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View Full Version : Making 14.1 King Again.


mnorwood
05-13-2007, 01:13 PM
One of the constant topics on this forum is making pool more marketable. I feel that it is critical for the viewing audience to have a score to follow. The most popular sports have a scoring system to determine the winner. Most popular sports also have a clock.

When considering mass appeal I beleive that the viewing public does not take an interest in pool because its best players make the game look easy by running out rack after rack.

So here are my proposals for a more interesting televised game.

1. Bring back 14.1 as the pro game.
2. Make the playing conditions more difficult. Larger tables, drastically smaller pockets and slower cloth. More missed shots will help the appeal of the game.
3. Have a shot clock and play matches based on time not on a raise to a point total.

I know some posters are sensative about suggesting that pool is deficient. Don't get me wrong I love the existing game, I just think a change can elevate the game.

Blackjack
05-13-2007, 01:23 PM
I don't think that 14.1 will ever be the "pro" game. It takes too much time to complete the matches - which could hurt the sport more than helping it.

Could you imagine 250 straight pool players playing a race to 100 at DCC, single elimination or round robin? It could take half a year to complete one tournament. Don't get me wrong, I love straight pool, it is and always has been my favorite game to play. However, it will never be feasible for promoters to bring it back as the main game for professional pool. Perhaps 3 or 4 major 14.1 events a year with 64 player limits, or make them all invitationals, but anything more than 64 per tourney would be a complete mess.

mnorwood
05-13-2007, 01:39 PM
I don't think that 14.1 will ever be the "pro" game. It takes too much time to complete the matches - which could hurt the sport more than helping it.

Could you imagine 250 straight pool players playing a race to 100 at DCC, single elimination or round robin? It could take half a year to complete one tournament. Don't get me wrong, I love straight pool, it is and always has been my favorite game to play. However, it will never be feasible for promoters to bring it back as the main game for professional pool. Perhaps 3 or 4 major 14.1 events a year with 64 player limits, or make them all invitationals, but anything more than 64 per tourney would be a complete mess.
Blackjack I agree with you 100%. That is why I think the game should be played by a clock and not a point total. Whoever has the most points when the clock hits zero wins. I don't know if this would work but is at least worth experimenting with.

Fatboy
05-13-2007, 02:27 PM
i'm not knocking you, but if you put it on a clock it will be like that silly thing I watched on ESPN with Luc Salrev(SP?) running around the table fireing in balls, they had to break and clear the table fast as possible, it was an embarassment to pool, it was a circus act, they were good at it no doubt about it but it wasnt pool. so the time clock is a bad plan it favors fast players like him or lou batera, nick varner would be history.


i like the idea of 5X10 tables but the problem there for room owners is rent, you can fit alot more bar boxes in the same space as a few 5X10's and sell more beer etc. for the same rent as a few 5X10's so that puts pressure on the hourly rate.

slow cloth, no problem I played on it before and it was fine.

14.1 being king again the market will determine that, i wouldnt mind, i dont play it well, infact its my worst game, it brings the worst out of me, i can miss any ball at any time but thats a different story,

i hope 14.1 does become more popular, or any pool for that matter good post

CreeDo
05-13-2007, 04:00 PM
Your heart's in the right place, but a time limit + shotclock arrangement stops being straight pool and becomes a different game. It's speed pool that happens to have a straight pool-like format.

I think some old timers probably didn't even like the 45 second shot clock change, it wouldn't be surprising if the young players would probably consider these new rules too 'impure' to call straight pool. It might be a neat idea to market as an entirely new game... call it straight speed pool or something, make it clear it's similar to 14.1 but not the same.

I also don't like changing things in a way that will lower the high run and cause more misses. I dunno about you, but I don't get excited to see a miss. I don't like to see him sell out a rack from a makeable shot because he's rushing and playing on an impossible table. Seeing twice as many misses would not make the game more TV friendly, or even make it any faster (one inning of 150-and-out is gonna be faster than a bunch of innings of 30s)

It would also make the overall skill level in tournaments drop (or seem to drop) because pros either refuse to play it (so the competitors won't be world class players) or they look worse than they actually are... the guys who normally can run 200 balls are stuck at 40's and 60's because they're rushing.

