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selftaut
04-05-2007, 05:53 AM
I would appreciate any opinions/suggestions on my possible venture into forming a nationwide 14.1 league/organization.

I have put a lot of thought into it and am at the stage of creating and pricing promo posters , online advertising , magazine advertising etc..etc.. ( unless I get totally skinned alive here )

2 questions I also would like to put to you as well , would you play? would you be intersted in being a league operator?

visit http://www.14and1.com

Thanks much

Kev

Steve Lipsky
04-05-2007, 06:36 AM
I would appreciate any opinions/suggestions on my possible venture into forming a nationwide 14.1 league/organization.

I have put a lot of thought into it and am at the stage of creating and pricing promo posters , online advertising , magazine advertising etc..etc.. ( unless I get totally skinned alive here )

2 questions I also would like to put to you as well , would you play? would you be intersted in being a league operator?

visit http://www.14and1.com

Thanks much

Kev

Kevin,

First, this is inspiring! I think it's a wonderful idea and I hope to support it in any way I can.

I took a quick look, and the only suggestion I have would be to change the handicapping. While I love the innovative idea of bringing no-count into a league format, there are two main problems you may encounter using no-count:

1) Games take much longer to play, and room owners might not love that.

2) More importantly, no-count games are difficult to score. The problem arises when there are multiple innings within the same rack. You have to keep track of your rack score in separate "stacks", because your current run has to be differentiated from the balls you made earlier in the rack. But you still need to count the balls made earlier in the rack so you and your opponent know how many were left on the table at the start of your inning. This is possible (though hard) with beads; very, very difficult with counters.

Other than the handicapping issues, I think you're on to something great and I wish you the best. If there is ever anything I can do, please PM me.

Thanks,
Steve

NYC cue dude
04-05-2007, 07:31 AM
I applaud your efforts. I shared a similar goal 2 years ago with the resurection of the world straight pool championships, which had been on hiatus for some 16 or 17 years.

Ultimately, the tournament was held to elevate straight pool back to it's rightfully respected position in the pool world. Anything that can further those goals I would gladly support.

As far as your details are concerend, I do have some reservations about your handicapping system. In large part, I suspect that all of your no count numbers in all divisions are on the low side. I would also hesitate to start EVERYONE at the b level. Most regional tours designated for amatuers have specific guidelines for participation. Although your aim is to have your league be all inclusive for all level of play, there must be some litmus test (as far as past regional/pro performances) to get a better handle on starting levels.

Just my .02

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to offer any experiences that I have had.

Randy Goldwater

selftaut
04-05-2007, 07:59 AM
Thank you Steve and Randy , your input is greatly appreciated , my handicap system is absolutely not stamped in stone , and is untried. Considering the experience of everyone on this board , if there is a system out there that can be used (or someone else has in their head) and is in agreement with everyone here then I will change it to that system , as long as its not stealing someone elses handicap system , I would not want to be accused of that.

Steve , on #1 concern I set the games to 75 thinking that might relieve that possible situation, and on your #2 concern I did think of that , and on the scoresheets there will be seperate boxes for every inning , when a player goes to the table for a next turn then a new box starts and the number of balls that are on the table is entered into the box , even if they are still in the same rack , this way there is always a ball starting count marked for each inning.

Randy , any ideas on how to set the handicap on opening day? I thought about leaving it up to League operators but that as you know could bite me in the arss.
BTW , your efforts in are the key inspiration for this idea , see what you started!

I am thrilled to hear I have support from you guys and any further suggestions are most welcome.

Kev

3andstop
04-05-2007, 08:31 AM
I love to hear about any resurgence in straight pool. But as much as I love the game, my first thought was the commitment that goes with league play. It may be hard enough to get interest, perhaps even harder to get long term commitment. Maybe tourneys with a cumulitive point system? Dunno, just a thought.

selftaut
04-05-2007, 08:40 AM
I love to hear about any resurgence in straight pool. But as much as I love the game, my first thought was the commitment that goes with league play. It may be hard enough to get interest, perhaps even harder to get long term commitment. Maybe tourneys with a cumulitive point system? Dunno, just a thought.

3andstop , thank you for your thoughts , I considered possibly just making it a "qulifier tourney" type of thing , but what stopped me from thinking about that more was how I would implement a handicap system be put in place on a tourney format? especially with new players entering these tourneys all the time , can't leave it up to the local tourney operator as we all know. I think the only way to evealuate a players speed is over time with multiple matches.

thanks
Kev

dmgwalsh
04-05-2007, 08:42 AM
I would appreciate any opinions/suggestions on my possible venture into forming a nationwide 14.1 league/organization.

I have put a lot of thought into it and am at the stage of creating and pricing promo posters , online advertising , magazine advertising etc..etc.. ( unless I get totally skinned alive here )

2 questions I also would like to put to you as well , would you play? would you be intersted in being a league operator?

visit http://www.14and1.com

Thanks much

Kev

This is a great idea. I'm not sure how many league operators would get on board, but if they did, it would be nice to have a national system where perhaps players could rank themselves against others nationally and/or compete nationally.

I think you ought to solicit the input of Mr. Jewett who is another noted promoter of 14.1.

I am a player in two Chicago area 14.1 leagues, and occasionally, there are some 14.1 tournaments around here.

The Worlds in 2006 and 2007. The US Open in 2007. Looks like we might be headed in the right direction.

Dennis

selftaut
04-05-2007, 08:55 AM
This is a great idea. I'm not sure how many league operators would get on board, but if they did, it would be nice to have a national system where perhaps players could rank themselves against others nationally and/or compete nationally.

I think you ought to solicit the input of Mr. Jewett who is another noted promoter of 14.1.

I am a player in two Chicago area 14.1 leagues, and occasionally, there are some 14.1 tournaments around here.

The Worlds in 2006 and 2007. The US Open in 2007. Looks like we might be headed in the right direction.

Dennis

""but if they did, it would be nice to have a national system where perhaps players could rank themselves against others nationally and/or compete nationally. ""

Exactly Dennis! and thank you for your comments.

mthornto
04-05-2007, 10:35 AM
I think a national league is a worthwhile goal. I run a straight pool league in Columbus, Ohio. Beside my league, the is one other straight pool league in the area and plans for a third in September.

The game does seems to be enjoying a resurgence.
A few things to consider:

1. As has been pointed out, the handicapping system needs work. Personally, I am against having any no count. We have a wide set of skill levels in my league and even at 3 no count matches between some players would take all night.

My league uses a system similar to the system Jewett uses. It works quite well. Most matches end up competitive.


2. From you site: "65% of all membership and weekly fee's will be paid out in prizes at the 14and1.com Nationals , and cover costs of the Nationals. Remaining 35% will go to administration and operating costs."

This would be a big step down from what our (and I would guess most) straight pool leagues offer now. In my league, there are no membership fees. Part of the weekly fee goes to pay a fixed sum for table time and 100% of the rest goes to the prize pool. No administrative fees.

TheWizard
04-05-2007, 12:24 PM
Hey guys :)

Kev, first I would like to say Hats off to you for your inspiration to try and strengthen the popularity of a REAL pool game and I wholeheartedly wishyou the very best of luck in your efforts, as well as the other good people here who are sharing their knowledge and experience to help with this project :)

Although I'm in Ireland, I played straight pool before I played 9ball or any other cuesport :), and I've been playing pool for over 20 years now :)

in Feb, this year saw the 1st ever straight pool event held, in which there were qualifiers, but the problem with the event was, the director of the pool tour, resticts all the events to just 1 day (Saturday), and the straight pool was definitely no exception, with each match only being played to 50 points, which as we all know, that's like a 1 rack shootout at 9ball :) lol

Anyways, what I'm writing in to ask about is, if the league and handicapp system is set up, that everyone is happy with, what would be the maximum number of points, that a player would have to reach to win his/her match?

The reason I ask this is because it's an interesting idea to try and set up a straight pool league over here in Ireland, (in a pool room that I play at called, 'Club9' which is the first pool room anywhere in Ireland to have a BCA league), but to set it up in some way that could be affiliated with what you're trying to set up :)

What I would wonder is, would it not be better to just use the straight pool score sheets that are on www.playpool.com ? :), they have separate boxes for each inning, and although they are printed out in normally A4 size, but I'm sure that it would be possible to have them copied and blown up to poster size, to allow plenty of room on the sheet for writing the scores down clearly :)

As reguards a handicapp system suggestion, I don't know because I've not had the oppertunity to play in a straight pool league, but whatever you guys can work out, is cool with me :)

I wish the the very best of luck with this Kevin :)

Willie

selftaut
04-05-2007, 01:23 PM
Thanks for your thoughts and input guys!

mthornto , the handicap system is certainly open for debate , I would love to have the outcome of this thread come up with a system that everyone here can agree is fair, and how to start it off without having to visually rate the speed of players for the first week , that would be impossible. On the money end that you mentioned , I think it would be hard to compare the 2 because your league being localized with a totally different prize structure and most likely has not much overhead , on my end I believe I have to keep the league in the public eye through consistant promotion , which is very expensive , and running a yearly National event will be costly as well , in my system there is not prizes awarded locally unless the league operator decide to charge a few more bucks a week for a pool for local prizes , that 65% all goes to the Nationals prize fund, in addition I know better than to think its going to run itself and I won't spend much time in it , its going to take much time and effort on my part , and I feel If I can build it then my time might be worth a little something. Thanks for your comments and keep them coming!

