So the 2015 World Crokinole Championships are in the books. Another fine day led to some familiar faces in the winner's circle. Jon Conrad and Tony Snyder won the doubles title for their second time together, while Ray Beierling racked up his 5th 20s title and Justin Slater became the fourth player to claim the singles title a 2nd time.
A full review of the day will come in the near future, but first a look at the first ever crokinole fantasy pool.
9 teams were submitted before the deadline, including a couple who caught me a few minutes before 1:30pm to change most of their lineup upon learning of player absences. Here are the end results.
2015 World Crokinole Championship Fantasy Pool
- Clare Kuepfer - 465
- Jon Conrad - 435
- Fred Slater - 435
- Jason Beierling - 360
- Ray Beierling - 355
- Nathan Walsh - 350
- Dave Brown - 350
- Joe Arnup - 345
- Nathan Jongsma - 225
Clare Kuepfer took first place on the strength of strong research. He scored big on picks of Roy Campbell (3rd) and Paul Brubacher (14th),
that more than made up for the fact that he did not select Justin Slater. (EDIT: Upon further inspection, Clare did choose Justin Slater.)
Fred Slater and Jon Conrad tied for second to round out the podium. Slater's strongest picks were Justin Slater (1st) and Ezra Jantzi (7th), while Conrad also picked up on the Brubacher/Campbell combination, and also had Ray Kappes to score big from Pool D.
The major deficiency of this first-ever fantasy pool (which I'll address below), hit Brown, Arnup and Jongsma the worst. All three picked well, but lost big points for having a number of their players not competing in the Adult Singles event.
One nice thing about this fantasy pool is that it provides validation for the "underdog" stories of tournament. Namely in all 9 teams, no one picked Robert Bonnett who came through to finish 4th on the day.
I received a decent amount of feedback and suggestions, which is great because it shows there's interest to do it again. A couple changes are easy to make, and one is more challenging.
Starting with the easy ones, the biggest problem this year was being unaware of who was registered for the Adult Singles category. An easy solution for next year will be adding alternates or "bench players" to compensate.
Additionally, next year the plan is to have printouts so people can select their teams on the day, with full knowledge of who's in attendance and competing for the title. This should also boost the number of entries and make things a little more competitive.
The most challenging problem is how to properly rank players and fit them into these groupings. There were a number of strong players, specifically Rob Mader (finishing 5th from Group D) and Wilfred Smith (making the top 16 also from Group D), who easily outperformed their group standing, as many would have predicted. Obviously, when not everyone plays a plethora NCA tournaments, there is a challenge of how to fairly rank players.
An easy change would be to match the players who only play in the WCC with similar NCA players based on their most recent WCC scores. Or more simply just go with the most recent WCC results.
I specifically used the CrokinoleCentre rankings for the purpose of keeping the rankings objective, but perhaps it would be better to have a layer of subjectivity. Though I don't like the idea of having the decisive choice that could easily make me a target of angered crokinole players during the World Championships.
So congratulations to Clare Kuepfer for the inaugural World Crokinole Championship Fantasy Pool victory. Needless to say, I'm looking for suggestions with regard to this for next year's edition, so please let me know what you think.