Understanding the TAP handicap system

bowiebill

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Does anyone understand how this system works?

I’ve been using the tap app to look at the statistics of my teams players vs other teams players and I can’t make sense of how skill levels are determined.

I’ve heard it’s based on last 20 matches but not sure that is correct. Players on the team I’m on pretty consistently have a higher skill level, with worse make to miss ratio and lower winning percentage than players on other teams.

Using myself as an example, I have a make/miss ratio of 3.8 balls. Current win percentage is 55%. I’ve played 22 defenses in my last 20 matches. My skill level is 7. My record against other 7s is 1-2, record vs skill level 6 players is 4-5.

A player on another team has a make/miss ratio of 4.3 balls. Win percentage of 60%. Played 18 defenses in last 20 matches. His skill level is 6. He is 3-1 against 7s, and 5-3 against skill level 6 players.

We are both well established in the league. Both are in the hundreds of lifetime matches total.

Does anyone really understand how this system work?
 

Tom1234

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Does anyone understand how this system works?

I’ve been using the tap app to look at the statistics of my teams players vs other teams players and I can’t make sense of how skill levels are determined.

I’ve heard it’s based on last 20 matches but not sure that is correct. Players on the team I’m on pretty consistently have a higher skill level, with worse make to miss ratio and lower winning percentage than players on other teams.

Using myself as an example, I have a make/miss ratio of 3.8 balls. Current win percentage is 55%. I’ve played 22 defenses in my last 20 matches. My skill level is 7. My record against other 7s is 1-2, record vs skill level 6 players is 4-5.

A player on another team has a make/miss ratio of 4.3 balls. Win percentage of 60%. Played 18 defenses in last 20 matches. His skill level is 6. He is 3-1 against 7s, and 5-3 against skill level 6 players.

We are both well established in the league. Both are in the hundreds of lifetime matches total.

Does anyone really understand how this system work?

If your league is run like our local APA league, you’re at the mercy of the LO. If our LO thinks you’re a 7, then you’re a 7! Doesn’t matter if you get drilled by 5s and 6s, you’re a 7! If you win less than 40% of you’re matches, then you’re a 7! Know this from firsthand experience.
 

poolguy4u

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
.





Yes I understand it perfectly.

If you are looking for answers, your league operator will tell you "the system works."


I am sworn under oath of the National Tap League Secrecy Act to never explain how it works.

If I ever told my secrets I would be barred from all Tap events and forced to play APA.


I just can't let that happen.






.
 

lorider

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If your league is run like our local APA league, you’re at the mercy of the LO. If our LO thinks you’re a 7, then you’re a 7! Doesn’t matter if you get drilled by 5s and 6s, you’re a 7! If you win less than 40% of you’re matches, then you’re a 7! Know this from firsthand experience.

It took me 12 years of playing various leagues to come to the conclusion that I am not going to lose any sleep over what my handicap is or my opponents either.

They are what they are due to some playing their best all the time and some choose to sandbag.

What strikes me odd is that there are a lot of people complain about sandbagging in leagues and yet seem to idolize hustlers and there is no difference between the two in my opinion.
 

Tom1234

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It took me 12 years of playing various leagues to come to the conclusion that I am not going to lose any sleep over what my handicap is or my opponents either.

LO opinions on what someone’s true handicap is, or is not, bother me because I have to spot players at least as good as I am (some even better) a game or two. These players usually beat me straight up in non league play. This is not fair to the rest of the team. Also, I know this from first hand experience - higher ranked opponents let lower handicap players win in a effort to raise their handicaps. A true 7 hcp player would love to play a TRUE 5 hcp with no spot!! Easy win.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It took me 12 years of playing various leagues to come to the conclusion that I am not going to lose any sleep over what my handicap is or my opponents either.

LO opinions on what someone’s true handicap is, or is not, bother me because I have to spot players at least as good as I am (some even better) a game or two. These players usually beat me straight up in non league play. This is not fair to the rest of the team. Also, I know this from first hand experience - higher ranked opponents let lower handicap players win in a effort to raise their handicaps. A true 7 hcp player would love to play a TRUE 5 hcp with no spot!! Easy win.

