Thursday, January 20, 2000
posted by dave at 5:41 PM in category RSB Post

LePheaux wrote:
> I went through a winning streak at the beginning of that 9-ball
> session, and was expecting to go up. didn't happen. I also went
> into a loosing streak lost 6 out of seven matches and it didn't
> go down. oh well.

I really can't help you with the 9-ball system, as I know nothing about it except that I don't think it should be called 9-ball when the main goal of the game has shifted from making the 9 to ball count.

> I would like to think that a LO , would go by the books and
> wait to see what the #'s are before setting an average.

They do go by the books - the League Operator Manual and the franchise agreement. The handicap system is more than a series of equations where you plug numbers into a computer and out pops a skill level. Things like handicap review boards and yes, LO evaluation are an integral part of the system and one of the best ways to prevent handicap manipulation.

I'm sure there are less-then-honest LOs out there who play favorites. In fact I seem to remember hearing about an LO who was threatened with losing his franchise over it. I think you are quite lucky to live in an area with a LO like Gene.

Do me a favor, Rick, and try to put yourself into an honest player's shoes for a second. Imagine you're a 6 playing a lower-rated player, and after your match you feel that your opponent was under-rated. You bring your concerns to the LO. What would you rather hear at that point - That the scores are the scores and that's it, or that the LO will look into it and determine if your concerns have any merit. Take away the League Operator's ability to adjust inappropriate skill levels and you give the sandbaggers a free rein.

> his job is to be UN-BIASED.

Assigning a skill level that he thought you deserved is not being biased. If he had assigned you a level he knew was either too high or too low, due to some altruistic or antagonistic feelings towards you as a person, then that would be biased. It sounds to me like your initial skill level was pretty close to the mark since you say it remained constant throughout the session. I guarantee that you were not locked into your initial rating. If your play had improved or degraded enough then your skill level would have shifted accordingly.

> I go with black and white, the actual #'s of the score sheet.
> To decide a persons average otherwise is dis-honest. cut and
> dried.

I'm sorry, did you just say that using anything other than the scoresheet numbers is dishonest? Aren't you the same person that recently admitted sandbagging to put false numbers on the scoresheet?

> some times I would start a season out as a 10, and loose a game,
> once ya go down from a 10, it's almost mathematically impossible
> to go back up do to the win lose system.

I had the same thing happen to me a couple of times, and it's true - it's really hard to go back up. Is this supposed to be a good thing? I imagine a guy who's a legitimate high 9 in BCA. He starts out as a 10, loses a couple games, then drops to a 9. Now he goes out and gets lessons, plays tournaments, whatever, and improves his game to the point where he's now a legitimate 10-level player. Because of the way this and similiar systems calculate the ratings this guy gets to play under-rated for the rest of the season - and you can't even call him a sandbagger UNLESS he dumped those early games on purpose (and we both know that never happens, right?)

> and there's no runaways because the other teams are in the same
> division are loading up there teams as well.

This works as long as you stay local. Will you at least admit that a team of 9's and 10's from, say, Maplewood Indiana, would probably get their hats handed to them by a team of 9's and 10's from Chicago? The win/loss systems do not give any indication of any given player's ability to play - just their ability to win against other players from their own division/city.

> I personally think in the long run the APA will graft ideas from
> other leagues and vice a versa.

There will (not) be a perfect handicapping system in any sport as long as there are people out there willing and able to sandbag. Well this thread has turned into quite the Rick and Dave show, hasn't it?

posted by dave at 4:36 PM in category RSB Post

Mountain Mike^^ wrote:
> Dave, is it a fact that *innings* are the only criteria for your
> SL? For example, if a guy loses every match, but only takes 2
> innings per game, does his SL go down? What's the reasoning,
> please?

A few years ago I got into some legal troubles for being way too specific on how the system worked, and I'm not going to risk that again, but I think I can be vague enough to answer your questions and still keep the lawyers away.

In your example, if a player ends up with a 2 innings per game match for the night - whether he won 1 game in 2 total innings, 3 games in six total innings, or whatever, that's still shooting pretty good. It really doesn't matter how many games his opponent won, or who won the actual match. Our hypothetical player won, on average, every second or third trip to the table. If his opponent just happened to win, on average, every first trip to the table that takes nothing away from the fact that the first guy still shot pretty good.

