Saturday 6 June 2020

Matchplay is on, apparently

So the PDC announced yesterday that the Matchplay will be taking place on the original dates as scheduled. This seems batshit insane to me, especially as Porter is saying "it's still our intention... to stage it with a crowd", the words coming to mind being thinking, wishful and extremely in some order. They've got a backup plan in place with an alternate venue supposedly, which I've got to be thinking they're going to use in all likelihood.

That leaves the question why they didn't push it back to increase the probability of crowds? Two possibilities here - either the Winter Gardens isn't available in later August (why that'd be the case when everything still seems to be blanket cancelled for months, I've had a gig in September cancel on me this week), or it's contracts. Probably the latter, Sky will likely be demanding that they have the event at that time, and if they pushed it back to a later date in August, it'd coincide with other sporting events that'll be starting to get under way.

The other question is how they handle qualification. They do state that they intend to resume Players Championship events from July, which doesn't leave a heck of a lot of time to get them in, unless they book out a venue for a week (using the Milton Keynes venue they're using for the snooker which has an on location hotel might be possible, especially given it's been rumoured as an alternate Matchplay venue). There's still the question of what happens to ranking money that was earned for Euro Tour events that are either not taking place at all, or are taking place after the Matchplay - I'm guessing the PDC will quietly ignore those issues. They correctly note that this is all subject to further coronaparanoia restrictions, but the whole quarantine issue is easily enough dealt with if foreign players use the hotel as their location (as with the West Indies touring, they are able to effectively train at whichever of Old Trafford and the Ageas Bowl they are at while they are technically quarantined), they can even play while doing so. There may be some issues with the likes of the Australian players who may not be able to leave their country (surely Kyle can say he's had it and is fine to leave?), but if it's down to a minimal level then, while it'd be harsh for the likes of Kyle, Damon or Simon, I think they just have to move on with it and work out any qualification issues later.

Nathan Aspinall won the Home Tour. As I've just posted on Twitter, it is a fucking good job that Anderson didn't win it - if anyone was placing outright bets for the event when it was believed he wasn't even going to be in the field, that'd create one hell of a situation.

Remote Darts League is coming to its conclusion. I think if they want to include ladies in any future event, it's got to be less players and carefully selected. Outside of their match against each other, with a theoretical maximum leg difference of -168, Pace and Osborne managed -144, and the other two only picked up three points outside of the matches on the ladies night (with Turner beating Herewini on an opening night where the whole logistics has got to have been hugely working against him for a first attempt), Winstanley also got a point against Darren. It's looking like the next couple of nights should provide a real close battle for playoff spots, Richardson and Hogan look safe as houses, while the guys on 18 who are finished (Butler, Tricole, Cameron) will surely be overhauled by some combination of O'Shea (John), Williams, Veenstra, Chaney or possibly Thompson. With the remaining groups being JOS/Veenstra/Chaney/Thompson and then TOS/Williams/Richardson/Hogan, I'm thinking the last two spots will surely come from whoever has a real good night tonight. I'll probably watch bits and pieces of it (annoyingly it clashes with a big monthly event in another game I follow) as there's going to be a lot on the line in this one.

Still not a lot really happening elsewhere, apparently someone's worked out that Gordon Mathers has qualified for Ally Pally on account of the DPA cancelling the remainder of their season, if that's actually how they're going to do it or not isn't entirely clear, the DPA's website wasn't working the last time I checked and it's now redirecting somewhere else entirely, and there's nothing on the PDC's website either. Des continues to put out poorly written letters to the counties, can someone just take a bolt gun to the head of the BDO already.

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