# Measuring one's skill level

#### 3andstop

##### Focus
Silver Member
I came across this little chart in a book I had buried in the corner of my room today and I thought some may find it interesting. The book, btw, was A Mind For Pool by Capelle.

Now I'm old school, so much so that I don't really even enjoy 9 ball. So, it makes me cringe when I read about putting together a 3 pack or 4 pack or whatever, and using it as a measure of their playing ability.

Yes, certainly there is some measure of ability connected to stringing a few racks of 9 ball together, but IMO each rack is mutually exclusive of any other.

In other words, the lay of the balls after the break on each rack has a huge impact on whether or not you get through the rack. Not to mention how many balls are pocketed on a rack, if the 9 ball was made on a break or is left dripping in the pocket for the next shot.

I've always thought one of the best ways to honestly evaluate a player's ability, is by knowing how many balls they can run in straight pool. You're not getting through multiple 15 ball table layouts with luck for one, for another thing, they are NOT mutually exclusive at all since you need to road map your way to each rack's next break shot.

Well, with that said, here is the chart values for judging your ability running balls in straight pool. A much more accurate .. and dare I say humbling way to really determine how good you are.

According to Mr. Capelle :

C- = 15 ball high run

C = 20

C+ = 25

B- = 35

B = 45

B+ = 55

A- = 75 ( fyi - I'm here with a 78. Never got a 100. But I'm old. LOL )

A = 100

A+ = 150+ ball high run

#### Pidge

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
What's after A+?

I agree with what you say. I see 9 ball as a reflection of how well you break and pick positional routes. I see 8 ball as a reflection of how well you control the table. 10 ball is very much the second as 9 ball. 1 pocket I see as a battle of wits. 14.1 isn't by any means the best indicator of skill but it's the closest you can get to measuring up against other players. The best indicator of skill is your record of wins and who those wins were against.

#### King T

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

I .

Now I'm old school, so much so that I don't really even enjoy 9 ball. So, it makes me cringe when I read about putting together a 3 pack or 4 pack or whatever, and using it as a measure of their playing ability.

I've always thought one of the best ways to honestly evaluate a player's ability, is by knowing how many balls they can run in straight pool. You're not getting through multiple 15 ball table layouts with luck for one, for another thing, they are NOT mutually exclusive at all since you need to road map your way to each rack's next break shot.

Is running balls in straight pool more about shooting than pattern play, if you out of line just shoot another ball? So running balls becomes a measurement of shooting not playing ability? I understand that the finial group of balls must be evaluated for the break shot, but before that last 4 or 5 balls isn't it just about shooting?

You don't see lots of break and runs in 9 Ball and 10 Ball even with open tables because there no alternate shot available, you make the shot and get shape or you don't, a little tougher isn't it?

#### thintowin

##### thin2win
Silver Member
in my humble opinion, charting how many balls one can run no matter the game.

Still if you want to measure your excellence the run f balls would have to be done under pressure; either in a tourney or in a gambling session.

i also believe your skill level can really be deternined by objective parties; the pool world. granted the pool world is not objective some of the time; still the skill level is really only useful in the pool world or bragging to those who don't have a clue concerning pool.

so if you want to kn ow your skill level, challenge an A player for a wager and move upward or orecede to B, C, and whatever skill ranking you want to utilize.

#### King T

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I agree..,

in my humble opinion, charting how many balls one can run no matter the game.

Still if you want to measure your excellence the run f balls would have to be done under pressure; either in a tourney or in a gambling session.

i also believe your skill level can really be deternined by objective parties; the pool world. granted the pool world is not objective some of the time; still the skill level is really only useful in the pool world or bragging to those who don't have a clue concerning pool.

so if you want to kn ow your skill level, challenge an A player for a wager and move upward or orecede to B, C, and whatever skill ranking you want to utilize.

I know lots of people who couldn't run many balls, but they play jam-up 9 Ball or 10 Ball based on their ability to play the total game and they are constantly measuring their game against better players. Nothing wrong with evaluating your high ball runs vs an average for players at different skill levels, but trying out run a better player is a big measuring stick.

Bubby Hall said, referring to overly tight pockets, "the game shouldn't come down to who shoots the best, it should come down to who plays the best".

