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View Full Version : BCA vs. APA - from another angle



Steve Lipsky
07-02-2003, 05:03 PM
The "Disgusted with League" thread got me thinking. I was wondering if people have found more sharking and general unsportsmanlike behavior in the APA than in the BCA leagues?

I ask because of the trip to Vegas. In the BCA, any team can pay its entry fee and go to the dance. You could be in dead last place. (You can also take players from other teams.) My understanding of the APA is that only the top team (or top few, if it's a large league system) gets to go. It would logically follow that the APA teams might be more "win at all costs" than their BCA counterparts.

From anyone who's played them both, is this true?

Thanks,
Steve

9 Ball Girl
07-02-2003, 05:49 PM
I've played in both the APA and the BCA. Now that you mentioned it, I think that the players in the BCA, at least the ones that I came across with, were a little more serious and attentive than the APA players. You had the serious ones in the APA but they were far and few in between--at least that was my experience. Also, the BCA players seemed to know more about pool etiquette and about tourneys and Pros and just pool news in general than the APA players.

This of course was my experience and I would take the BCA over the APA any day simply because I like their format better. JMO

rackmup
07-02-2003, 05:56 PM
It is my opinion, based on what I see, that more "sandbaggers" exist in the APA system only because the system allows it to happen.

Case in point:

You can be the top player in your room, beating everyone who walks through the door, from locals to seasoned road players. You are a legit player yet, if you join the APA, you can start out at a "skill level 4". You should be a 7 but the rules allow you to begin as a 4.

If you possess any morals and ethics, a sliver of a conscience and understand sportsmanship, you will register as a 7 or at least a 6 but there are some who seem to have a "jones" for a piece of plastic mounted atop a slab of faux walnut wood that somehow causes them to turn into greedy pricks.

Eventually, providing they don't lie down or tank matches, their skill level will eventually prevail and they will get bumped up.

BCA is a much more honest, hard-to-conceal-your-speed league as the handicapping of the APA never (almost never) figures into a BCA league.

I enjoy both. Just last night, an instructor from Randy G's pool school made a comment to me about someone calling a "timeout" and he sort of giggled. I know what he was feeling...

...In some leagues, you get timeouts, coaching; the cue ball can be placed on the table in a ball-in-hand situation by your "Captain" (usually a true 4 that got bumped to a six through some bookkeeping error and now thinks he's Mosconi), etc.

Sometimes, it's laughable and almost always comical but the bottom line is the APA is after the newer, less-seasoned player and they get plenty of them!

Regards,

Ken (plays in BCA, APA, is in the FBI Witness Protection Program and often times my playing skills are MIA)

shoot2thrill
07-02-2003, 07:41 PM
I to am in the APA and am sick of it .most guys play harder at sandbagging than playing pool.the rule here is stay as low as you can and if your skill level goes up run up your inngs and or lose a few matches . as far as vegas. I am the captain of a team and we won our division we smoked everybody .but come play off day the players that were SL-6 are now SL-4 so thers no way to beat that I guess who ever sandbags best win's and that's a shame
however what do you do if there is no BCA leauge in your area and i live in a city of about 300.000 people. and there's 125 8-ball teams. HEY BCA WHERE YOU AT DUDES ????
bca teams -o
apa teams 125

bluewolf
07-02-2003, 08:13 PM
I know nothing about the BCA. Someone told me I was not good enough to be in BCA, so figured I might try it when I get better. Is that the one with that round robin format? If it is, that sounded pretty kool. Is that the one that counts how many balls you make or is that TAP?

We are in APA. We do have sandbaggers but also lots who try to play their best matches and really want to move up. I went through a real negative thing about it, but it was more captain related than the APA. Now it is fun to see friends.

I heard that all leagues have sandbaggers, that no matter how good the system was, somebody was going to always try to cheat it. Some people get real excited about bumping people up at handicap review but there are always more the next time. That makes me think that , right or wrong, the sandbaggers will always be with us along with those who try hard.

