We are a little over a week removed from the BC Provincial Championships, and the crokinole season has hit it's peak where several events are jammed into a great 3 month stretch. While the NCA Tour only has 2 events remaining (London and St. Jacob's) there are still several major events coming up. While the London tournament is fast approaching for the end of March, April has the Joseph Schneider Haus and the PEI Provincial Championships.
But the main focus of this writeup is to take a long look at the current NCA Tour points race, now knowing that only two events remain. Here's a look at the top 25 ranked players.
|Rank||Name||Points||4th Score||3rd Score||Max Score||Max Position|
The first few columns contain the names and current points, as of the Hamilton tournament. Afterwards you'll see the "4th and 3rd score" columns. These indicate the 4th and 3rd highest tournament scores that make up the player's current score. With there only being two events remaining, these scores are the ones that will be removed should a player record a higher score in one of these last 2 events.
As an example, Ray Beierling's score of 200 points is made up of 4 scores of 50 points. Thus his result in London will not change his score as the maximum number of points he can receive is 50 from the tournament. However, if he was to win in St. Jacob's, picking up 55 points, it would replace his lowest score of 50, thus improving his total score from 200 to 205.
That leads into the "Max Score" column, which indicates the highest possible score a player can receive (after winning London and St. Jacob's), and the "Max Position" column which indicates the highest possible ranking a player can receive for the 6th NCA Tour.
You'll notice that several players have a chance to crack the first place, in fact a total of 10 players have a chance to win the NCA Tour. I ran the same analysis on the top 65 NCA Players and found that:
- 13 players a chance to reach the top 3
- 24 players a chance to reach the top 5
- 56 players a chance to reach the top 10
NCA Tour - Battle for 1st Place
Obviously some of those players have a much greater chance to win than others. John Conrad and Fred Slater have the best chance for improvement, with maximum scores of 212 and 207 respectively. Of course Ray Beierling is in the driver's seat, leading by 1, but will have to fend off challenges from Conrad, both Slater's and both Haymes's.
In this group of 10 with a chance to win the title, there are several long-shots that must win in London to keep their low percentage chances alive. That list includes Nathan Walsh, Louis Gauthier and Tony Snyder. To add to that list, Jason Beierling, Raymond Haymes and Justin Slater would need to finish in the top 3 to keep the NCA title in sight.
That leaves the focus square on the 4 with the best shot at taking the title. John Conrad, Ray Beierling, Fred Slater and Ron Haymes currently hold the top 4 positions. All had at least one top 3 finish at the 2013 World Championships, and each has numerous other NCA top 4 finishes.
The pressure will surely be on when the London tournament begins as each player attempts to solidify their ranking before the NCA finale in May.