mean, my knees were up above the gas tank. I thought about moving the pegs way forward, but I was just never a fan of that "sit-up-and-beg" riding posture. So I sold it and shopped for a bike with more legroom.

Anyway, about 10 days ago I bought this: BUELL ULYSSES (http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii168/funkychateau/Craigslist/NTRide2-1.jpg)

It's about a foot taller, and a lot faster /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

SpiderMan </div></div>


<span style="color: #FF0000">Nice Buell. I am getting ready to trade my 1500 Cruiser in for a 14 Concours, I think. I am wanting to do more long range riding, having only put 32,000 on the Boulavard in the last two years. 130 HP, how can I lose?

Let me know if you come toward the deep South any time soon. I still owe Chopstick a few drinks...</span>

SpiderMan
04-29-2008, 01:33 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SpiderMan</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Good Point Spiderman. How you doing lately? Fully healed? </div></div>

Everything that shows, anyway. I was released from the physical therapy about 6 or 8 weeks ago. I also gained back about 10 pounds laying around drinking cokes and stuffing my face.

I sold the wrecked Valkyrie and bought a new Harley, then sold it with only 600 miles on it.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the new EFI Harleys run, and also with the fact that it didn't leak oil like I feared, and that I didn't have to push it home any, but it was just too short for a man with a 38" inseam. I mean, my knees were up above the gas tank. I thought about moving the pegs way forward, but I was just never a fan of that "sit-up-and-beg" riding posture. So I sold it and shopped for a bike with more legroom.

Anyway, about 10 days ago I bought this: BUELL ULYSSES (http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii168/funkychateau/Craigslist/NTRide2-1.jpg)

It's about a foot taller, and a lot faster /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

SpiderMan </div></div>


<span style="color: #FF0000">Nice Buell. I am getting ready to trade my 1500 Cruiser in for a 14 Concours, I think. I am wanting to do more long range riding, having only put 32,000 on the Boulavard in the last two years. 130 HP, how can I lose?

Let me know if you come toward the deep South any time soon. I still owe Chopstick a few drinks...</span> </div></div>

I can plan a trip there pretty much whenever I feel like it. Do I have a place to crash and someone to shoot pool with /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif?

The new Concours is one fine bike. One of my Memphis friends got one back in December. His last two were FJRs, so the "sport tourer" category is definitely what he was looking for. He trades every few years because he puts on so many miles.

I looked seriously at the 2006 (pre-change) Concours because they were still available new at such a bargain around here ($7995 NEW!), but somehow got won over by the Buell. Still not sure I wouldn't have preferred the Kawasaki.

SpiderMan

Deeman3
04-29-2008, 01:51 PM
I think the new Concours is way better than the old one but the Buell is great as well.

You always have a spot here in South Alabama but we have to agree that half our pool will be on my table (9 footer) and half on yours (Bar Table). Let's plan something for later in the summer. If you could bring your bike or come on it, we could do the Florida Panhandle tour with sticks strapped across the handlebars! I'll be looking for a good time when there are a few tournaments going on.

We can do the two brother's routine in a few bars as well. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

I'm really glad you recovered well. They can't kill a Spider, can they?

Wally_in_Cincy
04-30-2008, 10:00 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Never been to vegas, but I did hear about the 4's and 5's out there that play like 7's. I find their supposedly not sandbagging tough to swallow, but I guess anything is possible.</div></div>

FWIW

I played in several minis in Vegas last August as a s/l 5.

I did not see any 5's that could roll over 6's and 7's and I played players from about 10 different regions.

I saw some that were better than me and some that were not. I won a 16-player board and I don't consider myself a standout 5.

The best guy I played was a guy named Jose from Long Beach. He played like a solid 6.

Just a little FYI from personal experience.

Bambu
05-01-2008, 07:55 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Wally_in_Cincy</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Never been to vegas, but I did hear about the 4's and 5's out there that play like 7's. I find their supposedly not sandbagging tough to swallow, but I guess anything is possible.</div></div>

FWIW

I played in several minis in Vegas last August as a s/l 5.

I did not see any 5's that could roll over 6's and 7's and I played players from about 10 different regions.

I saw some that were better than me and some that were not. I won a 16-player board and I don't consider myself a standout 5.

The best guy I played was a guy named Jose from Long Beach. He played like a solid 6.

Just a little FYI from personal experience.</div></div>

I know most players are rated fairly, but in our league, there are always a handful who arent. My captain started out as a 3, which I had never heard of before this season. By the 3rd week he was a 4, with a 2-0 record. So I am cool with that, he is a strong 4 in my opinion anyway. After 6 lifetime matches, at 4-2 they make him a 5. At level 5, he loses 7 matches in a row, and is still a 5. I just dont get it.
Then I play a match against another 5 who is 13-0. He's the only guy ahead of me in the mvp race, and I have to spot him a game. (Yeah, I am still mad that I lost that match.) But why should I be spotting someone who is just as good as I am? The guy clearly knew how to play. So why hasnt he moved up to a 6, (regardless of how much dead weight he is carrying from past seasons)?
Another team I used to play for, took a 6 type player from our bar league, and buttered him down to a 4 just to win the apa trip. I know it was dirty, but it worked.
I will stand behind what I have always believed. The apa is only as good as its local league operator. The guy collects the money just fine, but never once asks why not one safety all season has been marked on our score sheets.

eb_in_nc
05-01-2008, 08:09 AM
Bambu, it does seem to not make too much sense, that's for certain.

Where I play, I've seen guys go up skill levels by losing matches. From what I can make of it, the APA is also looking at how you lost the match considering how many games you might have won, how many innings were played, etc.. So the loss itself is not necessarily the only first order variable affecting a given skill level handicap.

And as we all know, the APA keeps this information close to their vest as they don't want people purposely manipulating their own SL by understanding what is behind the logic and calculations.

Maybe it would be better to just let the handicapping system go away and let everyone stand on their own merit then all this type of stuff would go away.

Bambu
05-01-2008, 10:13 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eb_in_nc</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bambu, it does seem to not make too much sense, that's for certain.

Where I play, I've seen guys go up skill levels by losing matches. From what I can make of it, the APA is also looking at how you lost the match considering how many games you might have won, how many innings were played, etc.. So the loss itself is not necessarily the only first order variable affecting a given skill level handicap.

And as we all know, the APA keeps this information close to their vest as they don't want people purposely manipulating their own SL by understanding what is behind the logic and calculations.

Maybe it would be better to just let the handicapping system go away and let everyone stand on their own merit then all this type of stuff would go away.</div></div>

They keep that info a secret, but we all know the system is largely based on innings. So before I played the undefeated 5, I figured his rating was due to our locally flawed apa system, which didnt include marking any safeties. But when I played him, he ran out some racks that 5's just arent supposed to, and didnt play many safeties. Then I play against other 6's who cant run 3 balls. I just dont get it.
I dont like the handicap system either EB. But I have seen it done right too. Its just a matter of who runs it, and how long that person has had to stabalize the league.

eb_in_nc
05-01-2008, 10:36 AM
I don't get it either Bambu, the overlap is too severe on SL's.

I think the bottom line however is that the APA would not grow (financially) if they could not find a way to solicit new players to join and provide them with an opportunity to win any given match, no matter what SL they are playing. With no handicap system, you would never see a person with the shooting ability of a SL 3 beat another player who shoots like a SL 5 or above if they both had to win the same amount of games to win the match.

So for this reason alone, the SL handicap is pretty much here to stay.

Bambu
05-01-2008, 08:15 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eb_in_nc</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I don't get it either Bambu, the overlap is too severe on SL's.

I think the bottom line however is that the APA would not grow (financially) if they could not find a way to solicit new players to join and provide them with an opportunity to win any given match, no matter what SL they are playing. With no handicap system, you would never see a person with the shooting ability of a SL 3 beat another player who shoots like a SL 5 or above if they both had to win the same amount of games to win the match.

So for this reason alone, the SL handicap is pretty much here to stay.</div></div>

I agree, there are good things about the handicap system too. And I know it isnt going anywhere. It just gets real hairy when rankings arent done properly. I wont complain to the league though. I'd rather vent here than give our league operator a clue.

Deeman3
05-02-2008, 08:41 AM
I think many would be well served to use the perceived and, in many cases, actual unfairness of the system to motivate you to beat even the people wrongly underrated by the system wheather they did it or the system just worked that way in their favor. It just seems you are stuck with the skill ratings so why not use that as a motivator to see how you can win from your current position.

I think advanced players face this in many guises but have developed an ability to overcome by thinking better, executing better and doing whatever, within the rules, to learn to win. Old road players are a good example of having to win in environments that continually favor the opponent. If you can't see why someone is beating you, you probably are just much less skilled or, more likely, not paying enough attention to the details of your game or the match at hand. I would even hazard that many lose because of worry and fret over the perceived unfairness of the system. LIke a bad roll, watch how the attitude of the "victim" plays out in the game if they take it in stride rather than become that victim.

Bambu
05-02-2008, 09:54 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I think many would be well served to use the perceived and, in many cases, actual unfairness of the system to motivate you to beat even the people wrongly underrated by the system wheather they did it or the system just worked that way in their favor. It just seems you are stuck with the skill ratings so why not use that as a motivator to see how you can win from your current position.

I think advanced players face this in many guises but have developed an ability to overcome by thinking better, executing better and doing whatever, within the rules, to learn to win. Old road players are a good example of having to win in environments that continually favor the opponent. If you can't see why someone is beating you, you probably are just much less skilled or, more likely, not paying enough attention to the details of your game or the match at hand. I would even hazard that many lose because of worry and fret over the perceived unfairness of the system. LIke a bad roll, watch how the attitude of the "victim" plays out in the game if they take it in stride rather than become that victim.</div></div>

You are absolutely right, Dee. And believe me, I really wanted to win that match. I cant say I played my best, but I didnt let his rating beat me. I lost on a delicate safety I blew. My game suffers with the the huge cueball we use. He was just better than me that set. No excuses, but bar tables arent my thing. If I could, I would have played him all night after that loss.
The week after that though, I kinda lost it against the last place team. They were all 3's and all extremely gay, bright purple 8-ball markers and all. I'm not homophpobic or anything, but these guys flaunt it(a man has got to draw the line somewhere ya know). The first game the guy breaks and leaves me safe. He runs a few, then leaves me another lucky safe. I'm still ok with it, and safe him back. Then he safes me again, another 3 or 4 more times in a row, all after the hit, on total luck. He wins the game, and leaves me wallowing in a pile of my own vomit. I still manage to win the next 2 games, but I was clearly still disgusted. The 4th game he gets another lucky safe, and thats when I lost it. I got careless and took a risky jump shot, right over the 8-ball. Didnt get enough height, and sank the 8. I deserved it, I know. I shoulda known better. Its easy to give out good advice, but sometimes hard to use it.

MAC
05-02-2008, 10:49 AM
This is my first year in the APA, the system for sure has some flaws. I've noticed this from my own team. One idividual is easily a 7 and by far the best shooter in the league he is ranked a 5 somehow, yet he gets probably has one break and run a week or a rackless night each week. This makes no sense to me, but hey its to our advantage. I have even seen people complain to the operators, but nothing changes. This individual told me his BCA card was pulled... this means nothing to me how would something like that happen does anyone know??? It is just another type of league right, or am I wrong?

Mac

Bambu
05-02-2008, 11:16 AM
I really dont know, sorry mac.

Deeman3
05-02-2008, 12:42 PM
Bambu:

I guess a sport where bending over is one of the primary functions of the game might make you leery of the funny colored markers and such. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Hang in there. I think, mostly, you have to view league play as a social exercise and not a great measure of skill when the handicaps are skewed. I'd like open play but you'd never get the lass skilled people to play in the numbers the money machine needs to pepetuate itself. I think leagues like that can only survive in very large populations like NYC, Boston, Chicago, L.A. and perhaps Dallas.