Willie , thank you for your comments , I have my system at the moment set to 75 point games , this was set in conjunction with the "no count" system I have right now , if the system changes then I am sure the length of the games might change as well. The score sheets is the same story , they are really built around the system being used. I guess if you wanted to run a 14and1.com sanctioned league over there in Ireland I can't see anyone objecting to that , but its a long hike to the 14and1.com Nationals!

Kev

TheWizard
04-05-2007, 05:02 PM
Hey Kev :), many thaks for the reply buddy :)

I'm liking the idea of the no count system :), it looks to be a more straight forward system, it certainly gets my vote :), 75 is a bit better than 50, but I have a feeling that you could get away with playing to 100 for matches between the higher ranked players and 75 for the lower ranked players :)

What are your thoughts on this? :)

Willie

selftaut
04-05-2007, 07:51 PM
Hey Kev :), many thaks for the reply buddy :)

I'm liking the idea of the no count system :), it looks to be a more straight forward system, it certainly gets my vote :), 75 is a bit better than 50, but I have a feeling that you could get away with playing to 100 for matches between the higher ranked players and 75 for the lower ranked players :)

What are your thoughts on this? :)

Willie

Thanks Willie! that is a great suggestion , maybe have the games go to 100 when 2 players are "A" and up , I think I may implement that , maybe lower the game to 50 when "D" and "C" match up.

Kev

TheWizard
04-06-2007, 04:50 AM
Thanks Willie! that is a great suggestion , maybe have the games go to 100 when 2 players are "A" and up , I think I may implement that , maybe lower the game to 50 when "D" and "C" match up.

Kev

You're very welcome buddy :)

Yes that's right, in fact there's a way to fine tune the points level to the player's ability ranking :)

D Vs C rank, play to 50 (No count)

B Vs A rank, play to 75 (No count)

AA Vs PRO, play to 100 (No count)

You could also adjust it between the larger rank differences too :)

D/C Vs AA/PRO, play to 75 (No count)

D/C Vs B/A, play to 60 (No count)

B/A Vs AA/PRO, play to 90 (No count)

This way you'll be able to have a more detailed league scoring system, that allows you and the players to see who is improving, who is playing well, and by how much :), and as mentioned it can be shown on a weekly basis, especially with using the no count system :)

Willie

selftaut
04-06-2007, 05:20 AM
Thanks again Willie , I have made the changes after much thought into it , I did go with your suggestion and set the games to very similar to what you said. I also took into consideration that most think the matches would take to long , so I relieved some of that by having 50 point matches with the lower handicap match-ups , and I also lightened the no count needed across the board , after playing several games with some locals here myself under the system the last few days , I have determined that I did need to speed the games up a little but not that much , the games we played last night under this new system only took about 15 minutes longer with the no count system than a regular game would because the no count numbers are now in reach more easily, so taking everyones points into consideration I think it is getting fine tooned now and possibly getting close. There are some fine other systems out there that I do see , but I am in fear of someone saying I stole their system and taking the ship down at some point , that may sound silly but if this ever got huge one has to ask themself if that could happen, I think I am leaning with the no count and tuning it the best it can be.

The next thing I need to come up with is the tie breakers , if there are ties at the end of a league.

Kind Regards
Kev

TheWizard
04-06-2007, 05:32 AM
No worries buddy, it sounds like you have pretty much got it covered and that things are rolling :)

You're doing a great job so far and it can only get better with time :)

I'm going to look into getting a straight pool league started over here and see how it runs, but it depends on how many players that I can get, because as you can 8understand, there ain't no sense in running a league if only 4 players are gonna show up :) lol

You're more than welcome to fire away with any suggestions I have, as I'm happy to help if I can, after all, we're all here to try and make pool better for everyone :)

Thanks again for replying and I'm glad that I was able to help in some way or another, and if I can be of any more help, feel free to give me a hollar via the inbox :)

Best wishes

Willie

Steve Lipsky
04-06-2007, 06:35 AM
Thanks again Willie , I have made the changes after much thought into it , I did go with your suggestion and set the games to very similar to what you said. I also took into consideration that most think the matches would take to long , so I relieved some of that by having 50 point matches with the lower handicap match-ups , and I also lightened the no count needed across the board , after playing several games with some locals here myself under the system the last few days , I have determined that I did need to speed the games up a little but not that much , the games we played last night under this new system only took about 15 minutes longer with the no count system than a regular game would because the no count numbers are now in reach more easily, so taking everyones points into consideration I think it is getting fine tooned now and possibly getting close. There are some fine other systems out there that I do see , but I am in fear of someone saying I stole their system and taking the ship down at some point , that may sound silly but if this ever got huge one has to ask themself if that could happen, I think I am leaning with the no count and tuning it the best it can be.

The next thing I need to come up with is the tie breakers , if there are ties at the end of a league.

Kind Regards
Kev


Kevin,

I want to caution you one more time against a no-count league. The games are very difficult to score (impossible with only counters - you either need beads or paper) and there is almost an exponential effect on how long the games can go. This means that for the higher-ranked players, if they don't win the game quickly, they get more and more tired, making it more and more unlikely they will reach their designated no-count in any given inning. Not sure what your top no-count is right now, but for a pro player (for it to mean anything), it should probably be around 40. In a game to 100, if a player isn't shooting well and has already pocketed 250 balls but still has a score of -5, this could be a very long day.

On top of that, the game is really a gimmick, usually given by top players to weaker players. Ending a run on defense (whether he's made the no-count or falls short) is almost never employed. It's not necessarily conducive to correct straight pool.

It's only my opinion, so please take it for what it's worth (not much) :). But I suppose if you could try to explain why you want to make the games no-count, it would make it easier for me to understand.

Thanks,
Steve

TheWizard
04-06-2007, 07:41 AM
How does the handicapp system work, that you play in, Steve? :)

I was gonna check out the website for Amsterdam Billiards in NYC, to see how their handicapp system works in their straight pool league :)

The no count type handicapp system that I'm thinking of, is both players playing a regular game/no points spotted, but the number of points winning the game being adjusted to the skill level of the players as I suggested on the previous page :)

At the moment though, like Kevin, I'm open to suggestions for a good handicapp system, that will be less time consuming for both players and room owners alike :)

Willie

Steve Lipsky
04-06-2007, 07:57 AM
Hi Willie. Since the no-count portion of the game is where the handicap lies, usually both players play to the same number of points.

I can't tell from your post if you are talking about a true no-count league or if you are just talking about a league where different handicaps play to different point totals.

No-count games work like so: If I have to go 30-no-count, I don't receive any points until I run at least 30 balls, at which point I receive all 30 plus any more I run during that inning. If I run 29 and miss, I receive no points for the inning.

All straight pool leagues I've played are the type to which you refer. Different skill levels go to different point totals, but the games are not no-count.

- Steve

selftaut
04-06-2007, 09:29 AM
Hi Willie. Since the no-count portion of the game is where the handicap lies, usually both players play to the same number of points.

I can't tell from your post if you are talking about a true no-count league or if you are just talking about a league where different handicaps play to different point totals.

No-count games work like so: If I have to go 30-no-count, I don't receive any points until I run at least 30 balls, at which point I receive all 30 plus any more I run during that inning. If I run 29 and miss, I receive no points for the inning.

All straight pool leagues I've played are the type to which you refer. Different skill levels go to different point totals, but the games are not no-count.

- Steve

Hi Steve , again thanks for your input , after the concensus was that the games might take to long I lightened the no count across the board to where the no count run would be more consistantly reachable according to skill level , and stepping up only 2 to 4 balls when going up the ladder , I also shortened the games for lower handicap matches. I took out the "pro" word for the top level.

I originally thought the no count system would be good to use for 2 reasons , first and most obvious I thought it would be a reasonable way to seperate skill levels , and secondly I thought under this system that it would almost force players to become better players if they were improving and their no count was now higher as they move up , I kind of have the thought that there is not much room for slacking , offensively it forces you to play at your best which in turn improves the players game. I certainly can see your point as well and as I said earlier this is not stamped in stone , I might go right back to the drawing board if nobody thinks this will work. On the scoring issue you mentioned , there will be scoresheets issued for league play and innings and balls will be written as the match goes. Chart below of how I have it set now .

14and1.com Player Level Chart:
-------------------------------------------

Player Level Minimum Run To Get Counted
_________ _______________________
AAA ..........................20 no count
AA ............................16 no count
A ..............................12 no count
B ................................8 no count
C ................................4 no count
D ................................2 no count

The length of league play matches are determined by skill level match-ups as follows:

AAA vs. AAA,AA or A .......100 point game.
AAA vs B,C or D ...............75 point game.
AA vs. AA,A,B,C or D.........75 point game.
A vs. A,B,C or D ..............75 point game.
B vs. B,C or D .................50 point game.
C vs. C or D ....................50 point game.


The first week any new league session ALL players start as a "B" level , even if players have previously played in a 14and1.com league.

MOVING UP OR DOWN IN HANDICAP: A match win by 15 balls or more advances a player up to the next level for their next match , a loss by 15 balls or more lowers a player down to the next level for their next match , a match win/loss by 14 balls or less then both players remain at their current handicap for their next league match. This formula continues throughout the length of your league.

