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View Full Version : "A,B, or C Player"..what does it mean?



Geoff
03-17-2003, 01:46 PM
Can someone please explain the A,B,C player ranking system? My local room has weekly events that are open (assume this means any one can enter) events for B and below players, C and below, B and above, etc....what do these letters mean? Im guessing as a beginner Im a c or lower. How do they figure who is an A,or whos a B or a C? Also, can someone tell me how the format "Texas Express" wroks? thanks guys.

Predator314
03-17-2003, 01:57 PM
A,B,C rankings are all in the eyes of the beholder. If you are a beginner, you should be a C. Tournaments that have this format usually take all the regulars in the pool hall and divide them up into three groups. The top 1/3 are A players, the middle 1/3 are B and the bottom 1/3 are C's.

Texas Express rules is 9 ball where you get ball in hand for fouls, you can push-out on the first shot after the break. Also I think standard Texas Express rules say that 3 fouls and you lose the game. Some places enforce that rule and some don't. You will need to ask. Some places say Texas Express and have variations on them. You will just have to ask the tournie director. Someone else on this board might be able to post a link to the official Texas Express rules.

Ralph S.
03-17-2003, 03:18 PM
www.texasexpress.com (http://www.texasexpress.com) will give you all you need about their rules format.

Tom_In_Cincy
03-17-2003, 03:23 PM
9-Ball Tournament race to 7 (Dec.1997 "All About Pool" magazine, article
by Bob Cambell)
Handicap rankings
(pardon my poor para-phrasing)

D- Player
will not run a rack
average run is about 3 balls
with ball in hand, will get out from the 7, one out of 3 times
rarely plays a successful safe

C-Player
could run one easy rack, but usually not
avg. run is 3 to 5 balls
with ball in hand, will get out from the 7, two out of 3 times
mixed results when playing safe
inning ends due to botched position, missed shot or attempting a
safe.

B-Player
Able to run 1 to 3 racks
avg. run is 5-7 balls
with ball in hand will get out form the 5, 2 out of 3 times
most of the time a "B" player will play a "safety" which maybe hit
easily 2 out of 3 times
a typical inning will end with a missed shot, a fair safety, or a
won game

A-Player
will string 2 to 3 racks
avg. ball run, 7-9
with ball in hand, will be out from the 3 ball, 2 out of 3 times
typical inning will end with a well executed safety or a win.

OPEN-Players
average 8+ balls
string racks together more than once in a match
is a threat to run out from every ball, from every position, every
inning
typical inning will end in excellent safety or win

Mr. Cambell continues this article with a handicap chart for the 4
levels of each type of player. The chart would look like this;
Lowest handicap is D4, then D3, then D2 and so on until the highest
would be OPEN 1

TomBrooklyn
03-19-2003, 01:05 PM
How would the APA handicapping system translate to the letter system?

I would guess that an SL4 is about a D-, an SL5 is a D+. An SL-6 is about a C and an entry level 7 would be a B-. Of course a 7 could go higher in the letter scale but no higher on APA's rating. Does that sound about right?