Bambu
05-02-2008, 02:21 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bambu:

I guess a sport where bending over is one of the primary functions of the game might make you leery of the funny colored markers and such. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Hang in there. I think, mostly, you have to view league play as a social exercise and not a great measure of skill when the handicaps are skewed. I'd like open play but you'd never get the lass skilled people to play in the numbers the money machine needs to pepetuate itself. I think leagues like that can only survive in very large populations like NYC, Boston, Chicago, L.A. and perhaps Dallas. </div></div>

Yeah thats true. I'm just pissed that I didnt handle the situation better. I'd like to see an open league in NYC too, but I havent seen any...just bar leagues. I think I am about done with the apa again anyway, time for the real tournaments. They are a much better investment, and it keeps me away from the beer too.

Qtec
05-03-2008, 09:16 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">During tournament play, you'lll see more aggressive outs compared to safety dancing.
</div></div>

I agree. I would say the difference is attitude.

Qtec

Qtec
05-05-2008, 05:58 AM
SL7s don't give you any chances. If you want to win then you need to make it happen through your own play and that means being very aggressive. You have to take every chance you get. Playing a safety means giving your opponent another shot.

The WC Snooker is now reached the final and Ronnie O is in top form. He has played probably 100 frames or more and his potting average is 94%. ie he makes 94% of all balls he goes for.

SL6s always leave you a ball. They play a safety when they should go for the pot.

Qtec

PlayersChoiceSTL
05-05-2008, 08:24 PM
The only solution to sandbagging lies with the players. It's our responsibility to mark defensive shots and write notes about unethical practices. If we don't, how can the league operator be expected to make the right adjustments?

If you're providing these things, and the operator isn't making changes, then you have a complaint. Then, it's time to take it to the next step...suggest a handicap review board.

It really can be a democratic process, but having a passive/agressive attitude and blaming the LO isn't solving any problems. It's your league...make it work for you.

jennycorvette
05-06-2008, 01:41 AM
I've been playing APA for about 5 years now and just recently went up to a 7. It's a big deal in my small local area because there aren't any other girl 7's and I always figured I'd eventually go up, but no way did I suspect it'd happen after shooting 65% in my last twenty matches, averaging about 3 innings, and 56% this session, only winning against lower skill levels. I haven't had a BnR in APA in over a year. Last year at this time I was shooting 80% and didn't go up. I figured I couldn't go up unless I shot better than 80%. A friend of mine went up when he reached 17/20, or 85%. But the system befuddles me. I lasted two years as a 5, two and a half as a 6, and who knows how long as a 7.

Best I can figure is innings matter, but no matter how many you have (like I said, I'm a patient inning getter) your win percentage will eventually catch up to you. I shot 68% as a 6 in 85 matches. I can only pray I shoot 68% as a 7.

BigRigTom
05-07-2008, 04:15 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jennycorvette</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I've been playing APA for about 5 years now and just recently went up to a 7. It's a big deal in my small local area because there aren't any other girl 7's and I always figured I'd eventually go up, but no way did I suspect it'd happen after shooting 65% in my last twenty matches, averaging about 3 innings, and 56% this session, only winning against lower skill levels. I haven't had a BnR in APA in over a year. Last year at this time I was shooting 80% and didn't go up. I figured I couldn't go up unless I shot better than 80%. A friend of mine went up when he reached 17/20, or 85%. But the system befuddles me. I lasted two years as a 5, two and a half as a 6, and who knows how long as a 7.

Best I can figure is innings matter, but no matter how many you have (like I said, I'm a patient inning getter) your win percentage will eventually catch up to you. I shot 68% as a 6 in 85 matches. I can only pray I shoot 68% as a 7. </div></div>

I have been in the APA since the Summer of 2000 and I've been a SL6 in 8 ball for over a year now. I am currently at a little over 52% overall (128 wins of 244 matches) but the past 2 seasons I have maintained a win ratio of a little over 71% (10 wins in 14 matches this season) so I keep expecting to be raised to a 7....ain't happend yet.
I too find the system comfusing but I think the APA goes out of their way to make it hard to figure.
I personally look forward to getting up to that SL7 so I can quit thinking about it and just play pool....no matter how much better I get then my hdcp will stay the same....sounds like the kind of place I want to me.

Our local League operator is a computer minded guy and he has made available some of our stats online....anyone interested in that kind of stuff check out this link! (http://www.southcoastapa.com/XMLStats/StatViewer.aspx?DivNum=013&DivName=Thousand%20Oaks%20Blue&stat=Member%20Page&TeamNum=01307&TeamName=Maximillians&MemNum=03596&MemName=Thomas%20Hardinger)

jennycorvette
05-08-2008, 03:47 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Our local League operator is a computer minded guy and he has made available some of our stats online....anyone interested in that kind of stuff check out this link! (http://www.southcoastapa.com/XMLStats/StatViewer.aspx?DivNum=013&DivName=Thousand%20Oaks%20Blue&stat=Member%20Page&TeamNum=01307&TeamName=Maximillians&MemNum=03596&MemName=Thomas%20Hardinger) </div></div>

I wish our LO was as computer minded as yours. In fact, I think I'll send him your link. We have a website that's hardly ever updated, and our LO says the software APA gives him is ancient. Everything's in a PDF file, and I like your site's XML better. I'd love to know our current ststs and ratings.

BigRigTom
05-08-2008, 08:28 AM
UNFORTUNATELY I understand that a lot of what we have may be going away too because the National office is insisting that everyone use the same sofeware package in the APA so do be surprised if yours gets better and ours gets worse pretty soon now.

bmccaslin
05-08-2008, 09:24 AM
Yeah we've got a pretty similar situation here in GA; our league operator has a really nice website set up so we can view our seasonal and lifetime stats. It's actually really helpful because it allows you to see progress (or even regression) over time.

It looks like you have the same problem I do though - winning frequently in 8-ball but stuggling in 9-ball. Are you also a 6 in 9-ball?

I think the APA style of 9-ball favors the lower skilled players much more than the higher skilled players, 8's and 9's aside. When I was a 4, I regularly beat 5's and 6's and the occasional 7. But now that I'm a 6 I struggle against the 4's and 5's now and rarely win. You pretty much have to start out lights-out and build a lead; and that's not easy if you break and are hooked, or if the guy misses and leaves you nothing.

Thoughts?

Bambu
05-08-2008, 09:51 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: PlayersChoiceSTL</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The only solution to sandbagging lies with the players. It's our responsibility to mark defensive shots and write notes about unethical practices. If we don't, how can the league operator be expected to make the right adjustments?

If you're providing these things, and the operator isn't making changes, then you have a complaint. Then, it's time to take it to the next step...suggest a handicap review board.

It really can be a democratic process, but having a passive/agressive attitude and blaming the LO isn't solving any problems. It's your league...make it work for you.</div></div>

Thats a great idea stl, if a handicap review board was powerful enough to override the apa system.

BigRigTom
05-08-2008, 11:24 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bmccaslin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Yeah we've got a pretty similar situation here in GA; our league operator has a really nice website set up so we can view our seasonal and lifetime stats. It's actually really helpful because it allows you to see progress (or even regression) over time.

It looks like you have the same problem I do though - winning frequently in 8-ball but stuggling in 9-ball. Are you also a 6 in 9-ball?

I think the APA style of 9-ball favors the lower skilled players much more than the higher skilled players, 8's and 9's aside. When I was a 4, I regularly beat 5's and 6's and the occasional 7. But now that I'm a 6 I struggle against the 4's and 5's now and rarely win. You pretty much have to start out lights-out and build a lead; and that's not easy if you break and are hooked, or if the guy misses and leaves you nothing.

Thoughts? </div></div>
I am now a solid 7 in 9-ball...I went up to an 8 last season, proceeded to lose 3 straight matches and dropped back to a 7, continued to lose another 6 straight making a total of 9 straight loses....some might accuse me of sand bagging but I honestly was trying very hard to win every one of those matches. I think I was trying too hard and that was my biggest problem. Once I realized that.....I began to relax again and play the game the way I know how to play and I am now back on a 3 game winning streak as a 7....some day I'll get back to the SL8 and when that happens I will try to remember this past season. It has been a real eye opener!

About your struggles as a 6....
Sounds like you may need to work on specifics that will help you over the hump. Take an honest self assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. An APA 6 must be able to kick reliably, you must be able to run racks, you must be able to play killer safes and most importantly you must know your limits then choose wisely as to when to go for the shot or duck and wait for a better lay.

When you are doing all the above consistently the wins will come.

SKennedy
05-09-2008, 04:16 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bmccaslin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Yeah we've got a pretty similar situation here in GA; our league operator has a really nice website set up so we can view our seasonal and lifetime stats. It's actually really helpful because it allows you to see progress (or even regression) over time.

It looks like you have the same problem I do though - winning frequently in 8-ball but stuggling in 9-ball. Are you also a 6 in 9-ball?

I think the APA style of 9-ball favors the lower skilled players much more than the higher skilled players, 8's and 9's aside. When I was a 4, I regularly beat 5's and 6's and the occasional 7. But now that I'm a 6 I struggle against the 4's and 5's now and rarely win. You pretty much have to start out lights-out and build a lead; and that's not easy if you break and are hooked, or if the guy misses and leaves you nothing.

Thoughts? </div></div>
I am now a solid 7 in 9-ball...I went up to an 8 last season, proceeded to lose 3 straight matches and dropped back to a 7, continued to lose another 6 straight making a total of 9 straight loses....some might accuse me of sand bagging but I honestly was trying very hard to win every one of those matches. I think I was trying too hard and that was my biggest problem. Once I realized that.....I began to relax again and play the game the way I know how to play and I am now back on a 3 game winning streak as a 7....some day I'll get back to the SL8 and when that happens I will try to remember this past season. It has been a real eye opener!

About your struggles as a 6....
Sounds like you may need to work on specifics that will help you over the hump. Take an honest self assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. An APA 6 must be able to kick reliably, you must be able to run racks, you must be able to play killer safes and most importantly you must know your limits then choose wisely as to when to go for the shot or duck and wait for a better lay.

When you are doing all the above consistently the wins will come. </div></div>

I notice quite a few who move up to a 6 and then start to lose a lot of matches. They seem to be trying to hard to live up to being a 6 or better. It's just plain hard to play pool or any other sport if you are not relaxed!

PlayersChoiceSTL
05-11-2008, 05:20 PM
Hey there Bambu...actually the Handicap Advisory Committee is a board that can be established by the League Operator. You can find more information about it in your League Manual under The League Structure section on Page 10.

J.D.
05-12-2008, 04:04 AM
Keep in mind that every safety played subtracts from the total number of innings. There are four elements that go into your handicap.

1) Win percentage

2)Quality of opponents

3)Innings per game

4)Safeties

The trick is understanding how these four factors are weighed. Also keep in mind that the size of the table you play on is factored in as well. You will find that East Coast teams play on the big boxes far more than West coast teams. And when they get to Vegas, this makes the game easier, especially in nine-ball.

As to sandbagging, I can say this for certain. You can't get away with it in Vegas and take home the cash in the APA. I've been to Nationals several times and have seen many teams DQ'd. At the end of the day-as has been pointed out many times in this string- if a sandbagger makes it to Vegas, it is the fault of the players in their division, their divisions reps and most importantly their LO's. I also believe that if a team is DQ'd in Vegas, there are serious sanctions against their LO's. I know that the players can be banned for any number of years.

An APA SL7 should average 1.5 innings per game as a rule FYI.

Bambu
05-12-2008, 07:21 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: PlayersChoiceSTL</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hey there Bambu...actually the Handicap Advisory Committee is a board that can be established by the League Operator. You can find more information about it in your League Manual under The League Structure section on Page 10.</div></div>

Thanks stl, but I get the feeling our league operator prefers to let the system stand on its own. I asked our division rep about it, and he said there is absolouely nothing anyone can do about ratings. No committee, and no complaining about ratings is allowed. So I asked him what would would happen if he alerted the LO, who he knows very well....to a 4 that played like a 7. He said he wouldnt bother saying a thing, that it wouldnt matter(no complaining about ratings allowed). Of course, that doesnt mean other apa leagues cant benefit from such tipoffs, or committe advisements.

eb_in_nc
05-12-2008, 07:36 AM
Hey Bambu, does your LO stuff cotton in his cheeks and make people offer's they can't refuse?

