What Does Q school mean?
Been following the live scoring for past 2 days on the UK Q school and this morning watching what a few scores at once I had the question

What does Q school mean to the winners of their tour card.  Yes I know the obvious answer that they get to play in PDC events.  But watching players like John Part, Connan Whitehead, the ladies.  They seem horribly inconsistant. Allot more 41, 57, 60 scores that I would have anticipated.  Example is the match on right now
John Part
60
96
121
41
Opened next set with 58

So assuming he gets through at got a tour card.  He really can not be competitive with those numbers? So having a tour card does that come with any perk other than events to play in?  Ways to sharpen the game?  Do card holders go all in and leave there Day jobs?
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It's high pressure Q school i think that what leads to some inconsistant play at times, for someone like Part i believe it's him trying to see if he can still compete sadly i dont think he can anymore, player like Whitehead & the Ladies its a chance to play full time make more money, example Suzuki got 5000 gbp for winning Lakeside, Ashton & Ana got 7500 gbp for 1st round at the WC, some leave there jobs to commit more time & some keep there job, might not be 100% right on this but i'm sure Johnny Clayton just quit his job this past year as he won and got higher in the rankings
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Thanks Crusher. I guess I assumed the pressure part would be something people at this level had under control to a certain extent. Comparing it to q school in golf, those guys have played tournaments and pressure situations most there life. I get that they all hope to advance but this looks like Pub darts in some matches.
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DARTS - Daytona Fire DF-01 22g, L-Style Carbon shafts and Kites
BOARD - Unicorn Eclipse Pro
Would Love to swap the Piranha Razor Grip for something else.  Bought them and never used them
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Some matches can look like that, also you or i could go to this too if we put the money up, so you might see some people who aren't use to this
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I think it's the constant pressure too, you battle through one match, on a high after scraping a win and then you're right back in it with only a very short break, and again and again, I think it's 9 matches to get to the final 2
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(01-18-2019, 03:18 PM)derrickyoung Wrote: Thanks Crusher.  I guess I assumed the pressure part would be something people at this level had under control to a certain extent.  Comparing it to q school in golf, those guys have played tournaments and pressure situations most there life.  I get that they all hope to advance but this looks like Pub darts in some matches.

I doubt the golf Q School performances look much different relative to big-league standard, the only difference is that the major golf tours do their Q Schools in multiple stages and all the no-hopers are already out of the field before it's time to actually compete for the tour cards.

Not to mention that it's possible to set up tournament golf courses easier and harder, while the requirements to succeed in a game of darts are the same no matter if you're Michael van Gerwen or a random pub player.
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I think it might look like pub darts in some matches because there may well be pub level players. Some of the old heads just don't quite have it any more, while some others that would be turning up might be blokes that average 70~ in their league but have banged in a few 15 darters lately and think 'what if'. Then they get their and completely crumble under pressure.
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slightly off topic but relating to playing under pressure, I met a guy years ago who used to play just as the News of the World and other tournements started and darts was begining to get big and appear on TV. He said he used to play with some of those who became big name (Lowe, Bristow, George etc..) and said he could hold his own with these guys and was just as good as them but the difference was they performed under pressure. The guy said he was quite good but put him on a stage etc. and he just couldn't do it. He had a lot of respect for the top guys.
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What hasn't been mentioned before, you need to do Q-School to play the Challenge Tour, which is the 2nd tier tour in the PDC. So many players just go for the opportunity to play on the CT. And the aspiring professionals know that even if they fail QS, they will have the Challenge Tour to play regularly against quality opponents, and better their game.

The majority of players at Q-School is probably not good enough to play on the PDC Pro Tour. I really hope the ladies succeed but to be honest I don't think either of them is ready for the tour. They could benefit from playing the Challenge Tour though. I don't think John Part has the game either.

The ones that get through are a lot better than your average player though. Jamie Hughes won his tour card averaging 98 for the whole day, which is a really good standard, like top 8 level easily (whether or not he can maintain that is questionable of course) Harry Ward who got the other card averaged 93 for the day, which is also pretty good. Mark McGeeney averaged 95 on day one and won his card the next day. Glen Durrant failing on the first 2 day is the biggest proof of how tough Q-School is. Even the best players will struggle winning a card.
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They can also play the qualifiers for free! Otherwise they would have to pay 65 for each. Right now there are four qualifiers played in Prague. Two today, two tomorrow.
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(01-19-2019, 12:49 PM)Phenohyte Wrote: The majority of players at Q-School is probably not good enough to play on the PDC Pro Tour. I really hope the ladies succeed but to be honest I don't think either of them is ready for the tour. They could benefit from playing the Challenge Tour though. I don't think John Part has the game either.

This was a realization and conversation that I had with my daughter last night.  Having two girls who came up playing high level women's hockey here in Canada I am a big advocate of Women in Sport.

