: Liz Ford
How to Have Fun on League Night – and Play Good Pool, Too!
As you may or may not know, I recently became an APA League Operator and this week I held my first few nights of league play. After years of playing in leagues (and a month of running one!) I've collected some pieces of wisdom for making sure that everyone – you, your team, your opponents, and heck, even your League Operator - enjoys league night!
1. Be On-Time (or Early!)
Make sure to show up when you're supposed to for meetings, matches and tournaments – even better, try to be there ten minutes ahead of time to avoid holding everyone up. Many establishments will give you free practice time beforehand which can entice your timeliness.
2. Bring Your Friends or Your Friendliness
League night is a perfect excuse to hang out with your friends. Get some quality time on a weekly basis and enjoy some team comraderie. If you're new in town or looking to branch out socially, league is a great way to meet folks. Talk with your league operator and ask him or her to put you on a team with fun, friendly people.
3. Support Your Team
Stick around to cheer on your teammates during their games or matches. Disappearing to the bar or pulling a skedaddle isn't good team spirit – you might be needed for moral or strategic support or even to play the next match.
4. Be a Good Opponent
Cheering for your team is not the same thing as cheering against your opponent. Please don't clap or cheer when the other team makes a mistake, like a scratch or a miss on the game ball.
5. The Same Rules of Etiquette Still Apply
Check out this article on pool etiquette for a refresher course on good pool courtesy.
6. Be a Leader
It takes some special skills to be a successful team captain: good organization, follow-through, people skills and above all the desire to be a captain. If you'd like to give it a shot talk to your league operator – you don't even need to bring your own team, he or she will probably help you build one.
7. Keep Things Moving
Make sure that play goes at a good clip so that league night turns out to be fun, not tedious. If you're playing, don't dawdle over shots or take an exaggerated break. If you are on deck, be ready to go as soon the table is ready.
8. Read the Rules
Know the ins and outs of the game and league format you're playing so that you don't lose any games or matches because of technicalities. Ignorance is not a strategy!
9. Keep in Contact
Make sure your league operator has your correct contact info (email, phone number, address, etc.) so that he or she can keep you updated on important league doings.
10. Get Excited
Many leagues offer large national tournaments that you and your team can win a trip to or sign up for and attend. Just what you've always dreamed of, a pool-themed vacation!