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    Dartplayer Dot Net :: View topic - Thoughts on leagues with a handicap.
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    Thoughts on leagues with a handicap.
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    KopRalph11
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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    http://www.dartplayer.net/modules.php?name=Forums&file=index&c=8

    Should get you there.

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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I find it interesting that from what I have observed in soft tip darts Americans are more succesful on the international stage than in steel tip. How many american steel tip shooters have gotten to the quarters of a big international event PDC, BDO, or WDF in the last 5 years? This is just comparing the pro soft tip events there is no handicapping. Seems to me all the whining about handicapping dragging down the standard of the game and keeping people from striving to be the best they can be is a big pile of poo.
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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    KopRalph11 wrote:
    http://www.dartplayer.net/modules.php?name=Forums&file=index&c=8

    Should get you there.

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    Still can't find it
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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Just sent you a message, podge..I think I know the problem.
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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Thanks ABA
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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    cannibal wrote:
    I find it interesting that from what I have observed in soft tip darts Americans are more succesful on the international stage than in steel tip. How many american steel tip shooters have gotten to the quarters of a big international event PDC, BDO, or WDF in the last 5 years? This is just comparing the pro soft tip events there is no handicapping. Seems to me all the whining about handicapping dragging down the standard of the game and keeping people from striving to be the best they can be is a big pile of poo.


    An interesting point. Without a doubt recently some Americans have done very well in the International soft tip world. The question is why? Why successful in soft tip and not in steel? Not surprisingly….. I have an opinion as to the “why”. Soft tip is easier. If you took away all the sisal dartboards in England and Holland and replaced them with soft tip machines tomorrow you would effectively create a new top 200 soft tip player world ranking. The best dart players in the world would still be the best darts players in the world. I can think of more than a couple American guys who cut their teeth on steel then went to where the money is better and the competition easier ……soft tip. Let me just say right off that the guys I’m thinking off are GREAT darts players regardless of the type of board they are throwing at but with little International success in steel they have went on to great things in soft tip. Is it that the soft tip game just “suits” them better? I doubt it. Now when Ray toes the oche he does not face Phil, Adrian, James, Simon etc, etc, etc add 200 names here. Not surprisingly he and guys like him fare a bit better in comparison. JMHO
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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Try to remember, if it's easier for one it's easier for all, so the competition level is still the same. What I mean by this is that the targets are bigger which makes it easier to hit which puts more importance on hitting consistantly.

    I think you are seeing more american's doing well in soft tip simply because that is where they are putting their focus. If there was more focus on Steel Tip in the US you would probably see more success there.

    It's not the best comparison but Canada is better at Hockey because a higher percentage of their population is playing Hockey as opposed to football, basketball or baseball. It's all about where the focus is. Why aren't all the top Steel tip players dominating in Soft tip? There is money to be made there.
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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    DaIceBerg wrote:
    Try to remember, if it's easier for one it's easier for all, so the competition level is still the same.


    I think you misunderstood. I don't mean the "game" itself is easier as I agree with your above statement completely. I mean the competition on the International level is easier currently in soft than it is in steel. The monster sharks that are the predators in the International steel tip world have rarely bothered with the soft tip side of the game other than the occasional foray for their dart sponsors. So far........
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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    DaIceBerg wrote:
    Why aren't all the top Steel tip players dominating in Soft tip? There is money to be made there.


    As far as in the US.... Steel players DO regularly slip over to soft tip to poach some purses. As money continues to grow in Soft you might see the Euro players starting to make a run at that as well.
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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Here is the simplest statement I can make about Soft VS Steel vis a vis handicaps....... Whenever I play soft tip and granted my experience is limited to the medalist system. I am given a rating between a 12 and 15 out of a possible 17 depending on how my warm-ups before the event I'm playing in go. I am almost ALWAYS the highest ranked player in the bar. ........ and I suck as a steel tip player.
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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    One thing I would be interested to know from those of you that are in larger population areas and in steel tip leagues. Roughly how many people live in your "league area" and how many players are in that league.

    I have only played in 2 steel tip LOD's which is the extent of my steel tip play outside of my home. In the most recent, I hadn't even picked up a steel tip dart in several months and ended up carrying my partner to a 3rd place finish and he was considered one of the better players at the bar.

    From my personal perspective throwing at a steel tip board isn't any different from throwing at a soft tip board. Sure there are differences but when I step up to the line my mind doesn't see them, I just feel the darts in my hand and see the board in front of me. In the last steel LOD I played in I actually slid back a bit so that I was throwing from closer to the 8' line I am used to instead of the 7'9" 1/4 that is the steel standard.

