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Harold Acosta
09-02-2002, 02:49 PM
[b]To see the sanctioning rules of the UPA Tour, do the following: Go to www.upatour.com (http://www.upatour.com), at the bottom left of the screen hit the Sanctioning button. These are the rules:

<font color=blue>Guidelines for UPA Sanctioned Events

The event must be a minimum of $20,000 guaranteed purse with a minimum of 85% of the entry fees back into the purse. If an event is guaranteeing a purse of $25,000 then 75% of the entries back into the prize fund. If an event guarantees $50,000 the entry fees reduce to 50% into the prize fund. An event guaranteeing $100,000 will only have to put 25% of the entry fees back in. Any event guaranteeing $150,000 or more may keep all entry fees collected.

The event must put 10% of advertised guarantee down to be a fixated event on UPA Calendar grace period exceptions can apply)

The guaranteed money must be in escrow, insured, or in an account accessible to the UPA as well as the entry fee monies

Prize money breakdown will be determined by the UPA System

The event must allow the option of at least 32 USA UPA players to compete

The event must abide by rules and regulations set for the players by the UPA

The event must seed player and according to UPA rankings
Reasons to be sanctioned by UPA

All UPA professionals and members will be notified via newsletter and e-mail of the event

UPA professionals will want to gain ranking points by attending the event Rankings are important for invitational events such as The World Championships, All-Japan Open, Mosconi Cup Team .... etc. )

Players will want attend to improve or hold their seeding status by attending all UPA Sanctioned Events

The UPA will help promote the event through its website, newsletters, and other media connections such as Billiards Digest, Pool &amp; Billiard, etc.

The UPA can increase the prestige of the event and help promoters gain additional sponsors

The event will be recognized by players and the public through magazines and other media outlets as an official event recognized and supported by the professionals.

<font color=red>Additional benefits include:

a UPA flyer of your event designed by our UPA Flyer Designer professionally done in color with committed UPA pros advertised on flyer.

A page on our website dedicated in advertising your event

UPA pros visiting your area prior to event doing appearances and exhibitions to promote your event additional fees apply)

<font color=black>The big question here is: How many TD's or Promoters will want to abide by these rules, specially since the UPA wants the escrow account to be accesible to them, and that the prize money breakdown be determined by the UPA?

<font color=purple>What do you people think of this?

09-02-2002, 07:37 PM
Harold:

Iím unsure how many promoters would want to cede authority to the UPA of any kind or degree over their specific event; I would not expect many to choose the 'UPA-sanctioned' option just to have their event 'UPA-Approved' if they were to loose absolute control over their event.

Still, some may well choose to 'give it up' to the UPA if they thought running an UPA sanctioned event would make their tournament profitable or more profitable than it already is. After all, authority (or power) is tradable for money. What is a bribe but such a trade? In this regard, one may ask: What can the UPA offer a promoter? What would a promoter want from the UPA? What would entice him (or her) to cede authority over his (or her) event?

Currently, the UPAís strongest selling point to would-be promoters is easily identified: It can be found in the roster of players in its fold. It is an impressive, talent-laden group, even without Earl Strickland. UPA sanctioning means these good players are likely to appear at the sanctioned event. It is in the playerís interest to appear at these events. The UPA recognizes this when it states: 'UPA professionals will want to gain ranking points by attending the [sanctioned] event. Rankings are important for invitational events such as The World Championships, All-Japan Open, Mosconi Cup Team .... etc.)' and 'Players will want attend to improve or hold their seeding status by attending all UPA Sanctioned Events.' Clearly, a promoter would not be harmed by having UPA players at his (or her) event.

Nevertheless, one should ask whether the UPA roster provides enough of an incentive to any given promoter for that individual to risk his or her money. Does it?

Probably not..., for pool is a weak spectator sport in the United States. If having the UPA players at a tournament could not hurt the tournament, their presence may not help the tournament at all financially. In other words, having the many great players of the UPA on hand might not be enough to make likely a successful tournament for a promoter. Taken by themselves and considered with respect to their drawing power, the players would not be enough to draw the fans needed to ENSURE (or nearly so) a successful event. Thus, the UPA roster, no matter how skilled the players may be, might not be valuable enough to bring many or most promoters to join the UPA list. They would see UPA sanctioning as something which ties their hands without providing a financially viable good in return.

So, given the above, the UPA is doomed?

Well, no -- fortunately. If the UPA can put together a 'full tour' (one composed of 10 or more events per year) and can put UPA tour events on television (like the WPBA), then the UPA would have another selling point for prospective promoters. Sanctioning will have tour-specific interest conferred on the sanction-event since the event will count toward a seasonal championship, a ranking system, spots in international tournaments, etc. More importantly, a UPA event will also provide collateral advertising to the promoters, sponsors and participating venues when the sanctioned event airs on national television. (Why do Casinos book WPBA events? Because of the national television advertising.) Would a promoter trade some of their event-based authority for the benefits television can bring? I think they would. Unless pool promoters secretly hate money and are enamored with their own authority and their image as grand promoters ó that is, with being big fish in a small pond ó they will be more than happy to participate in a profitable relationship with the UPA.

Unfortunately, the UPA cannot now offer the televised event option to prospective promoters since UPA tour stops are currently untelevised. Nor does it have a full list of tour events to build interest and to generate an image of stability and viability. How could offer these things since UPA is a new organization and the UPA Tour less than a year old?

