Sunday, 15 December 2019

A brief interlude

As we typically get a lot of newer readers over the World Championship period, and as I've got a bit of time before today's session kicks off, some people might look at the sidebar and wonder "Second/Third Division Darts? What the hell is that", so as we're close to the end of the season, I thought I'd reiterate on what it is.

Basically, we have the Premier League. I've always wondered what would happen if we had a level below the Premier League. So I made one. Initially I picked a mix of the highest ranked players in the FRH rankings (which are explained in the FAQ post) and some wildcards that made sense to me. Then, when I got to the second season, I also included the previous year's winner, and expanded to a third division - where, kind of like the Challenge Tour/Development Tour split, I put an age limit on it, only considering players aged under 30 at the time of selection, which is the worlds final day when they also announce the Premier League lineup.

The actual scoring is based on head to head legs between each pair of two players, summed over the course of the season. If they don't play at any point in the year (which is actually fairly common, of the 45 matchups in the second division, we've not seen 15 of them, and if anything the third division is worse), they get a point a piece. If they score the same number of legs against each other over the course of the year, again they get a point a piece. If one player scores more than the other, the points they get goes up linearly based on needing 75% of legs or more to get a 2-0 victory. I think I'll tweak that to needing 70% next season to widen the points differences, but I'm not changing it retrospectively for 2019

How I'll select this season is fairly similar to this season, but with a couple of minor tweaks to take into account we now have a third division - for the second division, I will go with:

- After all players selected for the Premier League are eliminated, the top two players in 2019's second division (currently Ian White and Krzysztof Ratajski) get selected for the second division.
- The winner of the third division (currently Nathan Aspinall, with Keegan Brown in second if Aspinall makes the Premier League) is promoted to the second division.
- The four highest ranked players in the FRH rankings are selected (it is hard to say what lineup they will go with, but if we exclude a core of van Gerwen, Price, Cross, Smith, Wright, Gurney, Wade and maybe Aspinall, the six highest not selected are currently Chisnall, Gary Anderson, Suljovic, Durrant, Adrian Lewis and Cullen).
- There would then be three wildcards selected by yours truly.

For the third division, I will go with:

- The two highest finishing players from the previous season that are still eligible (if Aspinall jumps to the Premier League and Brown wins promotion, this is Max Hopp and Danny Noppert).
- The world youth champion (this would have a proviso in future years that the winner has a tour card, but Luke Humphries does) if not already selected.
- The four highest ranked players in the FRH rankings (the top seven, accounting for the possibility of second division wildcards, are currently Chris Dobey, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Ricky Evans, Dimitri van den Bergh, Steve Lennon, Josh Payne and Ted Evetts).
- Three further wildcards.

Obviously a lot can change depending on how players do at the worlds and whether anyone plays themselves into the Premier League, moves themselves hugely up various rankings, etc etc. It'd hugely suck if they don't select Gary Anderson for the Premier League given how little of the tour he plays, but it is what it is, at least I avoided selecting Cadby the last couple of years, which'd have been even worse.

A word in advance - I'm going to put up the Friday/Saturday/Sunday bets on one post, given that I'm at the event on Friday and then at football far away from my computer on Saturday, so pay close attention on Thursday evening. I've not completely checked the schedule, but if Saturday/Sunday are reliant on other matches to finish (which I doubt as I think they're all second round games and the first round will be done by then?), I may put up conditional predictions and picks. Stay tuned, Monday's picks will follow later this evening.

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