How Does an APA 7 Go Down to a 6?

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I fail to see the difference in APA and Fargo when it comes to gauging the overal SL of an isolated pond. A SL in APA is determined by wins/loses and so is fargo. To be a 650 in fargo you would need to beat up heavily on the rest of the league. To be 7 in APA you just need a winning record against 6s.
^^^^^ This is why you should not debate the issue. Your knowledge of APA's system is seriously lacking, and I'm not talking about detailed knowledge - I'm talking about basic, general knowledge. It sounds like it's based on things you've heard from sources upon which you should not rely.

I've also noticed comments like these:
I'll add that a 7 that loses more than 50% of the time to other 7s should be lowered. However that makes too much sense... Also counter intutitive to the business model.
All that said, of course the APA reserves the right to arbitrarily alter a player's handicap on a whim if it suits their purposes.
Those are the musings of someone who has an axe to grind with APA. I'm sorry for whatever happened to you, unless you deserved it. ;)
 

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here is what he MIGHT be saying. Suppose the isolated pond of 100 players is a remote monastery of aging nuns and they're all new to pool. The 8-Ball games take from 10 to 100 innings. The win-loss data may not look weird to FargoRate, but the inning-count data does look weird to APA.
Not necessarily weird, but we can use it to put them at the low end of the spectrum. We might not guess nuns but we'd probably guess new to pool. ;)
 

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
APA Operator Thank you for your comments. Please explain how they were all changed at the same time. Also could you answer my 2nd question about how my friend and I could have the same averages with the figures I stated? Thank you for your time.
I can't explain how it did, because I wasn't there. I can only demonstrate how it could. Maybe the LO had a "no 2's" policy. APA discourages that, but some league operators did it anyway (don't ask me why, it's beyond me). Maybe the APA convinced him to do away with the policy, and he unlocked the set of 3's that were being held up artificially, all at the same time. That's one way. Another could be that he had a meeting of his handicap advisory committee, and that group convinced him to let these 3's drop. Perhaps he's not even the one who locked them in. Maybe he took over for another LO and decided the previous LO was too liberal with the locks. Then again, it could all just be coincidence. You deserve an answer besides "It is what it is", but I can't give you that answer. You have to get it from your LO.

With regard to the other question, I'm not sure what you mean by "My average is 59.26". You'll have to explain where that number originates, unless that's what you're asking, in which case you'll have to ask your LO.

You shouldn't be afraid to ask the LO questions, but make sure it's not in an accusatory tone. LOs are people too, and can get defensive at times. Just make sure he knows you just want to understand what you can, and remember that he is not allowed to give you as much detail as you might want (but he should at least be able to tell you that).
 

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That doesn't follow. The could have precise ratings like Fargo and still do races to xxx but using the rounded difference and not the difference of two rounded numbers. That would give matches that are fairer on average. The Fargo site provides handicapped matches (games on the wire) based on the rating difference.
I don't think that would get you what you want, Bob. First, APA can be more precise than just '7' or '6'. At singles regionals and nationals the brackets are seeded with their view of the strongest X on the bottom, so you know we have some way of determining who is the strongest within a skill level band. It's wrong sometimes, like any other system, but it exists. At any rate, you still need to know the skill levels and not just the difference. The APA system says the average 5 is two games better than the average 3 in a race to 4, while the average 6 is two games better than the average 4 in a race to 5. Numerically the differences are the same but the spot is not. If you did a race to xxx you would have too much spot on one end or too little on the other. You have to have both the difference and the ratings, but I know what you mean and agree with it. It's what I was talking about in post #90.
 

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'll add that a 7 that loses more than 50% of the time to other 7s should be lowered.
You're the one who said math is math. The math in what you say here leads to exactly one 7 or to all 7's being exactly 50%. If you have any that win over 50% you have to have at least one that loses over 50%. It's just math, and that's how it works. Lower that guy and restart the counter. Iterate until you have no 7's under 50% against other 7's. That Turing machine only stops when all 7's are at exactly 50% or there is exactly one 7. Do you think either of those results is reasonable?

If you can't beat 50% of your skill level it just means you're in the weaker half of the band. It doesn't mean you don't belong in that band. In fact, and don't tell anyone I said this, but when you first go from 6 to 7 you can expect to lose to a random 6 more than half of the time. It's just math.
 