Thanks for your ideas and please don't hesitate tell me what your thoughts are.

Kind regards
Kev

TheWizard
04-06-2007, 10:31 AM
Hi Willie. Since the no-count portion of the game is where the handicap lies, usually both players play to the same number of points.

I can't tell from your post if you are talking about a true no-count league or if you are just talking about a league where different handicaps play to different point totals.

No-count games work like so: If I have to go 30-no-count, I don't receive any points until I run at least 30 balls, at which point I receive all 30 plus any more I run during that inning. If I run 29 and miss, I receive no points for the inning.

All straight pool leagues I've played are the type to which you refer. Different skill levels go to different point totals, but the games are not no-count.

- Steve

Hi Steve, thank you for replying buddy :)

Sorry about the confusion in my previous post, but the kind of system that I have in mind, is where both players play a regular game of straight pool, but to the designated score that is suited to the player's ranking, just as Kevin has mentioned above, but with all balls being counted in each inning, reguardless of the run.

In what I'm thinking though, is not like a regular league where a lower rank player would normally be spotted an x number of balls by his/her opponent, instead both players would play from scatch (zero), to the designated score, and instead of getting so many points for a win, the league standings go by ball count and innings player, as well as games won/loss basis :)

This way, I feel that it will really allow for the widening range of players at a wider variety of skill levels, but at the same time, they will be able to improve in their ability level, with time :)

At the end of the day, I'm just hoping to try and work out a system, that would work best for everyone, and that would also be simple enough to atract more players to join in too :)

Willie

selftaut
04-06-2007, 01:34 PM
OK Guys , here is plan B below, this would be throwing out the "no count" system completely and putting a system more in line with Bob Jewets system , although not the same at all , it is based on the general idea.

Please give me your thoughts , better than the no count?

---------------------------------------

Players will race to their designated handicap , scoring will be on the beads or counter and played and scored with BCA 14.1 rules.

Level Handicap
---- --------
PRO.......175
A+ ..... 125
A ....... 115
A- ..... 105
B+ ..... 95
B ....... 85
B- ..... 75
C+ ..... 65
C ....... 55
C- ..... 45
D+ ..... 35
D ....... 25
D- ...... 20

In league match play , if a player wins their match by 10 balls or more of the opponents handicap then this player goes up one level for next week, the losing player goes down one level. If a match is won by less than 10 balls of the opponents handicap then both players remain at that handicap. EXAMPLE: a "B" is playing a "C" , the match is B player has to get 85 balls before C player gets 55 balls, if B player wins 85 to 42 , then the difference between the C players final score of 42 and the designated race to 55 is 13 balls , so the B player won by 13 balls of the opponents handicap and moves up one level and the C player moves down one level.

**STARTING YOUR LEAGUE**:

A minimum of 8 players and maximum of 16 players are required to form a 14and1.com league. Leagues are set up that each player plays all other players twice , chart below shows length of leagues according to number of players and based on once a week league play..

8 players = 14 weeks
9 players = 16 weeks
10 players = 18 weeks
11 players = 20 weeks
12 players = 22 weeks
13 players = 24 weeks
14 players = 26 weeks
15 players = 28 weeks
16 players = 30 weeks

The first week of league play ALL players start as a B level , there are no "bonus points" awarded during the first 3 weeks of league play , only 2 points for a win. This allowes time for the handicaps to naturally adjust , and without allowing any player to surge to far ahead in points. In the 4th week of league play the bonus point system kicks on in addition to the 2 points for a win.

**SCORING**:

Match win points:
----------------
A match win recieves 2 points added to winners overall points, no points are deducted for a loss.

Bonus points: Players can earn bonus points after the first 3 weeks.
------------

*If a player wins by 10 to 14 balls of their opponents handicap, 2 bonus point is awarded to players overall points.
*If a player wins by 15 to 19 balls of their opponents handicap, 3 bonus points are awarded to players overall points.
*If a player wins by 20 or more balls of their opponents handicap, 4 bonus points are awarded to players overall points.
BONUS EXAMPLE: a "B" is playing a "C" , the match is B player has to get 85 balls before C player gets 55 balls, if B player wins 85 to 42 , then the difference between the C players final score and the designated race to 55 is 13 balls , so the B player wins by 13 balls of the opponents handicap and recieves 2 bonus point2.

Each league is also a 14and1.com Nationals qualifier , the top 2 finishers after the last week of play earn a entry into the 14and1.com Nationals.


------------------------------------------------

OK , thats it for now.

Steve , am I getting warmer??? LOL

everyone, any comments appreciated!

thanks
Kev

TheWizard
04-06-2007, 02:32 PM
That sounds pretty good to me :), I gotta give it to you Kev for putting the time and effort into this already, as I know that it can be quite testing sometimes trying to find a way to make everyone happy :)

Willie

selftaut
04-06-2007, 02:56 PM
That sounds pretty good to me :), I gotta give it to you Kev for putting the time and effort into this already, as I know that it can be quite testing sometimes trying to find a way to make everyone happy :)

Willie

Thank you Willie, glad to have your vote of confidence. I am determined to make this work. I have been around long enough to know to listen the the guys that been there done that. No we can't please everyone, no handicap system will never make everyone happy , thats impossible , but starting off on the right foot with a good system that fair is crucial.

Kev

Bob Jewett
04-06-2007, 03:44 PM
.... In league match play , if a player wins their match by 10 balls or more of the opponents handicap then this player goes up one level for next week, the losing player goes down one level. ...
This is a really, really, really bad way to handle the adjustments. Really, really bad. All the players will quickly figure out that they should let the sucker get within 10 balls before making their game ball. The skill will be in selling out a limited number of balls and hanging up isolated balls with nothing else loose and no good way to break.

On the other hand, some players will find that adjustment method very attractive and that will draw them to the league.

selftaut
04-06-2007, 03:48 PM
This is a really, really, really bad way to handle the adjustments. Really, really bad. All the players will quickly figure out that they should let the sucker get within 10 balls before making their game ball. The skill will be in selling out a limited number of balls and hanging up isolated balls with nothing else loose and no good way to break.

On the other hand, some players will find that adjustment method very attractive and that will draw them to the league.

OK Bob , glad you weighed in here! , I had put the Bonus Point system in place to be a deterant to that (win by10+ to earn bonus), if players DID do what you suggested then they would be cutting their own throat by not getting bonus points , the bonus points are actually the catalyst of the system and without gaining bonus points I don't think a player could win the league, but you could be right , I will put more thought into that situation.

Kind regards
Kev

Williebetmore
04-07-2007, 09:15 AM
Just some unasked for advice; the "no-count" handicap systems are SEVERELY flawed in my opinion. We briefly experimented with the system - it was a very short time before the poorer players found out that their best strategy was to immediately shoot all potential break shots. The intermediate players would STOMP the advanced players (shutting them out not infrequently as they mastered the principles of eliminating all the break shots from the table). The games took a lot of innings.

I think it is a TERRIBLE system for a league; and it is (to answer Bob Jewett's speculation in the "14.1 league" thread) NOT straight pool. The beginning players learn to shoot all of their easy shots first, eliminate all potential break shots as soon as they can, and settle for a few balls every rack. The advanced players will get LOTS of practice manufacturing break balls. An undesirable situation in my view; since the game is easy to handicap in a more traditional fashion.

By imposing such a handicap system, you are changing the game - it will be hard to convince people that the game is really 14.1 (because it won't be).

selftaut
04-07-2007, 03:01 PM
Just some unasked for advice; the "no-count" handicap systems are SEVERELY flawed in my opinion. We briefly experimented with the system - it was a very short time before the poorer players found out that their best strategy was to immediately shoot all potential break shots. The intermediate players would STOMP the advanced players (shutting them out not infrequently as they mastered the principles of eliminating all the break shots from the table). The games took a lot of innings.

I think it is a TERRIBLE system for a league; and it is (to answer Bob Jewett's speculation in the "14.1 league" thread) NOT straight pool. The beginning players learn to shoot all of their easy shots first, eliminate all potential break shots as soon as they can, and settle for a few balls every rack. The advanced players will get LOTS of practice manufacturing break balls. An undesirable situation in my view; since the game is easy to handicap in a more traditional fashion.

By imposing such a handicap system, you are changing the game - it will be hard to convince people that the game is really 14.1 (because it won't be).

Williebetmore, thank you for your comments and sharing your experience with your no count system , I have already taken the advice from the previous comments in the thread and scrapped the no count system , in favor of the system I have posted in thread #22 , I also have been recieving emails and phone calls and every little bit of advice has been taken into consideration , I can't thank everyone enough for the advice.

If you have any other thoughts for 14and1.com please feel free to throw them at me.

Kind Regards
Kev

Williebetmore
04-07-2007, 05:39 PM
I have already taken the advice from the previous comments in the thread and scrapped the no count system , in favor of the system I have posted in thread #22
Kev

Kev,
Excellent idea.

Here is a very long description of our local straight pool league that I sent to Danny Harriman when he was soliciting suggestions for a league. I do like the way that all of our games end at 100 for both players (using negative handicaps for the monster players) - allowing total ball count to be used for breaking ties (players with negative handicaps that do not get out of the hole, get half credit for balls made):


I'm a straight pool fanatic, I'll help however I can.
Our league has been continuously in operation for over 50 years, so at least it works.

