Central PA’s Pool Leagues

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Because we are still a few weeks away from the Invitational, I have some good news for teams that may be worried about “making the 26.0 rule” for the upcoming Invitational. For any players that are qualified for the Invitational now but would go up in handicap before the Invitational, the handicap that they are now ( as of November 14) will be their number in regards to the 26.0 rule ( for the Invitational only). However, IF THEY GO UP IN HANDICAP, THEY WILL STILL PLAY THE RACE AT THEIR NEW HANDICAP. For example, if a player is currently a 4.0 but they move up to a 4.5 before the Invitational. that players “number” would be a 4.0 in regards to the 26.0 rule, but they would play their race in the Invitational based on the race of a 4.5. Hopefully everyone understands this. If there is any confusion, please contact me and I’ll try to clear it up. Thanks for your understanding.

The Handicapping System that PACS uses is results driven, just like a batting average. If you showed me a baseball player who had a perfect textbook swing but has a career batting average of .220, he is not a .230 or a .240 hitter. He is a .220 hitter. There is no pool handicapping system that prevents any player from frequently playing better or worse than their long term average. Let me repeat. THERE IS NO POOL HANDICAPPING SYSTEM THAT PREVENTS ANY PLAYER FROM FREQUENTLY PLAYING BETTER OR WORSE THAN THEIR LONG TERM AVERAGE. Similarly, a .220 hitter will sometimes go 3 for 4 in a baseball game and may even have a stretch of games where he bats .300. If any player has an issue with a persons handicap, my phone number is 717-514-7759. I’ll be happy to have a civilized discussion with anyone about a persons handicap or how the algorithm works. If it is a player who has been in the league for a long time, I will likely be able to provide a mountain of evidence as to why their handicap (batting average) is correct. If anyone wants to call me to whine or to tell me that the PACS handicapping system doesn’t work, don’t bother. There is a list of former PACS players who used to whine about handicaps. They are now banned and will not be coming back as long as I’m in charge. As a captain, it is your job to make sure that your players are not acting like petulant children. If you condone such behavior, you are every bit as guilty of bad sportsmanship for condoning it. If any person or team would like to pull themself out of the league immediately because they can’t act like adults, I will grant their request immediately. As a captain, if you don’t think you can appeal to a persons want or need to act like an adult, perhaps you can appeal to their desire to want to win by telling them that if they are the frequent cause of complaints, they are on my “bad sport” list of players and are at best, hurting the teams chances to win and at worst, are soon to be banned. The algorithm determines handicaps, but I have the ability to override them. Staying on my good side will help your team to have success over the jerks. Like most people, I don’t like to see jerks have success. Thanks for your understanding.

CLICK HERE for an explanation of the PACS handicapping system.

As we are winding down with the Spring Summer ’21 Sessions and getting ready to start the Fall session, I’d like to address a couple things that are of utmost importance.

Bad sportsmanship will absolutely not be tolerated in PACS.  Any player who wishes to challenge me on this will not like the outcome unless they are hoping to be banned from the league….in which case they will be extremely happy.  I’m not going to get involved in negotiations or try to justify to anyone why a person is being banned.  It will just happen and that will be that.   There are other leagues that tolerate bad sportsmanship.  Players who wish to act childish or unsportsmanlike are encouraged to play in those leagues instead.

Roster additions must be approved by me.  I have the right to deny anyone for any reason.  Furthermore, I will bring “new” players in at any handicap of my choosing.  Considerations will be given to HCs in other leagues, or a players PACS HC before taking a hiatus from PACS.  If I have strong reason to believe that a team might be under handicapped, trying to “work the system”, or the team will have an unfair advantage, that will factor into my decision as well as to whether I allow the team to add the player(s) or what handicap I wish to bring them in as.  Again, this is not going to be negotiable and I will always try to act in the interests of fairness to the entire league as a whole.

In summary, thanks to the 98% of the players who make this a great league.  If you read this and think you might be in the bottom 2% who are making the league worse, you probably are.  It’s not a badge of honor to be in the bottom 2%.




In my travels to league matches, I am frequently seeing shots that are fouls that are not being called.  It is disheartening to me and I question whether people are being dishonest or if they just truly don’t know any better.  The purpose of this post is to better educate people on things to look for that are pretty common fouls.

In the above photo, the 14 ball is slightly off the rail.  I will frequently see a player take this shot in which the cue ball hits the cushion first, then hits the 14 ball.  If the 14 ball is hit lightly so that it doesn’t get to the pocket, the 14 ball must hit a cushion for it not to be a foul.  Both players should pay careful attention to these types of shots to make sure that a foul does not occur.

In the above photo, if a player is trying to cut the 14 ball into the pocket and the 1 ball moves, the 1 ball was hit first.  In these types of situations, any potential conflict can usually be avoided by having the non-shooting player simply ask the question before the shot “Do you agree that if the 1 ball moves first, it will be a foul?”  Almost all shooters would acknowledge this to be the case.  If they don’t acknowledge this to be the case, use slow motion video to record the shot to help resolve any possible disputes.

This is similar to the previous example.  If the player is trying to shoot the 14 straight into the pocket and the 1 ball moves, the 1 ball was contacted first.  Discuss this with the shooter ahead of time.  Even though it will be painfully obvious that it is a foul, if a shooter is dishonest or oblivious and says that “they were hit at the same time” AFTER the shot was taken, the call will go to the shooter if there was no slow motion video or if it wasn’t discussed beforehand (that if the 1 ball moves, it WILL be a foul).

In this above scenario, the shooter is going to attempt to kick the 14 ball into the corner pocket.  90% of the time, it is going to be obvious that it either was a foul or was a good hit.  Nevertheless, it is a good idea to use slow motion video to record the shot because 10% happens more often than you think it does 🙂   I have probably seen this type of shot taken 100 times in which the two players argue on whether the hit was a foul or not.  We have technology on our phones to eliminate these disputes, why not use it?


These are just a few of the more common situations that can occur.  It is better to be proactive by discussing these types of possible conflicts with the opponent and/or using slow motion video than it is to hope that your opponent will be honest or is educated on spotting fouls before they occur.

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.

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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