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Premier League darts hits the UK

Premier League Darts - Bournemouth

Posted: 17.02.13 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

Premier League darts hits the UK's Premier seaside resort and we discuss the problems caused when "playing away"!

 
 

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The Premier League visits the UK’s Premier seaside resort of Bournemouth this week. It is week three already; after Thursday night’s action one third of the part of the 9 week section of the season that relegates two of the players is up! More of that later!

Week two in Aberdeen was a great night of darts with lots of talking points. Darts does make me smile sometimes, especially when you compare it to the strict training regimes of other sports. The Power for instance admitted after his match that he hadn’t really practised much prior to his game against Lewis. He had “been really busy” he helpfully added. Imagine Wayne Rooney coming up with that excuse for Sir Alex after skipping training for a few days just before a big game?

Although maybe Sir Alex should consider this unusual pre-match practice strategy as Taylor banged in a near 99 average and an incredible 70% on the doubles! Imagine if he had got some practice hours under his belt!

Home Advantage in Darts?

It is a commonly held belief that in football the home team has an advantage over the opposition. In fact there have been numerous studies that have confirmed this to be true, although the source of the advantage is still very much in debate. But what about darts, can a home crowd give a dart player an advantage? On the evidence of last week in Aberdeen then an emphatic yes is the answer!

There was not an England V Scotland clash this time, it just so happened that the one Australian in the tournament Whitlock and Dutch player Van Gerwen were paired against the two Scottish players, Anderson and Thornton. There was of course the incident in Glasgow two seasons ago when Lewis was pelted with coins in an unfair attempt to put him off against home favourite Gary Anderson. My Twitter pal Lenny talked about that incident here. This plan backfired as Anderson went in to meltdown embarrassed by the crowd’s antics and Lewis won easily. Maybe these pairings were a delayed reaction to that or maybe just coincidence?

Either way you could put up a strong case that the home crowd played their part in securing good results for Scotland. Anderson had no reason to cry “foul” this time and fashioned a fine victory against Whitlock. Anderson confirmed after the match that the home crowd had spurred him to victory and that he had goose bumps throughout the match such was the intensity of support. The Thorn also notched up a good result with a draw against the huge pre match bookies favourite Mighty Mike.

There are numerous areas suggested for why home teams in football have an advantage and one very interesting piece of research by Richard Pollard brings them together. The one stand out area in Pollard’s paper in football is referee bias. Anyone that has scoffed at the notion of “Fergie Time” please take note; the away fans may not be bad losers after all. It has been proven that “there is overwhelming evidence that that referee’s decisions favour the home team”. There is of course a referee in darts but they do not have any influence on the outcome of a darts match.

The stand out area for me in the paper that can be applied to darts, especially after Anderson’s post match comment about the passion of the crowd is the area identified as “Territoriality”. It says: “Humans and animals are known to respond to a real or perceived invasion of their home territory and it seems reasonable to suppose this might be a factor in home advantage. It has been shown that teams playing in countries, or specific cities or regions within countries, often isolated and with a history of conflict, have increased home advantage perhaps due to a heightened sense of territoriality”. This is a darts blog not a history lesson but this has some merit, doesn’t it?

The Dog Fight

Our pre-season relegation tip Wes Newton is propping up the table and he had a poor game against Barney in Scotland. The main reason I feared for WesWez was his habit of crashing out of tournaments as he reaches the business end. In other words when the going gets tough, he usually loses! Every Premier League match has the intensity of a “Major” quarter final or semi final but with the added burden of it being over a short format, which is why we felt it would be a very difficult season for The Warrior.

Barney seems to agree with this analogy, going a step further and describing each game like a final on the PDC site!

Raymond van Barnevled darts in stock-So reasonably priced you can afford to change them as often as you like!

So far he hasn’t been able to cope and defeat in Bournemouth against an in form Thornton will further reduce his already odds on chances of heading for the drop.

Sunny Bournemouth

I was born in Bournemouth, about 5 minutes from the BIC in fact and I don’t live too far away from the seaside town now! Such is my single minded commitment to running the Darts Performance Centre website though, I completely forgot to order any tickets. So if anyone has any spare tickets do please let me know (I am a very reliable payer), as it would be great to use my home advantage!

Tips:

The Thorn ( 9 180's so far) to hit more than Newton (3) at Evens 

Over 6.5 180's in MVG V RVB match at 4/5

Another option is to also look at this match for "match to produce the most 180's on the night" 9/4 with Boyles! 

Week Three
February 21 - BIC, Bournemouth
James Wade v Adrian Lewis
Robert Thornton v Wes Newton
Simon Whitlock v Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
Andy Hamilton v Gary Anderson

Research Paper used:

Home Advantage in Football: A Current Review of an Unsolved Puzzle. Pollard, R. (The Open Sports Sciences Journal, 2008).

 

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The Darts Performance Centre is a resource to assist dart players of all standards play better darts. The site is arranged as an on-line coaching manual. There is advice on technique, nerves, psychology, goal setting, practice games, an area to log your statistics and an interactive area where your darting questions are answered by two sports scientists, one with 30 years dart playing experience! Membership is just £25.00 per annum.

 

Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )