See the official entries to date below.

Post videos of yourself taking BU Exams, and win money!

Get excellent practice to raise your game to the next level.

Everything you need is free:
BU Playing-Ability Exams
Clear how-to videos: BU Exam Demonstration Videos

– Open through August 31, 2020 –
– Anybody can enter worldwide –

This is a virtual tournament with no travel costs, no hotel costs, no entry fee, no greens fee … only prize money!

Take advantage of the time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. And if you currently do not have access to a table, here are ideas on how to still work on your game.

This Challenge is sponsored by the BU Summer School Boot Camps and BU Professors: Dr. Dave, Randy Russell, and Bob Jewett (sole sponsor of the Exam III Junior Division).

Money Prizes (total purse: $10,000; top prize: $5,000)

Exam I – Fundamentals

96-100: $2500 split
$2000 split
1st place:
$1000 bonus
$1500 bonus
$500 lottery draw

Exam III – Advanced Shots

Open Division
(any age)

1. $500
$500 bonus

Junior Division
(18 and under only)

1. $300
$500 bonus

Exam I details:

  • Everybody who scores in the 96-100 range will equally share the $2500 pot.
  • Everybody who scores in the 90-95 range will equally share the $2000 pot.
  • The $1000 1st place bonus will be awarded to the first person to post the highest score.
  • The $1500 perfect-score bonus will be paid to the first person to get a score of 100.
  • Everybody who scores in the 50-89 range will be entered into a lottery. The name picked at the end will win $500.
  • An individual can win awards only in a single category (96-100, 90-95, or 50-89), and only the highest score for an individual counts.
  • The maximum total individual prize available to the first person to post a perfect score (100) is $5000 ($2500 if no split + $1000 for 1st + $1500 perfect-score bonus).
  • A 9′ or larger pool table must be used to qualify for all awards except for the 50-89 Exam I lottery draw. Any standard table size (6′, 7′, 8′, 9′, 10′) can be used for that.

Exam III details:

  • In the event of a tie in any place, the person who was first to post the video wins.
  • The $500 perfect-score bonus in each division will be paid to the first person to get a score of 100.
  • The maximum total individual prize available to the first person to post a perfect score (100) is $1000 ($500 for 1st + $500 perfect-score bonus).
  • Any standard table size (6′, 7′, 8′, 9′, 10′) can be used.
  • To qualify for the Junior Division, you must be 18 of younger on August 31, 2020.
  • A junior player can enter either Exam III division, but not both. In either case, only the highest score for an individual can earn a prize.

Free BU diplomas will be sent, along with the cash prizes, to all winners who post an Exam II video in addition to an Exam I video.

Official Entries Submitted to Date

Exam I – Fundamentals

96-100 ($2500 split, $1000 bonus for 1st, $1500 bonus for 100):

NumberNameVideo LinkScore
1 ($1000 bonus)Margaret Fefilovavideo96

90-95 ($2000 split):

NumberNameVideo LinkScore
1Lee Coopervideo95
2Fialho Batalhavideo92
3Dr. Dave Alciatorevideo90

50-89 $500 lottery:

NumberNameVideo LinkScore
1Theis Maglevideo82
2Steven Hillvideo75
3Tom Davisvideo74
4Tim Slavinvideo74
5Eric Simpsonvideo74
6Todd Shirleyvideos:
1, 2, 3, 4
7Stephane Lapointevideo65
8Andy Strassburgvideo62
9Sam Harleyvideo60

previous Exam I entries:

NumberNameVideo LinkScore
1Margaret Fefilovavideo90
2Dr. Dave Alciatorevideo86
3Dr. Dave Alciatorevideo81
4Steven Hillvideo72
5Eric Simpsonvideo70
6Steven Hillvideo61
7Sam Harleyvideo52

Exam III – Advanced Shots

Open ($1000 bonus for 100):

PlaceNameVideo LinkScore
1 ($500)Dr. Dave Alciatorevideo58
2 ($300)PoolManisvideo57
3 ($100)Fialho Batalhavideo54

Juniors (18 and under):

PlaceNameVideo LinkScore
1 ($300)Owen Pinkertonvideo56
2 ($200)Jayden Goemannvideo52

previous Exam III entries:

NumberNameVideo LinkScore
1Dr. Dave Alciatorevideo52
2Tom Davisvideo49
3Jayden Goemannvideo49
4Dr. Dave Alciatorevideo47
5Owen Pinkertonvideo43
6Tom Davisvideo41
7Eric Simpsonvideo29

How to Enter

1. Video record yourself taking BU Exam I or BU Exam III.
2. Post your video online.
3. Send your name, score, and video link(s) to Dr. Dave.

