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11-04-2018, 06:13 AM

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Originally Posted by Bob Jewett View Post
I believe the just-completed US International Open had one ref per six tables who also did all of the racking. If the players are mostly reffing their own matches, I think it's not hard for an area ref to handle at least four tables.
Agreed. There are pool halls in Asia where one rack guy or girl racks 10-12 tables at a time when the place is busy. Some of them even do it with a smile.
  
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11-04-2018, 08:25 AM

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Originally Posted by marek View Post
It is really funny how you guys over the pond try to invent something we in Europe do successfully for over decade Use racking sheets/table-tapping template and the problem is solved, end of story. Especially table-tapping template use at Eurotour is more or less flawless, balls are racked in 10 secs and there is no plastic to deal with after the break. In about 6 eurotour tournaments+10 European championships I played I remember maybe 2-3 times the table didnt rack perfectly because of the cloth gave a little over the course of the tournament. Ref came, retapped the table in 3 mins and the problem was gone. Whats not to like?
The issue is not how the balls are racked, with what or by who. The issue is players being allowed to "check" the rack and then want a re-rack, as many times as they wish, ad infinatum. My suggestion is based on several things. One, a neutral racker. Any ( medium to large ) tournament circa ( at *least* ) 1985 ( or so ) back into the dawn of time ( pool-wise ), had refs racking the balls. And unless the one ball "fell off" the spot ( which happened maybe .0000000002 percent of the time ), players NEVER demanded a re-rack. Even in the smaller tourneys when players racked, no one EVER racked their own racks. It simply was unheard of. The losing player racked the balls, ( and, again, unless the one fell away from the other balls, in which case they were quickly re-racked ) loser racked, winner broke and the game was on... there have always been spoiled prima-donnas in pool but it never manifested itself in the racking process, thereby creating a situation where, literally, 10, 15, even *20* ( or longer! ) minutes have been wasted between games.

So, a neutral racker goes a long way toward alleviating the issue. Racker has no dog in the fight, racks them tight because that's what he/she is there for and is successful 99% of the time. If the % falls much below that, the TD can replace him/her.

Next, players are NOT allowed to even LOOK at the rack, except from several feet away as they get ready to break. This rule was used in a large tourney very recently. As far as I know, it was majorly successful. Balls are racked, break them. Simple as that. No "looking", no "checking" and most importantly, *NO* "re-racks". Issue solved.

So, again, it's not how they're racked, by what device or by winner or loser. It's being allowed to check and re-check and re-check and recheck and on and on and on and on and on, THEN, demand a re-rack. And another. And another. And another. And another. And another. And another. And if what I just wrote in the last 2 sentences is hard to read, imagine ( and most of you don't need to imagine, you're seen it up close and personal ) having to *experience* the actual process ( especially if you're monetarily invested in the outcome in some way, shape or form ).

It's race time. Ladies and gentlemen... start your engines.




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11-04-2018, 12:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Andros View Post
The issue is not how the balls are racked, with what or by who. The issue is players being allowed to "check" the rack and then want a re-rack, as many times as they wish, ad infinatum. My suggestion is based on several things. One, a neutral racker. Any ( medium to large ) tournament circa ( at *least* ) 1985 ( or so ) back into the dawn of time ( pool-wise ), had refs racking the balls. And unless the one ball "fell off" the spot ( which happened maybe .0000000002 percent of the time ), players NEVER demanded a re-rack. Even in the smaller tourneys when players racked, no one EVER racked their own racks. It simply was unheard of. The losing player racked the balls, ( and, again, unless the one fell away from the other balls, in which case they were quickly re-racked ) loser racked, winner broke and the game was on... there have always been spoiled prima-donnas in pool but it never manifested itself in the racking process, thereby creating a situation where, literally, 10, 15, even *20* ( or longer! ) minutes have been wasted between games.

So, a neutral racker goes a long way toward alleviating the issue. Racker has no dog in the fight, racks them tight because that's what he/she is there for and is successful 99% of the time. If the % falls much below that, the TD can replace him/her.

