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Benward452
01-16-2014, 10:47 AM
As there has been a lot of discussion on the board recently regarding Mark Wilson, the Lindenwood Lions, and the collegiate pool scene, I thought it would be nice to provide information regarding the numerous collegiate events which take place around the country.

First, my name is Ben Litvak and I am currently the adviser for the Billiards Club at Radford University. I have been involved in collegiate pool since the fall of 2007 when myself and a friend started the Billiards Club at West Virginia University. Since then I have been a participant, a follower, and now a promoter of collegiate pool.

The largest and most prestigious individual Men's and Women's event in collegiate pool is the Association of College Unions International's (ACUI) National 9-ball Championship. This tournament has been held in some capacity since 1937. A list of past and present champions can be found here (http://www.acui.org/content.aspx?menu_id=14&id=13181). The association hosts individual sectional qualifying tournaments and allows other universities to host independent qualifier tournaments at the beginning of the spring semester to decide who is invited to the National 9-ball Championship in the summer. Here (http://www.azbilliards.com/news/stories/10269-linares-flores-capture-college-9-ball-titles/)is a re-cap of the 2013 ACUI National 9-ball Championship. Find a list of qualifying events for the 2014 ACUI National 9-Ball Championship here (http://www.acui.org/content.aspx?menu_id=14&id=21302).

In addition to the individual tournaments there have been three major team tournaments persistent over the past 11 years. The team tournaments are three day events, limited to a field of 16 collegiate teams consisting of 4 cueists, with an optional fifth alternate, competing in 2-3 events. Trophies and medals are awarded for each event, sportsmanship, and to the all-around team champion.

The oldest and most prestigious of the three is the University of Michigan Team Pool Championship which celebrated it's tenth anniversary this past fall semester under the promotion of Betsy Sundholm. The format has varied over the years but has generally consisted of BCA Team 8-ball, a scotch doubles 9-ball tournament, and team Equal Offense. This year's UMTPC was won by Lindenwood University with an unprecedented number of team points. Information regarding the UMTPC can be found here (http://uunions.umich.edu/billiards/article/u-m-team-pool-championships-umtpc). Additionally, a promotional video for the tournament can be found here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfW27iIlUOI&list=FLEZblWejh4xNw9m4zd2djEA&index=2).

The second of these team tournaments is Virginia Tech's Team Pool Championship which is in hiatus this year, but has been held 7 times since the 2007-2008 academic year. This tournament is promoted by the Billiards Club at Virginia Tech. Generally this tournament has consisted of BCA Team 8-ball, a singles Men's and Women's Independent ACUI National 9-ball Qualifier, and a team modified straight pool event. Film of the 2011-2012 VTTPC can be found on Vimeo here (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/vttpc-championships-2011-2012/videos). The club website can be found here (http://www.vtbilliards.org.vt.edu/home.html).

This youngest of these team tournaments is the Radford University Team Pool Tournament which has been held 4 times since the 2009-2010 academic year. This tournament is promoted by the Billiards Club at Radford University and Ben Litvak. As the youngest event, we have been looking to make some changes to the format and this year are presenting a new event. We are having the BCA Team 8-ball, a new Mosconi Cup inspired team 10-ball tournament, and a singles Men's and Women's Independent ACUI National 9-ball Qualifier. Information regarding the RUTPT can be found here (http://blitvak.wix.com/rutpt).

In addition to these national events, many collegiate teams who are close to each other have impromptu challenges and home and homes.

Here are a few tips from the folks at Pool & Billiard Magazine written by collegiate pool guru Betsy Sundholm along with a list of schools with programs.
Information about being a college-bound player (http://www.acui.org/uploadedFiles/Programs/Student_Programs/Billiards/poolschools1.pdf)
Premier college billiards clubs and their structure (http://www.acui.org/uploadedFiles/Programs/Student_Programs/Billiards/January%202010%20Campus%20Corner.pdf)
Top pool school interviews and club structures
(http://www.acui.org/uploadedFiles/Programs/Student_Programs/Billiards/April%202010%20Campus%20Corner.pdf)

If you know someone in college that is interested in starting a billiards club at their university or need additional information regarding these events, feel free to contact me.

bdorman
01-16-2014, 10:55 AM
Many thanks for the update Ben. Interesting stuff.

Out of curiosity, do the events attract any/many fans? On AZBilliards we're always debating how to get more audience in hopes of attracting sponsorship money. It would be interesting to know if college events get any viewers.

StraightPoolIU
01-16-2014, 10:57 AM
Some of my best memories in college (that don't involve drinking) are of the time I spent going to the UMTPC in Ann Arbor. Once as a player and once as a coach/advisor. It's a great tournament, and everything about it is class all the way. It's a really cool oldish feeling college pool rooms, and Betsy does a great job. I believe the Indiana University team that I helped start still goes yearly. Really can't say enough good things. There are more than a few college billiard clubs and club teams out there. Hopefully more and more will follow in the path that Mark Wilson and Lindenwood University are making.

Johnnyt
01-16-2014, 11:02 AM
Thank you Ben for all the great info that myself and probably a lot more on here did not know about. Keep up the great work you're doing. Johnnyt

erica
01-16-2014, 11:15 AM
[QUOTE=Benward452;4545915]As there has been a lot of discussion on the board recently regarding Mark Wilson, the Lindenwood Lions, and the collegiate pool scene, I
The largest and most prestigious individual Men's and Women's event in collegiate pool is the Association of College Unions International's (ACUI) National 9-ball Championship. This tournament has been held in some capacity since 1937. A list of past and present champions can be found here (http://www.acui.org/content.aspx?menu_id=14&id=13181). The association hosts individual sectional qualifying tournaments and allows other universities to host independent qualifier tournaments at the beginning of the spring semester to decide who is invited to the National 9-ball Championship in the summer. Here (http://www.azbilliards.com/news/stories/10269-linares-flores-capture-college-9-ball-titles/)is a re-cap of the 2013 ACUI National 9-ball Championship. Find a list of qualifying events for the 2014 ACUI National 9-Ball Championship here (http://www.acui.org/content.aspx?menu_id=14&id=21302).

Thanks for posting this! I won the womans event in 1996 and your post brings back wonderful memories. The ACUI really is a great program for young pool talent. I hope more and more students get involved. Thanks for posting!!! :)
Erica

Benward452
01-16-2014, 12:38 PM
Many thanks for the update Ben. Interesting stuff.

Out of curiosity, do the events attract any/many fans? On AZBilliards we're always debating how to get more audience in hopes of attracting sponsorship money. It would be interesting to know if college events get any viewers.


It's much like other amateur tournament audiences where it is fellow players, spouses, significant others, or good friends. Rarely have I seen people who do not have a vested interest in a particular player being at one of these tournaments.

I would love to see it change, and part of this post was to get more information out there because of the interest of Mark and Lindenwood.

galipeau
01-16-2014, 01:50 PM
There are some great players that come out the acui. Cindy ho, last year's women's third place, went to sac state and I knew her from the club. These students spend a ton of time on their classwork not to mention if they have a job or two on the side. I played almost every day on my own dime along wIth work and classes.

We (sac state) have put on regular tournament against Uc Davis for the past few years, and last year three more other schools joined in. I've since graduated, but if any body in California Is looking to participate or help out, PM me.

I do believe that this sport has/can gain interest. It's really a matter of starting people young.

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