A question for those in the know about apa handicaps.

lorider

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So you think slop is a contributing factor in a persons handicap ? I think it does and here is why i say that. When slop is executed it extends a persons inning at the table resulting in more balls made. I realize that sometimes it comes back to bite them but some seem to have luck as their middle name..

Take a team mate of mine for example..young guy who i am good friends with . raised to a 6 last month and as with most young players has developed some what of a cocky attitude and says he will be a 7 before long.

I tried to politely tell him that he is not really a 6 due to his cue ball control and failing to play safe when warranted..i told him he takes too many desperation shots as a result of getting out of line and admittedly he is pretty dang succesful with them but like i said earlier...they will come back and bite you om occasion..

We have played practice games on occasion before and aftereague and he usually wins those. Sevsral factors come into play for his wins in thkse games. His uncammy success with thise desperation shots...my lack of takng the game serious . i use practice games to shoot shots i have trouble with and never do that in a match. During matches i always shoot high percentage shots.

I told him as much when he said he beats me all the time and i said it would never happen in a real match. He then challenges me to a friendly game of race to 7 for 20.00. I told him i would not waste my time taking him to.pool school for 20.00. He said how about 40.00. I said ok but we are not playing no slop game for money.

We agreed to 10 ball. 10 spots if make on the break. Early combo on the 10 is good if called.. I get up 6-3 when we have to quit due to the pool hall closing. 2 of those racks he won were due to mistakes i made. One was the cardinal sin of taking an easy shot on the 10 for granted. The other was when he missed the 6 i didnt have a decent shot...didnt see a decent safe and a 50/50 shot on a 6-10 combo. I rattled the 10.

He just could not believe how easily i was winning . i tried to explain to him the difference in our playing styles. He takes deperation shots like a bank at hi speed..misses it and it goes across into the opposite pocket or knocks another ball in giving him an opportunity to continue his run resulting in less innngs to win a match whereas when i miss a shot my inning is over because i never take desperation shots. He wins in fewer innings and is raised to a 6. I win in more innings and stay a 5.

I have to admit he is a better ball pocketer than me due to failing eyesight and wore out 66 year old body but he has a ways to go to be a 7 in my opinion. Relying on desperation shots will not help him get there.


I faced a real 6 sunday night. He beat me 5-0 in 6 innings playing 3 safes amd never made a slop shot. Actually the dude played like a 7. i have never seen the dude play before so i dont know if thats how he plays all the time or not..all i know is that 6 on my team cant match that on his best day.
 

MattPoland

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I’m not in the know in terms of APA handicaps but to comment...

Over the long term, the table does the talking and excuses don’t add up to much. It doesn’t matter who is a 6, 7, 8 or 9 on paper. Play is play and it speaks for itself.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

johnnysd

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So you think slop is a contributing factor in a persons handicap ? I think it does and here is why i say that. When slop is executed it extends a persons inning at the table resulting in more balls made. I realize that sometimes it comes back to bite them but some seem to have luck as their middle name..

Take a team mate of mine for example..young guy who i am good friends with . raised to a 6 last month and as with most young players has developed some what of a cocky attitude and says he will be a 7 before long.

I tried to politely tell him that he is not really a 6 due to his cue ball control and failing to play safe when warranted..i told him he takes too many desperation shots as a result of getting out of line and admittedly he is pretty dang succesful with them but like i said earlier...they will come back and bite you om occasion..

We have played practice games on occasion before and aftereague and he usually wins those. Sevsral factors come into play for his wins in thkse games. His uncammy success with thise desperation shots...my lack of takng the game serious . i use practice games to shoot shots i have trouble with and never do that in a match. During matches i always shoot high percentage shots.

I told him as much when he said he beats me all the time and i said it would never happen in a real match. He then challenges me to a friendly game of race to 7 for 20.00. I told him i would not waste my time taking him to.pool school for 20.00. He said how about 40.00. I said ok but we are not playing no slop game for money.

