I agree, but how? There is no place for them anymore. The bowling alleys removed their tables. The small town cafes removed their tables. Pool halls that aren't just bars with tables, are few and far between. There really doesn't seem to be much opportunity for a kid to get introduced to the game.
You are, of course, correct, and we all have the ability, arguably even the responsibility, to influence whether our youth try their hand at pool, especially poolroom proprietors and parents. Unfortunately, the poolroom still has an image problem in America, and it's not surprising as hustling, profanity, rowdiness and uncleanliness are still encountered far too often in the poolrooms of America. We must try to evolve past these problems that are making pool less attractive to our youth.Getting KIDS to play pool is THE number one priority. Average age on here is what, 45??? If we can't get 10-16yr olds to play then all the other stuff means NADA.
Getting KIDS to play pool is THE number one priority. Average age on here is what, 45??? If we can't get 10-16yr olds to play then all the other stuff means NADA.
We have two major pool leagues in the USA. Frankly they exist solely for profit. They do little if anything to develop new talent and advance pool in America. It takes room owners and interested parties to promote talent development as the sport currently exhists. The leagues make ads which show youngsters playing but where's the financial support and sponsership? So, in order for pool to become a semi-major sport in the USA again we'll need a governing body that actually promotes the game and helps with talent development.
Overall, your post is excellent, but it's here where I disagree. No corporation will associate itself with pool for indirect profit. Expecting outside investors to arrive at pool's door with money without an expectation of a clear and measurable profit is fantasy.I've said it before and I'll say it again. To get the kind of growth about which you talk, it's going to take corporations with a lot bigger pockets than the leagues or Matchroom or all the room owners in the world, and a whole generation or two of people willing to participate for no financial gain, both as players and as organizers/volunteers. You have to make it desirable for those corporations to have their names associated with the sport so they can profit indirectly from that association. You have to get the sport "out of the gutter" for that, meaning you have to break the association between the sport and drinking, drugs, and gambling.
I don't think we disagree at all. No matter what the approach, grass roots or top down, it starts with a cleaner image for the sport, to make it more attractive to parents and corporations. That takes everyone, and it takes a long time - a lifetime or more.Overall, your post is excellent, but it's here where I disagree. No corporation will associate itself with pool for indirect profit. Expecting outside investors to arrive at pool's door with money without an expectation of a clear and measurable profit is fantasy.
The last really major corporation that threw a lot of money at men's pro pool was RJ Reynolds, and promoting Camel cigarettes was their plan, a reasonable idea given that so many pool players smoke. The last really major corporation that threw big money at women's pro pool was Gordon's, best known for Gordon's gin and Gordon's vodka. This investment was intended to capitalize on the fact that pool is closely associated with alcohol consumption. Camel tour events and WPA Gordon's events all carried very big prize money and were great while they lasted, but both tried to capitalize on pool's image as a haven for smokers and drinkers.
As you point out, though, few, if any, major corporations, even if a profit is available, would even consider throwing money at pool until it projects a cleaner image. It's not the cigarette guys or the hard liquor guys that will deliver pool from its doldrums, although we're all grateful that Camel and Gordon's tried. An "angel", like a Kevin Trudeau, will pull the plug on pool quickly unless profits are realized promptly, so an "angel" is also not the likely solution.
Getting the sport, to use your terminology, "out of the gutter" is something to which Matchroom and some other pool organizations aspire, but it's a process and unless pro players are willing to modify their appearance, demeanor, and language to support that process, it's a lost cause.
There is nothing wrong with 2 competitive players gambling / playing pool for money, responsibly. That, along with playing in tournaments, is what it’s all about when you are a more serious player. Everything else is nothing but practice!I'm not going to deny that the big leagues exist for profit (and only one is major, the others are tiny in comparison). I wouldn't do it if there was no profit in it, because there's too much headache and undesirable work in it, for which one needs to be paid. Yet, if you look at the sport in this area, it is miles ahead of where it was when I started over 20 years ago, bigger than it ever was. So I don't understand your use of the word 'again'. When was pool a semi-major sport in the USA?
