Performance Ability Testing (PAT) was devised by three instructor/coaches in Europe – Andreas Huber (the national German billiard coach), Ralph Eckert (well-known European professional player and author) and Jorgen Sandman (former President of the World Confederation of Billiard Sports – the permanent member for cue sports to the International Olympic Committee). They took many performance drills, some of which you may have observed or used before, and coordinated them into packaged sets; assigned mathematical points to each in a logical manner and effectively calculated degrees of difficulty so that a person attempting these sets of tests on a 9-foot pool table under regulated conditions can perform and compare his results with players of similar or different skills around the world. A player can also use his PAT results to monitor his/her level of improvement.
A particular strength of the PAT is its mathematical standardization of skill levels on an international level. When coaches under the various national instructor/coach programs utilize the PAT System, training methods within the sport become more consistent within the international structure of the sport.
Download the informational packet above or visit https://www.pat-billiard.org/us/
A PAT Manual is a booklet that details the set-up and execution of skill shots at a particular level. Currently there are three levels offered:
The PAT Manuals explain all aspects of the program, including scoring and providing score sheets. A player can use a PAT Manual to monitor improvements in his/her own skills; an Instructor/Coach can use the PAT to monitor a student’s abilities on a periodic basis; and an Instructor/Coach who becomes a PAT Trainer can derive another stream of income by administering the tests to students. Anyone is free to purchase a PAT Manual.
In North America, the American CueSports Alliance (ACS) is the exclusive wholesale distributor for PAT Manuals and PAT emblems (patches). Consumers can purchase the manuals retail through selected distributors such as Bebob Publishing (734-462-9500 / www.bebobpublishing.com) or through the ACS direct by completing and submitting the Retail Order Form (see top of page). The ACS administers its own North American instructor/coach program, and those ACS instructor/coaches who are PAT Trainers may purchase the manuals and emblems at wholesale price directly from the ACS.
Once a student has completed a PAT test by a recognized PAT Trainer, the PAT Trainer can award an 3 7/8” x 1 7/8” emblem/patch suitable for attachment to the player’s playing apparel. Each emblem emblem and its corresponding color signifies a level of playing skill and may be purchased through the ACS at $5.00 per patch (PAT Trainers who are ACS-certified can purchase patches at wholesale price). Many PAT Trainers purchase an inventory and include the price of the patch with the charge for administering the test.
PAT START 1 - Novice [silver]
PAT START 2 - Recreation [black & white]
PAT 1 - Amateur (600-799) [light green]
PAT 1 - Tournament Player (800 +) [dark green]
PAT 2 - Amateur Open (600-799 +) [light blue]
PAT 2 - Amateur Master (800 +) [dark blue]
PAT 3 - Touring Pro (550-699) [black]
PAT 3 - Professional Master (700-849) [red]
PAT 3 - Professional Grand Master (850-999) [yellow]
PAT 3 - Professional World Master (1000 +) [pink]
The PAT Company out of Germany has assigned one individual in North America to oversee the recognition of PAT Trainers. That individual is Joseph Mejia of the San Francisco Billiard Academy (650-873-4658 / firstname.lastname@example.org). Per his position, Joseph is a PAT Level 5 Trainer, an ACS Level 4 Instructor/Coach and a BCA Master Instructor. Typically, the applicant should already be certified through a recognized instructor/coach program in North America – ACS, BCA or VNEA. Applicants must attend a 2-3 day course to train PAT Trainers.
Most PAT Trainers use their regular curriculum for teaching, but add the PAT test at the end of a session to monitor the progress of the student’s skill levels. Students should not take a PAT test until at least 3-6 months since their previous PAT test, regardless of how often the Trainer works with the student. Instructor/coaches often add or assign drills from the PAT Manuals to the training session or “homework” for their student(s).
A student must wait 3-6 months between taking PAT tests, regardless of whether the test is offered through one or more official PAT Trainers. To do so more often would undermine the “non-repetitive” character of PAT.
PAT 1 not taken more often than every 3 months officially
PAT 2 not taken more often than every 6 months officially
PAT 3 not taken more often than every 6 months officially
In order for a PAT Trainer to justify the time expense in respect to a reasonable income stream, we recommend you administer the PAT to more than one individual. We recommended two players to a table. Duration is then approx. 3 - 4 hours. With just one player to a table: plan 2 - 3 hours. With 3 players to a table: 6 hours should be planned. Should the players possess PAT experience, the time may be shortened, and vice versa.
A PAT trainer can well handle up to 6 players on three tables. A single trainer can even conduct the tests with 20 players on 10 tables - lots of experience will then be required! As a rule, an assistant for every 3 tables should be appointed.
Standard printed PAT forms to be entered by hand are sufficient with up to 6 participants. With 7 or more participants, it is recommended to use the PC supported Excel tables. In which case, the assistants are to enter the printed PAT forms by hand.
9’ tables (playing field: 100 in. x 50 in.) corresponding to WPA specifications are prescribed! WPA Equipment Specs are detailed online at www.wpa-pool.com.
While conducting an official PAT, the PAT trainer will strive to present himself (personal style in clothing and language) and the tests in a consistently professional manner.
As according to the PAT trainer’s proposal, there may be either:
The PAT trainer may offer the latter above as an option.
The participant can decide on applying for the test whether he wishes
The best achieved results on each level of a participant will always remain listed in the rankings.
Every PAT is naturally subject to charges (as are in belt qualifications in martial sports!). The charges are to be paid in advance.
PAT 1 about $35 USD for each participant plus PAT emblem costs ($5)
PAT 2 about $45 USD for each participant plus PAT emblem costs ($5)
PAT 3 about $65 USD for each participant plus PAT emblem costs ($5)
The process is quite easy. If you are already certified in another recognized program, such as BCA or VNEA, you simply:
Complete the instructor/coach application and submit online or mail a check to the ACS (address above) for the amount corresponding with your ACS level status.
For example, if you are currently:
BCA Recognized Instructor, you correspond to also become an ACS Level 1 Instructor/Coach ($35);
BCA Certified – ACS Level 2 Instructor/Coach ($50);
BCA Advanced – ACS Level 3 Instructor/Coach ($75);
BCA Master – ACS Level 4 Instructor/Coach ($100).
For applicants who are not currently certified in any program, make an appointment with an ACS Level 3 or 4 Instructor (SEE BELOW).
Many of the most outstanding instructors/coaches in North America are members of the ACS program.