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View Full Version : Why do you play in your pool league?


Mikey Town
09-10-2013, 09:54 AM
Is it for fun and relaxation?
Is it because you want (or need) to win?
Do you only have fun while you are winning, or are you able to have a good time with your friends/teammates regardless of the outcome of the matches?

I am in a BCA league with a few friends... It's bar box 8-ball, only 7 teams in the league. I joined so I could spend one night a week having some fun with a good group of friends. We are a fairly strong team that has a pretty good chance to win the league, but that doesn't mean all that much to me. Splitting $1500 between 5-6 people for a league win doesn't exactly get my "juices flowing," if you know what I mean. Over the course of 12 weeks, and after paying $10/week, it kind of turns into pocket change in the grand scheme of things.

I digress...

The reason that I bring up the question is because a couple of my teammates are really competitive (one more so than the other) and they place their main focus on winning. When this was brought up in conversation, I was told that "winning is fun" so when we win, they do have fun. I said something along the lines of "Anyone can have fun when they win, but your true character shows when you loose." I was then met with a very clever response of, "No it doesn't."

The thing is... these guys are pool players. For me, pool is what I do when I am not on the golf course, so it's not my primary competitive outlet. Maybe that is why we feel differently about this. However, if I loose on the golf course, I'm still able to have a good time, so maybe we just aren't on the same page when it comes to this.

I would love to get the forum's take on this and see why you all play in the pool leagues that you are a part of. Is winning really that important to you, or is it an added bonus to the good time you are already having?


Looking forward to your thoughts...

bsmutz
09-10-2013, 10:04 AM
I enjoy playing pool under most any circumstances. The reason I like league pool is because it gives me the opportunity to enjoy the company of other players and to provide a yardstick by which I can measure my own ability. Winning is more satisfying than losing for me, but losing doesn't affect my mood. I am more affected by my mistakes and bad performance than by what my opponent does. I can always appreciate a good performance no matter who the performer is.

Ghosst
09-10-2013, 10:16 AM
Someone once said that because I don't like barboxes I couldn't have any cueball control and would get owned on the little tables. I joined league only to prove the point that he was mistaken. Before that I had never played in it.

When I played I felt the competitive urge to win every single game. I didn't expect that, I thought I would be able to just relax and shoot some pool with friends but my division was full of drama, hate, and rivalries. Still, I enjoyed the atmosphere of it, well, the part of it that was about pool at any rate.

I'm taking this year off as of right now but I may change my mind and sub-in for friends if and when they need an extra player. It would be nice if I had more time for league but it's not at the forefront of my life right now.

justadub
09-10-2013, 10:19 AM
It is both the competition, and the fun, for me.

I really enjoy myself on league night, we have a pretty good bunch of people that play here, and I enjoy my teammates a whole lot.

Still, I love the competition. I want to win, and am disappointed when we don't. I am usually far more upset when I lose, than my teammates, as I have my own expectations for myself. At the end of the night, if we don't win, I get over it rather quickly, but I do intend on trying to win.

I think I'm fortunate that our league here gets along with each other as well as we do. Are there flare ups occasionally, sure, but for the most part things go smoothly. It is a fun night out for me, regardless if we win or lose.

CamposCues
09-10-2013, 10:32 AM
I like the competition and a night out of the house to drink beer and BS with my little brother and buddies. I had a couple buddies who wanted to stay in the doubles league because it paid out a little more. I told them if they were playing league for the payout, they were stupid. We spend exponentially more on drinks than what could be recouped from the payouts. It's for fun and competition.

jhanso18
09-10-2013, 10:42 AM
I enjoy getting out and playing new people, but also you have to have weeks in to play most tournaments. So I strulggle through to qualify for tourneys.

fastone371
09-10-2013, 10:49 AM
I play league because I like to play pool but I also really like the competition. I dont get angry when I lose or do I get overly excited when I win.

