Will Winder

Bob Thomason Wins Senior 8-Ball Tournament

By Will Winder

Special to the Grove Sun Daily

Another marathon senior tournament was played in Joplin! Forty two players registered to play in the two out of three, best of 3 game, tournament. The final match ended right at 6:30 p.m., and would have gone longer had not a couple of players forfeited, simply because they were exhausted. We are, after all, seniors! Something needs to be done to shorten the tournaments! We believe there should be time limits placed on each shot, when more than 32 players compete! But more, later on that subject.

Bob Thomason of Mt. Vernon, played excellent pool, advancing through the “winners” bracket without a losing a single match, before capturing the 1st place trophy in the final match with Bud Johnson, Baxter Springs. Will Winder, Grove placed 3rd. (see picture below.)  The final 8, in order were: 4) Jack Stepp, Miami; 5) Jim Peck, Joplin; 6) Marvin Lessman, Joplin; and Leonard Moffitt, Joplin.

To play winning pool, requires concentration and of course, practice. Taking a correct position over the cue ball, holding the cue properly and then aiming accurately are preliminary to making the shot. Then concentration on the object ball and using a smooth stroke are the last essential elements! One should also  plan ahead for the next or maybe next two shots. This requires proper spin on the cue ball and the correct velocity. Practicing these fundamentals will improve your game and make it much more enjoyable!

Members of the Senior Pool League include players from areas near the four state corners. Towns with Senior Centers that host the tournaments include, Bentonville, Neosho, Joplin, Miami, Vinita and Grove. Due to the growing number of senior players now competing, the tournaments are taking an exorbitant amount of time to conclude and quite often, play is continued into the evening! Being seniors, some of the players require more time to play, but all players should be able to plan and make their shot within 30 seconds. That’s the amount of time allowed professional players at major tournaments. To time players would probably require a referee assigned to each table and match. Since we always have players waiting to play their next match, it seems reasonable that a referee could be assigned to each match, who would time each shot. Anyone who exceeded the amount of time allotted would lose their turn.

Another reason for longer play is that Grove, Neosho and Joplin have replaced their 8 foot tables with nine foot. These are better tables, but require more skill to pocket the balls. Consequently, more shots are taken to pocket all of the balls and complete each game. Some centers, Joplin and Neosho, have added space to their pool rooms and more tables. Grove is planning to request that the City enlarge their pool room so that two more tables can be added. These measures will help alleviate the length of our tournaments, but in the mean time, other steps need be taken to shorten the time of a tournament!

The next senior tournament will be played in Neosho on March 6.