    In my league, which is an NDA sanctioned league, our average designates our handicap. For most players it's a point of pride to have a high handicap because it shows plainly just how good you are. The players who would have the drive to improve in a nonhandicapped league will still have just as much drive to improve in a handicapped league. I am example of this. Then there are people who won't have the desire to put the work in to improve weither or not there is a handicap, these are also likely the players who either don't play in these scratch leagues or just play for the enjoyment of being out with friends and don't particularly care about winning or losing.

    I don't like the handicap same as the next guy. The problem for me is that I don't have a choice....ok yeah I do... my choice is to either play with a handicap or not play period. Since I love to play darts I put up with it, which I think most of us would given the same choice.

    Also it has been my experience that no matter if there is a handicap or not, the cream usually rises to the top. The same teams, the teams with the best players, always win the leagues in my area. No matter what the handicap they face is. They aren't sandbaggers, they are the ones with the highest handicaps. I played on a team a few years ago where we had 4 of the top 5 players in the league. We won the league running away. The difference was it wasn't easy. It forced us to play well, which helped us improve instead of just drumming on weaker opponents that had no chance because they couldn't compete. They were able to compete with us because of the handicap and it kept things interesting.

    The biggest benefit to the handicap in our area is there simply wouldn't be a league if not for it. If there was there would only be a few teams instead of the multiple divisions as there are.

    I'm sorry if I am rambling a bit. I have a job where I have a lot of time to think about stuff like this...and I am tired so my thoughts aren't very well laid out, but I hope I am getting my point of view across clear enough.

    I know steel tip players turn their noses up at the soft tip game and I know that most really despise handicaps, but I live with the handicap and still enjoy soft tip. Different strokes I guess...makes the world go round.
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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    DaIceBerg wrote:

    I have only played in 2 steel tip LOD's which is the extent of my steel tip play outside of my home. In the most recent, I hadn't even picked up a steel tip dart in several months and ended up carrying my partner to a 3rd place finish and he was considered one of the better players at the bar.


    My experience is almost a mirror image to yours. I live in an area that is exclusively steel but I travel to the Left Coast often for work also Hawaii every now and again. There is NO steel tip to really speak of when I'm in those areas so like you said in your last post you have two choices..... When in Rome do as they do or simply do not play. For the last 3 years I was a good Roman and it was some of the most aggravating darts experiences of my life. I have decided I would rather not play than to get worked up as I have a proclivity to do. My last two trips I didn't even pack a set of darts. Again I agree with your last sentence "different strokes" and your point comes across loud and clear by the way..... you seem to really enjoys this game in all its forms and there is nothing wrong with that. Good luck in your journey.
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    PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Shannonmiles,

    I opened a new thread and responded to some of your points.

    I have witness and agree with you on a lot of the wacky handicapping you find in Soft-tip. I play Bullshooter, if you play on the top level its open no handicaping, nothing too surprising. (fat bull is the only major difference in 501). Ok money - heavy drinking and a lot of fun.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I would be curious to see some additions to the list I started. I was as honest as I could be with both the Pros and the Cons.

    Pro and Cons of handicapping in darts.

    Pros:

    1. Brings people into the game that potentially would not otherwise participate, by extension growing the game and introducing the game to new people.

    2. Allows people of all skill levels to compete together therefore eliminating the need for multiple divisions in league play which allows the ability to create leagues with fewer players i.e. in a small town with 30 players you could have 6 teams of 5 players have a varied schedule of opponents vice 2 teams each in A, B and C division (not much a league) playing the same team every week.

    3. Allows people of all skill levels to compete together therefore eliminating the need for multiple divisions in league play which allows the ability for friends of different abilities to play together for a better social experience.

    4.

    Cons:

    1. Rewards mediocrity i.e. by getting “better” at the game you are essentially punished in the form of a higher handicap. Although some players will out of pride get better they may or may not use this as a good thing see the next ………

    2. It encourages cheating. Once money is introduced into the equation in a system that does not push the lion’s share of the prize pool to the TOP TALENT but rather communally divides it based on numbers of participants in a given level in what is for lack of a better term is a pyramid. With the least skilled at the bottom coupled with the highest payouts you WILL get sandbagging Period FULL stop.

    3. Using the same pyramid scheme idea ……. The top players in the game are not taken care of. The money at the bottom is better than it is at the top.

    4. Even when money is NOT involved and only pride I have seen people misrepresent their talent for the game in order to gain an advantage.