Next, players are NOT allowed to even LOOK at the rack, except from several feet away as they get ready to break. This rule was used in a large tourney very recently. As far as I know, it was majorly successful. Balls are racked, break them. Simple as that. No "looking", no "checking" and most importantly, *NO* "re-racks". Issue solved.

So, again, it's not how they're racked, by what device or by winner or loser. It's being allowed to check and re-check and re-check and recheck and on and on and on and on and on, THEN, demand a re-rack. And another. And another. And another. And another. And another. And another. And if what I just wrote in the last 2 sentences is hard to read, imagine ( and most of you don't need to imagine, you're seen it up close and personal ) having to *experience* the actual process ( especially if you're monetarily invested in the outcome in some way, shape or form ).

It's race time. Ladies and gentlemen... start your engines.
Yes,i understand your point. But I really think our solution is more efficient/elegant. The fact is that at eurotour there are almost no demands for rerack even if players check the rack usually,there are NONE gaps whatsoever like 99% of the time. And in that 1% the gap is usually like 0.2mm,you have to look really closely to see it. In such case the player who checks the rack calls the racker and the racker promtly tightens the rack. It really makes BIG difference in the whole process as it leaves basically no space for arguments and repeated rerack demands. And MAYBE the pool culture over the pond is more cut-throat than in Europe as well...but I dont see any cure for that
  
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11-04-2018, 01:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Jewett View Post
So the skill is in putting up gaff racks that you know how to break and your opponent doesn't. I think that's a bad direction.


I think I have a better variation. It’s kind of like a shotgun clause in business.

Non-breaker racks. Breaker inspects and asks for a rerack. Racker agrees and does so until breaker is happy. If racker disagrees he calls over TD.

Now here comes the shotgun.
If TD thinks it’s good breaker loses a game and the break. If rack is bad then racker loses that game.

After second try TD is automatically called over and rules. Now everyone’s trying to give good racks or will just be dropping needless games.

Quick and simple to implement with no additional staff.


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11-04-2018, 03:14 PM

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Originally Posted by Michael Andros View Post
So imagine this: neutral racker, EVERY tournament, NO eyeballing the rack, period. Balls are racked, ladies and gentlemen, break the balls.
Not for me unless eyeballing the rack is permitted. That's how it's done at the Mosconi. The ref racks them, you can inspect them, but no reracks. This, history has shown, always keep the match moving.

Neutral racker worked in a big way at Pat Fleming's International 9-ball Open and it's going to work at the next US Open. Matchroom's US Open in April 2019 will play down to 16 and then every match of the last three days will be on the stream table, which will have a ref racking the balls. Along with the Derby City 9-ball event, these will be the premier nine ball tourneys on the American pool calendar in the foreseeable future.

Implementing neutral racker across the board is unrealistic, but let's, at least, do it to the greatest extent possible in the biggest events.
  
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11-04-2018, 04:10 PM

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Originally Posted by Michael Andros View Post
So imagine this: neutral racker, EVERY tournament, NO eyeballing the rack, period. Balls are racked, ladies and gentlemen, break the balls.


So, what do you suppose would happen after all the "belly-aching" stopped? Shorter, less boring, WAY less aggravating matches, that's what. For all parties; players, officials and sweaters. Ok, yeah, someone here is gonna say "Well, then someone will bribe a ref / racker and someone ( who, obviously, won't be eyeballing the rack ) is going to get gaff racks." Ummmm... yeah. Sure, it's a larcenous world. And the "planned-and-paid-for" gaff rack is gonna happen MAYBE .000000000002 of the time. What this would get rid of is this maddening, endless, time-consuming clown-show of taking 15 minutes between games "checking" the rack / re-racking.

Ok, I'm now running for my reinforced bunker / bomb-shelter!
Not even look at it? Is that how people approach going into the stack in straight pool? No look for a dead ball...just hit and hope?

