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The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

PAT - Playing Ability Test

In my continuing search for excellence (perfection?) in pool, a journey that has consumed much of the last 4 and a half years of my life, I have been looking for some objective method to determine how my skill compares with other players...

The APA has a system they call the Equalizer, but of course it is flawed in many respects, not the least of which is sandbagging. Another way of determining skill is by competition, but there is no way that all competitors can match up with all other competitors.

As my awareness of the pool scene grew, I remained unaware of a suitable way of rating player performance, and I felt that sooner or later I would have to, if nobody else did, invent some way of objectively measuring and ranking player ability world-wide. (Yes, I sometimes get carried away in my ambitions. It's the megalomaniac in me.)

Fortunately for me, it has already been done. I say fortunately because while I am ambitions, I am also quite lazy, so my recent discovery of the PAT (Playing Ability Test) has saved me a lot of work.

What is PAT?

PAT stands for Playing Ability Test, and is much more than just a method to test the playing abilities of billiard players. It is, in fact, a system to assess the skills that one needs to play good pool on the basis of exercises evaluated. Those skills are defined in ten sectors - ten aspects of the game. Additionally, this system may always be applied as a model to plan short, mid and long term training programs.

The system was developed by Ralph Eckert, Jorgen Sandman and Andreas Huber, and is used and recommended by The European Pocket Billiard Federation, the World Pool Billiard Association, and the ACS (American Cue Sports, which is the exclusive publisher and distributor of the PAT manuals in North America).

The first publication of the PAT is dated 2006, but it seems to have been a very low-key adventure because I have just recently learned about it. The website is http://www.pat-billiard.com/

Anyone serious about the game is advised to check into it further.

I started looking into PAT before I left for the Jacksonville pool school, and as coincidence would have it, I got talking with Thorsten Hohmann about it, and he had several of the DVDs, but they were in the European "PAL" format (USA=NTSC), so could not be played over here. Today I noticed that Thorsten is qualified at the highest level (level 3) of the PAT, with the 4th highest score worldwide.

Yesterday I received the PAT 1 workbook (for beginners to intermediate players) which describes the various tests involved, and how the ratings are calculated. The book was sent to me via Fedex by Joseph Mejia of San Francisco Billiards, one of the few testing facilities in the USA. I haven't met Joseph, yet, but I already trust him simply because he trusted me by sending his last copy of the book without pre-payment, and on my honor to send him a check for $25 by return mail.

San Francisco Billiard Academy is a BCA Certified Master Academy, the highest level of BCA teaching credentials. Bob Jewett is an instructor there.

Joseph says that there will be a PAT test given sometime in June, and I plan to check it out, so stay tuned for more...


Blogger poolminnow said...

Hi FastMikie,
You can also get the PAT Workouts as eBooks at http://www.lithoshop.eu/index.php?cat=c13_PAT-Workout-System.html

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 11:01:00 AM  

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