#### ineedaspot

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In my mind, when I think of A-D, I think of what level of ghost a player can beat in rotation (not once, but more than half the time in the long run).

Roughly, I think it comes out to about
Pro: 12 balls or more
A+: 10
A: 9
A-: 8
B+: 7
B: 6
B-: 5
C: 4
D: 3

Of course, it depends on the equipment, but on a reasonable 9-footer, I think this ranking system generally comes out with about the right grade when people say "A" "B" "C" etc.

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#### 3andstop

##### Focus
Silver Member
What's after A+?

I agree with what you say. I see 9 ball as a reflection of how well you break and pick positional routes. I see 8 ball as a reflection of how well you control the table. 10 ball is very much the second as 9 ball. 1 pocket I see as a battle of wits. 14.1 isn't by any means the best indicator of skill but it's the closest you can get to measuring up against other players. The best indicator of skill is your record of wins and who those wins were against.

Ummm .... page 85 :thumbup:

#### 3andstop

##### Focus
Silver Member
Is running balls in straight pool more about shooting than pattern play, if you out of line just shoot another ball? So running balls becomes a measurement of shooting not playing ability? I understand that the finial group of balls must be evaluated for the break shot, but before that last 4 or 5 balls isn't it just about shooting?

You don't see lots of break and runs in 9 Ball and 10 Ball even with open tables because there no alternate shot available, you make the shot and get shape or you don't, a little tougher isn't it?

I'm not sure I understand that statement. Well it certainly would ultimately be a subject that can be argumentative, but, 9 ball isn't even a little tougher, its far easier a game on so many levels IMO.

First, besides the last 4 or 5 balls in straight pool there are all kinds of clusters to open, position play is much more pinpoint than the larger areas on the table available for 9 ball position. Lots of times 9 ball is more about the sides of balls to get on. I said I didn't care for 9 ball, I didn't say I lived in a cave. I've played the game for over 50 years.

The opportunity for a player to get stymied behind or on a ball is much greater in straight pool. That chances for lucking your way through even one full rack of straight pool and ending up on a break ball is far less than running through the remaining 8 or less balls remaining on the pool table after a break in 9 ball.

Position in general for straight pool frequently requires placement within 2 or 3 ball widths, sometimes much less, as opposed to 9 ball which usually only requires falling in an area 2 or 3 feet in size.

Not to mention getting through multiple racks in straight pool caries far more pressure than dogging a shot in a rack of 9 ball, which simply results in racking for the next game in the set.

There isn't any set in straight pool. You miss and you might reduce your odds of winning the session by 40 or 50 percent. Therefore, that 8 foot shot that you fire in in 9 ball becomes quite a bit tougher in straight pool since the penalty for missing it is way bigger than 9 ball.

I don't know if you ever played one pocket, but trust me, making crazy long shots with nutty angles is very easy in one pocket when the shot carries an automatic safety.

You'd be surprised how that same shot becomes almost impossible when you have a dozen open balls available to your opponent all over the table should you miss.

So yes, shooting ability is extremely important in straight pool. So much more so since you have to call on it at the risk of possibly the entire game not just one game of a set. I don't know what you mean by playing ability, but precision and touch is the definition of straight pool.

When I play 9 ball, I can free stroke with no feeling of game pressure when compared to straight pool.

All pool games have some luck factor but measuring the luck factor in each game is off the charts for 9 ball compared to straight pool. IMO

Anyway, that chart is Phillip Capelle's .... I think it's a good gauge. Try the game sometime .. see what you can get for a high run.

Like I mentioned, straight pool is a VERY humbling game. Makes a lot of very good 9 ball players look like then just started playing pool. Very humbling. :thumbup:

#### dr_dave

##### Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
There are many different interpretations and descriptions of the A-D rating system, and there are many ways to determine which letter is appropriate for each person. For more info, see the A-D player rating system resource page.

I personally think the BU Playing-Ability Exams and BU Rating System Comparison Chart are the best way to determine the most appropriate rating in various systems (including A-D).

Regards,
Dave

I came across this little chart in a book I had buried in the corner of my room today and I thought some may find it interesting. The book, btw, was A Mind For Pool by Capelle.

Now I'm old school, so much so that I don't really even enjoy 9 ball. So, it makes me cringe when I read about putting together a 3 pack or 4 pack or whatever, and using it as a measure of their playing ability.

