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History of the LAPL - 1980's

Written by Administrator on 17 September 2008.

In the Spring of 1980, the new and still-used score sheets were welcomed by everyone. The League has always voted to elect its members to the Board of Governors. Prior to Spring 1980, however, members would submit their friends' names for consideration. All too often those members receiving the most votes declined to serve. The policy was changed in Spring 1980. The "BOARD RUNNERS CLUB" was then established when League members willing and able to serve could nominate themselves.

In the Summer of 1980, to aid all future Boards in scheduling play for a season, Lee Petrovich prepared schedules for as few as fourteen teams and as many as sixty. The hardest League task, scheduling, was now made much easier. The Inter-City Challenge, now to include San Diego as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles, became known, via a conference of Board members from each city, as the West Coast Challenge (W.C.C.). The first W.C.C. was held in Los Angeles in 1980. Fund raising events were now needed to augment our treasury. For many seasons Don Carrier held pool seminars donating all fees collected to the League treasury. Roy Hutchison introduced the popular Broomstick Tournament in the Fall of 1980 to generate still more funds. Up to this point, the League had operated with a four division structure but it became necessary that Fall to schedule six divisions when our team total reached forty-eight. In keeping with that growth, Board Secretary Keith Clements designed and introduced the Division Certificates which are awarded to the top team and top individual in each Division. Also that Fall, the Captains voted to increase the eight-week Fall season to ten-weeks, thus matching the Spring season.

In Spring 1981, a new base was added to our Team Perpetual Trophy. The new base, now containing our logo, gave us another eight years of usage. This same season a new plate was made for the Mike LaVoie Award and our logo was added to this award as well. Still another important policy change took place. Dues, which had been originally collected on a weekly basis, were now to be collected in full in advance of play. At a mid-season meeting, the Captains agreed that dues should be collected at the time of the registering of teams in a season-beginning Captains' Meeting. Consequently, in the Fall of '81 the Captains' Registration Meeting became policy. Our first W.C.C. Open Individuals First Place trophy was won by Frank Bustamante. During the Fall of 1981, Roy Hutchison encouraged Don Carrier and Jim Taube to build and provide the League with two two-foot by six-foot pool tables to be used at events such as Pioneer Days, Christopher Street West and other fund-raising events. This carny-type attraction was a productive contributor to our Fundraising Committee. Roy, continuing to be our Chief Fundraiser, introduced several new things to the League in the Fall of 1981, including the purchase of League T-shirts and jackets. That same season saw the birth of the first "Alternates Tournament." What better way to disseminate our history and seasonal data than a seasonal "GUIDE"?

The Spring 1982 "GUIDE," the first of its kind, was introduced by Marvin Beisel at a time when League teams had reached a record high number of fifty-eight! Wanting to be prepared in case the League grew beyond the sixty-team schedule already on hand, Lee Petrovich went to work and extended our scheduling file. The League was now prepared to schedule up to and including seventy teams, although that number was never to be reached. "CHALK TALK" came into use during this Spring 1982 season, when Secretary Bill Dehn used it as a weekly newsletter to accompany the weekly standings. Marvin Beisel used the "CHALK TALK" (later changed and called "CUES/NUES") as a vehicle in DATA BOY magazine to write about pool-in-general and the Pool League in particular. His first column appeared in the March 4, 1982 issue. Spring 1982 was the start of still another fund-raising event to be called The Bar Owners/Managers Tournament.

In the Summer of 1982, Bob Holden and Roy Hutchison organized the first Nine-Ball League. This was a five week season with eleven teams participating. The bars represented were: Bunkhouse, Four Star, Greg's Blue Dot, Griff's, "1", Pits, Nail, Spike, Westside and Woody's. Since its founding, the Nine-Ball organization operates financially independent of the regular Eight-Ball League. Its logo was devised at this time. Eight-Ball League Captains, eager as they were to watch the Alternates and the Bar Owners/Managers Tournaments, felt left out. By popular demand, Fall 1982 saw the beginning of the Captains' Cartel.

Prior to the Fall 1982 season, Secretary Bill Dehn had completely rewritten our Organization/Playing Rules which had become extremely wordy through the years. That same season, our fundraisers introduced the first League pin which contained our logo and the words "Since Spring '74." And, for the third time in our history a mid-season vote by the Captains became necessary. The Recording Secretary Steve McGuire, with assistance from Don Carrier, Bill Dehn and Wayne Babin, was determined to change the play-off eligibility number for individual players. The Captains quickly approved the change allowing the top thirty-two players to compete in the final rounds of the season. Paul Bussiere went on to win the W.C.C. top individual trophy. The League jumped from forty-six teams in the season before to fifty-eight teams in Spring of 1982. That number was reached again in Fall of '83 both seasons coming during Bill Dehn's service as Secretary.

