In 1979, after several years on the professional circuit and with numerous titles under his belt, Terry “Texas Terry” Bell developed an idea for a centrally controlled nationwide amateur pool organization. He realized how popular billiards was becoming and knew that no organized system for recreational league play existed. So, amid much skepticism among professional players, Bell joined forces with Larry “The Iceman” Hubbart, who was also competing on the professional circuit. Together they founded the American Poolplayers Association, Inc. (APA) in 1981 to act as the sanctioning body of the League. Previously known as the American Pool League, Busch Pool League, Bud Light Pool League and the Camel Pool League, the APA now sanctions and oversees the APA 8-Ball League and APA 9-Ball League in the United States, the Canadian Poolplayers Association in Canada and the Japanese Poolplayers Association in Japan.
Based on their knowledge of the game, Bell and Hubbart developed a unique handicap system, The Equalizer®, to level the playing field in the League. The Equalizer® utilizes a formula that measures a scoring ability by counting the number of turns it takes a player to win a game. The result is a handicap that determines the number of games a player must win to capture a match. After the handicap system was developed, the APA was formed as the sanctioning body of the League. In October 2010, Bell and Hubbart were inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame for Meritorious Service!
Reneé Lyle has held the position of President since April 1995. As President, Reneé has total responsibility for overseeing the daily operations and future growth for the APA. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, she joined the APA in 1987, where she has held numerous levels of responsibility as Director of Franchise Services, Director of Marketing and Franchise Services and Vice President. Reneé was appointed to her current position by former APA President Terry Bell, who stepped down to assume a position on the Board of Directors.
In February 1996, Reneé became one of the first 20 people to complete the Certified Franchise Executive program conducted by the International Franchise Association. This designation is achieved by completing a total of 3,500 educational credits through the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives. Reneé is an ardent supporter of ongoing education at the APA, especially related to franchising. She is pleased that numerous additional APA staff members have graduated from the CFE program and are now Certified Franchise Executives.
In July 2001, Reneé was elected and began serving on the Board of Directors of the Billiard Congress of America (BCA), the billiard industry’s trade organization. Her service to the BCA Board continued into 2010, the past four years as an officer, serving as Secretary in 2007 and 2008, 2nd Vice President in 2009, and in 2010 as 1st Vice Chairman. Other positions Reneé has chaired on the BCA Board include: the Nominating Committee, the Promotions and Marketing Committee, the Membership Committee and the Bylaws Committee. She also serves on the Strategic Advisory Board for Nova Southeastern University’s international Institute for Franchise Education at H. Wayne Huizenga’s School of Entrepreneurship in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla