Are you an amateur pool player looking to join a pool league? Perhaps you and a group of friends want to form a team to compete locally. Just like bowling leagues, pool leagues have formed all across America. And like a bowling league, they’re a lot of fun. Joining a pool league can offer an inexpensive night of fun, and a girls or guys night out. But to the inexperienced, joining a pool league is wandering into uncharted waters if you don’t know where and how to look.
Before venturing out to join a league some important considerations must be addressed. Do any friends want to take the plunge with you? If so, how many? Almost all local leagues consist of teams varying from 2-10 players (usually it’s right around 8) so if some friends want to join you, you might want to consider gathering enough to form a team instead of jumping on someone else’s team whom you might not know. Depending on the league (more on that later), the number of people on a team depends on the league you join. But other than figuring out how many people you have to play, you also need to figure out where to play.
The best place to start is where you already play pool, assuming you play pool at an establishment and not your cousin’s garage. Bars and pool halls will usually have posters up on their tack boards containing local league information. If they don’t, ask the bartender, waitress, or manager if they known of any league play there or around the area. They may be interested in hosting pool teams if they don’t already do so. Obviously if there’s only one league that plays locally your options are limited. You’ll have to decide if you want to travel elsewhere to shoot on a different league. My advise to beginning shooters is to stay where you’re comfortable. My first pool team shot out of the bar where I work and practically the only bar where I’d ever shot pool. Being familiar with the surroundings will make your league experience less intimidating and more fun.
If there are postings about local leagues, be sure to mark down any contact information for the league operators. League operators from all leagues are always looking for more teams and they’ll be a big help in determining if their league is right for you.
If the street beat way of research is not for you, let your fingers do the walking on the Internet. A simple googling of your local area with the search words “pool league” will probably do the trick and lead you to websites about local leagues. Most local leagues have information available online, in the form of websites and sometimes even league stats. The three main pool leagues are the APA, Valley, also known as VNEA, and BCA. In my next article I will compare and contrast the different leagues as I have experienced them.