Now this can be a bad thing at times. Several years ago I played against a 2, so it was a 7-2 race. I broke and ran the first 6 games, then made an early 8 in game 7. In game 8 my opponent didn't make anything on the break, and I ran out. While my 7-in-1-inning score did not affect my rating snce I was already a 7, that 1-in-1-inning score haunted that poor 2 for her next 19 matches. In fact she went up to a three because of that match. Some L.O.s will correct fluke scores like this to help eliminate this type of problem, but it's not required, and the L.O. in Omaha at the time did not do it.

Win/Loss is not a big factor in APA - it's mainly used to help prevent sandbagging, and I'm not going to get into how it's used.

The best, but not necessarily the easiest thing to do is just play and not worry about the handicap system. One thing that happens as a result of people like our friend Rick is that legitimate and honest players begin to fear they may be mistakenly over-rated, and that can naturally start people questioning the system and its reputed fairness.

Hope this helps.

posted by dave at 2:55 PM in category RSB Post

LePheaux wrote:
> So your saying your a 6.

If I hadn't been frozen into being a 7 for the past 10 years, then yes, I'd say I'd probably have been rated a 6 when we met since I was at the tail end of a two-year funk.

> one good night or one bad night and blah, your rating is fixed
> for fucking ever doesen't go up or down,

Unless you've been frozen at a skill level your skill level can go down. There are several ways to get frozen. Unless you're a 7 your skill level can always go up as you either improve or stop sandbagging.

> what kinda cliquish shit is that all about, it god damn sure
> isn't the way an average is supposed to be obtaind.

It is the League Operator's right and responsibility to assign appropriate skill levels to skilled players, either as they enter the league, or as it becomes apparent that their current level is too low. Some L.O.s are more diligent at this than others.

> Nothing special there dave, I was called a sandbagger before the
> fact. so I didn't want to make Gene, and Kim and all your good
> buddies out to be liers.

Yes, I'm friends with Gene the L.O. You'll never meet a more honest and straightforward man. I don't know Kim nearly as well, but she's always struck me as honest as well. Both of them play at a strong 6 level and are more than capable of telling when somebody is dumping innings on purpose. Unless you showed them some speed I didn't see I can't imagine either of them thinking that YOU were a 7 sandbagging down to a 6. Your team-mates I don't know so I can't speak about them.

> Hell ya, I took three people who didn't have a snowballs chance
> in Miami. of ever going to the end, and showed them how winning
> feels.,

You showed them how cheating to win feels. You showed them how their team captain didn't think they head a legitimate chance to do anything.

> now now dave, it's nice to see your still such a staunch
> supporter of the APA. even after your shafting and all.

Funny, I don't ever recall being shafted regarding league play. I played that league for almost 10 years, and enjoyed all but my last session. Any shafting that took place was in the business side of things.

> But there are no monies in that goofy play off. just a little
> bitty trophey.

I'm not sure what kind of playoff money Gene's giving out these days. I do know that a large amount goes to paying teams' way to Vegas.

> by the way, when the sniveling little shit that lost to brian,
> wanted to see his ID. (Like i was able to pull one of my old
> aquantances from Florida all the way to Seattle to play in a
> league,ya right) That was it, in all the years of league play
> i have never ever been asked or even heard of someone being
> asked for an ID.

It's right in the APA rule book - you need an ID. And unless the laws in WA have been relaxed quite a bit since I left you also need an ID to even be in a bar there.

> were talking about a match previously played prior to the
> playoffs.

So you had warning that you'd need this guy to produce an ID before the playoffs, and you chose to ignore that warning. Then it bit you in the ass. Want some cheese to go with that?

> call me or my team sandbaggers before it happens, then they should
> expect it to happen.

Good thing nobody accused you of being a bunch of funloving, honest people, then you wouldn't have had any excuse to cheat.

> call me an asshole , well when provoked, I can be one major
> sphincter. Personally Dave I like you, and respect your pool
> playing abilities, and your opinions.

Well some of my best friends are assholes, just honest ones. I can also be turned away from my usual easy-going personality, and bringing up sandbagging is an easy way to do it. I really doubt that your posts are a good indication of your overall personality since I'm usually pretty good at first impressions, and my first impressions of you were positive.

Frankly I just don't understand this 'win at any cost' mentality. The second I found out that 7 was the highest skill level in the APA (then Busch) league, I knew that's what I wanted to be - a 7. Some people feel they'll have more fun if they can keep their rating down - and therefore win more matches. My theory has always been that if I could only play good enough, they could rate me a 17 and I'd still win. I'd much rather be a 7 with a 90% winning percentage than a 5 with a 100 percentage - especially if I had to be dishonest to stay at a 5.

