US Open Miscue The Game

vjmehra

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The OP pointed out that the US Open this year was unique in that officials stopped players from warming up even when the opportunity was there. This was the only tournament I've seen in my lifetime where this happened, scorekeepers and refs stopping players from warming up.

It is fair for everyone, yes. There are times at other tournaments where the opportunity to warm up isn't always present, true. If you don't have the chance to hit balls before a match there are things you can do to maximize your chances of a good performance, of course, and I think it's a healthy conversation to have.

But the main point of this thread was that it is unprecedented to see warm up capped at 2 minutes, and to see players waiting for 15-20 minutes by their open table for their match while being forbidden to hit balls. None of the players liked this. Zero. I didn't care for it myself. If I don't get a chance to warm up because we need to keep the tournament moving that is one thing, but I don't think anyone understood this rule.

The question is whether we would like to see this rule in the future. I am not a fan of it. It's not a deal breaker, and I'm not suggesting the US Open was a failure. This was a relatively manageable hurdle. It was just a strange rule that players hadn't seen before that none of us liked.

For those who feel differently, can you explain to me the benefits of this rule? If you are a tournament director and players are waiting by their open tables, is there a good reason to prohibit them from warming up? When all the players oppose a policy it might be a good idea for the reasoning behind it to be explained.

It has to simply be down to logistics surely?

There's no obvious reason why they would introduce this rule for the sake of it, given all snooker events have practice tables and (I believe, but happy to be corrected) the other Matchroom pool series events also have at least 1 practice table (of course they have much smaller fields).

I suspect they simply couldn't arrange for a sufficient number of practice tables, so decided to limit everyone. Its definitely not ideal and it would be surprising if it wasn't rectified next year.
 

realtor1618

Registered
It has to simply be down to logistics surely?

There's no obvious reason why they would introduce this rule for the sake of it, given all snooker events have practice tables and (I believe, but happy to be corrected) the other Matchroom pool series events also have at least 1 practice table (of course they have much smaller fields).

I suspect they simply couldn't arrange for a sufficient number of practice tables, so decided to limit everyone. Its definitely not ideal and it would be surprising if it wasn't rectified next year.
I believe this to be the case as well. The last one that took place at Mandalay Bay had numerous practice tables. Had to be a logistics issue.
 

VVP

Registered
The OP pointed out that the US Open this year was unique in that officials stopped players from warming up even when the opportunity was there. This was the only tournament I've seen in my lifetime where this happened, scorekeepers and refs stopping players from warming up.

It is fair for everyone, yes. There are times at other tournaments where the opportunity to warm up isn't always present, true. If you don't have the chance to hit balls before a match there are things you can do to maximize your chances of a good performance, of course, and I think it's a healthy conversation to have.

But the main point of this thread was that it is unprecedented to see warm up capped at 2 minutes, and to see players waiting for 15-20 minutes by their open table for their match while being forbidden to hit balls. None of the players liked this. Zero. I didn't care for it myself. If I don't get a chance to warm up because we need to keep the tournament moving that is one thing, but I don't think anyone understood this rule.

The question is whether we would like to see this rule in the future. I am not a fan of it. It's not a deal breaker, and I'm not suggesting the US Open was a failure. This was a relatively manageable hurdle. It was just a strange rule that players hadn't seen before that none of us liked.

For those who feel differently, can you explain to me the benefits of this rule? If you are a tournament director and players are waiting by their open tables, is there a good reason to prohibit them from warming up? When all the players oppose a policy it might be a good idea for the reasoning behind it to be explained.
Logical points. However, could it be they were trying to prevent arguments over a player hogging the practice table? Unbelievable, but these things do happen in pool.
 

vjmehra

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Logical points. However, could it be they were trying to prevent arguments over a player hogging the practice table? Unbelievable, but these things do happen in pool.

For the professional snooker events if there is a shortage of tables the players get time slots.

Not sure about Matchroom pool events, but with some lower level events you can (or could) book a timeslot (e.g. everyone is allowed 30 mins, but you have to pre-book).

For snooker I believe its strictly enforced, no idea about pool!
 
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lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The OP pointed out that the US Open this year was unique in that officials stopped players from warming up even when the opportunity was there. This was the only tournament I've seen in my lifetime where this happened, scorekeepers and refs stopping players from warming up.

It is fair for everyone, yes. There are times at other tournaments where the opportunity to warm up isn't always present, true. If you don't have the chance to hit balls before a match there are things you can do to maximize your chances of a good performance, of course, and I think it's a healthy conversation to have.

But the main point of this thread was that it is unprecedented to see warm up capped at 2 minutes, and to see players waiting for 15-20 minutes by their open table for their match while being forbidden to hit balls. None of the players liked this. Zero. I didn't care for it myself. If I don't get a chance to warm up because we need to keep the tournament moving that is one thing, but I don't think anyone understood this rule.