I disagree with your post on a number of levels. First of all, if reducing the time racking is your overriding goal, rack your own achieves that in most cases without the added expense of neutral rackers. For the most part, rack your own is the best at insuring the quality of the rack is high, and places the penalty on the racker alone if it isn't. If a rack is not perfect, which is extremely common, then looking at the rack is a requirement for any sort of reliable outcome. Making balls on the break makes tournaments go quicker. Poorly racked balls resulting in dry breaks of clustered tables also slows down a tourney. For the vast *majority* of players, rack your own is the quickest method to insure a good rack and good pace of play. I personally think advocating any shot in pool without even looking at it is crazy.

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11-04-2018, 04:11 PM

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Originally Posted by Bob Jewett View Post
So the skill is in putting up gaff racks that you know how to break and your opponent doesn't. I think that's a bad direction.
Like a push out lol.

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11-04-2018, 04:21 PM

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Originally Posted by Michael Andros View Post
The issue is not how the balls are racked, with what or by who. The issue is players being allowed to "check" the rack and then want a re-rack, as many times as they wish, ad infinatum. My suggestion is based on several things. One, a neutral racker. Any ( medium to large ) tournament circa ( at *least* ) 1985 ( or so ) back into the dawn of time ( pool-wise ), had refs racking the balls. And unless the one ball "fell off" the spot ( which happened maybe .0000000002 percent of the time ), players NEVER demanded a re-rack. Even in the smaller tourneys when players racked, no one EVER racked their own racks. It simply was unheard of. The losing player racked the balls, ( and, again, unless the one fell away from the other balls, in which case they were quickly re-racked ) loser racked, winner broke and the game was on... there have always been spoiled prima-donnas in pool but it never manifested itself in the racking process, thereby creating a situation where, literally, 10, 15, even *20* ( or longer! ) minutes have been wasted between games.

So, a neutral racker goes a long way toward alleviating the issue. Racker has no dog in the fight, racks them tight because that's what he/she is there for and is successful 99% of the time. If the % falls much below that, the TD can replace him/her.

Next, players are NOT allowed to even LOOK at the rack, except from several feet away as they get ready to break. This rule was used in a large tourney very recently. As far as I know, it was majorly successful. Balls are racked, break them. Simple as that. No "looking", no "checking" and most importantly, *NO* "re-racks". Issue solved.

So, again, it's not how they're racked, by what device or by winner or loser. It's being allowed to check and re-check and re-check and recheck and on and on and on and on and on, THEN, demand a re-rack. And another. And another. And another. And another. And another. And another. And if what I just wrote in the last 2 sentences is hard to read, imagine ( and most of you don't need to imagine, you're seen it up close and personal ) having to *experience* the actual process ( especially if you're monetarily invested in the outcome in some way, shape or form ).

It's race time. Ladies and gentlemen... start your engines.
People were ignorant of a lot of things pool related back then. In the 80's, all the rack information was not widely known. Now we know. We can't go back in time. We can't unlearn what we have learned. Applying principles from before new information came to light to address a time after it did is irrational at best. Times change, people and the game evolves. When I started playing, the prevailing wisdom was hit them as hard as possible and squat the cue ball. That's it. No one knew anything about the rack. We can't wallow in ignorance though. Ignorance has been transformed into knowledge. The only reasonable solution NOW definitely involves embracing the knowledge and moving away from the ignorance. Tell you what...play some straight pool or one pocket. When the time comes that you are looking to open up the stack...NO LOOKING! Hope for the best. Let us know how that works out. Sounds ridiculous, right?

Nostalgia can be a major roadblock to learning. I think educating people about what constitutes a good rack makes a lot more sense than pretending those distinctions don't exist.

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11-04-2018, 04:25 PM

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Originally Posted by marek View Post
Yes,i understand your point. But I really think our solution is more efficient/elegant. The fact is that at eurotour there are almost no demands for rerack even if players check the rack usually,there are NONE gaps whatsoever like 99% of the time. And in that 1% the gap is usually like 0.2mm,you have to look really closely to see it. In such case the player who checks the rack calls the racker and the racker promtly tightens the rack. It really makes BIG difference in the whole process as it leaves basically no space for arguments and repeated rerack demands. And MAYBE the pool culture over the pond is more cut-throat than in Europe as well...but I dont see any cure for that
Marek,

It sounds great. Hard to argue with this. The only issue I can see is that many tournaments in the states are not so organized, and take place in pool halls. Since you have a wide variety of people bashing balls around on the tables throughout the week, it must take some time and skill to "train" the whole room full of tables, and may not be possible on older more used cloth. I think the template rack seems to be the best solution. It takes about 3 seconds to just drop a template down on the table. Similar effect and no training needed. For serious tournament play, the method you described sounds fine. For day to day stuff, weekly tourneys, etc. (which also creates familiarity and expectation of familiarity), it may not work as well. What do you think?