Sounds like they don't want to upset the apple cart which is bad news for the players in general.

Our local APA on-line offers a facility to question a players SL so I guess we have it good in comparison.

Bambu
05-12-2008, 08:40 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eb_in_nc</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hey Bambu, does your LO stuff cotton in his cheeks and make people offer's they can't refuse?

Sounds like they don't want to upset the apple cart which is bad news for the players in general.

Our local APA on-line offers a facility to question a players SL so I guess we have it good in comparison.</div></div>

Lol EB, nah hes not like that at all. Hes soft, but he knows how to crack down for the money. I didnt play for 4 years, but he called me to make me pay 7 dollars that I supposedly owed from 2003. He knew the exact date and team name too, not that I remembered owing anything. I was pissed but i paid it. I knew if I didnt, I couldnt play, or worse....my team might have picked up my tab.

SpiderMan
05-12-2008, 08:42 AM
JD,

The formula, as I understood it when I played APA, did not utilize "quality of opponents", and win percentage was only a factor for the SL2-SL3 boundary.

What is your understanding of the utilization of these two factors in the 8-Ball handicap formula?

SpiderMan

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: J.D.</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Keep in mind that every safety played subtracts from the total number of innings. There are four elements that go into your handicap.

1) Win percentage

2)Quality of opponents

3)Innings per game

4)Safeties

The trick is understanding how these four factors are weighed. Also keep in mind that the size of the table you play on is factored in as well. You will find that East Coast teams play on the big boxes far more than West coast teams. And when they get to Vegas, this makes the game easier, especially in nine-ball.

As to sandbagging, I can say this for certain. You can't get away with it in Vegas and take home the cash in the APA. I've been to Nationals several times and have seen many teams DQ'd. At the end of the day-as has been pointed out many times in this string- if a sandbagger makes it to Vegas, it is the fault of the players in their division, their divisions reps and most importantly their LO's. I also believe that if a team is DQ'd in Vegas, there are serious sanctions against their LO's. I know that the players can be banned for any number of years.

An APA SL7 should average 1.5 innings per game as a rule FYI. </div></div>

XYGAGuy
05-13-2008, 12:06 AM
I've enjoyed reading all the posts. I won't say where I play APA, but I want to share my thoughts on the topics discussed. I play in a small division (less than 8 teams). I am the only SL7 in the division. I stayed an SL 6 for more then five years, winning 75% of my matches as an SL6 during that period (and never moved up). I watched my innings, and played a lot of defensive play (that's my style), although I had dozens of break and run outs, and stayed a 6. It helps that in my division there are no other skill level 7's, and just a few skill level 6's from time to time (none of which could challenge me very often). I played mostly 4's and 5's when I was a 6. Since becoming an SL7 more than a year ago, I've stepped up my game (trying to win all the points that I can for my team), and have a record of 45 - 7 (about 87%, including higher level tourneys, where I am 7-1). I play 80% of my matches against 5's and lower (just because there are not higher level players available in my division), but am ready for SL6's and SL7's when I get to the big tourneys. My lifetime winning percentage is over 75%, putting me in the top 10 players in our area of more than 1300 ranked (shown on the local website).

I probably average less than 1.5 innings per game, but I would say I run a rack in 2 innings or less about 50% of the time, and win with great defensive play the others (I am a ruthless defensive player). I teach all my lower skill levels to play excellent defense, and think that any strong 3 or strong 4 having a good night can beat an SL7 with great defense and execution. Also, keep in mind that when playing in higher level tournaments....it is not your SKILL LEVEL that matters as much as what you do under pressure! Anyone can be nervous and choke. When I took a team to APA nationals in Vegas several years ago, my SL3 beat an SL7 2-1 in about 20 total innings. The SL7 choked so badly he missed ball a ball in hand!! It was incredible.

Lastly, if you want to get a team to Las Vegas, it is not so much how good your SL6's and SL7's are...it is how well coached, consistent, and tough your 3's and 4's are. Those are the bread and butter posts that make all the difference.

Good Luck!

bmccaslin
05-13-2008, 10:07 AM
"Lastly, if you want to get a team to Las Vegas, it is not so much how good your SL6's and SL7's are...it is how well coached, consistent, and tough your 3's and 4's are. Those are the bread and butter posts that make all the difference."

Amen to that; the one time I made it to Vegas was because we had a team with one dynamite SL3 and three lights-out SL4s, and our coach was an excellent SL6 who knew how we all played and was able to coach effectively. Teams hated us after the Qualifiers and City Championships. :))

BigRigTom
05-13-2008, 11:32 AM
When were your teams in Vegas and where are those SL 3's and 4's now....if they were that good didn't they go up in SL?

I agree with what you are saying...it is the curse of the APA.
You must have great 3's and 4's but they will not be 3's and 4's for long so keep looking for the next star and keep rebuilding those teams if you want to keep having a chance at those finals.

bmccaslin
05-14-2008, 09:59 AM
We were out there last year; finished in 17th place with a bunch of other teams.

Our SL3 is now a four, two of the SL4s are now SL5s, and myself who was an SL4 is now an SL6.

I actually went up to an SL5 right before Vegas, and one SL4 went up to an SL5 and our SL6 went up to an SL7. That last one killed us, because then we weren't able to post effectively and cost us the last match (we had another SL3 who was unable to make it out to the desert, that would've helped tremendously).

I'm on a team that is playing in our local 8-ball Championships for Vegas qualification next month, but we're going to have to do it on a team with no SL3s. I think our lineup is SL6, SL5, SL5, SL5, SL4, SL4, SL4.

Definitely not the easiest lineup to win with.

BigRigTom
05-14-2008, 11:09 AM
I have been in the APA for almost 8 years now and I have heard and seen your story evolve over and over again. It takes some objective analysis to see this completely but it was all figured out long before I started looking.

This is the APA system, as long as one excepts it for what it is it can be a lot of fun. I have come a long way in my playing ability and still have a long way to go before I will start burning out....that is what I like about the whole thing.
Great competition, good friends, new aquaintances, opportunity to learn and grow in many skills not just the game of pool, personal growth as an individual player as well as growth in a team experience, lofty goals if you like that sort of thing and rewards for advancement and achievement beyond the present level regardless of what level one might be at. You can be as committed or as casual as you like, play on one team or play on many, choose one format or several, help develop the teams or just play your game, be a serious contender or just enjoy a night out playing pool with friends or anywhere in between the extremes you like fit yourself in. There is a place for anyone & everyone who approachs it with an open mind and some degree of love for the game.

Tony_in_MD
05-15-2008, 05:20 AM
The answer is TAP.

More information collected during matches, and the handicaps are established nationally, not by your L.O.

I am a 7 in APA 8ball, and an 8 in 9 ball,

In TAP I am now a 5, and I have not been trying to go down. We made it to TAP nationals last November and I discovered that I am truly a TAP 5.

In short, more stats collected on the scoresheet, Ratings done nationally instead of regionally makes for a more accurate handicap system. IMHO


<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The APA supposedly uses the same Equalizer System through out the APA (US and Canada) so the skill levels are supposedly the same through out the system.

The falacy here is that when you rank players locally the pool or field of players dictate the value of the individual ratings. Many APA players never reach the upper level national events and thereby never compete against players from other parts of the country. Their ranking is determined from their local performance against the limited talent in that area.

The East Coast players have a tougher field of players and that makes their higher ranking harder to achieve. I have seen 5's in Las Vegas that could easily take most of our 6's and some of our 7's on a regular bases.

Some will say that is because of sandbagging but truth is that those 5's had a tougher time making 5 that our 6's have making 6.
By the same token 7's on the West Coast can rise to 7 by consistently beating the weaker variety of 5 and 6 and doing it consistently.

It is all statistics and someone once said you can prove anything with statistics.

The APA seems to be the best we have to work with to this date. Maybe someday one of the BIG BRAINS that play pool will figure out a way to compensate in the numbers for the fields being more or less difficult. I believe that is what that round robin format in the WPBA is all about. Trying to equalize the numbers game. </div></div>

Bambu
05-15-2008, 07:08 AM
I played in TAP too, and I agree. My team told me the ratings were one level behind apa, so apa 6's were tap 5's, etc. And I have to say, it was a better league. I didnt find even one player out of rank. The thing is, tap isnt available everywhere like the apa is.

XYGAGuy
05-17-2008, 05:51 PM
Well, it is certainly hard to win in higher level tourneys without a STRONG 3. My 2002 team went to 65th in the country, and had two strong 3's and an average 3. We were hurt that only one of our good 3's could MAKE the trip to Vegas. We only had six players out there - I was still a 6 at the time, we had another strong 6, a 5, a 4, and two 3's, one strong, one average. We won through four rounds before losing and did not have any rankings go up in Vegas. When we got back, our good 3 was a 4 and the other 6 was a 7.

If you had all the rankings go up that you said you did, obviously you were trying to keep them down and just didn't do a good enough job of it. Noone ever wants to say "ya, we sandbagged", but in APA if you are going to make a run in Nationals, you are going to have your players be strong for their rankings. Also, since the playing field is not equal in all divisions, if you don't watch rankings, your players will not be ranked fairly compared to other's when you get there. If you were from a 4 to a 6 you were pretty well under-ranked to begin with.

I build a team around strong 3's with one or two very good higher ranked players. Then you have a few tough 4's and 5's. Our team is playing in the local qualifying tournament this weekend. Although we are already qualified, it's fun and good experience to play to win. We've beaten two teams and start tomorrow at 9 am. My average 4 has beaten two 6's who played very poorly for their level, and each gave a game to my guy with an 8 out of turn! It's really just pressure getting to them. Above all....train people in poise, confidence, and tournament readiness.

Good luck in Cities....hope we play you in Vegas!!!

XYGAGuy
05-18-2008, 12:49 AM
Well, it is certainly hard to win in higher level tourneys without a STRONG 3. My 2002 team went to 65th in the country, and had two strong 3's and an average 3. We were hurt that only one of our good 3's could MAKE the trip to Vegas. We only had six players out there - I was still a 6 at the time, we had another strong 6, a 5, a 4, and two 3's, one strong, one average. We won through four rounds before losing and did not have any rankings go up in Vegas. When we got back, our good 3 was a 4 and the other 6 was a 7.

If you had all the rankings go up that you said you did, obviously you were trying to keep them down and just didn't do a good enough job of it. Noone ever wants to say "ya, we sandbagged", but in APA if you are going to make a run in Nationals, you are going to have your players be strong for their rankings. Also, since the playing field is not equal in all divisions, if you don't watch rankings, your players will not be ranked fairly compared to other's when you get there. If you were from a 4 to a 6 you were pretty well under-ranked to begin with.

I build a team around strong 3's with one or two very good higher ranked players. Then you have a few tough 4's and 5's. Our team is playing in the local qualifying tournament this weekend. Although we are already qualified, it's fun and good experience to play to win. We've beaten two teams and start tomorrow at 9 am. My average 4 has beaten two 6's who played very poorly for their level, and each gave a game to my guy with an 8 out of turn! It's really just pressure getting to them. Above all....train people in poise, confidence, and tournament readiness.

Good luck in Cities....hope we play you in Vegas!!!

J.D.
05-18-2008, 04:47 AM
The quality of opponent factor simply gives more weight to a win against a higher caliber player and more weight to a loss against a lower caliber player. For example, if you are an SL 5 and you post a win against an SL 7, it will weigh more heavily than a win against an SL4 or 3. Conversly, if the same SL 5 lost to an SL 4 or 3, it would weigh more heavily than a loss to an SL 7. This is why you many times have SL 3's that have been in the league for 10 or more years. They play well within their skill level, but don't play outside of their skill level enough to bring their handicap up.