Thepip
09-10-2013, 11:00 AM
I play to have fun but I do play to win. The league aspect of the APA in which I play is geared towards the armature player. But I will say people do play on a very serious side of pool and only want to loose and are bad looser. Its something we all have to deal with. It’s the sandbaggers in the league that change the dynamics of the game because they try and manipulate the system which intern changes the way people win and loose which effects if the game is supposed to be fun or competitively. APA BCA TAP what every you choose it's a good night out with people that is supposed to be your friends and a good night for all. We are not going to be professionals anytime soon so do the best you can with what you got and remember there are people out there who have big dreams and when those dreams are crushed by a lower ranked player people get upset.

Scherf
09-10-2013, 11:01 AM
My thoughts have been expressed here already. Fun, night with the guys (and gals), the competition, the tourneys, chances to get to Vegas. I play two nights a week and both are "in house" leagues. So, your in a place packed with your friends who all have the same interests as you. I don't get mad when I lose, really it's just more embarrassing. I only get mad when I play like a donkey.

rellek
09-10-2013, 11:08 AM
I play pool league because I like the competition, and there are no pool halls around here, only bars. If I am going to play in a bar there might as well be rules involved.

Whodini
09-10-2013, 11:09 AM
I play because it gives me a chance to be with friends that I wouldn't normally see if we didn't play league. Don't get me wrong, we are highly competitive and have that in common. But we also have a fondness for one another that transcends the game. Of the 8 players on the team, 4 of us have tables at home. There is usually a game to be had on any given weekend at one of the houses.

The results speak for themselves. We have a yearly tournament at a large pool hall located about 50 miles away that is 32 teams and single elimination. Tough format. Best 3 of 5 matches handicapped. The last four years we have finished 3rd, 3rd, 2nd and won it this year. It is a grueling weekend that starts on Friday night and finishes late Sunday night. Is it worth it? You bet.

The core four of us also play other tournaments together and really enjoy doing so. League is a way for us to keep in stroke and to remind ourselves weekly why we do this...for the love of the game. With that in common, everything else just falls in to place.

Regards

Celophanewrap
09-10-2013, 11:32 AM
I've always been a competitive person. I blew out knees playing football and baseball, I blew out ankles playing volleyball, so then I started playing pool. Only now can I admit that I'm in it purely for the girls

ridewiththewind
09-10-2013, 12:07 PM
I used to love playing leagues, and have captained many a team. But have become disillusioned over the last several years by officials that will not enforce clear rule violations, will enforce made up rules to better their position in the division standings, and in general put their and their team's interest or agendas above that of the league as a whole.

In the last 10 years, I have watched a once vibrant women's league that had 3 divisions and over 30 4-6 women teams, dwindle to 3 teams league-wide last year. After last year's drama, I would be shocked to see a league at all this year. No one wants to play on this league anymore...far too much BS and back-stabbing.

I am toying with playing in a BCAPL 9-ball league this year, but am still undecided.

Sent from my HTC One V using Tapatalk 4

hang-the-9
09-10-2013, 12:20 PM
I've been playing pool for about 26 years (since I was maybe 16 or so), I have only been playing in a national league for less than 3 years, the last 3.

Several reasons, most leagues are travel leagues that play on crappy bar tables which I had no intrest in. The things I have heard about leagues was mostly about funny rules, cheating players, sandbagging, etc...

I started playing in the league I am in now because of my son, and also because I found a great room and league operator and league that I fit in with. The whole reason I even went to that new room was because the all ages room I played in with my son closed down and I searched for a junior league for him, found one that was the APA. After a year, the league operator dumped the APA due to low support for the juniors and other players and went to the USAPL league. The rules were called shot, no crap about marking a pocket, you don't even need to point to a pocket if it's obvious where you were playing it. Scorring was based on real rules, you win the game, you get the most points. Make one shot to sink the 9, you get 14 pts, loser gets 8 for the rest. In APA, you make the 9, you get 2 points. It's not straight pool.

