So I have been playing in this new league called the TAP League. It is a league that is call the ball and call the pocket kind of shooting. It is a nice change from the slop play of the APA and the people that are rated below what their handicap should be. Unfortunately this happens in the APA and their handicap system doesn't catch people like this till it is too late. The handicap system being used in the TAP league appears to be a little bit harder to sandbag.
In the TAP league the scoring system is more in depth with all of the information it collects which I believe is the best way to make sure people are rated what they should be. So they track normal innings but they also track items like missed balls, dead balls, made balls as well as being able to play true defensive shots. One example is calling a safety but still pocketing a ball means it is your opponents turn.
Another major difference is being able to switch to a different cue. In TAP I am able to use my jump stick which is something that has always been a question in the APA as to whether or not you are able to use it. Since finally finding out clarification that you can't switch cues in the middle of shooting, I never wanted to attempt a jump with my shooting cue as I did not want to damage it in any way. In the APA I would be unable to switch to my break stick even at full length due to the rule of not being able to use “Professional Equipment” as well as needing to use my normal shooting cue to make all of my shots. How much of an advantage do you get by being able to switch to a different cue?
I have played a handful of matches so far in the TAP league and I am impressed as to the skill levels as well as the level of play from my opponents. Since slop play is not an option it gives peoples true abilities in shot making shine through. This also seems to turn most matches into fairly even matches with captains matching up skill levels to have a good match.
Tonight as a 5 I played a 4 who I have played before, he has also at one point been a teammate of mine. It was a well played match and during one of my breaks I was able to complete my first break and run in the league. Unfortunately I won the final game by my opponent making a nice shot on the 8 ball and scratching so instead of going into a 6th and final game, he gave me the match.
I am optimistic in playing in the TAP league and it appears to be gaining respect among the players. I look forward to playing many different players and seeing the level of play that can be expected from people that do take the game seriously. This doesn't mean that league play shouldn't be fun so it should allow people to let their guard down a little and start enjoying the game. Too many times have I seen people worrying too much about do I have enough innings or am I going to loose to this lower skill level because he has been known to slop a bunch of balls in.
If you a interested in reading more about The TAP League you can go to their website at http://www.tapleague.com/. They have 8 Ball, 9 Ball, 10 Ball, and Scotch Doubles Leagues running all the time. I am currently participating in a Team 8 Ball League on Tuesday nights.