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Tony_in_MD
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04-14-2016, 09:52 AM

As another poster noted I think the measure of this test (for ability) is only accurate on the first time through.

Practicing the drills and then retaking the exam will lead to higher scores, but not necessary an accurate comparison between players.

I also think the table type matters a lot, however I don't think there is enough data to do any type of norming the scores based on table size and difficulty factor.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderWebComm View Post
I think a year or so ago I questioned the validity of a rating system with a collection of pre-defined shots. I'm not trying to knock or anything and please take this constructively, but there's no way Dr. Dave who is merely an average player should score the same as Shane Van Boening on an ability test.

Those two players aren't even in the same solar system in regards to ability -- well, maybe Dr. Dave is in the Kuiper Belt and Shane is near Mars where the Sun is perfection. I'm not knocking because I'm right with Dr. Dave somewhere near Pluto.

It's almost like me doing a golf skills challenge and I scored what Jordan Spieth or Jason Day scored. If by chance I do, what does that say about the assessment when I have a tough time breaking 100?


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04-14-2016, 10:06 AM

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Originally Posted by SpiderWebComm View Post
I think a year or so ago I questioned the validity of a rating system with a collection of pre-defined shots. I'm not trying to knock or anything and please take this constructively, but there's no way Dr. Dave who is merely an average player should score the same as Shane Van Boening on an ability test.

Those two players aren't even in the same solar system in regards to ability -- well, maybe Dr. Dave is in the Kuiper Belt and Shane is near Mars where the Sun is perfection. I'm not knocking because I'm right with Dr. Dave somewhere near Pluto.

It's almost like me doing a golf skills challenge and I scored what Jordan Spieth or Jason Day scored. If by chance I do, what does that say about the assessment when I have a tough time breaking 100?
Spidey,

I thought we've been through all of this several times before, but I'll try once more to explain.

My videos and scores are the absolute best of my "well-practiced" attempts on an 8' table.

Shane's videos and scores are "first-time" attempts on a 9' table.

You are absolutely correct that it is totally silly to attempt to make any sort of comparison between the two.

Having said that, I think the BU Exams do provide a good relative measure of playing ability if you compare people based on their first attempts on similar equipment. I think it is even more interesting to compare people based on the best of their well-practiced attempts. That way, you get to see the absolute best the person is capable of. Concerning Shane's scores and ratings, I guarantee they will be much higher if he dedicates some practice time to the exams. And I hope he will, especially if other top players participate in the $2500 BU Playing-Ability-Exam Challenge, because there is decent money at stake.

The main purpose for the challenge is to see how high the best players in the world can score on the BU playing-ability exams after dedicated practice (motivated by the money prizes). Then, other people who might also take the exams can better relate to how amazing the skills of the top players are (if it is not already obvious).

Again, if everybody gives their best effort on the exams after dedicated practice, then the scores and ratings will be more meaningful (assuming you also put the scores in perspective based on table difficulty).

Spidey, you should give the Challenge a try. With enough motivation and effort, you probably have a decent chance at some of the cash. If you haven't actually tried the exams before (both Exam I and the Doctorate version of Exam II), please do so. I think it would help you better appreciate how much skill and consistency is required to score high, even after lots of practice.

Good luck,
Dave

Last edited by dr_dave; 04-14-2016 at 10:08 AM.
  
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04-14-2016, 10:17 AM

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Originally Posted by JC View Post
Look at Dave's first attempt that he admitted to. That's a better comparison. If Shane spent as much time at it as Dave you would see the gap you expect in scores. So in this regard you're right. Shooting the same shots over and over again probably isn't the most level playing field for assessing "speed". Now that Dave put up $1500 some of the under employed pros might give it fair shake. I think if that happens you will see the score discrepancy that should be there. Take the safely behind the rack drill. Shane failed a bunch on that one because it was his first go. With 20 minutes of practice he will probably get a perfect score the next time. And so on.
Well stated. I would also add that players not as good as Shane will not be able to score high on many of the drills (including the safety drill), even after a large amount of practice and repetition. Many of the exam drills require good pocketing skills, excellent CB control, and extremely-precise speed control. These things are not easy for non-top players to master with consistency, especially over the entire length of both exams.

