From beginner to APA4

Texas Carom Club

play 1cushion & balkline
Silver Member
ask here justin

 

CGM

It'd be a lot cooler if you did.
Silver Member
Bare minimum it should take you between 15-20 years to go from absolute beginner to an APA SL4. Once you get there buy yourself a beer because you will have officially arrived.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
How much time for you to become APA4 when you begin to work hard ?
Thanks to share
It depends on your aptitude and your work ethic.

A player who lived in this area for a while started to play pool when he was 16. Within six months he had run 7 racks in a row (100 points of straight pool) without a miss. That would put him at APA 10, if there was a 10.

On the other hand, you can look around at a lot of teams and there are 3s who will probably never make it to 4 and have been playing for 20 years.

I would say that I was at APA 4 level in less than a year after I started to play. I think that's a reasonable goal for anyone who is willing to put in the time and has some aptitude for the game. I think you will also need to get some decent instruction.
 

lorider

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
APA started me as a 4.
I thought it was a national rule but apparently not as i have read a few posts where men have started as a 3.

In our area all men start as a 4 in both 8 and 9 ball and all women start as a 3 in both.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
If your leagues gene pool is filled with nothing but SL2 players, you could end up being a SL7 by the end of the session. APA handicapping is relative to who you play against, so you could be a horrible player but if your opponents are at least a little more horrible then you can expect to become a SL4 in very short order. Of course the inverse is just as possible, so if your area is populated with nothing but monster sharks then you may never get off the bottom floor.

In my neck of the woods, unless the player is 'known' to be at the level of a SL2 then they would start off as a SL3. There's also an art to staying at a SL2. It ain't easy maintaining that required lvl of play, if you put any effort in to getting better.

If one was to put any effort into attempting to play the game better, I would suspect they should reach SL4 within their first year, or couple of seasons (3 a year).
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
I thought it was a national rule but apparently not as i have read a few posts where men have started as a 3.

In our area all men start as a 4 in both 8 and 9 ball and all women start as a 3 in both.
I started as a 7-9.... LO discretion

I've been asked in the past by my LO to give an assessment of 'unknown' players. Not that he can't do it himself, but he likes to be as fair as possible and he sticks out like a sore thumb in a crowd. Some league newbs will sandbag when they know they're being assessed.
 

ps.gentil

New member
According Dr Dave BU ratings comparaison APA4 is about Fargo 350-400 and "Lower intermediate". I want to work hard to become APA4 in 2 years max. I just want to compare no idea to complete here, in France.
 

8cree

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
If your leagues gene pool is filled with nothing but SL2 players, you could end up being a SL7 by the end of the session. APA handicapping is relative to who you play against, so you could be a horrible player but if your opponents are at least a little more horrible then you can expect to become a SL4 in very short order. Of course the inverse is just as possible, so if your area is populated with nothing but monster sharks then you may never get off the bottom floor.

In my neck of the woods, unless the player is 'known' to be at the level of a SL2 then they would start off as a SL3. There's also an art to staying at a SL2. It ain't easy maintaining that required lvl of play, if you put any effort in to getting better.

If one was to put any effort into attempting to play the game better, I would suspect they should reach SL4 within their first year, or couple of seasons (3 a year).
Didn't APA Operator and mikepage straighten that myth out for you already?!




Just busting chops, man. I feel like you're right, but they sure seem to believe otherwise.
 

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If your leagues gene pool is filled with nothing but SL2 players, you could end up being a SL7 by the end of the session. APA handicapping is relative to who you play against, so you could be a horrible player but if your opponents are at least a little more horrible then you can expect to become a SL4 in very short order. Of course the inverse is just as possible, so if your area is populated with nothing but monster sharks then you may never get off the bottom floor.
I wish you would stop saying this, it's about as true as 2+2=5. The APA system is less relative to your competition than any other system I'm familiar with.

