View Full Version : How to get out there?

Dead Stroke
08-17-2003, 05:56 PM
I have been playing pool since I was 5 years old and now i'm 16. My Parents and all adult friends have been playing in the APA for 20+ years, some of my friends own a pool hall that runs tournaments and leagues through it, and I have a pool table in my house. The problem that comes into play is how to get noticed and into leagues/tournaments... I'm too young to join the APA or any other league that is local, including most tournaments... I read some of the pro bios, and i see all of this "started at the age of 8 and won 200 trophies by the time i was 12" and "i won my first world championship at the age of 17"... i mean i don't see how a person of my age can get out there and join leagues and win tournaments at this time.. mayb it's just because of my location or w/e.

I live in midlothian, va, and i don't really have time to travel half way across the world to get into major tournaments and play in world wide leagues =\

If anyone has any bright ideas i'm all ears.

thanx :P

08-17-2003, 08:34 PM
I was in exactly in the same boat a few months ago, 16, with nowhere to play besides my house. I was looking for leagues and tournaments as well. Call every pool room in town. Most poolhalls seem to say they're 18+ or 21+ but I've found that some make an exception if you are only playing in leagues or tournaments. Also most will let you play if you have a parent there (if you can find a willing parent). As for APA, I don't know if they have specific rules for ages. I play in a 9 ball tourney and an in-house league weekly. Originally they said I had to have a parent for league, so my mom came the first night and I don't think they even noticed she was there. So I've been going by myself ever since and the league operator doesn't care. If you go with your parent in person to talk to the manager about you playing that would probably be the best ticket. Other than that I don't know what to tell you. Hope this helps and good luck.

08-17-2003, 08:55 PM
First of all, you must find a role model. I would suggest that you do not use a pool player as one. I was once in your shoes, and voluntarily got myself involved with people I shouldn't have, and left a path of destruction in pool and in my personal life.

Many people will tell you that you must gamble to get better, and that if you don't, you will never improve. Don't believe this lie, instead beware of the snake in the grass that's feeding the lie. There are many ways to get to the top without engagng in destructive behavior, Pick a positive way and stick with it. Resist the temptation to take the short cuts that look appealing at the moment, but have a larger price tag attached in the long term.

Getting better takes hard work, and determination, and a strong faith in God, not yourself and your own abilities. In the end, He is the best tag team partner you will ever have, and he will never let you down. Humans will.

There are several paths you can follow, but a true champion carves his own unique path. Dwellng on what avenues are unavailable to you now will blind you from the opportunites you have in front of you at the moment. Start out small and work your way up the ladder. Taste, savor, and enjoy every step of the way, as you can never live the same moment twice. Learn to love the journey more than the destination; because when you get there it probably won't be what you expected.

Good luck & God Bless

08-17-2003, 09:03 PM
BlackJack -

That was the coolest and most down to earth post (and advice) I have had the pleasure of reading. It was an inspiration!



08-17-2003, 09:31 PM

08-17-2003, 09:39 PM
Great post

Kent Mc.

Chris Cass
08-17-2003, 10:33 PM

Get into the BCA juniors leagues if any are near you. That's a good thing and don't sweat what others have done. Stay focus'd on your goals. Tourney's aren't everything either. A good education comes first because there's no money yet in this sport. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif



Dead Stroke
08-17-2003, 11:18 PM
The problem with BCA is that the weekly league they have isn't going to always be near me... and it would be hard to drive a long ass ways every weekend. Also, I work and [censored], plus school is coming up soon. Even the once a year tournies are going to be a long ways away and have to be when I have time to go. So, theres really no way I see to get anywhere right now /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Scott Lee
08-18-2003, 04:13 AM
You don't have to play in a BCA league to play in the Jr. National tournament. You have missed out for this year...
the tournament was held a month ago, in DeKalb, IL. For next year, all you have to do is play in a qualifier. Win that and you advance to the Jr. Nationals. If there are no qualifiers near you (this happened to me), you can organize your own tournament. A few years ago I wanted to take a 13 yr. old student of mine to Jr. Nationals, so I organized an 8-man tournament with a bunch of kids that were his friends. My student won (which was the idea from the get go, and the other kids knew that would be the outcome...
this was just a way to get the paperwork done for the BCA), and we went to Las Vegas that year to the Jr. National tournament. To pay for the trip, he went around to local businesses, and asked for donations for his trip. In return, he wore a shirt with every local business logo on it that had donated to him. Also, when we returned, he wrote a nice article (with a picture) for the local newspaper, and thanked everyone for helping him achieve his goal. This might work well for you, in the future.

Scott Lee

08-18-2003, 11:55 AM
Dead Stroke, As a room owner, I can understand the problems facing younger players. My room has had an 18 or over policy for about 10 years. This was a result of large groups of 15-17 year olds coming in and all gathering around the table rented by 2 of them. They stood in everyone's way, made way too much noise, and were extremely rough on the equipment. We had so many complaints from the regulars that we had to do something, and it's worked out well for us. We do let underage kids in with a parent or guardian.

The way around this (at least in my room) is to get a parent to come in with you on tournament night for a few events. If you show us that you're serious about the game, are capable of displaying the proper respect for other players and the equipment, then we're happy to have you as an unaccompanied customer. I can't speak for other room owners, but that works for me.