Rod
03-19-2003, 01:17 PM
If a 4 is a D- what the heck is a 2 or 3? It has always sounded to me that their rating system is full of holes. Spread out on the low end to a degree and bunch a huge group as the same level. If I understand this you could have a semi-pro level player rated as a 7? Even a decent 7 can't win there and an entry level 7 has Zero chance! Well I guess the guy could die during a match. lol Will someone explain this and make sense of it all?

~~~ rod, not familiar with APA thinking

smfsrca
03-19-2003, 01:23 PM
Most pool tournaments held at a local level are either open (non-handicapped) or handicapped according to the room owner or tournament director. These handicapped tournaments are typically referred to as A, B , C handicapeed tournamnents. Basically you hold a tournament and rate the plyers according to an "experts" opinion of there skill level. An unknown player is assumed to have a high skill level until otherwise determined. The rating of a player who wins to often is usually raised until he can no longer win as often.

MarkUrsel
03-19-2003, 01:37 PM
[ QUOTE ]
The rating of a player who wins to often is usually raised until he can no longer win as often. <hr /></blockquote>

That's an excellent point. APA's rankings are based on what you do against opponents. The A-B-C rankings are based on what you do against the table.

The difference in the underlying precept for the systems is huge. If you're in the APA, in a division with a LOT of excellent players, you'll be ranked artificially low. If you're in a division with a lot of poor players, you'll be ranked artificially high.

I think the ABC rankings are a better way of going about it, but require someone to watch who is experienced enough to make the call. That takes time and is people-intensive. The APA doesn't have the resources to do it, so they rely on a computer program and the world's most complicated scoresheet.

No system is perfect, but I'd also agree with Tom that an SL-7 is roughly the same as a B player.

Geoff
03-19-2003, 01:59 PM
In the APA system, as an unranked player you start as a 4, so is a 7 the highest you can go? would that mean that pro-level players are SL7 if you were to apply the apa system? If you start out as a 4, how do you drop to a 3 or a 2? All these letters and numbers are making my head hurt!

Steve Lipsky
03-19-2003, 02:03 PM
Rod, a D-, although it sounds quite low, is actually indicative of a player who will handily beat most non-players. By "non-player", I am referring to 99% of the general public. This includes your friends who play once in a great while at the bar when the table is open and they are in the mood. A D- will beat these people because he knows more strategy, has seen good play, and has a better idea of what's possible and what's not.

Therefore, a 2 and a 3 in the APA are reserved for those types of super-casual players. There are people who do take the game seriously, and are still at these levels, but for the most part they are not dedicating themselves to the game as much as others may be.

- Steve

cycopath
03-19-2003, 02:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Geoff:</font><hr>If you start out as a 4, how do you drop to a 3 or a 2?<hr /></blockquote>Lose... a lot.

Wally_in_Cincy
03-19-2003, 03:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Geoff:</font><hr> In the APA system, as an unranked player you start as a 4, so is a 7 the highest you can go?

<font color="blue">yes </font color>

would that mean that pro-level players are SL7 if you were to apply the apa system?

<font color="blue">yes, but you won't see that caliber of player in APA </font color>

If you start out as a 4, how do you drop to a 3 or a 2? All these letters and numbers are making my head hurt! <hr /></blockquote>

You will rarely see more than one 7 on a team. In APA a team plays five matches a night and the handicaps can not exceed 23.

If a 7 plays that leaves you with 16 so you can play 4-4-4-4 or 5-5-3-3 for instance.

If a person is a 7 they need to win just about all the time against 6's or lower to be beneficial to the team.

Tom_In_Cincy
03-19-2003, 05:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> How would the APA handicapping system translate to the letter system?

I would guess that an SL4 is about a D-, an SL5 is a D+. An SL-6 is about a C and an entry level 7 would be a B-. Of course a 7 could go higher in the letter scale but no higher on APA's rating. Does that sound about right?
<hr /></blockquote>

Tom

I would guess (and I really mean GUESS) that

An APA 2 would be "D-4" or the lowest rung on the scale.
An APA 3 would range around a D-3 to D-2
An APA 4 would range around a D-1 to C-4
An APA 5 would range around a C-4 to C-3
An APA 6 would range around a C-2 to C-1
An APA 7 would range around a C-1 to B-3

I consider B-1, B-2 categories for the local shortstops. Players that could be the APA 7s and then win the majority of the matches with other APA 7s.

These B-1 and B-2 players are the guys that always finish in the money of the local tournaments. They can compete with the 'road' players. They are the ones that can be A players if they had the right amount of coaching and incentive.

I hope I haven't offended anyone, I am going strickly by what I have posted about what I know and have read about "how to rate a player" based on the game of 9 ball with a race to 7.

APA is mostly 8 ball players (I know there is an APA 9 ball league too) Comparing the two games and my post with 8 ball player's skill levels and 9 ball isn't really fair.

And, some 20 years of running leagues and tournaments. I also played 9 years (all total) in APA (SL7) I have been considered a B player in local tournaments. In the Cincy area they use to hold a lot of "C" only tournamnets. Now, they are almost all open.

But you asked and this is my reply.

Steve Lipsky
03-19-2003, 08:43 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> These B-1 and B-2 players are ... the ones that can be A players if they had the right amount of coaching and incentive.<hr /></blockquote>

I think it's important to note for the purposes of this discussion what people are using as their scale. In NY, the range goes from D to Open (and sometimes D to Pro). Tom seems to be saying that A players in Cincy are our Open players. So this plays a role in what people are using to compare to the APA.

One of the problems with the APA has always been the upper limit of the 7s, when there really is such a range in playing ability in that group. But to be fair, any APA 7 can beat any other APA 7 in one short race on a bar table. So in that sense the system kind of works.

Maybe it was deemed that the possible drawbacks in limiting the scale to 7 were much smaller than the drawbacks of having to confuse the system with more "equalizing" races (for ex., a 10 plays a 2 - what's the spot??).

- Steve

- Steve

bluewolf
03-19-2003, 08:51 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> 9-Ball Tournament race to 7 (Dec.1997 "All About Pool" magazine, article
by Bob Cambell)
Handicap rankings
(pardon my poor para-phrasing)

D- Player
will not run a rack
average run is about 3 balls
with ball in hand, will get out from the 7, one out of 3 times
rarely plays a successful safe

C-Player
could run one easy rack, but usually not
avg. run is 3 to 5 balls
with ball in hand, will get out from the 7, two out of 3 times
mixed results when playing safe
inning ends due to botched position, missed shot or attempting a
safe.

B-Player
Able to run 1 to 3 racks
avg. run is 5-7 balls
with ball in hand will get out form the 5, 2 out of 3 times
most of the time a "B" player will play a "safety" which maybe hit
easily 2 out of 3 times
a typical inning will end with a missed shot, a fair safety, or a
won game

A-Player
will string 2 to 3 racks
avg. ball run, 7-9
with ball in hand, will be out from the 3 ball, 2 out of 3 times
typical inning will end with a well executed safety or a win.

OPEN-Players
average 8+ balls
string racks together more than once in a match
is a threat to run out from every ball, from every position, every
inning
typical inning will end in excellent safety or win

Mr. Cambell continues this article with a handicap chart for the 4
levels of each type of player. The chart would look like this;
Lowest handicap is D4, then D3, then D2 and so on until the highest
would be OPEN 1

<hr /></blockquote>

According to those rules, I am better at 9ball. But the cd rating etc would depend on whom I was playing. Gosh that is confusing.

Laura

bluewolf
03-19-2003, 08:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> If a 4 is a D- what the heck is a 2 or 3? It has always sounded to me that their rating system is full of holes. Spread out on the low end to a degree and bunch a huge group as the same level. If I understand this you could have a semi-pro level player rated as a 7? Even a decent 7 can't win there and an entry level 7 has Zero chance! Well I guess the guy could die during a match. lol Will someone explain this and make sense of it all?

