United States Professional Poolplayers Association Takes Stand Against World-Pool Billiard Association
PHOENIX, AZ (May 5, 2008) – The United States Professional Poolplayers Association (UPA) announced today that the organization and its players plan to take a stand against the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) effective immediately due to its meddling within the United States men’s professional pool scene.
The UPA, as an organization, officially received word just hours ago that a press release was being provided to media from the Billiard Congress of America (BCA) concerning a change in ranking and player communication overview. In the press release by the BCA, it stated that the decision to manage the men’s professional rankings system and player communications duties was to be performed by the BCA.
The President of the UPA, Frank Alvarez, commented that it is regrettable that I was only informed of this hours before the release. I sit on the BCA/WPA committee and this topic somehow was not presented to the very player’s association that is directly involved. The UPA is officially recognized by the BCA as the ‘governing body’ and yet we were not consulted on this matter nor informed by the BCA of any such release. Obviously, we will need time to get to the heart of the matter and deal with it properly. The BCA is a trade organization and not a player’s association so this not only undermines, but underestimates the wishes of our Touring Professionals. It is apparent that the UPA membership as a whole is not being treated equally or with the same respect as its counter part the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA). Understandably, the player’s are outraged and we believe this matter will do nothing but impair U.S. pool if not resolved in the near future. It is my position that the will of the UPA is simply the will of the players.
In response to both the BCA’s recent decision and the behavior of the WPA, effective immediately, UPA players will not plan to attend the 2008 Qatar World Open 9-Ball Championships currently scheduled for June 27-July 5, 2008.
Some of the top names in the men’s professional pool scene have provided statements on this issue as follows:
I take it as a personal offense that any association would seek to undermine our ranking system. We are the players in the U.S. and I will support my country’s association. If the WPA wants American players, then I am certain that we will be shown the respect that we deserve from WPA representatives. – Rodney Morris, UPA Lead Representative
This is our tour and our ranking system. No one has the right to take this away from us. Honestly, I am shocked and disappointed that we are treated with such disrespect. – Tony Robles, UPA Representative
In my opinion, we have the strongest ranking system in the world and we are not about to let that go. – Tony Crosby, UPA Representative
I’m in full support of the UPA – I believe in what it stands for and that the power should be in the hands of our player association. – Shane Van Boening, UPA Touring Professional
If you would like to learn more about the UPA organization, our website is located at UPAtour.com or to contact us directly with questions, please call (480) 353-6747 or email info[at]upatour.com.