The aim of the American Cuesports Association (ACS) is to train and certify well- qualified Instructors/Coaches to serve the Billiard public. As the sport grows at record pace, there continues to be a need for qualified, personable Billiard teaching professionals.
Objectives of the American Cuesports Association (ACS) training program:
- To develop & certify qualified instructors.
- To provide training techniques and requirements for becoming a Professional Billiard/Cuesport Coach accredited by the ACS and
satisfying the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS) standard.
- To develop instructional expertise and training techniques to
run Instructor Certification clinics and standards for using the tools
to perform Instructor evaluations.
- To identify and recommend opportunities to attend a
sports-minded (sports psychology) accredited performance coaches
training program, as outlined by the ACS (professional development in
mental and emotional skills training for ACS instructors). As an
applicant for the ACS National Level of accreditation, this could
include the educational training and techniques required for training
other professional coaches.
- If you are an existing instructor, adding to any existing tools
and techniques to allow you to efficiently train players (and possibly
other instructors) to an ACS accredited standard.
- To encourage the study of cue sports and its profession.
Upon successful completion of the course, candidates will be offered the opportunity to become an ACS certified instructor.
Experienced Billiard instructor/coaches will bring in-depth knowledge
and additional expertise to the program. During the ACS course, it is
hoped we will learn from each other, melding together our ideas and
methods so that we end up as a team of professional instructor/coaches.
Special aspects of the ACS Instructor/Coach Program
- No student paperwork requirement. Accredited ACS Instructor/ Coaches are not required to submit student feedback forms to the national office.
- No restrictions on where you teach or in what type of facility. An
ACS Instructor/coach is encouraged to use or construct any training
environment he/she chooses with no restrictions on the environment.
- The ACS Program respects your experience. In the early stages of
administration of the ACS Instructor/ Coach program, instructor/coaches
with documented experience may be “grandfathered” into the ACS program
by the ACS Instructor/Coach committee.
- Enter the ACS Program at the equivalent level to where you are in
another certification program. Instructors accredited at various levels
in other instructor programs may enter the ACS program at the equivalent
level of accreditation.
- All ACS instructor/coaches – by using the Performance Ability Test
(“PAT”) testing system, recognized by the world-governing body for the
pool sport, the World Pool-Billiard Association - will gain
accreditation recognized on an international level.
- ACS Instructor/Coach annual fees to ACS are:
- Level 1 - $35
- Level 2 - $50
- Level 3 - $75
- Level 4 - $100
Level 3 or Level 4 instructor/coach typically will charge $700-$1000 in training fees for a 3-day course.
ACS Instructor/Coach Certification Criteria
To attain full certification, all five areas must be passed during the course:
- Playing Ability Test (PAT): This takes place on the first day of certification or through a prior score. This world standard test documents and evaluates the candidate performance skills. Exceptions: 1). For aspiring Level 1 Instructor/Coach candidates, PAT testing is optional and PAT score requirements are a guideline/recommendation. 2). For aspiring Level 2 Instructor/Coach candidates, PAT testing is required, but candidates may self-test on the buddy system. This means (if they can’t arrange to be formally tested), they buy the PAT Manuals and do their (honor system) best to conduct & score the test, working with a friend/player/instructor/or similar witness. The other witness must sign off on the submitted score. Level 1 and Level 2 candidates should be aware that Level 3 upgrade may only be obtained through official PAT testing.
NOTE: The WPA (World Pool-Billiard Association) has developed a PAT ‘Standard’ that is being introduced through selected and approved academies in the Americas.
- Written Test: Includes explanations of cue sports concepts (e.g., squirt). The written test includes rules questions.
- Verbal Test: This test evaluates the candidate’s ability to communicate billiard concepts to players and/or coaches
- Physical Teaching Test: This test focuses on detection and correction of billiard stroke errors, biomechanics, etc., as taught during the course.
- Application Teaching Test: This test is based on directly teaching and running Billiard clinics/classes to instructor candidates and/or students under the supervision of an ACS accredited instructor/coach.
NOTE: A professional Billiard Manual (e.g., ACS Manual) may be used as the guideline for coaching criteria.