To the OP, if you really want to improve, you will. All it takes is ability to learn "conscious" memory (the stuff you need to think about before you get down on a shot), and develop "unconscious", or muscle memory (what you need to actually execute the shot). The rate at which those two things develop is different for different people. Unless there's some physical limitation, someone dedicated to that development will get to the ability of a 4 in weeks or months, not years. 4 is some shot-making ability and basic knowledge of position play, including spin and its effects. Consistency in those physical abilities and deeper knowledge in the non-physical ones are what's needed to advance beyond 4.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
I wish you would stop saying this, it's about as true as 2+2=5. The APA system is less relative to your competition than any other system I'm familiar with.
Ok no problem.... Answer me this and convince me otherwise.

If I have a 100 players that would be SL2's anywhere else USofA, and segregate them into their own league. Zero exposure to the world outside their pond. Would that group's SLs not divide into the range of 2 thru 7...? Within that group of 2's some will be weak (remain 2, 3), some will be better then that (>2's = 4~5), and there will be a portion that will be better than the last group (>4/5 = 6~7).

Are you suggesting that regardless of the play within that league that originally had nothing but 2's, there isn't any possibility that some would rise to higher SL's...?

We both know that's true. That's how math works. Other than intervention by some outside higher authority that would for some reason mandate they all remain as SL2's, the group will spread based on win/lose against each other.
 
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The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Didn't APA Operator and mikepage straighten that myth out for you already?!

Just busting chops, man. I feel like you're right, but they sure seem to believe otherwise.
Nah, I'm on the same page as Mr. Page. ;)

That discussion was about how a player's exposure outside their pond effects the group they normally play with. In APA it doesn't. In Fargo it does. What it boiled down to was APA Operator not being able to disclose the 'ways' the APA may or may not use to give balance to an isolated league to the rest of the organization.
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
Ok no problem.... Answer me this and convince me otherwise.

If I have a 100 players that would be SL2's anywhere else USofA, and segregate them into their own league. Zero exposure to the world outside their pond. Would that group's SLs not divide into the range of 2 thru 7...? Within that group of 2's some will be weak (remain 2, 3), some will be better then that (>2's = 4~5), and there will be a portion that will be better than the last group (>4/5 = 6~7).

We both know that's true. That's how math works. Other than intervention by some outside higher authority that would for some reason mandate they all remain as SL2's, the group will spread based on win/lose against each other.
Yes this is a good application of a distribution. You went from uniform to normal. Group think also might be a problem of they all chase the same development goals. Its just moving the standard average up however no one else would consider it progress.

Itd be like passing students because you have to pass students. They graduate with 4.0 but are clueless about what to do with the knowledge.

instead of rating systems there should be a checklist. Like a drivers license road test that would be better, but requires individual evaluation.

it is called the billiard aptitude test
 

Cuedup

Active member
My understanding is the APA formula weighs number of innings into it.

So an entire league of 2s would not magically distribute itself into a spread of 2s through 7s.
 

BlueRaider

Registered
It depends on your aptitude and your work ethic.

A player who lived in this area for a while started to play pool when he was 16. Within six months he had run 7 racks in a row (100 points of straight pool) without a miss. That would put him at APA 10, if there was a 10.

On the other hand, you can look around at a lot of teams and there are 3s who will probably never make it to 4 and have been playing for 20 years.

I would say that I was at APA 4 level in less than a year after I started to play. I think that's a reasonable goal for anyone who is willing to put in the time and has some aptitude for the game. I think you will also need to get some decent instruction.
Who was instructing that 16-year-old phenom? Pretty incredible story. I know people debate the talent issue in pool, but I've heard of similar meteoric rises that completely defy normal expectations and timelines for reaching certain skill levels.
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It’s different for everyone. How much natural talent you have and how much you work on your game and GOOD coaching/instruction in the beginning all factor in.

Took me years and years to reach my best speed, longer than it would have had I had any talent and good coaching from the beginning. I’ve played for around 40 years now. I’m past my prime-which was never super high by professional standards.

good luck out there

Fatboy 😀
 
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