Sorry to be so negative. I do hope it comes back, but I want it to come back as it is, with carefully thought-out rules and gameplay that make a really perfect, pure game. I don't think there's any change in the world that can make it a good TV game, but there will always be a niche for people who want to buy videos, and I think more people will get into it if people simply make everyone aware of its existence on a local level. Bring a rule sheet explaining the game to your local pool hall, burn a few DVD copies of great matches or exhibitions, have straight pool accustats tapes playing in the pool room's TV, or organize a small weekly tournament (or even just a high run contest).

kaznj
05-13-2007, 04:01 PM
I enjoy 14.1 more than any other game. I like playing it and watching it. The problem watching it is that if you really don't understand the game then it is difficult to watch. Think about 9 ball. You can explain to anyone in seconds the basic of the game. Hit the 3 ball next and you have to hit the 4 after that. In 14.1 it is seldom know by observers what the next ball is and what is the following ball. Ever tell anyone how to score or why don't you just shoot all the balls, why leave that last ball. This is confusing to many. 8 and 9 ball are much easier for the masses. I hope the game lives on, but look at how few videos of last years tremendous 14.1 tourny in New Jersey were sold. Did you see how few people showed up to watch some of the games greats. Sigel, Varner, Schmidt,Lee and many soon to be greats were there. Where were the fans? I'm scared that this tourny will go the way of 14.1 tournys of the past.

selftaut
05-13-2007, 04:46 PM
I think the 14.1 television days are over , BUT I firmly believe 14.1 can be brought back to popular status in the pool halls everywhere, which in turn will help with the decreasing business the halls are experiencing as well. kaznj in the post above nailed it perfectly , educating players on the game is key. Straight pool has to be brought back from the ground up , a television match or two won't do it , stories of old won't do it , absolutely nothing will do it EXCEPT growing the game by bringing new players into the game through educating them and exposing them to the game. There are pockets of straight pool players pro and amateur alike around the country that keep it alive on their local level , the exposure these small pockets of players will spawn a few more good 14.1 players over time because they see them playing the game , got educated on 14.1. This is not true for the majority of younger players all around the country , its 9-ball or nothing in most pool rooms, or its 8-ball leagues or nothing , I know a lot of 20 somethings that have never even seen anyone playing 14.1 , why would they want to play it? that needs to change. Once that IS changed the rest will take care of itself.

CreeDo
05-13-2007, 05:07 PM
thump thump ^^

I'm trying to do my part, I sort of informally teach at my local pool hall and I have shown it to 4 or 5 young people, who claim to like it even though they struggle with it. It's weird that tournaments with huge names don't get the ticket sales...because the demand is there so I dunno how turnouts could be so poor. Part of it may be there's a bad job done of the promotion and taping. The DVDs for last year's world championships were a fiasco, and they didn't turn out very well. I still can't see why ticket sales sucked though. I have hardly any expendible income, but if that tournament had been held, say, 2 states closer, I would have found it in myself to drive all the way there and buy tickets. I guess the pricing was a little stiff (300 bucks to see it all or something, right?) Anyway...

I'm dying to find other players (and maybe other players are dying to find me), but somehow we just miss each other.
One of the things that makes it hard to introduce the game to people is the fact that there's so little luck and the better player pretty much always wins. I can teach someone 8 ball and 9 ball and occasionally they'll beat me and I can tell they get a good feeling, but in straight pool it's always like a 2-to-1 score, they feel they have no chance. It's a shame some people are so hung up on winning even in friendly games. I'd LOVE to get smoked 2to1 by someone who plays at a much higher level than I do. I'd love to even just meet and watch that player.

mthornto
05-13-2007, 05:47 PM
3. Have a shot clock and play matches based on time not on a raise to a point total.


I do hope the game makes a come back, but I am not a fan of putting the game on a clock. At a professional level, I think you would actually lose a lot of the drama and tension of the game. A player can run 124 in a game to 125, miss and this opponent can step up and still win. If there was a clock, like basketball, you would really miss out on the real drama.

Baseball is not on a clock. Some of the most memorable games have been come from way behind ninth inning rallies.

3andstop
05-13-2007, 06:56 PM
Tough to get straight pool the attention it deserves. Kids like fast games.

I remember a game called 1 ball or 1 in the side. Something like that. Its a one rack version of straight pool. All rules are the same except as I said its one rack only, and each player uses a predesignated side pocket, one uses one side, and the other uses the opposite side. The object of the game is to get the 1 ball in your side pocket ASAP. No point score, but opening break and shooting is the same as straight.

Anyone remember this game? Being a one rack game, perhaps it could spark some interest in 14.1

hackerda
05-13-2007, 08:54 PM
Find out how snooker is staying so popular over seas. Look at their marketing and try to apply it to today's US market if that is possible. I believe things are getting too fast. People need to slow down and see how great things can/should be when you go a little slower.

dean

dmgwalsh
05-14-2007, 07:14 AM
Frank Oliva promoted a game in the 50s or 60s that was televised in Chicago. It was a variation of straight pool that had a clock at the end. You could only run 10 and then had to play safe except I believe the last inning when you could run
20. I know there was a clock but forget how it worked. I'm sure Bob Jewett knows.

