CrokinoleCentre

All of the news following competitive Crokinole.

Berzlánovich, Belgians Win First European Titles

Nathan Walsh May 27, 2018

This publication talks a lot about records. There's a few reasons for that: records make for nice storylines, the author is very numbers-oriented, and unfortunately article word counts can't be filled with discussions of TV rights deals, beer sponsorships, and million dollar contracts (yet).

One such record commonly mentioned here is that of 20s. Most notably it was first mentioned when Justin Slater knocked in 142 at the 2012 World Championships, and then bested that feat at the 2018 Golden Horseshoe tournament with 160 in 11 games (adjusts to 145 over 10 games).

Now talking about 20s records is a little silly. To paraphrase Ab Leitch, "We aren't playing 20s, we're playing crokinole." The only reason 20s are even tabulated on the scoresheet is because the World Championships set the precedent in 1999 to use the 20s score as a tiebreaker, and nearly every tournament ever since has followed along.

(This is a discussion for another day, but using 20s as tiebreaker is definitely less than ideal right? It's super easy and convenient to use to break ties, but that's the only reason to use it. Surely something like a short playoff would be a better representation of who's more deserving to move on.)

So 20s records shouldn't be taken too seriously, it should just be fun. And this author's idea of fun is taking something relatively meaningless, and treating it as seriously as possible (hence the existence of CrokinoleCentre in the first place). So if that sounds fun to you, read on for some serious over analysis.

What Makes a 20s World Record?

A few stipulations need to be set. Head-to-head playoff games aren't going to be considered eligible for the "honour" world record classification. There are two big reasons for this. First, data of 20s scored is quite sparse for playoff games due to the fact that they aren't a separate determining factor for who wins the match. And secondly, players commonly don't even shoot inconsequential shots at the end of the round, because padding one's 20 score is unnecessary.

Additionally, for today, only singles events in the adult competitive fingers categories will be considered.

So only round robin play will be considered here, but there are still other factors to be considered:

  • Number of games in the round robin: Even after the 20s score is normalized for the number of games played (the "10 Game Adjusted 20s Score" will be referenced many times in this piece) it's still necessary to consider greater/fewer games being played. A short round robin presents a greater opportunity to score a high amount of 20s, because one can ride a hot streak over a short window, while a longer round robin presents a greater challenge to maintain elite performance.
  • Quality of competition: It is commonly known that it is easy to score more 20s against strong opponents. So it is prudent to consider whether a particular 20s score occurred during the preliminary round, or during the second round in Pool A.
  • The tournament: Are certain boards used in tournaments more/less favourable for 20s scoring? (The answer is yes, and there's a reason this is being written before the Golden Horseshoe event.)

It is possible to adjust for all of these factors and create separate categories of records, but that does beg the question of which of these records is the most prestigious?

The Data

The dataset used for all of this analysis has been cobbled together to include every available NCA and WCC event, as well as a few additional tournaments along the way. This totals up to 81 different crokinole tournaments, but is reduced to 73 that contain valid 20s data. Once championship finals games are removed, what remains is 4,651 records of a player's 20 score in a particular tournament and round robin.

For those interested, the dataset is available upon request.

Disclaimer: Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of the records that follow, but mistakes can easily be made. Corrections to the information below is welcome.

The Records

Unadjusted 20s

This category represents the most 20s ever scored in a single "stage" of any tournament, and is clearly biased by the number of games involved in the round robin.

Rank Player Year Tournament Stage Games 20s
1 Brian Cook 2011 Owen Sound Preliminary 19 201
2 Quin Erzinger 2015 Quin Erzinger Classic Preliminary 17 174
3 Eric Miltenburg 2011 Owen Sound Preliminary 19 168
4 Joe Arnup 2011 Owen Sound Preliminary 19 166
5 Justin Slater 2018 Golden Horseshoe Round 2 - Pool A 11 160

Most will agree it's best to refer to a game-adjusted 20 count (the preference here is to use the 10-game adjusted score), so that records aren't dominated by something as trivial as the size of the round robin.