Laura

bluewolf
07-02-2003, 08:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rackmup:</font><hr>
I enjoy both. Just last night, an instructor from Randy G's pool school made a comment to me about someone calling a "timeout" and he sort of giggled. I know what he was feeling...

...In some leagues, you get timeouts, coaching; the cue ball can be placed on the table in a ball-in-hand situation by your "Captain" (usually a true 4 that got bumped to a six through some bookkeeping error and now thinks he's Mosconi), etc.
Regards,

Ken (plays in BCA, APA, is in the FBI Witness Protection Program and often times my playing skills are MIA)
<hr /></blockquote>

Hey ken, do they have coachings in bca. I do not particular care about this aspect of apa but get creamed every time I mention it. Probably get creamed again, but seems to me to drag out the games since those coaching can go on and on, and well this is the part they get mad about. I think that favors the player who cannot think for themselves. Then I have seen people coached on stuff way above their sl too, which doesnt seem like a good idea. I once saw this two miss an easy straight in. She put english on it,saying that she thought that english was good...I see lots of twos, I mean beginning twos coached on english to use it , and figured that was where this two got it, and so she thought it was good and it made her miss the shot. JMO

I hardly ever use english and do not particularly care to be coached unless it is for position.

Well anyway, I do get to see my friends and I do have a nice team. Always have wondered about bca though, sounds pretty kool

Rod
07-02-2003, 08:41 PM
Interesting question Steve. Along with that I wonder what the end of season payout is for both leagues. It depends on the number of teams league Operator etc but it would be interesting to know. Say 12 bca vs apa. When I played bca our entry to vegas was paid by the L/O. However the end of season pay back was not very good. Not that it mattered all that much, all we wanted to do was get in our 8 weeks per player.

Rod

Rod
07-02-2003, 08:54 PM
I never knew coaching existed until I heard of the APA. When I think of that I just have to laugh. That is the most ridiclous thing I've ever heard, not to mention a waist of time. BCA does not allow coaching. The only coaching I've ever heard of in the BCA, is local and National scotch doubles. You get one time out per game to discuss options with your partner. I believe it is a 1 minute or less time out. Even that is questionable IMO. Let people think for themselves and let the cookies crumble where they will.

Rod

heater451
07-02-2003, 09:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> I know nothing about the BCA. Someone told me I was not good enough to be in BCA, so figured I might try it when I get better. Is that the one with that round robin format? If it is, that sounded pretty kool. Is that the one that counts how many balls you make or is that TAP? . . .

Laura <hr /></blockquote>Yes, BCA is basically round-robin, with each team member playing every member of the other team--if that's not confusing. It's one game per players ("race to one"), which many people don't like. Also, score is kept in points, with 10 pts to the winner, and the loser gets the total of his/her balls pocketed.

TAP is very much like APA, except for some rule melding w/ the BCA. The handicapping is computed with more variables. The things kept track of are as follows: Completed shots, Missed shots, Defensive shots, balls Made on Break, and balls Left on Table (loser). The scoresheet (http://www.sharkypool.com/images/Scoresheet%208Ball.pdf) also has space for 8-balls on the break, Break(s) and Run(s), and timeouts, but I don't know if they are calculated in, or if that's just to show for patches.

The TAP stuff is more complicated, but it seems a bit inconsistent so far, but I've only been in TAP for three seasons now. The scoring is imposing at first, and one adapts, but alcohol doesn't help ones attention span. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I've said it before, but I'll briefly mention it again: I personally like the more social nature of playing every person in the BCA format. You get to know everyone, and the longer you play, the better you know how you stack up against your opponents. In APA and TAP, I think it's likely that you will play the same two or three guys on a team, every time your team matches up with them.



===================

Steve Lipsky
07-02-2003, 09:41 PM
Heater,

My BCA league doesn't work like that. Our teams match up against other teams like the APA. Different race lengths depending on the matchup, but only one opponent per player.

We play 9-ball, though. Not sure how the BCA 8-ball leagues work.

- Steve

heater451
07-02-2003, 10:10 PM
That's news to me--I only ever played league 8-ball.

