League Policies & Format - Summary
Teams may consist of 3, 4, or 5 players depending on the League Manager's preference.
The USAPL utilizes the Fairplay handicap system which uses a proprietary formula based on simple game statistics to calculate player ratings. This system provides the most accurate and fair player ratings and has a documented success rate of more 70% of matches ending in a hill-hill conclusion.
Player ratings range from 30 – 125. Each player will race to their rating number in a one-on-one match play format. Players of unknown ability receive an initial rating of 50 for the first three weeks at which time the Fairplay handicap system will produce an official rating. The USAPL Manager may assign temporary ratings for players of known ability. The same three week time frame will apply until they receive an official rating number.
Players receive 1 point for each ball pocketed in their group and 7 points for the 8-ball. Consequently, the winner of the game gets 14 points and the opponent gets 1 point for each ball pocketed. Once a player gets within 14 points of their rating, they are “on the hill” because winning one more game will put them at or over their rating. If both players are "on the hill," the winner of the next game is the winner of the match regardless of which player finishes with more points.
9-Ball & 10-Ball Scoring
Players receive 1 point for each ball pocketed or 14 points for winning the game regardless of how the game is won. Once a player gets within 14 points of their rating, they are “on the hill” because winning one more game will put them at or over their rating. If both players are "on the hill," the winner of the next game is the winner of the match regardless of which player finishes with more points.
Team Rating Limits
To further provide a level playing field, team rating limits may be established and used for different divisions. In any given match, a team whose ratings exceed the team limit will incur penalty points. Conversely, a team whose ratings are below the team limit will receive bonus points. Below is an example of team rating limits for 5-player teams.
- Open - 300 points
- Advanced - 400 points
- Master - 500 points
Team Bonus & Penalty Points
To discourage teams from being composed completely of highly skilled players, the USAPL has uses a bonus/penalty points system. A team that is under the "Team Rating Limit" will receive 1 point for each point under the limit. A team that is over the "Team Rating Limit" will be penalized 5 points for each point over the limit. These "Penalty" points make it very difficult to assemble a team of only high-caliber players in a lower skill division.
On the local level, the USAPL pays out a minimum of 50% of the player’s weekly dues. This will be monitored and supervised by the USAPL national office, but ultimately the USAPL League Manager will determine the manner in which these funds are distributed, (prize money, trophies, team shirts or jackets, expenses and entry fees to the National Championships, end of season party, etc.) as long as the league players directly benefit from these monies.
For the complete USAPL Match Play Rules, visit the USAPL Rules page.