KMRUNOUT
  
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11-04-2018, 04:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick B View Post
I think I have a better variation. Itís kind of like a shotgun clause in business.

Non-breaker racks. Breaker inspects and asks for a rerack. Racker agrees and does so until breaker is happy. If racker disagrees he calls over TD.

Now here comes the shotgun.
If TD thinks itís good breaker loses a game and the break. If rack is bad then racker loses that game.

After second try TD is automatically called over and rules. Now everyoneís trying to give good racks or will just be dropping needless games.

Quick and simple to implement with no additional staff.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
This would require a very specific definition of what "good" is. I've had plenty of people that barely know which end of the cue to use declare a rack "good" that was a complete disaster. There is no "thinks it's good". There are either gaps, or there are not gaps. Until someone offers another definition, I define good as "every single gap I care about is tight", and "perfect" as "every single gap is tight".

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11-04-2018, 05:39 PM

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Originally Posted by KMRUNOUT View Post
This would require a very specific definition of what "good" is. I've had plenty of people that barely know which end of the cue to use declare a rack "good" that was a complete disaster. There is no "thinks it's good". There are either gaps, or there are not gaps. Until someone offers another definition, I define good as "every single gap I care about is tight", and "perfect" as "every single gap is tight".

KMRUNOUT
The TD decides. Very binary. Like they say in fighting. Never leave the decision in the hands of the judges. Therefore as the racker I'm incentivized to do a good job. That makes it self regulating. The potential of loss of game makes me do my job. The potential of loss of game ensures that the breaker can't be stupid with his demands.

Are you telling me that Jay H, Pat F or Mike Z don't know a good vs bad rack?


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Neutral racker, every tourney, period - 11-04-2018, 06:45 PM

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Originally Posted by Nick B View Post
The TD decides. Very binary. Like they say in fighting. Never leave the decision in the hands of the judges. Therefore as the racker I'm incentivized to do a good job. That makes it self regulating. The potential of loss of game makes me do my job. The potential of loss of game ensures that the breaker can't be stupid with his demands.



Are you telling me that Jay H, Pat F or Mike Z don't know a good vs bad rack?


I'm surprised your not considering that *most* people want to give a good rack. The problem is that many well intentioned people simply lack the knowledge of what a good rack even is, or lack the skill or discipline to produce that. That includes a huge number of tournament directors I've witnessed.

I have no idea what the 3 people you mentioned know about the rack. It is sort of odd that you chose 3 old school guys that played the majority of their pool before the knowledge of the rack became common. Besides, we're you going to pay those 3 guys to travel around the country and rack at weekly tourneys and whatnot?

Don't get me wrong, I like the basic principle of your idea, I just think that practically it would be near impossible to implement well. I mean, on Zuglan's tour the rule is "don't make me come rack because you won't like it". That doesn't jump out at me as the perspective of a person who is concerned with making sure every gap is tight. I really wish for every post complaining about not liking watching people rack, there was some instruction and education to help people understand what a good rack is and how to produce it. "Well the front 3 are tight...". Lol.

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11-06-2018, 01:53 AM

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Originally Posted by KMRUNOUT View Post
Marek,

It sounds great. Hard to argue with this. The only issue I can see is that many tournaments in the states are not so organized, and take place in pool halls. Since you have a wide variety of people bashing balls around on the tables throughout the week, it must take some time and skill to "train" the whole room full of tables, and may not be possible on older more used cloth. I think the template rack seems to be the best solution. It takes about 3 seconds to just drop a template down on the table. Similar effect and no training needed. For serious tournament play, the method you described sounds fine. For day to day stuff, weekly tourneys, etc. (which also creates familiarity and expectation of familiarity), it may not work as well. What do you think?

