Neighborhood league?

Atlatlien

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have a table in my basement and I'm fairly certain there are a lot of residential pool tables in my neighborhood and surrounding area. I was thinking of getting on Nextdoor/Facebook and trying to gauge interest in starting up a neighborhood singles league, where folks would go to each others' houses and play, but with a standardized rule set and a prize pool filled by weekly dues. Other than that vague idea, I have no idea what I'm doing.

Some questions:
  1. 1. Are there any league management tools that would be well suited for this (preferably free)? Excel was my first thought but I dunno what exist out there currently.
  2. 2. What should the format look like? I was thinking double-round-robin style with home and away matchups. Probably either 8 or 9 ball since that's what more people are familiar with. WPA ruleset.
  3. 3. Should it be handicapped and if so, how? I wouldn't want people to just get steamrolled and drop out because they're discouraged, but I also don't want to be responsible for handicapping.
  4. 4. How much should the dues be? I'm not trying to make this a business and I don't expect to have any overhead since it will hopefully be run in peoples' basements/garages. I was thinking 5 bucks per week with some kind of commitment fee up front that is forfeited if you drop out early or is refunded at the end of the session.
  5. 5. How many spots should be paid out at the end? This I'm sure depends on the total number of players, but roughly what percentage of "teams" get paid and how much of the pot?
  6. 6. Anything else I am missing? I'm sure there's a lot I haven't thought of.
 

Clusterbuster

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've had the exact same thought relative to my own neighborhood. I think the idea has a lot of potential, especially for those people who don't like the idea of going out to a bar but there are some big issues to figure out. Some thoughts I've had and you may wish to consider:

1. How wide a net do you cast? My subdivision has 550 houses. I doubt that 1 in 10 has a pool table and wouldn't be surprised if it was 1 in 20. Of those, how many people are interested in really playing pool versus using the table to sort laundry or give the kids a place for their Legos? The fewer interested people in your immediate vicinity, the wider you have to look to other subdivisions and neighborhoods. Then you have people having to commute longer distances to play;
2. Where do you play? You probably would want to rotate from home to home in some fashion but this creates issues of it's own when you are dealing with people you don't know. I can get a sense of other folks in my own subdivision. We have a neighborhood directory, etc. It may be different when you have to look further afield to find people. There are genuine security issues involved;
3. You would absolutely need to make it adults only or at least any minors would have to be accompanied by an adult. The last thing you want is some fourteen year old that you don't know showing up alone at your house to play pool.
4. Neighborhood associations would probably let you post in neighborhood newsletters, etc. about it. You would probably need to announce an organizational meeting to gauge interest and work out details;
5. One issue is to figure out why you are doing this. If it is basically to meet neighbors, that's great but that is very different from finding and engaging the pool players in your neighborhood for low key but at least semi-serious competition.
6. Handicapping, etc. could be a real challenge when you have to accommodate the very good to excellent pool player down the block versus the spouse who never shot before and is really only interested in getting to meet neighbors. At least the people who start out in APA, etc. more or less make a commitment to come every week. I could see a lot of people drifting away pretty quickly if they don't enjoy it right away.
Like I said, I have thought about it before but the challenges seem really steep. Good luck if you go for it! Keep us posted.
 

Atlatlien

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've had the exact same thought relative to my own neighborhood. I think the idea has a lot of potential, especially for those people who don't like the idea of going out to a bar but there are some big issues to figure out. Some thoughts I've had and you may wish to consider:

1. How wide a net do you cast?
My thought was to use Nextdoor and keep it local to my subdivision and possibly the ones immediately surrounding. If I get only 5-6 other folks, that's a 10-15 week double round robin session, playing singles.

2. Where do you play?
I was definitely thinking play in each other's houses, with one home match and one away for each opponent. You have a good point about bringing folks we don't know into each other's homes. I have an alarm system with cameras but crime could still be a concern. I do live in a very safe area though so I'm not all that worried.

3. You would absolutely need to make it adults only or at least any minors would have to be accompanied by an adult. The last thing you want is some fourteen year old that you don't know showing up alone at your house to play
I'm with you on keeping it adults only. Hadn't even considered otherwise. That's good to keep in mind.

