The uniqueness of The Equalizer® handicap system is that it brings out the best in both the novice and beginning player and the expert should they meet in a match. With The Equalizer®it is feasible for a beginner to have a nearly equal chance in a match with a more highly skilled player. The Equalizer® aids the lesser skilled player by dictating mathematically that he needs to win fewer games than his more highly skilled opponent to win a match. In golf and bowling you give or get strokes or pins. In this League, you give or get games. How many games you give or get is determined by comparing your skill level to the skill level of your opponent. Higher skill level players give lower skill level players a number of games, thus evening the match.



Your Local League Office calculates and reports player skill levels to the teams on a regular basis. Your skill level determines how many games you have to win, in order to win your match. Skill levels are maintained, calculated and updated by the Local League Office. The process includes a number of factors including the application of specific mathematical formulas to the data on the weekly scoresheets, win/loss records, Higher Level Tournament performance, qualitative judgment by Handicap Advisory Committees, and other considerations. You are asked to refrain from attempting to keep your own records as it is a generally disruptive practice. The APA appreciates your cooperation with this policy.


Obviously, new players do not have a skill level established, so a standard starting method has been devised for new players. Statistics show that 71% of male players are SL4s and higher while 74% of ladies are SL3s and below. Gentlemen will play their first match as a SL4; ladies will play their first match as a SL3. A League Operator is authorized to assign special skill levels and lowest attainable to new players who are known highly skilled players or to players who have previously established skill levels in another format. If a player has previously established a skill level in the APA 9-Ball format, then he will begin play in 8-Ball with his current 9-Ball skill level. Note: A SL1 will begin as a SL2 in 8-Ball and SL8 or SL9 will begin as a SL7 in 8-Ball. As a result of your first match, a skill level is established and reported for you.

It is against the rules for a player who has an established skill level to attempt to reestablish his skill level at a later time. In other words, you cannot quit for a while and then rejoin the League or transfer to another League area as a nonrated player. You are obligated to disclose the fact that you are a former member or a current member in another League area and already have an established skill level.

For more details on The Equalizer® Handicap System and how it works, click HERE.