Yes, certainly there is some measure of ability connected to stringing a few racks of 9 ball together, but IMO each rack is mutually exclusive of any other.

In other words, the lay of the balls after the break on each rack has a huge impact on whether or not you get through the rack. Not to mention how many balls are pocketed on a rack, if the 9 ball was made on a break or is left dripping in the pocket for the next shot.

I've always thought one of the best ways to honestly evaluate a player's ability, is by knowing how many balls they can run in straight pool. You're not getting through multiple 15 ball table layouts with luck for one, for another thing, they are NOT mutually exclusive at all since you need to road map your way to each rack's next break shot.

Well, with that said, here is the chart values for judging your ability running balls in straight pool. A much more accurate .. and dare I say humbling way to really determine how good you are.

According to Mr. Capelle :

C- = 15 ball high run

C = 20

C+ = 25

B- = 35

B = 45

B+ = 55

A- = 75 ( fyi - I'm here with a 78. Never got a 100. But I'm old. LOL )

A = 100

A+ = 150+ ball high run

#### jburkm002

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You can have a 300 game in bowling and be below a 150 average. One time or even multiple lifetime achievements is not a good indicator of one's skill level. Pool has so many different games and few play all of them. Not sure it is possible to measure every aspect of skills needed to measure someone's true skill level. Measuring purely offensive stats is only measuring one aspect of overall skills. Does not measure breaking, kicking, safeties, knowledge etc. Which can all make a big difference between winning and losing.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

#### dr_dave

##### Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
... Not sure it is possible to measure every aspect of skills needed to measure someone's true skill level. Measuring purely offensive stats is only measuring one aspect of overall skills. Does not measure breaking, kicking, safeties, knowledge etc. Which can all make a big difference between winning and losing.
FYI, the the BU Playing-Ability Exams do attempt to measure all of these skills (in a methodical and efficient way).

Regards,
Dave

#### DJ14.1

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I agree that the stuff presented thru BU and Dr. Dave is probably the best system that I've seen. A system has to be quantitative and it has to measure all the aptitudes of a player's game which seems to be best approximated in the BU system.

No system is perfect. And no system directly equates to wins which is arguably as important or more important than the system itself.

Hard to measure across games because 9-ball, straight pool, and one pocket are such different games. Players can be excellent at one of them and only decent to barely competent at others. Poker is very similar. But if you had to pick one, straight pool is probably best, but it doesn't assess all the skills of pool (no 1 game does).

So the general aptitude tests of BU are probably best, but separate tests for the individual games are probably good to have too....if you really want to be "rated" in the first place.

Silver Member

#### Straightpool_99

Silver Member
I came across this little chart in a book I had buried in the corner of my room today and I thought some may find it interesting. The book, btw, was A Mind For Pool by Capelle.

Now I'm old school, so much so that I don't really even enjoy 9 ball. So, it makes me cringe when I read about putting together a 3 pack or 4 pack or whatever, and using it as a measure of their playing ability.

Yes, certainly there is some measure of ability connected to stringing a few racks of 9 ball together, but IMO each rack is mutually exclusive of any other.

In other words, the lay of the balls after the break on each rack has a huge impact on whether or not you get through the rack. Not to mention how many balls are pocketed on a rack, if the 9 ball was made on a break or is left dripping in the pocket for the next shot.

I've always thought one of the best ways to honestly evaluate a player's ability, is by knowing how many balls they can run in straight pool. You're not getting through multiple 15 ball table layouts with luck for one, for another thing, they are NOT mutually exclusive at all since you need to road map your way to each rack's next break shot.

Oh, and I can't give you more, rep. Virtual greenies to you.

Well, with that said, here is the chart values for judging your ability running balls in straight pool. A much more accurate .. and dare I say humbling way to really determine how good you are.

According to Mr. Capelle :

C- = 15 ball high run

C = 20

C+ = 25

B- = 35

B = 45

B+ = 55

A- = 75 ( fyi - I'm here with a 78. Never got a 100. But I'm old. LOL )

A = 100

A+ = 150+ ball high run

Agree that straight pool is the game with the least luck in it, except maybe banks, and therefore is the best test of overall ability. I can have an off day and still be competitive in 9 ball and 10 ball, but the dropoff is extremeley visible in straightpool. There is nowhere to hide in this game. Knowledge will also help in straightpool so for the inexperienced there may be some lower than expected scores while they are learning the nuances of the game. After a month or two of playing the scores more closely matches their real overall shooting ability IMO.