Team participation stayed above fifty teams for eight seasons (Spring '82 - Fall '85), but except for the two 1988 seasons never again exceeded that number. Just prior to the Spring 1983 season, a Long Beach Pool Team challenged our top team and top individuals (winners of the Fall '82 season). In a best of three matches, our Pits team won the first and second matches with nine-to-four victories. Paul Bussiere, Pits member and West Coast Challenge Individuals champion, protected his title by repeating his recent victory in San Diego. Other Individual trophies went to Doug Hedland (Four Star), second place: Dwight from Long Beach; third place: Frank Bustamante (Greg's) placing fourth. At the W.C.C. following the Fall '83 season, Dan O'Neill placed first in the Individual Tourney.

An important event happened for the first time immediately following the Spring '83 Pool Party, the first CSW Festival Games which included Tennis, Swimming, Billiards, and Bowling. The Games, scheduled one week prior to Gay Pride Weekend, found many League members entering the Billiards competition. Regulation tables were used for the Eight-Ball and Nine-Ball events which were won by Jeffrey Hersh and Paul Bussiere respectively. Once again, an L.A. player, Wally Sutherland, won the Individuals competition at the W.C.C. We celebrated our Tenth Anniversary (and twentieth season of play) in the Fall of 1983 by renting Trouper's Hall in Hollywood for our Anniversary party. Caps were given to all that attended bearing our League logo. Entertainment was provided by Jo Ann Deering and the highlight of the evening came from Wayne Babin and George O'Hara as they presented the representative from AID for A.I.D.S a check from our League in the amount of $4,793.

Spring 1984, the League's twenty-first season, began with a change of title of League Secretary to League President. This was done to be in agreement with the other West Coast Challenge leagues. Since the beginning of League competition, the top four teams and top four individuals had received trophy "Plates" for their efforts. That policy ended at the Fall 1983 pool party. Beginning with the Spring 1984 season the "Plates" were discontinued and stand up trophies were presented. Fall 1984 introduced yet another new fund raising event with the addition of the "Old Timers Tournament," open to League members having attained the ancient age of forty or older. It was our turn to host the West Coast Challenge. The Four Star team of Bob Holden, Jack Frohman, David Popma, Frank Bustamante, Ken Taylor and Steve Montgomery represented our League and won the championship.

"CUES/NUES" by Jeffrey Hersh first appeared in the March 28, 1985 issue of "Data-Boy."During the Spring 1985 season, the Fund Raisers offered two new tournaments designed to widen League participation. A two person team, based upon seeding players according to their win/loss records was introduced and called the HI/LO. A TOPS/BOTTOMS tourney pitted higher performing players at mid-season against each other for cash prizes while the Bottoms group competed amongst themselves for trophies. That same season President Wayne Babin helped rewrite the duties of the members of the Board of Governors giving broadened and more specific responsibilities to each. Also in Spring '85, the Captains, in their infinite wisdom, established a new award for dedication to the League: the Marvin Beisel Award. A two time winner of the Mike LaVoie Award for distinguished service to the League, Marvin then held the record for terms as Secretary amongst numerous other contributions. The first recipient was Wayne L. Babin. Also, during this Spring '85 season, the first double elimination policy for both individual and team competition was instituted. Jeffrey Hersh accepted the responsibility of producing the Fall '85 "GUIDE."

Fall '85 also introduced Saturday sessions for Individual Play-Offs relieving League members from the rigors of tournament play on four successive week nights. Dues were raised for the first time in two years. Two new sponsors joined us: Boulevard and Little Joy. In addition, the Board of Governors began to investigate the idea of converting the weekly statistics to a computerized format. The Captains voted at their August meeting to pay for double occupancy hotel rooms rather than single rooms for our West Coast Challenge delegation. Judges were also eliminated until the trophy rounds and protests were virtually eliminated this season due to newly written and approved By-Laws outlining the handling of judgement call disputes. Jack Frohman took top individual honors at the W.C.C.

Spring 1986  brought a celebration of twenty-five seasons of play with a big party at the Westside featuring music and the usual awards banquet. The commitment to a computer program was made beginning with the Nine-Ball season. This gave our Statistician, Rick Switzer, the opportunity to ease into the Eight-Ball season. John Cochran would be the last Statistican to produce the weekly results on a manual typewriter. A complete rewrite of the "Rules of Play" was undertaken by Bill Hoover and his committee in an effort to help understand the intent of our rules and to locate sections within them easier. A new Publisher of the "GUIDE," Vic Taylor, replaced Jeffrey Hersh who was elected League President beginning with the Fall 1986 season. Los Angeles hosted the West Coast Challenge at the Four Star where Mynor Alvarez (Little Joy) won the individual title.