> but the way Gene runs the APA here it is not Honest. so the direct
> insults you bear unto me should be redirected towards Geno.

I defy you or anyone else to give me any example where Gene has been dishonest - in running the league, playing, or in life in general.

> I did not start the feud, I only did what they accused me of
> before it happened.

Inner-city minorities have been using this excuse for decades in lame attempts to shift the blame for their crimes to someone else.

> and alas it would not happen at all if the average system was set
> up on a win loss record instead of an inning system.

I'd be happy to compare different handicapping systems with you. I've long thought that the APA's system, based on average innings per game, was pretty clever, and potentially quite fair. The problem with systems based on win/loss records is that each division/league/area has it own average level of ability. For example you could be a BCA "9" from a weaker area but if you moved into a stronger area you might only be able to hold a "7" rating. With an innings/game system it doesn't matter how strong your area is. A "6" in a weak area has roughly the same skills as a "6" form a strong area. Since the APA maintains its handicapping throughout the playoffs all the way to the National level tournaments, a straight win/loss system just wouldn't work - Teams from the stronger areas like Florida and Illinois would eat the weaker areas' teams for lunch. So what happens is that the win/loss based leagues like the BCA have to toss out their handicapping at the national level tournaments - which is only great if you're a strong team.

Well, I've gone off on another rant. I'd still like to grab some beers next time I'm up that way. Let's just agree not to throw them in each other's faces.

posted by dave at 3:01 AM in category RSB Post

LePheaux wrote:
> The first season I played APA. My rating had been decided
> before ever pocketing a ball, Huh Dave.

Your skill level was established before you joined the league - because you and I spent three hours playing 1, 2, and 3 inning games in front of the League Operator at the Sports Pub.

> I decided to show the locals what sandbagging really was, so
> I taught the neighbors and coached my pal, on how to play
> safes, and up there skill level some.

Playing safeties is not sandbagging...

> it's as simple as playing a safety, and just not calling it.

...not calling them is not sandbagging. Not MARKING them is sandbagging, but it only works if neither scoresheet has the safeties marked.

I don't want to go off on a rant here, but it really takes a special type of asshole to sandbag. I mean, you not only need to be willing to cheat to beat players of your own caliber and above, you also have to be willing to cheat the beginners, social players, and serious in the league. So you sandbagged your way into the playoffs. Are you actually proud of that? Does it make you feel good to know that there are honest players who didn't make the playoffs because of your sandbagging? Some people join handicapped leagues because they're told they'll have a realistic chance of winning. Others see it as a great opportunity to help introduce beginning players to the game in a wholesome and fun way. And still others see it as an opportunity to cheat, lie, and swindle their way into prize monies and recognition they're too lazy or stupid to try to earn honestly.

Of course that's just my opinion - I could be wrong, but I don't think so. All handicap systems have their flaws, and all handicapped leagues have their sandbaggers. At least with the APA system sandbagging can be prevented. Just have the guts to mark any "non-performance" shots as YOU see them, and if the other team/players objects, tell them (nicely) to kiss your ass and mind their own scoresheet.

Wednesday, January 19, 2000
posted by dave at 1:39 AM in category RSB Post

Keith D wrote:
> Focus on the table as you walk around it, I have knocked over
> a waitress and barely mumbled an apology (I apologized later
> and gave her a large tip) because I would not take my eyes
> off the table.

I've found that when I'm shooting my best I focus on the cue-ball. My eyes hardly ever leave the cue-ball from the time I shoot a shot until I get ready for the next shot. Often I find myself confirming that the object ball went in simply by the sound of it dropping, so great is the hypnotic power of the cue-ball as it moves into position for the next shot. I play and move around the table fairly quickly, and many times I find myself down in position ready to stroke - only to have to wait for the cueball to arrive at its intended location.

Trying to force this level of concentration by intentionally focusing on the cue-ball sometimes works, but usually not. I think for me the focusing is a symptom of my concentration level - not a cause. So it's not quite a chicken/egg thing for me, more like a chicken/chicken sandwich thing.

Sunday, January 9, 2000
posted by dave at 4:07 PM in category RSB Post

(This post is much too long - especially for the first serious thread I've tried to start in years. My apologies in advance)

I'm not sure where to start here - it's probably going to sound nutty no matter where I start.