The_JV

Local_Pro
You're the one who said math is math. The math in what you say here leads to exactly one 7 or to all 7's being exactly 50%.
You took the time to cherry pick that quote to make an argument. Maybe you should also reread the subsequent post wherein I specifically addressed that 50% number as something I simply grabbed by someone else, and didn't mean it to be consider the bar. If you did happen to take the time. Guess that will depend on how much of an axe you happen to want to grind. You will find that I said that if you're within +/- 15% of 50/50 then you're right where you should be. So since we're focusing on absolutes now, I'll expand further and say that if you're winning less than 35% of your matches you should be considered for dropping down. Just as if you're winning more than 65% you should be considered for being bumped. We know there's other aspects the APA uses to adjust SLs and I don't discount them. Inning count and safety play are great indicators for judging someone's actual spd.

We should also note that you responded to several posts but not the one wherein I clearly pointed how the APA "Equalizer" falls horribly short of fargo in creating league wide parity, (once again an unfair comparison imo). ...also you seem to side step expanding on the "the ways" the APA has to create parity. That may just be due to the whole "non-disclosure" thing, or that their isn't one beyond arbitrary subjective opinion. I'm totally fine with being wrong on this one, and I don't mean to paint you into a corner, but I'd love to be enlightened.

I'm not anti-APA although I can certainly see why someone who is an APA fan or Operator of said league would believe so. I think the APA has done a great job of engaging a host of people that want to enjoy a league type atmosphere. That doesn't translate into blind admiration to their system of managing SLs though. For the strong player the APA handicap debate is moot. If you're not already a 7 you will be in short order, and you won't be going back down. It's the bubble players that get the screws imo. Being a strong 6 doesn't make you even a weak 7 for example.

Nothing "bad" ever happened to me during my brief stint in the CPA(APA). Starting on day one I was penciled in as 7/9, (8ball/9ball) and had zero complaints. My only issue, which is totally unrelated to this thread, was the "sacrificial lamb" approach other teams would take when matching up against me. It's annoying when you want to compete for the MVP award and the other teams see fit to protect their top guns. Yes 3 points are still available against weak opponents, but competing head/head against the equally ranked is something I think should happen if you're going to reward "best" of the SL. It was a smart play on their parts, and I don't blame them, but it negated the one thing I really did enjoy.
 

mikepage

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here are ratings for a couple leagues of USAPL players. My guess is the distribution of APA players in various areas is not all that different from this. What do people think of this association? Does it seem to about match what you have seen?
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The_JV

Local_Pro
Here are ratings for a couple leagues of USAPL players. My guess is the distribution of APA players in various areas is not all that different from this. What do people think of this association? Does it seem to about match what you have seen? View attachment 591191
My knowledge/experience with the bottom end APA is very limited, so I really can't comment there. I'd venture to say the divison between the 6 and 7 is fairly spot on compared to the league I played in. I'd say the vast majority >95% of that league doesn't have any fargo data, so my opinion is solely based on my personal experience playing both them and those with fargos outside of that league.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here are ratings for a couple leagues of USAPL players. My guess is the distribution of APA players in various areas is not all that different from this. What do people think of this association? Does it seem to about match what you have seen? View attachment 591191

Yep, can't think if any adjustments to this scale. It also works for TAP ratings that are similar to APA.
 

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
We should also note that you responded to several posts but not the one wherein I clearly pointed how the APA "Equalizer" falls horribly short of fargo in creating league wide parity, (once again an unfair comparison imo). ...also you seem to side step expanding on the "the ways" the APA has to create parity. That may just be due to the whole "non-disclosure" thing, or that their isn't one beyond arbitrary subjective opinion. I'm totally fine with being wrong on this one, and I don't mean to paint you into a corner, but I'd love to be enlightened.
I can't, though I'd love to, and it is because of that whole "non-disclosure" thing. All I can say is the whole Equalizer system is way more than just the numbers you see. But I can't even say what it does or does not contain without risking breach of contract. I can say that it is constantly evolving, and I've been a part of the group at the heart of that evolution for as long as I've been a franchisee. I'm not Mike Page, I didn't invent the system, but I'm one of the ones who might make suggestions to Mike or off whom he might bounce ideas. I'm sure he has people like that. I can also say it's not as short as you might think in terms of league-wide parity, but I can't say how so you'll have to decide for yourself whether to trust me on that. To be truly enlightened you'd have to purchase a franchise, though.

