Saturday, April 11, 2009

The power of numbers

Over time I've become kind of uninterested in my APA league stats. Each match is its own event, and I know how I played. At one time I tracked my win-loss record closely because its is used to calculate the "Top Shooter" points. (The Top Shooter score is your win percentage multiplied by the cumulative points of the skill level you've beaten. ) The top 20% or so of the Top Shooters get to play in the Top Shooter Tournament at the end of the session.

So, if you're playing 5s, 6s & 7s frequently, and you play a lot of matches, your win percentage can be around 50 percent to qualify. On the flip side, if you're like me, and you almost exclusively play 2s & 3s, your only chance to make the cut is to play every week and win almost every match. And even then its not guaranteed. Basically, the math excludes me from the tournament so, I've lost interest in my actual percentage.

At one point last season, when I was struggling to find the motivation to win against weaker players, someone said, "Well, don't you just want to win for the sake of pride?" I was kind of surprised to find that, at least in that moment, the answer was no.

Anyway, this is a long segue into mentioning that the APA National Website now has a member section where you can log on and see the number of matches you've played (since 2003) and your win percentage. I was shocked to find out that I had played 170 8-ball matches and my win percentage was 43%. (That's what I get for playing on 3 teams and lots of singles qualifiers, I guess) I was even more shocked to find out, that for some reason, I actually cared about this lifetime number, and found myself wanting to win just to bring that closer to 50%. I'm not unhappy with 43%. In a handicapped league, most people's percentages should probably be around 50%. I'm in the ball park. But, I'm such a geek that after winning the next week, I logged on so I could see that number go up to 44%.

I'm not sure what it really means, other than I've lost more than I've won. It doesn't tell you how much I've improved, or how well I played in any of those matches. It doesn't tell you if I was simply outplayed or whether I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. But it still gives me something to shoot for, even when I don't have a lot of other incentives.

So, yay to the APA for doing something that gives me more for that $5 in extra membership fees I paid this year. I do appreciate it.

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