    5.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Pros

    4. If you have a team of lower level players, they can bring on a higher player to learn the game from without having to move the whole team up a level. This encourages mentoring in the game.

    Cons

    5. If cheating and sandbagging are prevalent, the lesser player will probably find themselves to be disinterested in competing when the same few people always win. Granted some will use it as motivation to improve but there will be others who will not.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    AmericanBadAss wrote:
    Pros

    4. If you have a team of lower level players, they can bring on a higher player to learn the game from without having to move the whole team up a level. This encourages mentoring in the game.

    Cons

    5. If cheating and sandbagging are prevalent, the lesser player will probably find themselves to be disinterested in competing when the same few people always win. Granted some will use it as motivation to improve but there will be others who will not.


    Excellent Pro.

    As far as your Con.... I agree but will take it a step farther. Good players that have an honest handicap number become quickly disenfranchised when they cannot overcome players that even though they can beat them straight up always win with a phony handicap number factored into the game.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Shannonmiles wrote:
    Cons:

    1. Rewards mediocrity i.e. by getting “better” at the game you are essentially punished in the form of a higher handicap. Although some players will out of pride get better they may or may not use this as a good thing see the next ………

    2. It encourages cheating. Once money is introduced into the equation in a system that does not push the lion’s share of the prize pool to the TOP TALENT but rather communally divides it based on numbers of participants in a given level in what is for lack of a better term is a pyramid. With the least skilled at the bottom coupled with the highest payouts you WILL get sandbagging Period FULL stop.

    3. Using the same pyramid scheme idea ……. The top players in the game are not taken care of. The money at the bottom is better than it is at the top.

    4. Even when money is NOT involved and only pride I have seen people misrepresent their talent for the game in order to gain an advantage.

    5.


    As someone with experience in soft tip and handicapping (Medalist system), I'll offer some thoughts on your cons. I play only steel these days, but I played soft for about 4 years, both league and about two local tournaments a week. I also ran tournaments for about six months. I played with about 75-100 other regular players.

    1. Agree, but only to a point. Many people did seem satisfied with their mediocrity, but I have found the same is true with lower-level players in steel tip. And many of us soft-tippers were constantly trying to get our rating up so we could be higher rated than the next guy. (A pride thing.)

    2. Disagree. When I mentioned sandbagging in my prior post, you might notice that I said "whining" about sandbagging, not actual sandbagging. In my experience, there was very little actual sandbagging, just lots of accusations of it. That happens because people know (by your rating) what your average ppr and mpr is, so if you throw even one game well above that, you get accused of sandbagging.

    Here's a personal example - I was an 11 rating at the time and threw a 16 rating (in ONE game) to beat a 15-rated player who shot a 13. (I would have beaten him even without the handicap.) He whined the rest of the night about me sandbagging. He conveniently didn't notice that I had thrown a 6 and 7 rating in the two prior games. The average of those three ratings is less than 10 - below my average. This type of thing happened all the time, and I got sick of it. But in the four years I played, I only encountered one guy who I thought was actually sandbagging. The rest of the time it just seemed like someone might be because they were having a good night. But if you played with them enough, you'd notice that they were not actually that good.

    Further, some people can appear to be sandbagging because they're actually improving - it takes a while for your rating to catch up, especially if you improve quickly.

    3. This may be true at the regional/national level where the money is lower in the top divisions (Medalist had divisions back then) because there are fewer players at that level - less money paid in, less money paid out. However, the lower players wouldn't be playing if there was no handicapping/divisions, so the top players wouldn't be getting that money anyway.

    At the local level, the best players usually win, regardless of the handicap. This happens because the lower players are inconsistent, and the higher players are more likely to hit what they need WHEN they need it. It was rare to see a lower player even make it to a final unless they were paired with a higher player who carried them there.

    4. You sure they were actually sandbagging? Did you play with them enough to know their true talent level, or did you just see them play better than expected in a few games or one night? I'll add that many guys will even claim to be sandbagging, but aren't. They do this out of pride because they don't want to admit that they are actually only that good. I had lots of guys tell me that they were 2-3 ratings better than their rating, but I played with them enough to know they weren't. A common comment from, say, a 7-rated player: "I could be an 9 or 10 if I wanted, but I just don't want that rating." No, you couldn't. I play with you all the time, and you're not that good, even when we're playing for money or beer.