We agreed to 10 ball. 10 spots if make on the break. Early combo on the 10 is good if called.. I get up 6-3 when we have to quit due to the pool hall closing. 2 of those racks he won were due to mistakes i made. One was the cardinal sin of taking an easy shot on the 10 for granted. The other was when he missed the 6 i didnt have a decent shot...didnt see a decent safe and a 50/50 shot on a 6-10 combo. I rattled the 10.

He just could not believe how easily i was winning . i tried to explain to him the difference in our playing styles. He takes deperation shots like a bank at hi speed..misses it and it goes across into the opposite pocket or knocks another ball in giving him an opportunity to continue his run resulting in less innngs to win a match whereas when i miss a shot my inning is over because i never take desperation shots. He wins in fewer innings and is raised to a 6. I win in more innings and stay a 5.

I have to admit he is a better ball pocketer than me due to failing eyesight and wore out 66 year old body but he has a ways to go to be a 7 in my opinion. Relying on desperation shots will not help him get there.


I faced a real 6 sunday night. He beat me 5-0 in 6 innings playing 3 safes amd never made a slop shot. Actually the dude played like a 7. i have never seen the dude play before so i dont know if thats how he plays all the time or not..all i know is that 6 on my team cant match that on his best day.

My experience is that slop has almost no meaningful effect on matches over a season for all skill levels.
 
My experience is that slop has almost no meaningful effect on matches over a season for all skill levels.

I agree with your statement.

No player is lucky enough to get bumped up in skill level over slop shots alone.

It also depends on how strong other 4's, 5's, 6's, and 7's are in your local area. It might be pretty easy to get bumped up to a 6 in certain area's of the country.

I have played 5's that were not very good, and I have played other 5's, out in Las Vegas, that played like the 7's that were from my local area.

So, my point is that a 6 in one area might have zero chance against a 5 in another area, even if they played even. The 5 might even be able to give the 6 from the other area a big spot, playing 9 ball.
 

lorider

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I agree with your statement.

No player is lucky enough to get bumped up in skill level over slop shots alone.

It also depends on how strong other 4's, 5's, 6's, and 7's are in your local area. It might be pretty easy to get bumped up to a 6 in certain area's of the country.

I have played 5's that were not very good, and I have played other 5's, out in Las Vegas, that played like the 7's that were from my local area.

So, my point is that a 6 in one area might have zero chance against a 5 in another area, even if they played even. The 5 might even be able to give the 6 from the other area a big spot, playing 9 ball.

Its possible that i am critiquing this boys game too much but i dont think so..i believe after 10 years of apa i am a pretty good judge of some ones playing ability and i just dont think he has the ability to be a competitive 6.

I have been a captain for most of the 10 years in apa and recently started backing off being captain...just getting burnt out on it. Being responsible for matching up i took if upon myself to keep track of how each player performed to the extent of writing down who matched up against who...win /loss record ..number of innings etc..etc.. I classified each level in the categories...weak...good and damn good..

Each player was put in a category based on their...cue ball control...aiming...psr...pattern selection...banking and kicking. Not all players at a particular level have the same mastery of all of the above.

Case in point is the boy i am talking about. A few weeks ago we had our best of the rest tournament. The other team threw a damn good 5. This boy wanted to match up with him..i thought he should not especially after being raised to a 6 and having to spot him a game..well he insisted and i relented since i had made him captain on 8 ball and i retained captain on 9 ball. The boy got his azz handed to him by 4-1. I knew this 5's cue ball control and safety play was better than our 6 and it showed in this match.

I have only been to vegas one time and have heard the same thing as you stated about handicaps in different areas.. A captain of another team came up to me in the lobby the day after we had played his team and said he had been to vegas 17 times and had never seen a 5 as good as me and that there were 7's in his area that couldnt keep up with me. This was in 9 ball. That wasnt you was it ? Lol . I told him i was not the best 5 in my area. Well i did beat his 5 by 19-1 but it was in sudden death. We went 2-2 and i really didnt see any one whose handicap that i thought was out of line except for this 2 from colorado.
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I don't think you can scientifically disassociate a person from his luck (take that you rationalist scientoids) so it should be factored in and weighted accordingly.
 