Ours is a handicapped league. We have 18 players (9 tables in the poolhall) of varying abilities, playing in a round robin format. Each player will play each other player one time. There is a “position round” halfway through the season, and at the end of the season where you play the person just above or below you in the standings (#1 plays #2, #3 plays #4, etc.) – so you will end up playing 1 or 2 opponents twice during the year.. Standings are based on won-loss records (with total # of balls made as the tie-breaker).

The matches are EVERY Thursday night – players join the league for the WHOLE season (not just a few nights here and there). Once you are in the league, you are in until you quit or die (any poor sports are encouraged to quit or we kill them). Make-up games are allowed at any time, but must be made up before the position rounds in the middle and at the end of the season. One of our pro players missed 6 straight weeks, but made up all of those matches in 2 days right before the end of the season. We bend over backwards to make it attractive for the pro players.

All matches are played to 100. The poorer players have higher handicaps. The feeble players who can’t run balls at all are in the 50-60 handicap range. The best amateur players are in the 0-10 handicap range. The pro’s are in the -70 range (negative 70). If my handicap is 10, and I play a 60 handicap player, you just subtract the 10 from the 60 and I spot him 50 balls. He starts at a score of 50, I start at 0, and we play to 100. If I play a negative handicap player it’s a little different. Our best pro's handicap is -70 (negative 70). I would start at my handicap of 10, the pro would start at -70. Therefore I would have to score 90 balls to get to 100, and she would have to score 170 balls to get to 100. She must score at least 70 balls to “get up to zero”, then another 100 to win. Only her balls after the initial 70 to “get out of the hole” count towards her total balls for tiebreaking purposes.

With this handicap system, you can mix top pro’s with feeble, factory players and STILL have great matches. When these guys need only 40 balls and you need 170, you have to play hard from the very start to beat them – it’s a LOT of fun.

The initially handicaps are set by the league director. I agree with Blackjack that 10 racks of Equal Offense would be a great help in setting them initially – you could do it the first night of league, 2 players per table, alternating racks. Our handicaps are changed over a 20 week average, so you would not be able to use our system the first year. Handicaps are skewed a little towards the better players, set about 75% of the true difference. If the better player plays his best, he will usually win; if he slacks off much he will lose. If you set yourself at about -60 to -80, and the good amateurs around 10, and the hackers at 30 – 50; then you can’t go wrong.

The league director has a Handicap Committee to discuss things with; but it runs so well now, that there is never any need for it. If you win a match, they look at how you did 20 weeks ago and adjust up or down. A new league just needs someone like you to be the “dictator”. Just set the initial handicaps based on the Equal Offense results. Then adjust the handicaps every week or two. After a year you will know exactly where everyone should be (new players can then just be compared to the ones you know). It’s easy, don’t be afraid.

There is also a Rules Committee. If any rules clarifications (or god forbid a dispute) come up, then the decision of the Rules Committee member is FINAL (even if it’s wrong). There has been one dispute in our league in 5 years (and that troublemaker was OUT of the league at the end of the year).

We each pay $20 membership fee at the beginning of the year. We then pay $5 per week to the league. Everyone takes care of their own table time. There is no pressure to collect every week; because nothing is paid out until the final night. As long as you are paid up at the end of the year, then you will be included in the final payouts. We pay out all 18 places – no fortunes to be made in this league. The top half players will get all of their fees back and a little more; the bottom players play HARD the last night to improve their positions. There is NO sandbagging in this league – it would only lower your position.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, feel free to call if you have questions. Mark Wilson in Collinsville, IL has a quite different league format and handicap system; he has only 3 tables and shorter games. You might call him if you want another viewpoint. SJM on the AZB forum also has a different straight pool handicapping system (from his NYC straight pool leagues) that is good; but everyone plays to different numbers (a bit confusing), and is based on “high runs” during competition which makes a LOT of record keeping. Our system requires only recording the final score; I highly recommend this to reduce the paperwork.

TheWizard
04-07-2007, 05:59 PM
Hey WillieB :), I gotta hand it to you, the negative handicapp league sounds interesting, The only thing that I would wonder about though, with this handicapp system, and I feel that you would be able to answer this best :)

How would the handicapped scoring be set for the start of a match between player A (-50) Vs Player B (-20), would your sytem shorten the game length a little by having the difference being marked, e.g. Player starting at -30 Vs Player B starting on 0, playing to 100?... Or would you just get both players to play from their full handicapp scores? (-50 Vs -30)

It sounds like a pretty good and competitive system for all skill levels and it certainly sounds interesting :)

I'm going to be taking the time though to get as much info on various handicapp systems before considering starting up a straight pool league over here, simply because I wish to use a handicapp system that is straight forward, easy to use, effective and mostl;y a fiar system that will give as much competitive oppertunity to the lesser skilled players as well as the advanced players :)

Thank you WillieB for posting the info, as like you, I'm also a straight pool fan, I have been from I first started playing it as a kid :)

Willie

Williebetmore
04-07-2007, 07:07 PM
Hey WillieB :), I gotta hand it to you, the negative handicapp league sounds interesting, The only thing that I would wonder about though, with this handicapp system, and I feel that you would be able to answer this best :)

How would the handicapped scoring be set for the start of a match between player A (-50) Vs Player B (-20), would your sytem shorten the game length a little by having the difference being marked, e.g. Player starting at -30 Vs Player B starting on 0, playing to 100?... Or would you just get both players to play from their full handicapp scores? (-50 Vs -30)

It sounds like a pretty good and competitive system for all skill levels and it certainly sounds interesting :)

I'm going to be taking the time though to get as much info on various handicapp systems before considering starting up a straight pool league over here, simply because I wish to use a handicapp system that is straight forward, easy to use, effective and mostl;y a fiar system that will give as much competitive oppertunity to the lesser skilled players as well as the advanced players :)

P.S. - For local leagues, I love the idea of using Equal Offense to set initial handicaps. I also favor the "dictator system" or the "handicap committee" system for adjusting handicaps. Formula's seem too cumbersome.

Thank you WillieB for posting the info, as like you, I'm also a straight pool fan, I have been from I first started playing it as a kid :)

Willie

Willie,
Actually we have 3 pro's in the league now (maybe 4 next year if we are lucky). The handicap of our 2 best pro's is now -100. When they play each other they play to 200. When they play the 3rd pro (who is a -30); they play to 200, and the other pro plays to 130. In other words, the negative handicapped players always play to their full handicap (trust me, their matches are NOT longer in duration than the regular players - they make balls like they mean it).

We have found this eminently workable. The pro's have enjoyed all of their matches; and have had some very close ones with even the worst players.

I will also tell you that (as in golf), a successful handicap system MUST FAVOR THE BETTER PLAYER BY AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT (about 3/4 is fair). There HAS to be incentive for players to improve. If they want a match that is a coin flip; they'll just go play poker; or head to Vegas for some roulette. There should be NO INCENTIVE FOR SANDBAGGING.

TheWizard
04-07-2007, 08:00 PM
Thanks buddy, it makes very good sense in what you're saying and as you say, it gives the weaker players a good incentive to try and improve :)

Cool :cool: I would imagine that if a player is -100, then that would be a reasonably standard length match, as they would mostly be capable of running a 100+? balls and so, anyone would expect that :)

I definitely am intrigued by this sytem that you got and I'll print out the details of your system and run it by some of the guys at the room, to see if 1, they will play in a straigh pool league and 2, if they would be happy with that handicapp system :)

If possible, can you PM me all the details on your system, including how you guage a player's h'capp, etc, it's so that I can print it out and run it by the guys in the pool room, when I go there on Monday, at least that way, I'll be able to get an idea of how many players would be up for playing in it, etc :)

Many thanks again Willie B :)

Willie

selftaut
04-07-2007, 11:20 PM
Kev,
Excellent idea.

.

Thank you for sharing Williebetmore! nice system you have there and sounds like great fun as well! lots of good info there , my system is more based on the system itself making adjustments to the players level on a match to match basis, I agree with you that it can't be a complete coin flip , I thought exactly the same thing when putting this together, I feel I am giving a very small edge to the better players and thats why i capped at A+ = 125 being the highest ball count, my thinking was an A+ having to go to 125 and a C player having to go to 55 actually is slightly weighted to the A+ , I just went about the same idea in a different way. Really glad you mentioned that because I was thinking along the same lines.

And thank you for extending your invitation if I need advice , and your continued support for straight pool!

Kev

Williebetmore
04-08-2007, 04:39 AM
If possible, can you PM me all the details on your system, including how you guage a player's h'capp, etc,
Willie

W,
Most matches last about 2 hours. As players improve, their handicap goes down and they must make more balls - but the matches continue to be about the same length.

We have the "handicap committee" method. As most of the guys have been playing together for 30 years; everyone's ability is well known. New players are estimated, and after one match adjusted according to their level.

Veteran players are adjusted according to a 20 week running total. If you win this week, and lost 20 weeks ago, your handicap would go down. If you lose this week, and won 20 weeks ago, your handicap would go up. If there is no difference in the result of this week compared to 20 weeks ago it stays the same. They used to make fine adjustments in the handicap; but found that increments of 5 balls works just as well; with less hassle.

The pro's are about -100. A fairly good amateur player is about a 5. A banger who has trouble making 3 balls is a 50-70.