[All instructor/coach requirements must be fulfilled before a certification/upgrade is issued by the administering instructor/coach. This means, for example, someone could take their Level 2 upgrade course, send in their written test a week later, and send in their informal PAT score a month after that to the administering instructor/coach. Once all requirements have been met with the administering instructor/coach submitting a completed upgrade form to the ACS, ACS issue the new certificate. The Instructor/Coach remains at their current certification level until that time. There is no time limit on these qualifying requirements.]
ACS Instructor/Coach Levels
The basic requirements for the ACS Instructor/Coach are that they
have knowledge of fundamentals, billiard stroke instruction, basic
billiard biomechanics, ball behavior, etc., and can transfer this
knowledge to candidates and students.
The ACS permits Instructors to use specialization clauses after their title, for example,
”Professional Instructor/Coach Level 2 - Specializing in Artistic
Billiard discipline (e.g., Artistic Pool, Artistic Snooker, etc.)”, or
Specializing in fundamentals, or the discipline of Snooker/Billiards, or
3-cushion Billiards”, etc.
The ACS Board reserves the right to select ‘Honorary’
Instructor/Coaches based on the ACS Instructor/Coaches committee
The ACS recommends that instructor/coaches in the program be titled
“Professional Billiard Instructor/Coach”. Four levels make up the
structure of the program, with the levels designated as Level 1, Level
2, Level 3, and Level 4 respectively.
Level 1 - ACS Certification
The Level 1 course is the introductory course for the instructor
program. It is a three-day, 8-hour/day Instructors course, allowing
prospective instructors to gain basic training. The course must be
taught by a minimum ACS Level 3 lead instructor/coach.
The minimum age to take the course is 18 and participants are
required to demonstrate an intermediate skill level. For aspiring Level 1
Instructor/Coach candidates, PAT testing is optional and a PAT score
requirement of 800 at PAT Level 1 is a general guideline. ACS
Instructor/Coach Level 1 candidates should be aware that Level 3 upgrade
may only be eventually obtained through official PAT testing.
(Note: PAT scores are a standard skill designation developed by our sister organizations around the world).
The course covers basic skills of pool, basic pool games, terminology, and etiquette.
[The ACS recommends Jack Kohler’s “The Science of Pocket Billiards”
and Dave Alciatore’s “Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards” as
the official technical textbooks for the program.]
- Learning basic techniques for teaching the billiard stroke and body mechanics.
- Participants may also receive instruction on their own billiard stroke and biomechanics.
- Learning to effectively teach the billiard stroke and mechanics to beginning or novice players.
- Training to identify common faults and corrections.
- Learn or review basic rules and effectively answer billiard questions.
- Introduction to billiard ball behavior.
- Billiard physics fundamental terminology.
- Fundamental performance skills criteria and metrics guidelines.
- Ability to score at least 65 points in Equal Offense Billiards (10 innings – 6.5/inning average).
- Demonstrate ability to follow into a 1 diamond area at least 75% of the time (e.g., PAT 1 Exercise 3).
- Demonstrate ability to draw back cue ball within a 2
diamonds range at least 75% of the time (cue ball and object ball two
- Effectively run 3 balls in rotation 50 % of the time (e.g., PAT 1 endless position shot #8).
- Learn video taping and analysis techniques.
Level 2 - ACS Certification
The Level 2 Course is intended for instructor/coaches desiring to
teach higher skill-level students. The minimum age to undertake the
course is 19, and candidate must have been a Level 1 Instructor/Coach
for a minimum of one year. Candidates are required to demonstrate a PAT
skill level of at least 800 at PAT 1 Level. For aspiring Level 2
Instructor/Coach candidates, PAT testing is required, but candidates may
self-test on the buddy system. This means (if they can’t arrange to be
formally tested), they buy the PAT Manuals and do their (honor system)
best to conduct & score the test, working with a
friend/player/instructor/or similar witness. The other witness must sign
off on the score to be submitted to the administering lead
Instructor/Coach. Level 2 candidates should be aware that Level 3
upgrade may only be obtained through official PAT testing.
