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Bambu
05-22-2008, 07:55 PM
I dont have that much experience in the apa, about 3 seasons. But, I am trying to field the best team I can. So the question is, for anybody: What would the best apa lineup be, assuming all your players are strong for their numbers? Historically, what types of lineups have made the finals, or has it varied?
On my team we dont get much flexibility, since we have two 7's and a bunch of 3's. But is that supposed to be a good lineup, or is an apa team typically better off with a more balanced squad? I ask because my other 7 just had a hissy fit, and quit. So do I replace him with another willing 7 I happen to have, or fill his shoes with 2 other 5's, or what?

Tony_in_MD
05-22-2008, 09:30 PM
A 7 or a strong 6 is good to have for timeouts and such, the lower skill level players can learn a lot from them.

Problem is depending on the rest of your numbers they may not get to play much.

Really strong APA teams have good threes and fours.

Don't know if there are any patterns of lineups for making finals, the key is to have some strong (underrated) players.

So much success in the APA depends on which teams hide their talent the best.

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif

eb_in_nc
05-23-2008, 06:45 AM
I agree with Tony, stronger lower skill level players make a better balance for a team in the long run as it give you more flexibility for the put-ups without busting the 23 rule.

I'm a 6 and on a team this session with a 7 and another 6, our lower ranked players are all new. So consequently we are getting killed mostly because of the mix and lack of shooting experience for the lower SL players.

Eric.
05-23-2008, 08:51 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Tony_in_MD</div><div class="ubbcode-body">A 7 or a strong 6 is good to have for timeouts and such, the lower skill level players can learn a lot from them.

Problem is depending on the rest of your numbers they may not get to play much.

Really strong APA teams have good threes and fours.

Don't know if there are any patterns of lineups for making finals, the key is to have some strong (underrated) players.

So much success in the APA depends on which teams hide their talent the best.

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif </div></div>

Just to add, the strongest teams, IMO, are the ones that do have balance. You need to be able to field a lineup or 4-5 players that can win with their handicaps. Like others have mentioned, the best players are the ones that are at the top of their handicaps i.e. a 4 that could be a low 5.

You cant be too top heavy, as 1 player cant win it for you.

To me, a great lineup is:

A 7 that is nearly unbeatable- plays A speed or better
A 5 that is very solid
two 4's that are very solid for their level
two 3's that can be low 4's

The lineup I would play is 7,5,4,4,3.


Eric &gt;learn to manage your handicaps too

bmccaslin
05-23-2008, 09:08 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Eric.</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

To me, a great lineup is:

A 7 that is nearly unbeatable- plays A speed or better
A 5 that is very solid
two 4's that are very solid for their level
two 3's that can be low 4's

The lineup I would play is 7,5,4,4,3.


Eric &gt;learn to manage your handicaps too

</div></div>


Agreed; it would also be good to maybe have another 5 or 6 to compliment that lineup, as well as a 2. I've found that the best lineup is one that matches your team up evenly, handicap-wise, with any other team that you play.

A team that I play on has had the problem lately of having no depth in the middle (two 6's, two 5's and two 2's). When we play teams with good 3's and 4's we get killed because our 2's aren't good enough to beat 3's and our 5's struggle against good 4's.

Depth and strength in the middle are what get teams to the nationals.

BigRigTom
05-23-2008, 10:32 AM
The team needs balance and options that fit within the 23 rule. I have found the toughest teams to be those who have a tough 7 and an experienced 2 with a couple of 3's or 4's and a decent 5 or 6 all available. This mix will give you a wide range of choices to post players in the right match for them and not sell the farm early.

One thing you want to keep in mind in APA 8 ball is that when in play offs or regionals or even in Vegas the team must win ONLY 3 matches of 5. You want to be able to win those 3 even when you only post 1st one of the first three matches. If you lose the toss the other team will dictate how the 1st three matches are set up and if they win 2 of them you are behind the 8 ball already.

Posting the right player at the right time is way more important than who is the best player on your team.