Nullus

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Well, first of all you're talking about handicaps within a specific organization. Therefore, whether slop has any bearing on a handicap is irrelevant, because everyone who plays APA has a handicap calculated in the same way.

Based on what I know of how their handicaps are calculated (having ran a league for nearly a decade), there is no amount of slop that would be so forthcoming as to cause any single player's handicap to elevate any worse than anyone else's. What you're describing honestly sounds more like a personal issue that you have with someone else's handicap comparative to yours.

All of that said, APA handicaps are calculated going back only so many matches, and without giving away too many details, there is an element based on wins/losses and assigned values, regardless of how many actual innings there were in a specific match. It's all designed to continually raise and/or elevate an individual's handicap over time, thereby causing teams to have to split, and form new teams, in the hopes of keeping the league ever-growing. It's a business model, make no mistake about it. All of it also focuses and places more value on those lower level, and most often, new players, whom are needed to fit under the handicap limit within the league. It doesn't matter how much someone sandbags, at some point, if they successfully win by sandbagging, it's going to catch up to them and their handicap will go up.

Slop...sandbagging...none of it matters. Your teammate and everyone else will eventually go up. Don't chastise him for being overhandicapped. If you're so knowledgeable about the game, and think he could be a better six, then try to help him become a better one, rather than tell him he's sloppy and shouldn't be one. Just my two cents.
 

David in FL

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
My experience is that slop has almost no meaningful effect on matches over a season for all skill levels.

same here..

Yup. Slop evens out over the long run.

Moreover, those that seem to get lucky with slop more often do so because they have more opportunities to do so. In other words, they miss their intended shot more often. Give me the lucky, sloppy player every time. :)
 

Chili Palmer

20.769%
Silver Member
APA handicaps utilize the best 10 of the last 20 games and innings are a huge part of that equation, that is why it's important to mark defenses, because it shows the person didn't actually miss a shot to end his inning.

And yes, slop can and does affect player ratings if it affects his wins and/or innings. As mentioned, it's the 10 best of your last 20 games. Well, if you slop your way to wins then your skill level should go up due to less innings, more wins, and less defensive shots.

Our local slop master has bounced between a 6 and 7 a few times, he can pocket some balls when needed but he's no 7. He can't control whitey and generally can't get out of any tough situations.

Here's what Dr. Dave has on APA handicaps, it's a good read.

link removed...
 
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ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There is nothing more frustrating than playing a lower ranked player who goes for shots that he shouldn’t, misses by a mile, and ends up with a perfect safety anyway. No, certainly not a two way shot but just blind luck.
 

Chili Palmer

20.769%
Silver Member
There is nothing more frustrating than playing a lower ranked player who goes for shots that he shouldn’t, misses by a mile, and ends up with a perfect safety anyway. No, certainly not a two way shot but just blind luck.

LOL, go read some stories in the "how ya'll doing in league" thread.

You'll learn all about getting Bobbed and Lestered :)
 

justadub

Rattling corners nightly
Silver Member
The frustrating case is the one Lorider is talking about...the guy who is a good shot AND has that crazy luck. That combination is certainly annoying, and fortunately rare, at least around here.

We have one guy that fits the bill. He's a SL6, and can usually beat most 5's handily. Holds his own with some of the 6's, and struggles with the 7's (like most players). Can make a shot from anywhere, and when he misses, it $hits its way in. He only extremely rarely plays a safe. It's tough to fade, playing a guy who shoots better than you, AND gets seemingly lucky, too.

We all have players in our leagues who hit'em hard, and it finds a way in. But rarely do you see it happen with the better shooters.

I agree with you, Lorder, your guy won't make SL7 anytime soon, unless he changes his style. And that's ok, too. And you mention that he's young, he could very well start adapting to the play of the better players, the more he plays them. The guy in my example isn't a young kid, so I expect he'll be pretty much set in his ways and not really progress. He's fun to play, and exasperating at the same time, and a good guy. I give him crap every time I play him, cuz I know how its gonna go, lol. I almost got him last time we played, that woulda been a big deal to me, heh heh.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Case in point is the boy i am talking about. A few weeks ago we had our best of the rest tournament. The other team threw a damn good 5. This boy wanted to match up with him..i thought he should not especially after being raised to a 6 and having to spot him a game..well he insisted and i relented since i had made him captain on 8 ball and i retained captain on 9 ball. The boy got his azz handed to him by 4-1. I knew this 5's cue ball control and safety play was better than our 6 and it showed in this match.

