The American Poolplayers Association - known as APA Pool Leagues - is the world’s largest amateur pool league with more than 275,000 members competing in 8-Ball and 9-Ball Leagues, as well as numerous other specialized formats such as no-handicap Masters, 8 and 9 ball Doubles, Ladies 8 ball, Juniors, and our extremely popular National Singles Program! These formats and programs are currently in three country's around the globe... the United States, Canada, Japan - with more countries slated to begin in the future.
Co-Founders – Larry Hubbart and
In 1979, after several
years on the professional circuit and with numerous titles under his belt,
Terry “Texas Terry” Bell developed an idea for a centrally
controlled nationwide amateur pool organization. He realized how popular
billiards was becoming and knew that no organized system for recreational
league play existed. So, amid much skepticism among professional players, Bell
joined forces with Larry “The Iceman” Hubbart, who was also competing on the
professional circuit. Together they founded the American Poolplayers
Association, Inc. (APA) in 1981 to act as the sanctioning body of the League.
Previously known as the American Pool League, Busch Pool League, Bud Light Pool
League and the Camel Pool League, the APA now sanctions and oversees the APA
8-Ball League and APA 9-Ball League in the United States, the Canadian
Poolplayers Association in Canada and the Japanese Poolplayers
Association in Japan.
Based on their knowledge
of the game, Bell and Hubbart developed a unique handicap system, The Equalizer®, to level the playing field in the
League. The Equalizer® utilizes a formula that measures a scoring ability by
counting the number of turns it takes a player to win a game. The result is a
handicap that determines the number of games a player must win to capture a
match. After the handicap system was developed, the APA was formed as the
sanctioning body of the League. In October 2010, Bell and Hubbart were inducted
into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame for Meritorious Service!
History of the American Poolplayers
The American Poolplayers
Association (APA) was founded by professional poolplayers and Billiard Hall of
Famers Terry Bell and Larry Hubbart in 1979 as the National Pool League, which
became the American Poolplayers Association in 1981. The two realized the
popularity of the sport, but knew, that different from other sports, there was
no existing recreational league system.
Today, the APA, also
known as the Canadian
Poolplayers Association in Canada and the Japanese Poolplayers
Association in Japan, has grown to nearly 275,000 members and
boasts more members than all other “national” leagues combined. The League is
administered locally by a network of Franchise Operators, called League
Operators, and is conducted weekly in a variety of both 8-Ball and 9-Ball team
formats. There are nearly 300 APA Leagues throughout the U.S., Canada and
APA League teams have
the opportunity to advance to the APA World Pool
Championships each summer in Las Vegas. In 2010, Guinness World
Records recognized this event as the World’s Largest Pool tournament. In
addition, the APA also hosts a second tournament, the APA Poolplayer Championships, in Las Vegas each
spring. APA pays out a combined $2 Million annually at these tournaments.
The APA also conducts
the U.S. Amateur
Championship, the pool world’s most prestigious amateur tournament,
which is the only competition open to APA members and nonmembers alike. The
tournament began in 1994 and has grown significantly over the years, as players
across North America battle for a spot in this coveted event.
APA also runs the APA Junior Championships each summer. This
tournament gives children ages 7-18 the opportunity to compete for prizes and
trophies in their skill level bracket. It’s a great opportunity to introduce
kids to the game of pool!
The APA is has also been
recognized as one of the top small business and home-based franchise opportunities in the world. In 2010,
Forbes magazine ranked the APA as the #2 “Top 20 Franchises to Start.” APA is
ranked a “Hall of Fame” franchise with the Franchise Business Review for having
been named a Top 200 franchise for 10+ years. Click here to view more APA franchise honors.
One of the keys to the
success of the American Poolplayers Association is The Equalizer®, the unique handicapping and
scoring system that makes it possible for players of different playing
abilities — especially novices and beginners — to compete on an equal basis,
much like they do in golf and bowling. The Equalizer® uses a
formula that measures a player’s ability. The result is a handicap of how many
games a player must win to capture a match in 8-Ball or the number of points a
player must earn to win a match in the 9-Ball format.
With The Equalizer®, it’s feasible for a beginner to
have a nearly equal chance in a match against a more highly skilled player. The
Equalizer® aids the lesser skilled player by dictating
mathematically that he/she needs to win fewer games or points than his opponent
to win the match. (In golf and bowling, you give or get strokes or pins.)
In an APA League, you give or get games in the 8-Ball format and you give or
get points in the 9-Ball format. How many games or points you give or get is
determined by comparing your skill level to your opponent’s skill level. A
higher skilled player must give games or points to a lower-skilled player, thus
evening the match.
Local League Office calculates and reports skill levels to the teams on a
regular basis. Your skill level determines how many points you have to earn to
win your match. Each ball pocketed is worth one point, while the 9-ball is
worth two points. Skill levels are maintained, calculated and updated by the
Local League office. The process includes a number of factors including the
application of specific mathematical formulas to the data on the weekly
scoresheets, win/loss records, Higher Level Tournament performance, qualitative
judgment by Handicap Advisory Committees, and other considerations. You are
asked to refrain from attempting to keep your own records as it is generally a
disruptive practice. The APA appreciates your cooperation with this policy.
players do not have a skill level established, so all new players will start as
a skill level 3. A League Operator is authorized to assign special skill levels
and lowest attainables to new players who are known to be highly skilled
players or to players who have previously established a skill level in another
format. As a result of your first match, a skill level is established and
reported for you. It is against the rules for a player who has an established
skill level to attempt to reestablish his skill level at a later time. For
example, you can’t quit for awhile and then rejoin the League or transfer to
another League area as a nonrated player. You are obligated to disclose the
fact that you are a former or current member in another League area with an
established skill level.
you can look at how your skill level and the skill levels of the other players
interact to create the highly competitive atmosphere that has made this League
so successful. Remember you are going to give or get points in 9-Ball. During
regular weekly League play, simply refer to the “Points Required to Win” chart
shown on the scoresheets for your convenience.