Central PA’s Pool Leagues

Ed Kearney

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Yesterday, Governor Wolf announced that he will be easing restrictions on bars and restaurants effective on April 4. Under the easing, establishments that are self certified will be allowed to operate at 75% capacity (up from the current 50%) and those not self certified will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity (up from the current 25%). In addition, the current curfew that states “No alcohol sales after 11 PM” will be lifted. These developments are very welcome news and are an important factor in the resumption of pool league. I will be checking with the establishments that we play in the coming weeks to see which locations will be welcoming us back once the restrictions are eased. I believe that most establishments will be ready ASAP but that is up to the discretion of the bars and not my decision. Under the assumption that most/all of the locations are ready, we will hopefully be resuming league as soon as I feel that the majority of players are ready to play. We are making huge strides everyday in getting people vaccinated and I believe that in April, most of the high risk people should be vaccinated (if they choose to be). I will continue to monitor things but at this time, I’m thinking that we COULD be ready as soon as Monday April 5, but more likely sometime in Mid April. NO PROMISES ON ANYTHING, but I wanted to give everyone some idea of what my TENTATIVE PLANS are. Obviously once we are ready to resume, people will still need to take precautions and follow the rules of the establishments that we play.

I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. I’d like to give an update as to where we stand on the reopening of league.

There are a couple factors that will determine the date as to when we will resume matches. One factor is that the majority of locations that host our matches must be open to the resumption of league. If there are a few locations unwilling but the majority are willing, we may be able to find alternate locations to play those matches.

The majority of our players must be willing to resume. I understand that everyone feels differently about the seriousness of the virus and it has become highly politicized. I also understand that most people have “ COVID exhaustion” and are anxious to get back to “the way things were”. I am also anxious but the virus is still very prevalent and a serious risk to many people.

There are very positive developments regarding the vaccine and I do believe that in a relatively short time, most people at high risk will have the opportunity to be vaccinated. My feeling is that there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel but we must remain vigilant and protect those at higher risk. Death is a serious thing and is bigger than pool. I don’t want to have anyone die (even if they aren’t a PACS pool player 😀) because someone at a PACS match passed it on to someone who then passed away. I could tell everyone that I’m hoping to be playing league again in a few weeks but I’d rather be honest instead of telling people what I think they want to hear. At this point, I think an optimistic but somewhat realistic view of a resumption date would probably be in March. If I feel that we can safely resume (based on the things I mentioned) before that, we will certainly do so. And obviously if I don’t feel we are ready in March, we will wait until I feel it is appropriate.

Thank you for your understanding and I hope to get “back at it” soon.

Hello all,

If anyone would have told me almost 5 months ago that we’d be forced to suspend league for more than a couple months due to the coronavirus, I would have thought they were crazy. And yet, here we are. If there was a fair way to pay out the money for the prorated session, I would do that so that we could just “start fresh” with a new session. Unfortunately, I don’t know that option exists without upsetting (justifiably) many of the teams that would think they were being “short changed”. Therefore, we will wait until the session is completed before any monies are paid out. Because so much time has elapsed, it will likely be difficult for some teams to field a team of even 4 players per week once we resume. These are very unusual times that we are in, so unusual remedies will be used to help us once league resumes. As more and more time elapses, players have changes in their lives that may make it difficult if not impossible to resume league play for those players.

When league resumes, all teams will be permitted to recycle (2) players of their own choice each week for the remainder of the 8 ball session. They must still meet the “26.0” rule and a “7.5” may not be recycled. A player can not be recycled 3 times in a given match. The recycling can be done any time during the match and a player can be recycled back to back. The recycling team will choose the player(s) they wish to recycle and they may recycle even if they have other available options of players to shoot. I have thought in depth about this and I believe it is the best way to proceed. We will likely be allowing all teams to recycle (1) player of their choosing each week when we start the new 8 ball session with the above “relaxed” rules in effect.

Thank you for your understanding and I look forward to resuming as soon as the government and bars/restaurants give us the “green light”.