Regards,
Dave
  
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04-14-2016, 10:20 AM

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Originally Posted by Tony_in_MD View Post
As another poster noted I think the measure of this test (for ability) is only accurate on the first time through.
Agreed. A first-time-attempt score would be the best predictor of current (at the time of the test) playing ability.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony_in_MD View Post
I also think the table type matters a lot, however I don't think there is enough data to do any type of norming the scores based on table size and difficulty factor.
I agree 100% ... on both points here.

Regards,
Dave

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04-14-2016, 10:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony_in_MD View Post
As another poster noted I think the measure of this test (for ability) is only accurate on the first time through.

Practicing the drills and then retaking the exam will lead to higher scores, but not necessary an accurate comparison between players.

I also think the table type matters a lot, however I don't think there is enough data to do any type of norming the scores based on table size and difficulty factor.
I kinda said the same thing in post 1020. The only way to assess is "on the blind."

It reminds me of playing EA Sports PGA Tour on the PS4 when they have online global scoring challenges. It's not uncommon to have (- 20)-something scores because people play the same course with the same wind with the same pin position ad nauseam until they know exactly what club to hit and exactly how to hold over for the wind on each hole and exactly how each put breaks. The moment you put them on another course with completely different conditions, you likely won't have the same super hero score.

This has me thinking: Why not just create a "structured" assessment that relies on random scenarios each time you run through the assessment. Something like 14.1 from a breakshot or breaking a one pocket break with outside english to get on top of the stack and running all of the balls in one pocket... do each 10x and average the score. That should cover the total offensive assessment, but how could you structure something similar that assesses total defense? If you could come up with a truly random, fair assessment and combined it with an offensive assessment, it would be highly interesting.

I'm not saying the BU assessments aren't FUN -- they look as though they might be a hoot to run through. But what are you assessing and what does the score represent in the bigger picture? That was my main question.

Dave please don't get defensive as I said earlier I wasn't knocking anything I was just questioning when I saw that you scored the same as SVB. It's like posting the same score as John Holmes or Ron Jeremy when keeping track of "hot women banged" when you're a science geek, wear glasses and dream in trigonometry. Like I said, we're in the same boat but at least I don't wear glasses.....yet.


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04-14-2016, 10:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_dave View Post
The main purpose for the challenge is to see how high the best players in the world can score on the BU playing-ability exams after dedicated practice (motivated by the money prizes). Then, other people who might also take the exams can better relate to how amazing the skills of the top players are (if it is not already obvious).
I know you have been wanting to see this for a long time now and you have now put your money where your mouth is.

Respect to you

JC
  
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04-16-2016, 05:26 AM

...............

Last edited by peppersauce; 05-11-2016 at 07:53 PM.
  
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04-16-2016, 06:26 AM

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Originally Posted by peppersauce View Post
So I finally had a little time to set my table up and give this thing a go. I only had time to set up and run through the fundamentals exam once...made a 58, lol. I haven't played in a couple of weeks because I've been so busy with work and tried to just grab my cue and go at it cold. It didn't work out for me.

I did ok on some of the drills but I missed almost every shot in the potting drill and got a 2 on the stun drill...terrible. I started playing a little better at the end and made up some ground on the wagon wheel and position drills but it was too late.

I'm going to do the fundamentals again before I move on to the next exam but not for another week or so, due to work. Im going to make sure I'm good and warmed up beforehand next time though. Hopefully I'll do a little better, lol.
Please post your scores (and videos if available) after you do a full run through of both Exam I and Exam II. You should also enter the $2500 BU Exam Challenge. You will be in first place (since nobody else has entered yet); and if nobody else enters or beats your scores, you will win the cash.