Now this brings us to win percentage. This is simply the number of matches won verses total matches played (or maybe games won vs games played; never heard the skinny on that one and it is important.) You bring up a point that I hadn't heard regarding 2's and 3's and that makes real sense and would add weight to what I said in the preceding paragraph.

Of course all of this is moot if the scorekeeping is bad. And I've seen some really bad scorekeeping from time to time (Not marking 8-ball breaks and scratches for example) In fact many years ago our region had it's first female SL 7 beacause of this fact. She was a new SL 2 and could barely make two balls in a row. She played an SL7 who was the highest rated player in our region at the time. Sure enough, he broke and ran to the eight, scratched and lost. She then broke dry,he ran to the eight and scratched again. BOOM, she's a 7 the next week. Because she had a zero inning match shutout and no one marked the eight ball scratches.

I do think that the most important aspect of the formula is adjusted innings per game though. After you subtract defensive shots and come up with an inning per game figure, it's pretty consistent with what I understand to be APA guidlelines. SL7's average 1.5 innings, 6's average 2.5 innings, 5's average about four innings and so on. I think it gets muddier at the novice levels though.

Also keep in mind that your skill level is only based on your last 20 ( I believe) scores. It certainly is challenging to figure it out. Good luck!

KellyStick
05-19-2008, 11:16 AM
OUCH!!! SL2 to SL7 based on one match because of poor scorekeeping. Didn't know such a thing was possible. What happened to averaging or last ten games and such???

Pool Coconut
05-20-2008, 02:09 PM
I am an SL7 and I can tell you that I look forward to eating SL6s for breakfast. I generally eat SL7s for lunch and dinner too. mmmm, Im getting hungry. Basically, You are either a 7 or you aren't. The SL7 handicap is the biggest. You have 7s that take 2 innings to clealr a rack and you have 7s that can break and run 5 racks in a row, hook you and run 5 more. 7s can shoot pool and that is the main difference. It looks like they are playing aggressive because to you they are but to them they are just playing the game the way it was meant to be played. It doesnt matter who your opponent is, if you average under 2 innings a game and you win consistently you will be a SL7. Find a good pool hall and start playing on 9ft tables. Practice 9ball playing the ghost or gamble a little with better players.

Have fun and shoot pool!

J.D.
05-22-2008, 04:15 AM
Great question. This was almost fourteen years ago, so I'm sure the system was pretty suspect at the time. Shoot, they didn't have markings for runs or 8-ball breaks then either, so how accurate could it have been? I think it is much better now though. Not perfect, but pretty damned good.

J.D.

Coroner
05-23-2008, 02:26 PM
Hey, this string is great.

I started playing pool about two years ago, and started playing in the APA about 9 months ago. I started as a SL3 (after the obligatory SL4 first week). I practice daily at home and slowly progressed to SL6.

The one thing about the handicapping that I haven't seen mentioned in this string is that 'the best 10 of your last 20 matches' is used to detemine your skill level. If you have a great night with very few innings, and the next week play terribly, the good night will count toward you handicap and the bad night will not. Golf is the same way, but in golf your handicap can change by one stroke at a time. One made or missed putt in 18 holes. So the handicap is more fine tuned than 8-ball. In pool the jump to the next level is HUGE. I would say it is like 6 or 7 strokes in golf. This makes the move up the ladder more challenging, but that's okay. The best way to improve in APA and keep winning as you move up is to be CONSISTENT. Work on all aspects of your game - shot making/position/safety/mental. Work hardest at what you are worst at, so you develop 'evenly' and become a complete player.

So, what makes a SL7? He is better at all the above. I've been able to win about 65% - 70% of my matches in every SL because I have been able to improve consistently and 'out smart' most of my opponents. I don't try low percentage (for me)runouts. As I improve my ability to runout, I adjust my style.

I went from a SL5 ot SL6 after one week of concentrated effort on my break. It's amazing how much differnce a good break makes on your inning count (it's obvious once you think about it for a second).

I am a SL6 now because I know how to control a match against most SL5's and SL4's. My safeties are good enough to keep them from running out and their play usually leaves me with a decent run out chance. I am not good enough (yet) to lock up SL6's all the time and definitely not SL7's. Against an SL7 he controls the match and I just hope he makes a mistake.

In my league (city withheld) we all cheat. Not really outright, but no one announces "safety". We just play safe and sit down. Once in a while someone will ask me if I played safe and I always answer honestly, but if they don't ask and they don't mark it, I don't tell (kind of like gays in the military). Some of my safeties would be hard to tell - rattling a pocket to block it from my opponent.

I am a SL6 and I am 3-3 against SL6's in my last six matches and 1-2 against SL7's. So, am I cheating? If my opponent also does not record all his safeties and I don't either? We go to our city tournament pretty soon, so we'll see if our league is unique or not, I really don't know.

I do know I LOVE this game!

BigRigTom
05-23-2008, 05:29 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Coroner</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hey, this string is great.

I started playing pool about two years ago, and started playing in the APA about 9 months ago. I started as a SL3 (after the obligatory SL4 first week). I practice daily at home and slowly progressed to SL6.

The one thing about the handicapping that I haven't seen mentioned in this string is that 'the best 10 of your last 20 matches' is used to detemine your skill level. If you have a great night with very few innings, and the next week play terribly, the good night will count toward you handicap and the bad night will not. Golf is the same way, but in golf your handicap can change by one stroke at a time. One made or missed putt in 18 holes. So the handicap is more fine tuned than 8-ball. In pool the jump to the next level is HUGE. I would say it is like 6 or 7 strokes in golf. This makes the move up the ladder more challenging, but that's okay. The best way to improve in APA and keep winning as you move up is to be CONSISTENT. Work on all aspects of your game - shot making/position/safety/mental. Work hardest at what you are worst at, so you develop 'evenly' and become a complete player.

So, what makes a SL7? He is better at all the above. I've been able to win about 65% - 70% of my matches in every SL because I have been able to improve consistently and 'out smart' most of my opponents. I don't try low percentage (for me)runouts. As I improve my ability to runout, I adjust my style.

I went from a SL5 ot SL6 after one week of concentrated effort on my break. It's amazing how much differnce a good break makes on your inning count (it's obvious once you think about it for a second).

I am a SL6 now because I know how to control a match against most SL5's and SL4's. My safeties are good enough to keep them from running out and their play usually leaves me with a decent run out chance. I am not good enough (yet) to lock up SL6's all the time and definitely not SL7's. Against an SL7 he controls the match and I just hope he makes a mistake.

In my league (city withheld) we all cheat. Not really outright, but no one announces "safety". We just play safe and sit down. Once in a while someone will ask me if I played safe and I always answer honestly, but if they don't ask and they don't mark it, I don't tell (kind of like gays in the military). Some of my safeties would be hard to tell - rattling a pocket to block it from my opponent.

I am a SL6 and I am 3-3 against SL6's in my last six matches and 1-2 against SL7's. So, am I cheating? If my opponent also does not record all his safeties and I don't either? We go to our city tournament pretty soon, so we'll see if our league is unique or not, I really don't know.

I do know I LOVE this game!
</div></div>

I love to read this kind of post.
Been playing pool 2 years now.
9 Months in the APA and already has it all figured out?
Nice long post by someone new and on his very 1st post on this board too!
Chooses to remain anonymous with NO profile info.
Chooses to discuss his local city tournament (but uses an anonymous city too).

Why bother to have an opinion when you don't want anyone to know who you are?

May as well write it down on toliet paper and then use that where it was designed to be used. At least you will get some benefit from it that way and the rest of the world can be spared the wasted time of reading this kind of stuff.

Now that I have vented my frustration I feel a little better so I guess I reaped a hidden benefit after all. Thanks! I just felt like ranting about something and this caught my eye. Glad I got that off my chest as well. Thanks again for the opportunity.

Coroner
05-24-2008, 12:10 AM
Wow, thanks Big Rig Tom. I am new to pool and very new to these kind of chalk boards. In fact, this was my first post ever. I don't yet know how to add my profile even. I just read the string and thought it was cool. I learned a lot from the previous posts (including yours) and thought it would be fun to add my two cents. I am glad now that I did stay anonymous considering your response.

I guess I don't yet know the rules on what I am allowed to say and how I should say it. Just trying to join the pool community, learn something about this wonderful game (as you so eloguently put it in your post, I have a lot to learn). Too bad you chose to shut me down rather than encourage a new member. Maybe I'm just not thick skinned enough for this forum. You can continue to do your thing, and I'll stay away.

Have a great holiday weekend pool fans!

BigRigTom
05-24-2008, 12:41 PM
Sorry Coroner that you became the focus of my rant. Nothing personal.
As for being new, that is really not enough of an excuse for not even indicating who you are in some fashion.
YOu seen to have a pretty strong opinion so express it.
You could have explained some of your back ground and motivation in your post if you didn't know how to fill in the form when you registered.

I am not usually so harsh.
If you let my little rant scare you off, maybe it should.

You would be better off telling me off in your own words, use this forum as you see fit and don't be too fragile when people object to what you may want to say. It is the nature of the beast.

At least you know who you are ranting at when you rant at me.
I am an open book, even to those who do not agree with me.

XYGAGuy
05-29-2008, 12:29 AM
This is a good analysis. You have worked on your game, play smart / defensive, and as your ranking has gone up, you have warranted it with consistent play. Congratulations! I stayed a 6 for six years, and kept becoming a stronger player, more consistent, more poised, and I play incredible defense. I LOVE defensive (chess match) games. I didn't play defense to "pad" innings, I played that way to win! I should have become a 7 long before they finally made me one, but that worked out great, because I was more than ready to be a 7 when moved up. You sound like you are playing at a solid 6 level, and I anticipate that you will stay a 6 a good, long time. There is a solid difference between playing as a 6 and a 7 in your races, trust me, against any good 4 or 5 dropping that one game off the race is a big deal. When you play a strong 7, and as you said they will "control" the game more than you will - play defense EARLY and OFTEN. Don't get into a run-out war. Let the 7 make his early run and get way ahead of you - unless it is a 0 inning run, you will have all the opportunity to play great defense and keep initiative. Sure, at some point you will need to make your shots, but it's easier to do this when you have CONTROL. Also, running ahead of a 7 and NOT getting out is death - it just leaves him wide open to easily beat you.

Glad to know your break has improved! Just think FOLLOW-THROUGH when you shoot - that helped me a lot to just spread the balls much more evenly. (Kind of like getting good draw - it's effortless with good follow-through).

Lastly - coach all of your skill level 3's and 4's to play defensively. This will frustrate less-skilled opponents and win them more matches, especially under pressure.

Good luck! Keep improving!

eb_in_nc
05-29-2008, 07:11 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: XYGAGuy</div><div class="ubbcode-body">This is a good analysis. You have worked on your game, play smart / defensive, and as your ranking has gone up, you have warranted it with consistent play. Congratulations! I stayed a 6 for six years, and kept becoming a stronger player, more consistent, more poised, and I play incredible defense. I LOVE defensive (chess match) games. I didn't play defense to "pad" innings, I played that way to win! I should have become a 7 long before they finally made me one, but that worked out great, because I was more than ready to be a 7 when moved up. You sound like you are playing at a solid 6 level, and I anticipate that you will stay a 6 a good, long time. There is a solid difference between playing as a 6 and a 7 in your races, trust me, against any good 4 or 5 dropping that one game off the race is a big deal. When you play a strong 7, and as you said they will "control" the game more than you will - play defense EARLY and OFTEN. Don't get into a run-out war. Let the 7 make his early run and get way ahead of you - unless it is a 0 inning run, you will have all the opportunity to play great defense and keep initiative. Sure, at some point you will need to make your shots, but it's easier to do this when you have CONTROL. Also, running ahead of a 7 and NOT getting out is death - it just leaves him wide open to easily beat you.

Glad to know your break has improved! Just think FOLLOW-THROUGH when you shoot - that helped me a lot to just spread the balls much more evenly. (Kind of like getting good draw - it's effortless with good follow-through).

