Green Mountain APA growing the game of pool in Vermont

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 5:12 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Green Mountain APA is Vermont’s chapter of the American Poolplayers Association, the largest amateur pool league in the world.

The local league has around 200 members of all skill levels, and has seen its numbers grow since Terah Williams bought it in 2019.

“I love seeing people come in who have never played pool before,” Williams said. “Now they’re playing three nights a week because they love the game.”

Eight and nine-ball players have the chance to qualify for the local championships. Those who come out on top then get to test their luck on the global stage.

“We play a big tournament, there’s a 16-team bracket. The winner of that will go to Las Vegas as a team and compete at the world championships there,” Williams said.

“The first time when you get to Vegas, there’s a big conference center. You walk in and see 425 tables, and it’s a little overwhelming,” league member Chris Fredette said. “But you have to adjust, because there are players that are good all over the world.”

Nina Jaffe has been to Vegas twice since joining five years ago. But she almost didn’t join in the first place.

“I was a really shy kid, and I was a shy adult. My 40s and 50s have been all about breaking through old fears,” she explained.

After seeing a familiar face featured in an article about the league, she knew joining was the right thing for her to do. Half a decade later, she couldn’t be happier that she did.

“It has made me more confident in all areas of my life. Pool is like meditation for me because you need that focus,” she said. “It’s also helped me with letting go of mistakes because in pool you have to focus on that next shot. If you screw up, it’s done, it’s in the past.”

Because of the league’s handicapped scoring system, it’s suitable for players of all levels, no matter if they’re joining to sharpen their skills, or, just to try something new.

“From leaving a big city and coming to where you don’t know anyone, it’s really given me that sense of home and belonging,” said Shelley Ferguson, who moved to Vermont this year from Washington, D.C.

“It’s a great league for beginners and for veterans alike. There’s a handicapped system that makes it so anyone can play and anyone can win. It’s a truism that really speaks to the value of the league,” league member Kris Michaud said. “You don’t need to know anything about pool to come have a good time.”

For more information on the league, or if you’d like to join, visit their website.