Hello everyone and I hope that you all are healthy and have been weathering the storm ok. As the state is opening back up for business, I’m sure you are wondering what the plan is for a tentative “start back” date. I’ll attempt to address that question here.

The simple answer is “I don’t know yet”, but here is the longer answer to help you understand my thought process…

It is important that on our “start back” date, that all of the locations that we are playing that night have their tables open, adequate seating, and are allowing us to play league. At this time, I’m not sure exactly what will and will not be permissible by state guidelines. Even if the state is allowing the pool tables to be used, if the bar/ establishment does not want to have league, the ban on league play by the bar will override anything that the state would say regarding the permissibility of league. Knowing that Monday is the night of the week that we are the busiest and thus the most likely to have problems, I would rather have our “start back” date on a Tuesday or a Thursday. I will be attempting to contact all of the bar/establishment owners in the coming days to try to figure out the game plan going forward. In short, IF THE STATE GUIDELINES FOR COUNTIES IN THE “GREEN PHASE” ALLOWS FOR POOL TABLES IN BARS/RESTAURANTS TO BE USED, THERE IS A CHANCE THAT WE WILL START BACK UP NEXT TUESDAY OR THURSDAY OF NEXT WEEK. This of course would also assume that the locations for our scheduled matches all decide independently that they also will allow pool league on those nights. I know that most of you are anxious to get back to playing league and hopefully we will be “back at it” soon.

When we do start back up, all teams will be permitted to recycle one player of their own choice as long as the team does not go over the “26.0” rule and the recycled player may not be a “7.5” The recycling team will pick their own player and the player can be recycled at any time (for instance, he/she may play 1st and 2nd if they want). Any team may recycle if they wish EVEN IF THEY HAVE 5 PLAYERS AVAILABLE TO SHOOT. These are unprecedented times, so I’d rather err on the side of being too flexible instead of not flexible enough.

Hopefully this gives everyone a very general idea of what I’m thinking. More details to follow.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

As we continue to practice social distancing and take other measures to limit the spread of the virus, I wanted to give an update on how we will proceed once we get back to “normal”. Once the bars and restaurants are open, the plan is to finish the current session with some relaxation of the recycle rules as mentioned in a previous post. As long as there is enough interest, we will have an end of session tournament ( The Invitational) for those teams that qualify. With everything that is happening, it is possible that some teams might not like the idea of playing in a tournament in close proximity to many people. Much of that may depend on what we are allowed and not allowed to do by government officials. For those teams that qualify for the Invitational but don’t wish to participate, they will be given a “cash out” option. I just wanted to let everyone know what the plan was going forward as I’m sure some of you have thought about it. These are crazy times, but it appears that we may be getting close to a peak and that things will start to calm down….though not immediately. Be safe everyone and continue to take measures to limit the spread and protect others who may be at higher risk. Be part of the solution, not the problem and hopefully we get back to “normal” soon.

Out of an abundance of caution, all PACS matches will be suspended until further notice. This is not a decision that I made lightly. I know some people will think I’m being too cautious while others will welcome the decision. With other bars and restaurants in other parts of the state already being forced to close, it is likely going to happen in our area sooner than later so it’s unlikely we would be able to finish the session on time anyway. Be safe everyone, practice social distancing, and take the necessary precautions when you are out and about. Even though you may not be at risk of serious illness from the coronavirus, others around you are at higher risk or are in contact with people who are at high risk. Thanks for your understanding and hopefully the world will get back to “normal” soon.

All teams will be permitted to recycle any player of their own (not the opponents) choice at any time during the match until further notice. This applies to both 8 and 9 ball. One player per team may be recycled provided the team meets the 26.0 requirement and no team may recycle a “7.5”. This move is being made to provide flexibility for teams that are having trouble getting 5 players to the match. It is better for a player to stay home if they feel they may be contagious or at high risk of getting sick. A team may recycle even if it has already used its “allowable” 3 recycles for the session. Thanks for your understanding.

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