~~~ rod, not familiar with APA thinking <hr /></blockquote>

Maybe a 2 or a 3 would be an F, kind of like failing the first grade. But 8 ball just seems harder to me than 9 ball.

Laura

bluewolf
03-19-2003, 09:03 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cycopath:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Geoff:</font><hr>If you start out as a 4, how do you drop to a 3 or a 2?<hr /></blockquote>Lose... a lot. <hr /></blockquote>

I AM LAUGHING. Our captain was a four and said he was getting ready to be a 5. Next thing we knew he was a 3. We have laughed so much about this.And he will do dumb stuff like put ww a 7 on a 4 and himself on a 7. He has no sense when it comes to strategy of how to run a match. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Laura

Steve Lipsky
03-19-2003, 09:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> And he will do dumb stuff like put ww a 7 on a 4 and himself on a 7. He has no sense when it comes to strategy of how to run a match. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Laura <hr /></blockquote>

Laura, although I obviously don't know your team's situation, you shouldn't necessarily dismiss the strategy you cite above. If your team has a strong 7 and a strong 4, it might be right to play your 4 against a weak 7 and your 7 against a weak 4. You'll probably win both matches.

In the same scenario, but matching the 7 against a 7 and a 4 against a 4, your team has a good chance to split. A strong 4 playing a weak 4 is no lock at all, since even your strong 4 will be making mistakes.

It's not always just trying to match players with the same spot; it's trying to take advantage of the handicaps in the league system, in relation to the players' skill levels.

- Steve

bluewolf
03-19-2003, 09:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Steve Lipsky:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> And he will do dumb stuff like put ww a 7 on a 4 and himself on a 7. He has no sense when it comes to strategy of how to run a match. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Laura <hr /></blockquote>

Laura, although I obviously don't know your team's situation, you shouldn't necessarily dismiss the strategy you cite above. If your team has a strong 7 and a strong 4, it might be right to play your 4 against a weak 7 and your 7 against a weak 4. You'll probably win both matches.