This is why Fargo works so well for leagues to help with sandagging, since it's tied in to everything you do, if anyone ever wants to play in tournaments with no handicap, it will show pretty quickly who is cheating in league. Joe is a 5 in league, but he just played four A players and beat them all to win $500 in the Joss tour, hm.... With the leagues and tournaments being separate, no way for Joe go be put in as his real skill level in league. If both tournament and league reports the scores to same system, his tournament results will change his league handicap.

But really trying to get any league to rank the players properly has never been anything that will be done. I have been in tons of events when the person running the league sees someone play well above their league rating, but nothing is ever done. Just like "C" players going for big money in calcuttas. Like anyone would buy a real C player for $100 when they are against As.
 

lorider

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It took me 12 years of playing various leagues to come to the conclusion that I am not going to lose any sleep over what my handicap is or my opponents either.

LO opinions on what someone’s true handicap is, or is not, bother me because I have to spot players at least as good as I am (some even better) a game or two. These players usually beat me straight up in non league play. This is not fair to the rest of the team. Also, I know this from first hand experience - higher ranked opponents let lower handicap players win in a effort to raise their handicaps. A true 7 hcp player would love to play a TRUE 5 hcp with no spot!! Easy win.

I think an lo should have the discretion to raise a players handicap based on his opinion. That helps to raise players who he believes manipulate the system..... And also the ones who are never raised because of improper scorekeeping.

People are always complaining about some ones handicap but they never take measures to see the person is properly handicapped. I see it all the time where no one marks safes. If a 5 always wins matches again higher levels and averages around 15-18 innings he will never be raised if no one marks the 5 safes he played in those 15 innings.

So how is the lo to know this guys true level I'd the scoresheet is not marked property. He may see wth his own eyes and raise him based on what he sees.

My teams rotate scorekeepers due to playing double jeapordy and I have to constantly remind them....if it is not obvious a person was attempting to pocket a ball mark defense. I see too many scorekeepers not even watching a match ...especially 8 ball. They just mark an inning when their player comes back to the table. I have even had some ask me who won that rack that just finished .

Take this past weekends tri cups for example. One of my 5's played a 4 who won 3-2 and played 12 safes. I made sure all those safe were marked. Then I heard this 4's captain complaining last night that this 4 was raised to a 5 before the end of tri cups. He never wild have been raised without all those safes being marked.

As for 7's dumping...yea I have seen it and that is what handicap review sheets are for. If your lo does not supply them you can make remarks on the scoresheet of what you saw transpire during that particular match. Dont just write he was sandbagging...describe particular shots you saw .
 

lorider

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This is why Fargo works so well for leagues to help with sandagging, since it's tied in to everything you do, if anyone ever wants to play in tournaments with no handicap, it will show pretty quickly who is cheating in league. Joe is a 5 in league, but he just played four A players and beat them all to win $500 in the Joss tour, hm.... With the leagues and tournaments being separate, no way for Joe go be put in as his real skill level in league. If both tournament and league reports the scores to same system, his tournament results will change his league handicap.

But really trying to get any league to rank the players properly has never been anything that will be done. I have been in tons of events when the person running the league sees someone play well above their league rating, but nothing is ever done. Just like "C" players going for big money in calcuttas. Like anyone would buy a real C player for $100 when they are against As.

Most league players that sandbag will not pls in money tournaments. The last one here that did and cashed was raised from a 4 to a 6 when the lo heard od his finish in that tournament.

I have even had some tell mw they will not play masters for fear of being raised in the handicapped divisions based on their wins in masters.
 

pocket

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Most league players that sandbag will not pls in money tournaments. The last one here that did and cashed was raised from a 4 to a 6 when the lo heard od his finish in that tournament.

I have even had some tell mw they will not play masters for fear of being raised in the handicapped divisions based on their wins in masters.

Or threaten to sue Fargo if your name isn’t removed from the system lol
 

Tom1234

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think an lo should have the discretion to raise a players handicap based on his opinion. That helps to raise players who he believes manipulate the system..... And also the ones who are never raised because of improper scorekeeping.

