View Full Version : Do honest players help sandbaggers?

Rich R.
02-28-2002, 11:08 AM
How many of you think it may be possible for honest players to actually help sandbaggers? This question came to me after my league match, last night.
I am a recreational player, currently rated a SL-5, in my APA 8-ball league. Last night, my team captain put me up for a match and the other team captain, thought for a minute and, put himself up against me. He is a solid SL-7. This player has been thought to sandbag to keep his level down. In a TAP league, on another night, he maintains a SL-5 rating, which is very questionable. I was also told that he does not like being a SL-7 in the APA and would like to go back to a SL-6.
In our match, last night, he had to win 5 games to my 3. Although very close and filled with some good shots and safeties, I lost the first 2 games. We continued the very close match and I clawed my way back and won the next 3 games to win the match.
Although I played the match and carefully watched each shot, I am not sure if I really won the match or if my opponent missed some shots or missed position on a safety or two, to let me win. We play on 9' tables and it would be easy to miss a shot and not have any one question it.
Although we all make mistakes, while playing, how can we tell if an opponent is making a mistake on purpose to lose a match? By playing the very best we are able, do we actually make it easier for another player to sandbag, by making it possible for him to lose a game by making only one or two mistakes? I realize this is most likely a question that can not be answered, but I would appreciate your thoughts. Although I should be feeling good about winning a hard match against a better player, I just don't know if I really won the match or if he lost it. Rich R.

02-28-2002, 12:51 PM

I do not believe there is much one can do in cases like yours. If you try to win and do win, you certainly aid a player who is attempting to sandbag. If you do not try to win and succeed, you hurt your team and are also guilty of sandbagging.

Since a sandbagger can be successful only by effecting poor play and by loosing over a longer time span than a match, the best you can do is to alert the LD about your suspicions. He or she may intervene or not.


02-28-2002, 01:23 PM
I have never played on a league except for a few weeks one time. I have sponsored a few. What is the motivation of a player to sandbag? is there so much money involved that they would be willing to sacrifice their integrity and self respect? Also, I don't think someone can sandbag without the knowledge of the other players on their team. I think the whole bunch lose integrity. I personally am very picky about who I associate with. If I were on a team that condoned someone doing such a thing, I guess I would have to quit. Maybe this just comes with age, but there much important things then winning. How you win determines it's value. Maybe that is just the landscape of playing on leagues.

Rich R.
02-28-2002, 01:43 PM
Q-guy, I can only guess, but I assume the motivation is to get an edge when you get to the playoffs. If players are rated lower than they deserve, their team would have a better chance of winning. The prize in the APA playoffs is a little bit of cash and a trip to Vegas, where you can win more cash.
I agree that a player can not sandbag without the knowledge of the players on their own team, but players on other teams may not be as familiar with their play. If playing against an honest player, trying their best, the sandbagging can be very subtle, only needing to make one or two small mistakes per game.
Personally, I don't need the money that bad and if I want to go to Vegas, I'll buy a ticket and stay in a better hotel than the Riviera. I would prefer to leave the table with my head up and knowing that I gave it my best. Some of these players can not look you in the eye at the end of the match. Rich R.

02-28-2002, 01:54 PM
The reason I quit playing APA is because my captain asked me to lose. What? I was a SL-6 a few years back and my team captain, also SL-6 called timeout and says to me and I quote "you know how to scratch here don't you?" Huh? He tells me I have to lose because he's worried about my ranking going up. I know all the eggs are not bad in the APA but I switched to Gold Coast where everyone plays all out and it's a pride thing. No rankings, just did I win or did I lose.

Kato~~~went 2-0 last night and my team won 12-3.

Rich R.
02-28-2002, 02:17 PM
Fortunately, to my knowledge, no one on my team has ever been asked to lose. I would not tolerate that. Rich R.

02-28-2002, 02:38 PM
The value of that trip may be little more then what the player put in over the season. When you figure the time running around to some of the dumps you have to play in. The actual out of pocket cash. And then not even enjoying the fun of playing ones best, or being on a team with other sandbaggers. Why would any self-respecting player, if I can use that term, do this. A very sad commentary on what is probably the sports largest segment. I find the whole idea of the pettiness of some of these league players to be repugnant. Like you said, If I want to go to Vegas I'll buy a ticket.

Ralph S.
02-28-2002, 04:29 PM
I am league player and TC myself in a Valley league. I would never ask one of my players to lose a game on purpose simply because of my competitive nature and the fact that i simply think it is wrong. I believe that if you are going to play leagues then come to play, not dump. just my opinion.
Ralph S.

02-28-2002, 05:29 PM
interesting point ,takes some of the glory out if a win if the other guy dumps. I tried to post yesterday but i did not see it come up. I have come to belive that some people /teams that play multible nights are sandbagging by playing hot one night ,which qualifies them for playoffs and dumps the next night to control the skill level. We have players that make it to every top gun play off for the last few years yet haven't had their SL move. Do you think the LO is gong to chase these guys and give up $25 a week?

