Mark Griffin BCA
Message From Mark Griffin;
I realize that there are a lot of questions about the future of the
BCA leagues. Hopefully, this short explanation will answer many of
your concerns. If you have additional comments or question, please
e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 907-351-7300. This
is my cell phone. In a couple of days, I will have an 800 number and
it will be posted at the new site soon, http://www.bcapoolleague.com
I believe in the BCA system. And I want to help guide it in the future
years of them. I believe the leagues need a person with billiard
experience to be successful.
The "deal" was completed on April 1, 2004. The effective date is June
Who is Mark Griffin?
I was born and raised in Alaska and lived there for 57 years. I first
played pool while in the 7th grade, and recovered my first pool table
in 1963. I became a well-known pool table mechanic throughout Alaska,
recovering hundreds of tables. I opened my first poolroom in 1969,
opening my second in 1970. I sold the rooms in 1973 to go back to
school. During these years, my playing ability was good enough to
support me while going to school. Basically inactive as a player until
mid 1980's, I opened the Anchorage Billiard Palace in 1988. This was a
very upscale room with all antique tables. Although built as a labor
of love, my thoughts were not about making money, but rather about
building the nicest room I could imagine. I still believe it to be one
of the nicest rooms in the country. (Billiard Encyclopedia pg 202
shows the room). I discovered that if you really care about the game
and not the money, the money will take care of itself. The room became
a huge financial success. The room was sold in 2004 and is still a
very nice room.
In mid 1996, I acquired several rooms in the San Diego area. Gaslamp
Billiard Palace is the only room I still own. College Billiards was
sold in March of 2004. Between these rooms, I have personally run and
officiated hundreds of tournaments, including all eight of the Jay
Swanson Memorial events in San Diego.
I have had one of the finest cue stick collections in the US (since
sold). I have been a partner in the Diamond Smart Table for several
years. I now co-promote the Derby City Classic with Greg Sullivan from
Diamond. I have owned or been involved in many varied businesses. My
experience covers a wide range. I have been lucky many times over. I
now find myself in a position that will allow me to contribute back to
the fine sport that I love so much.
Why Did I Buy the BCA Leagues?
Few times in life, a situation presents itself that cannot be passed
up. The timing is just right, the opportunity is irresistible, and the
experience will be irreplaceable. This is such a time. I have been
presented the unbelievable chance to have a positive effect on the
game that has affected my life for over 45 years. The opportunity to
help introduce the beautiful game of billiards to new people is too
good to pass up. I believe I can change the world of pool forever. I
believe I can bring new possibilities to this sport through my many
connections in this industry. These future possibilities include more
events, distribution of filmed amateur events, possible TV coverage,
and a real plan for obtaining added money for National and State
What are my Plans for the BCA?
Initially, my plans are to change very little. After training in
Colorado Springs, the office and new staff will be located in Las
Vegas. This staff will be responsible for the 2005 National event. I
acknowledge that Gary Benson does a terrific job running this
tournament. Hopefully, we can convince him to continue. My commitment
is to pool and to making the sport better. I do not consider the other
league organizations as competition, rather I see them as associates.
Our job is to present a united front with the goal of increasing all
league play. This will increase the visibility of our sport, bring
about more events, and increase the prize funds and sponsorship
I am going to locate a venue to bring back the BCA National 9-Ball
event. Hopefully this will be in conjunction with the return of the US
Open One Pocket Tournament. There are preliminary plans for several
regional large amateur events combined with Professional events. In
addition, I have had several discussions with influential people about
getting the "Diamond Ring Game" (aka Derby City Ring Game) into a
casino location with possible TV availability. I am also financially
involved with BCn, and can help facilitate the filming, production,
and viewing of amateur and professional events. Even to the extent of
supplying local leagues with coverage of their leagues and teams
national performance. This is only some of the projects that are being
It is important to realize that I do not "need" to make money from
this venture. If I was interested in only making money, I would do
something else. The driving force is my love of the game. I realize
there is going to be a lot of hard work in the near future. But it is
important to know my outlook. This is going to fun - a unique
opportunity to improve the game that has been so good to me. With the
support of players and operators, we can make a huge difference in our
It is also important to know that I am the sole owner of the BCA
leagues. There are rumors that Diamond owns part of the BCA. This is
not true. I think it is important to stick to facts and not rumors.
Please call for clarification of any issues that are not perfectly
clear. But give me sufficient time to get up to speed. There are some
tricky things to learn in the transfer process. I do not expect to
know the answers to all your questions, but I will find out the
answers. In this situation, the buck stops with me. As part of this
project, I will try and get proper communication tools in place.
