The State of Pool…Where does it stand? Are things getting better in the
pool world or worse? Years ago when I started playing I would read articles both
ways on the subject and I kept thinking in my shallow mind at the time why
are they even worrying. At that time I was new to the game; played in a
couple leagues and was generally having a blast. Looking back at it I could
say it was certainly a way to have fun with colleagues and drink; and try to
play our best game of pool besides.
I used to be amazed at some of the better players I watched playing. How could they do the things they do with the cueball etc…
As time progresses on I started to watch some of the people. They would
come into a bar or pool league; demand their games are paid for and want
free water until the customary “comp” round then some of them wanted
spirits. I kept thinking if I were a bar or poolroom owner why would I even
want “those” type players? They certainly aren’t contributing to the
monetary position of the place that sponsors them; most of them wouldn’t
even give a back a little if they won a city money championship. But those
type players are becoming less and less nowadays. For the rest of the
players it’s nice to have some of those types around to see how much your
game has increased.
The “state of pool” is mainly contingent on where you are and your goals in
relation to the game.
If you’re a league player and enjoy just going out and playing the state of pool might be just fine. If you’re a little more serious and tend to play tournaments and money games in pool halls you probably have a whole different outlook. Let’s face it there really isn’t
much money in pool especially tournaments. If you look at the level of
competition it’s incredible and usually just for peanuts. Not to mention seems like wherever you go there are different rules for the same game. Additionally, if your level of play increases what’s next besides a little local tourney? Maybe a regional one. There are few though that can be monetarily secure enough to travel; pay expenses, play in a regional tourney and not lose money.
What needs to happen? This is open to great debate!
Lots of different ideas on trying to bring big names for sponsorship money etc; but what is
their return if they do? Most big cooperate sponsors want to see some return on their money.
My view is that there should be one main overarching hierarchy of pool.
Call it whatever you want. The main body creates a standardized set of rules that all leagues from Pro’s to Regionals to local tournaments should adhere to. Fargo ratings should be adopted for all. See this link for an explanation of Fargo ratings. The BCAPL/APA/NAPA etc etc should be sub entities under the main organization. Let them continue but all operating under one standard organization with standardized fee structure in place that is known and transparent to all at any level. Something like Baseball; you have pros, you have farm leagues (AAA, AA, A) etc. and a structure set
up to feed that organization. This type structure could easily be adapted to the pool world. Money can be made and paid at each level. If I show up to my weekly banger league to have fun and shoot I should know that a dollar or two are going to be paid to upper echelons to support the entire sport to progress it.
Doable? Pipe Dream? Too many Jameson/Pickle Backs?
Quite possibly. It would certainly take someone or group that are very strong leaders and have a significant fiscal background to get something like this off the ground. I
do think its possible. Maybe. But I’m one of those guys that when a bartender says to me your beer is half gone; I say no its half full ! Leave me a comment and give me your thoughts.