They had players like Irving Crane, Joe Canton, Joe Diehl, Tozer, Charlie Cacciapaglia and others. Seems like it was kind of popular. Whispering Joe Wilson (the guy who commentated on the Balsis/Crane match) was the commentator.

Bob Jewett
05-14-2007, 08:20 AM
... Could you imagine 250 straight pool players playing a race to 100 at DCC, single elimination or round robin? ...
Well, yes, I can. They have 40 tables. At 2 hours per match and single elimination, 256 players can finish in 11 rounds, or 22 hours of play. The only problem is that either the DCC would have to be extended for two or three days or some other event would have to be dropped.

ShootingArts
05-14-2007, 08:20 PM
I know most people playing 14.1 are old school, after all why else would we play it? However I think that if some compromise let us play more tournaments in more different places it would be to our advantage. Setting up the break ball and the break are the primary drama times in straight pool for viewers so I wonder how a ten ball rack would work? Still the traditional triangle shaped rack, just one ball width smaller. Fewer clusters but less of the little short easy appearing shots that few casual watchers appreciate as part of the overall pattern too. I think 25-35 points maximum before having to play a safe and a time limit per inning before having to play a safe would have merit too. This would let each player shoot two to four break shots per inning if they got that far depending on the actual maximum number settled on.

This obviously wouldn't be traditional 14.1, I guess it could be called 9.1, but it seems like it might address some of the seeming issues as to why straight pool is no longer popular. Aside from anything else if we bring people to Straight Pool Lite, we may eventually bring them to Straight Pool.

Hu

mnorwood
05-15-2007, 02:38 PM
I know most people playing 14.1 are old school, after all why else would we play it? However I think that if some compromise let us play more tournaments in more different places it would be to our advantage. Setting up the break ball and the break are the primary drama times in straight pool for viewers so I wonder how a ten ball rack would work? Still the traditional triangle shaped rack, just one ball width smaller. Fewer clusters but less of the little short easy appearing shots that few casual watchers appreciate as part of the overall pattern too. I think 25-35 points maximum before having to play a safe and a time limit per inning before having to play a safe would have merit too. This would let each player shoot two to four break shots per inning if they got that far depending on the actual maximum number settled on.

This obviously wouldn't be traditional 14.1, I guess it could be called 9.1, but it seems like it might address some of the seeming issues as to why straight pool is no longer popular. Aside from anything else if we bring people to Straight Pool Lite, we may eventually bring them to Straight Pool.

Hu
I think those are some ideas that deserve some consideration. My overall belief is the game is going to have to be altered in some way to attract viewers. I think darwin's theory is valid in this case. 14.1 and pool in general is going to have to evolve or face extinction. I don't mean to sound like the voice of doom and gloom, but change has to happen.

jayman
05-15-2007, 06:49 PM
One of the constant topics on this forum is making pool more marketable. I feel that it is critical for the viewing audience to have a score to follow. The most popular sports have a scoring system to determine the winner. Most popular sports also have a clock.

When considering mass appeal I beleive that the viewing public does not take an interest in pool because its best players make the game look easy by running out rack after rack.

So here are my proposals for a more interesting televised game.

1. Bring back 14.1 as the pro game.
2. Make the playing conditions more difficult. Larger tables, drastically smaller pockets and slower cloth. More missed shots will help the appeal of the game.
3. Have a shot clock and play matches based on time not on a raise to a point total.

I know some posters are sensative about suggesting that pool is deficient. Don't get me wrong I love the existing game, I just think a change can elevate the game.

It's a great game, and should be left alone. Let it be what it is! if its only apreciated by those that apreciate it...then so be it. Find / invent, a new game if you want "mass people" to watch it on tv. If they dont apreciate it then find something else! don't change a great classic, just to make a bunch of ignorant impationt people able to cope with it!

justnum
05-15-2007, 08:16 PM
I attempted a small demo at the school I attend but due to lack of counters it failed. I also think it was not a success because it wasn't as cool as finishing the game with a designated kill ball.

bruin70
05-16-2007, 06:06 PM
"making 14.1 king again"
_____________________________________
14.1 has always been king. 9ball is a plebian game.

CreeDo
05-16-2007, 07:39 PM
heh yeah, it's too bad all the king's subjects revolted. What I don't get is how 8 ball rose to the top... maybe because it feels a little bit like straight pool but you only play for half a rack instead of 10 racks. You can sorta see the pattern from the game requiring the most patience and potential 'chair time' to a less difficult version with very short chair time, to 9 ball, to 7 ball. In the tournaments of the future they will lag, and then the winner of the lag gets a giant check and they hand the other guy a 2nd place trophy.

MrLucky
05-26-2007, 04:31 AM
One of the constant topics on this forum is making pool more marketable. I feel that it is critical for the viewing audience to have a score to follow. The most popular sports have a scoring system to determine the winner. Most popular sports also have a clock.