03-01-2002, 05:57 AM
Hi Rich,
Im sorry, but I do not understand this "Sandbag" concept! Are you saying that players intentionally play lower than they should so that their handicap is lowered and then come in and play up to their normal caliber?I am the 7 and usually have to spot my opponent the 8 or 7-my goal is to be the 9-I look at all players as if they are the 9-so, this sandbagging thing-is it just to win the money?If so, that is very sad-I'd rather be known to be a 9 or open player than a 7 or below! Just my opinion!

03-01-2002, 06:09 AM
You have it correct Carol. These players try to control their handicap, so when they get to playoffs and tournaments, they are rated lower than they should be. For them, it is all about winning the money and the trip to Vegas. IMHO, they have no self respect. Regardless of skill level, I always want to be known as a player that tries his best in every match. Some nights are better than others, LOL, but I always try my best. I find it easier to live with myself that way. Rich R.

03-01-2002, 09:16 AM
Hey Rich, I find that rather amusing-you would think that a player would want to bring their "VERY BEST " game to the table at all costs-I guess it is just a self-esteem think going on there! I know I WANT to be my best-I think that instills more fear in players, but then again, Im a tournament player and not a money player!
Carol~thinks its very sad someone would want to lower their stamdards!

03-01-2002, 10:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: CarolNYC:</font><hr> you would think that a player would want to bring their "VERY BEST " game to the table at all costs-I guess it is just a self-esteem think going on there! /quote]
I think it's possible to bring your "very best" game to the table and sand bag at the same time. It depends on what your objective is.

The "best" eight ball sandbagger I ever saw was one that would spend his time at the table carefully putting all his balls in front of pockets while at the same time tying up his opponents balls or "accidentally" leaving them safe. As far as I could tell, no one else even thought he was sandbagging. He was carefully arranging his balls in front of the pockets - you know, just barely missing the shot - while at the same time leaving his opponent with little or nothing to shoot at and/or tying up the opponent's balls. It was almost awesome to watch. After enough innings passed, he had an easy runout and easily won the game.

03-01-2002, 11:04 AM
He was not sandbagging, he was just playing so as not to display some of his skill. He was still trying to win. laying balls up on a small bar table is not always to fool someone as to your speed, it is a strategy. A sandbagger loses the game on purpose in an attempt to manipulate the handicap.

03-01-2002, 11:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Q-guy:</font><hr> He was not sandbagging, he was just playing so as not to display some of his skill. He was still trying to win. laying balls up on a small bar table is not always to fool someone as to your speed, it is a strategy. A sandbagger loses the game on purpose in an attempt to manipulate the handicap. <hr></blockquote>

A sandbagger does not always have to lose to manipulate the handicap, but in APA can simply run up his number of innings without playing obvious defensive shots. That's how this fella was doing it.

03-01-2002, 11:52 AM
Hey There,
Call it a womans intuition, but you speak like a lady! If a player can set all his balls up at the pockets, then he can run the table and out!

03-01-2002, 12:11 PM
Here's something to consider. Let me begin by saying, I'm not a sandbagger. There are those who would tell you otherwise. I have been as high as a 5 in league play. Here's my problem. I shoot very well against the best players in town on a routine night playing 9 ball ring games for $5.00 in a race to five. Ocassionally, I give them a spanking. Other nights, I pay for the lessons. These guys are my friends and I enjoy my time. $20.00 to $25.00 for a nights fun is not anything for me to get upset over. Some of these guys are 7s and 8s.
When I play league play I get very nervous. I used to get to the establishments early, practice and drink beer prior to my matches, and it had the tendency to make me much less nervous. Sometimes, with the right amount of beer :-), I played very well. Of course, it was always a tricky proposition.
This year I developed kidney failure and am doing home dialysis. No more beer for me. :-( With me being sick, off and on, I haven't practiced as much. My league games still make me nervous, even more so now that I don't have my beer to lower my inhabitions. My league play was very poor this year. Our team won the local league. I finished the session as a 3. No one who sees me playing against my friends believes that I'm not a sandbagger. My team goes to the regional playoffs this weekend. Unforturnately, I won't be going with them. My health has been fluctuating recently, and with all the medical expenses, I can't afford to go anyway. It's too bad. If I could control the nerves, I would be a tremendous asset to them. Just imagine, someone who has the ability to play as a 6 or 7 at times, and rated as a 3.
I do know there are those that sandbag. I've heard captains tell players that they need to loose a few matches. I guess what I'm saying is that unless you hear them talking about it, it's sometimes difficult to know. My friends have bad nights when I play them and since it's for fun, I know they're not throwing games.

