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The double in tournament in Dublin gets under way on Monday.We

The Joy Of Sets

Posted: 25.09.11 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

The double in tournament in Dublin gets under way on Monday.We're excited!

We usually start every tournament preview with the question,“ what’s in it for The Darts Performance Centre?”  With the World Grand Prix the challenge is where to start! Two points, amongst others, are what performance issues a player may encounter during a match and when planning some sort of coherent strategy or tactics may benefit a player. The Grand Prix ticks all our boxes and some!

Let’s start with the “and some”.

Glad You Could Make It

One of the true idiosyncrasies of darts is how it is administered. This is not a slur, it is merely an observation and a comparison with how other professional sports operate. By this we mean that to qualify for a tournament in other sports you have to win a match maybe or be in a band of pre-determined places in a strict hierarchal order (top 4 Premier League teams qualify for The Champions League for example).

Darts doesn’t worry about that too much. Of course thirty of the players competing in Dublin are there because of their standings in the two Order of Merit systems, the PDC and the Players Championships. There are two players, however, Brendan Dolan (currently 43rd in the Order of Merit) and William O’Connor (currently 46th in the Order of Merit) who have sneaked past Scott Rand (25th in the Order of Merit) as well as three players tied in 26th (Colin Osborne, Steve Beaton and Co Stompe).

The reason being of course is that they qualify as the two highest ranking Irish players for the tournament held in the Irish Republic of course. They both now need to prove they deserve their opportunity.

Double In and Double Out

From a performance analysis viewpoint darts doesn’t get any better than this. I doubt there is anyone who follows darts (and especially plays the game) who would argue against the fact that strange things can happen to your arm, legs and your head when you need that elusive double to win the game.

The same can apply when you need one to get a leg underway. If your opponent gets away first throw and you don’t, the pressure starts to build. We will not dwell too much on the strategy for this, we have our thoughts. Let’s watch some games and we can compare our thoughts with how the players fare match by match.

We have got a competition running as well – Double Trouble. The prize is, wait for it, a doubles practice board.

Irony is on tap at the Darts Performance Centre HQ! Visit our Facebook page, Like it (if you don't already) and then enter for free.

Are You A Legs Man?

I’m not, it’s sets, sets and more sets for me! The Grand Prix format is to play matches over sets. The first round games are the best of three sets, so a real chance of some upsets over a very short format. Each set is the best of 5 legs.

Why do we prefer sets? Maybe there has been too many one sided games (usually involving The Power) that can make matches decided over legs sometimes dull. Leg lovers will of course throw The Machine V Too Hotty (amongst plenty of others) back to that comment. It is of course possible to have one sided sets matches too.

Our fascination is probably with the mindset of the players playing this format. A player can be thrashed 3:0 in the first set and yet only be one down in the context of the match. This is where the work a coach may have carried out with a player can pay dividends. Players themselves also have the chance to test their own mental skills and mental toughness that could help them turn the match around. On the other hand, the player who has won the first set easily needs to coax himself into not going out in the second set with the wrong attitude because the first was so easy.

The same principles can apply to leg games of course but there does seem to be a different feel and different challenges in playing sets, we think so anyway!


The Darts Performance Centre is a resource to assist dart players of all standards play better darts. We are also committed to researching all aspects of darts to provide players with information and solutions that most other sports take for granted. Please support us by joining today.Membership is £25.00 per annum.

We also offer group coaching days  and we will shortly be arriving at a darts centre near you for one on one video analysis sessions - please register for free to join our mailing list to find out when and where we will be.



Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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