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 Pool League in Canada and the Japanese Pool League 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.