So I've received feedback from some on the CrokinoleCentre Rankings, which were released a month ago. The feedback was from players prominently featured in the rankings, which is encouraging, because it shows that the best in the game are at least interested in them.
Much positive feedback has been received about the 2 year format, and it will be interesting to see how the rankings change over time.
One suggestion was to separate the singles and doubles categories of the rankings and release two different sets. The main reasoning for this was to eliminate the possibility that any one player could receive a large amount of points based on having a strong partner. My two main concerns with doing this are: 1. There are not enough doubles tournaments in the year for a solely doubles ranking to be accurate. and 2. Doubles is a unique part of crokinole that emphasizes different skills and strategies. I think that by eliminating doubles results, a true standing of a player cannot be realized. For example, singles focuses largely on 20's scoring, and open 20 shots. It's no surprise that those who score the most 20's are at the top of the rankings. And to go further, singles play is usually confined to play inside the 15 circle with most players "peeling" discs off, to force play back to the middle, whenever a disc ventures outside. The same cannot be said for doubles where multiple discs are on the board, and because partners sit opposite each other, every disc is in play, making ricochet shots extremely important.
With that said I've decided to release two sets of rankings. One to include both doubles and singles (my personal preference) and another to include only singles rankings. It will be interesting to see the differences between the two formats, and get a clearer idea of who the best singles players are.
So here are the full CrokinoleCentre rankings.
As you can see Brian Cook remains on top for the 2nd straight tournament, Nathan Walsh moves up from 8th to 7th, Louis Gauthier cracking the top 10 and Matt Brown moving up well to 13th. Obviously not a whole lot of movement but that is to be expected with a ranking system that takes place over 2 years. With the official release of the WCC points there are quite a few new faces on the list who now hold their rightful positions in the rankings, which I was unable to capture with the first ranking release.
And here is a similar, but different, only singles ranking.
As we can see the top 3 changes as it's Cook, Conrad and Jason Beierling. It's an interesting shuffle as Fred Slater falls 3 spots, Jason Beierling pops ahead of Ray Beierling and Eric Miltenburg rounds out the top 5. Joe Arnup slides back ahead of Nathan Walsh, but the rest stay pretty much the same. Overtime the singles rankings should be much more open to change as less tournaments give way for a greater chance of players shifting positions.
A fault in the this system though is that including the top 4 singles results is almost gives way for too much variance. Take Ray Beierling for example. The 2011 World Champ, 2011 London Champ, and 2012 runner up in Belleville and London, as well as 4th in 2012 World Championships should put him in at least the top 3. But here he is 4th. But if the results were restricted to the top 3 singles he would be placed higher. However, I like the idea of 4 singles results to add to consistency, even if it does lower the score of some players at the moment. It especially hurts those who don't make 4 singles events in a year but still make 4 NCA events. But that's why there is one ranking to combine doubles and singles, and this one for only singles.
Meanwhile on the NCA Tour, the rankings are beginning to take shape. Jon Conrad holds a commanding lead but the outcome of these early fall tournaments will show how much competition he will face for the overall title this season.
The next big tournament is the Ontario Doubles Crokinole Championship held by CrokinoleDepot. One of the best tour stops in the year will once again hold the best doubles talent around for a date set on October 27th in Brucefield. Look to signup on the NCA site: nationalcrokinoleassociation.com.