You are right, as are Bob and Mike, when you say the two systems serve different purposes. I just wish folks would acknowledge both as honest attempts at doing what they are designed to do and stop propagating conspiracy theories. The APA has nothing but fairness to the players at heart when they do their thing. Though I do understand that where there's secrecy, there's a conspiracy theory.
 

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here are ratings for a couple leagues of USAPL players. My guess is the distribution of APA players in various areas is not all that different from this. What do people think of this association? Does it seem to about match what you have seen? View attachment 591191
I don't disagree with this, it is something like I would expect. If you did a similar graph for an APA league, with the Fargo Rating being the estimate, the curve would be shifted to the left and fall off more steeply to the right. That shows the different market segments to which these two leagues appeal. What's missing is the curve that's shifted to the right, to bridge the gap between handicapped and non-handicapped play. Or maybe non-handicapped leagues provide that curve? The APA masters format, for example, has a curve shifted to the right.
 

justadub

Rattling corners nightly
Silver Member
Here are ratings for a couple leagues of USAPL players. My guess is the distribution of APA players in various areas is not all that different from this. What do people think of this association? Does it seem to about match what you have seen? View attachment 591191
That pretty much falls in line with the people in my APA division (in a small pond) that had a rating that I could look up. To be fair, we only started having Fargo rated tournaments out here in the wilderness shortly before the pandemic, so many of the rankings are likely not fully "robust", if I recall my Fargo reading. But those players mostly fall into the graph as illustrated here.
 

The_JV

Local_Pro
I can't, though I'd love to, and it is because of that whole "non-disclosure" thing. All I can say is the whole Equalizer system is way more than just the numbers you see. But I can't even say what it does or does not contain without risking breach of contract. I can say that it is constantly evolving, and I've been a part of the group at the heart of that evolution for as long as I've been a franchisee. I'm not Mike Page, I didn't invent the system, but I'm one of the ones who might make suggestions to Mike or off whom he might bounce ideas. I'm sure he has people like that. I can also say it's not as short as you might think in terms of league-wide parity, but I can't say how so you'll have to decide for yourself whether to trust me on that. To be truly enlightened you'd have to purchase a franchise, though.

You are right, as are Bob and Mike, when you say the two systems serve different purposes. I just wish folks would acknowledge both as honest attempts at doing what they are designed to do and stop propagating conspiracy theories. The APA has nothing but fairness to the players at heart when they do their thing. Though I do understand that where there's secrecy, there's a conspiracy theory.
Excellent, and I fully understand.

I don't believe there's anything nefarious going on with the APA or the "Equalizer". I just have seen players on the bubble struggle when in the deep end, and it appears as it's easier to move up then it is down.

I appreciate you detailing what you can.
 

lorider

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I for one am glad to see apa operator post in threads like this. Although he is not allowed fully answer some questions he does share what info he can.

I used to be one of those who complained abouy orher people handicaps ans even complaimed to the lo a few times.....along with many others i assume .

Then i started getting complaints about my handicap . some times i was called a sandbagger ro my face and orher times i heard from friends that overheard people complaining to the lo about me.

It caused me to reflect about what i saw in orher peoples matches and what rranspired in my matches that cause them to complain.

One thing stood.out. a great night at the table. Evey one has those nights but that does not mean you can play at that level every night. So when i looked at it that way and also realized that over time every one that i complained about was eventually raised as i was myself i just quit worrying about anyones handicap and just let apa do their thing.
 

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I don't believe there's anything nefarious going on with the APA or the "Equalizer". I just have seen players on the bubble struggle when in the deep end, and it appears as it's easier to move up then it is down.
It's supposed to. The Equalizer is supposed to measure/reflect how you play when you play your "good" game, not your average performance. Average performance is too easy to manipulate downward. There's a difference between demonstrating potential and demonstrating ability, but eventually if that potential gets turned into ability your rating will reflect it and the ability is harder to lose than it was to gain. And almost all players struggle some when they first move up. They go from the best X to the worst Y and suddenly that 1 extra game gets in their head. It's not uncommon, for example, to see a 5 beat other 5's consistently, yet when they go up to a 6 they can no longer win 4 games against those very same players. If they can win 4 games as a 5, why can't they win 4 games against the same player as a 6? That's not the number, but it happens a lot (and it's the reason why automatic and indirect adjustments are not always advisable). What also happens is that when you go up you might begin playing stronger competition (the Skill Level Limit rule dictates that) and as the weakest Y you're on the short end of many of those spots. You're expected to lose so if you do is an adjustment really necessary?