Here is where a lot of teams mess up...they put up their stongest players and find after 4 matches it is tied 2 to 2 and now the only player left is a 3 or even a 2 who can not stand the pressure...regardless of the matchup from the other team.

There are all kinds of stategies on how to get the right match-ups but every team will be a little different. You want to start strong and finish strong. Take your lumps in the middle where your lesser skilled players are more comfortable and the team has wiggle room to survive a big loss but reap the reward of a big win. Save an ACE for that final pressure match, you'll be glad you did.

4's are the most dangerous but can be the biggest liability, especially when they think they know it all and won't accept coaching.

3's are my preferred SL because they are usually able to follow instructions when ask to, they are usually receptive to good coaching and they are capable of making all but the most complicated shots once shown how and what to do.

Real smart 2's are priceless. If they can shoot a straight in shot and will learn how & when to play safe they can be one of your greatest assets.

Finally you should make sure you whole team knows how to kick a ball when necessary to escape from a killer safe.

You should also emphasize to your team that to win they should NEVER scratch on the 8 and NEVER accidentally sink the 8 in the wrong pocket. I constantly remind my players that when shooting at the 8 they can afford to miss but they can not afford to scratch or sink the 8 ball in the wrong pocket. I have seen more games and matches won and lost with those two bone head things than any other way. When playing the 8 alway know where the cue ball will go after hitting the 8. If you don't know for sure where you are sending the cue ball after hitting the 8, you should rethink the shot.

Bambu
05-24-2008, 06:59 PM
Much thanks to all. It seems that I havent considered the potential of a full team. Usually we have to scrounge for the 5th person, so I tend to think of a lineup in terms of 5 players.
The thing is, the 7 I have isnt just any old seven. Cutting him would really hurt, and I cant cut myself(though maybe I should, lol). Its just nice to have somebody else to rely on, instead of just hoping my other guys win.

BigRigTom
05-25-2008, 01:05 PM
Bambu,
Your original post said you had 2 sevens and one quit.
Then you have a bunch of 3's

You really need a good 5 and or 4.

Lets say your 2 sevens can almost always win. You still need a 3rd win to take a match.

As long as one of your 3's wins an early match you are fine but...
If you play 3 of your 3's and none of them win you are through.
If you play both of your 7's and win then the pressure match goes to a 3.

Your opponent can look at your roster and see this before it happens.
You need flexibility in your roster.
If you want to keep two 7's you should balance that with two 2's and a 5 then in tough matches don't play both 7's right away and your oponent will not know what you plan is.

We carry a book that addresses these very things pretty well.
How to be the Captain of a Winning APA 8 Ball Team (http://www.bigrigtoys.com/howtobecaofw.html)

Bambu
05-25-2008, 07:45 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bambu,
Your original post said you had 2 sevens and one quit.
Then you have a bunch of 3's

You really need a good 5 and or 4.

Lets say your 2 sevens can almost always win. You still need a 3rd win to take a match.

As long as one of your 3's wins an early match you are fine but...
If you play 3 of your 3's and none of them win you are through.
If you play both of your 7's and win then the pressure match goes to a 3.

Your opponent can look at your roster and see this before it happens.
You need flexibility in your roster.
If you want to keep two 7's you should balance that with two 2's and a 5 then in tough matches don't play both 7's right away and your oponent will not know what you plan is.

We carry a book that addresses these very things pretty well.
How to be the Captain of a Winning APA 8 Ball Team (http://www.bigrigtoys.com/howtobecaofw.html) </div></div>

I do have 2 sevens, but one quit. I have another 7 ready to fill in though. Thats a great idea Tom, I like that. Having a 5 around instead of a 3 is huge. Now if I could only get a couple of decent 2's that would stay 2's! Thanks tom, all good stuff.