That's what brought me into league play, plus I get to play wiht my son in the league in a Masters division which is invitation only so no a-holes get in (usually hehe), and it's pretty much all B players which means there is no watching two D- players bat 3 balls around the table for 30 minutes to finish a game.

prewarhero
09-10-2013, 12:51 PM
I play in league because I enjoy playing pool. It is indeed a level of competition and I take it seriously, but it is also my one night a week I am allowed out late to have a few beers and socialize.
My other table is time is 2 hour sessions a couple days of the week and I try to have that time void of any socializing and just practice.

Mikey Town
09-10-2013, 01:08 PM
Thanks for all of the responses... please keep them coming!

I'm in the same boat as prewarhero. While I am playing league, I always give 100% and try to win. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, but I don't let it spoil my mood either way... I still have a good time.

Our last league session, we were able to squeak out a win against a pretty good team. I think the final score was something like 151-146 (BCA 8-Ball). After the matches were all over, I heard one of my teammates saying that they weren't very happy about it because we should have won by more.

Heck... in my book, a win is a win... regardless of the margin. I get that total points count for season standings, but our primary goal (on the pool table) is to beat the team we are playing, right? We did that... but it still wasn't good enough.

I don't know... Maybe this team just isn't a good fit for me.

CreeDo
09-10-2013, 01:33 PM
League is a social thing for me. It's nice to get a bunch of friends, who all live maybe 20-40 minutes away,
in one room so they can all shoot the shit and hang out and practice with each other.
And you make some new friends and meet many people in the league. You get on a first name basis
with pretty much every regular in that pool hall.

I don't care about the money at all, either the weekly fee or the chance to win prize money.
The weekly fee is so small that unless you're basically homeless and unemployed,
you shouldn't sweat it. I'm baffled by people who get an attitude over 8 or 10 dollars.
The session prize money is a long shot and not exactly life-changing so who cares?
And vegas sounds horribly overrated.

Having structured competition is good for me too. I don't really seek it out otherwise.

Brian in VA
09-10-2013, 01:52 PM
I always bring my best game so I suppose I play to win. That said, I look to have fun and get a chance to compete. I've always been a competitive person and those juices don't get flowing much anymore; this provides an outlet.

If you aren't enjoying the team you play on, look for another one. That may or may not solve the problem. It's rare that everyone on a team has the same set of values. I was fortunate enough to be part of one for about 5 years. When it dissolved, I missed it but the game lives on.

Brian in VA

blah blah
09-10-2013, 01:57 PM
I ask myself this not only every season, but every play night.

It comes down to both: 1. I really like my teammates, and 2. I really like annual summer vacations in Vegas for the BCA Nationals.

We're a strong team of seasoned tourney players in a league of mostly bar players who are only there for the laughs and the booze. And for the drama. The endless petty he said she said namedrop namedrop what's the rule on that pool is supposed to be fun let's call the Board we need another vote and we demand a rematch praise the league president you guys just don't know how to have fun freaking drama.

We found when we took a season off, though, that we just didn't get out together anymore. So we're back, doing it again.

If my team ever started in-fighting, or if the BCAPL Nationals changed to a date where I couldn't get to go, I'd quit league in a mobile minute.

logical
09-10-2013, 02:22 PM
I have a standing weekly pool night with a friend from work. Never the same place 2 weeks in a row, sometimes a quiet hall on some oversize 8 gold crowns, sometimes we play the big tables a few hours and then go mix it up on a bar box somewhere, sometimes just in my basement with my 9 footer. We get started about 5:00 pm and sometimes get kicked out when they close at 2:00 am. So we get at least 6 hours and up to 8 or 9 hours of pool in. No politics, no paperwork, no handicaps, no waiting around, no whining, no BS...just pool, beer and a cheeseburger...and maybe some tequila.

I have no real desire to join a league.

Banks
09-10-2013, 02:52 PM
APA - See people I've known for years through league, get extra play time, chance to play in singles, help lower players, some other things

BCA - get free table time for the night, better competition, more regular matching-up after it's over, my one night a week to play on the big tables, more friends and people I know there

Miss Spico
09-11-2013, 08:57 AM
I ask myself this not only every season, but every play night.