All of this (except the "harder to go down" part - that's just a fact of life) would be alleviated (but not fixed, there will always be races that seem unfair) by the "rounded difference of two numbers" thing, but that will never happen in the APA even though we have the data to do it now. It's too big of a change and the risk of breaking things that have been working for years is too great. It boils down to marginal benefit versus marginal cost, and I'm not talking about money. When I think about this I'm always reminded about when Coke changed their flavor to be more like Pepsi. They found out there was a whole class of people who liked the old flavor, and they had to bring it back as "Classic" Coke because they stood to lose a bigger market share if they didn't than they gained by making the change in the first place (a much bigger market share, the silent majority). Eventually Classic Coke became just Coke again and the new flavor went away. They listened only to their complainers and spent lots of time and effort to change something that they shouldn't have touched in the first place. APA is large enough that they have to consider the Coca-Cola mistake when making changes.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I for one am glad to see apa operator post in threads like this. Although he is not allowed fully answer some questions he does share what info he can.

I used to be one of those who complained abouy orher people handicaps ans even complaimed to the lo a few times.....along with many others i assume .

Then i started getting complaints about my handicap . some times i was called a sandbagger ro my face and orher times i heard from friends that overheard people complaining to the lo about me.

It caused me to reflect about what i saw in orher peoples matches and what rranspired in my matches that cause them to complain.

One thing stood.out. a great night at the table. Evey one has those nights but that does not mean you can play at that level every night. So when i looked at it that way and also realized that over time every one that i complained about was eventually raised as i was myself i just quit worrying about anyones handicap and just let apa do their thing.

While having a "good night" may explain some things, there is no way to explain away hearing teams talk about what games they should lose and what players should be missing to keep the handicap lower. Or having a guy that wins 5 tournaments in two months still be 2 levels under his actual skill. I have talked just in the past few weeks to players that were asked to join the APA and the people that asked them said "you will be low and we will work to keep you low for easy wins for you". To the credit of those players, they told the teams to F off.
 

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
While having a "good night" may explain some things, there is no way to explain away hearing teams talk about what games they should lose and what players should be missing to keep the handicap lower.
That will happen in any handicapping system. Cheaters will cheat, and no system can prevent it. You have to have mechanisms in place to fight it, and you have to have an operator who is vigilant, and you still won't catch them all. Sadly, it's another fact of life. It's also why some handicapped golf tournaments will disqualify someone who shoots as little as three strokes below their handicap. Their systems are not perfect either.
 

Chili Palmer

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Even better, your fargo also changes based on the performance of those you have had matches against. Case in point, my own fargo has dropped recently because players I have done well against have played very poorly as of late.

The max '7' APA handicap in 8 ball is the biggest farce in league play that I have ever witnessed. If you have a winning record against other 6's then expect to be bumped to a 7. Once there you'll see a vast, and I mean vaaaaasssssst assortment of skill levels. There is an grand canyon type gap between the inner tiers of the APA '7's. The players that dip their toe in that pond, they will get utterly destroyed by those that swim in the deep end. Don't even need to mention the alpha predators that like to rip chunks of hope out those deep end players...lol

Spot on. We have a few 7's and 9's (9B) that, in the grand scheme of things, don't belong in that group. Clearly, they're 7's but there are only a few "true" 7's, the rest are far and above an SL 7.
 

Tom1234

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
What also happens is that when you go up you might begin playing stronger competition (the Skill Level Limit rule dictates that) and as the weakest Y you're on the short end of many of those spots. You're expected to lose so if you do is an adjustment really necessary?
HELL YES!!!! A SL 7 is expected to lose to another 7? If that SL 7 is WEAKER, then he should be a 6. This is the jist of my beef with APA ratings system. Weaker players SHOULD NOT have to play more skilled players even up. Would you gamble with a more skilled player without getting some weight? Not unless your mad at your money. All you’ve stated proves my point; the APA will raise someone’s hcp far quicker than they will lower it.
 
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