SKennedy
05-27-2008, 09:14 AM
Any time you can put up players so that you hit exactly on 23 gives you an advantage over a team that puts up only 21 or 22 points. And, we don't have a large league and after awhile you learn about the players on the other teams as well as your own players and know how to match up players to your advantage.
All that being said.....sometimes it just comes down to who is playing well on a given day and how the balls are dropping!

We have a very good 6, who is likely to move up to a 7 soon. We had a couple of good 5's and some good 4's. While you need at least 1 high skilled player, I think most good teams have some high level 4's. And, you always need one SL 3 or an SL 2.

For our recent LTC, we only had 5 players available...a 6, 5, two 4's and a 3. We were in the finals and won the first match vs the undefeated team. The 2nd match came down to the 5th and final player.

cycopath
05-27-2008, 09:25 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SKennedy</div><div class="ubbcode-body">...sometimes it just comes down to who is playing well on a given day and how the balls are dropping!
</div></div>

Sometimes?!
I think that's all the time. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

My sister, who currently captains the team I used to captain, was asking me about how to match up against a certain team in playoffs. After I gave her a few hypotheticals and some suggestions, I closed with, "And all that doesn't matter because whoever is getting the rolls is going to win".

Her team didn't win.

BigRigTom
05-27-2008, 10:56 AM
Our team has historically played good in the playoffs (even though we had to get to the playoffs via the wild card most of the time).

There is one thing I have noticed....if you have a player who has just dropped a level...he or she is one of you most dangerous weapons. That player will usually play with great confidence and that will usually give them the edge they need to win the match.

The opposite is also true, if you have a player who just went up a level, they will be your weak link. They very seldon win that tough match in the play offs if they have just been raised a level.

Of course a strong 7 is always your ace in the hole if you can hold him back for the final match.

Any player who is solid in his skill level is my choice for the lead off match, trying to get the upper hand right away. That sets the other team on their heals and forces them to play catch up.

Of course it is always nice for your player to get some good rolls along the way as well. You can never disregard the luck factor but smart players will out play those not so smart players most of the time regardless of who has most of the lucky rolls.

MAC
05-27-2008, 03:42 PM
This spring session was my first go in the APA. Some where along the lines my friends decided I was the captain so this has been a stressfull yet fun filled experience, and still learning the rules and all. After the first season my players rated as such I have a 6,5, two 4s,and two 3s . Now that Im still learning it seems to me I could run in to trouble if my 3s move up to a 4. Looks like I may need some recruits...

XYGAGuy
05-28-2008, 12:23 AM
I just read most of the posts on "the best lineup", and it is quite fascinating. My opinion is similar, but a bit different. Having a top notch 7 is great - I am one myself. But anyone can lose a match - what if you and I played each other? Someone has to lose, right? A lineup of 7,7,3,3,3 is great if at least TWO of your 3's play like average 4's. Then you are gonna be really tough. If I were setting up an IDEAL roster it would look like this....

7,6,5,5,4,3,3,3

With this lineup, you can go 7,6,4,3,3 or 7,5,5,3,3 or 7,5,4,3,3....etc.

Two of your three 3's should play like an average 4, and you need at least one strong 5. I am not sold on having a 2. Why? No matter how "good for a 2" that player is, if she EVER wins in tournaments, she is likely to be a 3 soon. 2's lose almost all the time at higher levels IF they stay 2's. Why sacrifice a point when strong 3's can be so much more valuable?

Here's how you post. If you win the flip, elect to POST FIRST. Put up a strong 3. A strong 3 is very hard to post against. Your opponents won't know how good your player is, and will put up their average 3, 4, or 5...and you have a great chance to be up 1-0. If you WIN the first point, you just match up evenly from there on and should get 2 of the last 4.

I've taken teams to Vegas. I've always out-posted teams by posting strong, LOW ranked players - touch to match up against, and then hitting them with the higher-ranked ones when ready. Here's the biggest thing...when you are posting from even or behind in the match score...ALWAYS post someone strong for their skill level! If you are ahead, you can put up anyone. If you are up 2-0, you either put up your 7 to finish it (that's my job), or throw your "weakest" of your 5 posts, watch the other team panic and waste their top player. Then your guy plays in a win-win situation.