Lastly - coach all of your skill level 3's and 4's to play defensively. This will frustrate less-skilled opponents and win them more matches, especially under pressure.

Good luck! Keep improving! </div></div>

Good input. I'm a SL 6 (for the last 5 months) and I can tell you the only way I can beat a strong 7 is by playing my best defensive game. As you say, the shots need to be made, but better to have ball in hand as opposed to taking a high risk shot and leaving the table to be run out by my opponent. It took me a while to learn this but I can see the fruits of my labor pay off when I started playing more in this mode.

The other side to this is looking at how you as a player typically <u>lose</u> to an opponent. We always tend to look at it from the other side, but taking a backwards glance can give you a more rounded perspective. For me, playing a higher SL player, my mode of losing is typically running out most of my balls and leaving only one ball and/or the 8-ball, and then having my opponent run out his side since the table is open and clear for the most part. By understanding this mode, I have stopped trying to run racks when knowing that I have many problem balls on the table, so I try to break up that particular game by playing defensive shots where previously I would have attempted a high risk offensive shot (also the more of your balls that are gone, the harder to play defensive since no balls to hide behind). This has made a huge difference in my game because I just don't go shooting with the "I'm gonna run the rack" mentality which has gotten me in trouble all too often.

KellyStick
05-29-2008, 11:17 AM
As I read through these posts it seems most of the APA folks have plenty of SL7s they compete against. I only shoot one night a week but have done so for 8 years or so. I rarely run into a 7 and have had maybe 4 matches (if that) in 8 years. Two were against the same seven. I honestly don't recall when I last saw a 7 on the roster. I know they are out there but the percentage seems to be very very low. I get the feel there are more 7s elsewhere. This may reflect solely on how we mark safeties in our area. Or not mark them as we should.

I estimate the number of 7s to be like 1% or less. Does that fit in with other peoples estimates?

eb_in_nc
05-29-2008, 11:32 AM
Kelly, I live in Raleigh NC and play on two different leagues at two different locations. Both leagues have around 45 - 50 people on the roster for those nights I play. One of the places has 5 7's, the other has 4, so we are looking at around 10% in my area based on the limited demographics I am giving you here. I myself play a 7 usually monthly. The local APA covering Raleigh/Durham, & Chapel Hill has around 2000+ active members.

I suspect the stats will be different for different areas based on population and probably many other variables such as available host locations for the APA.

BigRigTom
05-29-2008, 12:48 PM
Guys there are lots of 7's in my area but they don't all like to play APA and many of them take the Summer off from the APA leagues.
But take a look at these rosters in Oxnard, California

http://www.southcoastapa.com/XMLStats/StatViewer.aspx?stat=Rosters&DivNum=033&DivName=Oxnard

The Summer season doesn't start until Monday so some rosters are still incomplete but there are already 5 - Sevens on 12 teams.
This is NOT EVEN one of the toughest areas around here either.


The thing is though....most of our sevens would probably only be low 6's on the East Coast, some of them may only be good 5's.

Ironman
05-29-2008, 04:57 PM
Tom,

Is there really that much of a difference between areas? I'm in my third session right now, having taken a couple of years off in between each, and those sessions have been in Brooklyn, Miami, and now San Francisco. I have to agree that San Francisco is a little worse than Brooklyn, but I think that might be because of table inconsistency at the bars we play in (everyone played at the same pool hall in NY).

I think in the middle levels there might not be much difference, but at SL 6 and 7 I would agree with you. I remember feeling as if I had to run every rack to beat a 6 in either of my two other stops. But last night I didn't even play that well and the 6 I played kept beating herself so I took the match (as a SL 5) 4-0. I haven't played long enough or on a team good enough to play in nationals, though, so maybe I'll really see a difference there (since at that point almost everyone's level should be off a little).

BigRigTom
05-29-2008, 05:15 PM
When you get to nationals 2's play like 5's - 7's better play like pros if they expect to win.

Need I say more.

cycopath
05-29-2008, 05:49 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">When you get to nationals 2's play like 5's - 7's better play like pros if they expect to win.

Need I say more. </div></div>

I've only been to the NTC once, in 2004. I didn't run into anyone that I felt their skill level was that far off. Our team didn't get real deep in the tourny(I think we played four matches, with a couple of byes), but I played in a couple of minis also.

XYGAGuy
05-30-2008, 12:17 AM
Ahhhh well, not entirely true. I've been to Vegas 4 times, so I have seen it all. SOME 7's play like pros and run rack after rack. I also saw a 7 LOSE to my 3 TWO to ONE in like 18 total innings, and he MISSED BALL IN HAND ON THE 8 BALL. There is a thing called nerves, what you do under pressure, and poise. In Vegas the BEST players at any skill level will play one or two levels above what they are ranked, but some just play strong at their level, and some choke and play poorly. Also remember that some of these players have JUST gone up in ranking before getting to Vegas and that throws their game off completely. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif My average 3 went 3-1 in Vegas last time we went beating a 3, a 4, and a 5 all in rubber games - and he was the weakest player on my roster. Go figure. ^_____^

XYGAGuy
05-30-2008, 12:23 AM
Very good learning you have done - ObiWan is proud. Running way ahead of ANY good player if you can't get out is not playing smart pool. I call those people "good shooters, not good players". Defense and position early. You want initiative LATE in the game. Bait your opponent into opening up your balls and going for HIS quick run-out. It's just so easy. And then when he is down to his last ball and the 8-ball and you have 6 balls left, you can make a ball or two and play defense. I played a 6 (back when I was still a 6) several years ago in City Qualifiers and won the match 5-2. I played 27 total defensive shots!!! I think the guy was going to piss his pants. ANYONE can make open shots. It takes a great player to out-strategize his opponent.

Also, if you play defensive early to block pockets, set up shots, gain ball position - you shouldn't HAVE to make real difficult shots later.

Good post!

eb_in_nc
05-30-2008, 07:16 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: XYGAGuy</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Very good learning you have done - ObiWan is proud. Running way ahead of ANY good player if you can't get out is not playing smart pool. I call those people "good shooters, not good players". Defense and position early. You want initiative LATE in the game. Bait your opponent into opening up your balls and going for HIS quick run-out. It's just so easy. And then when he is down to his last ball and the 8-ball and you have 6 balls left, you can make a ball or two and play defense. I played a 6 (back when I was still a 6) several years ago in City Qualifiers and won the match 5-2. I played 27 total defensive shots!!! I think the guy was going to piss his pants. ANYONE can make open shots. It takes a great player to out-strategize his opponent.

Also, if you play defensive early to block pockets, set up shots, gain ball position - you shouldn't HAVE to make real difficult shots later.

Good post! </div></div>

XYGAGuy, I like the way you think. Your differentiation of a good shooter versus a good player is spot on. I don't believe a lot of people have this very well understood. The strategic subtleties between these two types of players in my mind make all the difference in the world, let's hope not too many people catch on to this as competition will become more fierce.

I shot another 6 last night who was making every shot he could see, the guy just could not miss. It was clear to me that I had to play a cat and mouse game with him to gain the advantage unless the table was open for me to run out. I took him 5 - 3, having even scratched on the 8 on one of my games. I had 9 defensive shots for the evening which again made the big difference, especially with how well this guy was shooting. 6 months ago I would have lost my ass in this game as I was always running ahead of it.

Bambu
05-30-2008, 09:08 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eb_in_nc</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It sounds like the real issue is that within the SL 7 bracket, there is not enough separation and perhaps the best solution would be for the APA to amend the SL's to 2 through 9 like it is in 9-ball so that the true skill level can be better understood. If you took BigRigTom's analysis, the guy who can run out 3 or 4 out of 10 racks might be a SL 7 while the guy doing it 9 out of 10 would certainly be a SL 9. I may be simple minded but somehow I think this would shed more light for all of us.</div></div>

There is little doubt that this is true, and is part of why the apa is flawed. Strongest teams I have seen have 2 heavy hitter 7's and a couple of 3's that play like 4's. The other problem is that nobody scores the safeties. Most teams want to jack up the score sheet anyway, so safeties are of little interest to them. That keeps the 6's down at level 6, as well as other ranks. Works for me since I dont want to be a 7, but thats bad for the league. A good league operator would run a tighter ship, but ours doesnt.</div></div>

Just an update, to set the record straight.... I have to give our tight wad LO credit. Even without marking any safeties all season(and I played plenty of em)he raised me to a 7 anyway.

HALHOULE
05-31-2008, 05:33 PM
BAMBU, CALL ME AT 484 623 4144 HAL

Ironman
06-03-2008, 12:09 PM
I'm just now figuring out that I don't need to run out every rack (not that I can, but I try) to beat my opponent unless I'm playing a very good 7. Frequently I'll get on a run and try to break out a buried ball and get myself in trouble. So lately I've been focusing on running out where I can and playing defensive when I can't run out, and it's been working fairly well so far (some large wins until I shot very poorly and lost this past weekend).

Plus, it's kind of fun to keep leaving the other player in trouble after most of your turns. I know that it frustrates the hell out of me when I'm the victim.

KellyStick
08-20-2008, 07:52 PM
I feel like I could be famous.? IT really means nothing but if you count the number of reads and responses to a post that I started, this one looks like a record for this Chalkboard.

I'm not sure how to really check that way back (without spending all day which I am not interested in) but it still feels cool there were so many. Ok so this reply doesn't say anything about pool and if I read it I would think that "Someone" was just trying to pump themselves up. Ok, prolly some truth there. Or maybe trying to reinvent it for even more posts.

But has this been the most read and replied to post in this Cue Chalk Board history? I'll probably get some grief on this but hey, we all wanna be known for something. I suspect someone will refer me to some past post that kicks this one's butt. Which is good. A regular hard butt kicking is essential to continuous improvement.

New2Pool
08-21-2008, 07:52 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KellyStick</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I feel like I could be famous.? IT really means nothing but if you count the number of reads and responses to a post that I started, this one looks like a record for this Chalkboard.

I'm not sure how to really check that way back (without spending all day which I am not interested in) but it still feels cool there were so many. Ok so this reply doesn't say anything about pool and if I read it I would think that "Someone" was just trying to pump themselves up. Ok, prolly some truth there. Or maybe trying to reinvent it for even more posts.

But has this been the most read and replied to post in this Cue Chalk Board history? I'll probably get some grief on this but hey, we all wanna be known for something. I suspect someone will refer me to some past post that kicks this one's butt. Which is good. A regular hard butt kicking is essential to continuous improvement. </div></div>

You are 3rd on views and 14th on replies:
Ronnie O'Sullivan's amazing 147 snooker run video
118 replies 33269 views by dr_dave

Analysis of Hal Houle's basic aiming system
409 replies (Most replies of any thread) 30193 views by mybreak

What makes an APA SL7?
replies 153, not counting this one Views 26332 08/20/08 08:52 PM by KellyStick

sack316
08-21-2008, 09:40 PM
being the top search result from google for this and simlarly related questions doesn't hurt either. You may feel free to pat yourself on the back... but make sure to include good ol' META tags in you speech as well /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Sack--- adding to the count!

jht1953
08-22-2008, 08:23 AM
I think perhaps one huge factor is pattern recognition. In chess thats what separates a high expert from a master, and a master from a grandmaster. The more experienced a player is the more patterns he will recognize (been there, done that mentality. So a seven simply recognizes the layout faster and formulates a better plan to run out...does that make any sense?

JoeW
08-22-2008, 12:11 PM
I tend to agree a 6 is a shot maker. A 7 not only sees the patterns, the 7 knows which balls to play early.

Watching people play in the leagues it would seem that people often play the shot they think they can make and then hope for the best position. This often leads to getting out of line or to a place where position is very difficult.

A 7 will play the shot that needs to be made to run a particular pattern.