It comes down to both: 1. I really like my teammates, and 2. I really like annual summer vacations in Vegas for the BCA Nationals.

We're a strong team of seasoned tourney players in a league of mostly bar players who are only there for the laughs and the booze. And for the drama. The endless petty he said she said namedrop namedrop what's the rule on that pool is supposed to be fun let's call the Board we need another vote and we demand a rematch praise the league president you guys just don't know how to have fun freaking drama.

We found when we took a season off, though, that we just didn't get out together anymore. So we're back, doing it again.

If my team ever started in-fighting, or if the BCAPL Nationals changed to a date where I couldn't get to go, I'd quit league in a mobile minute.


Capt', here - yes LOVE MY TEAMMATES - for me that's the primary reason. How rare is it that you can get 8, yes EIGHT women together and have a great time, doing what we all love to do. It is something that I really look forward to - shooting, maybe a bit of drinking and lots of awesome camaraderie. Secondary, I believe that league is a really good practice for other tournaments. Where else could you possibly get so much practice at not letting distractions ruin your game or the often ridiculous accusations and comments incite you to a level of frustration you are actually ashamed to admit to. lol. Our team is very competitive, not with each other, but we are a force to be reckoned with. We like to win, but we strive to present our opponents with a fair, fun match, and to represent our homeroom proudly and hopefully to affect attitudes of opponents that are not necessary or conducive to advancing their games or team play. Often tough to be an ambassador for the cause, in which case - we turn to each other :) Let's just play pool!

JolietJames
09-11-2013, 09:10 AM
I'm not given a choice. My friends put me on their roster whether I want to play or not. I show up most of the time because they are great people and we have fun. I would never sign up on my own because I don't particularly like bar table pool.

Pidge
09-11-2013, 09:28 AM
I play in an English 8 ball league here. 5 man team and were all good buddies which is the only reason I play.

We can all play, and compete against the best teams, but that has more down sides than up sides. We don't see each other nearly as much as we should. Wives, jobs and kids kinda get in the way of that! So this is our one chance a week to hang out and have a few beers.

The last 3 matches we've played have been against teams that love nothing more than taking 5 minutes discussing a shot, then the next 2 minutes walking around the table. 1 game of 8 ball takes an average of 10 minutes. 10 minutes! The standard is high so its rare you get more than 1 visit to the table, so why should it take 10 minutes to put 8 balls into 6 holes? The fun has been zapped out of it and the *****ing that goes on between grown men is embarrassing.

Next season we are dropping out and entering as a new team. It means going from division 1 all the way down to division 17. But the teams down there are like us, they play for fun. Honestly can't wait for next season.

Maniac
09-11-2013, 09:54 AM
Pool is fun to play. Extremely fun to play. I like to have fun. I like people. I like to make new friends/acquaintances. Reclining chairs can be bad for your health if you overuse them. I have a pool table at home. I live there with only my wife to play pool with. I need to play pool with people other than my wife (as much as I enjoy playing her, it does become tiresome to have the same opponent day-in, day-out). So, that said, pool leagues are a natural fit for me. Gets me out of the reclining chair and into a pool hall where I can meet new people and shoot pool with someone other than my wife. Win or lose, I still have fun with it.

I am not a competitive person at heart. I play for the fun of the game itself. Sure, I like to win, but winning is not what drives me. It's the camaraderie, the fellowship of human interaction that I enjoy. I told my Straight Pool League Operator last week that although I was new to his league, I thought he had me handicapped to low, that he should probably raise me (which he did) so there would be no conflict with other players. I told him that I was there to have fun, meet new friends, have a cold drink and shoot some pool. I told him that I didn't care about the winning and losing aspects of it.

IOW, I have never, nor will I ever take pool league seriously. Would I be a good teammate? I never had any complaints in 8 years of league play. I still try my hardest to win, it's just that in the grand scheme of things it matters not either way to me.