Last time my team went to Vegas, we were down 0-2 in the FIRST ROUND. We had myself (7), a solid 5, and a strong 3 left. They had a 6,4,and 3 left. It was my post down 0-2. Who do I post? If I post myself, they waste the 3 and we're done. If I post my 5, their 6 might beat him and we're done. I HAD to post my strong 3. My 3 COULD beat their 6, but I KNEW they would post lower. They put up the 4. We won that, controlled last 2 posts, I waxed the 6, and my 5 beat the 3 in last match sudden death. Welcome to the game. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

XYGAGuy
05-28-2008, 12:26 AM
Two good points here. If a player "just dropped" and they will be very dangerous, or if they "just went up" they will be a wink link (possibly). What you said was something about their CONFIDENCE level - and I totally agree. Pool is a mental game. It's what you do under pressure that counts, and when people move up, they don't PLAY as well as when they were ranked one lower because they are more nervous about what they need to do at that skill level to win and the races scare them. You have to train mental toughness.

BigRigTom
05-28-2008, 04:29 PM
All well stated XYGAGuy. Good sum up of all this yakking!

You sound like someone who has seen these very situations and I agree with most of what you proposed.

The one exception is leaving the last match up to a 3.
It depends a lot on the three that you have on the team.
For instance if that 3 were someone who had been a 4 and just dropped to a 3 recently...or if I know he is a smart 3 who is simply under ranked then I too would lean on him at the end. Some people thrive on pressure and I really love having them on my side at those critical times and often the rank does not tell the whole story on a guy like that.

Some 3's are 3's because they are just too good &/or lucky to be a 2. Those are potential trouble no matter when you play them. I call them loose cannons. I would take a smart 2 over one of those lucky 3's anytime in 8 ball. In 9 ball the lucky 3 probably has the edge.

With the experience you seem to have you should hang around here more often. Maybe we can all learn from each other. I know I can use any well thought out insights and advise in these areas and I bet there are lots of lurkers eating this stuff up as well.

Maybe we'll see each other in Vegas someday.
(Of course you will know me, and that is fine with me, will I know you?)

Bambu
05-28-2008, 09:24 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: XYGAGuy</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I just read most of the posts on "the best lineup", and it is quite fascinating. My opinion is similar, but a bit different. Having a top notch 7 is great - I am one myself. But anyone can lose a match - what if you and I played each other? Someone has to lose, right? A lineup of 7,7,3,3,3 is great if at least TWO of your 3's play like average 4's. Then you are gonna be really tough. If I were setting up an IDEAL roster it would look like this....

7,6,5,5,4,3,3,3

With this lineup, you can go 7,6,4,3,3 or 7,5,5,3,3 or 7,5,4,3,3....etc.

Two of your three 3's should play like an average 4, and you need at least one strong 5. I am not sold on having a 2. Why? No matter how "good for a 2" that player is, if she EVER wins in tournaments, she is likely to be a 3 soon. 2's lose almost all the time at higher levels IF they stay 2's. Why sacrifice a point when strong 3's can be so much more valuable?

Here's how you post. If you win the flip, elect to POST FIRST. Put up a strong 3. A strong 3 is very hard to post against. Your opponents won't know how good your player is, and will put up their average 3, 4, or 5...and you have a great chance to be up 1-0. If you WIN the first point, you just match up evenly from there on and should get 2 of the last 4.

I've taken teams to Vegas. I've always out-posted teams by posting strong, LOW ranked players - touch to match up against, and then hitting them with the higher-ranked ones when ready. Here's the biggest thing...when you are posting from even or behind in the match score...ALWAYS post someone strong for their skill level! If you are ahead, you can put up anyone. If you are up 2-0, you either put up your 7 to finish it (that's my job), or throw your "weakest" of your 5 posts, watch the other team panic and waste their top player. Then your guy plays in a win-win situation.