When considering mass appeal I beleive that the viewing public does not take an interest in pool because its best players make the game look easy by running out rack after rack.

So here are my proposals for a more interesting televised game.

1. Bring back 14.1 as the pro game.
2. Make the playing conditions more difficult. Larger tables, drastically smaller pockets and slower cloth. More missed shots will help the appeal of the game.
3. Have a shot clock and play matches based on time not on a raise to a point total.

I know some posters are sensative about suggesting that pool is deficient. Don't get me wrong I love the existing game, I just think a change can elevate the game.
and being trained by one of the best I truly miss seeing it played by the classic great players ! I seriously doubt that straight will ever be a mainstream game again however.

In todays world and culture we are conditioned to FAST and EASY with easily gained rewards!!! None of these "values" LMAO! lend themselves to the Game of Straight Pool! by making the game more difficult with more missed shots will not achieve this result !

Let's face it the classic game of straight pool is for the purist the higher echelon of pool and its players and sadly IMO will remain there ! :( :(

AzDave
05-31-2007, 08:01 PM
[QUOTE=Blackjack]I don't think that 14.1 will ever be the "pro" game. It takes too much time to complete the matches - which could hurt the sport more than helping it. [QUOTE]

I must respectfully disagree. 14-1 *IS* the championship game. You can certainly complete a 150 point match in less time than it takes to complete 18 holes of golf...and golf is still popular. They learned how to make golf interesting for TV by cutting to the most interesting action...they could do the same for 14-1.

9-ball, 8-ball, trick shots and a women's "pro" tour only diminish the game. Pool will recover when we learn to be far less PC and a bit more competent at producing a better pool TV format. Folks see past the phoney KT glitz.

CreeDo
05-31-2007, 08:26 PM
While I'd be thrilled to see it get on TV, I wouldn't want it at the expense of cutting out action. I've seen a few tapes with sigel, ortmann, mizerak, and others where the heavy editing for time absolutely ruined it. Maybe if they allowed more time and cut out some of the hemming and hawing some players make while milking all 45 seconds of the clock.

Paul Dayton
05-31-2007, 09:03 PM
I wish it would come back but it's time has passed. We live in a time where attention spans for most people are measured in single digit minutes. It really is sad.

Flat out straight pool is the most complete pool game there is. One pocket is more like chess and the quickie games played today are for TV. There was a 30 minute straight pool show in the Capital District of New york in the 60's. I don't remember the players of each match but they included Joe Canton, Jimmy Chiara, BUtch Leonard, Frenchy, Ed Church, and others.

It was fine the first week. The 50 point match took about 20 minutes and ads and trick shots filled the void. Next week, the 50 ball run took about 14 minutes. A lot of clumsy unrehearsed chatter filled the rest of the time. It didn't last long.

There will always be a group of people who love the game and there should always be a worlds tournament to find the best.

Up through the mid 60's the Worlds Champion Pool Player meant straight pool and straight pool only.

It is just waay too time consuming for TV.

mnorwood
05-31-2007, 09:03 PM
[QUOTE=Blackjack]I don't think that 14.1 will ever be the "pro" game. It takes too much time to complete the matches - which could hurt the sport more than helping it. [QUOTE]

I must respectfully disagree. 14-1 *IS* the championship game. You can certainly complete a 150 point match in less time than it takes to complete 18 holes of golf...and golf is still popular. They learned how to make golf interesting for TV by cutting to the most interesting action...they could do the same for 14-1.

9-ball, 8-ball, trick shots and a women's "pro" tour only diminish the game. Pool will recover when we learn to be far less PC and a bit more competent at producing a better pool TV format. Folks see past the phoney KT glitz.
I often wonder if pool is really boring and I watch it only because I play it. Then I turn on a pro golf tournament and that crap is really boring. T.V. baseball is really boring. Hockey and soccer are boring to watch on t.v. I agree with you house pro, if a better t.v. production formula can be found pool could be a good t.v. game.

I just think the rules for 14.1 could be tweaked somehow to achieve this goal.

ghostball
06-05-2007, 08:35 PM
Only Put The Clock On The Players That Play Slow,and I'm Sure We All Know Who They Are.

deliasdavid
07-15-2007, 02:29 AM
I live to play straight pool...I am from Massachusetts...telephone (781)620-1441. Dave Hackett
Please let me know your location...I have 2 Gold Crown III's in my home

mnorwood
07-15-2007, 10:10 PM
I live to play straight pool...I am from Massachusetts...telephone (781)620-1441. Dave Hackett
Please let me know your location...I have 2 Gold Crown III's in my home
pm me if you are talking to me.