Regards,
Dave
  
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04-16-2016, 02:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by peppersauce View Post
So I finally had a little time to set my table up and give this thing a go. I only had time to set up and run through the fundamentals exam once...made a 58, lol. I haven't played in a couple of weeks because I've been so busy with work and tried to just grab my cue and go at it cold. It didn't work out for me.

I did ok on some of the drills but I missed almost every shot in the potting drill and got a 2 on the stun drill...terrible. I started playing a little better at the end and made up some ground on the wagon wheel and position drills but it was too late.

I'm going to do the fundamentals again before I move on to the next exam but not for another week or so, due to work. Im going to make sure I'm good and warmed up beforehand next time though. Hopefully I'll do a little better, lol.
The exam is no joke! I killed it my first time-77. Total fluke!
Took it on Tuesday and scored a 64. Much more like it. 54 is still a good score. I bombed the wagon wheel and postion play on Tuesday and nearly aced it on my first attempt.

https://youtu.be/BxadauDfFdg

Video of Fundamentals Exam
  
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04-17-2016, 02:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketPooler View Post
The exam is no joke! I killed it my first time-77. Total fluke!
Took it on Tuesday and scored a 64. Much more like it. 54 is still a good score. I bombed the wagon wheel and postion play on Tuesday and nearly aced it on my first attempt.

https://youtu.be/BxadauDfFdg

Video of Fundamentals Exam
Please post your Exam II score (and video) when it is available so I can add you to the list (and enter you in the $2500 BU Exam Challenge, if you want).

Catch you later,
Dave
  
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04-17-2016, 02:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketPooler View Post
The exam is no joke! I killed it my first time-77. Total fluke!
Took it on Tuesday and scored a 64. Much more like it. 54 is still a good score. I bombed the wagon wheel and postion play on Tuesday and nearly aced it on my first attempt.

https://youtu.be/BxadauDfFdg

Video of Fundamentals Exam
BTW, read the wagon-wheel-drill rules more carefully. You are not allowed to follow forward off a rail to go to balls 5-10! You must draw straight to the balls. You are allowed to hit the cushion adjacent to the balls only! That makes it a little tougher (and better practice).

Good luck,
Dave
  
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04-17-2016, 02:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_dave View Post
BTW, read the wagon-wheel-drill rules more carefully. You are not allowed to follow forward off a rail to go to balls 5-10! You must draw straight to the balls. You are allowed to hit the cushion adjacent to the balls only! That makes it a little tougher (and better practice).
BTW, the technique demonstrated in the following video can help if the draw-shot balls give you trouble:

NV D.10 - Draw Shot Trisect Aiming System - from Vol-II of the Billiard University instructional DVD series

Catch you later,
Dave
  
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04-18-2016, 07:52 AM

Agree with recent comments, but I do think there is value in running my students through the test (or parts of it) the first time through, and then also letting them practice the components to see improvement. There is a built in upper end so scores will tend to get compressed near the top, which is why myself and a few others are so near SVB.

My first score was 140ish, third time through I scored 160. I believe I could hit 165 - 170, may try again over the next few months with the challenge posted. The drills certainly add a component of pressure, especially when videotaping and when you are about to beat your previous high score.

Was great to see SVB do the drills and see similarities and differences vs. my approach. Saw a few improvements, also saw quite a few spots, especially in the second part, where if he practiced for like 2 minutes he would kill it every time. 161 is a great score for a first attempt, he could be at 180+ with practice for sure.

Thanks for posting the SVB videos and editing them down as well, appreciate it Dave!

Scott
  
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04-18-2016, 08:46 AM

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Originally Posted by scottjen26 View Post
Agree with recent comments, but I do think there is value in running my students through the test (or parts of it) the first time through, and then also letting them practice the components to see improvement. There is a built in upper end so scores will tend to get compressed near the top, which is why myself and a few others are so near SVB.

My first score was 140ish, third time through I scored 160. I believe I could hit 165 - 170, may try again over the next few months with the challenge posted. The drills certainly add a component of pressure, especially when videotaping and when you are about to beat your previous high score.