I recently bought a house with an 8' Steepleton table in the basement. I didn't pay too much attention to the table until I had it leveled, shimmed, and covered with Simonis 860. Now it plays as well as can be expected.

I have a Schon cue that I paid $1000 for ten years ago, and a Joss that I just bought for $300 in December - mainly just to have something to shoot with while I was in Seattle on a business trip. My Schon weighs 20 oz. I'm used to this cue. The Joss weighs 18.2 oz, and it feels pretty strange in my hand - like there's nothing there.

I have a set of Brunswick Centennials, and also a set of generic balls that came with the table. Both sets of balls are in quite good condition, with similar levels of cleanliness and polish.

When I first started playing seriously on the table I didn't do very well at all. My speed-control was nowhere to be seen, and even the simplest shots seemed to be no better than a 50/50 proposition. This was with the Schon shooting at the generic balls. After a few days of playing like a chump, I started looking for excuses. I decided to change the tip on my Schon - even though the LePro on it was only about two months old and was holding up fine. While the glue was drying I decided to knock some balls around with the Joss. I hadn't played with it much in Seattle and was trying to decide whether I wanted to sell it or keep it. Playing with the Joss, and the generic balls, I fell straight into dead stroke and stayed there for two hours. It was like the damn stick had shape turned into it on the lathe, and shotmaking added in with the finish. I literally hadn't shot this well in over 10 years.

I figured I had finally gotten used to the new table. I invited my cousin - a pool newbie who, despite conflicting "advice" from several people who think Tom Cruise is a Pool God, has managed to focus on my instuction enough over the past several months to actually run a rack of 8-Ball now and then - over to shoot some games. Since this was to be the first official pool session in the new house, with the newly-recovered table, I broke out the Centennials for the special occasion. By this time my Schon was ready for use, and this time it didn't disappoint. I did not have the cue-ball on a string as I'd had earlier in the day but I shot what I'd consider my normal game. After the night's session was over I boxed the Centennials back up and put the generics back on the table.

The next day I went downstairs, hoping to recreate the previous day's exhilaration. Instead I was right back to where I'd been 24 hours earlier. I could hardly make a ball, and when I did manage to rattle one in my cue-ball would end up in a different zip code than the one I'd intended. This, again, was using the Schon with the generic balls. Unwilling to become the Roy Hobbs of the pool world I set out to determine the cause(s) for my inconsistency.

Now I'm not a scientist, and while I do know a little about scientific methods, I'm not claiming to have used any of them here. I just tried some stuff and I'll report the results along with one possible interpretation. In two consecutive outings with my Schon and the generic balls I'd managed to stink up the place. I'd shot very well with the Joss at the generic balls, and I'd also shot well with the Schon at the Centennials. I was starting to sense a pattern, but I ran thru each scenario to make sure.

I like to practice a version of Bowlliards (sp?). I get a free break shot at a rack of ten balls, and I get ball in hand after the break. Scratches on the break are not penalized. I get two innings to run the ten balls, and it's scored like bowling. Most people on this group have probably heard of it. I like to use it for practice, and for me I think it gives a pretty good indication of my current overall offensive skill level. I decided to use my favorite practice game to test myself with the two different cues and with the two different sets of balls. I played five "games" with each pairing. After each "game" I would switch to a different pairing so as not to get stuck in a rut with a certain pairing. Here are the results:

Scenario 1 (Schon and generic balls) 85,174,123,130,151 = avg. 132
Scenario 2 (Schon and Centennials) 204,244,190,237,213 = avg. 217
Scenario 3 (Joss and generics) 272,266,201,199,230 = avg. 233
Scenario 4 (Joss and Centennials) 112,127,128,160,153 = avg. 136

I should probably throw out the 85 score since that was the first set I played, and I should probably also throw out the 272 since my cat jumped onto the table and broke up a small cluster for me in frame 6. But even after throwing out the high and low scores for each set there's still a pretty huge difference between the four scenarios. So what was the deal? Was my $1000 Schon to good for the generic balls? Were the expensive Centennials somehow intimidating the $300 Joss? I know the caste system is alive and well in many parts of the world but I didn't expect it to show up on my pool table. I looked for a better explanation.

I did some squirt-comparision tests with the Joss and the Schon. The test I use is to freeze an object ball to the middle of the foot rail, and place the cueball on the head spot. I then track where I need to aim to "cut" the object ball into the far corners. I used the generic balls for these tests. The Joss requires a point-of-aim that is about 1/3 of the way into the object ball. The Schon does not seem to need quite as much compensation but it is very close to being the same.