What About Added Money?
The BCA spent a lot of money administrating the League programs. I
believe I can be more efficient. Due to set-up costs, planned travel
and other extraordinary expenses, the first year expense will be high.
I expect future years to be substantially lower. I have publicly
pledged to not make a dime from the operation of the league. All the
operational savings or future growth earnings will become added money.
This money will ONLY be used for added prize money. It will be divided
between State tournament and National events. If the league growth
continues, this could become several hundred thousand dollars a year!
I also have several concepts about getting more money back to the
state organizations. I think the officers should get minimal
compensation, and perhaps I can create a method of accomplishing this.
Also a method of getting some additional money to the league operators
is in my plans.
What About the Referee Program?
I have not had time to address the referee program that was
transferred with the sale. I will be contacting all of them in the
near future. I am hoping to get some input on the future direction of
this valuable program. Our offices will be available for their use and
permanent home. I consider this a very serious responsibility. I will
be scheduling meetings with the referee's at the National 8-Ball in
What About the Advisory Board?
The number of people on this board has not been determined. We will
strive to get highly qualified people from all walks of the billiard
industry. This will not be a "yes man" board. I am open to suggestion.
So far, only two people have been approached (and agreed to
participate). They are Randy Goettlicher and Greg Hunt (Amsterdam
Billiard Club). I expect this board to become very instrumental in the
overall direction of this league system.
I do not have these plans in effect, after all I don't even have an
office or an employee yet. But be a little patient. Give me time to
get going before getting too critical. My heart is in the right place
and I believe I can create some of these changes. Everyone will be
treated equally and all State organizations will get national support.
I understand this is a lot to digest. It is for me too. Just remember
to get the facts. Understand what the results of your actions are. The
operators and players owe it to themselves, and owe to pool, to give
me a chance. It would be a shame if I could actually do everything I
am hoping to get done, and was denied the chance because of rumors and
I encourage you to contact me with any questions or comments. Your
support will be greatly appreciated. And together, we can improve our
world of pool.
Will membership fees change? No
Will any rules, policies or procedures change? No
Will the National 8-Ball Tournament change? No
Who will run the National event? Gary Benson is under contract to run
the event through 2005. Hopefully we can contract with him for future
What tables will be used? Valley tables through 2005 and Diamonds
When does ownership change? The effective date is June 1, 2004
Will there be a "Diamond League"? Absolutely Not. Diamond tables will
Continue to be available to all leagues.
Will Leagues or State Associations be required to use Diamonds? No.
All leagues And State Assns. will be free to use ANY table they
Is this organization a non-profit? No, as an individual, I am not a
non-profit. The status of "non-profit" is not a guarantee of anything.
The goals of The management is what counts. I have publicly pledged to
not profit from The league operations. My return will come from using
the National event As an advertising vehicle for Diamond tables. Booth
rental and hotel rebates will contribute to the economic viability.
Will there be a Board of Directors? No, but there will be an advisory
board with knowledgeable league and industry people. They will
represent all views and provide the tools to create new programs.
Please e-mail suggested members or volunteers.
Why should I believe Mark Griffin? Many people know me but a lot of
people don't. Ask around and someone will know someone who does know
me. Ask them if my word is good, and do I get done what I say I will
do. The bottom line is that everyone should know what my plans are
before they decide whether to join the BCA. Another thought is that
there is no contract between the BCA and the League Operator. The
operator can Leave at any time. Isn't it prudent to see if I perform,
and if I don't then go join another group or league? This is a
possible turning point in the History of amateur pool. I need all the
support I can get. I appeal to logic And cool heads. If I can do what
I say I can do, then everyone will be better Off. I deserve the chance
to prove myself.
What About the League Operators and Players?
In the near future all league operators will receive a letter from me.
A meeting will also be scheduled at the May event for League Operators
and Players. I would appreciate comments from any BCA Players /
operators as I value your opinions. Together we can help "Our" Sport.
What about the Referees? The referee program was "included" with the
BCA sale. I Will contact all the referees in the near future and
schedule meetings to take place at the National 8-Ball Event. Our
offices will provide facilities For exclusive referee use. I will be
soliciting suggestions on how to improve The program and even the
possibility of making the referee program a stand Alone situation.
How will Operators know what is going on? In the near future all
operators will be Receiving information on my plans and encouraging
them to comment and To get involved.
What if I Have Questions? Contact email@example.com or call my
Cell phone (907-351-7300). Hopefully an 800 number will be available
In short order. I will answer every question and be totally available.
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