I think that 7s are also much better at playing safe when needed.

wolfdancer
08-22-2008, 02:27 PM
Q, is there really a discernable difference between a 6 and a 7?
And you really believe that a 6 should not play safe against a 7?
He, or she, should give up part of their overall game because they are playing someone better?
I play against 7's and master players in tournament play here, but
I try to play the table, not the player. I doubt if my winning percentage would be better, with a more aggressive style of play, but maybe that's why I'd never be mistaken for a 7 (or 6?)
I've always thought that many games are lost at league play, by taking the marginal shots and passing up the good safety...

Cornerman
08-22-2008, 02:42 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wolfdancer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Q, is there really a discernable difference between a 6 and a 7?</div></div>
Yes.


<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

I've always thought that many games are lost at league play, by taking the marginal shots and passing up the good safety...
</div></div>Tough call. In 7 vs. 7 matches, nearly all 7's are playing those marginal shots knowing that betwen marginal shot and "good safety," the gunner wins more often in league play. I'd say in pro play, too. "Good safeties" are often misjudged by lower tiered players as "good" when they're marginal against a top player.

Personally, if someone gives me back the table that looked like it could be run out, I'm pretty ecstatic.

Fred

Deeman3
08-22-2008, 02:47 PM
I believe that among many of the good points made here is another subtle difference. It seems beyond shotmaking and positional skills is risk assessment among the best. I have not seen league play in a while but I think that the better player will often understand the risk, for instance in trading better position for a harder shot and not making as many foolish position errors. How many times does player get behind the only obstacle ball that can prevent a runout? (DeeWoman has a degree in this!) The only place on the layout where they will risk being behind an interferring ball?..and that's exactly where they land.

The better player will err to a little more difficult shot rather than risk that snooker.

Another point is that it seems to bother all but the very best players in 8 ball, in particular, if they don't have an easy opening shot and many fail to take on a slightly more difficult shot on their first attempt, even if that means taking the group that is much harder to manage for the runout.

As Wolf says, Safeties often seem the best route and some players seem to avoid the easy ones when they could increase their winning percentage by playing one. Everyone, certainly most of aint Efren. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

wolfdancer
08-22-2008, 04:30 PM
Fred, (nice to see you back here)...I don't make myself clear, most of the time. I was questioning the absoluteness of Q's reasoning....if you play somebody better then you, you have to give up your safety game.
I used to run handicapped tournaments, and saw "smart" play beat good play many a time.
And here, we are just discussing 6's and 7's.
It ain't like they are going to return your safety with a 3 rail kick safety of their own....not too many Nick Varners at the league level.
I "can't play" but I'll play a safe against the local Master players if i think that's the smart choice (for me)

JoeW
08-22-2008, 05:08 PM
I watched a 7 take a deliberate foul by nudging the 8 against the opponet's ball. The 7 won.

I watched a four with an easy safe from three inches for a lock safe shoot the length of table 70 degree cut and miss. He lost.

One 7 told me after the match that he played the table like a chess match. Defense first, do not run the table until you can run the whole table.

wolfdancer
08-22-2008, 07:43 PM
Joe, the other side of the coin is to not leave yourself open for an obvious safety...hard to do sometimes, if you give up the table on a miss. And then there is the weak safety, that allows a better return safety, and then the strategy gets even more complicated.....probably why I prefer lawn bowling to pool.
I tried to play pool at the Senior center, next to the pool room that I play tournaments in.....but they are all "locksmiths" at the center...and play without bca rules, I'm not sure anybody actually tries to pocket a ball.... now I don't really mind a 30 minute game of 8 ball, once or twice a season....but not
several times a night...

JoeW
08-23-2008, 06:58 AM
I would bet that at the senior center the players are aware of the idea that there vision has reduced the percentage of time they can make a ball, hence the increased number of safes.

old age and treachery can get boring, effective - but boring.

14.1 is a great game. I grew up on it but you only uses half the table most of the time and it can get boring unless one enjoys the ability to get excellent position shot after shot.

8-Ball is forgiving with alternate positions though one must negotiate the table

9-Ball and 10 ball are exciting with the need for length of table shots and long routes to position.

Different games for different moods and skill sets.

wolfdancer
08-23-2008, 01:17 PM
Joe, it's not just vision problems....they play what I call NY bar rules....kind of designed to slow down the better player. The rules are insane since there are no fouls, with the exception of loss of game for failure to at least hit the 8 ball. I send them my $10 for the year, but haven't been back for at least two years.
I agree with the rest of your post, and always regretted I didn't spend any time learning straight pool. I used to play some one pocket, but not since I have moved up here. The game I would really have liked to master was snooker...now I can't see the other end of the table. bsmutz here, plays a pretty fair game of snooker

Cornerman
08-23-2008, 01:47 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

One 7 told me after the match that he played the table like a chess match. Defense first, do not run the table until you can run the whole table. </div></div>He's in the minority for 7's if he truly goes into battle at 8-ball with a "defense first" mindset.

We all grew up in the game learning defense, so we're going to have better defense and control than less skilled players. But, it's our better ability to runout from anywhere that makes us 7's. Can another 7 beat me at one game at any given time by using defense? Sure, absolutey. But, if he can't outgun me, I'm going to beat him 9 out of 10 sets. I think every good 8-ball player knows that. Take it to the extreme. Me vs. Shane Van Boening. It doesn't matter what kind of defensive skills I have when he can hit me with a 5-pack at any given time in league 8-ball.

I'm not belittling the saftey game, but the question is "What makes an APA 7." And and at it's basic, a 7 does everything a bit better. That includes defense. But, 8-ball is a runout game at the upper levels. So, a 7 has to be able to runout better. That's why they're 7's.

Between to non-runout players, the better defensive player is going to win more. But, that's not SL-7 player levels. At the SL-7 level, it's a different ball game.


Fred

wolfdancer
08-23-2008, 03:15 PM
Fred, I respect your opinion,ideas, etc, about pool (maybe even about plastics)...I think the disagreement here is just semantics.
I'm not a 7, but can run a table or two. Played way over my head in last season's playoffs, and had I not frozen up to the 8 ball...would have had 5 TRs in a row...lost that game though and we lost the match...a 7 would not have ended up in that awkward a position. Also recently had one of the best players down 2-0 in a race to 3...alt breaks; I never got another shot after coming up dry on my break.
I'm only stating that between a "flyer" and a good safety...I'll play safe, or try to....my safes ain't up to level 7 standards either.
I think there are no "rules of play" when you are playing someone better then you....some days that long 80 degree cut shot looks like a gimme, and other days I swear the side pocket openings are smaller then the ball's diameter.
But as a rule of thumb...I'll concede to your reasoning..."go for it"

Cornerman
08-23-2008, 04:09 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wolfdancer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Fred, I respect your opinion,ideas, etc, about pool (maybe even about plastics)...I think the disagreement here is just semantics.
I'm not a 7, but can run a table or two. Played way over my head in last season's playoffs, and had I not frozen up to the 8 ball...would have had 5 TRs in a row...lost that game though and we lost the match...a 7 would not have ended up in that awkward a position. Also recently had one of the best players down 2-0 in a race to 3...alt breaks; I never got another shot after coming up dry on my break.
I'm only stating that between a "flyer" and a good safety...I'll play safe, or try to....my safes ain't up to level 7 standards either.
I think there are no "rules of play" when you are playing someone better then you....some days that long 80 degree cut shot looks like a gimme, and other days I swear the side pocket openings are smaller then the ball's diameter.
But as a rule of thumb...I'll concede to your reasoning..."go for it" </div></div>Hi Jack. Most of my answering is based on the question of "what makes an APA SL-7" which is why I said that it's a tough call as to what you would do against an SL-7. But for the rest of the questions, an SL-7 is going to be aggressively running out. I've met a few SL-7's that are Defense First minded (and I mean good SL-7's, not small town heroes), but for every one, I've met a hundred SL-7's that are going for the runout if there's a sniff of it. And at the tournament's end, very rarely is it the Defensive First guy standing with the trophy and cash.

Now that doesn't mean I don't play safeties, because I do. But, not the amount people might think (those who consider 8-ball a strategic defensive game). I see no more safeties in 8-ball than in 9-ball, at top tournaments.

And I do want to bring up another point about "great safety." Because most SL-7's are more proficent at seeing kicks and getting out of traps, the definition of "great safety" changes if you're playing a SL-4 vs. playing an SL-7. So, that also needs to be taken into consideration.

Fred

sack316
08-23-2008, 05:21 PM
as far as the defense vs. aggressive offense debate here, I just use a pretty simple math to it. If a strong safety is as difficult to pull off as the tough offensive shot, I say go offensive.

Sack

JoeW
08-23-2008, 06:33 PM
I am not a 7 so I was only stating what another 7 said. The fellow I am thinking about was a good not a great 7 -- if there is such a thing.

However, one of the things I have seen a few 7s do is to get a lock safe on a lesser player early in the game to get ball in hand and then run out. I have had it done to me more than once. It seems to be a very effective technique.

With ball in hand they break up a bad cluster and then deal with others as needed.

From what I have seen of the pros I have to agree that 8-ball is a runout game for these people and that would include some of the local 7s too.

Kerbouchard
08-23-2008, 11:40 PM
I am considered a very strong 6 or a middle of the road seven, and have yet to be placed on any APA team. Every captain I have talked to has told me they need me to stay at a 5 or less to be able to stay underneath the point cap, and I've declined every time.

I generally play the best guys from all the teams on league nights for fun on an off table, and I would say I win about 90% of the time.

Has this been a problem or consideration for any of you guys?

I'm in DFW if that matters.

Bambu
08-24-2008, 05:37 AM
If youre winning at a 90% clip, you wont be a 5 for much longer.

Bambu
08-24-2008, 05:41 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am not a 7 so I was only stating what another 7 said. The fellow I am thinking about was a good not a great 7 -- if there is such a thing.

However, one of the things I have seen a few 7s do is to get a lock safe on a lesser player early in the game to get ball in hand and then run out. I have had it done to me more than once. It seems to be a very effective technique.

With ball in hand they break up a bad cluster and then deal with others as needed.

From what I have seen of the pros I have to agree that 8-ball is a runout game for these people and that would include some of the local 7s too.</div></div>

If I dont have an open rack I try to get perfect position early, to break the clusters. If that fails, or if the balls dont lay well after the cluster break I do as Joe said, play a cheap safety....then deal with the clusters with BIH.

Not to say that is the best method. The better 7's I see are more patient, they dont attack so early. They get better break outs with perfect speed, or by clipping only a portion of a cluster in just the right way. They see break out patterns that can be used later in the rack. By doing that late as opposed to early, there are less obstacles to deal with. The best 7's also give themselves options when running out, they dont just play ball to ball like I tend to(too much 9-ball).

Cornerman
08-24-2008, 06:46 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Kerbouchard</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am considered a very strong 6 or a middle of the road seven, and have yet to be placed on any APA team. </div></div> Then who is saying you are that rating?


<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Every captain I have talked to has told me they need me to stay at a 5 or less to be able to stay underneath the point cap, and I've declined every time.</div></div> The 23 point team rule unfortunately makes it difficult to play if you're a SL-7.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I generally play the best guys from all the teams on league nights for fun on an off table, and I would say I win about 90% of the time.
</div></div>We all need reality checks. I'm not saying you don't deserve to be a strong 6 or whatever, but until you're actually in the trenches, then they're just words.

I think any middle of the road player in leagues be can beat be over half the time when playing social pool. But social pool is different than league, tournament or, yes, gambling. Tell me, when you win your 90%, are you breaking and running racks? Are you running full racks? Does anyone ever play a safety against you?

Fred

wolfdancer
08-25-2008, 09:13 AM
winning 9 of 10 against the "best players"...6's and 7's???
I don't think you can disguise your game enough to play as a 5...you'll accidentally run tables, even while trying to dump.

bignick31985
08-25-2008, 03:01 PM
A few people at the bar told me to 'dumb it down' and leave hangers and not run out, so I could stay low. But its just not possible to throw out a good game or run out when its there.

What moved me up was winning 14 out of 15 Monday night matches, and doing it in a really low total amount of innings.

