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UBL.NYC
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Ball in Hand handicap system - 09-15-2019, 03:28 PM

I was hoping to get some constructive feedback and thoughts on the Ball-in-Hand handicap system introduced in the United Billiard League. I was asked by Peter Margo to build divisions and leagues for the UBL in the New York Metro area. I'm receiving great response from lower ranked players ( 2's, 3's and 4's and D's and C's) and really hard, and sometimes harsh, push back from higher ranked players. And oddly enough, no complaints at all from local pros.
Considering that the United Billiard League is paying out over $37,000 per session and over $250,000 in the finals as prize monies, I am a little confused by some reactions.

I have my own thoughts, but I wanted to hear from the many sound voices here.

Thanks
Gerard
  
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09-15-2019, 03:48 PM

I know nothing about it. Anyone have insight or resources about how it is setup?


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09-15-2019, 04:39 PM

I know nothing about it but you have a Great Name


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Scott Lee
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09-15-2019, 07:01 PM

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Originally Posted by MattPoland View Post
I know nothing about it. Anyone have insight or resources about how it is setup?

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Matt...I think this is new league being promoted by Mike Sigel. The handicap consists of each skill level getting a certain # of bih every game. One of my students, Mark Mariani (youngstownkid on here) was on the winning team last summer that won $100,000!

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09-15-2019, 07:17 PM

I think the UBL has the potential to bring in a big influx of new players for a number of reasons. First, the ball in hand handicap system makes it so anyone can win. While some people may not like it, this proves that it is a fair system. Essentially, the system is designed to make you play your best and run out utilizing how ever many (if any) ball in hands you get.

Second, because beginner players can now compete against much better players and have a reasonable chance to win, they will stay active in the league and active players often bring in other players. They also tend to want to improve which also means money spent on table time, equipment, etc.

Finally, the prize money - $100,000 to the winning team, $40,000 to the second, $20,000 for third, $15,000 for fourth, $10,000 for 5th - 6th, and $5,000 for 7th - 16th (not including the 10% of the prize money - over and above the team prize - paid to the rooms of the winning teams) - far exceeds the other leagues.

I agree that it is an unconventional handicap system but if you watch a few matches I think most will see it's benefit. Beginning players can now be competitive and good players and pros now have to play near perfect (to their ability) to win consistently.
  
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09-15-2019, 07:29 PM

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Originally Posted by Scott Lee View Post
Matt...I think this is new league being promoted by Mike Sigel. The handicap consists of each skill level getting a certain # of bih every game. One of my students, Mark Mariani (youngstownkid on here) was on the winning team last summer that won $100,000!



Scott Lee

Director, SPF National Pool School Tour

Thanks. Iíve heard of the league but not the system. Curious about how you hand out BIH. In something like 9-ball, thatís interesting thinking about how low level players fail to process patterns.


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09-15-2019, 07:35 PM

It was actually started by Mike Sigel several years ago, way before the UBL. He started a circuit on the West Coast, actually while he was house pro at Champion Billiards, Frederick, Maryland.

The circuit started, but I don't think it really got going. There were a couple investors. The premise is that rather than a handicap, a certain number of ball(s) in hand would be given from the stronger player, to the weaker player, to even out the game. It does have some merit, but like all handicap systems, probably something to be complained about. What else do you do about handicaps but complain?

All the best,
WW
  
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09-15-2019, 07:46 PM

It ran one session in just a few states. The winning team played out of one of the rooms in FL that I play out of (Corner Pocket, Clearwater). They won $10,000. The GPPA did not play any more sessions after that.

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It was actually started by Mike Sigel several years ago, way before the UBL. He started a circuit on the West Coast, actually while he was house pro at Champion Billiards, Frederick, Maryland.

The circuit started, but I don't think it really got going. There were a couple investors. The premise is that rather than a handicap, a certain number of ball(s) in hand would be given from the stronger player, to the weaker player, to even out the game. It does have some merit, but like all handicap systems, probably something to be complained about. What else do you do about handicaps but complain?

All the best,
WW


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09-15-2019, 07:48 PM

I imagine that the ball in hand handicap takes away safety play on the part of the better player. Does anyone know how the handicap is applied?
  