Is it 9-ball on 7-foot tables?



============================

rackmup
07-03-2003, 03:57 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> I know nothing about the BCA <hr /></blockquote>

I would encourage you to learn. The BCA is the largest governing body of our beloved sport. The APA and its rules are an extreme aberration of the game, it's rules and etiquette

Regards,

Ken (takes the BCA over the APA if given a choice)

bluewolf
07-03-2003, 05:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> I never knew coaching existed until I heard of the APA. When I think of that I just have to laugh. That is the most ridiclous thing I've ever heard, not to mention a waist of time.
Rod <hr /></blockquote>

Rod,

I figured out after being here that you were one of the good ones to listen to. You talk about the stroke or the grip, I look at mine, etc.

I am only in my third session and a low sl to boot so did not know if I was wrong about this. People complain about safes making too long the game. I have tried to not make too many of these for that reason, changing that.

sl2-3 get two coaches per game. It is supposed to be 2, each per game. I sit during other games, watch, talk to better players, learn. So this helps me to learn to think on my own. If I do not do a good safe in my game, I learn, I ask what would have been a better safe. If I choose the wrong ball, my experienced players tell me what they would have done, what sequence of balls would have been better.

The coaching is supposed to be 3 minutes, I have seen 10 minutes per coach. I think that the coachings prolong the game much more than me playing 2 safes in a game when I do not have a shot.I believe that the coachings make the match about an hour longer on the average, the way I perceive it.

I say to my higher sl, even fours to sevens, why do we need this? We already have the handicap? I do not like the coaching part, although I accept it as part of the way APA does things.Even though I do not shoot that well yet, I have tried to learn by asking questions and watching things like:after the break in 8 ball, what is the best to choose, highs or lows, picking out the problem balls, which will be the best to my advantage to break out or not,what is the best order to shoot my balls in and anything else I can learn about that.

Maybe I am wrong but it seems that while one is not a good shooter yet, there are other things a person can learn by watching and questions. I think if I make a mistake in this area or any area, I learn more by making a mistake than someone telling me the shot to take, even telling me where to put the stick on the cueball, something most 2s and 3s will not even remember and it can prolong the match quite a lot.

They say this is on the job training. To me, this is spoon feeding. Every job I even had that was OJT was minimal instuction, here is the stuff, dive in,you can ask questions, but ask too many, if you cannot figure out most of it for yourself, you get fired.

I do think the best person playing that night should win, which is typically the best shooter. But, imo, if two equal sls are playing. One, me, does not get coached most of the time because I have watched a lot and have tried to learn to think and the other cannot think, this shifts the balance.I even as a 2 played a good three. We were shooting almost equal, she only shooting slightly better but she could still not win without those coaching because she had not learned to think on her own. This tipped the balance enough for her to win. It is not a big deal that she won but I do think that she will never be above a 4 if she cannot think.

The only reason I ever get coached is because apa lets you do it and it is usually, 2-3 balls left and the 8, tell me what order to shoot them in for the run. But if the coaching was not available and I lost because I made the wrong choice to me this is OJT. Then after the game, better players could talk to me about mistake I made. Then I could come home and set up this shape run on my table and practice it so not to make this mistake again.

This is my opinion only as a low sl and it is not shared by anyone I have talked to in apa. Maybe I am wrong, even be off the beam. But since my main goal is to be better at pool,I care more about improving and learning from mistakes and more experience than the number they call me. Might not seem that way here, but at the table is the way I really am.

Have asked ww about other leagues , handicapped tournie, but he loves apa. It is a night out to be with friends and do something together. I am not knocking the apa in whole, even if it seems that way because I have fun seeing my friends. Regardless of the way that they do things, I do get to compete and learn.

So if I am off the beam, you folks who have way more experience than I, I would welcome hearing about this.

