So there has been plenty of times when playing in the APA were poor sportsmanship has come into play. Playing many different people sometimes there are some that just stick out as people you don't even want to play. Rare occasions it's the whole team that you don't want to see. A rule book is handed out to all new teams so that they can understand not only the rules of the league but it also has how to act and encourages good sportsmanship. Like acting in a positive manner whether you win or lose, not overly celebrating, and shaking hands when the match is done are just a few high points.

The first time I ran into this team I showed up late and could already feel there was tension in the air. As I observed play continue during the night I could hear them talking Spanish to the person playing at the table not during a timeout even though they where told that they couldn't talk Spanish to the person shooting, especially not during a timeout. So after a few attempted reminders of this rule of the league we just gave up trying to get them listen to that. After bad shots made by my team they would cheer loudly and if a game was won by them they would cheer even louder. I also heard a story of the captain of their team thinking my captain was me. Saying, “Come on Greg I want to play you. I believe your Greg so stop lying.” So you are arguing about who is who in a regular league match? Where did you learn how to play in a league setting?

So not only were some of the rules not followed but they where all new players so we saw 3's shooting like 5's and 5's shooting like 7's. Now I chalked that up to maybe they all had a good night and let it go. But apparently the next time we played them (in the almost made it bracket) they played at the same or higher level.

Now my team only had me last and I was a 7 at the time. I forget who put up first in the last match but it ended up being me against a 3 which turned into a 6 to 2 race. First thing the captain of that team says to me is, “You want to make this a real match?”. Like he wanted to change the person he put up after the decision had already been made. Mind you playing a lower level player is something I don't really like doing because I am giving them too many games. But my response was with the handicap system anyone has a chance of winning and said what makes you think this isn't going to be a real match anyways? I could tell he was pissed that such a high skill level was going up against one of his lower skilled players. I've lost to high level players and I've lost to low-level players so win or lose I just wanted to shoot pool. So I think I ended up winning the first one and then losing the second game. I think he won his game in about 3 innings. But as a new player sometimes people are ranked lower than they should be until they are more established. I won the next couple games and ended up losing to him with the final being 3 to 2. He ended up running 3 balls out to the 8 ball for the win. Making 2 middle table rail shots all while getting the leave on a cut shot for the 8 ball. And during the last shot of the match on the 8 ball the captain was speaking Spanish as he was shooting to remember to shoot slowly as he has been doing all match, not realizing that I do know a little Spanish. Immediately after the match their entire team starts screaming as though they just won a trip to Vegas. I shake his hand and turn to the captain and say, see I never claimed to be unbeatable. I don't mind being enthusiastic but there is too much.

In the APA this has become an all to regular occurrence. Having lower standards of players has become an all too frequent reality. I've seen people break their custom cue's on tables shattering the shaft. I've seen arguments break out in the middle of a night even about rules that are clearly stated in the rule book. Also the constant rise in dues from the APA League Operator has made it no longer a fun or affordable night. I was driving 40 miles one way to participate in league with friends out in the Lowell area APA and I am glad that I have made the decision to no longer play with my friends against players like that.

So we ended up playing the same team in the almost made it bracket of playoffs. I ended up not being able to make it as finances have been tough for me lately and I am glad that I didn't waste the gas. This was the back story post and there will be another post updating how the playoff night went. I am sorry to say that from what I have heard so far the night I was there was the better one.

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