Adjusted 20s (No Game Minimum)

Rank Player Year Tournament Stage Games 20s 10 Game Adj 20s
1 Brian Cook 2010 Hamilton Final 3 2 38 190.0
2 Justin Slater 2014 Owen Sound Final 4 3 55 183.3
3 Justin Slater 2015 WCC Final 4 3 46 153.3

The earlier point about the number of games played becomes clear now. Some ludicrous 20s scores that have never been anywhere close to being achieved in an actual 10-game round are posted in round robins of 3 games or less.

While there are some players who would enjoy being found at the top of this list, it's definitely not the most prestigious territory of 20s records; having achieved the mark with such a limited round robin.

Adjusted 20s (Minimum 12 games)

Rank Player Year Tournament Stage Games 20s 10 Game Adj 20s
1 Attila Berzlánovich 2018 Europe Preliminary 12 128 106.67
2 Ray Beierling 2014 Turtle Island Preliminary 12 127 105.83
3 Brian Cook 2011 Owen Sound Preliminary 19 201 105.79
4 Kristián Berzlánovich 2018 Europe Preliminary 12 123 102.5
5 Gáspár Létay 2018 Europe Preliminary 12 110 91.67
T6 István Kádár 2018 Europe Preliminary 12 107 89.17
T6 Tamás Zámbo 2018 Europe Preliminary 12 107 89.17
8 Eric Miltenburg 2011 Owen Sound Preliminary 19 168 88.42
9 Joe Arnup 2011 Owen Sound Preliminary 19 166 87.37
10 Paul Brubacher 2011 Owen Sound Preliminary 18 156 86.67

The big learning point here is that very rarely do tournaments have round robins that extend past 12 games, given that only 3 events are represented among the top 10. Clearly restricting for such a high number of round robin games played doesn't sufficiently serve those hungry for world record status.

Adjusted 20s (4 Game Minimum)

And now for the big reveal of the most marquee category of them all, and the one that this publication expects will be generally accepted as the most prestigious for the purposes of World Record tracking.

Rank Player Year Tournament Stage Games 20s 10 Game Adj 20s
1 Brian Cook 2011 Hamilton Round 2 - Pool A 9 138 153.33
2 Justin Slater 2018 Hamilton Round 2 - Pool A 11 160 145.45
3 Justin Slater 2012 WCC Preliminary 10 142 142
4 Ray Beierling 2012 Owen Sound Round 2 - Pool A 6 84 140
5 Ray Beierling 2018 Hamilton Round 2 - Pool A 11 152 138.18
6 Nathan Walsh 2013 St. Jacobs Round 2 - Pool B 10 138 138
7 Ray Beierling 2018 Hamilton Round 1 - Pool D 10 137 137
T8 Justin Slater 2010 Hamilton Round 2 - Pool A 9 122 135.56
T8 Justin Slater 2018 St. Jacobs Round 2 - Pool A 9 122 135.56
10 Jason Beierling 2018 Hamilton Round 2 - Pool A 11 149 135.45
11 Ray Beierling 2015 Hamilton Round 2 - Pool A 10 135 135
12 Justin Slater 2014 WCC Round of 16 - Pool B 7 94 134.29
13 Justin Slater 2014 Owen Sound Round 2 - Pool A 8 107 133.75
14 Brian Cook 2014 St. Jacobs Round 2 - Pool A 10 133 133
15 Andrew Hutchinson 2018 Hamilton Round 2 - Pool A 11 146 132.73
16 Nathan Walsh 2013 Owen Sound Round 2 - Pool A 5 66 132
17 Jason Beierling 2018 Belleville Round 2 - Pool A 9 118 131.11
18 Ray Beierling 2014 St. Jacobs Round 2 - Pool A 10 131 131
19 Ray Beierling 2014 WCC Preliminary 10 131 131
20 Ray Beierling 2009 WCC Round of 16 - Pool B 7 91 130

STAT CORRECTION ALERT!