As I mentioned before, the two sets of balls are of the same playability. I did some throw tests shooting frozen combination down the length of the table and both sets throw about 4.25" over that length. The size and shape of all of the object balls and the cue-balls are as identical as I an tell by eye. Their difference is in weight. I don't have a scale, but I can tell by a blind pickup test that the Centennials are all heavier than the generics. I did this test enough times to convince myself that this is true - the generics are lighter than the Centennials.

The cues I do know the weight for - I had the Schon weighed years ago after I put a heavier weight bolt in it, and the MBE people weighed the Joss when I shipped it from Seattle.

Looking at the results from my practice sets again, this time taking into account the relative weights of the objects involved, and it turns out that:

1. I shoot the heavier balls better with the heavier stick, and I shoot the lighter balls better with the lighter stick.
2. I suck if I shoot the light balls with the heavy stick, and I also suck shooting the heavy balls with the light stick. Those are the observations I have made. Now is where I have to come up with a possible explanation for them.

The main thing that remained consistent between all of the stick/ball pairings if, of course, the shooter. Things like my stance, follow-through, chalking habits, and the like did not change noticeably just because I was holding a different cue. Likewise my arm speed remained constant, and that, I think, is where a clue to the solution to my conundrum lies.

Again, I'm not a scientist, and it's likely that the scientists who frequent this group will pick my logic to shreds, but here's what I think is happening.

Assume that these generic balls that came with my table are the lightest balls I've ever shot. This may be the case but I haven't been carrying a scale around for the last seventeen years so I don't know. Now, since the generics are the lightest it (duh) follows that every other set of balls are heavier. So every other set of balls I've ever shot with has been (weight-wise) more like my Centennials than my generics. Since I've had my Schon for ten years that means that I've been shooting at heavy balls with my Schon for ten years. Everything about my stroke is tuned to shooting balls with approximately this same weight. My body naturally knows how hard to shoot to get a certain amount of draw, follow, or whatever. My body is able to automatically allow for squirt or swerve with these balls and this cue.

Now take the same shooter (me), and the same cue (Schon), and stick in some lighter balls. Since the shooter is using the same built-in be-the-ball shooting style his arm speed is the same as always. But since the same stick is being driven with the same speed into a LIGHTER cue-ball that cue-ball is being driven forward HARDER than it should be. All kinds of things result. The main thing to go wrong is position play. Since every shot is really being shot harder than it feels, draw and follow seems to mysteriously increase, and the shooter's heretofore automagic squirt compensation doesn't work right either. Hand the shooter (me again) a lighter cue (Joss) than the cue (Schon) than he is used to, and have him shoot at these same balls.

Now the shooter can use his tried-and-true shooting style with much better results. The cue-ball speed is back down to where it should be. Proper position play is restored, and even squirt compensation feels more normal.

Continuing to torment our shooter (guess who), we now force him to shoot at the heavier balls (Centennials) with the lighter cue (Joss). With the same stance, stroke, arm speed, follow-through, blah, blah, the shooter still feels like everything is fine mechanically. But now the lighter cue is transferring LESS energy to the cue-ball. All shots are actually SOFTER than they feel. This appears as apparent understroking of shots, and results in position play at least as bad as the overstroking from two paragraphs up.

At last we allow our shooter some dignity, and let him shoot the heavier (Centennial) balls with the heavier (Schon) cue. His game returns to it's former glory, since this is after all the weight pairing he's been shooting with since 1983.

Well to anyone who's made it this far into this post (without cheating and just skipping to the end) I thank you. I think I can sum all of above into a couple of questions:

1. Can a different stick/ball weight ratio than one the shooter is used to seriously mess up a person's game, especially if they shoot, like me, with the Obi Wan Mosconi play-by-feel style.
2. Remember those el-cheapo cues with the removeable washers for quick weight changes that the chumps were all carrying 10 years ago? Does anyone know if Tim Scruggs makes a cue with this feature? ;)

This post is meant to be serious, but since I am the same person that used to carry different chalk brands around for different type of shots I guess I'll understand if nobody takes it seriously.

Wednesday, December 15, 1999
posted by dave at 1:13 PM in category RSB Post

I don't know if they still use the same slogans, but about 10 years ago I saw an ad for Masters and Triangle chalks. Under the Masters the slogan was "Stressing Smoothness", and the slogan under Triangle was "Stressing Firmness". I spent a few weeks carrying around both types of chalk, using the Masters for normal shots and the Triangle when I needed to get extra spin.

