The 6th NCA Tour will soon reach its conclusion, in what has been the most parity-filled season in NCA history. The season has generated 11 different tournament winners so far, more than any other season, and has left 7 players with the possibility of leaving the Ontario Singles Championship (aka the St. Jacobs tournament, aka the NCA Finale), with a hand on the 6th NCA Tour title.
The parity of this NCA season might just shake up the St. Jacobs tournament, which has been owned and dominated exclusively. Through 5 years of the NCA's existence, only Brian Cook and Justin Slater have won the Finale tournament, and both have occupied 2 of the top 3 place finishes at the tournament since 2011.
While the NCA Finale has been dominated by just 2, this year's race for the NCA title will have a lot players fighting for top spot on the hill.
Let's take a look at just who has a chance to finish on top, in the top 3 and in the top 5.
This table details the top 30 of the current NCA standings, and the maximum points and position a player can earn, based on their 4th lowest score which comprises their point total. As you can see, 7 players can finish first, 9 can finish in the top 3, 11 in the top 5, and 24 can finish in the top 10.
|Rank||Name||Points||4th Score||Max Score||Max Position|
This next table provides some more crucial detail. It shows the top 20 players, and their final NCA score based on their possible finish in St. Jacobs. As an example, this table shows that if Ron Haymes finshes 3rd at the St. Jacobs tournament, he'll have 195 points.
Race for 1st
7 players can reach the top spot of the podium, but only 3 can win the NCA title outright. Let's start with the long-shots.
Ron Haymes, Nathan Walsh, Fred Slater and Justin Slater can only tie for 1st place, and can ONLY do so by a) winning in St. Jacobs, b) having Ray Beierling finish out of the top 2, AND c) having Jon Conrad finish out of the top 5. If all 3 conditions prove to be true then Ray Beierling would tie for the NCA title with whichever fortunate player achieved such an outrageous feat. To add to this small percentage scenario is that if Jon Conrad finished 6th, there would be a 3-way tie for 1st place, all with 200 points.
Ray Haymes also has an outside chance at winning the NCA title. If he were to win in St. Jacobs while Beierling finished out of the top 2 and Conrad finished out of the top 4, he would actually claim the NCA title outright. He could also share for the top spot if his win in St. Jacobs was combined with either a Beierling 2nd place, or a Conrad 4th place finish.
The most likely scenario though is that either Ray Beierling or Jon Conrad will win the 2013-2014 NCA Tour, and collect their 2nd NCA title. Conrad controls his own fate and will win the Tour with a top 2 finish, but he is not in the driver seat as a finish of 7th or lower means he has no chance of winning. There is a large load of other scenarios, let's look at it compared to Conrad's potential St. Jacobs finishes.
|3rd||NCA Win, unless Beierling finishes 1st|
|4th||NCA Win, unless Beierling finishes 1st|
|NCA 1st place tie if Beierling 2nd OR Ray Haymes 1st|
|5th||NCA Win, unless Beierling 1st or 2nd, OR Ray Haymes 1st|
|6th||1st place tie, unless Beierling 1st or 2nd, OR Haymes 1st|
|7th||No chance for 1st|
Obviously from this we can see that Ray Beierling's best chance to win the NCA Tour is with a St. Jacob's win and Jon Conrad finishing out of the top 2, though other scenarios do exist as displayed in the table.
Podium Finishes - The Top 3
9 players have the opportunity to finish in the top 3, but it is guaranteed that both Ray Beierling and Jon Conrad will be among the podium finishers. So the race for the top 3 really boils down to 7 players seeking one remaining spot.
Currently in 3rd place, Ron Haymes has the inside track with 192 points, but Nathan Walsh, Fred Slater, Jason Beierling, Louis Gauthier, Ray Haymes and Justin Slater are all within striking distance.
The most probable scenario is that the top place finisher out of Ron Haymes, Nathan Walsh, Fred Slater, Ray Haymes and Justin Slater, will snag the final spot in the top 3. The odds are longer for Jason Beierling and Louis Gauthier. Beierling would need to win in St. Jacobs and have none of the aforementioned 5 finish in the top 2, along with Ray Haymes not finishing in the top 3. Gauthier would also need to win, and have none of the 5 others finish in the top 3, with Ray Haymes out of the top 4.
The Top 5
The battle for spots in the top 5, opens up the field of possibilities to 11, including Matt Brown and Brian Cook. Both would likely need to win the Ontario Singles Championship to grab a spot in the top 5. The number of other possibilities is quite large, as only Ray Beierling and Jon Conrad has guaranteed a top 5 spot. Those other possibilities will be left to those with the inquiring minds to pursue them.
When it comes to next Saturday, the players will try to throw the numbers out the window and focus on the task at hand. The last tune-up before the 2014 World Crokinole Championship, and a great chance to line up with the best players in their top form.
With the Ontario Singles Championship and the 6th NCA Tour on the line, we'll see you in St. Jacobs next Saturday.