Laura

Fred Agnir
07-03-2003, 05:52 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote heater451:</font><hr> Yes, BCA is basically round-robin, <hr /></blockquote>It's my understanding that although the BCA sanctions leagues, they don't force them to abide by any ruleset or format. Many of the BCA-sanctioned leagues will play the round robin format shown on their website. I've heard of at least two in the nation that is more like the APA style of team play but are BCA leagues. I'm sure there's a ton more.

My local league uses some local rules, and a handicapping system not quite the same as other BCA-sanctioned leagues.

Fred

Fred Agnir
07-03-2003, 05:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Steve Lipsky:</font><hr> I ask because of the trip to Vegas. In the BCA, any team can pay its entry fee and go to the dance. You could be in dead last place. (You can also take players from other teams.) My understanding of the APA is that only the top team (or top few, if it's a large league system) gets to go. It would logically follow that the APA teams might be more "win at all costs" than their BCA counterparts.

From anyone who's played them both, is this true?

Thanks,
Steve <hr /></blockquote>I think this is dead on. We have both APA and BCA, and many of us have played both for many years. There's a completely different attitude and mindset between the two. The way our BCA league is run, we have a lot of fun while remaining competitive. I can't say the same for the APA.

Fred

jjinfla
07-03-2003, 05:57 AM
Hey Ken and Steve, The APA is designed for beginners up to average players. The BCA is more for average and up players. So an SL7 in APA is just the best of the worst pool players. He/she may, or may not, be any good. Can't see why pros, or smi-pros, would stoop to playing in the APA. What satisfaction is there to beating someone who can't make two balls in a row? Local amateur tournaments don't allow the top local player to play, much less pros, so why does the APA allow them? Make them an SL 12 for God's sake. Jake

Fred Agnir
07-03-2003, 06:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rackmup:</font><hr> I would encourage you to learn. The BCA is the largest governing body of our beloved sport. The APA and its rules are an extreme aberration of the game, it's rules and etiquette
<hr /></blockquote>And the APA is a long time member (voting?) of the BCA trade organization. I'm not sure how many APA LOs know this.

I bring this up everytime concerning the APA 8-ball rules. They aren't an aberration. They are pretty much the same rules that professionals were playing when the APA was started. Nobody "dumbed down" 8-ball rules for amateurs by allowing slop, in case that's what people think. That being said, I wouldn't mind if the APA changed their rules accordingly as the BCA changes theirs. They are a member, afterall.

Fred

bluewolf
07-03-2003, 06:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote heater451:</font><hr>
Yes, BCA is basically round-robin, with each team member playing every member of the other team--if that's not confusing. It's one game per players ("race to one"), which many people don't like. Also, score is kept in points, with 10 pts to the winner, and the loser gets the total of his/her balls pocketed.

<hr /></blockquote>

We have in our ten team league some twos that play like 3s and one that plays as well as a weak 4.Two of them appear to be sandbagging, the others I think it is just a think of computer has not yet caught up with their play, anyway, I like playing them. But playing a weak two( beginning one or one that only gets in balls by accident) does not help me evaluate my game.

That is why I was interested in BCA. Playing someone better than me tells me lots more about my game, what they are doing right that I need work on, how much I am improving. For instance-if I am getting more and more balls in against a higher sl and ocasionally beating them, that tells me I am getting better, which is the whole point.When I see myself improving, that is a very good feeling, win or lose, no matter my sl.

That is what interests me about bca and handicapped tournies where the lowest person I will play is 2 sls above me.That is why when I heard about the round robin format about the bca, I was liking what I was hearing.

btw- I do not completely understand apa handicap system.I can only guess at a person, the speed they are playing.Dont know if accurate, just seems that way based on the 3s and 4s, how they look to play.

Laura

bluewolf
07-03-2003, 06:35 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote heater451:</font><hr> That's news to me--I only ever played league 8-ball.

Is it 9-ball on 7-foot tables?

============================ <hr /></blockquote>

Here in my area, there was big league 8ball on 8 fts. Then that ph closed down, the leagues moved to a place with 9 ft. Some grumbled but personally, I like the 9 fts better. For instance, I make a long moderately difficult cut on 8 ft, then miss it on a 9 ft. If that happens, that tells me more about my play.