Eventually it just got to be too much trouble to be constantly switching chalks. There was a real difference though - especially when drawing a mudball on old felt.

Another thing about this is that it really drove my roommate crazy. He couldn't figure out how I kept beating him when I was "obviously" warped.

There was a short story in either BD or P&B about that same time about a guy who's given different colored chalks for different shots, and ends up being the world's best player because of it. I'd love to see a reprint of that story someday.

Monday, December 6, 1999
posted by dave at 2:46 PM in category RSB Post

greg miller wrote...
> Do you think table lights can be too bright?

It's too bright if you finish a game, then have to wait for you eyes to adjust before you can find your break cue against the wall.

Tuesday, November 16, 1999
posted by dave at 7:26 PM in category RSB Post

Didn't notice this thread when it first came out. Not much has changed with me since then though so nobody missed anything.

I'm Dave Siltz, 34, single, living in New Albany IN, of which Louisville KY is a suburb. I'm a computer consultant and besides pool my main hobby is home theater. I also have 3 cats. Been playing since about 1983 when I started a decade of military (Air Force) service. I lived in Bellevue, NE for six years until 1992 and that's where I guess I got pretty good at pool. I noticed a couple of posts from the Omaha area and I'm wondering if we have any mutual acquaintances. Anyone who knows who "Awesome Larry" is should also know who I am. Ask Mike the bartender at Fort Crook (if he still works there).

Also lived in Kent WA for six years and I'm responsible for starting the APA up there and running it (for my absent LO) it until G.B. bought it in '94. I've also lived and played in Anchorage AK and New Orleans LA and met quite a few good people (and good shooters) in both cities.

Let's see, as this is written I shoot with an old Schon (SP-8?) that I've had for about 10 years, and I break with a 25oz Schmelke I call "The club". A couple of weeks ago I went on a little buying spree that culminated in my ordering 2 new Schons (STL-4 for breaking, STL-13 for shooting) that I'm hoping to get by Thanksgiving.

Very long time readers may recall that I got in a bit of trouble about 5 years ago for posting the complete APA handicap system to R.S.B. The system has changed a lot since then so I guess the heat's off.

I've played in APA, VEA, Midwest, and BCA 8-Ball leagues. I refuse to play in the APA's so-called "9-ball" league since IMHO it's not 9-ball when you start counting balls made. I was a fairly solid "9" in the BCA and VNEA leagues, and scraped out a "10" for the one season I played the Midwest league. I've had a NLA (National Lowest Attainable) of "7" in the APA for about 10 years, mainly due to a 3 month stretch where I dropped my average to .38 or something ridiculous like that. I haven't played as well since. I got kind of burnt out on pool in '95 (girl troubles) and haven't played league or regular tournaments since, though I've been considering getting back into it. Played my first tournament in 4 years about a month ago (a small weekly deal at Bailey's in Clarkville IN) and won it, so my game hasn't chumped up too much.

Monday, November 15, 1999
posted by dave at 3:32 PM in category RSB Post

A little off topic, but this thread reminded me of something quite strange I saw once. Anyone who was at the APA Singles Regionals in Omaha in 1988 might remember this. During the Womens' Finals a local player (I'll call her Carol), and someone from out of town (Something "Skank" I think) were both down to a single ball in the hill-hill game. Skank was lining up to shoot the wrong ball, and everyone in the room held their breath. Just before the shot one of Skank's friends called out "Skanky, you're solids!" or something to that effect. Skank looked up, switched her shot, and made her last ball.

Before Skank could pocket the eight and win the match, Carol called a foul, since any type of coaching is forbidden in APA singles play. Skank claimed that she hadn't been coached, that she noticed the mistake on her own, and that she should not be punished just because some drunk couldn't keep his mouth shut.

The League Operator couldn't make a ruling (he was sort of clueless) so there was a rather long shouting match, followed by a call to APA headquarters in St. Louis. The final ruling was that since it was a friend of Skank's that had done the "coaching" a rules violation had occurred and Carol should get ball-in-hand.

So finally after about a 30 minute delay that game was allowed to continue. Carol picked up the cueball, sat it in front of the eight, and shot the eight in. She had completely forgotten (a)that she was shooting stripes, and (b)that she still had one ball left. After all of the uproar Carol had lost the game and the match after all.

If there is a moral to this story, I suppose it would be that you need to keep your own ducks in a row, not count on someone else to line them up for you.