If I played you, I could gauge your handicap accurately in 10 minutes. If you do not have that luxury (someone who knows all of the players in the league), I like the idea of using an Equal Offense scale to decide initial handicaps (though I don't know which EO score would equal what handicap; but I could figure it out if pressed).

Good luck.

dmgwalsh
04-08-2007, 04:45 AM
A few things to consider:

2. From your site: "65% of all membership and weekly fee's will be paid out in prizes at the 14and1.com Nationals , and cover costs of the Nationals. Remaining 35% will go to administration and operating costs."

This would be a big step down from what our (and I would guess most) straight pool leagues offer now. In my league, there are no membership fees. Part of the weekly fee goes to pay a fixed sum for table time and 100% of the rest goes to the prize pool. No administrative fees.

The two leagues I play in cost $20 or $30 (for two matches) and half goes to the house. 25% is given back to the players based on $5 and $7.50 a win in the respective leagues. The othe 25% goes into the prize fund which pays the top three or four places (based on 16 entries).

This idea is good, but can we get the players to cut into their prize money??

What do the other 14.1 league operators think?

selftaut
04-08-2007, 06:09 AM
The two leagues I play in cost $20 or $30 (for two matches) and half goes to the house. 25% is given back to the players based on $5 and $7.50 a win in the respective leagues. The othe 25% goes into the prize fund which pays the top three or four places (based on 16 entries).

This idea is good, but can we get the players to cut into their prize money??

What do the other 14.1 league operators think?

Hi Dennis , there might be a little confusion on this issue , maybe not. It is hard compare a single local league to what I am planning since they are really totally different. In your local league players contibute to your local league prize fund every match as you stated above, the 14and1.com membership and weekly fee's are sent in to fund the 14and1.com National Championships and operate daily, 65% to Nationals prize fund and costs in running the Nationals, 35% to pay for advertising , administration costs ( web hosting , print products, outsourcing etc..etc..) , if there possibly would be enough left over for me to fill my gas tank then OK fine, if I break even OK fine.

Just an example based on rooms running 1 league per season:: If 30 leagues are created with 10 players in each league = 300 members (60 qualify for nationals), membership fee's might average total $200 per league ($25 adult $15 Junior $15 Senior) X 30 teams = $6000.

Weekly $5 fee's sent in (if everyone played every week) from 300 members = $1,500 per week , the 10 player league chart is 18 weeks in duration so the weekly dues would calculate to $1,500 x 18 = $27,000.

Add $6,000 membership fee's + $5 weekly fee's from 30 leagues = $33,000.

65% of $33,000 = $21,450 for the Nationals (prize fund for 60 qualifying players).
35% of $33,000 = $11,550 for operating and admin costs.

If there is to be a prize fund on the local level then that would be up to the players and league operator to put in a few more dollars a week to fund that , this is up to each league and not regulated by 14and1.com. A note , the APA charges $6 per week sent to them , with a couple hundred thousand players weekly , calculate that quick, do you think they are giving 65% back in prize fund in APA Las Vegas Nationals?

Thanks
Kev

TheWizard
04-08-2007, 06:22 AM
W,
Most matches last about 2 hours. As players improve, their handicap goes down and they must make more balls - but the matches continue to be about the same length.

We have the "handicap committee" method. As most of the guys have been playing together for 30 years; everyone's ability is well known. New players are estimated, and after one match adjusted according to their level.

Veteran players are adjusted according to a 20 week running total. If you win this week, and lost 20 weeks ago, your handicap would go down. If you lose this week, and won 20 weeks ago, your handicap would go up. If there is no difference in the result of this week compared to 20 weeks ago it stays the same. They used to make fine adjustments in the handicap; but found that increments of 5 balls works just as well; with less hassle.

The pro's are about -100. A fairly good amateur player is about a 5. A banger who has trouble making 3 balls is a 50-70.

If I played you, I could gauge your handicap accurately in 10 minutes. If you do not have that luxury (someone who knows all of the players in the league), I like the idea of using an Equal Offense scale to decide initial handicaps (though I don't know which EO score would equal what handicap; but I could figure it out if pressed).

Good luck.

Thanks again buddy :)

The Equal Offence method of guageing a player's h'capp has got me thinking that it would be a better and perhaps more accurate method, as the guys that would be most likely to play in a straight pool league are of a wide range of ability levels, including a few pros, and so, in that respect I feel that Equal Offence would be the best way for getting a player's h'capp :)

Many thanks again buddy and I hope that I can get a league started sometime soon :)

Willie

Steve Lipsky
04-08-2007, 06:26 AM
Players will race to their designated handicap , scoring will be on the beads or counter and played and scored with BCA 14.1 rules.

Level Handicap
---- --------
A+ ..... 125
A ....... 115
A- ..... 105
B+ ..... 95
B ....... 85
B- ..... 75
C+ ..... 65
C ....... 55
C- ..... 45
D+ ..... 35
D ....... 25
D- ...... 20


Kev, you're definitely getting warmer :). I do think these point totals are not weighted enough towards the weaker players. I am a proponent, like Willie, of giving the better players a better than even chance of winning any given match, but your system above would make it so they would never lose. A C player has no chance getting to 55 before a pro gets to 125, for example. I am assuming your A+ is a pro because you don't have a separate pro designation. If you were to tack on two more handicaps on top, maybe Open at 160 and Pro at 200, everything else begins to fall in line a bit.

You also may want to figure out a way to get the lower players to race to higher numbers when they play each other. The league fee around me is $15 per week; would you want to pay this to play a game where you and your opponent play a race to 25 in straight pool?

As has been mentioned, starting everyone at a B... you'd have to come up with some pretty strong reasoning to convince me why this should be so, in a league where everyone knows each other and knows what the games should be. If you did tack on the two extra levels at the top, it would take a pro 6 weeks every season before he was at the correct handicap.

Also, your bonus point system and your move-up/move-down criteria seem to be based on absolute scores, rather than relative scores. For example, how is a D playing a D going to win a match by 20 balls to get a certain number of bonus points?

Leagues with mostly frozen handicaps (only moving when clearly no longer accurate to a player's skill) seem to work better in my experience. There's less sandbagging and more actual playing.

Kevin, I know we are all giving you a lot of suggestions - please do not take them as criticism. Take what you like, throw out the rest, and make the system your own.

- Steve

selftaut
04-08-2007, 07:49 AM
Kev, you're definitely getting warmer :). I do think these point totals are not weighted enough towards the weaker players. I am a proponent, like Willie, of giving the better players a better than even chance of winning any given match, but your system above would make it so they would never lose. A C player has no chance getting to 55 before a pro gets to 125, for example. I am assuming your A+ is a pro because you don't have a separate pro designation. If you were to tack on two more handicaps on top, maybe Open at 160 and Pro at 200, everything else begins to fall in line a bit.

You also may want to figure out a way to get the lower players to race to higher numbers when they play each other. The league fee around me is $15 per week; would you want to pay this to play a game where you and your opponent play a race to 25 in straight pool?

As has been mentioned, starting everyone at a B... you'd have to come up with some pretty strong reasoning to convince me why this should be so, in a league where everyone knows each other and knows what the games should be. If you did tack on the two extra levels at the top, it would take a pro 6 weeks every season before he was at the correct handicap.

Also, your bonus point system and your move-up/move-down criteria seem to be based on absolute scores, rather than relative scores. For example, how is a D playing a D going to win a match by 20 balls to get a certain number of bonus points?

Leagues with mostly frozen handicaps (only moving when clearly no longer accurate to a player's skill) seem to work better in my experience. There's less sandbagging and more actual playing.

Kevin, I know we are all giving you a lot of suggestions - please do not take them as criticism. Take what you like, throw out the rest, and make the system your own.

- Steve

Hey Steve , thanks again for the thoughts and everyones thoughts have been very helpful , I do not at all take anything as critisizm.

OK your issue #1 , I did think of putting one more level as "Pro" = 175 , but your suggestion of 2 more "Open" and "Pro" might make more sense , now I will definately add the Pro level and possibly the 2 more levels , but adding 2 more might be to many levels to go from opening day as a B ,as you mentioned.

Issue #2 , I understand that maybe in your league with the flat fee for table time might come into play , but 14and1.com does not get involved in table time or wat can be worked out for table time with room owners etc..etc... thats really up to each individual league and league operator , I think players should just split the table time and possibly get a discount from room owners for the league , but that is just my thoughts but I am staying out of that arena , and 2 D players could take an hour to race to 25.

Issue #3 , starting everyone as a B level opening day. I set this almost the same as the 8 ball league system I put together and is very popular here locally , except in that league I use 4 weeks before bonus points kick in. Here is what happened this season , I have the strongest team by far in the 8 ball league , we won the first 4 weeks and went up 4 levels to where our handicap is more relative to our skill levels but got relatively few points for it, the 4 teams we beat went down one level from playing my team and those that lost some matches also playing the other teams are all now closer in handicap to their skill levels , within 4 weeks everyone was just about where they should be in levels. Now during those 4 weeks no bonus points were awarded and we were not very far ahead even though winning all first 4 weeks , we were ahead by only 2 points, some other teams picked up a few wins as well, what has to be taken into consideration is that the strong player won't be a full 8 points ahead since other will have won some matches as well , then in the 5th week the bonus system kicked in , now in the 10th week of this league my team is absolutely shooting its brains out to hang onto second place (tied for 2nd), on paper it looks like it won't work ,all the players in my 8 ball league had the same reservations, but it works and they were all shocked when it did. I can't see any way of setting a players speed before the league starts , I can't and won't leave it up to league operators , that would open the door for serious problems somewhere down the line.

