Monday, September 15, 2008

New IRT Statistic

We here at The Racquetball Blog (TRB) are introducing a new statistic for the International Racquetball Tour (IRT): qualifier wins, or QWs. The cool kids call them Q Dubs.

We're all about the obvious, so QWs refers to exactly what it stands for. It's the number of wins in the main draw (round of 16 and on) by a player who's come through the qualifying rounds of an IRT event.

The maximum number of qualifier wins for an IRT event would be 15, which is the number of matches in the main draw. That would happen in the unlikely event that players from the qualifying rounds won all the matches in the main draw. The minimum number of QWs is 0, when no qualifiers win, which is what happened most often last season.

Of 13 IRT main events in 2007-08, there were 0 QWs in seven of them, 1 QW in three others, 2 QWs in two events, and an astonishing 5 in last season's Motorola Racquetball World Championships (RWC), as two qualifiers, Polo Gutierrez and Javier Moreno, won twice each in reaching the semi-finals, and Ben Croft also won as a qualifier, defeating Jason Thoerner in the Round of 16 before losing to Moreno.

Thus, the mean number of QWs per IRT event was 0.92 (12 QWs in 13 events) last season. (note: the US Open qualifying is for an earlier round of the draw than in other IRT events, so that event is not included in the QW).

The players with the most QWs last season were Moreno and Jason Thoerner with three each. Polo Gutierrez and Andy Hawthorne had two each, while Ben Croft, and John Ellis each had one.

The other side of a QW is that it represents an upset of a top 8 player, an event all top 8 players want to avoid. Chris Crowther had the most losses to qualifying players last season with five. That's not surprising as Crowther is often the 8th ranked player, so by seeding the most likely to be upset by a qualifier.

However, surprisingly Jason Mannino, the IRT's 4th ranked player, had the second most losses to qualifiers (QWs against, as it were), as he lost twice to qualifiers. Mannino lost to Gutierrez in the Motorola RWC, and to John Ellis in New Mexico.

Other players who lost once to qualifers last season were Jack Huczek, Jason Thoerner, Shane Vanderson, and Mitch Williams. Neither Rocky Carson or Alvaro Beltran lost to qualifiers last season.

This week at the 2008 Motorola Racquetball World Championships 39 players will try to be one of the 8 qualifiers for the main IRT draw, and then they'll try to chalk up QWs. With the likes of Gutierrez, Hawthorne, Woody Clouse as well as a couple of guys named Swain and Waselenchuk, it seems likely that there'll be at least one QW and maybe several more.

Follow the bouncing ball....

1 comment:

Todd said...

Interesting statistic; one of the things people have always wanted out of the IRT database is some sort of seeding information. I never included it since the original database source didn't have it, and its just so difficult to figure out as the season goes on. With the rotation policy of seeds 5-8 its always a guessing game as to who is exactly what seed each tourney.

I probably could rig up some sort of query that finds players who have a rnd-of-32 win and then subsequent wins at tournaments, but the logic would not always find qualifier wins.

Two obvious scenarios are tournaments with small qualifying draws where the #9 and #10 players (guys like Crowther, Hawthorne and Thoerner) may get byes into the main draw. you wouldn't want to necessarily call them "qualifiers" since they got byes into the main draw. Secondly would be the major tournaments which force even the top 8 players to play out to the round of 64. The qualification starts with the round of 256 typically for the US Open.

My thoughts, Todd Boss