About the league
Founded in 1978, the San Francisco Pool Association (SFPA) is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting enjoyable pool competition among the patrons of sponsor establishments through the principle of Unity in Sportsmanship.
The SFPA organizes twice-yearly, 14-week, BCA-accredited Tuesday evening league seasons. SFPA league play is unhandicapped and anyone can join.
While the league was originally founded with a focus on LGBT players and venues, the league is open to all players and is sponsored by a diverse assortment of bars and pool halls across San Francisco.
SFPA teams are typically comprised of 6-7 players, with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8. Roughly half of each team’s matches are played at their home venue and half at other venues. Team captains are responsible for forming teams and acting as a liaison between the league and the sponsor venue.
In the regular season, teams are semi-randomly assigned to divisions based on past performance. The first half of the season is comprised of round-robin play among the teams in each division, while the second half of the season features interdivisional matches between teams of equal or similar rank in different divisions. Regular season matches start at 7:30 pm on Tuesday nights and include 16 individual games.
In the playoffs, the top 16 teams by winning percentage play for the City Championship trophy and a spot in the West Coast Challenge while teams ranked 17th or above play for the Founders Cup. Playoff matches are a race to 9.
The SFPA uses a rule set based on the June 2014 revision of the BCA Pool League Rules, with a few league-specific additions and modifications.
The SFPA organizes a number of tournaments each season, including a captain’s tournament, spring 8-ball and fall 9-ball tournaments, the Luby Invitational for new and less experienced players, the Bernie King Memorial benefiting the American Cancer Society, and the Hi-Lo Memorial scotch doubles tournament and fundraiser.
The SFPA is one of the founding members of the West Coast Challenge, which was first contested in 1978. In this yearly three-day tournament, representatives from the Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco pocket billiards organizations come together for friendly competition. Each city sends a delegation that includes a championship team, eight individual competitors, four women’s finalists and a scotch doubles team.
How to join
Players interested in joining the league should use the interest form and include information about their pool background and preferred home venue locations. There are no skill level requirements, but league members are expected to know the rules of 8-ball.
We are always looking for new sponsor venues within San Francisco city limits. Venues are expected to make their table available for free league play from 6:30 pm onward on Tuesday nights, along with occasional Thursday nights during the playoffs. If you are interested in forming a team, please reach out using the interest form and a board member will follow up with you.
For more information, feel free to look through the SFPA Handbook, which contains league bylaws, rules, and records.