4. Neighborhood associations would probably let you post in neighborhood newsletters, etc. about it. You would probably need to announce an organizational meeting to gauge interest and work out details;
the Nextdoor app is ideal for this, and we have a neighborhood Facebook group that is less active. There are very few homes in my subdivision that are not represented on there, or on Facebook, or both.

5. One issue is to figure out why you are doing this. If it is basically to meet neighbors, that's great but that is very different from finding and engaging the pool players in your neighborhood for low key but at least semi-serious competition.
I'm personally in it for competition mostly, but meeting neighbors is a plus. We're not as social in it neighborhood as we probably should be.

6. Handicapping, etc. could be a real challenge when you have to accommodate the very good to excellent pool player down the block versus the spouse who never shot before and is really only interested in getting to meet neighbors. At least the people who start out in APA, etc. more or less make a commitment to come every week. I could see a lot of people drifting away pretty quickly if they don't enjoy it right away.
Yeah, not sure how I would approach this aspect. If I had to guess, I would imagine I'm likely among the best in the neighborhood. I've been playing for a long time and am an APA 7 in 8ball, and an 8 in 9ball. I would definitely want to keep it friendly and as fair as possible. My idea of a fee that is refunded at the end of the session (or forfeited if someone quits early) is designed to encourage sticking it out.

Thanks for your thoughts. You definitely raise a few points I hadn't thought about.
 

Clusterbuster

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Atlalien, just a few more thoughts, as I think this is an idea worth exploring.

1. As far as fees, I don't expect that folks in this situation would be interested in pay outs at the end. You'd be better off spending just a few bucks on a modest plastic trophy or plaque for 1st place, etc. and just recognize it's for neighborhood bragging rights. As far as a commitment fee discouraging people from dropping out, I expect if folks want to play, they'll do it without a fee and if they aren't especially committed, an upfront fee would scare them off. Instead of weekly fees, maybe people should just be advised to be ready to cough up for some chips and dip and maybe a six pack when they host.
2. Having pondered this before, it has occurred to me that you can't assume that everybody interested has a pool table in their basement or garage. If the idea is to rotate hosting duties, what do you do about people without a table? It's not a particularly fatal issue but is something to consider.
3. My thought has always been that matches could occur anytime during a particular week, whenever two competitors could get together. Say you have eight people signed up in the "league." You pair them off into four matches for a given week and it is on them to get their match played at anytime they can get together during the week. Most of the matches would probably be on weekends but if they played on Tuesday or whatever, no big deal. If you end up with more than a few people in a given basement/garage, most everybody would end up sitting most of the afternoon since there is only one table that can be used. To even begin to address that problem, you'd have to go to really short races, which is not necessarily the best way to go either.
3. By the end of the season (or session or whatever you want to call it) when everybody knows each other, then you could maybe move it to a bar for an end-of-season playoff where you can use multiple tables and also have a big party.
4. An alternative thought I've had to the whole idea is just to place an ad in my neighborhood newsletter or Nextdoor app (I'm a member too) to just say hey, I'm a pool player and would like to find likeminded folks in the subdivision who would like to get together now and again to shoot some. This may even end up being a better thought (not that I don't like yours).

Let me know of any thoughts you may have.

Good luck.
 

nj82tj

The dude abides.
Silver Member
I wish I had/knew of some people in my neighborhood that had tables for this reason. Great idea. I get tired of playing by myself and don't have the ability to get to a hall to play regularly.
 

michael4

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks for your thoughts. You definitely raise a few points I hadn't thought about.

I wish you all the best, but based on your primary desire for competition, and your level of play, you have a very uphill battle.

If you were in it for purely social reasons, you might be able to do it, with continued effort on your part to keep the group together.....

Also, as you know, just because someone has a pool table in their house, doesn't mean its in proper condition for a serious player.....If your house has a good set up, I would consider hosting all the events at your house.
 

SMG

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bruh lemme know how it goes. I was thinking of doing this as well
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Great now we'll have random people coming up to doors to find out who in the area has a pool table.