If your score is 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in one of the Open or Junior divisions, please also send me a list of the scores for each shot, along with the correct total so they can be checked carefully. You can send a scan or image of your completed score sheet (Exam I, Exam III), or you can the scores in this format:

Exam I: Score = F1:10 + F2:10 + F3:10 + F4:10 + F5:8 + F6:8 + F7:7 + F8:7 = 90

Exam III: Score = A1:4 + A2:4 + A3:4 + A4:0 + A5:4 + A6:1 + A7:2 + A8:4 + A9:0 + A10:4 + A11:2 + A12:0 + A13:4 + A14:4 + A15:4 + A16:4 + A17:4 + A18:0 + A19:0 + A20:1 + A21:4 + A22:2 + A23:0 + A24:2 + A25:0 = 58

It is also good to include this info in your YouTube video descriptions.

Here’s an example of Shane VanBoening taking Exam I:

Here are videos of top Exam I scores from past Challenges:
95 – Tobias Bongers | 95 – Lee Cooper | 93 – Dr. Dave Alciatore | 91 – Ken Cileli

Here are demonstrations of all of the Exam III shots:

If you want to see more videos of top players taking the BU Playing-Ability Exams, go to the BU Alumni page.

And if you want or need help improving your skills or performance on the Exams, see the BU video series and other instructional products available on the BU Instructional Products page.

Detailed Rules and Instructions

  1. You must follow all of the instructions on the BU Exam documents page for taking, scoring, and video recording Exam I. Here are the main documents you need to begin: Exam I diagrams and procedure, Exam I score sheet, table setup instructions. It might also help to first watch some of the demo videos.
  2. Your submitted video must be a continuous, uninterrupted, and unedited run at the entire Exam, and it must be obvious there is no trickery or cheating involved. During the entire video, stay in the frame of the camera (unless you absolutely need to take a bathroom break), keep balls on the table during each drill (e.g., pulling them out in groups of 4, 5, 8, or 10), and keep your cue on or against the table when spotting balls and between drills. You are not allowed to practice shots in between each of the required drills or shots. If you need to break up your video into multiple parts to store or upload them separately, make sure it is totally obvious that the run is being continued without interruption (e.g., by pausing in the middle of a drill with all of the balls and your cue remaining on the table).  If you are having trouble with your video file sizes being too large, you can dramatically compress them using a free software tool called HandBrake.
  3. Your video must be a new attempt taken between April 15, 2020 and August 31, 2020 (the month after the BU Summer School Boot Camps). No videos of previous attempts will be accepted.
  4. The corner pockets must be no larger than 5 1/8″, and the table must be reasonably level (with no significant roll off). If your pockets are very large, you should include a measurement at the beginning or end of your video.
  5. During Exam I, if the CB ends up very close to the edge of the rectangular target (8.5″x11″ on all table sizes), it can help to hold a ruler or piece of paper vertical against the edge of the CB to more clearly show the camera where the CB edge lies relative to the table surface.
  6. You must obey all WPA WSR official rules of pool.
  7. Your video must be online for public viewing (e.g., on YouTube or Vimeo) by midnight (MST) on August 31, 2020, and you must e-mail the video link to Dr. Dave along with your full name and accurate Exam score, also by August 31, 2020.
  8. If you win one of the Exam III Junior Division prizes, you must send Dr. Dave proof of your age (scan of birth certificate, passport, or driver’s license).
  9. You can submit as many entries as you want to continue to improve your score, but only the highest score for an individual counts.
  10. You are allowed to participate in both challenges (Exam I and Exam III).
  11. Any fees required to transfer prize funds internationally will be deducted from the cash awards.