This report began by referencing two separate high 20 scoring affairs by Justin Slater. Both of those achievements were reported as world records at the time, but some new evidence has come to light that proves that wasn't the case. And it turns out these less-than-accurate reports could have been easily fact-checked all along by investigating the wealth of results available on the NCA tournament results page.

To set the record straight, it is the legendary Brian Cook who currently holds (and has held for 8 years) the 20s World Record, with a 10-Game-Adjusted score of 153.33 from the 2011 Hamilton event.

The top 20 chart does also reveal a few interesting items, such as:

  • there's a lot of Justin Slater and Ray Beierling present
  • many of the top 20s scores came against high quality competition, as demonstrated by the plethora of "Round 2 - Pool A" values in the table
  • Hamilton certainly does good things to the 20 count, with 6 of the top 10 20s scores of all time coming via the Hamilton event.

It's not surprising to see so many high 20s scores coming from Hamilton tournaments. It only takes a few moments when sitting down on one of the boards crafted by Jake Ruggi (these boards are only used at the Hamilton event) to realize the 20 hole can be extremely favourable to slightly less accurate 20 attempts.

Given this information, it would seem necessary to apply some sort of adjustment to these Hamilton 20s scores in the same way that 100m dash world records are not awarded if wind assistance is too strong. However, that could be controversial, and is probably best left for another day.

Some consideration was also given to separating the "minimum games" requirement further, possibly into buckets of min. 4 games, min. 8 games, and min. 12 games. That action may be necessary later, but for the time being, there aren't too many instances of high 20s scores coming from round robins of length 4-7 games.

Tournament Records - Adjusted 20s (4 Game Minimum)

Rather than adjusting 20s scores given the tournament in question, the differences in tournaments will be recognized here by showing the current record-holders at each respective tournament included in the analysis.

Tournament Player Year Stage Games 20s 10 Game Adj 20s
Hamilton Brian Cook 2011 Round 2 - Pool A 9 138 153.33
WCC Justin Slater 2012 Preliminary 10 142 142
Owen Sound Ray Beierling 2012 Round 2 - Pool A 6 84 140
St. Jacobs Nathan Walsh 2013 Round 2 - Pool B 10 138 138
Belleville Jason Beierling 2018 Round 2 - Pool A 9 118 131.11
Europe Gáspár Létay 2018 Round of 16 - Pool B 7 88 125.71
London Ray Beierling 2013 Round 2 - Pool A 9 110 122.22
Turtle Island Roger Vaillancourt 2015 Round 2 - Pool A 7 82 117.14
PEI Wilfred Smith 2011 Preliminary 10 109 109
BC Quin Erzinger 2012 Preliminary 10 108 108
Exeter* Justin Slater 2009 Round 2 - Pool B 9 96 106.67
Quin Erzinger Classic* Quin Erzinger 2015 Preliminary 17 174 102.35

*Non-annually-recurring event

20s World Record Timeline

And to further set the record straight, here's the timeline throughout crokinole's recorded-history of 20s World Record holders, under the constraint of being played in a round robin of at least 4 games.

Year Player Tournament Stage Games 20s 10 Game Adj 20s
2000 Joe Fulop WCC Preliminary 10 101 101
2001 Joe Fulop WCC Round of 16 7 79 112.86
2009 Ray Beierling WCC Round of 16 7 91 130
2010 Justin Slater Hamilton Round 2 - Pool A 9 122 135.56
2011 Brian Cook Hamilton Round 2 - Pool A 9 138 153.33

This will wrap up the most numerically intensive feature this blog has ever had, but at least prior mistakes were corrected, and if the reader has made it this far, they'll know what targets to aim for in Hamilton to try to set a world record of their own.

These records will be tracked and updated our this page for future reference.

Do you have any more records that you believe should be tracked and held in high regard? Do you object to claims made in this post? Feel free to voice your concerns.