I have only been to vegas one time and have heard the same thing as you stated about handicaps in different areas.. A captain of another team came up to me in the lobby the day after we had played his team and said he had been to vegas 17 times and had never seen a 5 as good as me and that there were 7's in his area that couldnt keep up with me. This was in 9 ball. That wasnt you was it ? Lol . I told him i was not the best 5 in my area. Well i did beat his 5 by 19-1 but it was in sudden death. We went 2-2 and i really didnt see any one whose handicap that i thought was out of line except for this 2 from colorado.

You are looking at one mach here, and I trust APA ratings about as much as I would a meth addict. In every pool hall I go there are players talking about dumping matches and just about how to mess with their league skill levels. Don't go by league skill levels when talking about skill. I know many players as good as me or close to as good as me that are 2 or more levels under what my skill level in a league would be if played honestly. My son, who beat Jayson Shaw in a tournament by running 3 racks and out on him, was started as a 3 in the APA when he first joined. He was very well known to the players and the room he played in, he has multiple Jr State titles, has a ton of tournament wins, and they did not even bother adjusting him for known skill. League ratings have no place in how to look at assigned skill levels.

The only way to judge skill of a player is to have an experienced player watch them shoot, not by asking what their APA skill level is.

Plenty of people have said leagues are not good for people that are serious about playing pool, they teach people how to try to win before how to learn to play.
 
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alstl

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A member of this forum had his team disqualified at the APA national tournament over handicap problems.

The rationale I heard made no sense. I'm not sure the APA understands their own system. It's designed to attract casual players. That's the only thing for certain.
 

Tom1234

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
While the subject of APA hcps has been beaten to death in other threads, there is one thing I have noticed recently. If you are a SL 7 in our league, you can have a losing record against SL5s and 6s (over the last 5 sessions) and a winning % of less than 20 against other 7s and your hcp will not drop. Someone please explain to me how you can be a SL7 if you can’t win at least 50% of your matches against other 7s. There really is that big a difference in skill in the scenario I just stated.
 

Maniac

2manyQ's
Silver Member
Here's what Dr. Dave has on APA handicaps, it's a good read.

https://billiards.colostate.edu/faq/rating/apa-equalizer/

The quote/post from jayman only holds true if your league operator is honest and/or smart enough to use the system properly.

I'll give you an example of what I personally witnessed: In an 8-ball league I played in several years ago we played a team in week three that had two men that were rated SL2's. Both of them were new to the APA.

After they both won their matches against my teammates that night, and both shooting like SL4's, I did some research when I got home. One of the players had a record of 1-1 before playing us, and the other had only played one match and lost. I kept asking myself how a male player could start out as a SL3, go 1-1 in his first two matches and be a SL2.

By the end of the session, both had winning records and were still both SL2's. It was the middle of the next session before they both went up to SL3's. In two sessions, nobody on my team ever beat either one of them.

I should mention that a few years prior to that 8-ball session, my 9-ball team was playing a team of all "new to the APA" players. It was around the fourth week of the session and their first night of play. They had a man that was a SL2 that won his match fairly handily as did a couple others on their team did. I asked the other team's Captain after the night's matches were over how come their skill levels were so low and she proceeded to tell me the LO made them a deal that if their team joined the league to have an even amount of teams (eliminating the bye), that he would give them lower starting handicaps so that their team might have a chance to catch up in the points race. I kept that info in my memory bank and from that point on, I never gave a rat's ass about what anybody's handicap was anymore....just showed up and did the best I could regardless.

I can go on and on with stories about this LO's shady dealings....but I digress. Suffice to say that this man was dishonest and pandering to say the least. I started playing in his league 14 years ago and today he is still the LO. I have since moved to another league area (for my sanity).