Excuse me sir, have you thought about the eternal damnation of the soul of your pool cue? Why do bad scratches happen to good player? Is one pocket in heaven or is it in hell?
 

Atlatlien

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Atlalien, just a few more thoughts, as I think this is an idea worth exploring.

1. As far as fees, I don't expect that folks in this situation would be interested in pay outs at the end. You'd be better off spending just a few bucks on a modest plastic trophy or plaque for 1st place, etc. and just recognize it's for neighborhood bragging rights. As far as a commitment fee discouraging people from dropping out, I expect if folks want to play, they'll do it without a fee and if they aren't especially committed, an upfront fee would scare them off. Instead of weekly fees, maybe people should just be advised to be ready to cough up for some chips and dip and maybe a six pack when they host.


2. Having pondered this before, it has occurred to me that you can't assume that everybody interested has a pool table in their basement or garage. If the idea is to rotate hosting duties, what do you do about people without a table? It's not a particularly fatal issue but is something to consider.


3. My thought has always been that matches could occur anytime during a particular week, whenever two competitors could get together. Say you have eight people signed up in the "league." You pair them off into four matches for a given week and it is on them to get their match played at anytime they can get together during the week. Most of the matches would probably be on weekends but if they played on Tuesday or whatever, no big deal. If you end up with more than a few people in a given basement/garage, most everybody would end up sitting most of the afternoon since there is only one table that can be used. To even begin to address that problem, you'd have to go to really short races, which is not necessarily the best way to go either.


3. By the end of the season (or session or whatever you want to call it) when everybody knows each other, then you could maybe move it to a bar for an end-of-season playoff where you can use multiple tables and also have a big party.


4. An alternative thought I've had to the whole idea is just to place an ad in my neighborhood newsletter or Nextdoor app (I'm a member too) to just say hey, I'm a pool player and would like to find likeminded folks in the subdivision who would like to get together now and again to shoot some. This may even end up being a better thought (not that I don't like yours).

Let me know of any thoughts you may have.

Good luck.

I also thought a "Neighborhood Champ" trophy or something would be cool to do. Although, I feel like a trophy is less enticing than a pot of prize money. People might be more likely to flake out if there's nothing to play for. Also, I'd personally rather just throw five bucks in the pot and BYOB instead of having to put out snacks and buy beer. If I'm supplying the beer it'll be Busch Lights for everyone and I'll be drinking the pricier IPAs :grin-square:

As far as interested players who don't own a table, I guess I'd just have to cross that bridge if and when I got there. The model I had in mind is more of a "hang out in each others' mancaves and play for cheap" kind of thing. People with no mancave who are interested in playing league have plenty of options to play in leagues around my area.

The schedule I agree would be to get the match done at any time during a given week, and flexibility based on extenuating circumstances. I would not want the schedule to be too rigid.

I LOVE the idea of an end-of-season playoff or even a seeded tournament at a bar or pool hall.
 

Atlatlien

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I wish you all the best, but based on your primary desire for competition, and your level of play, you have a very uphill battle.

If you were in it for purely social reasons, you might be able to do it, with continued effort on your part to keep the group together.....

Also, as you know, just because someone has a pool table in their house, doesn't mean its in proper condition for a serious player.....If your house has a good set up, I would consider hosting all the events at your house.

I have a feeling you're right, but I'm going to put it out there and maybe at the very least I'll meet a player or two that I wouldn't have known otherwise.

My house has a good setup for a few folks, but it would get real crowded real fast. I'd say 4-6 people would be about the maximum to be comfortable in my basement. And I'd sure not want to host multiple days of the week. I'm not THAT social lol
 

fattirewilly

New member
Bump for old thread. Would like to know how this turned out. I'm in a 1,400 home development and thinking of similar league once this Covid stuff ends.

I'm thinking 4 to 6 players max per table

Table in house being required for initial "entry" and to be part of rotation

"Guests" allowed when member can't make it.

If we get 8 or 12 people, we have 2 or 3 different venues each week.

Break players up by skill level, like winner/loser side of basketball court. Looser of each group drops down one, winner plays up one level next week

Cash prizes for top 3 deep, most improved (by vote), and best attendance.
 
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