Rich R.
03-01-2002, 01:18 PM
I agree Stickman, it is very difficult to know if some one is sandbagging. I have teemates with the same nervous problem as you. A great player also can have a bad match. Stuff happens! My problem is, when you win a match against a much better player, who has been suspected of sandbagging in the past, should you be happy that you played well enough to win, or do you suspect him of dumping the match. I have very mixed feelings about my match last night. I will never know the truth. Rich R.

03-01-2002, 01:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: CarolNYC:</font><hr> Hey There,
Call it a womans intuition, but you speak like a lady! If a player can set all his balls up at the pockets, then he can run the table and out! <hr></blockquote>

I'm not sure what you're saying. Maybe I wasn't clear in my description. This guy COULD have "run the table and out" - quite easily - but chose instead to take up many more innings (to keep his handicap low) just playing around a little. He was making a game of getting his balls near the pockets while at the same time screwing up his opponent's leave. It wasn't obvious enough for the scorekeeper to catch and count as defensive, and he would certainly "groan" when he "missed" his shots. It was interesting to watch once you realized what he was doing.

03-01-2002, 01:45 PM
Rich R., I know how you feel. I've won a few against some pretty good shooters, that I wondered about myself. My thoughts are that I have no control over the other person, and a win is a win. I like winning. :-) If I win a match playing to the best of my ability, I'm happy. The other person has to deal with how they feel about their match. Only once was I nearly certain the the other player dumped for me. The other times, I try to consider that maybe they just had an off night. Irregardless, I like to go home feeling good about my play. I may not play to my ability, which can be somewhat disappointing, but I don't go home knowing I didn't try. I need to work on realizing that it's just for fun. I think the added pressure of not wanting to let down my teamates is what causes my nervousness. Playing with friends or tournament play doesn't bother me. There's no pressure. I'm not going to beat myself up, if I have a bad day.

03-01-2002, 03:17 PM
I see what you mean.

03-01-2002, 03:55 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Q-guy:</font><hr> He was not sandbagging, he was just playing so as not to display some of his skill. He was still trying to win. laying balls up on a small bar table is not always to fool someone as to your speed, it is a strategy. A sandbagger loses the game on purpose in an attempt to manipulate the handicap. <hr></blockquote>In eight ball, especially on small tables, some top players advise to purposely make defensive shots until you feel you can run out; because it can be bad to leave only one or two balls on the table possibly giving your opponent an easy run out. Therefore, what the guy you used as an example QGuy, may have just been playing smart.

03-02-2002, 11:33 PM
I use to play in APA 8 ball league and witnessed "sandbaging". Not all players do this, and there are ways a good League Operator can control the situations. The best way to compete is ALL OUT. Best Game Effort.

03-03-2002, 10:31 AM
Well said Tom-Absolutely!Take care!

03-03-2002, 11:26 AM
Yes, you have the concept right Carol. Another thing, a good player can do to keep his or her skill level down is to run the innings up on a game. They don't necessarily have to loose to keep their skill level down. They can intentionally miss shots and leave the cue ball where the opponent has no shot and increase the number of innings of the match. They can make it very difficult to tell if their misses were intentional or unintentional. This is what happened to me, on a match where I felt the opponent was intentionally trying to keep his skill level down. He left me hooked far too many times, after barely missing several shots for me to believe it was coincidence. I knew the player well and had played him many times in my recreational playing. I've suspected players doing this, but this was the only time I have been nearly sure that the other player was sandbagging on me. This time it backfired on him, as I don't believe he intended to loose, only run up the innings. And yes, I still took pride in beating him. :-)

03-04-2002, 06:02 AM
Good for you-kick that SANDBAGGERS BUTT!

03-04-2002, 06:06 AM
Sorry, I stand corrected-I guess it was a "Had to be there" type of thing!

03-04-2002, 06:09 AM
Hey Rich,
If anyone ever told me to lose-I'd quit the team-you gotta be kiddin me_Fuhgeddaboudit! ha ha ha-How ya doin"?

Rich R.
03-04-2002, 08:01 AM
I agree Carol. Fortunately, I have not been asked to lose. I believe all the players on my teams are honest and always trying to win. A team that wants me to lose on purpose, does not want me as a member.

Well I'm just doin' fine.............. just can't do it like Queen of Mean. LMAO.

Take care Carol, and say hi to Jim. Rich R.~~~less that two weeks to VF.

03-04-2002, 08:35 AM
Well Im just doing fine and my brotherinlaw just picked me up at the airport and everyone is just so nice!LMAO-too funny!
love to Kathy!

03-29-2002, 02:07 PM
I am a new amateur BCA league operator. I'd be very interested in advice on how to prevent a particular team sandbagging.

03-29-2002, 02:46 PM
I would recommend explaining the positives about scoring innings and making sure they know what a safe or non-perfomance shot is and how its scored. Get weekly feedback from your score sheets from team captin's about potential problems.