Course on Thursday 8-ball I only had a 60ish % win rate. So it must have been Monday that did it.

I mean I joined the APA (according to my join date, I thought it had been longer, lol) in May of 2007, and it only took a bit over a year to get to the 7 spot. So it can be done if you want it to be done.

And yes, its tough to get the 23 point cap done. We have me (7), a 5, 6, 2, and 3. So if the 5 moves up, I'm sitting down, lol. Or the 2 or the 3, lol. Only 5 players. Luckily he has been moved back down to a 4 (due to about 7 weeks of straight losses). But it could suck.

wolfdancer
08-25-2008, 08:16 PM
It's just tough to be "at 6's and 7's", especially when you are playing pool. (you might have to be a little older to understand that poor pun)
He's a 7, but they want him to play like a 5...and I had a similar problem when I played league...I was a 4, but they wanted me to play like a 7

KellyStick
08-26-2008, 06:00 AM
From the previous post...

The sandbaggers want the 7s to play like 5s and the 4s to play like 7s. I like that analogy. This whole sandbagging bit makes just that much sense. I wonder who's brilliant mind came up with that strategy and expectation?

New2Pool
08-26-2008, 09:53 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bignick31985</div><div class="ubbcode-body">...

And yes, its tough to get the 23 point cap done. We have me (7), a 5, 6, 2, and 3. So if the 5 moves up, I'm sitting down, lol. Or the 2 or the 3, lol. Only 5 players. Luckily he has been moved back down to a 4 (due to about 7 weeks of straight losses). But it could suck. </div></div>

If a player moves up on your team during the season what happens? Do you have to take on another player and sit someone each week?

It just seems like the 23 rule should only apply to the APA rating at the beginning of league while your current rating should determine how many games you have to win to take the match each week.

Thanks

MAC
08-26-2008, 10:02 AM
Going through a similar situation my team is layed out like this 6 , 6 , 5 , 5 , 5 , 3 , 2

Bambu
08-26-2008, 10:32 AM
Yeah, thats too strong. If its a new team, the captain needs to project what his team rankings will eventually be. He will find out real fast that reliable 3's and 4's are just as valuable as good 6's and 7's. For apa its nice to start with 2 experienced players, 2 casual, and let the rest fill in around them.

BigRigTom
08-26-2008, 10:34 AM
New2Pool, In the APA the players rank is re-calculated after each match....even in the play offs. Actually it is especially in the playoffs.

There are people out there who will try to circumvent the system, no matter what the system.
There are people who complain about the rules, no matter what the rules are.
There are others who accept the situation and excell any way.
As long as everyone plays by and are held to the same standard it is a fair way to do it.....the problems creep in when someone figures a way around the rules and gets away with it for a while.

Cheaters will always be a problem anywhere they pop up and they seem to be everywhere at one time or other.

The APA system is not perfect but it is pretty good and keeps getting better. It does favor the lesser skill levels but then that is by design and is intentional and they are proud of it so it does not appear that it will change.

Once a player achieves a level of 6 or above he may as well start looking at the BCA because the APA will continue to recruite new low level players and the 23 rule is how they make the teams do that for them.

wolfdancer
08-26-2008, 12:08 PM
I missed that in the other post....thought I had come up with an original line....
It's just the nature of the beast...we all want to win...

InTheZone
08-26-2008, 01:45 PM
Nice thread.

I've been in the APA now one year. I made SL 5 in 3 months, SL 6 at 7 months, and actually made SL 7 just 3 weeks ago.
I have been shooting since I was 10 but my game really took off once I joined the APA, that much I can say for a fact. Having made a SL 7 in such a short period of time, I can also say I was not mentally prepared for what this meant to me. The reality of it not as favorable as what I was expecting now that I spend most of my time sitting and wondering whether I will be playing in any given evening. In hindsight, I can say the 23 rule has put me out of the competitive play mode and more feeling like I want to find some other venue to play in such as the Masters, TAP, or BCA where I don't have to worry about spending all my money on beer.

I get what Tom says above, but the fact the the APA is more designed to solicit lower SL players should have anyone that wants to improve their game concerned. I'm surprised that more people are not complaining and that the APA should be looking to amend the 23 rule to something like the 25 rule of TAP which to mean makes it more reasonable for all skill levels in a given team to play in that given evening.

I thought I would share my frustrations here to see if others have similar thoughts. My issue is that in my area, TAP is just now at the formulation stages and from what I can see, there are not BCA leagues. My only real solution is to look for a Masters leagues and forget the whole SL thing in it's entirety.

New2Pool
08-26-2008, 02:06 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">New2Pool, In the APA the players rank is re-calculated after each match....even in the play offs. Actually it is especially in the playoffs.

There are people out there who will try to circumvent the system, no matter what the system.
There are people who complain about the rules, no matter what the rules are.
There are others who accept the situation and excell any way.
As long as everyone plays by and are held to the same standard it is a fair way to do it.....the problems creep in when someone figures a way around the rules and gets away with it for a while.

Cheaters will always be a problem anywhere they pop up and they seem to be everywhere at one time or other.

The APA system is not perfect but it is pretty good and keeps getting better. It does favor the lesser skill levels but then that is by design and is intentional and they are proud of it so it does not appear that it will change.

Once a player achieves a level of 6 or above he may as well start looking at the BCA because the APA will continue to recruite new low level players and the 23 rule is how they make the teams do that for them. </div></div>

Thanks for the clarification Tom. One thing I am still not sure of is how come the 23 rule does not only apply to the start of the season. That would still break up experienced teams but it would let players progress without worrying about the artificial problems caused by the 23 rule.

If it was allowed would it be advantageous to have a team with more than 23 points? If it is then I understand the rule. But if 5 2's would have an even chance against 5 7's because of the handicap system then why does it matter if your team has 10 or 35 points?

MAC
08-26-2008, 03:36 PM
HaHa I am the captain is the bad thing, its a guys night out gone wrong!! My team consists of all friends that get together once a week to shoot some pool and drink some beer. A couple of us just got progressively better than we thought we were. Everyone is pretty much settled in now one of my 4s bounces back and forth from 3 to 4. I dont really understand the system I was a four pretty much all season until after the Vegas qualifier then I went to a three and this session Ive been a 6 for the past 3 weeks. I just dont get it, the only good thing is everyone makes it to the match every week and two of my guys I know will not make it over a 3 thats the only good thing.

BigRigTom
08-26-2008, 05:27 PM
If the 23 rule only applied to the beginning of the season you would have a lot of 3's & 4's at the beginning of every season that would -amazingly- start playing like 5's and 7's near the end of the season....every season.

No matter what the rules are, some one will try to get over.
The APA has a good thing going and it is bringing in a LOT of new blood every season and that was the design. Why should they mess with it? Unfortunately those of us who have made it to or above the skill level 6 have to sit a lot or find another format. Again the APA wants it that way, so don't expect them to be changing it....they want more and more new faces and also the majority of league players will always be a 5 or less. That is just the nature of the sport.

At least that is my take on it all.

Bambu
08-26-2008, 08:28 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: MAC</div><div class="ubbcode-body">HaHa I am the captain is the bad thing, its a guys night out gone wrong!! My team consists of all friends that get together once a week to shoot some pool and drink some beer. A couple of us just got progressively better than we thought we were. Everyone is pretty much settled in now one of my 4s bounces back and forth from 3 to 4. I dont really understand the system I was a four pretty much all season until after the Vegas qualifier then I went to a three and this session Ive been a 6 for the past 3 weeks. I just dont get it, the only good thing is everyone makes it to the match every week and two of my guys I know will not make it over a 3 thats the only good thing.</div></div>

I hear you, the system is a bit funky. Sometimes it takes awhile to level out the numbers properly. But that combination of players doesnt seem so bad. I didnt see that last 2 on your original list. I thought you had one 3 and a bunch of 5's and 6's. 6,6,5,3,3 should be a pretty strong field. Good luck, Mac.

New2Pool
08-26-2008, 09:46 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If the 23 rule only applied to the beginning of the season you would have a lot of 3's & 4's at the beginning of every season that would -amazingly- start playing like 5's and 7's near the end of the season....every season.

No matter what the rules are, some one will try to get over.
The APA has a good thing going and it is bringing in a LOT of new blood every season and that was the design. Why should they mess with it? Unfortunately those of us who have made it to or above the skill level 6 have to sit a lot or find another format. Again the APA wants it that way, so don't expect them to be changing it....they want more and more new faces and also the majority of league players will always be a 5 or less. That is just the nature of the sport.

At least that is my take on it all. </div></div>

But if the 3s and 4s became 5s and 7s then they have to win more games to win the match. But they would still be able to finish the season with the team they started on. The APA would still be able to break up teams and bring more people in because those teams that started as a 23 and finished as a 30 would have to get split up to get back down to a 23 total at the beginning of the season.

I guess I am thinking about tennis leagues I have played in. If I play on a team in a 4.5 league and we get better during the session we still finish in the 4.5 league. But the next year we have to move up to a higher league. It would be sheer chaos to have to bust up our team in the middle of the season. I understand in pool that you want a more accurate handicap so it is updated weekly. It just seems like there should be a ranking for the season that is your 23 rule ranking and another ranking that determines your handicap. Then at the end of each season your "23 rule" handicap would be adjusted based on the past season.

We just got all the people together for our team and we are not going to be close to the 23 rule. We have a 6, a 5, and 2 that have played league before. The rest of us have never played league but I am guessing we are 3s or 4s. If I am a 2 I think I am going to lie when I post on here and say I am a 3 anyway. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/blush.gif

sack316
08-26-2008, 10:44 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: InTheZone</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I'm surprised that more people are not complaining and that the APA should be looking to amend the 23 rule to something like the 25 rule of TAP which to mean makes it more reasonable for all skill levels in a given team to play in that given evening.

I thought I would share my frustrations here to see if others have similar thoughts.
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As a higher ranked player, I understand your frustration. But I also think that a 25 rule would make it easy for the same team to win over and over. Three of the top players would band together and start a team and fill in around them. All they must do is make playoffs, and if they can manage to keep two 2's around (to assure they could satisfy the SL limit rule) the thre 7's would simply play in each postseason match and win most of the time. You'd wind up with a few power house teams on each night, rather than having "big guns" spread out amongs teams. That would deter new players and lower SL's from wanting to compete... which afterall is the idea of the APA.

It's a business afterall, and the questions about splitting teams up flow right into this conversation. Indeed, it is unfortunate that over time as players get better and move up, that teams must split. But that's also how it grows. I can't tell you how many times I've had to divide one of my teams in two, picked up a few journeymen looking for new teams... and as well signed up a couple of new players to fill the gaps. Over the course of the years I've seen divisions on certain nights grow from six teams to being so big that there are two divisions. Currently one of my original teams of 8, now comprises 5 different teams due to things such as that. More growth, more members, more teams equals 1)more money and 2)more competition.

As someone else said, basically it works. and thus far has worked very well even with all the problems.

Sack

InTheZone
08-27-2008, 06:40 AM
Sack, thanks for your elaboration on this subject. Yes, I do understand it is a business and the APA is trying to grow. That for pool in general is a good thing. But I contend that all the growth money is not necessarily only at the lower skill levels. There seems to be enough discussion on this that would establish a need that would result in growth in other areas if the APA was intent to focus in on this subset group of people.

The fact that we all play together in various skill levels as a team does facilitate growth for the lessor ranked players, but at the same time it would be nice if there were more options for the higher skill level player within the APA itself. Don't you think it would better serve the APA's interest in general to keep everyone around?

BigRigTom
08-27-2008, 12:13 PM
That is where the APA Masters fits in.

Unfortunately for us here in my area of Southern California (specifically in East Ventura County) there was not enough of the higher level players who wanted to play in the Masters to keep it alive.
Maybe it will be back someday but I think most of the players who would normally play in the Masters wound up moving on to the BCA leagues where the competiton is perceived to be.