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09-15-2019, 08:31 PM

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I imagine that the ball in hand handicap takes away safety play on the part of the better player. Does anyone know how the handicap is applied?
I would like to know as well.


I knew a fellow that thought he was a good boxer because he was in a position to befriend a lot of "professional boxers". It cost him azzwhippens till he realized he wasn't what he thought/wished he was.

Do you know anyone like the "wannabe" boxer in the pool world?
  
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09-16-2019, 01:10 AM

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Originally Posted by UBL.NYC View Post
I was hoping to get some constructive feedback and thoughts on the Ball-in-Hand handicap system introduced in the United Billiard League. I was asked by Peter Margo to build divisions and leagues for the UBL in the New York Metro area. I'm receiving great response from lower ranked players ( 2's, 3's and 4's and D's and C's) and really hard, and sometimes harsh, push back from higher ranked players. And oddly enough, no complaints at all from local pros.
Considering that the United Billiard League is paying out over $37,000 per session and over $250,000 in the finals as prize monies, I am a little confused by some reactions.

I have my own thoughts, but I wanted to hear from the many sound voices here.

Thanks
Gerard
As far as the handicap system itself goes, you need to realize that some players simply can't accept that they will be forced to give a "total banger" some chance to win a match and if the higher-ranked player does lose any such match they will start whining about how unfair and broken the system is, even if they win 60-70% of all their matches season after season.

I have a student who plays in the UBL system in Paso Robles. He likes it. He is among the top-rated players in the local league so he never gets any ball-in-hand. At least for now he is mostly winning because the lower players haven't really figured out how to use ball in hand. (But that is true for a lot of lower-ranked players in other leagues when they get ball in hand after a foul.)

As for the players in your area, I think the better players will have to see how things work before they try it, such as a few B's and A's getting in and doing OK. When I first heard of the spots, I wondered how anyone could lose with multiple ball-in-hands. The fact is that they do, and that's what your prospects have to see.


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09-16-2019, 03:37 AM

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Originally Posted by jimmyg View Post
I imagine that the ball in hand handicap takes away safety play on the part of the better player. Does anyone know how the handicap is applied?
It doesn't take safety play away, but it does change the strategy. Before, you mostly play safe to keep your opponent from hitting their ball. Now, I would think playing safe would be done to get your opponent to use a ball in hand and to tie their balls up so that even with ball in hand they have trouble making it.
  
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09-16-2019, 05:37 AM

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I would like to know as well.
If you're opponent misses and leaves you so.ewhere you don't like, you can just use one of your BIH. If you get out of line during a run, use a BIH.

The Only Time I Know Of That You Can't Use It Is When You're On The 8 Ball. I don't know if why my phone capitalized each letter as if I was writing a title...weird
  
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09-16-2019, 06:21 AM

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It doesn't take safety play away, but it does change the strategy. Before, you mostly play safe to keep your opponent from hitting their ball. Now, I would think playing safe would be done to get your opponent to use a ball in hand and to tie their balls up so that even with ball in hand they have trouble making it.

Changes it entirely. Doesn't appear that playing safe by locking up your opponent, or playing 2-way shots, has an advantage until your opponent has run out of his allotted BIHs. The players getting these BIH handicaps would have to be close to beginners and I wouldn't think most good players would enjoy competing at that level. JMHO.

Thank you.
  
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09-16-2019, 07:08 AM

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Changes it entirely. Doesn't appear that playing safe by locking up your opponent, or playing 2-way shots, has an advantage until your opponent has run out of his allotted BIHs. The players getting these BIH handicaps would have to be close to beginners and I wouldn't think most good players would enjoy competing at that level. JMHO.

Thank you.
What I think you have to keep in mind is that potentially, both players have ball in hand(s) to use during the game. So if Player A is rated at a "3", they get 3 ball in hands. If Player B is rated at a "2" they get 2 ball in hands. It's not an either / or system.

Again, the system is designed to make you run out as often as possible. The only way to win matches consistently is to play as near perfect to your ability as possible.
  
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