People are always complaining about some ones handicap but they never take measures to see the person is properly handicapped. I see it all the time where no one marks safes. If a 5 always wins matches again higher levels and averages around 15-18 innings he will never be raised if no one marks the 5 safes he played in those 15 innings.

So how is the lo to know this guys true level I'd the scoresheet is not marked property. He may see wth his own eyes and raise him based on what he sees.

My teams rotate scorekeepers due to playing double jeapordy and I have to constantly remind them....if it is not obvious a person was attempting to pocket a ball mark defense. I see too many scorekeepers not even watching a match ...especially 8 ball. They just mark an inning when their player comes back to the table. I have even had some ask me who won that rack that just finished .

Take this past weekends tri cups for example. One of my 5's played a 4 who won 3-2 and played 12 safes. I made sure all those safe were marked. Then I heard this 4's captain complaining last night that this 4 was raised to a 5 before the end of tri cups. He never wild have been raised without all those safes being marked.

As for 7's dumping...yea I have seen it and that is what handicap review sheets are for. If your lo does not supply them you can make remarks on the scoresheet of what you saw transpire during that particular match. Dont just write he was sandbagging...describe particular shots you saw .

Maybe further explanation is needed. The LO never watches me play, he looked at my winning % from 15 years ago when I was a 4 hcp, and he completely ignores the fact that I’m the lowest ranked 7 in the league. With a winning % of less than 30%, how could anyone claim that I’m a 7 hcp? My lifetime safe % is 2/match. By the way, a 6 hcp that beat me 4 to 1 a few weeks ago just went to a 5 after losing to a 4 and 5 hcp. In that same time frame I was beaten by two 5s and a 6. I’m still a seven. Last night was my 18th match in two years. Any LO out there please tell me what you would have my hcp level. Thanks.
 

Pete

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I am these days leaning towards the Fargorate being the standard. If I were to start a pool league, I think I would try to use them as a way of handicapping favoring the weaker player (if player A needs to win 9 games to player B's 4 it would be a race of 2 - 5). this way the better player is forced to take the match serious and not let up while giving the weaker player a real chance of winning. And the handicaps would float in real time as Fargorate changed them.

Just a quick thought on this subject...
 

skip100

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Once you get to a 7 rating, especially for an extended period of time, it's mighty hard to be lowered. It probably takes some attention and action from a league operator.
 

lorider

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Maybe further explanation is needed. The LO never watches me play, he looked at my winning % from 15 years ago when I was a 4 hcp, and he completely ignores the fact that I’m the lowest ranked 7 in the league. With a winning % of less than 30%, how could anyone claim that I’m a 7 hcp? My lifetime safe % is 2/match. By the way, a 6 hcp that beat me 4 to 1 a few weeks ago just went to a 5 after losing to a 4 and 5 hcp. In that same time frame I was beaten by two 5s and a 6. I’m still a seven. Last night was my 18th match in two years. Any LO out there please tell me what you would have my hcp level. Thanks.

18 th match in 2 years ? I think its too soon to worry about your handicap. Here is one for you. When I was first raised to a 5 in 9 ball I went and entire session without a single win. Lost 16 in a row and was still a 5. I finally dropped back to a 4 the start of the next session.

I am a 5 and here is how I am faring in 8 ball this session. Lost 3-2 to a 4. Lost 4-1 to a 5. Won 4-1 vs a 6. Betcha that 6 was thinking I should be raised . Lost 3-2 to a 4.

I am a 6 and have won all my 9 ball matches so far this session....3. Dont recall who I played or the score of the first match. Won 46-42 vs a 7 second match ...he probly thought I should be raised. won 46-22 vs a 4 in my 3 rd match.
 

Chili Palmer

323
Gold Member
Silver Member
If TAP is anything like APA then the amount of innings has a lot to do with it.

Say you're a 5 and play a 4 and beat the crap out of him but it takes you 10 innings per game, your SL just may go down due to the innings.

Say you're a 5 and beat a 7 with only 1 or 2 innings per game average, chances are your SL will go up.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Most league players that sandbag will not pls in money tournaments. The last one here that did and cashed was raised from a 4 to a 6 when the lo heard od his finish in that tournament.

I have even had some tell mw they will not play masters for fear of being raised in the handicapped divisions based on their wins in masters.