    Something else about the Medalist system (at least when I played years ago): if you play significantly better than your rating in a tournament, you would get re-rated to that higher rating. So you could sandbag your rating for a season and maybe win a big regional or national tournament, but only once. Twisted Evil

    All that said, I don't like handicapping and won't play in any league or tournament that uses it, other than just for fun if someone invites me. I'd always prefer to play straight up, even against a PDC player who would slaughter me. Wink
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    PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Forgive me for this, but there a lot of truth to this.

    Under Handicaping Pro

    Women (This is a general statement) yes I know plenty of women "Nationally" that can play in any A league.

    A lot of Women hate going out to just play with other women (my wife included). To me, any form of "Mixed" league or event is a form of Handicaping.

    the pro come from the draw of a mixed league (ask any Bar/Pub) owner.
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    PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Good points Johnp. That was pretty accurate to my experience with handicaps.

    On a side note... How does MPR and PPD figure for a Medalist rating? I play in an NDA sanctioned league and their ratings are just your MPR and PPD straight up. Always been curious how the medalist system worked. I've tried to look it up but hadn't found anything on it. Not that I looked all that hard Embarassed
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    PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I play both steel and soft and I think this arguement is silly. It seems to me that it all really boils down to motivation. What drives you as an individual, for me I play the board, with a handicap or without if I hit what I'm shooting at I'm satisfied. It seems like there is a place in darts for every type of person so if you dont like one style find another. I realize that geography, population and other factors may limit this for some people but those are the cards your dealt so deal with it. I think its silly to say that one form of the game is superior to the other when its actually the individual participating in the game that makes the difference.
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    PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    tritap wrote:
    I play both steel and soft and I think this arguement is silly. It seems to me that it all really boils down to motivation. What drives you as an individual, for me I play the board, with a handicap or without if I hit what I'm shooting at I'm satisfied. It seems like there is a place in darts for every type of person so if you dont like one style find another. I realize that geography, population and other factors may limit this for some people but those are the cards your dealt so deal with it. I think its silly to say that one form of the game is superior to the other when its actually the individual participating in the game that makes the difference.


    I think your post hits the nail on the head! Cool
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    PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    DaIceBerg wrote:
    Good points Johnp. That was pretty accurate to my experience with handicaps.

    On a side note... How does MPR and PPD figure for a Medalist rating? I play in an NDA sanctioned league and their ratings are just your MPR and PPD straight up. Always been curious how the medalist system worked. I've tried to look it up but hadn't found anything on it. Not that I looked all that hard Embarassed


    Medalist ratings are based on ppr and mpr. For example, 85-89 ppr is a 10, 90- 95 is an 11, 96-100 is a 12, etc. Cricket goes 2.9 mpr is a 9, 3.1 is a 10, 3.3 is an 11 etc.

    Those might not be accurate anymore; I've been out of it for years. But that's the basic idea.
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    PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Thanks for the response John. Was always curious how it was figured. So judging by that by my current league stats I would be a 10 in '01 and a 9 in cricket. At least I have a better idea where I would stand against guys talking Medalist Smile
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    PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:37 am    Post subject: Excellent post Reply with quote

    tritap wrote:
    I play both steel and soft and I think this arguement is silly. It seems to me that it all really boils down to motivation. What drives you as an individual, for me I play the board, with a handicap or without if I hit what I'm shooting at I'm satisfied. It seems like there is a place in darts for every type of person so if you dont like one style find another. I realize that geography, population and other factors may limit this for some people but those are the cards your dealt so deal with it. I think its silly to say that one form of the game is superior to the other when its actually the individual participating in the game that makes the difference.


    I think is this an excellent post....well said...
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    TheBigfella
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    PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:48 am    Post subject: Weighing In On Sandbagging / Handicapping Reply with quote

    I just wanted to say a couple things about the whole subject of soft / steel tip, handicapping, and sandbagging in darts.

    I learned the game as a soft tip player, way back in the early 90's. I started playing as a minor so the only place I could shoot at first was a local restaurant with a Friday night open blind draw. That tourney had all ages, kids, newbies, and a few "seasoned" players. We didn't keep any stats or try to A/B draw or let the kids / ladies draw first so they didn't get each other, at least for the first few weeks. After a while a few of us (3-4 out of maybe 12-16 regulars) started putting in the effort to improve. That top 4 started winning most nights with a reasonably good draw. Then 4 or 5 more actually practiced...and suddenly the "good shooters" would throw a fit if they drew one of the kids or young ladies / girlfriends that were new to the game. Granted, this was to win a $25 or $30 pot for first place. About half of the "good shooters" stopped coming out because they didn't want to shoot with someone that made them REALLY have to dig in and work to win it all. We started over, with new players or kids and ladies drawing first, so they did not get each other. Eventually we were down to 10 players, 3 that were the kids of the lady that ran the shoot.