Issue #4 , criteria for players moving up/down in skill levels. I have to have something in place that automatically shifts the players , I will not have the luxury of someone looking over the players , I can not leave it up to league operators , that would be a huge mistake on my part having 30 different views all across the leagues. What I came up with does not leave much room for sandbagging , the bonus points are the catylist to win the league , in order to get the bonuses you will also go up in handicap , if a player wants to win the league then the player has to play at his/her best all the time and catch some bonus points here and there ,and an incentive to improve their game constantly. The D player matchup does not leave much room for bonus points as you say , but does give them an incentive to get to C level. its really all about having a place to start for new players and bringing new players into the game.

I know I can't please everyone :( , nor agree with everyone :( , but I have used many suggestions from posts here , emails , and phone calls , a HUGE thanks for everyones input.

UPDATE:
Steve , I went with the 1 more level PRO = 175 , and updated the system on the website , what do you think about a PRO level getting "frozen" if reached , because its a 50 ball drop to an A+ , kind of puts it out of balance a bit. My thoughts are if you get to that level then you are that good and maybe should stay there? Sort of like an APA7 , once there you are locked in and can't go down. Or another option is lower PRO to 150 and it won't be so far out of balance from the other levels?

Kev

dmgwalsh
04-09-2007, 06:58 AM
Hi Dennis , there might be a little confusion on this issue , maybe not. It is hard compare a single local league to what I am planning since they are really totally different.

I wasn't really confused. I was thinking about how to incorporate many of the existing leagues into your organization. It seems that if you could get the New York leagues, Mr. Jewett's league, the one in Indianapolis, Danny Harriman's and a couple in Chicago, it might help jump start your organization.
With that in mind, it sounds like, if the leagues wanted to adopt your format and join, each player would pay $25 per year and an extra $5 per week to share in the national prizes. I understand that other organizations like the bca and the apa get money out of the fund sent to them, so I imagine pool players would be used to it and not object.

I hope this thing develops.:)

NYC cue dude
04-09-2007, 08:29 AM
I was thinking the same thing Steve was thinking. Why give the "subtle advantage" to the better players? I would have to say that there are 4 times as many c or b players than the A+ or above. Why cater to the small minority when the players that will be ultimately be maintaining the success of your league have an automatic built in hurdle to overcome? doesn't make ANY sense to me.

RG

Ps. It is my opinion that you must look past the prestige of a small amount of pro caliber players participating and instead look to create a league that will be self sustainable by having a larger contingency of "meat and potato" players.

Williebetmore
04-09-2007, 09:59 AM
I was thinking the same thing Steve was thinking. Why give the "subtle advantage" to the better players? I would have to say that there are 4 times as many c or b players than the A+ or above. Why cater to the small minority when the players that will be ultimately be maintaining the success of your league have an automatic built in hurdle to overcome? doesn't make ANY sense to me.

RG

Ps. It is my opinion that you must look past the prestige of a small amount of pro caliber players participating and instead look to create a league that will be self sustainable by having a larger contingency of "meat and potato" players.


RG,
I do not think that the prestige of the pro's is the issue. If the results of a match are a "coin flip", then why are we even playing? If we are playing a game of skill, then skill should be rewarded. Because there are a variety of skill levels, then the handicap system should allow the lesser skilled player an opportunity to compete and win (but not reward him for his mediocrity). There should be incentive for him to improve.

It is good for the sport to reward those who practice and improve; and to also provide incentive for such. If there is no reward for practicing; many will just quit and go play poker (where bragging about exploits is much easier). "Subtle advantage" is an admirable goal.

P.S. - Do we really want the "handicap society" that Vonnegut described where ALL are totally equal? The really talented ballet dancers were required to perform with blindfolds and lead weights on their legs.

Steve Lipsky
04-09-2007, 10:13 AM
RG,
I do not think that the prestige of the pro's is the issue. If the results of a match are a "coin flip", then why are we even playing? If we are playing a game of skill, then skill should be rewarded. Because there are a variety of skill levels, then the handicap system should allow the lesser skilled player an opportunity to compete and win (but not reward him for his mediocrity). There should be incentive for him to improve.

It is good for the sport to reward those who practice and improve; and to also provide incentive for such. If there is no reward for practicing; many will just quit and go play poker (where bragging about exploits is much easier). "Subtle advantage" is an admirable goal.

P.S. - Do we really want the "handicap society" that Vonnegut described where ALL are totally equal? The really talented ballet dancers were required to perform with blindfolds and lead weights on their legs.

I could be wrong, but I have a feeling the three of us (you, RG, and me) all feel the same way about this issue. The difference is in the language we are using.

The problem with the handicaps (as they stood at the time of my previous post) was there was NO WAY for a lower-handicapped player to win a match against a very skilled opponent. I think the better player should have a slight advantage, but that's it. I don't want a cakewalk, but it's nice to be rewarded with a very little vig for the time I've put into the game.

- Steve

Williebetmore
04-09-2007, 10:18 AM
I could be wrong, but I have a feeling the three of us (you, RG, and me) all feel the same way about this issue. The difference is in the language we are using.

The problem with the handicaps (as they stood at the time of my previous post) was there was NO WAY for a lower-handicapped player to win a match against a very skilled opponent. I think the better player should have a slight advantage, but that's it. I don't want a cakewalk, but it's nice to be rewarded with a very little vig for the time I've put into the game.

- Steve

SL,
ABSOLUTELY!!!!

In our pool league (where handicaps are about 80% of the "true difference") if the better player plays even slightly below his usual speed; he loses (as long as his "inferior" opponent plays HIS usual speed). The difference is SMALL; and most matches are very competitive.

P.S. - Every year some of the bottom tier players beat the best players in some matches; but they have no hope of winning the league unless they improve. They have hope for any individual match, they have incentive to improve, and they have hope of winning the "Most Improved" trophy we give each year. They do NOT have hope of winning the league championship; but somehow they continue to participate.

Steve Lipsky
04-09-2007, 10:45 AM
SL,
ABSOLUTELY!!!!

In our pool league (where handicaps are about 80% of the "true difference") if the better player plays even slightly below his usual speed; he loses (as long as his "inferior" opponent plays HIS usual speed). The difference is SMALL; and most matches are very competitive.

P.S. - Every year some of the bottom tier players beat the best players in some matches; but they have no hope of winning the league unless they improve. They have hope for any individual match, they have incentive to improve, and they have hope of winning the "Most Improved" trophy we give each year. They do NOT have hope of winning the league championship; but somehow they continue to participate.

Well said and I agree completely, sir.

Bob Jewett
04-09-2007, 11:34 AM
I would appreciate any opinions/suggestions on my possible venture into forming a nationwide 14.1 league/organization.
...
I see that you are going to keep 35% of the $5/week fee for each player. Suppose that we have 20 players each week. This means that we will be paying you $35/week for admin and promotion, and putting $65/week into the Nationals prize fund. If the season is 14 weeks, each of our two qualifiers for the Nationals will come with a $500 or so "dowry." With 200 participants at the Nationals, that's a $100,000 tournament.

Is the prize money going to be in escrow?

Will all of the results from each week be openly available on your web site?

I think your handicapping system remains fundamentally broken. Have you allowed the possibility of fixing it later?

Have you ever run a handicapped league before?

How are you going to pay the league operators?

What will be the benefit for the room owners?

Are you prepared to lose $100,000 per year for two or three years?

Have you contacted any potential sponsors?

Did you consider working within an established league? (APA, BCAPL, ACS, VNEA, ...)

How much do you estimate the league operation/website software is going to cost?

I think you need to get some experience running a handicapped straight pool league before you try to go national. It's clear from your comments that you have not foreseen many of the standard pitfalls of running a league. Why not run a league for a couple of years in your own area first? That way you have control of how things are done, and you can find things that will really work.

Specific problems that remain in what is described on your web site: Your spots will not produce matches of close to the same length for all players. The rating adjustment system is horribly broken and is guaranteed to promote sandbagging.

Bob Jewett
04-09-2007, 11:40 AM
... If the results of a match are a "coin flip", then why are we even playing? If we are playing a game of skill, then skill should be rewarded. Because there are a variety of skill levels, then the handicap system should allow the lesser skilled player an opportunity to compete and win (but not reward him for his mediocrity). There should be incentive for him to improve.
... .
I see this differently. I think the handicaps should be 100%. If I play below my average, even though I'm the higher-rated player, I should lose -- if the other player plays at or above his average, regardless of his rating.

If you want to reward the highly rated players, have a "Top Players" tournament at the end of the season. Put 20% of the total prize fund in for just the top 25% (or 10%) of the players. Make the advantage explicit rather than hidden. And maybe make the tournament scratch.

Williebetmore
04-09-2007, 12:31 PM
I see this differently. I think the handicaps should be 100%. If I play below my average, even though I'm the higher-rated player, I should lose -- if the other player plays at or above his average, regardless of his rating.