My daughter who is so left wing I sometimes wonder if she is adopted also opens my eyes to many things.  As we were speaking of the women competing she said
Quote:This seems like many other sports that are  "Non traditional to Women".  It takes time for their game to rise to the highest level as previous generations may not have had the opportunity to compete in truly competitive environments.  Darts being a sport that physical strength is not a requirement, there is not reason they can not compete head to head with the men.  Given enough time and opportunity their will be women who will rise up to that level.  These Women playing in Q school today may be looking for nothing more than to get that spot on the challenge tour to sharpen their skills or more importantly raising the bar for their daughters or generations to come.

This lead to a whole other debate on who has it right BDO or PDC.  BDO took allot of flack for the low payout on the Women's side of Lakeside but on the other side of that coin how much did PDC payout to Women at Ally Pally?  Until the Women become contenders they need some level of incentive or reward to dedicate the time required to excel.
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DARTS - Daytona Fire DF-01 22g, L-Style Carbon shafts and Kites
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By the way there are physical differences between man and women, so even if there was a completely level playing field with the same number of males and females playing, men would still perform better. To what extent, I don't really know.

That's essentially the question, are these physical differences between the two genders big enough to warrant a separate women's tour? The BDO thinks yes, so they have two separate tour. This is great because the lady players have access to more prize money than if they were playing the men. However, the PDC's model of having a unified tour makes the women compete against higher level opponents, which will raise their game eventually. You can only get so much better playing a certain circle of opponents, who are on the same level or weaker than you.

I don't think either the PDC or the BDO is really right or wrong on this question. They have different beliefs and different business models which explains the difference between their systems. I personally would love to see more ladies in the PDC, because people want to see better lady players and that's how they can improve. However that's only going to happen if they have incentives to do it, otherwise the BDO system of having a separate women's tour will be more rewarding to the average lady player. The 2 places at Ally Pally is an excellent move to achieve this, and to get more ladies serious about the PDC tour. I think in the future the PDC should offer more incentives like this to the best female players, however I think improving the whole women's game and taking care of hundreds of players is far too big a task, so the BDO tour will always have an important role as well.
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Are the physical difference relevant in Darts? Let's be honest, there are a good percentage of players that to do fit the prototypical athlete persona. Watching PDC World Cup I was seriously worried Hendo was not going to make to the end of most matches without a coronary or stroke. Luke Humphries, Keegan Brown, Michael Smith.... Go through the top 50 and an overwhelming percentage could do with skipping the pies and crisps at the pub during Dart night.

Maybe there is an advantage that will be seen on these televised events for fitter participants. Anderson spoke of the wear and tear on his body from years of playing. We saw this in Curling, The days of players like Ed "the wrench" Werenich on the sheet with a cigarette in his mouth and a few pints are long gone. Most the top national teams are now spending equal amounts of time in the gym as well.
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DARTS - Daytona Fire DF-01 22g, L-Style Carbon shafts and Kites
BOARD - Unicorn Eclipse Pro
Would Love to swap the Piranha Razor Grip for something else.  Bought them and never used them
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I wasn't really talking about fitness. While it gives you an advantage if you have the stamina, you can certainly compete in darts while being overweight. I guess that's not going to change rapidly, the game's working class roots, especially alcohol being such an important part of darts culture will always have a huge effect on how fit players are.

The disadvantage of female throwers comes down to the mechanism of the throw. While it's certainly not as tough playing darts as running around a football pitch, it's impossible to deny the throw is a physical action. The female brain is wired differently, men are usually better at hand-eye coordination etc. It's not that darts is solely about aiming, you have to have a good throwing action, and you have to be able to perform that consistently.
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(01-19-2019, 06:03 PM)Phenohyte Wrote: I wasn't really talking about fitness. While it gives you an advantage if you have the stamina, you can certainly compete in darts while being overweight. I guess that's not going to change rapidly, the game's working class roots, especially alcohol being such an important part of darts culture will always have a huge effect on how fit players are.

The disadvantage of female throwers comes down to the mechanism of the throw. While it's certainly not as tough playing darts as running around a football pitch, it's impossible to deny the throw is a physical action. The female brain is wired differently, men are usually better at hand-eye coordination etc. It's not that darts is solely about aiming, you have to have a good throwing action, and you have to be able to perform that consistently.

I would really challenge the claim that women are not able to match men in the physical action of a throw. The disparity in the standards is most likely born out of societal factors, darts being a pub game was traditionally played by men and women "allowed" to throw a few if no one else is around. Even when they play at a more structured level games are shorter and less prize money means less interest and less striving to reach that higher standard.

As mentioned above i think trying to compete with the men will only drive up standards, and these spaces in the worlds are allowing some trailblazers through to show what can be done. it will be an evolution and driven by opportunity it might take 20 years but then look how the sport has changed in the last 15. Greater incentives lead to a greater standard of play and I genuinely believe that this will happen across the sexes. The ladies are starting from a lower base and i am fascinated to see if we can get genuine contenders given the same opportunities.

Genuinely interesting discussion
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