    So I get invited into a soft tip league...it was Medalist, and I have the ancient player number still - 2622. Most player numbers are now issued in the 58XXX or higher range. I had a trios team, one guy I taught to play, one guy that my rookie knew. We had no concept of the handicap system or what ratings were, we just played hard. We won our division, and won the local area playoff. Woo hoo! Still no idea what we were doing.

    It wasn't until I finally went to a Medalist World Finals in Vegas in 2008 that I learned what "sandbagging" in soft or steel could look like. Playing in the A/B division trios event, I had a team with a 9, an 8, and a 7 rated player. The "cap" or top points limit was 26. We played a team rated 8, 6, and 2 (female) in the first round, they were an 16. We had to SPOT this team 14 points per rating difference, and one cricket mark per difference, in a best of 5 701 / Cricket / 701 / Cricket / Choice match. For comparison's sake, an 8 in medalist shoots a 75 - 79.99 points per round average, and 2.70 to 2.89 marks in cricket. This is established over a season with 10 to 15 weeks, 15 games per night per person. So to hold a rating, the body of work for the season has to stay near those numbers. If you walk into a soft tip major that uses ratings with no rating established, they will just mark you as a 12-15 A player, even if you suck at steel tip.

    So here we are, giving up 8 ratings points, so the 701 starts with us at 701 and the esteemed opponents at 589. And I blow the cork. Their 8 player? Hat trick. Their 6 player? Hat trick! Their 2? 119, thank you very much. These guys are looking at 177, which at that time was an open out, since the game was 701 SI/SO even in the A Flight. My team? I hit a 90 - something, our second hit a ton+, and my third, a rookie who was very proud to have climbed from a 6 to a 7 in his first season, hit a 45 after he picked his jaw up off the floor. Back around they go, their 8 hits another ton, 107, 70 left. Our second scored a little. Their 6, busted on a double bull (even tho the whole target is 50) and trip 20 going for the single. We were still no where near an out. Their 2? She steps up and hits a middle of the wedge single 20, double bull, game shot.

    Great game, we all said, wow you guys were on a hot streak! They said "oh, thanks..." and kind of looked at each other funny - and looked really concerned when we wrote down the stats from that first game. 16, 12, 10 for the first leg.

    One great game would really not have caused me to become the "loss stalker" that I am today. The next 4 games were even better. I threw the best cricket I had ever thrown, and my second player needed a trip 15 and three bulls to win the second leg. We went all 5 legs, and their final numbers for all 5 games? The 9 shot a 14, the 7 shot a 12, and the 2 shot an 8. Their post game conversation included "be careful guys, we might bust out before the finals like that..." no lie. An honest hot streak? Hmmm... so I started the loss stalking, since it was single elimination and that was the PM trios event. I cheered them on, and hovered to see the stats, over the next 7 matches, they would blast away on '01 in leg 1, lose a close cricket, lose a close '01, blast away on cricket leg 2, and blast away on the 5th choice leg. Almost every match, the group was 2-4 points above their ratings. They won the bracket, with victims along the way including many of the Grand Masters (13+) Medalist players. They were re-rated the next morning before the events started, but not until they took the $1710 first place prize. The "6" moved to a 10, the "8" to a 11, and the "2" to a 4.

    That tournament was the first time I had ever seen the "1/2 inch shift" shot...where a player or team that is way ahead all of a sudden loses the bulls eye or trip playing soft tip, but seems to hit the same 19 or 17 in the center of the inside single wedge about 1/2" an inch out of the bull.

    So yeah, sandbagging, it does happen. I have seen it first hand at least once ever year at worlds and at zone finals, one that was so far past his rating they pulled them out of the finals and gave them 4th place, moving the player from 10 to 14 on the spot! However, there's a change in A Flights this year for medalist leagues... NO handicap and master out, meaning a triple or double out for all '01 games.

    I do have to say that out of all the matches at worlds that I either saw or played in this last year, only one had the "1/2 inch shift" going - the guy that was pulled out of the bracket. Most of the A flight teams that beat us were just consistently a point ahead of their rating, which is great for a pressure setting. Their were twice as many 10 - 15 rated players that went two and out from shooting 2 to 3 points BELOW their rating.

    The players that reach 13 to 17 in medalist, have to throw a LOT of legs to get there, and carry that average the whole way through. Their names are or have been at the top of the US steel tip charts over the years as well...

    Wow, that was a long rant...sorry everyone!
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