Currently all play, 8 and 9 ball on 9 fts. The old 8ft place opens back up in fall and most want to move back there. Groan!!! Takin the easier softer way.

The 9ball league is at a different ph and will keep being on 9 ft. Cant imagine playing that on barboxes. What a nightmare that would be, imo, but then that is cuz I am a beginner. Easier to develop long shot skills then be good enough to break out clusters and move around small spaces imo.

bw

bluewolf
07-03-2003, 06:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> Hey Ken and Steve, The APA is designed for beginners up to average players. The BCA is more for average and up players. So an SL7 in APA is just the best of the worst pool players. He/she may, or may not, be any good. Jake <hr /></blockquote>

Kind of confused. People die hard apa said I cannot play in bca. People in bca here say I would be fine there since I often get in a lot of by balls, even if I lose.

So do I need to be a sl7 in apa before I can play in bca? If that is the case, I might never be good enuff to be in bca since I cannot evaluate my potential, since I mainly look at improvements from week to week and things I need to work on harder. bummers.

Laura

Fred Agnir
07-03-2003, 06:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> Kind of confused. People die hard apa said I cannot play in bca. People in bca here say I would be fine there since I often get in a lot of by balls, even if I lose.<hr /></blockquote>Handicapped leagues are specifically handicapped to allow the lower skilled players to play and compete. You can play BCA leagues now at your current skill level. There's no reason why you couldn't.


Fred

pooltchr
07-03-2003, 07:32 AM
Steve,
I play in both APA and BCA. The answer to your original question is yes, the APA has more sandbagging. The reason is the handicap system in use in our BCA league doesn't reward lower handicaps. If you dump in the BCA to drop your handicap, you actually cost your team more points than you get from being a lower handicap. My BCA league uses your points average as your handicap, so for example, you might have to shoot 9 points below your average to drop your handicap by 1 point. This would gain your team a great big 3 points the next week. Not a good trade off at all.

Wally_in_Cincy
07-03-2003, 08:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Steve Lipsky:</font><hr> The "Disgusted with League" thread got me thinking. I was wondering if people have found more sharking and general unsportsmanlike behavior in the APA than in the BCA leagues?

<font color="blue">In this area I would say yes. There's not much sharking, unless it's done unwittingly, as in poor pool etiquette. Unsportsmanlike behavior frequently rears its ugly head though.

I have played APA for 4 years in taverns. I have only subbed on a BCA team 3 or 4 times at a somewhat upscale pool hall. The folks on the BCA teams would probably not even go into some of the APA venues we play at. The BCA players being a bit higher in the social class would account for the difference in behavior I presume.</font color>

I ask because of the trip to Vegas. In the BCA, any team can pay its entry fee and go to the dance. You could be in dead last place. (You can also take players from other teams.) My understanding of the APA is that only the top team (or top few, if it's a large league system) gets to go. It would logically follow that the APA teams might be more "win at all costs" than their BCA counterparts.

<font color="blue">Of about 250 open teams 4 teams go to Vegas. Used to be 3 (Ironically my team finished 4th 2 years ago and missed the cut). Of about 70 ladies teams 2 teams go to Vegas.

Most of these folks have been in the league for years so getting to Vegas gives you about 5 years of bragging rights /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif. So yes, there is a severe desire to win.</font color>
<hr /></blockquote>

Wally_in_Cincy
07-03-2003, 08:52 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rackmup:</font><hr>

....You are a legit player yet, if you join the APA, you can start out at a "skill level 4". You should be a 7 but the rules allow you to begin as a 4.....

<hr /></blockquote>

A local gal put together a team of ringers a couple years ago. I knew most of them but they were all new APA players. Imagine my shock when I had to play as a 5 against **** who was a 4 and who I know is a B+ player /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif. They ran off with the session title but by the time they got to the city 6 months later their handicaps were so high they went 2 and out. So I guess the system works to some degree.