Those are some sad sad humans.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I am talking with someone about starting a local league using Fargo handicapps, my idea to keep sandbagging down is to divide up the end of session prizes to both top finisher in regular session and a playoffs between the lower ranked teams/people.

So if we get 10 teams we'd cut up the funds in in section, a piece goes to the top 2 finishers during regular session. Then the left over will go to a playoff style event for rest of teams. That way there is no real incentive to keep your team and players lower since at the end you are losing out on the money paid to top finishers. And having a playoff for those teams that were not top should keep the lower teams/players from quitting half way if they know they can't win regular session. Top teams that got paid are not eligible for playoffs so no double-dipping. With using just win/loss for games like Fargo does, it will prevent the cheaters that try to extend innings to lower their apparent skill.

Part of the issue with normal leagues is that there is no real reason for a team or player to play well all the time, only at the end. You make playing well all the time as rewarding as just in playoffs and you should reduce the number of cheaters.
 
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Tom1234

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
18 th match in 2 years ? I think its too soon to worry about your handicap. Here is one for you. When I was first raised to a 5 in 9 ball I went and entire session without a single win. Lost 16 in a row and was still a 5. I finally dropped back to a 4 the start of the next session.

I am a 5 and here is how I am faring in 8 ball this session. Lost 3-2 to a 4. Lost 4-1 to a 5. Won 4-1 vs a 6. Betcha that 6 was thinking I should be raised . Lost 3-2 to a 4.

I am a 6 and have won all my 9 ball matches so far this session....3. Dont recall who I played or the score of the first match. Won 46-42 vs a 7 second match ...he probly thought I should be raised. won 46-22 vs a 4 in my 3 rd match.

Thanks lorider for your perspective on this. My final thought - I was raised to a 7 after one win over another 6. One win! This was spring of 2017. I had to drop out after several medical problems - St. Louis reduced my handicap back to a six. I finally was able to return in Spring of 2018. After one *&$#@+& win, my handicap went right back up. I thought I needed at least 10-20 matches to indicate a handicap. I’ve practiced with a VERY good 7 (he’s won at the SBE); I usually don’t make but a ball to two per game when I play him. In his judgment I’m barely a six. Yet we have to play a 5-5 match! Someone explain that to me.
 

lorider

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks lorider for your perspective on this. My final thought - I was raised to a 7 after one win over another 6. One win! This was spring of 2017. I had to drop out after several medical problems - St. Louis reduced my handicap back to a six. I finally was able to return in Spring of 2018. After one *&$#@+& win, my handicap went right back up. I thought I needed at least 10-20 matches to indicate a handicap. I’ve practiced with a VERY good 7 (he’s won at the SBE); I usually don’t make but a ball to two per game when I play him. In his judgment I’m barely a six. Yet we have to play a 5-5 match! Someone explain that to me.

I assume you are talking about being a 7 in 8 ball. If so I can understand your concern . Sadly all 7 's in apa 8 ball are not equal. You can be anywhere from what people call a b player to a semi pro.

There is a huge difference in skill level between a 7/7 and a 7/9 . Although they are both handicapped the same in 8 ball.

I used to question my handicap just like you are doing yours now. I have .....probly 400 matches in bcapl.....450 matches in Napa......240 in usapl and a couple sessions in tap and 1500...yea that's right...1500 matches in apa I have probably seen and heard it all concerning handicaps vs actual playing ability.

What I mean is I have encountered out right sandbagging....questionable sandbagging ... People playing way above their actual playing ability and people having a gawd awful night where nothing goes their way.

Here are just a few examples.

One 9 ball singles board qualifier I went 2 and out. Lost to a 3 and a 2 . Next 9 ball qualifier I ran over every one....including a few 6's and 7's and an 8 to go undefeated.

Speaking of playing an 8 . I had one night where I couldn't miss if I wanted too and always on the right side if the next ball. I beat an 8 by 19-1 . He was so mad he threw his cue down ...called me the biggest sandbagger he ever saw and that id I was nit raised he was quitting apa. Now mind you ...thus guy had known me for years and we played on several tournament teams together so he knew how i played and should have realized that this match was a fluke for me. I was a 5 at the time.