I've said it before and I'll say it again. To get the kind of growth about which you talk, it's going to take corporations with a lot bigger pockets than the leagues or Matchroom or all the room owners in the world, and a whole generation or two of people willing to participate for no financial gain, both as players and as organizers/volunteers. You have to make it desirable for those corporations to have their names associated with the sport so they can profit indirectly from that association. You have to get the sport "out of the gutter" for that, meaning you have to break the association between the sport and drinking, drugs, and gambling. That includes taking beer off the menu in your room and getting rid of the players who sit on the stools in front of your bar and wait for an opportunity to match up. Are you willing to do that? I'm guessing no. Once the image is improved, and just doing that will take a long time, then parents might actually try to encourage, not discourage their children from joining a billiards club in school. It's not like a robotics club - that could lead to something positive so you're not fighting parents, who you also need for encouragement and as unpaid volunteers (like soccer or little league baseball). Talent development comes last, because to do that you need paid instructors and for that you need someone who sees enough value in instruction to pay for it. Sort of like free clinics versus paid clinics - free clinics are for promotion, paid clinics are for development of talent. It takes everyone, and nothing short of that will last long.
I came to this realization over 20 years ago, shortly after I became a league operator. It quickly discouraged me from trying to get pool started in the schools. We weren't there yet, and we're not there now. When we get there, I am not opposed to running school or developmental leagues for free. I'll do my part (and most APA league operators I know will too), but everyone else has to do their part as well. Until then, we will continue to do what we can to change the image of the sport, like discouraging gambling and encouraging people to play just for fun, instead of for a pay back. We're part way there, it's not as bad as before, so maybe all we need is more time. I used to gamble small (tiny) time myself, but stopped when I realized that I had to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
By the way, anyone who posts or shares live streams of people playing with money in the middle is NOT doing their part unless they make it clear that none of the money comes from the players themselves. They call themselves promoters, but all they promote is gambling. All of the major and semi-major sports in America take a strong stance against gambling on your own sport. Why is it ok in pool?
Thinking about it, I have seen golf advertised promoting what we'd call a money match. Not a tournament, but two golf pros squaring of for big money. The backers being major corporations, the promoters being TV networks. So, is that gambling? How is it any different than what pool players do?There is nothing wrong with 2 competitive players gambling / playing pool for money, responsibly. That, along with playing in tournaments, is what it’s all about when you are a more serious player. Everything else is nothing but practice!
Eh... it’s called freedom.one of the very good Things in School is to select Young Talents in early age and to promote this is not the same in europe :-(
They immigrate so many because they habe no Chance in other countries
ANd who wont to live in a Country where psychomatics can buy guns?
strange very sick
we all wonder why the NRA was not forbitten
Just remove the free money for the losers, that should increase attention. It would also incentives players to ensure the team was picked properly and the best players were on board.I believe it is a lack of discipline. Kudos to JJ whom I have a world of respect for, but when I see players showing up with mullets and shorts, or spending more time on their phones than paying attention to what is going on at the table, it says to me they aren't taking this seriously. There's definitely something wrong.
I think it's maybe going to become a bit like Ryder Cup, with the home captain having control of the conditions.This won't be popular, but I think the tough conditions are a big part of the story. These conditions don't suit Team USA.
I recall day one of the 2018 Mosconi Cup at Alexandra Palace. After about fifteen minutes of watching the first match, I could see that the table was set up loose. I commented to Pat Fleming that this would help Team USA's chances a lot. Team Europe had better cueists, and this would a) reduce their pocketing edge and b) reduce the cost of poorly played position. Sure enough, Team USA prevailed on the loose equipment, which tended to hide some of its deficiencies in pocketing and pattern play, and which made safety play, an area in which the US had struggled during its eight year losing streak, less critical.