Beginning with the Fall 1986 season, an Election Night was created. This involved a committee of alternates who visited every participating bar during League play. Ballots were distributed to all players and alternates present. Voting was conducted on the spot. The League computer was introduced at the Captains' Meeting and the ten week schedule was made available the same night. Our Awards Banquet was held in the valley at the Rawhide. The attendance, higher than ever before, was perhaps due to the direct mailing of invitations to all League members and special guests. It was San Francisco's turn to host the West Coast Challenge and they selected a location in Reno that proved highly agreeable to all.

Most everyone would agree that the highlight of the Spring 1987 season was the evening of instruction and exhibition with Lou Butera held at the Four Star. A former world champion and member of the Billiard Congress Hall of Fame, Lou demonstrated the right way to approach our game. During the Fall 1987 season, the League applied for and received Federal tax exempt status 501(c)(7) from the Internal Revenue Service. In an experiment, the first Women's Tournament was held by our League with the top four finalists heading for Long Beach to compete against their counterparts from the three other participating West Coast Challenge (W.C.C.) Leagues. The Long Beach League hosted the Challenge for the first time. Angela Costa, winning the Los Angeles Women's Tournament, went forward to win the West Coast Challenge Women's Tournament as well. Angie was destined to win the top women's prize in the summers of 1990 and 1991 as well.

Fall 1987:  Our twenty-eighth season jumps off to a great start with forty-eighty teams. Vic Taylor publishes the Guide. The popular Broomstick Tournament is held for the fifteenth season at both the Four Star and Palms and won by E. Gary Bailer. Frank Bustamante shines as a member of the Championship Team (Four Star),  top Open Individual; the "40 and over" finalist held at the Westside and J.J.'s Pub; and 9-Ball ploy chap at the Awards Banquet. Steve Terradot (Boulevard) takes the "TOPS" tourney title. John Isakson is presented with the Marvin Beisel Award by none other than Marvin!!  JoAnn Clark continues her term on the Board as Rules & Protest Chairperson. Our sponsors and managers turn out in force as the Four Star hosts the Awards Banquet.  Randy Biggs (Boulevard), Jack Frohman (Four Star), Richard Griffin (Bunkhouse/Griff's), George"Buzzy" Heisserman (Eagle), Mike Kinnon (Bunkhouse), Harry Morse (Griff's), Bob Gunther (former owner of the "Sling") and Dan Collette (Rawhide) pose for the group Sponsor picture which eventually appears in the Spring 1988 Guide.

A Sponsors' Appreciation Dinner was hosted by the Board of Governors during the Spring '88 season. This special event was held at the New York Company Bar & Grill. Along with the Board of Governors, special League members and press affiliates, there were over one-hundred attendees representing our sponsors. Winding down the Spring '88 season was West Coast Challenge XVII . One of the highlights of this tourney, held at Trouper's Hall, was an exciting and highly entertaining exhibition again by Lou "Machine Gun" Butera. The other highlight, of course, was L.A.'s Four Star team of Frohman, Holden, Bustamante, Hersh, and Lusiak again winning the W.C.C. team trophy. In Fall '88, Austin Griffin, was the first League member to computerize schedules of play and the weekly standings. Fall '88 was also the League's fifteenth Anniversary season. A special Pool Party was held on Saturday, December 17th, at Trouper's Hall, in Hollywood. Along with the regular trophies presentation there was entertainment by Rudy de la Mor and presentation of our Special Recognition Award to Austin Griffin! Approximately two-hundred people attended the event. Why so many, you might ask? Well, it was an Anniversary party, but attendance at the season's end pool parties has increased since the Fall '86 event at the Rawhide in apparent response to the use of personalized invitations as sent out by the Board of  Governors.

In Spring '89, the League received the Thomas Waddell Sports Achievement Award from Christopher Street West. As the League closed out the Fall '89 season, Jeffrey Hersh ended the season by relinquishing his post as communicator for the League. He had been writing the "CUES/NUES" articles for Nightlife since March '85. His writings were always timely, informative, and good-natured. "CUES/NUES" was passed on in the Spring of '90, to Mark Hartzell and Nyla Lyons before later reverting to an assortment of writers, mostly from the Board Members. At the season end W.C.C., once again, an L.A. team took the first place trophy. The Santa Fe team included Carlos Navarrete, Stevan Bailey, David Boyd, Jack Frohman, Frank Bustamante, and Frank Ingalls.

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