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MattPoland
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09-18-2018, 08:57 AM

Skill Tests

I recommend the ZeroX skills test because it is very simple and easy to execute. I'm assuming you might not beat this kind of 3-ball ghost with you going to 10 and the ghost going to 4.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgdrAwaaCBU

There are other more in-depth skill evaluations / exams, like Billiards University. I think those are good ideas to look at. I've been hesitant to try them myself because they appear a little daunting to setup.

A,B,C,D System

This is largely subjective but here's how I look at it.

D Player:
Poor fundamentals, ball pocketing, cueball control, and patterns. Almost never runs a full table of 8 ball or 9 ball. Will give their opponent 3+ chances at the table.

C Player:
Resembling good fundamentals but in need of fine tuning. Ball pocketing is good for easy and medium shots but struggles with hard shots. Cueball control sends the ball in the right general direction. Pattern selection is poor, 1-2 balls ahead with key shots commonly an afterthought. Attempting shots that require too precise of cueball control. Rarely runs a full table of 8 ball or 9 ball but on occasion they can. Typically will give their opponent 2-3 chances at the table.

C+ Player
Fundamentals are looking tight but there are a couple unaware hitches holding them back. Ball pocketing is good for easy and medium shots and percentages are rising to make hard shots. Cueball control sends the ball in the right general direction with more accuracy and speed control. Pattern selection is 2-3 balls ahead and more often looking at key shots. However challenges in speed control and pattern selection tends to give opponents 1-2 chances at the table.

B Player
Fundamentals are solid. Ball pocketing is good for easy, medium and hard shots. Cueball control sends the ball in precise directions. Pattern selection is 3-4 balls ahead with strong strategy for dealing with key shots and problem balls. Capable of running racks of 8 ball and 9 ball. Will give the opponent 1 chance at the table most games.

B+ Player
Just like a B player but will give the opponent 1 chance at the table every other game. Shot repertoire is fairly expansive.

BB Player
Just like a B+ player but will give the opponent 1 chance at the table every now and then. Is capable of stringing together multiple table runs. Shot repertoire is fairly expansive.

A Player
Just like a BB player but is more consistent. Able to break and run 3 or 4 out of every 5 racks.

AA Player
Just like an A player but is more consistent. They look like they play at the same level as an A player but they'll edge out the set. Their safety and return safety game is likely a factor to that difference. Occasionally winning amateur state championships.

AAA Player
Just like an A player but is even more consistent. Frequently winning amateur state championships. Likely is within the Top 100 US players.

Pro Player
The gap between a AAA player and a top pro might as well be the same as between an A player and a C+ player. You can't take their fundamentals and wisdom for granted but the noticeable thing is that their cueball control is darn near exact. Even when they fail, it's typically due to playing at a level of pressure that would collapse an amateur. The pro level simply doesn't fit this scale. That's where Fargo is a lot more accurate for all levels but not quite comfortable for everyone to talk about yet.

Your Skill Level
I would guess you are a C player. Higher level players don't need to use sidespin as much because they can use the angles to move the cueball around the table. Even if higher level players don't use as much sidespin, it still comes up often. I assume your cueball control isn't very precise if you feel uncomfortable using sidespin when needed. I assume your pattern selection might not be at a high level because throwing the balls out on the table to shoot in any order doesn't challenge that area of your game. I feel if you were working on that area, you'd have mentioned a different touchstone for communicating your skills.
  
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