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#### Eurotroll

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In my mind, when I think of A-D, I think of what level of ghost a player can beat in rotation (not once, but more than half the time in the long run).

Roughly, I think it comes out to about
Pro: 12 or more
A+: 10
A: 9
A-: 8
B+: 7
B: 6
B-: 5
C: 4
D: 3

Of course, it depends on the equipment, but on a reasonable 9-footer, I think this ranking system generally comes out with about the right grade when people say "A" "B" "C" etc.

I think your method makes no sense.
A D, C, or even B player will rarely beat the ghost no matter the length of the set. Also, if a player with a real A level tries to beat the ghost in a 3 length set he will lose very often because he has very little chances to come back after some very difficult racks in a row (lucky plays a big factor). I find much more representative that a B player loses 10-4 with the ghost that he wins 3-1.

In my opinion, play a high (30-40) number of rack vs the ghost and count the runouts or total balls is much more accurate.

#### Masayoshi

##### Fusenshou no Masa
Silver Member
I think your method makes no sense.
A D, C, or even B player will rarely beat the ghost no matter the length of the set. Also, if a player with a real A level tries to beat the ghost in a 3 length set he will lose very often because he has very little chances to come back after some very difficult racks in a row (lucky plays a big factor). I find much more representative that a B player loses 10-4 with the ghost that he wins 3-1.

In my opinion, play a high (30-40) number of rack vs the ghost and count the runouts or total balls is much more accurate.
I think he was suggesting rating a player based on what number ball ghost a player beats regularly, i.e. 12 ball ghost, 10 ball ghost, etc. Not the length of set.

#### Straightpool_99

Silver Member
I think your method makes no sense.
A D, C, or even B player will rarely beat the ghost no matter the length of the set. Also, if a player with a real A level tries to beat the ghost in a 3 length set he will lose very often because he has very little chances to come back after some very difficult racks in a row (lucky plays a big factor). I find much more representative that a B player loses 10-4 with the ghost that he wins 3-1.

In my opinion, play a high (30-40) number of rack vs the ghost and count the runouts or total balls is much more accurate.

I don't think you understood his post, if you did, what you said made no sense. He was proposing a ghost level like "the 4 ball ghost". Meaning that a C player will beat the 4 ball ghost (typically). For instance. That means he breaks and runs 4 balls with ball in hand (there are only 4 balls (or whatever remains after the break) on the table as the game begins). And plays a race to whatever, 10 for instance, like that. Most C players will manage that most of the time. I still don't think it's better than straight pool as a tool to measure ability, but it should be fairly accurate given a large enough sample size. I believe this is most accurate at the highest and lowest levels. The difference between the 6-8 ball ghost is IMO negligible.

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#### Eurotroll

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think he was suggesting rating a player based on what number ball ghost a player beats regularly, i.e. 12 ball ghost, 10 ball ghost, etc. Not the length of set.

I don't think you understood his post, if you did, what you said made no sense. He was proposing a ghost level like "the 3 ball ghost". Meaning that a C player will beat the 4 ball ghost (typically). For instance. That means he breaks and runs 4 balls with ball in hand. And plays a race to whatever, 10 for instance, like that. Most C players will manage that most of the time. I still don't think it's better than straight pool as a tool to measure ability, but it should be fairly accurate given a large enough sample size.

ok you are right, I didn't understand his post. The method he shows makes sense, I will try it :thumbup:

#### philly

##### AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Why rate yourself in a grading system. You know the guys that play well. How well did you play against them? That pretty much tells you everything. Conversely, you know the guys that play worse than you. How well did you play against them? Isn't that a grading system of sorts? Sometimes you play poorly and sometimes you play out of your socks. If you're talking about handicapping systems, well, they change up and down all of the time. You know how well you play. Come on. Just try to get better.

#### Masayoshi

##### Fusenshou no Masa
Silver Member
ok you are right, I didn't understand his post. The method he shows makes sense, I will try it :thumbup:

It's roughly accurate, maybe a little bit higher than actual performance under pressure. I don't think a B+ will get there against the 7 ball ghost while betting anything significant.