Last time my team went to Vegas, we were down 0-2 in the FIRST ROUND. We had myself (7), a solid 5, and a strong 3 left. They had a 6,4,and 3 left. It was my post down 0-2. Who do I post? If I post myself, they waste the 3 and we're done. If I post my 5, their 6 might beat him and we're done. I HAD to post my strong 3. My 3 COULD beat their 6, but I KNEW they would post lower. They put up the 4. We won that, controlled last 2 posts, I waxed the 6, and my 5 beat the 3 in last match sudden death. Welcome to the game. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif</div></div>

All solid advice, thanks XYA.....and congrats on your victory. My take on things has been a bit different, though I'm not saying its any better. I look to rely on 2 strong players, and fill in around them. Same way on my softball team, with my 2 marquee players at short stop and center field. Not that the rest of the team doesnt matter, but those 2 guys carry the team.
As we all know, most apa teams are constantly evolving because of ranks going up. So the good part about a top heavy lineup is sevens cannot go up in number, and you never really know how much higher ranked a 7 should be if it was allowed.
Assuming both of us play regularly, thats 40% of the team. Now, I dont have any good, true 3's....especially none who play well under pressure. But if I had 2 or 3 established 3's, I would have a team that does not have to worry about the numbers. To me, having an established nucleus to revolve around is important for any team.

PlayersChoiceSTL
05-30-2008, 02:11 PM
I've been reading this thread with much interest as putting up a good lineup has always been my weak point. (I'm the kind of person who always gets in the wrong line at a toll plaza too; the one I pick is always the slowest!!)

My team consists of the following SLs. 7, 5, 4, 4, 3, 2, 1. My 5 and my 3 are strong for their levels; everyone else is rated accurately. Even my 1 is a real 1...she's just starting but has potential.

I decided to use your tactic XYGAGuy, and last night in my 9 ball league, even though I won the flip, I opted to post first.

I put up my strong 3 and they put up a 5. My 3 got crushed.
They put up a 2...I put up a 4. We got crushed again!
I put up my strong 5...they put up a 6. We won.

At this point, they only had 2s left, and I put up my 7 (I knew he would play safe against the 2 and win) and my other 4. We won the last two and we walked away with a tied match 50-50.

Even though the first two matches were exroardinarily uncommon, we still stayed alive and tied, so I'm happy with the outcome. But I wanted to ask if anyone would have played differently.

Also, we have our 8 ball championship tomorrow. I only have 4 people showing up (I swear my next team will be more committed!) and they are a 6, 5, 4 and 3. How would you play them knowing it's the first to three games that wins?

Thanks all!

Deeman3
05-30-2008, 03:04 PM
Play your three strongest players mentally, regardless of skill rating. The ones you feel won't choak.

MAC
05-30-2008, 03:20 PM
One thing I always do on playoff night in our league since most everyone on our team is about the same with the exception of two players is I at some point before the matches start I go around and ask everyone on the team how they felt they played during warm up matches.
I try and see who is the most confident in themselves or even cocky for that matter (we are a relatively young team ages from 22-32) That is the person I start off with if we have to put up first. If we win the flip I always have the other team put up first and still usually go with the person thats feels like they cant lose.
This is just my routine because my team really seems to lose hope if we lose the first match, so I try to make the first one count then everyones happy and next thing you know everyones confidence is up.I'm sure thats not the best strategy out there,but it seems to work with my team.The first game is the key to wins the rest of the night for us.

PlayersChoiceSTL
05-31-2008, 06:46 AM
Thanks Deeman and Mac....both good suggestions.

HALHOULE
05-31-2008, 09:26 AM
BAMBU, CALL ME AT 484 623 4144

BigRigTom
05-31-2008, 03:38 PM
There are no ones in APA 8 ball
The lowest skill level in APA 8 ball is a 2.

PlayersChoiceSTL
06-02-2008, 01:42 AM
You're right Tom. I was talking about my 9 ball team.