Was great to see SVB do the drills and see similarities and differences vs. my approach. Saw a few improvements, also saw quite a few spots, especially in the second part, where if he practiced for like 2 minutes he would kill it every time. 161 is a great score for a first attempt, he could be at 180+ with practice for sure.
Well stated. I agree.


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Thanks for posting the SVB videos and editing them down as well, appreciate it Dave!
You're welcome.

I aim to swerve,
Dave
  
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04-19-2016, 06:44 PM

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Originally Posted by SpiderWebComm View Post
That's my point - there's no point. If a test is setup where after some practice doing the drills you can score the same as SVB, then - why? Mastering setup shots doesn't point to ability at all nor is the score representative of one's ability. It is to SOME degree if you're only given ONE attempt "on the blind" - but that's not the case.

Hopkins Q-Skill or merely setting up a breakshot to see how many you run until a miss and doing 10-innings of that and averaging those innings -- that's an indicator of ability.

I'm gonna poke out of the thread now because I gave my 2-cents and that's all I have.
Dave, I have to disagree with you here, and I will attempt to explain why.

1. Mastering setup shots does actually point to ability. Someone with lower ability will not get a high score until they improve in those areas. Getting a high score shows that one does have the ability to make those type of shots when needed to do so. Setup shots also apply equally to any shot that is similar in nature.

2. As to only the first attempt is valid- again, not so. For that to be true, it would have to mean that practice is of no value whatsoever. Whatever skill you currently have, must be your top skill attainable. I know you don't believe that to be so. So, then, practicing the shots, one then learns how to make the shot more consistently than he previously did. And, of course, that then translates right over to having a higher skill than previously.

3. The BU exams do highlight a good number of the "tools" needed to play at a higher level. However, they are NOT all inclusive to all the skills needed to be a high level winner. And, no one has claimed that they are. They are a good representative of many of the skills required to play at a higher level.

4. The scores- They are representative of what one is capable of doing in play. They are not necessarily representative of just how well one actually plays. For example, a number of years ago, I played Keith McCready in the Glass City Open. I had him 7-3 when I dogged a very makeable 7 ball. The 8 and 9 where basically "gimmies". Had I not dogged it, the score would have been 8-3 with me breaking. The way I was playing, I just might have ran out the rest of the set to 10. As it was, I lost 10-8.

Seems like a close game to onlookers that didn't know any better. In reality, Keith is WAY, WAY above my playing ability. I am capable of making anything he can, but not as consistently over a long period of time.

In the same way, a person such as myself or Dr. Dave scoring as high or higher than SVB does not really equate to exactly how we play. But, at the same time, it does equate to how we are CAPABLE of playing.

In other words, the test show ones abilities. Someone that scores high is a threat in a low to mid level race against almost anyone. But, being a threat does not equate to being an equal at all. There are still other aspects to actually playing at a high level consistently that are not covered by the exams. And, those areas make a big, big, difference in actually extended play. As SVB ended up showing, scoring high on the exams does take some practice to do. With his initial skill, he scored high, but as was stated by others, it was somewhat surprising the shots he failed at. But, with his abilities, it won't take much practice for him to up his score. As with playing, the higher you go, the closer the scores or matches can seem, but there can still be a great difference in who is going to win most of the time. It then becomes the little things that make the big difference in overall play.

By the same token though, it's a pretty safe bet to state that someone that scores high on the exam is going to beat someone that scores low on the exams.

One other point to make- high score posted is just that. The highest that person was able to achieve over a period of trying. Using me for an example, my first score was what I felt surprising low for me. I knew I could do better than I did, and soon did. So, the first score is not necessarily indicative of exactly how one plays either.

With a decent amount, but not a lot, of practice, I was better able to diagnose what I needed to do to improve. So, I diligently worked on those areas. And, as practice is supposed to do, my overall skill came up. While what is shown is my high score, my average score is only a few points lower. I consistently score in the mid 60's on the masters test. That is due to what I learned from the tests. Essentially what I learned I had to do to become more consistent.
  
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