Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Q-School results analysis

So I've crunched the numbers:


Here I've taken every leg that the 28 tour card winners played at Q-School, shoved it all in and worked out the points per turn, then split things out by how quickly players were finishing legs. Where we have something like FRH 1-8, here I have grouped the players who are ranked between 1 and 8 in the FRH rankings, after filtering out players that don't have a tour card, to give an idea as to where player's relative Q-School results place them in relation to players already on the tour.

A couple of words of caution here. For a lot of the players, particularly those that won a card outright, there is going to be a limited sample size, so I'm not expecting Hughes obliterating everyone over the course of one day to be representative of what he would be able to do across a whole season, although we've certainly seen both when he's been in the BDO and in patches last year that he can do this sort of thing for a bit in this case. Probably got to say the same for Baker and Ward, but McGeeney did reach the final the day before he won the card outright, so there's a bit more of a sample there, and as Kevin Barth said on the recent installment of the Checkout podcast (at least if my German's still in decent working order), it's never been the floor form that's been the problem with Mark, so this may well be closer to the mark than we think.

Secondly, it's not unreasonable to think that players who have won a card are going to be outperforming what they would do over a larger sample. While there's some muppets in the field, there's a heck of a lot of good players, and as such the only way many people are going to be able to win a card is to put in a performance towards the top of their range - it's very possible that a lot of card winners, even those that have done so on countback, have just run like the sun over one day of Q-School and will get found out over the course of a whole season. Just go and look at Eddie Dootson (amongst others) from the 2018 installment.

Some other darts stuff has been happening - while it seems like a big number in terms of cash money, the DRA throwing a ~£20k fine at Gerwyn Price, rather than actually banning him for any length of time, seems like a completely pointless action given he won six figures in that event. We've had some of the Eastern Europe qualifiers for the Euro Tour, we know what Koltsov and Sedlacek can do, and ought to be alright (Sedlacek I was a bit unsure about, but looked to do alright in Q-School, as well as in the worlds), but we've also seen Pavel Jirkal grab two shots at it - he wasn't bad in Q-School either, although I don't know a lot about him, so getting a couple of chances ought to be interesting, particularly ahead of the Prague event later this year, getting used to the European stage will come in handy.

I've also just seen that Chris Kempf has had something on Q-School posted up on the PDC website earlier today, although that's just looking at conventional averages and a guess at checkout percentages, so while it's interesting for the casuals, it's not really that useful to project anything.

Few events coming up - there's some Challenge Tour action this weekend, some Nordic/Baltic events as well, then the week after we've got the Dutch Open and a meaningless PDC exbo. Then we can start getting down to the real meat of the PDC tour.

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