Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Artistic Pool

Artistic Pool, as far as I can tell, is a term coined by Tom "Dr. Cue" Rossman that encompasses the competitive aspect of "trick shots". It is governed internationally by the World Pool-Billiard Association - Artistic Pool Division (WPA-APD). It is defined by eight disciplines:

1. Trick/Fancy
2. Special Arts
3. Draw
4. Follow
5. Bank/Kick
6. Stroke
7. Jump
8. Masse

While there are technical definitions for each of these disciplines, there are shots that are interdisciplinary, demonstrating skills and characteristics across two or more of these. Interestingly, using these definitions, the term "trick shots" only applies to the first discipline and typically covers setup shots with multiple ball configurations. Hence, Dr. Cue will use the phrase "Trick shots and so much more" as a tagline for Artistic Pool. Oddly, the North American governing body is called the Artistic Pool and Trick Shot Association, implying they are separate entities.

Confusingly, the two of the most popular events of this nature have been titled Trick Shot Magic and the World Cup of Trick Shots, broadcast on ESPN, neither of which use the term Artistic Pool. One or both of these events have been sanctioned by the WPA in the past, so there are clearly some discrepancies within the organization about the enforcement of the use of the term. What's more, in the early days of Trick Shot Magic, they described shots as either being "artistic shots" or "skill shots", "artistic shots" being setup shots with multiple ball configurations and "skill shots" being everything else, essentially the inverse of what the WPA has drawn up.

Even though there has been sanctioning by the WPA of Trick Shot Magic and the World Cup of Trick Shots, neither has counted for official world ranking points. These tournaments are invitation only, have only 8 players, and do not necessarily cover all eight disciplines of Artistic Pool. In ranking tournaments, players shoot five shots of varying difficulty levels in each of the eight disciplines, for 40 total shots scoring points depending on the number of attempts it takes to make a shot. This score determines a players final position in the tournament and their ranking points.

Monday, April 29, 2013

2013 WPA World Artistic Pool Championships

If you're not on anyone's special email list, the 2013 WPA World Artistic Pool Championships have been announced and are taking signups. It will be held July 18-21, 2013 at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV during the BCAPL National Championships, which should ensure a great turnout for players and fans alike. Sign up fee is $300, but goes up to $350 on June 1, 2013, so get your entry in! Email me if you want more details on either the sign up process or the shot program.