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by: AllyM, 27-11-2017 11:06 AM (#1)

My first year of playing in the IM's since returning to Scotland and thought I'd share my feelings about the current set-up, which I've been meaning to do for a while but couldn't log-in and the reset password feature doesn't appear to be working.

First of all, I completely wasted my Saturday at IM6, travelling three and a half hours to Paisley from Inverness only for my first opponent not to turn up and neither of my second round opponents turned up so straight through to Sunday. Some might be please with this, but I go to pool competitions to play pool, so was a complete waste of a day when I had a million other things I could have been doing. The number of no-shows at the IM's this year show's the current format isn't working. Certainly not from a players point of view. I understand that some players can't make it, and have no problem with those players who notify the SPA they can't attend after the draw is out. However something has to be done about the players who simply fail to turn up, as it's simply not fair on the players who do turn up. Makes a complete mockery of the whole competition.

Before I go on, the organisation and running of these tournaments is fantastic. The speed the draws are produced, the timings, live scoring etc are all great and so my comments on the format of the IM's are to do with the format, and not the excellent way the tournaments are run.

I have not heard a single player who likes the current format, and for the players from outside the central belt I know a lot will not be playing next year:

With three venues, it makes it hard for players to travel together. Players can be at different venues at different times and driving down with a mate or a few mates is one of the best parts of going to tournaments.

For players travelling large distances it, having a match scheduled for 10am can mean leaving the house at 6am to make sure you get there in plenty of time. I know it would be more work for the draw, but it should, and would be possible to ensure players from certain areas don't play matches on the Saturday before 12. Would make a world of difference.

Seeding.....deary me. Having 64 players qualify automatically and the entire draw seeded is a complete disgrace. It makes IM a competition run for the benefit of the top 64 players funded by the other 1,000 players who enter. Seeding should be to ensure the elite players are kept apart, and I can understand there being seeding for the top 8, maybe even the top 16 at most. But top 64? And of course the seeding doesn't stop there - the draw is fully seeded. Same goes for players qualifying automatically - I can understand the top 8, maybe even top 16 at a push, but top 64 is simply ridiculous.

It's obvious from this year that the system isn't working, and needs changed. I know the entries aren't in yet but I do know the entries for the IM's next week are going to be decimated for the Inverness/Dingwall/Nairn areas. The IM's are supposed to be our show piece event but with all the events taking place in the central belt, and players outwith the central belt not entering, it's going to become effectively a central belt tour. Once the entries for next year are in shouldn't be too hard to do a quick comparison region by region over last few years which I am pretty sure will prove this point.

I'm someone who loves his pool. Work Mon-Fri, single and this year played in Super 11's, Super 15's, IM's, Scottish Singles, Wille McCartney, Scottish Doubles, Scottish Seniors Singles and Scottish Singles (didn't qualify from region). So if I'm thinking of quitting the IM's, something must be wrong. As it happens I'm probably going to enter for next year. I was 5-3 up on Sunday against Mke Murdoch in last 32 before being a little unfortunate to lose 6-5 and Mike then went on to get to the final. Well done to him and Alan Maxwell for winning the event, but when you play well and narrowly get beat off a player who goes on to make the final, you do think maybe next time....... which is the only reason I'll be entering again.

In an ideal world, Ross or whoever run the IM would rip up the current format, and change it completely for next year. I know the response will be the reps voted for it, but if the 1,000+ players who have played in last few years were given an individual vote each and I bet they wouldn't vote for it.
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RE: IM's
by: pedro, 27-11-2017 12:10 PM (#2)

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RE: IM's
by: FlyingScotsman, 27-11-2017 12:29 PM (#3)

Thats a great report son and an honest one as well.

However the reps vote for what they want now a days, all those years ago when I set up the IMs, it was down to myself to make decisions on any changes that I thought were needed but now as I said over the past 6 7 years that has been taken away from me and all decisions are now made by the league reps, who in fairest vote on how they think their players would want and the biggest thing there is the 256 at each final along with using 3 venues.