YMMV.

Maniac
















i

Pidge
09-11-2013, 10:05 AM
Pool is fun to play. Extremely fun to play. I like to have fun. I like people. I like to make new friends/acquaintances. Reclining chairs can be bad for your health if you overuse them. I have a pool table at home. I live there with only my wife to play pool with. I need to play pool with people other than my wife (as much as I enjoy playing her, it does become tiresome to have the same opponent day-in, day-out). So, that said, pool leagues are a natural fit for me. Gets me out of the reclining chair and into a pool hall where I can meet new people and shoot pool with someone other than my wife. Win or lose, I still have fun with it.

I am not a competitive person at heart. I play for the fun of the game itself. Sure, I like to win, but winning is not what drives me. It's the camaraderie, the fellowship of human interaction that I enjoy. I told my Straight Pool League Operator last week that although I was new to his league, I thought he had me handicapped to low, that he should probably raise me (which he did) so there would be no conflict with other players. I told him that I was there to have fun, meet new friends, have a cold drink and shoot some pool. I told him that I didn't care about the winning and losing aspects of it.

IOW, I have never, nor will I ever take pool league seriously. Would I be a good teammate? I never had any complaints in 8 years of league play. I still try my hardest to win, it's just that in the grand scheme of things it matters not either way to me.

YMMV.

Maniac
















i
Does it make you a good team mate? I'd have you on my team any day of the week.
Unless you intend to play this game for a living there is no need to take the game too seriously. Even when you play for money. Some of the best money matches I've had have been where I've lost, but I've had fun doing it.
I see it as a social sport and should be played as such.

dabarbr
09-11-2013, 10:10 AM
I think many play leagues because it's a requirement for them to do so if they want to qualify to play nationals where the bigger money is at. One of them being me.

Maniac
09-11-2013, 10:13 AM
Does it make you a good team mate? I'd have you on my team any day of the week.


Thank you, my friend!!!

Maniac

lorider
09-11-2013, 10:38 AM
i play in 3 leagues.

apa; i play in 3 divisions.

tue night.... a fun night out where we all laugh when we miss easy shots, usually they laughing at me.

fri night scotch doubles. run by the same captain as my tue night team. fun night with my gf.

sun night double jeapordy. team i am captain of. wanna be serious team. finished 2nd in 8 ball cities and automatically qualified for next years cities. went to vegas in 9 ball this year.i say wanna be serious because i have trouble keeping good low level players. maybe too serious ? i dunno ?

bcapl points based money league. with the open break rules it makes me think i am a better player than i really am. love getting those break and runs at least one every night. :smile:

nap league. no b.s. , no drama. just play serious pool every week. best run league in town in my opinion.i am captain of the team here also.

in other words i just like playing pool and have no problem playing in any league as long as every body goes by the same rules.

Donny Lutz
09-11-2013, 11:16 AM
[QUOTE=Mikey Town;4343403]Is it for fun and relaxation?
Is it because you want (or need) to win?
Do you only have fun while you are winning, or are you able to have a good time with your friends/teammates regardless of the outcome of the matches?

I am in a BCA league with a few friends... It's bar box 8-ball, only 7 teams in the league. I joined so I could spend one night a week having some fun with a good group of friends. We are a fairly strong team that has a pretty good chance to win the league, but that doesn't mean all that much to me. Splitting $1500 between 5-6 people for a league win doesn't exactly get my "juices flowing," if you know what I mean. Over the course of 12 weeks, and after paying $10/week, it kind of turns into pocket change in the grand scheme of things.

I digress...

The reason that I bring up the question is because a couple of my teammates are really competitive (one more so than the other) and they place their main focus on winning. When this was brought up in conversation, I was told that "winning is fun" so when we win, they do have fun. I said something along the lines of "Anyone can have fun when they win, but your true character shows when you loose." I was then met with a very clever response of, "No it doesn't."

