We are looking for a rating system for a double elimination 9-ball tournament that we are trying to put together. Any ideas, sources, suggestions? Our goal is to get as many players as possible, and we're trying to go after players that are intimidated by our better players.  Any help you may provide would be greatly appreciated.
When this question was put to George Fels, he directed me to tha following posting on the Billiard Digest Web site, thanks George.  And thanks to Todd Robertson for the contribution of this format.

I play in a local tournament that is quite unique. They run 2 tournaments a week. One 8-ball and one 9-ball. What makes them unique is the format. All players receive chips (we use poker chips, but really anything will work). The weaker players get more chips and the stronger players get fewer chips.

The tournament starts by placing numbered pills in the pill bottle 2 each numbered 1 to (1/2 * number of players). This, will be the table number you start on. The tables are numbered accordingly. You flip for the break (first game after drawing pills) and play one game. The winner stays on the table and keeps all his chips. The looser hands in one chip and goes to the next table in sequence (if he just got done playing on the highest numbered table he goes to table 1) and has the break. Play continues until enough players have been knocked out (lost all their chips) that the tournament director deems necessary to pick pills again (now there are fewer tables). Usually 3-5 draws are necessary before there are only 2 players left.

If you win, you loose a chip, if you haven't won in several weeks, you might get an extra chip. Number of chips usually range from 4-10 but I have seen them give guys only 3 chips on occasion (although it's very rare that anyone can win with 3 chips, especially in 9-ball, even a pro player would be an underdog with 3 chips in 9-ball).

I think that the big advantages to this format are: 1) We get a lot of weaker players that would not normally play in a tournament because no matter what, they are going to get to play a lot of pool for their 10 bucks (that is the entry fee and includes all table time). 2)You are playing everyone even, so there are usually no hard feelings because someone is mis-handicaped (until the very end of the tournament where you might have 2 chips left in the final and the guy your playing has 6).

The only disadvantage is, you really have to keep track of everyone's chips (unfortunately, there are some dishonest people out there). This isn't as difficult as it sounds, though. You only need to write down what table everyone started on and finished on after each round.
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