One year ago the first edition of the CrokinoleCentre rankings were released. The main goal was to establish some way of ranking players on their most recent tournaments, to hopefully compare players on their current form. The rankings use results from the past two years with the majority of points weighted with towards the most recent year.
When the rankings were first released, here's what the top 20 looked like.
Despite being the first to ever win the doubles and singles categories in one World Championships (and amassing enough points to propel him to his first NCA Tour title), Jon Conrad still sat second to Brian Cook's consistent form. This seemed fair, as the general consesus of players probably still would have ranked Brian Cook ahead of Jon Conrad at the time, even with Conrad's historic feat fresh in their mind. Fred Slater, Ray Beierling and Jason Beierling were coming off consecutive years in the NCA top 5. Miltenurg, Arnup, Walsh, Kuepfer and Gauthier all had strong years in the NCA, while Ron Haymes and Paul Brubacher had recently had strong performances in the World Championships.
Here is a look at the current standings following the 2013 World Championships.
One full year later and not much has changed among the top group. Most noticeably, Jon Conrad has finally grabbed the number one ranking, moving Brian Cook down to #2. A fitting finish to the year for Conrad, who held the moniker of World Champion, while trying to defend a fantastic start to the NCA Tour, and performed brilliantly through it all. Back-to-back World titles in the singles categories, and a runner-up finish in doubles puts Conrad at the pinnacle of the game of crokinole and easily deserving of the number 1 spot in the rankings.
The ranking points also show a clear distinction between the top 5 and the field, with 33 points between 5th and 6th. A much larger gap than at the start of the year where only 11.5 points separated 5th and 6th. An equally fitting result as the top 5 players, made up the championship finals of every Ontario tournament with the exception of 3. The only Ontario tournament not won by one of these top 5 players was the 2013 St. Jacobs.
Throughout the year, the results of only the singles events have been tracked, with the idea that removing the doubles tournaments will provide us a different look at each players form, and perhaps give a better idea of who the top players are.
At the start of the year the top 5 looked like this:
Throughout the year Brian Cook held the number 1 spots in both ranking categories, and will remain the number 1 ranked player in this category at the end of the season. However, the hunt for the top spot has become much tighter with less than 4 points separating the top 3 players. Furthermore, that hunt for the top has created a massive gap between the top 3 and the remaining field, separated by 38 points.
Overall it has been an enjoyable start to producing and tracking these rankings, and this will continue into the future.
Soon around in the calendar is the second annual running of the Turtle Island Crokinole Tournament in Lewiston, New York on August 11th. And as an extra bonus it will be added to the 2013-2014 NCA Tour.