In the same scenario, but matching the 7 against a 7 and a 4 against a 4, your team has a good chance to split. A strong 4 playing a weak 4 is no lock at all, since even your strong 4 will be making mistakes.

It's not always just trying to match players with the same spot; it's trying to take advantage of the handicaps in the league system, in relation to the players' skill levels.

- Steve <hr /></blockquote>

In print is doesnt seem so bad but it has happened lots of times. In apa here, most of the 7s got burned out long ago being captains so the captains are often lower sl players who also do not really know how to mark defensive shots and the strategy of planning the matches is not as good as it would be if a 6 or 7 was the captain.

Laura

Wally_in_Cincy
03-20-2003, 08:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr>

I would guess (and I really mean GUESS) that

An APA 2 would be "D-4" or the lowest rung on the scale.
An APA 3 would range around a D-3 to D-2
An APA 4 would range around a D-1 to C-4
An APA 5 would range around a C-4 to C-3
An APA 6 would range around a C-2 to C-1
An APA 7 would range around a C-1 to B-3

<hr /></blockquote>

I think you got that just about right. For this area anyway.

Fred Agnir
03-20-2003, 08:08 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> Even a decent 7 can't win there and an entry level 7 has Zero chance! Well I guess the guy could die during a match. lol Will someone explain this and make sense of it all?

~~~ rod, not familiar with APA thinking <hr /></blockquote>The way I look at it, becoming an SL-7 in APA is like becoming a blackbelt in (choose your standard martial arts). It siginifies that you have enough knowledge and execution such that you can really start learning the art. That is, an SL-7, like a blackbelt, signifies that you're a serious beginner/student, with enough know-how of the basics to attempt to go the advanced levels.

In fact, if you go through the colored belts, there really is a decent correlation to the APA.

Fred

Perk
03-20-2003, 08:22 AM
Well, I can tell ya that MOST of the better shooters around here dont play in APA leagues. Not so much for the ratings, but for the rules. The idea that a player can hit his object ball and slop it into another pocket is crazy. IMO as well as some friends of mine. We went to a saturday bar tourney last weekend that followed these rules. From this observation, it is easy to see why there are some players that get rated as SL6/7's that shouldnt be at the top of the scale. I would be an SL7 if I played in the APA leagues, yet I have 5 friends from my immediate area that drill me. Yes they are rated as strong A/A++/Open players depending on what tourneys we go to, but I think that if a rating system is designed it needs to be consistent.
For instance, an SL6 looks at it like he/she is second tier in their league, actually believe they can play with pretty much anybody, when actually they cant hang with players that only play in tourneys as B players.
On another note, doesnt the 9ball ratings go to SL9?

Just my opinions, not to offend anyone.

Wally_in_Cincy
03-20-2003, 08:53 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Perk:</font><hr> Well, I can tell ya that MOST of the better shooters around here dont play in APA leagues. Not so much for the ratings, but for the rules. The idea that a player can hit his object ball and slop it into another pocket is crazy.

<font color="blue">So they don't play 9-ball either? /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif </font color>

IMO as well as some friends of mine. We went to a saturday bar tourney last weekend that followed these rules. From this observation, it is easy to see why there are some players that get rated as SL6/7's that shouldnt be at the top of the scale. I would be an SL7 if I played in the APA leagues, yet I have 5 friends from my immediate area that drill me. Yes they are rated as strong A/A++/Open players depending on what tourneys we go to, but I think that if a rating system is designed it needs to be consistent.
For instance, an SL6 looks at it like he/she is second tier in their league, actually believe they can play with pretty much anybody, when actually they cant hang with players that only play in tourneys as B players.
On another note, doesnt the 9ball ratings go to SL9?

<font color="blue">Ranges from 2 to 9 I believe. </font color>

Just my opinions, not to offend anyone. <hr /></blockquote>

You're right. The better players don't play APA. In APA there's a lot of serious poolplaying but it's just as much for fun. The better players don't want to hang around for 4 hours just to play a race to 5 or play against someone who is way below their level.

Rich R.
