Over the years, we've heard a lot of questions and provided a lot of answers. Some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers are below.
Q: Please explain the "Burn Out" rule
A: The burn out rule is a National strategy guideline. It rarely comes up and most players have probably never considered it as an option. The situation only comes up when a team is short players and must forfeit at least one match because they don't fall under the Team Survival clause. When this occurs, most teams play as many players as they have present and forfeit any remaining matches, which is usually the 5th match. The burn out rule allows the following: If a team knows they have to forfeit a match, they don't necessarily have to make it the last match of the night. They can legally put up a player who isn't there that night (as long as the player is on the roster) and burn out one of the opposing teams players. For example: The third match is ready to play. Team #1 throws up Jimmy because they want to win and Jimmy is a strong player. Jimmy is an H/C-7. Team #2 doesn't have anyone on the team present they believe can beat Jimmy and they know they will have to forfeit a match because they are short players. They can throw up Dave who isn't there that night against Jimmy. Dave has 5 minutes to get to the table, but Dave isn't there so Jimmy wins by forfeit. Several things need to be considered. First, Jimmy and the team get the win. A win is a win, but may understandably upset Jimmy. He came to play and may feel cheated by this strategy. One way to avoid this is to not throw up the better players blind. Another way is to know who the competition is. You can also count the number of players present to determine if they have 5 or less. This might at least tip you off to a possible burn out strategy. This can be tough during Titleholders where you are playing teams you do not know, but if a team is short players, you will probably recognize it pretty easily. Teams are not required to reveal their roster availability, so be careful and try to determine as best you can who they have to play. The main point of this rule is that a forfeited match does not need to be the last match of the night. If a player is on the roster, they are legally allowed to be used in the match-ups, whether they are there or not. The time when this rule does not apply is when the player is not qualified to play because they don't have their 6 required matches. This would be in playoffs and Titleholder's.
Q: Can you explain the MVP program for the trophy Divisions?
A: For the trophy divisions we offer (3) MVP's per Division: (2s & 3s), (4s & 5s), (6s & 7s). Each MVP receives a trophy and a cash award determined by the number of teams in the Division. MVP sheets will start coming out week #8 of the session. Players that may shoot twice in one night, thereby creating the potential of more than 14 matches played for the session, are still eligible for the MVP since the calculations are based on win percentages. Playing twice is a risk because it may result in a loss; thereby lowering a players win percentage. For the trophy divisions, to win the MVP a player must have a minimum of (8) matches played. This represents 2/3 of the session and a true measure for MVP. The MVP is calculated by taking the match win percentage plus the total H/C's of all the players you beat during the 14 week session. For example, if your match wins were 8 and 2, that would be a match win percentage of 80%. In the 8 matches you won, you beat a 4-5-5-4-6-3-4-5, which equals "36." 80% plus 36 gives you an MVP number of "116."
Q: Can you explain how MVPs are determined for the money divisions?
A: For the Money Divisions, different programs are created depending on player input. No trophies. Since these Divisions play 16 weeks, (9) minimum matches are required for eligibility.
Q: How are the handicap ratings determined?
A: Handicap System Updated Information-July 2009 The handicap system is based on data entered from score sheets provided by the teams. Each player's rating is determined by a series of averages from the performance scores they produced during their match. The more matches played, the more scores there are to mathematically calculate an average or handicap rating. Each players Handicap is determined by their last 21 scores entered in POOLNET. To increase fairness, the best and worst score is eliminated and therefore the numerical rating is based on 19 scores. Remember that the system doesn't see what you see in the way a player holds their cue, English, kick shoots, cuts, etc. It only has numerical data to mathematically create a handicap. With this new system that is a mathematically based system, averages and handicaps can change from week to week because each time a new score is entered an old score is dropped off, providing the player has 21 scores in the data base. If not, the new score is added to that 21 match total. This means that your handicap calculation can have a completely different set of numbers each time you play. Since one drops off when one is added the group that makes up the 19 changes each week and is therefore different from the week before. In addition, if the one that dropped off is one of the previous lowest or highest scores, then that now needs to be replaced with a new highest or lowest score and that means the group of 19 changes even more dramatically. Furthermore, if you play someone who shoots "lights out" & doesn't go up the next week, it could be that score is now the players highest score, replacing his previous high score & is thus dropped out of the mix. This is why players can lose and go up/win and go down. There are several things we want you to understand about how this works. #1) A player can go up after losing or go down after winning. Here is an example: Player A is a high 5, but on the border of being a 6. This player has been on a winning streak and won 7 matches in a row but is still a 5 - however his average has been moving him closer to a 6. He then loses his next two matches and goes up to a 6. Since this player has 21 matches in the system each time he plays one drops off and is no longer part of the data used in the calculation of his handicap. If the two matches that dropped off were weak 4 speed scores and the two losses were high 5 & low 6 speed scores then that would push the average up, even though he lost because there is a new set of data being used to calculate his average. Mathematically this system makes perfect sense, but it is difficult for players to accept. 2) Just because a player loses, doesn't mean they played bad and just because a player wins doesn't mean they played good, so just because this guy went up after losing doesn't mean his opponent should also go up, in fact he could have gone down mathematically.
