It has become a common theme at CrokinoleCentre to break down NCA Tour Rankings, especially when a season is nearing its finish. With the BC Crokinole Players Tournament in the books, and only the London and St. Jacobs tournaments remaining in the 7th season, is seems appropriate to do a long look at the 2014-2015 National Crokinole Association's Tour standings.
What follows is the current Tour standings of the top 25 players. Explanations of the columns are found beneath the chart. (Note: This isn't updated to include the BC results.)
|Rank||First Name||Last Name||Points||4th Score||3rd Score||Max Pts||Max Rank|
The first few columns contain the names and current points. 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, Justin Slater's score of 204 points is made up of scores of 55, 52, 50 and 47 points. His score could improve by earning the maximum 50 points in London and 55 points in St. Jacobs, for a season ending total of 212 points.
That leads into the "Max Score" column, which indicates the highest possible score a player can receive (after winning London and St. Jacobs), and the "Max Rank" column which indicates the highest possible ranking a player can receive for the 7th NCA Tour.
With two tournaments to go, it is possible for a player to make a significant impact on their overall position. By looking at the "Max Rank" column one can see:
- 5 players can finish 1st on the Tour
- 9 players can finish inside the top 3
- 20 players can finish inside the top 5
- 47 players can finish in the top 10
(Note: Those numbers refer to players not shown on the chart above.)
The battle for the top spot in the NCA is still up for grabs, though Justin Slater does have a rather large advantage. With already a 6 point edge over Ray Beierling in 2nd place, Justin Slater's low score of 47 can be replaced by a top 4 finish in St. Jacobs (which has been his best tournament for several years).
Even more so, a win in the London tournament for J Slater would guarantee a 1st place finish in the Tour. In that case, only Brian Cook would be able to tie for the Tour's top place (by being 2nd in London, and winning St. Jacobs).
Ray Beierling is in an odd scenario. His finish in London could be 1st place or last place, and he would still need to win in St. Jacobs to win the Tour. While the impact on his point total will be minimal for results in London, he'll still be looking for a top finish himself so as to limit the point increases of his opponents.
Nathan Walsh, Brian Cook and Fred Slater also have chances to win the NCA Tour, but they will be looking for a good result in London to increase the probability, knowing that each will need a big finish in St. Jacobs as well.
Matt Brown, Jon Conrad, Jason Beierling and Clare Kuepfer complete the list of players who can make the top 3 (all of which can actually climb to as high as 2nd). Each player has recorded at least 2 strong tournaments so far this season, and each has a low tournament score to be removed; so expect their rankings' to rise by the end of the Tour.
Forest City Flickers Tournament
There has been some word passed around about those who will be in attendance in London, and the crowd is expected to be very competitive.
Every past tournament champion (Ray Beierling, Jason Beierling, Fred Slater and Nathan Walsh) will be in the field looking for a return to glory.
Brian Cook is set to make his first ever appearance in London. The man has won every active tournament on the NCA Tour (with the exception of WCC Doubles), and he'll be hoping to add to the trophy collection on March 28th.
Justin Slater is rumoured to make a long awaited return to London. He hasn't been to the London tournament since 2010. 2010 was also the year he "co-won" the NCA Tour and later won the World Crokinole Championships. Could this be a foreshadowing?
Eric Miltenburg and Jon Conrad will be looking to improve on their best London performances, which would require tournament victories as each was the tournament runner-up in 2011 and 2013 respectively.
The hope is to also get a glimpse of the Quinte Region Crokinole Club before the Joseph Schneider Haus team tournament in April. Matt Brown has had a very strong year with three top 4 finishes. He hasn't seen tournament action since October, so don't be surprised to see fruits of months of secretive crokinole practice.
With all that being said, it's time to stop speculating and resume preparation for the London tournament, as the crokinole season turns for the homestretch.
Visit the NCA website for more details on registration for the London tournament.