It canít offer these things and, in fact, the UPA is currently pulling itself up by the bootstraps as most startups must. As a startup organization, the UPA makes an assumption: It assumes that a market exists for menís pool in the United States. It also asks prospective promoters to make and act on the same assumption. If there were such a market, and itís unclear whether this market exists, I would expect the early adopters to gain much of the windfall that accrues to those who are first to market with a desired good.

Lifeís full of risks and your question remains unanswered by events at this time. The UPA has made a start, but only that. I, for one, wish to congratulate the UPA, its Board, sponsors and, last but not least, its members for taking the risk to build this organization. So far they seem to be doing the good job.

Steve Z

TomBrooklyn
09-02-2002, 08:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: StephenZ:</font><hr> Unfortunately, the UPA cannot now offer the televised event option to prospective promoters since UPA tour stops are currently untelevised. <hr></blockquote>The US Open is going to be televised on PPV. Since the UPA could not reach an agreement with the promoters of this most prestigious pool event, it looks like the first televised tournament in menís pool in years will take place without an official UPA presence.

09-02-2002, 08:55 PM
Right....The two sides failed to resolve their differences, as most reading and posting here know by now.

Nevertheless, life in general will go on as unplanned as always, the US Open tournament will go on as scheduled, the UPA will continue to build its organization and maybe the Behrmans and the UPA can put an agreement in place for next yearís tournament.

Hereís hopping that this yearís Open is a success.

StephenZ

Fran Crimi
09-03-2002, 01:05 AM
I think your post was very well put, Stephen, and shows a fine understanding of the trials and tribulations of starting up a new players' association.

When a new players' association first comes on the scene, the two groups that will be their hardest critics are the promoters and the fans. The promoters are now asked to become accountable for their actions and the fans don't like to see anything happen to their favorite spectating events. So initially, a players' association is condsidered the "big bully" and the bad guy all around, and you can bet that certain promoters are doing their share to fuel that fire, especially with the fans.

When the association finally gets grounded and puts together a legitimate tour, the fans will come on board, the promoters will agree to become more accountable, the players will get treated fairly and the sport will begin to grow.

One of the first orders of business for the USTA when they first started up was to have it's players boycott Wimbledon. You can imagine the world criticism they received. How dare this little no-name tennis association challenge the biggest event in the world? Well, they did, and the players stuck together in spite of public scrutiny. The result? The players won a much fairer payout.

Players need representation. If the fans only knew what REALLY went on behind the scenes, they might possibly understand why this association is so much needed. But there is no way those behind the scene things are going to get revealed, nor should they. The truth would be too damaging to the sport.

Fran

09-03-2002, 10:51 AM
Fran:

Thanks for the nice words. I wholeheartedly agree that the players need to organize.

I agree because I believe the sport of pool is more likely to thrive and develop if the players are organized, willing and able to protect and extend their corporate interests and willing and able to promote the general interests of the sport.

If the players merely comprise a mass of selfish and myopic individuals, beings who are easily manipulated by this or that promoter, sponsor or tournament director, then one can be sure that the sport of pool is in a low state. This low state characterized menís pro pool before the UPA formed. Given the potential of the UPA to organize a Pro tour and the financial benefits the a Pro tour offers everyone involved, only unscrupulous ó or stupid ó promoters would oppose a playerís organization. Promoters with scruples ó or at least a bit of good sense if scruples were lacking ó would quickly recognize that, at this time, a playerís organization provides the only real opportunity for advancing pool economically and as a sport. Given this, promoters, players and sponsors could form a partnership with a common interest ó poolís financial growth. To be sure, one should not underestimate the difficulties faced by those who would create a tour.

Of course, pool promoters could dispense with the need for a players organization as identified above. They certainly could band together, organize and lead a pro tour. Thereís no natural law known to me barring this kind of success. A promoter led tour is not an impossibility. However, pool promoters interested in forming such a tour would face obstacles similar to those faced by the UPA as it seeks to organize a tour. At least the promoters have the venues needed to stage the event required to form a tour. But, they would still need to bring a diverse group of self-interested individuals and corporations into the fold.

If, for the sake of argument, pool promoters did manage to form a tour, observers of their efforts would then have the opportunity to amuse themselves by watching the fledgling tour attempt to discipline its promoter-members, confront numerous free-rider problems, erect entry-barriers for promoter wannabes to scale, attempt to rip-off each other, the players, a television network, etc. If anyone believes my claim to be an outrageous slander based on no-existent problems and outcomes that could not happen in any case, they merely need observe the actions of those miscreants known as baseball owners. They provide a case study on how to not get it done. They are merely a cartel that exploits baseball fans, television networks, government bodies and, yes, the millionaire players they employ. Fortunately, they can hide behind fan resentment of player salaries.

Given the problems a promoter directed tour would probably face, I wouldnít hold my breath waiting for pool promoters to organize a tour.

The players in the United States, on the other hand, desperately need a tour. They need a tour as individuals and as a group.

They need to make a viable living at their chosen sport. They need to raise purses. They need to get their matches and tournaments on television. They need non-pool related sponsors. They need many things. The effort to get these things begins when they create a players organization.

As far as I can see, caving into any given promoter or to all promoters as a general attitude to have about these things is merely a kind of collective suicide for the players. They can do better.


Steve