Q: Where can I get my own rule book?
A: Players can visit our Rules page on this site or go to the National Web site at www.tapleague.com and download a rule book. They can also get one for $2 from the Phoenix T.A.P. office. Just call (602) 305-7819.
Q: After the break, if the player calls and makes a ball, but scratches, is it still an open table?
A: No, that player now has that category of balls, but gives up ball in hand to their opponent. It is no longer an open table.
Q: How do you score an 8-on-the-break?
A: If a player makes only the (8) on the break (no other balls), he/she is credited with (1) MOB and the win. In this case there are (7) stripes and (7) solids left on the table. Each player receives (7) balls in their LOT box. They are split evenly. If a player were to make the (8) and the (14), for example, they would be credited with (2) MOB and (6) LOT. Their opponent would receive (7) LOT's. The winning player is always credited with the lowest count of balls left on the table. Place a hash mark in the "8 BRK" box at the right-hand side of the scoresheet.
Q: The shooter calls the corner pocket, but is really shooting for the side. (verbal mistake). Do they win or lose the game?
A; Use good judgment and sportsmanship to determine the calls. Remember, the game belongs to the players at the table. Clarify with your opponent if you are not sure where they intend to make their ball.
Q: How does a "Forfeit" get marked on the scoresheet?
A: When recording a "forfeit" on the score sheet, do not write the players name and ID#. Write the words "Open Stats" for the winning team and mark the "W" for the win. Write the word "Forfeit" for the losing team, and mark the "L" for the loss. The reason a specific player does not get credit with the win is because they did not actually play the match.
Q: Please review the rules for coaching.
A: All players receive 2 one-minute time-outs per game. The only persons who can call a time out are the shooting player, or the designated coach. Handicap (2) level players additionally receive unlimited coaching assistance within the 45-second shot clock. ¡¤There can only be one designated coach per player per match. You cannot change coaches during the match unless receiving approval from your opponent. ¡¤During a time out, the only people allowed at the table are the player and the coach and another player from the team that may want to give advise on that particular shot to the coach. This is the only time a third person can be at the table. Members from the team are NOT allowed to walk up to the table unless a time out has been called. Walking up to the table to look at it during a non-time out situation is disruptive to the two players at the table-and ILLEGAL. Remember, the match belongs to the two players, not the spectators. ¡¤You cannot have a conversation with your player while they are at the table. You can, however, talk to the player when it is not their turn. As soon as the cue ball comes to rest that player's shot is officially over, and officially the next players shot. There are only TWO things that any player on the team can communicate to the shooting player during their shot at the table. They are: "Mark your pocket," and "Ball-in-hand foul." ¡¤Time outs are a privilege and should not be abused. If anyone on the team violates any of the above rules, they subject their team to a ball-in-hand foul penalty. This is also a game of skill and part of the skill of the game is that you only have one minute to talk over strategy with your coach and then you are forced to make a shot ? whether you?re finished talking about the shot or not. This is one of the reasons time outs are only 1 minute each. The other reason is that it is not fair for your opponent to wait an unreasonable amount of time waiting for you to shoot.
Q: How are the points disbursed if a team drops out of a Division?
A: Occasionally a team will drop out of the league unexpectedly and not show up to play their scheduled match. In this case, the team they were scheduled to play will receive a Bye and 3-2 win for that match and NOT be required to pay for that match. It will not be a 5-0 win. A 5-0 win can have a significant impact on the total team points/standings in the division and isn't fair to the rest of the teams. The reason it is not fair to the other teams is because in following weeks, the other teams only receive a bye and a 3-2 win. This rule only applies to teams that drop out of the league permanently that session. If a team chooses to forfeit a match, without dropping out of the division, it would be a 5-0 win for the team that showed up to play. Both teams will be required to pay their weekly dues because the paybacks, trophies, awards, etc. are generated from weekly dues and total team count in each Division. Each team makes the commitment from the beginning of the season to play 14 weeks.