The question is whether we would like to see this rule in the future. I am not a fan of it. It's not a deal breaker, and I'm not suggesting the US Open was a failure. This was a relatively manageable hurdle. It was just a strange rule that players hadn't seen before that none of us liked.

For those who feel differently, can you explain to me the benefits of this rule? If you are a tournament director and players are waiting by their open tables, is there a good reason to prohibit them from warming up? When all the players oppose a policy it might be a good idea for the reasoning behind it to be explained.

I’m afraid I don’t understand why you’re asking us if you were there.

If this was of concern to you why not ask folks at the desk? I guess if I had to take a stab in the dark at your question I’d have to say issues of equity and keeping the event on schedule were in play. If one guy gets there and gets to fire off several racks of practice, when the other guy shows up and wants equal time, those extra minutes begin to accumulate and slow things up across the board.

Lou Figueroa
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The OP pointed out that the US Open this year was unique in that officials stopped players from warming up even when the opportunity was there. This was the only tournament I've seen in my lifetime where this happened, scorekeepers and refs stopping players from warming up.

It is fair for everyone, yes. There are times at other tournaments where the opportunity to warm up isn't always present, true. If you don't have the chance to hit balls before a match there are things you can do to maximize your chances of a good performance, of course, and I think it's a healthy conversation to have.

But the main point of this thread was that it is unprecedented to see warm up capped at 2 minutes, and to see players waiting for 15-20 minutes by their open table for their match while being forbidden to hit balls. None of the players liked this. Zero. I didn't care for it myself. If I don't get a chance to warm up because we need to keep the tournament moving that is one thing, but I don't think anyone understood this rule.

The question is whether we would like to see this rule in the future. I am not a fan of it. It's not a deal breaker, and I'm not suggesting the US Open was a failure. This was a relatively manageable hurdle. It was just a strange rule that players hadn't seen before that none of us liked.

For those who feel differently, can you explain to me the benefits of this rule? If you are a tournament director and players are waiting by their open tables, is there a good reason to prohibit them from warming up? When all the players oppose a policy it might be a good idea for the reasoning behind it to be explained.
In the later rounds when they removed the tables along the back wall, the players were allowed to hit balls.
 

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I’ll simplify my responses to try to prevent misunderstanding:

I didn’t like this new rule of unnecessarily limiting practice time. This is my opinion, and happened to align with all of the players I heard from.

No more. No less.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
The OP pointed out that the US Open this year was unique in that officials stopped players from warming up even when the opportunity was there. This was the only tournament I've seen in my lifetime where this happened, scorekeepers and refs stopping players from warming up.

It is fair for everyone, yes. There are times at other tournaments where the opportunity to warm up isn't always present, true. If you don't have the chance to hit balls before a match there are things you can do to maximize your chances of a good performance, of course, and I think it's a healthy conversation to have.

But the main point of this thread was that it is unprecedented to see warm up capped at 2 minutes, and to see players waiting for 15-20 minutes by their open table for their match while being forbidden to hit balls. None of the players liked this. Zero. I didn't care for it myself. If I don't get a chance to warm up because we need to keep the tournament moving that is one thing, but I don't think anyone understood this rule.

The question is whether we would like to see this rule in the future. I am not a fan of it. It's not a deal breaker, and I'm not suggesting the US Open was a failure. This was a relatively manageable hurdle. It was just a strange rule that players hadn't seen before that none of us liked.

For those who feel differently, can you explain to me the benefits of this rule? If you are a tournament director and players are waiting by their open tables, is there a good reason to prohibit them from warming up? When all the players oppose a policy it might be a good idea for the reasoning behind it to be explained.
I don't understand that rule either. We always allowed players to warm up within 15-20 minutes of their match if the table was open. Of course they had to show deference to an adjoining table with a match still in progress. We rarely if ever had a problem in this respect. The players would usually just trade racks while they were practicing. Again, no problem. Even on the final day when we were down to four players, we kept one extra table set up for practice. Sounds like a new rule Matchroom inserted into this Open. Even at the MC, there was always a practice room for the incoming players to warm up. My question for Tin Man was were there any other tables for you to wamr up on, like a practice room?
 

vjmehra

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I don't understand that rule either. We always allowed players to warm up within 15-20 minutes of their match if the table was open. Of course they had to show deference to an adjoining table with a match still in progress. We rarely if ever had a problem in this respect. The players would usually just trade racks while they were practicing. Again, no problem. Even on the final day when we were down to four players, we kept one extra table set up for practice. Sounds like a new rule Matchroom inserted into this Open. Even at the MC, there was always a practice room for the incoming players to warm up. My question for Tin Man was were there any other tables for you to wamr up on, like a practice room?

Ah I would say one thing here, that perhaps is a UK / European thing then, if you're talking about match tables.

In all snooker events and again I believe all Matchroom pool events players are never allowed to warm up on the match tables beforehand (other than this 1 rack / 2 minute warm up directly before the game).