I have said that a committee will be made up next year to look at what changes should be put forward to the reps? or as you say the players who are the real people who make the IMs and that is the players who pay their money.

Nothing can be done to change for next year, other than the TC looking at once again maybe stopping certain players from entering IM 6 lol.

All opinions are needed, there may be someone out there with a cracking one that helps the biggest events the SPA do each year to work better.

Its not easy to get 3 venues/3 refs/3 TDs to do these events, never mind asking players to go there and then there afterwords.

Two more things and that is the rise of the independent tours , in my opinion that is great for the game of pool in Scotland as it helps players from all areas play more pool, play for better prize money along with less travel etc, however it may have an impact on the entries, as you say to the IMs, I have said this year after year when changes get made, only to find out that year after year, the numbers stay the same or even go up?

So all I can say for sure, is that the IMs will be looked at, proposals will be then decided and cut down to as little as possible and I will then at my own expense, send out it/them to each IM member we have along with a stamped return letter and ask the players themselves to vote on whatever changes the committee votes to go with and hopefully the Exec/Reps will take this vote as what the members want and for 2019 we will have a better Mick McGoldrick IM series.

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RE: IM's
by: AllyM, 27-11-2017 12:49 PM (#4)

Thanks for the reply Ross. Two thoughts:

Firstly the independent local tours are great. I had to choose between IM6 and the new Highland Tour at the weekend. Highland Tour went great with 64 top players and sounds like it all went well. Part of the appeal to me in playing IM's etc is playing against players I don't know/haven't played against before, but will be playing on rest of the Highland Tour events

Secondly, in my ignorance, I have no idea how the local reps/votes etc works. Players/areas are always going to vote for what is best for them individually. However the danger with that is that the biggest areas get what they want at the expense of smaller areas. As a national association, they have a duty to balance this out and make sure that any proposals are fair to everyone.
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RE: IM's
by: FlyingScotsman, 27-11-2017 01:47 PM (#5)

Each league has the same voting rights, big or small, some can disagree with that but that is the way it has always been.

However if I remember right and I could be wrong here, the vote was taken on the reps who attended the meeting?

If so, is that a true reflection on what the majority really wanted?

The reason reps voted for , what I believe to be the best for their players, is quite simply the more qualifiers they get to the finals the better for their members.

Add that to the other big change and that is the top 64 getting straight into the finals, now again I can understand this as well, as these players are the best from their own area and as such if they go straight into the finals, then players see that they do not have to beat these guys to get to the finals.

Having said all that, can people not see that the changes have made the IMs look silly, instead of me trying to get 3 venues near to each other I should be trying to get the best venue to host the final along with the best players who qualified to get there.

Not trying to make my life easier, just saying it as it is.

Who's to say that each final should be the same, we look at IM 6 in a different way , none ranking etc, so why can't we look at the others the same, along with 5 IM ranking finals, to many in my opinion now a days, yes when players had no events, we needed them but now, no chance.

Lets take a real look at our IMs and give them a total change for 2019, perhaps seed the top 16 into one or two events, perhaps seed the top 32 or 64 into one or two events, change to 4 ranking events and keep the none ranking event there but again have the TC being able to say who goes into that event and who they feel should not.

Have one day finals, played over perhaps two Sundays, raise the race, play in bigger venues, make one where seeds come in from different areas and so on and so on.

There is so much we can change, if we really want to look at the big picture of this but in the end it will be down to this time the players, who are members next year to decide and that is the way it should always be, even if I don't like their decisions.
Edited by FlyingScotsman 27-11-2017 01:54 PM

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RE: IM's
by: FlyingScotsman, 27-11-2017 02:33 PM (#6)

Can I just add that the committee for this is being set up at this time and I am delighted that Pat Holtz has agreed to be part of this.

Once the Facebook page is set up, I will be asking not a couple but a good few from all over Scotland to give their input into this.

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