UPA Pool League FAQ’s

What is the League of Champions?

The UPA’s premier League of Champions™ is an amateur pool league program designed by professional pool players for both men and women.

UPA Pool Leagues were specifically designed to give amateur players a “taste” of a professional style of play by incorporating aspects of professional pool while allowing them to compete for cash, prizes and a U.S. Ranking.

What do players play for?

Players play for a chance to become the top team in the nation at the UPA Vegas Nationals,  cash and prizes in weekly league play. Individually, players compete locally in order to receive an official U.S. Amateur Ranking.

How good do I need to be to play in UPA Leagues?

Our leagues are designed for both beginner and advanced players. We utilize a unique and professional handicapping system and format that allows players with different Skill levels to compete on an even playing field.

Participation in our pool league program allows players to advance their skill at an accelerated rate as our format, rules and style of play are designed to evolve each player’s game.

What is the general format of your leagues?

Players play in 5 man Teams (up to 3 alternates allowed), each player plays a match (races vary depending on Speeds) with another player from the opposing Team for points.

When does the Session begin for each local Division?

Each Division has its own respective Session.  Check with your local League Operator to find out when the next Session begins in your local area.

What rules do you use?

Our rules have been created and tested by the best players in the world and insure fair play that also hones and develops a player’s skill. Click Here for your free copy of UPA Rules.

How does the UPA eliminate “Sandbagging?”

The UPA has implemented many unique features in order to completely eliminate Sandbagging.  First, we have taken away any/all incentives for “Sandbagging.”

Our players play on teams in single match play for points, and team points lead to cash. So simply put, if players don’t play well they don’t win. If they don’t win, their teams suffer and the end result is no cash. There is no incentive to play worse than your actual ability (Speed).

What is the Systematic Speed Ratio (SSR)?

Our SSR program is the only program in existence created and developed by professional players. The SSR program looks at more than 36 aspects of a player’s game from a completely objective viewpoint. Then, it simply reports how well an individual performs/plays. This not only completely eliminates any aspect of “Sandbagging” but also provides each individual player with invaluable information about their game. Simply put, it tells you “who you are on the pool table” and allows you to evolve your game by focusing on your weaknesses and turning them into strengths.

Example: A player joins the UPA league and convinces the local operator that they are only a “4 Speed” on a scale of 1-10. With objective data the SSR comes back and tells us that the player is actually playing as a 7 Speed when looking at aspects such as Shot Making, Break Percentage, Fouls committed, Misses and overall Strategy (to name a few) together. Corporate office then has the ability to see that the player’s Actual Speed is higher than what he is officially playing at, so the player is moved up accordingly.

Which games do you play?

We offer 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball. Each game utilizes our SSR program.

What size tables do you play on?

Our Leagues are designed for all table sizes, and our SSR program understands the subtle changes in table sizes and views a player’s performance accordingly. This provides completely accurate Speeds and information.

What are the payouts to players at the end of the season?

Prize funds vary based on the size of each division.  The UPA has a set minimum for each Division Size and situation and though a LO has the ability to add to the Prize Fund, they are required to pay the full amount specified back to the players.

Do you have Team Handicaps?

Yes, currently our Team Handicaps are an accumulative score of your nightly five person team of 28 points. Keep in mind that our Speeds are typically lower than other leagues as our system views individuals from a professional perspective.

How do you score for UPA Pool Leagues?

Our scoring system is easy to understand and even easier to learn.  There are only 6 possible outcomes when a player makes a shot; X/O, M, F, S, V, or I.  (Only one symbol is marked on a per shot basis). See our Instructional Scoring Videos: 8-Ball & 9-Ball.

X/O (Stripe/Solid) – When a Stripe/Solid is legally called and pocketed. (X = Lucky Shot/Slop in 9-Ball Scoring)

M (Miss) – When the player Missed the intended pocket.

F (Foul) – When a player commits a Foul.

S (Safety) – When the player plays a Safe (Safety Shot).

V (Miss/foul) – When a player both Misses AND committed a Foul.

I (Intentional Foul) – When the player decides the best strategy is to Intentionally Foul.

Are there any prizes besides cash for players?

Yes, our sponsors graciously provide cues, cases, and other accessories and we randomly give them away each month to active members.

How many Teams are in each Division?

There can be anywhere between 4-20 teams per division.

How much does Membership cost?

Please see our Join Us Page to view each of our Membership options.  Each of our Membership options allow for you to participate in our League of Champions™.

What are the Nightly Dues?

Our Nightly Dues vary between $7-$10 per player depending on what each League Operators believes is best for their local market.

How do teams make it to the Vegas Nationals? 

At the end of each season teams will have qualified for to participate in a local Vegas Qualifer. The winner of each Vegas Qualifier is able to participate in the following National event.

How do Player Skill Levels compare to other leagues?

Our SSR looks at individual player performance through an objective and professional perspective. Typically your Initial Speed will be lower when entering into our league system due to this fact. The SSR program will hone in on your actual level of play (Speed) as we receive data for you as a player through SSR Scorecards, and adjust your Speed accordingly.

Why do you use the term “Speed” instead of “Rating” or “Skill Level?”

The term “Speed” is a common term used by professionals on tour and being a league developed by professionals we believe that using this term is not only accurate but serves as a means to immediately differentiate us from all other leagues. The UPA is the first and only Amateur League program designed by professional players to help evolve the game of amateurs across the nation.

What will my Speed be when I first join the league?

Upon joining you will be prescribed what’s called an “Initial Speed.”  This Speed is based on the information you provide on your Membership Application and is generally viewed as Beginner (1-3), Intermediate (4-7), or Advanced (8-10).  Once you begin to play and data is received, UPA Corporate Office will determine all “Official Speeds” from that point on.

Do UPA Leagues differ from state to state?

No. One of the many great features (rules, format, etc.) of our program is that leagues are run the same across the U.S. This means that a player with a 5 Speed in Wyoming is the exact same skill level as a player with a 5 Speed in New York.

Can a League Operator play in the league?

Yes, after the first session has been completed. However, once an LO’s team places in the money, they must leave the team and may not join another team that has placed in the money in the previous 6 months.

Do League Operators determine player Speeds?

Each of our League Operators is trained to grant each new member an “Initial Speed.”  The purpose of the “Initial Speed” is to simply help determine which type of player each new member is; beginner, intermediate, advanced. UPA Corporate Office manages all “Official Speeds” when real-time data is in our SSR program.

Do you play “Slop Pool?”

No. We believe that “Slop Pool” hurts one’s overall game and hampers their ability to increase their level of play to professional standards.

Why do you use an Alternating Break format?

The alternating break format is the only fair way of playing the actual game of pool. Note that in all other sports and games in existence this is a standard for fair play. It allows each player to demonstrate their skill equally.

Why do players rack their own balls before the break?

Ideally a referee would rack for each player. This is not practical for league nights so we utilize the method we used in our professional events. Not only does this eliminate any arguments that may arise, but also allows each breaking player to be completely responsible for their break percentages.

Is there an Amateur League and Pro League?

No. The UPA offers only one Amateur League Program. Our Touring Pro’s may participate in our leagues. However, they are always considered 10 Speeds; granting their opposing players an adequate handicap in nightly league play.

How can I join the UPA?

You can join the UPA online or use our League Locator to find a League of Champions in your area and join through a league operator.

What happens if I join the UPA before there are leagues in my area?

We will still grant you a year’s membership once you begin to actually play in our League of Champions. Simply notify your League Operator that you are already a member of the UPA so don’t hesitate to join today!

What if I want to start my own League of Champions in my area?

Click Here to see our League Operators FAQ’s.