The following requirements must be completed during the Level 2
Course under a minimum ACS Level 3 lead instructor/coach before an
accreditation is awarded:
- Demonstrate that all requirements at Level 1 are completed.
- Three-day certification course
- Review learning basic techniques for teaching the billiard stroke and mechanics.
- Participants will study more in-depth topics & techniques, for example, faults & cures, and complete game analysis.
- Learn advanced, in-depth video analysis.
- Participants receive instruction on self-analysis on their billiard stroke and body mechanics.
- Basic instruction on ball control/behavior and billiard physics
- Effectively communicate basic billiard physics concepts.
- Performance skills criteria and metrics guidelines.
- Ability to score at least 75 points in Equal Offense Billiards (10 innings – 7.5/inning average)
- Effectively run 3 balls in rotation 60 % of the time (e.g., PAT1 endless position shot #8)
- Successful completion of the written, physical teaching, and rules tests. [Test may be verbally administered.]
- All this material is taught and covered in detail during the course (per ACS Manual or equivalent)
Level 3 - ACS Full Certification
The Level 3 Course is intended for active, experienced
instructor/coaches who are ready to advance in this profession.
Candidates are required to demonstrate a PAT skill level of at least 500
at PAT 2 Level, have been at Level 2 for a minimum of two years, and
have reached the age of 21. This certification is recognized as an
International Billiard teaching professional credential by the WPA.
Fully certified members may run for the ACS Board player/business seat.
The following requirements must be completed during the Level 3 Course before an accreditation is awarded:
- Demonstrate that all requirements at Level 1 and 2 are completed.
- Three-day certification course.
- Can certify instructor/coaches to Level 1 and Level 2.
- To gain Level 3, Level 3 candidate must have worked with a
minimum of two separate Level 3 or Level 4 lead instructor/coaches in
- Teach advanced ball control mechanics and billiard physics concepts.
- Advanced video analysis and bio-mechanics.
- Advanced diagnosis of the billiard stroke and cueing techniques.
- Requires successful completion of the written, physical teaching test, and rules tests.
- To gain Level 3, a Level 3 candidate must have worked separately
with a minimum of one (1) ACS Level 3 and one (1) ACS Level 4 lead
instructor/coaches in past history.
Level 4 - ACS Master Instructor Professional Certification
The Level 4 Course is the full professional certification for
instructor/coaches. This credential is generally intended for
instructor/coaches for whom this is their full-time profession.
Candidates have proven their teaching abilities across many students and
years, and are comfortable working with players at every skill level.
Designed to develop experienced, career-oriented teaching
professionals, this credential reflects the highest level of
certification in the Billiard teaching industry.
Level 4 instructor/coaches must demonstrate a PAT skill level of 500
at PAT 3 Level, or better, have been an active Level 3 Instructor for a
minimum of three years and have reached their 24 th birthday.
The following requirements and expectations must be met before a Level 4 accreditation is awarded:
- Meet all the requirements for Level 1 through Level 3.
- Three-day certification course.
- Train other Instructors/Coaches.
- Encouraged to enhance or develop CueSports teaching material.
- Can work effectively with advanced/semi-pro or pro players.
- Participate in promoting the sport through articles, league/tournament director, training programs, etc.
- Work or assist in specialty Billiard disciplines (e.g.., Snooker, Trick-Shots, Handicap, etc.)
- Participate in advanced training on the psychological/mental
aspects of the game, for example, attending Sports Mental Training or
Peak Performance courses.
- Onsite demonstration of various billiard shots. For example,
participants must be able to perform the following: hit a follow, draw,
stop shot, sidespin shot demonstrations, billiard physics demonstrations
as applied to the game, and other specialty shots as required by the
- A Level 3 Instructor/Coach is required to work or train with a
minimum of two (2) separate ACS Level 4 Professional Instructor/Coaches
on separate occasions during the process of gaining Level 4 status.
Upgrade to Level 4 must be approved by two (2) Level 4
- After completing training for Level 4, nomination for the
candidate by the Level 4 lead instructor/coach must be approved by the
Instructor/Coach committee, who meet/telecon on as-needed basis
throughout the year.