The same applies on the GB9 (UK domestic) tour and I suspect the rule is in place for the Eurotour.

Whilst it might be inconvenient its part of making the game more professional (in Matchroom's eyes) as in most sports you wouldn't be allowed to warm up on the match surface ahead of an official match (that applies to every sport I can think of frankly, other than directly before the game itself of course).

Now of course the unusual situation here was the complete lack of practice tables, which is rare. From what I remember on the GB9 Tour, once all the matches for the day have been completed you are allowed free practice / money matches etc, but not whilst any matches are live. I suspect Matchroom are following this approach.
 
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DDiabolico

DDiabolico
Another aspect might be the cleaning of the tables. Usually at the big European tournaments (Eurotour and so on) the tables are at least brushed off after a match or the rails get cleaned/wiped off. By limiting practice time the table will stay clean and is already set up for the upcoming match,
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ah I would say one thing here, that perhaps is a UK / European thing then, if you're talking about match tables.

In all snooker events and again I believe all Matchroom pool events players are never allowed to warm up on the match tables beforehand (other than this 1 rack / 2 minute warm up directly before the game).

The same applies on the GB9 (UK domestic) tour and I suspect the rule is in place for the Eurotour.

Whilst it might be inconvenient its part of making the game more professional (in Matchroom's eyes) as in most sports you wouldn't be allowed to warm up on the match surface ahead of an official match (that applies to every sport I can think of frankly, other than directly before the game itself of course).

Now of course the unusual situation here was the complete lack of practice tables, which is rare. From what I remember on the GB9 Tour, once all the matches for the day have been completed you are allowed free practice / money matches etc, but not whilst any matches are live. I suspect Matchroom are following this approach.
So IF a pro golf event is done in the UK/European area....do they allow players to warm up before play?
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There was one practice table between the tournament desk and the commentators' platform. It did not have lights (other than the room lights) and was not usually being used for practice. I did see six or so players practicing and there were surely more when I wasn't around.

Practice time could have been organized but that would have been an additional effort and hassle and staff time.
Bob that table was ONLY allowed for practice on if your next match was in the pit with all the camera lighting. I saw O'rcullo hitting em one time on that table, sneakily.
 

g-string

New member
I don’t practice when I go out to shoot league. Hell I haven’t shot pool in 22 years until June when I went out to visit an old friend who was supposed to be at a tournament so I went he didn’t show. My wife told me to enter, I told her know I would get the shut kicked out of me. She went and paid the entry fee. Finished fourth out of 26. Plus I watched some matches on table two. And they gave each shooter a practice rack.
 
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Swighey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
With 128 Round 1 matches on 33 tables, I can certainly understand the rule even though it's far from ideal.

The US Open will evolve. Barry Hearn said, after the first Matchroom US Open, that they could maybe go as high as 512 players. They also want to move to a full qualification, no entrance fee model. It's not unfeasable that in future there will be "qualifying rounds" played at the same and/or another venue, followed by 64 seeded and 64 unseeded players in the main draw in a glitzy televised arena. Maybe the no practice rule this year was a necessary evil to keep the momentum going.

I actually quite like it - much is made of pool players getting in stroke and it's fun to see them doing that cold.
 

Dan_B

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Keep in mind, they tooooooooooooooooK out the back set of Diamonds way before the end.
...I'm thinking it had more to do with the rental rate, maybe they where those smart tables, the rate is based on the pot count.
 

Pin

Registered
For those who feel differently, can you explain to me the benefits of this rule? If you are a tournament director and players are waiting by their open tables, is there a good reason to prohibit them from warming up? When all the players oppose a policy it might be a good idea for the reasoning behind it to be explained.
Fairness, avoiding arguments. Maybe doing (similar to) what Matchroom do with snooker.

I liked your argument about amateur players wanting to feel like they could do justice to themselves. On the other hand, someone else suggested the lack of practice could have been responsible for a lot of big names being defeated, so it's possible the amateurs were better off when nobody could practice.
They just didn't *feel* better off.

I guess nobody likes change (and there can be a process before you reach acceptance), and the players want to feel like they're playing their best (regardless of whether the other guy is in the same boat).

My point was just that a lower standard of play might be more interesting for an audience (as there's more drama, more back-and-forth, more unpredictability). But I accept that it's a less satisfying experience for the players (putting aside which players benefit and which lose out).

So I guess that even if you accept the premise that it's better audience-entertainment, you still have to decide whether you want to prioritize the audience or players.
 

Pin

Registered
I think more mistakes tend to reinforce the corporate work ethic - the brainwashing that you should accept the bad and shake it off and keep struggling. Creates drama I suppose but I'd like see pool brought closer to fine art; superior performances by all involved.
What an interesting idea! I really like it.
I'm not saying I agree with the implications for pool, but I love the philosophy.
 
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