I have been called a sandbagger more times than I can remember but I do recall the most ludicrous one. I beat another 5 in 9 ball by one point in an ltc and he was complainin to his captain that I was a sandbagger...one frigging point was the difference in our score and he evidently could not handle the loss and resorted to calling me a sandbagger .


So after all these years I do not call some one a sandbagger unless its absolutely...plain as day evident. And I just accept handicaps as they are mostly.
 

Skess

Another sidearmer...
Silver Member
Does anyone understand how this system works?

I’ve been using the tap app to look at the statistics of my teams players vs other teams players and I can’t make sense of how skill levels are determined.

I’ve heard it’s based on last 20 matches but not sure that is correct. Players on the team I’m on pretty consistently have a higher skill level, with worse make to miss ratio and lower winning percentage than players on other teams.

Using myself as an example, I have a make/miss ratio of 3.8 balls. Current win percentage is 55%. I’ve played 22 defenses in my last 20 matches. My skill level is 7. My record against other 7s is 1-2, record vs skill level 6 players is 4-5.

A player on another team has a make/miss ratio of 4.3 balls. Win percentage of 60%. Played 18 defenses in last 20 matches. His skill level is 6. He is 3-1 against 7s, and 5-3 against skill level 6 players.

We are both well established in the league. Both are in the hundreds of lifetime matches total.

Does anyone really understand how this system work?

Like you, I've never been able to make much sense of the TAP stats they supply. I had the TAP system explained to me this way.

Without getting the actual logarithms, they explained that TAP cares more about how you shoot than whether you win or lose. Their system rates you on a decimal system (5.1, 4.9) and so on. As long as you are shooting your number (5 hc shooting between 5.01 and 5.99), you'll stay a 5. I've had stretches where I was getting my ass beat and never went down. And conversely, I've had stretches where I won a lot while playing badly and didn't go up. Winning pct never really seemed to have much impact on the actual handicap. This is why you see people move up on a loss and down on a win. It's all about your hc score in that match. Did you play above/at/below your level?

As far as number of matches, I believe it's the last 21 with the high and low score dropped.

Sorry I couldn't help more with the actual numbers, but generally speaking, this is how it works.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Like you, I've never been able to make much sense of the TAP stats they supply. I had the TAP system explained to me this way.

Without getting the actual logarithms, they explained that TAP cares more about how you shoot than whether you win or lose. Their system rates you on a decimal system (5.1, 4.9) and so on. As long as you are shooting your number (5 hc shooting between 5.01 and 5.99), you'll stay a 5. I've had stretches where I was getting my ass beat and never went down. And conversely, I've had stretches where I won a lot while playing badly and didn't go up. Winning pct never really seemed to have much impact on the actual handicap. This is why you see people move up on a loss and down on a win. It's all about your hc score in that match. Did you play above/at/below your level?

As far as number of matches, I believe it's the last 21 with the high and low score dropped.

Sorry I couldn't help more with the actual numbers, but generally speaking, this is how it works.

This is why I like Fargo, it does not care how many balls you missed or how many safes you played, it just cares what the score of the match was. Any good player can spread out "misses" in games vs weak players to make it seem like they suck when they are actually just moving balls round where the other player can't run out so they can extend the innings of the game and their "misses". I've seen players call pretty much impossible shots so when they miss it it counts as a miss not a defense shot. A solid example, some guy called a bank into a pocket that was blocked by 2 other balls, then stuck the cueball in a tough place for the opponents. I marked that as a defense play anyway even though he called the shot.

Even worse with APA which thinks that if you play a safe you must be a good player so uses that as a tick for your skill rating LOL

The whole setup of leagues with regular season meaning nothing and playoffs meaning everything just encourages cheaters. As long as you keep your strong players down, and play just good enough to ensure you get to playoffs, you can just about guarantee wins unless you play another team that does the same thing. Then when this cheating team gets to nationals, any honest team or players they play are already at a disadvantage.

I like my idea of a league that not only rewards the playoffs but also good standings in general so there is almost no reason to cheat to keep handicaps down to win playoffs. If you give half the prize to the top team period, then cheating to keep your team or players under rated has a lot less reward.
 
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