Point being, the system only works if everything is done "by the book".

Maniac
 

Chili Palmer

20.769%
Silver Member
Agreed, it only works if it's being handled appropriately. Luckily, our LO is about as good as it gets. We have some complaints of sandbagging but honestly, the people who are being accused of sandbagging probably don't have the skills or knowledge to do so and the people doing the finger pointing couldn't spot a hustle if they were told about it.

LOL, ironically, the worst case of initial SL when entering the league was for me. When I contacted her I told her I would probably end up as an 7 or 8 in 9B and I was put on as a 4? Not being used to sanctioned leagues I just went with it. I was on her team and the first night and game I played the guy broke dry and I ran them out, she walked over and said "Well done, you're now a 5". After 14 years away it took about 6 months to move up to the 7/9, either way, I feel I should've been put in as a 5, 6, maybe a 7.

Honestly, I'm much like you, I don't really care if someone wants to sandbag, I'll play them the same way I play everyone else, they're the ones who have to sleep with themselves at night.

The quote/post from jayman only holds true if your league operator is honest and/or smart enough to use the system properly.

I'll give you an example of what I personally witnessed: In an 8-ball league I played in several years ago we played a team in week three that had two men that were rated SL2's. Both of them were new to the APA.

After they both won their matches against my teammates that night, and both shooting like SL4's, I did some research when I got home. One of the players had a record of 1-1 before playing us, and the other had only played one match and lost. I kept asking myself how a male player could start out as a SL3, go 1-1 in his first two matches and be a SL2.

By the end of the session, both had winning records and were still both SL2's. It was the middle of the next session before they both went up to SL3's. In two sessions, nobody on my team ever beat either one of them.

I should mention that a few years prior to that 8-ball session, my 9-ball team was playing a team of all "new to the APA" players. It was around the fourth week of the session and their first night of play. They had a man that was a SL2 that won his match fairly handily as did a couple others on their team did. I asked the other team's Captain after the night's matches were over how come their skill levels were so low and she proceeded to tell me the LO made them a deal that if their team joined the league to have an even amount of teams (eliminating the bye), that he would give them lower starting handicaps so that their team might have a chance to catch up in the points race. I kept that info in my memory bank and from that point on, I never gave a rat's ass about what anybody's handicap was anymore....just showed up and did the best I could regardless.

I can go on and on with stories about this LO's shady dealings....but I digress. Suffice to say that this man was dishonest and pandering to say the least. I started playing in his league 14 years ago and today he is still the LO. I have since moved to another league area (for my sanity).

Point being, the system only works if everything is done "by the book".

Maniac
 

lorider

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
APA handicaps utilize the best 10 of the last 20 games and innings are a huge part of that equation, that is why it's important to mark defenses, because it shows the person didn't actually miss a shot to end his inning.

And yes, slop can and does affect player ratings if it affects his wins and/or innings. As mentioned, it's the 10 best of your last 20 games. Well, if you slop your way to wins then your skill level should go up due to less innings, more wins, and less defensive shots.

Our local slop master has bounced between a 6 and 7 a few times, he can pocket some balls when needed but he's no 7. He can't control whitey and generally can't get out of any tough situations.

Here's what Dr. Dave has on APA handicaps, it's a good read.



Its been a while since i read that chart...thanks for the link.


I fall in the parameters all the way across that chart.

Fargo rate 490 from playing usapl. Apa 5 in 8 ball and 6 in 9 ball and was a 7 in bcapl.. Spot on all the way across actually..i totally agree with gour post chili.. Slop or luck prolongs your time at the table. The longer you are at the table the greater odds of you winnng. Also the longer you are at the table the less innngs you play..

It was not my intemtion to downplay the boys achievement of reaching skill level 6. Now i know an apa 6 is not exactly a world beater but its the second highesf level you can attain in apa 8 ball. Just my opinion here of course but when you reach that level you should be some what proficient at cue ball control...position play and pattern selection with out having to resort to smash and hope every third or fourth shot.
 
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