This year, you didn't have to watch for long to see that the table was set up tight, and surely this greatly favors Europe, the team with the better cueists. Sure enough, through two days, the Americans have missed so many shots that it's mind-blowing, and no runout has seemed safe no matter how easy some of the layouts were. By comparison, Europe, after a slow start in the first half of Session 1, found it's game and dominated in a way that shouldn't have surprised too many. Starting to look like my prediction of Europe 11 USA 7 was far too optimistic, but if I'd known the equipment was going to be this tough, I think I'd have guessed Europe 11 USA 5.
Incidentally, the table SHOULD be set up tough in any event hosting ten of the game's most elite players.
I'm not prepared to chalk it all up to poor teamwork. It's just a case of lower pedigree. Other than its 2013 Dream Team (Souquet, Immonen, Feijen, Boyes, Appleton), which was strong enough to beat Team USA (Archer, Strickland, Hatch, Morris, SVB) by 11-2, this is the strongest Mosconi team Europe has ever fielded. Three WPA World 9-ball Champions (Filler, Gorst, Ouschan), a US Open 9-ball Champion (Jayson Shaw), and a former WPA World #1 ranked player (Kaci) offer a very tall order indeed and the Americans are just a bit overmatched here. The Americans played decent pool on day two, but didn't shine when they had opportunities to close out matches.
The Deuel pick was terrible, not because Corey is a slouch (on the contrary, he'll be a hall of famer one of these days), but his form in the 2018 Mosconi was terrible and he hasn't done much in competition of late, but also because we failed to give either a new face or a rising youngster an opportunity to build for the future. I'd have gone with one of Tyler Styer, Donny Mills or Josh Roberts. Going with experience here was a poor choice by the captain, but it's not why Team USA has fallen so far behind that this Mosconi Cup is all but signed and sealed.
On the other hand, the Robinson pick looks wise at this point. Chris has played some solid pool in this Mosconi Cup and can be an important cog in the wheel of Team USA going forward. He has made Jeremy look smart.
I agree that the Europeans look more focused than the Americans, having a more businesslike approach to the matches. It is part of why they win tournaments all over the world while Americans haven't done so in recent years, but the bigger difference is that they are better cueists.
Best is to give credit to these fine European players rather than to bemoan the inadequacies of the American players.
Momentarily ignoring the fact that there would be a large saver arranged between the teams if this ever happened, this would hurt American pro pool.Just remove the free money for the losers, that should increase attention. It would also incentives players to ensure the team was picked properly and the best players were on board.
I think matchroom should have been the primary guide for etiquette.Agreed. JJ should have never let that shit fly. I have tremendous respect for the guy, but I don't think he's cut out for leadership, esp. in a team comprised of very strong personalities.
Unfortunately, the poolroom still has an image problem in America, and it's not surprising as hustling, profanity, rowdiness and uncleanliness are still encountered far too often in the poolrooms of America. We must try to evolve past these problems that are making pool less attractive to our youth.
Very sad indeed that only $15K each guaranteed to the losers and only $30K each for the winners of the Mosconi Cup is as good as it gets for the most prestigious pro pool event of the season. Even sadder that that $ amount is enough to motivate the top players in their efforts to make the team.Momentarily ignoring the fact that there would be a large saver arranged between the teams if this ever happened, this would hurt American pro pool.
In the context of what pro pool players earn, the guaranteed $15,000 payday that comes with earning a spot on the Mosconi team is massive, roughly equal to what one earns if they win the Derby City 9-ball event or both of the Turning Stone events. That's why the chance to gain a spot on Team USA helps participation levels in all events carrying Mosconi ranking points. Get rid of the guaranteed payday for the losing team and a) far fewer would aspire to make the team, b) some might decline the invitation to play on the team, and c) the likelihood of fielding the best team possible will decline.