We look back at The European Q School as our inspiration for this month's article!
This month we have a mixture of topics we would like to discuss! First of all, Q School! As some of you may know we are the management team for Brazilian Diogo Portela. We decided to compete in the European Q School; not because we thought it would be easier to win a card, the opposite is true in our opinion, but to avoid the mass invasion of players to the UK event.
We were surprised to find though subtle differences in both events. For example, we were thrown on the first day as when we arrived our bags were searched and the food and drinks (not alcoholic) we had prepared and bought with us were not allowed in the venue.
The PDC officials were great and did try and resolve the problem. They had announced that we were allowed to take in our own supplies (other than alcohol) but it was the venue that had insisted that nothing was to be brought in as they wanted the monopoly on food and drink sales. To an extent that is understandable but when they do not offer anything of nutritional benefit to the players, not even fruit, then this unacceptable.
The nutritional side of the game is massively overlooked by players anyway but at least if there was pasta, salad, baked potatoes and other basic food that would at least assist in a player being ready to play rather than be weighted down with burgers, chips and the like!
Another surprise was that PDC Europe set up their events differently to the PDC in the UK. In the UK players play in what is effectively a booth, sheltered on the side and the back by large exhibition style boards. At PDC Europe it was more in the style of an Open competition with games going on side by side. We were chatting to the officials and they mentioned that there was a plan in hand to standardise both events and introduce the booth style oches into Europe too.
Marking next! What a superb innovation the DartConnect partnership is with the PDC. There were a handful of players marking games who were not fit for purpose at QSchool. Diogo played a leg of 503 as the scorer had subtracted the scores incorrectly and Ratajski was the biggest loser to inept marking as he thought he had levelled at 4:4 in his shoot out v Kamphuis only to be a victim of more incorrect marking.
On a more sinister note there have always been tales at all levels of the game of players taking advantage of scorers struggling with their maths by whipping their darts out of the board whilst the marker is still pondering the last score and the marker then having to accept the score of the throw he hadn't seen!
DartConnect should resolve all these issues and I can pack away my pen and paper notation system that I used at Pro Tour events to take the stats as these are now all provided by the new scoring system.
So, what can you take from this from a coaching perspective? Do think about what "fuel" you are taking on board to keep you going during a tournament and before it for that matter. If you are going to a new venue and don't want any surprises then do as much research as you can on what to expect, what you can take in and what will be available to you when you get there!