KMRUNOUT
Like I said - for bigger tournaments a table tapping template is the best by far. As the second best option for day to day use even on older cloth I recommend "Slug Doctor" system (you can check it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45EfZlnaRbE), I had it on my table for about 1 year, i got it as a freebie for testing It worked really nicely and it took about 6 months for the head spot to start to wear. It works perfectly as a racking template but it is much thinner (Magic rack is 0.14mm thick, Slug Doctor system is 0.06mm thick) so even slow rolled ball over the rack area is not influenced in any way. It just takes little more patience to rack in comparison with Magic Rack because of much less thickness of Slug Doctor. And yes, as the third best option I recommend any racking template thats not broken
  
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11-07-2018, 12:38 AM

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Originally Posted by KMRUNOUT View Post
I'm surprised your not considering that *most* people want to give a good rack. The problem is that many well intentioned people simply lack the knowledge of what a good rack even is, or lack the skill or discipline to produce that. That includes a huge number of tournament directors I've witnessed.

I have no idea what the 3 people you mentioned know about the rack. It is sort of odd that you chose 3 old school guys that played the majority of their pool before the knowledge of the rack became common. Besides, we're you going to pay those 3 guys to travel around the country and rack at weekly tourneys and whatnot?

Don't get me wrong, I like the basic principle of your idea, I just think that practically it would be near impossible to implement well. I mean, on Zuglan's tour the rule is "don't make me come rack because you won't like it". That doesn't jump out at me as the perspective of a person who is concerned with making sure every gap is tight. I really wish for every post complaining about not liking watching people rack, there was some instruction and education to help people understand what a good rack is and how to produce it. "Well the front 3 are tight...". Lol.

KMRUNOUT


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The 3 were just examples. Whoever was the TD for that Tournament would make the call. People know what good means. It's not as subjective as you think. I could quickly name 20 forum posters whom I have never met who I'm sure could judge "good vs bad".

Assuming I racked 10 racks with a Delta 13 (just an example) and quality balls that I thought were "Good" and took photos of each rack I'm sure that at least 90% of ALL forum members would agree with each other on what is considered good.

Example of good racks:
1. All nine balls but be at least touching one ball
2. Not more than one ball cannot be touching all it's neighbors
3. Rack must be as straight as possible and middle of the spot

All done. You feel your opponent has fulfilled the requirement you call over TD. With not outside or player interference he looks and decides. It's kind of like the coach having a set number of play reviews in the NFL. Getting it wrong hurts so be careful.


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11-07-2018, 03:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick B View Post
The 3 were just examples. Whoever was the TD for that Tournament would make the call. People know what good means. It's not as subjective as you think. I could quickly name 20 forum posters whom I have never met who I'm sure could judge "good vs bad".

Assuming I racked 10 racks with a Delta 13 (just an example) and quality balls that I thought were "Good" and took photos of each rack I'm sure that at least 90% of ALL forum members would agree with each other on what is considered good.

Example of good racks:
1. All nine balls but be at least touching one ball
2. Not more than one ball cannot be touching all it's neighbors
3. Rack must be as straight as possible and middle of the spot

All done. You feel your opponent has fulfilled the requirement you call over TD. With not outside or player interference he looks and decides. It's kind of like the coach having a set number of play reviews in the NFL. Getting it wrong hurts so be careful.


Nick,

From the way you talk it sounds like I would get a decent rack from you. I do think you are in the minority.

You have, however, pointed out something very important: there needs to be a concrete standard for what constitutes a good rack. I'm really not sure what would have ever given you the idea that I believe a good rack is subjective, especially considering I specifically stated that the balls are either tight or they're not. Just because people vary in their ability to accurately perceive objective facts does not make those facts subjective! In any case, my experience does not support your optimism in the ability of the average player to produce a good tight rack. I wish it did.

Good posts though, good ideas!

KMRUNOUT


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