Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New IRT Rankings

The International Racquetball Tour (IRT) has released its latest rankings following last week's Motorola IRT World Racquetball Championships. That was the first tournament of the season, so this ranking run gives an insight to the rankings, which has always been a bit baffling to us, and indicates how much players get for each tournament.

There are two changes in the top 10, as Jason Mannino is now number 3 having switched places with Alvaro Beltran. Previously, Mannino was only 8 points behind Beltran, and he earned 405 points in Denver, losing in a five game semi-final, while Beltran also lost in the semis but in three straight games, which resulted in 382 rankings points.

Now, 405 minus 382 is 23, then there's the 8 point difference before, so you might think that Mannino would be up 14 points on Beltran now. And you'd be wrong. The difference is actually 128 points. Why?

The reason is that players' results from last year's Motorola event are now dropped from the ranking, replaced by this year's results. In last year's Motorola Racquetball World Championships, Mannino lost in the 16s, while Beltran lost in the finals. Thus, Mannino's result last weekend was an improvement over last year while Beltran's was a decrement.

Also, Andy Hawthorne moved into the top 10 ahead of Javier Moreno, who dropped to 13th from 10th.

Of course, the most ranking points this week went to Kane Waselenchuk, as the winner of last week's tournament. He got 626 points. At that rate Waselenchuk could be in the top 8 by the US Open if he wins the next three weeks, as Chris Crowther, who's number 8 now, has 1905 points.

Waselenchuk could get there sooner with wins both this week and next, depending on how Crowther does in these next two tournaments compared to his performances this time last year.

Kansas City Open - Waselenchuk v. Carson in the Round of 16?

Based on today's rankings, and the 23 players who are in the Kansas City Open qualifying draw, it appears to The Racquetball Blog that Waselenchuk will only have to play one qualifying match, as he should be the 8th ranked qualifier. The top 8 ranked qualifiers only have to play one match to get in the main draw, with the other qualifiers playing off to face one of those 8.

Most interestingly - if we're correct about Waselenchuk being the 8th qualifier - and he wins his qualifying match, then he'll face Rocky Carson in the Round of 16, as the lowest ranked of the 8 seeded qualifiers plays the highest seeded player in the main draw.

This is the effect of Waselenchuk going into the main draw through qualifying. Where he fits into the main draw will change depending on which qualifying spot he occupies. Last week, he came in on the bottom side of the draw, but this week it looks like he'll be on the top side.

If so, then sadly the rematch of last week's final won't be on, because it'll come too early in the draw.

Follow the bouncing ball...

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