If you want to reward the highly rated players, have a "Top Players" tournament at the end of the season. Put 20% of the total prize fund in for just the top 25% (or 10%) of the players. Make the advantage explicit rather than hidden. And maybe make the tournament scratch.

BJ,
Also very good ideas.

I will mention for those who couldn't plow through my long-winded league description, that our league is for recreation. We play for the love of the game, and the love of the competition and camaraderie; NOT for the money (all 18 places are paid). At the end of the year we rank ourselves by our finish in the league; and it is everyone's goal to finish as high as possible.

I find it a bit sad that so much consideration to financial reward must be given for an "amateur" sport.

If there are people who play in these leagues just for the cash; perhaps they could restrict themselves to the APA/BCA/VNEA leagues. They will certainly interfere with my enjoyment of the game (and after all....it's all about ME). I would not object to a league that encourages sportsmanship and love of the game.

selftaut
04-09-2007, 01:51 PM
Bob , thank you again for your thoughts , much appreciated.

On your first issue on the funds , you have calculated pretty close , of course 200 participants at the Nationals would mean that there were 100 leagues that partiipated because 2 qualifiers will come out of each league as it stands now. Although the leagues will be capped at 16 players , the calculation would come out the same as you described, jus not as much money , but there would be a sizable prize fund, the 35% is for costs whatever they may be , not all "paying me" as suggested , I don't have a handle at this time what costs could run total monthly on average, I have been getting prices on advertising , print work , etc..etc.. but I can say advertising alone is very expensive. I really don't expect to make anything here to be honest , but lets say I do make 5% or 10% in the end , I am not hiding behind anything , would you object to that?.

Your next issue on escrow , I planned on setting up a board of directors and the prize fund would be entered weekly into an escrow account with the board of directors names on it as well.

Next issue , league results on the website. This is certainly a possibility and something I have kicked around some , its an issue I was actually going to put up for debate as to what and how much info should be kept on the website , I had lots of ideas such as player profiles etc..etc..but I decided to shelve this issue at the moment and concentrate more on the handicap system and more important issues.

Next issue , handicap system , I will of course adjust the handicap system if some part of it was not working , but most likely not in the middle of a season , I would adjust it for the next season, that is also why I would like to form a board of directors as well , these types of decisions could be debated and voted on. You suggest that the system is fundamentaly broken , with all due respect it might not be perfect but any system can be sandbagged, and I understand the goal of minimizing sandbagging is important, but I just don't agree with you that its as broken as you think it is.

Next issue, have I run handicap systems before? yes I have , about 1990 I and 2 others developed a handicap system to form a local league , we handed the league over to a board of directors in 1995 , it was time consuming for us and we did it for pool , no pay , its still in place and going strong with 30 teams , I also last year developed another 8 ball league system locally to run on another night , and its similar to this 14.1 system I am trying to put together only its 8 ball team play , its 1st season is winding down now and it appears that it might be even more popular than the other but I run on a different night as to not interfere with the other league, capped at 16 teams I already have 12 teams signed up for the fall .

next issue , the benefit for the room owners is maybe long term , if the league grows and sparks players into 14.1 then there is a chance for the bottom line to increase from players practicing 14.1 and possibly spark interest from folks that "used to play" again.

Next , no I am not prepared to lose 100k a year , I would not let that happen, I can see maybe 5k the first year but thats my limit.

Next , the sponsor issue , I have not solicited sponsors , but certainly will if this has national interest , its hard to present a "non-starter" to a sponsor.

Next , I have not considered working with APA or any others , I have no interest in that to be honest.

Next , there is no need for special software to run this league , If your talking on my end. A league operator may opt to record on excel or other , but I see no need for special software wen everything can be done on software available. Its just not really that complicated as I see it.

Next , league operators , I am really expecting mostly that league operators will be the room owners , I have not set any compensation for league operators , although have been giving it though on waiving membership and weekly fee's to league operators.

I guess thats about it Bob, sorry we can't agree , but your input as always is appreciated.

regards
Kev

jondrums
04-09-2007, 04:00 PM
Well I'll put in my opinion since you asked...

I agree with Bob - moving handicaps around based on the score is just going to promote sandbagging from the excellent players. A really good player is going to have no trouble sitting there at only a few balls to go and let a banger score a few before running out.

I am fairly confused about the bonus point thing. Why not just let the player who wins the most matches win the season. If you win (or if you win twice in a row), your handicap goes up, if you lose, vice versa. You can't win the season and sandbag at the same time.

Equal offense is a perfect way to get an intial handicap. If you start everyone on the same rating, the first half of the season is boring and annoying for almost everyone since you'll be getting beat if you aren't that good and you'll be easily winning if you are good.

The only question remains is how to get people to try hard on the equal offense rating. Maybe offer a few free games if their handicap is the same or within one step at the end of the first season as their initial EO rating.

Or every season could start with an EO session, where new players are given an initial ranking, and pre-ranked players' rankings do not change. Prizes of some sort could be given for the highest EO runs. This could be a really fun night to kick off the season. I could imagine everyone getting 10 chances to run equal offense round robin style, with half or more of the players sweating the attempts and learning from the big ball runners.

Got in late to the discussion, but I'm enjoying it.
Jon

selftaut
04-09-2007, 04:55 PM
Hello jondrums , glad you jumped in!

I will do my best to explain why the bonus system is critcal , and also why sandbagging is not rewarded.

First of all , understand that the system to be used has to have the following in place. #1) the system HAS to automatically adjust levels without oversite , #2) Starting handicaps or handicap adjustments simply cannot be set or adjusted by league operators , because this leaves the door open for bad things to happen , can 30 different league operators think alike? or can all 30 spot sandbagging? How would I know , it just can't happen that way, something has to be in place to automatically adjust levels right from opening day.

That being said, if a player decides to bag and this player is going to let the opponent get within under 10 balls before shooting the game ball so not to go up in handicap, then this player forfeits the bonus point(s) that could have been won, bonus points are won by winning by 10 or more , they first have to pull it off , it might not be that easy all the time, secondly this player does this and just takes the 2 points for the win , there will surely be other players gunning for the bonus points and surpass this player in the standings because they will have the 2 points for wins plus the bonus points, it makes no sense to do this at all , Example: if a player did this 5 times and winds up with 10 total points for 5 wins by under 10 balls , and also during those 5 weeks other players win some and do get some bonus points , this sandbagger is now way behind in points and now has no choice but to get bonus points to catch the others, which in turn raises the players handicap. A player could do this the entire session and just get 2 points for every win and zero losses , just to stay from going up in handicap , BUT this player will lose the league for sure. Thats why the bonus points are critical to the system. You must gun for the bonus points , but it also in turn raises you to the next level handicap.

(in fact I think I am going to double the bonus points that are there now , that would make bagging even harder)

On to your next concern , the first week every player starts as a B , and yes the better players will win , but no bonus points are awarded for the first 3 weeks , the fourth week the bonus system kicks in , so the better players can only win 6 points total the first 3 weeks , they are not 6 points ahead of the field after 3 weeks , others will have wins as well , some moght have 6 too , others might have 2 wins for 4 points etc..etc..in the fourth week someone gets hot and scores big on the bonus points , now this best player is caught and maybe passed already. In reality its a trade off , giving the better players a very small lead , but in turn having the handicaps naturally adjust during the first 3 weeks.

Lastly , the equal offense start has been brought up and I have thought about it , but again it leaves it up to the league operators judgement , whether they guy is laying down or not ?, just can't be done.

I hope I have given a clearer insight to my thoughts on why it will work. And its a similar system I use for my local 8 ball league , and it works like a charm in that.

Thanks
Kev

Steve Lipsky
04-09-2007, 07:38 PM
Kev,

If you add the two higher levels, you can't really raise the handicaps by as much as you should. For example, if the difference between a Pro and an A+ is 75 balls, anyone at the Pro level in the last two weeks of the season has a STRONG incentive to dump. If he is ahead in the standings by enough points, such that he does not need to win his last two matches, he can get down to the A+ easily. It's no longer a difference of only 20 balls. It would be 75 if you used something like my earlier suggestion. But there's a reason I suggested those numbers; they're necessary!

Having a pro-level player get to the nationals, giving legitimate C players 125-55 is nothing short of a license to steal. With your system as is, the pro can do this with two dumped games. Granted, not every league will have a pro who will be ahead by enough points to do this, but if there's even one, you're going to jeopardize the integrity of your tournament.

On a similar note, will you have a policy in place to adjust players' handicaps during the Nationals, if need be?

Thanks,
Steve

selftaut
04-10-2007, 01:31 AM
Steve, I agree with you on the point you are making , please take a look at this chart and see if it makes more sense , what I have done here is added the 2 levels as you suggested , but took off 2 of the D levels , incorporated in this calculation is simply adding more weight to the better players, but yet leaving the match-ups at lower levels a closer match up at the same time .

What I did here is starting at the B- level make the steps up 15 balls , but leaving the C+ and down 10 ball steps , looking at any random match-ups on this chart looks like a fair match to me , now your scenario you stated earlier A+ vs. C that was 125 to 55 in the other chart is now 140 to 40 , this should be a better match.

Pro.......170
Open....155
A+.......140
A.........125
A-........110
B+........95
B..........80
B-.........65
C+........50
C..........40
C-.........30
D..........20

On the other issue on adjusting handicaps at the Nationals if needed , I feel there should be some sort of safegaurd there , and I have given it some thought as to what to do , a blatent sandbagger should get tossed as far as I am concerned , but a player that just happens to step up to the plate and play a little bit over their normal speed trying their arss off to win should not be penalized either. What are your thoughts on this issue?

