Here are some things to help you understand more about our league, and what is required of you as a division rep. We have tried to make this as informative as possible for your convenience. You have the option to call the BLA office for clarification anytime you need to. We are here for you.
Starting your own division is quite simple; maybe easier than you would think. The BLA Office will work closely with you as we have everything in place to make this as easy for you as possible. Yes it requires some effort from you but the rewards are well worth it. The most important thing for you or your division members to know is you are always welcome to contact the BLA office with questions.
Contact the League Office and provide your full name, phone number & email address. We will also need the name of your division (see note #1 below). The division does not need to be named immediately, but we will need it before the division goes live.
Team sign up sheets and printable flyers & posters will be sent to you from the BLA office via email. You are not required to use printed advertisements; these are to use if you want to. The team sign up sheets are for you to hand out to potential team captains; usually to people you feel will be able to handle being a team leader. These people will then take the sign up sheets and organize their team, then return the completed sheets to you to be forwarded to our office.
For travel divisions, send us a list of establishment names (on the team sign up sheets). If more than one team will play out of one place, do they have enough tables to accommodate more than one home team per night, or if we need to alternate.
Representatives are encouraged to play in their division(s) as this will help you to be aware of what is going on in that division. Division reps can not be a team captain as that would be a conflict of interest. Of course you are allowed to help the person in the position of captain on your team.
The division paperwork is done by the BLA office so you don't have to. Scheduling. Handicaps. Updates. Payments. Our office has this part figured out so you don't have to be bothered with it.
Weekly paperwork will be emailed to the division rep every week. The rep will print the score sheets with player & team stats and make them available for the weekly match. The completed score sheets will be returned to the rep along with the team fees for that week by each team captain. We have a form for you to use that makes it easy to keep track of money paid. The rep does not have the responsibility to contact each player for the fees; that is the team captains job. The rep is responsible to get copies of the score sheets to the office and deposit the money into our BLA bank account. This needs to be done in a timely manner in order to give the office time to input the data and prepare the next weeks paperwork before the upcoming match.
Player handicap ratings are determined by dividing the numbers of balls pocketed by the number of games played. There is no other way to alter or adjust a player handicap rank. When a new player starts in the BLA, they are not ranked (or scored) for the first four matches. After a player has played four matches, their rank is then established by dividing the number of balls made by the number of games played. The office will then score those first four score sheets with the appropriate rank for that player. This is valid for every new player, male or female, no matter when they start playing in this league. It put additional work on the office staff but as we see it, that is the only fair way to do it. We are willing to deal with the extra work to make this work.
Any player can make suggestions for a new rule or a change for an existing rule. The proposed rule or change will be presented to the league for vote. In most cases, if the rule is approved, it will not be made effective until the following session.
Sandbagging is a problem in a lot of leagues. So far we don't have that problem. Starting with the second session of all new divisions, the team that wins the division wins 40% of the playoff money. The remaining 60% is distributed to teams that place in the playoffs. Here is a way to explain it coming straight from the league operator:
Because players get paid for making balls, you are surely welcome to miss all you want. I'm okay to pocket the balls and make the money. By sandbagging and missing balls, you are giving up on the ball money to be paid. If it is your plan to make it up in the playoffs, let's take a look at that... The team that wins each session makes almost half of the total payout money available. The other half will be split up between all of the teams that place in the money with a possible best percentage of somewhere around 30%, in the best case scenario, and usually less than that. So, if you plan to sandbag, please accept my appreciation and do me a favor... ask your team mates to do the same!
Your division logo is a little different than all the other BLA Logo's. Yours will have your division name and location on it. Any member can order items with your logo or the main logo on them. These items can be see on our web site on the Store page. Division reps can order items with the Division Rep identifier on them, including (but not limited to) Shirts, Hats, Business Cards or whatever else you may want or need. If we can get it, we will. Reps get special pricing because of your position. You get our price on these items that are to be used for growing & supporting the league.
League clothing available for order is just about anything you want. Hats, T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Golf style shirts, Jackets or ??? If you want something with our logo on it, let us know and we will support you in any way we can.
Division or Team Names will not be printed or posted by the BLA with anything vulgar or derogatory. At no time will we publish any name on the BLA website or paperwork that is in any way, or leading towards being discriminatory, racist, vulgar, or otherwise offensive. This includes team names, personal nicknames, establishment names, or any other name that falls into this category. (see note #2 below)
Other Pool Leagues are available for players to enjoy. At the BLA office, we do not talk bad about the other leagues. We do some things different and try to offer some of what the other leagues do not offer. Please take note of the following bits of information that may help you in your association with the BLA.
There were two guys that developed and built the Billiards League of America. They had been playing pool most of their lives and spent many years in pool leagues. After seeing so much happen with pool leagues and the members, some good and some not so good, they decided to try taking all of the complaints they could find and build a league around eliminating those complaints. The plan was to make a fun & fair pool league that everyone could enjoy. Where every one gets rewarded for what they do. Here are a few examples of benefits with this league. Some are variations of other league's good ideas and some are corrections from the complaints received.
Them: League start time at 7:30pm. Sometimes at 10pm or later, you are still standing around not even knowing if you will shoot tonight or not.
Us: Start time at 7:30pm. By 9:45 or soon after you are finished with the entire match, score sheets turned in, bill paid and in the car headed home.
Them: Friends with the League Operator keeps a handicap that works for their advantage or someone has a spat with a division rep and they start noticing discrepancies in the handicap ranks.
Us: Handicaps are not appointed; they are calculated. No exceptions.
Them: No substitutions if the team is short a player for the night.
Us: Present players each play the games for the missing player.
Them: Forfeit required instead of make-up matches.
Us: Make-up matches are optional in many circumstances.
Them: Years of playing with zero return or payback.
Us: Every active player get paid every session.
Them: Only top teams go to the playoffs; some players have never played a playoff game.
Us: Every team goes to the playoffs every session.
And a few extra's from BLA:
~ Special pricing on a wide variety of Pool & Billiard items.
~ Invitation for you to shoot in a free entry money tournament every year. The BLA office pays your entry fee to the tournament and if you win money, it is yours to keep. Thousands of dollars has been given away in these tournaments.
~ Random drawings for free prizes, money, and food tabs.
~ Rewards for bringing in new members.
These are just a few reasons we like to think we are a step ahead. A drawback we have experienced is because we are still growing, we don't have a trip to Vegas. But maybe we can grow to that.
Hopefully the benefits outweigh the one drawback we have to endure for now.
Note #1 When deciding on a name for your division, keep in mind the possibility you may be adding more divisions later and the names should be somewhat related.
IE: Liberty, Freedom & Justice divisions. Or Red, Blue & Orange divisions. Pick something we can add 'associated' division names at a later date.
Note #2 Division names are limited to 25 characters. Team names are limited to 16 characters; including all punctuation and spaces.