Cornerman
08-27-2008, 12:32 PM
For those that don't realize, the 23 rule was added some years after the APA started. So, it's not like they always had it and it's time to change it. The cap limit was higher prior to the 23 rule. And I believe it was higher than 25. 27 or 28 seems right, IIRC. So, the 23 rule was a drop down from what the APA perceived as something that needed changing.

I don't recall that the same teams made it over and over when they had the higher cap. But, there were less teams in our area, and there were far less 2's and 3's.

What I don't understand is that with the addition of 9-ball, and two higher handicaps, why they don't have a higher cap for 9-ball? At least one point higher, I would think.

Fred

JoeW
08-27-2008, 12:38 PM
How does the APA Masters differ from regular APA? I sure would like to see one around here where we have many good 5,6,7 players.

InTheZone
08-27-2008, 12:52 PM
Tom, you're correct. The Masters is the way to go but in my area it is only offered at a few locations and the times don't work out for my schedule. There are also no BCA leagues in my area so it's APA standard league play or nothing.

Joe, the Masters leagues play 3-4 man teams, no handicapping, combination of 8 ball (8 games)and 9 ball (5 games), winner of lag choses which format to begin with (first format has to be completed before going on to the second), and the race is to 7. Player earns one point per game won, maximum of 21 points for a team. The other difference compared to normal APA is that in 9 ball, you actually win by sinking the 9 ball!!! Imagine that.

Bumlak
11-20-2009, 09:47 AM
Old topic, but a good one. I started my league play in 1993 or 1994 under the old Busch Leagues, then through Bud Light, Camel and now APA. I have been a SL7 since the fall session of 1997. I am a SL9 in the 9-Ball division though I only played two sessions in the 9-Ball leagues. I seem to remember very early in the leagues inception the handicap limit for a match was 21 or am I mistaken? I think this may have even been up through the Camel Leagues (maybe 1997?)

On the main topic at hand, here is what I see as the characteristics of an SL7 (most of this has been defined quite well in the 20+ pages on this post):

Aggressive Play - I ALWAYS look to see if the table is runnble with few problems. If I have clusters, I look to see what balls I can use to break them up and continue my run. Playing lower skill levels forces this type of play as I see it. Safety battles can turn out very badly if the lower handicap is well coached and a single mistake can cost you a game and inevitably the match.

Speed and Position - IMHO, the difference between an SL6 and an SL7 (or even a "low" SL7) has much more to do with speed and cue ball control than anything else. Being able to avoid trouble and minimize your mistakes is the name of the game after all. Even if I am shooting the 8-Ball, I always take a quick look at the table and try to position the cue ball where it would leave a difficult shot for my opponent should I miss.

Pattern Play - Most strong 7's that I know play simple patterns that allow them to move the cue ball naturally around the table. Most 6's that I know will make some errors at some point in a rack that will cause them to have to force an angle or rely on some very heady shot making ability. I am not saying I don't get out of line or occasionally have to come with some Efren Reyes'esque shot...I just don't do it habitually. I choose which pocket makes the most sense to pocket the 8-Ball in and then work my pattern backwards from there..i.e. "What ball makes the most sense to leave for last to get position on the 8 to pocket it in X?" In speaking to allot of "A" level players, they seem to share the same mentality.

Safety Play - This is probably my biggest weakness although I can do it passably. The strongest 7's that I have played or watched play have professional level safety games. They see the table very well and know when the safety is the better option. It's a matter of percentages.

Mental Toughness - In my opinion, one of the toughest things about being an SL7 (feel free to disagree,) is in having to stay mentally focused through a match with a lower skilled player. Generally speaking, you can easily fall into the "It's ok...I'll get another shot in two balls" trap. Once you are behind in a race, you REALLY have to bear down and focus. EXAMPLE: I played an "SL4" a few weeks ago in our local Wednesday night league. I broke and ran to the 8 ball, getting horrible position and was forced to play a safety (there isn't much of one when your opponent has 7 balls on the table.) This "SL4" proceeds to run out at his first turn. I was PISSED. I had to get over my ego and bear down to get back in the match which I eventually lost double hill. My only solace is that he went up to a 5 the next week (his average of the two games he had to win against me was 1.5 innings per game.)

I would agree that it was harder to go up in skill levels early on in the APAs lifecycle. I could count the number of SL7s in our local divisions on two hands in the late 90s. Now, there seem to be dozens of these high handicap players. Someone mentioned earlier that perhaps the reason is that it is in the best interest of the APA to advance players to keep the interest high. I have even heard the theory that by making handicaps easier to achieve, teams are forced to split up, pull in new players to fill their rosters and thereby increase the number of teams.

Eric

KellyStick
11-24-2009, 08:53 AM
Since this posting I have swapped to 9 ball. Mostly to get more sleep for work the next day. I started as a 6, did well and went to 7. Then I got in a streak of a combination of good play, some luck on my part and some bad luck on my opponents parts sort of all strung together for most of the session. I also got a 20-0 game from a guy that was acting like a child. Kept throwing his stick on the floor and couldn't make a ball cuz he was so flustered. and an 18-2 game from a true 3 that was fairly easy to dominate. So then I jumped to an 8. As an 8 it was very difficult to compete without all the string of good things coming my way. My 9 ball game hasn't solidified yet. I got some real strategy gaps to work on. Never really played it before.

So long story short I think luck can play into your SL for at least a short period of time.

My main lack right now is 9 ball safety play. After playing 8 ball for years I got very accustomed to the 8ball safeties. It seems they are easier to me. I haven't quite picked up the 9 ball safety play. Gotta control two balls in relation to each other not just one so to speak. Also, there is a certain amount of 9 ball agression that one can get away with it seems. It looks like slop and may be to a point but I also think there are some agressive shots that can increase the percentages of making a ball even on a miss. And last I struggle with the offensive / defensive shot speed where if I miss my shot I don't roll to much or too little and leave my opponent well. Anyway I'm off topic here I think.

It was interesting to revisit this post after this long.

Coroner
11-30-2009, 01:07 PM
In my area - Nashville - a new 8-ball APA league called "Super 30" just started. Similar rules as normal APA 8-ball, but we have a 30 point rule instead of the normal 23 point rule. We play once a month, but play 2 matches at once on side by side tables. The only change in the rules is we can jump using jump cues (don't know why) and you can only play two SL7's in any one match. We haven't been able to get a Masters league going, but the Super 30 is pretty popular. I think it might be because the 5's and 6's don't want to play 7's straight up, but like the idea of not having to play against 2's and 3's. My team has two 7's, one 6, and two 5's and it seems to work out pretty well.

BTW, I don't know the rules on what makes a SL7, but I think it has to do with how often you run out from the break. I moved up to SL7 after a night with 2 B&Rs. I had one B&R every week or two up to then, but once I had 2 in one night that moved me up and I've been a 7 ever since even though I haven't done it again.

Dennis-SL7
03-02-2010, 10:11 PM
In 8 ball, I am an SL7. I read most of the post concerning what makes a 7, and while my winning percentage in 8 ball is 63%, my aveage inning per game count is 2. So my answer to your question is that inning count is the most important thing that makes a 7. One of things I have noticed is that when I play lower skilled players my inning count is almost always higher than when I play SL5's and above. I rarely play A SL4 or lower.

wolfdancer
03-02-2010, 10:31 PM
Dennis, this was a very old topic...but you did mention something that rang a bell. There is another (unnamed) rating system out there, that I believe borrowed heavily from the APA system. Every match requires a scorekeeper, the losing player from the last match keeps score....so I had plenty of opportunity to keep score...lol
I also eventually ran those tournaments and noticed as many other TDs did that when a good player played an equal, the inning count was lo....match him with a weak player and the inning count goes way up.
We kind of decided that the good player,will usually leave good position on a miss, while maybe breaking up a cluster during the shot. the weaker player on a miss might completely rearrange the table and add a few clusters, while sending the CB...riding off into the sunset. It's that "lucky hook" syndrome....

PlayersChoiceSTL
03-03-2010, 02:21 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Coroner</div><div class="ubbcode-body">In my area - Nashville - a new 8-ball APA league called "Super 30" just started. Similar rules as normal APA 8-ball, but we have a 30 point rule instead of the normal 23 point rule. </div></div>

I'm curious about this format. I've never heard about it in the area where I play APA. Is it run through APA? Sounds interesting!

Sweet William
03-06-2010, 03:48 PM
Basiclly a 7 averages 2 innings or less per game. A 6 averages 2.01 to 3 innings per game. The averages are picked from your 10 best matches out of 20. Also your winning % of your last 20 matches are figured in. It doesn't matter what skill level's you play. If you beat a 7 4-0 in 7 innings Or a 2 6-0 in 11 innings it's the same score.

TCIndepMo
03-07-2010, 12:13 AM
Sweet William is close but leaves out many other factors. The LOs opinion of the shooter can also be a factor, as it should be.

Many SL 6's (or any other SL, for that matter)can win quicker than they do - if they wanted to. But that might create problems fitting into the 23 rule each week so they will pad some innings once they get ahead a few games. Eventually such a pattern becomes very obvious and the LO can reach in and make things right.

In some areas the only defense for the honest players is the willingness of the LO to step in and make sure the better players are rated correctly. Sometimes that happens during the weekly data input and review when the LO is at the computer keyboard.

For the honest player the point is to WIN THE MATCH, not to win the match AND KEEP THE SL DOWN.

Teams know the eventual SL of their new add ons before the LO does. You guys (you know who you are) DO NOT sign up total strangers without some idea of what you are getting so stop acting shocked and surprised when the SL goes up.

Many SL complaints are really about not being able to "get away with it" any more. Little sympathy from the LO in my area.

LWW
03-07-2010, 09:25 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TCIndepMo</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Many SL complaints are really about not being able to "get away with it" any more. </div></div>

How true.

LWW

gabeski
03-07-2010, 10:43 AM
The whole deal with the APA and their ratings is the reason that I will probably never play in APA again. I am not a top level player, (I think I was an sl5 in 8 ball) but I was facing sl3 and 4s that were smoking me at the table, and then all of a sudden they would loose to another sl4 like they never played the game before. For what reason? To go to the nationals. WOW.

KellyStick
03-09-2010, 07:50 PM
Dennis, I find what rank I play these days a big deal. Too Low and it can be a long game sometimes, as they may not move their balls. Depending on the lie this can be an issue. Sometimes they play so bad, so to speak, that is get's hard to finish a game quickly. Each shot might be a new table. Add luck on their side and OMG. Too high a rank and the game might take an hour or more! I used to play slow as I moved up the ranks. After 10+ years you mostly have seen most things and you can move quickly, decide what needs doing and make it happen or miss. Don't rush though. Some folks are slow forever. I hate these games. A 6 playing another 6 that is slow and methodical (Mostly slow!). OMG this can be a long azz game. 90+ minutes been there done that!

Chuck
03-13-2010, 09:09 PM
omg yeah, i'd love info on this super 30 as well....send me some info please

jjinfla
03-16-2010, 07:07 AM
So why do you want to become an SL7? You do understand that by moving up you might be asked to leave the team and start your own team. Best thing you can do is forget about the ranking and just play your best every time you get to the table. When the table calls for you to play safe, do it, and make sure the score keepers know you played safe. Play to win everytime, in as few innings as possible. Play against 6's and 7's. You have to consistently beat the 6's and do well against the 7's if you expect to become a 7. Also, have a talk with the league operator and let him/her know your goal is to become an SL7 and seek his/her advise as to why you aren't there yet and what you have to accomplish to get there.

Actually, when you can answer your own question then you will be ready to become an SL7.

Jake

Coroner
03-16-2010, 12:07 PM
The Super 30 League I am in is played in the Nashville area at JOB's. If you look up 'Middle Tennesee APA' you can probably find a contact name. My LO said it is a standard APA format, he didn't make it up, but I don't know where else it might be played. Basically APA 8-ball, but you get 30 points instead of 23 to field your team. Most teams are made up of a combination of 5's, 6's, and 7's. My team has two 7's that play most matches and we fill in with the others to make 30 points.