The thing is... these guys are pool players. For me, pool is what I do when I am not on the golf course, so it's not my primary competitive outlet. Maybe that is why we feel differently about this. However, if I loose on the golf course, I'm still able to have a good time, so maybe we just aren't on the same page when it comes to this.

I would love to get the forum's take on this and see why you all play in the pool leagues that you are a part of. Is winning really that important to you, or is it an added bonus to the good time you are already having?


Looking forward to your thoughts...[/QUOTE

Since 1966, I've played over 70 seasons in various pool leagues. The main reason I enjoyed it was that you get to share the joy of success with your teammates. Another is that you can improve with the help of your teammates.

I don't play league now because there's only one league system in my area and I don't care for it.

chefjeff
09-11-2013, 11:43 AM
I play pool league because I like the competition, and there are no pool halls around here, only bars. If I am going to play in a bar there might as well be rules involved.

lol

I was just in Cedar Rapids this weekend at 2nd Ave Corner Pocket. What a nice place! 3 9' Diamonds, 8 Valleys, all with simonis. Michelle even worked the tables as well as behind the bar, getting drinks, etc. In a pool hall...good service! wow!

(It's just a few blocks west of the river.)

fyi,


Jeff Livingston

Icon of Sin
09-11-2013, 11:45 AM
I quit league when I asked myself the same question.

I typed up the positives of shooting league and the negatives... the negatives far outweighed the positives.

chefjeff
09-11-2013, 12:05 PM
I've played regularly for about 25 years around here in almost all of the, now 11 or 12, leagues (lucky us, eh?)

I start a new season tomorrow night. Here's my reasons:


I get out of the house ("get the stink off")

I get to compete with a variety of playing styles

It's an excuse to drink (& another chance to get in trouble)

Friendship

Bullcrap is fun sometimes...better than Idol

I get to qualify for bigger venues and those are real challenges for my level of play.

I get to visit strange little bars that I'd have never even known existed and meet new folks

It's fun fun fun

Ditto all the others' reasons.


Jeff Livingston

EasyEJL
09-11-2013, 12:44 PM
I play league only because my wife JuicyGirl wants to play in league. I like playing pool, and I'm moderately good at times. But playing in a league seems like a drag at moments. I'm spending 5-6 hours at a pool hall to get a half hour to hour of play time in. Lately been playing double jeopardy league (both 8 + 9 ball same night) which helps.

allanpsand
09-11-2013, 01:10 PM
For decades, winning was key to my enjoyment of the Green Game. While I could tolerate a certain level of losing, too much losing caused clinical depression. During those years, my mind was "on the table" - that is, all of my focus was on following the concept of "playing the table".

These last few years, my attitude has modified somewhat. Now, I play "above the table". Each table layout is evaluated as if looking down on a chess board. Each analysis includes the following factors: table conditions, ball layout, my competence, my opponent's competence.

From these factors, I can develop a wide variety of playing options. These vary from "total offense" at one end and "total defense" on the other. In between these two are the two-way options.

Now my rationale and pleasure of the game is in how well playing decisions are executed.

Blue Hog ridr
09-11-2013, 01:40 PM
Winning isn't everything or more to along your line of thought. It isn't whether you win or lose, its how you play the game.

I have always put more emphasis on putting a team together that gets along with each other and has a good time before playing ability. I have just been lucky that I have gotten both for the last three seasons. And we are still together. We won a Vegas Trip last year. We paid our dues and it was finally our turn.

A couple of years ago, I fired one player off the team on his first night out. He proceeded to drink 25 Irish Whiskeys, take high percentage shots instead of obvious
shots over a pocket. Then as drunk as he was, he started talking snotty to our opponents and our team. I told him that he was playing for the team and not himself
and to save his fancy shots for practice. Then I said, Good Night.


We are very competitive but don't lose any sleep over losing a night or two.
One of us usually forgets to bring our game with us and leaves it at home. We are strong enuff to be able to cover for a player for one night so no biggy.

Other than that, its a sociable evening out which also includes beer and wings for me. Its a requisite.