Wally_in_Cincy
07-03-2003, 08:57 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> I never knew coaching existed until I heard of the APA. When I think of that I just have to laugh. That is the most ridiclous thing I've ever heard, not to mention a waist of time. .......

Rod <hr /></blockquote>

Actually IMO it helps the lesser experienced players learn to think before they shoot. If you wait until after the game to tell them what they should have done they usually can't reconstruct the original scenario in their mind.

The problem I have with timeouts is when they last longer than a minute. That is ridiculous. For Pete's sake I have to work tomorrow /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Qtec
07-03-2003, 08:58 AM
/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Ken , you crack me up . Q ..LOL /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif.


It seems to me the this 'handicap 'system , is having the opposite effect . The idea of enabling players to compete on an equal level has been distorted into something that holds players back and encourages cheating .

I agree with you that just because 'everybody 'does it that it should be acceptable .

Its a bad system . They should scrap it . Ruining the game because 'we all want to go to Vegas ....?

Q

bluewolf
07-03-2003, 09:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Ken , you crack me up . Q ..LOL /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif.
It seems to me the this 'handicap 'system , is having the opposite effect . The idea of enabling players to compete on an equal level has been distorted into something that holds players back and encourages cheating .

I agree with you that just because 'everybody 'does it that it should be acceptable .

Its a bad system . They should scrap it . Ruining the game because 'we all want to go to Vegas ....?

Q <hr /></blockquote>

I do not care if I go to vegas. WW team went there when we were first married so we went there too. We do not drink or gamble so to us it was pretty much a drag. I know lots of people like it and lots want to go.

But for even most of the people who want to go in my league, many of us have a desire to get better at pool more than to go to vegas. There are sandbaggers but the great majority either want to get better at pool and advance or just have that night out for fun.

It is not like everybody does this!!! I can see how a person can get this idea but if I said 15% do it, that means 85% try their best, regardless of their pools goals, whether to get good or have fun.

bw

Irish
07-03-2003, 11:10 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote heater451:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> I know nothing about the BCA. Someone told me I was not good enough to be in BCA, so figured I might try it when I get better. Is that the one with that round robin format? If it is, that sounded pretty kool. Is that the one that counts how many balls you make or is that TAP? . . .

Laura <hr /></blockquote>Yes, BCA is basically round-robin, with each team member playing every member of the other team--if that's not confusing. It's one game per players ("race to one"), which many people don't like. Also, score is kept in points, with 10 pts to the winner, and the loser gets the total of his/her balls pocketed.<hr /></blockquote>

Not exactly true. In the regular season of league play the point system is used in BCA where the loser gets ball count. In Vegas though the BCA is a race to 13 between teams with each player on the 5 player teams playing each player on the other team once (25 games total).

In Vegas it is the VNEA that uses the point system to work out wins. A team could win more games then their opponent and still lose the match if they have alot of 10-0 and 10-1 loses due to ERO's.

BCA is wins, VNEA is points. Both use points in regular league play up here in Calgary though to decide and seed the top teams in the playoffs. The BCA playoffs for the trips are played with games, not points.

jjinfla
07-03-2003, 12:15 PM
Irish, The BCA league here uses the points/handicap during the season but then when it comes to the playoffs it is first team to reach 13. They actually fool the teams into thinking they have a chance during the season and get killed in the playoffs. No real point in sandbagging in the BCA - they just go out and try and win every game. And BW, sure you can join the BCA as long as you want to get killed every time you play. My suggestion is to go watch them play and see if you can compete with them. Jake

Rod
07-03-2003, 01:23 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Actually IMO it helps the lesser experienced players learn to think before they shoot. If you wait until after the game to tell them what they should have done they usually can't reconstruct the original scenario in their mind.
<hr /></blockquote>

Hi Wally,
I suppose your right and I know that is a factor. However a lot of the coaching I've witnessed can add to the confusion. The player gets nervous and their learning something new on the spot during a game. It's hard enough even if they are practicing to execute a new move. Then there is the, "just tap the ball or shoot soft" LOL. You should see some of those tap/soft shots, well I imagine you have. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Rod