Kev

Takumi4G63
04-10-2007, 02:53 AM
I don't like the rule that the cue ball cannot touch the bottom rail on the lag. The lag should be how it has always been standard in professional tournaments. Closest to the bottom rail wins but cue ball cannot touch the side rails.

Also, I don't like $5 every week of play. That adds up without any payouts save the nationals. It would be better to have one membership fee without a weekly fee.

Takumi4G63
04-10-2007, 03:02 AM
BJ,
Also very good ideas.

I will mention for those who couldn't plow through my long-winded league description, that our league is for recreation. We play for the love of the game, and the love of the competition and camaraderie; NOT for the money (all 18 places are paid). At the end of the year we rank ourselves by our finish in the league; and it is everyone's goal to finish as high as possible.

I find it a bit sad that so much consideration to financial reward must be given for an "amateur" sport.

If there are people who play in these leagues just for the cash; perhaps they could restrict themselves to the APA/BCA/VNEA leagues. They will certainly interfere with my enjoyment of the game (and after all....it's all about ME). I would not object to a league that encourages sportsmanship and love of the game.

Some people (like myself) just enjoy the game more when something is on the line. And it doesn't mean I love the game less than someone who prefers not playing for money. I think the reason that a lot of people would be more interested with some kind of prize fund is because rarely do we ever get to play straight pool for money because there are absolutely no straight pool tournaments (aside from an occasional huge one most players have no chance to win), and most people do not even like to gamble on straight pool. Part of the reason it's more fun is because there's actually pressure and actually some kind of penalty for missing. There's no electric chair playing for fun.

acedotcom
04-10-2007, 06:23 AM
I see this differently. I think the handicaps should be 100%. If I play below my average, even though I'm the higher-rated player, I should lose -- if the other player plays at or above his average, regardless of his rating.

If you want to reward the highly rated players, have a "Top Players" tournament at the end of the season. Put 20% of the total prize fund in for just the top 25% (or 10%) of the players. Make the advantage explicit rather than hidden. And maybe make the tournament scratch.

I have to agree 100%. To say an 80% handicap will give lesser players an incentive to improve sounds disingenuous. Why not give better players the same incentive? I've never been in a straight pool league, but I can tell you that a bowling league that computes handicaps at 75%-80% is pretty much a cutthroat league where better teams can win even on a bad night and lesser teams have zero chance.

selftaut
04-10-2007, 06:31 AM
I don't like the rule that the cue ball cannot touch the bottom rail on the lag. The lag should be how it has always been standard in professional tournaments. Closest to the bottom rail wins but cue ball cannot touch the side rails.

Also, I don't like $5 every week of play. That adds up without any payouts save the nationals. It would be better to have one membership fee without a weekly fee.

Thanks for your input , I actually messed up the wording a little on tat lag part , it was supposed to say bottom pockets , all fixed now , good find!.

You say no $5 weekly fee , and "save the nationals" , I assume you mean "no nationals" , if there wasn't a goal to compete nationaly in 14.1 on a level playing field then why would anyone want to run a 14and1.com league? what would the meaning of a 14and1.com membership be? just curious of what you have in mind.

Kev

selftaut
04-10-2007, 06:59 AM
I have to agree 100%. To say an 80% handicap will give lesser players an incentive to improve sounds disingenuous. Why not give better players the same incentive? I've never been in a straight pool league, but I can tell you that a bowling league that computes handicaps at 75%-80% is pretty much a cutthroat league where better teams can win even on a bad night and lesser teams have zero chance.

Thanks for your thoughts , I think really the difference comes in if your just really playing a league for the enjoyment of the game and comrodarie , or if you have an incentive to go after a win every match. I can fully understand a Pro players point of view , all the time and dedication they put into the game and then a beginner being able to step up and beat them easily by having to much weight in league play , you also need an incentive for a Pro to enter the league , I think just the fact of winning means more to a Pro or higher level player then it does to a beginner or intermmediate player, they need to know they can win , if they feel they can't win in the league then they would not play I don't believe, and maybe 100% handicapping would look like they can't win, I am in favor of a small advantage to the better players , but not 75% handicapped.

Kev

Williebetmore
04-10-2007, 08:36 AM
maybe 100% handicapping would look like they can't win, I am in favor of a small advantage to the better players , but not 75% handicapped.

Kev

Kev,
Perhaps those that have not been involved with leagues don't realize the small difference here. There is only a small difference between the 100% and the 80%. Straight pool affords ample opportunity for the better player to make up for any handicap inequities. The difference is more philosophical and psychological than real.

If I win by 20 balls using the 80% system, then the handicap difference would be 16 instead of 20. My "advantage" as the better player is 4 balls in a race to 100. Not exactly earthshaking.

If you have not already considered this, you should realize that the nature of straight pool (even among experts) is to yield lop-sided results (NOT necessarily indicative of the relative strengths of the player).

selftaut
04-11-2007, 02:44 AM
WillieBM , yes I see now how you would calculate the 80% into a system that used that formula, not earthshaking as you say and does make sense. Thanks for sharing.

Kev

selftaut
04-11-2007, 03:35 AM
Thanks for the input everyone! Final draft below and website updated , promo/league start-up packages with posters , player handbooks etc..in the design stage , banners and links purchased from Mike here on AZ , and negotiating other advertising with other sites and magazines. Anyone interest in starting a league and being a league operator please contact me here through PM or the contact page on the website.
------------------------------
Scoring will be on the beads or table counter and played and scored with BCA 14.1 rules.

Level Handicap
------- -------------
Pro........170
Open.....155
A+.........140
A...........125
A-..........110
B+...........95
B.............80
B-............65
C+...........50
C.............40
C-............30
D.............20

MOVING UP/DOWN LEVELS: In league match play , the spot and race is assigned in the beginning of each match according to the level chart , if a player wins their match by 10 balls or more of the final score then this player goes up one level for next week, the losing player goes down one level.

If a match is won by less than 10 balls then both players remain at that handicap.

**EXAMPLE: "B" player is playing a "C" player , with the B player being the highest handicap makes the RACE to 80 according to the level chart , the C player gets a 40 ball spot on the score beads in the beginning (on the wire) because the difference between the 2 handicaps is 40 , so the match starts off C player = 40 and B player = 0 on the beads , the B player has to pocket 80 balls before C player pockets 40 balls to get to 80. If B player wins 80 to 67 , then the difference between the C players final score of 67 (with the spot) and B players final score of 80 is 13 balls , so the B player won by 13 balls and this B player moves up one level and the C player moves down one level. If the C player had won the match with this same score then the C player moves up one level and the B player would move down one level..


****LEAGUE SCORING/STANDINGS****:
-------------------------------------------------------

MATCH WIN POINTS::

A match win recieves 2 points added to winners overall points, no points are deducted for a loss.

CRUCIAL BONUS POINTS:: Players can earn bonus points after the first 3 weeks.

*WIN 2 BONUS POINTS: If a player wins by 10 to 14 balls , 2 bonus points are awarded to players overall points.
*WIN 3 BONUS POINTS: If a player wins by 15 to 19 balls , 3 bonus points are awarded to players overall points.
*WIN 4 BONUS POINTS: If a player wins by 20 or more balls , 4 bonus points are awarded to players overall points.

BONUS POINTS EXAMPLE: "B" is playing a "C" , the RACE is to 80 since the B player is the highest handicap of the 2 players , the C player is getting a 40 ball spot in the beginning of the match , so the match starts off C player = 40 and B player = 0 on the beads , if the B player wins 80 to 67 then the difference in the final score (with the spot) is 13 balls , so the B player wins by 13 balls and recieves 2 bonus points in addition to 2 points for the win.


****STARTING YOUR LEAGUE****:
----------------------------------------------

A minimum of 8 players and maximum of 16 players are required to form a 14and1.com league. Leagues are set up that each player plays all other players twice , chart below shows length of leagues according to number of players and based on once a week league play..

8 players = 14 weeks
9 players = 16 weeks
10 players = 18 weeks
11 players = 20 weeks
12 players = 22 weeks
13 players = 24 weeks
14 players = 26 weeks
15 players = 28 weeks
16 players = 30 weeks

OPENING DAY: The first week of league play ALL players start as a B level , there are no "bonus points" awarded during the first 3 weeks of league play , only 2 points for a win is awarded. This allows time for the handicaps to naturally adjust , and without allowing any player to surge to far ahead in points. In the 4th week of league play the bonus point system kicks on in addition to the 2 points for a win.

The final standings of any particular league is determined by overall points won during the entire league , win points and bonus points added together.

TIES: In case of a tie at the end of a league , use the 2 matches the 2 players that are tied played during the regular session , if one of the players won both those matches then this player wins the tiebreaker , if they were even on those 2 matches then the 2 players play a 1 game playoff using their current handicaps.

Players must play a minimum of 10 matches during a sanctioned league to be eligable for final standings rewards or tournaments outside of league play.


****14and1.com Nationals****
----------------------------------------

**Each league is also a 14and1.com Nationals qualifier , the top 2 finishers after the last week of play earn a entry into the 14and1.com Nationals.