03-20-2003, 09:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Perk:</font><hr> On another note, doesnt the 9ball ratings go to SL9? <hr /></blockquote>
Yes, the APA 9ball ratings to go up to SL-9.

ChrisW
03-20-2003, 10:10 AM
Actually APA 9-ball SLs go from 1 to 9
Imagine a 1 playing a 9, that would be a 14 to 75 race.

Chris

ChrisW
03-20-2003, 10:18 AM
Very nice Fred!

When I started playing APA (as a 3) I thought if I could become a 7 I would be unbeatable. So then I would win all kinds of tournaments. Play (and win)against the best players in town.
Boy was I wrong. I became a 7 about 10 years ago and still have trouble will some strong players in the area. I can do OK in "B" tournaments but in opens it is a fight not to go 2 and out.
So I agree that an APA 7 is a good starting point to begin to learn the game.
Chris

bluewolf
03-20-2003, 10:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> The way I look at it, becoming an SL-7 in APA is like becoming a blackbelt in (choose your standard martial arts). It siginifies that you have enough knowledge and execution such that you can really start learning the art. That is, an SL-7, like a blackbelt, signifies that you're a serious beginner/student, with enough know-how of the basics to attempt to go the advanced levels.

In fact, if you go through the colored belts, there really is a decent correlation to the APA.

Fred <hr /></blockquote>

This is just right. I am a long way from seven, but from what I see, they are just at a position to begin to path into the A levels.

It was said of the black belt in karate that a black belt is a master of the basics.

Laura

Geoff
03-20-2003, 11:51 AM
are the APA 9 ball ratings the same basic system as the 8 ball,only with more levels? I didnt realize there was a different system for these 2 games. Would an unranked player start out as an SL-4 in the 9 ball rankings?

WaltVA
03-20-2003, 12:17 PM
In APA, a non-rated male player would start as a S/L4 in both 8 &amp; 9-ball; however, a non-rated female player starts as a S/L 2 in 9-ball, but a S/L3 in 8-ball.

New players who have an established 8-ball handicap start with that in 9-ball.

Walt in VA

ChrisW
03-20-2003, 12:44 PM
Also if you never played APA 8-ball but have played 9-ball then you still start as a 4 in 8-ball.
So if you were a 7 in nine ball you could start 8-ball as a 4.

Chris

bluewolf
03-20-2003, 02:41 PM
I was glad that at the tournament I went to, they played 'real' 9 ball. They rate there like apa though unless the tournament leader thinks you play like a different handicap, in which case he moves you up or down.

Laura

Perk
03-20-2003, 02:51 PM
Laura,

What is the definition of "real" 9ball? Is there two types? Just wondering, Texas Express here.

bluewolf
03-20-2003, 03:01 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Perk:</font><hr> Laura,

What is the definition of "real" 9ball? Is there two types? Just wondering, Texas Express here. <hr /></blockquote>

Okay I am biased

1)Race to seven or whatever. Each game ends when the 9 is sunk whether all previous balls are sunk, the 9 goes off a combo etc
2)APA Each ball sunk counts one point, 9 counts two points. Winner determined by total points in the match relative to handicap. It is conceivable that a person could win without ever sinking the 9.

To me, and I do happen to be very biased, they are two different games.

Laura

Rod
03-20-2003, 03:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> Even a decent 7 can't win there and an entry level 7 has Zero chance! Well I guess the guy could die during a match. lol Will someone explain this and make sense of it all?

~~~ rod, not familiar with APA thinking <hr /></blockquote>The way I look at it, becoming an SL-7 in APA is like becoming a blackbelt in (choose your standard martial arts). It siginifies that you have enough knowledge and execution such that you can really start learning the art. That is, an SL-7, like a blackbelt, signifies that you're a serious beginner/student, with enough know-how of the basics to attempt to go the advanced levels.

In fact, if you go through the colored belts, there really is a decent correlation to the APA.

Fred <hr /></blockquote>

I can relate to your answer Fred. It is hard though to relate to the true speed of a 7. In a system such as 2 thru 10 though (as an example) it gives a clearer understanding of a players level. That would be opposed to grouping all of the higher rated players an 8 and not going to 10. If it works though that's good, but even playing 8 ball the "new" 7 is definately at a disadvantage. I'd think there would a lot of complaints, but then there is some with any system.

Rod

Perk
03-21-2003, 06:43 AM
LOL...ok I guess I knew bout the point system, just didnt dawn on me reading your post. I too prefer the actual Race or game where 9ball means ya win!