A Cold and Wet Day for the opening round of Assessments
The morning (in particular) weather didn’t help the competitors in the first round of the Qualifying Assessments for the 2021 World Championships (Triples: Men), European Championships (Triples: Men) and European Championships for Veterans (Triples: Women & Men).
I need to begin with thanking the Monkstone PC for giving over their pistes for the day to allow us to safely spread out and run the three individual Assessments, as well as a distanced area for playing/warming up (a term I use lightly, given the weather).
I must also thank the people who marked each event – Jean-Yves Robic, Tony Smith and, especially, Lyn Babbage who stepped in at the last minute to help out after I had to pull-out due to illness.
There had been a lot of discussion among the Executive Committee and with the National Coach prior to the event taking place – firstly around whether it should have gone ahead at all. We always knew it would be a risk, starting such an important process in nearly December, and we have 2 further weekends for scheduled into the 2021 Draft Playing Calendar for more rounds for these events, as well as a separate event for the World Championships (Triples: Women). In addition, this is partly driven by the closing date for entries to the World Championships. Based on our experience earlier this year, the organisers will need full details of the team by early Spring.
Given this likely requirement, along with the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus restrictions in Wales, we decided it would be useful to get at least one round “in the bag” while we had a window of opportunity.
We added a second day to the Playing Calendar in case we needed that extra time, depending on the number of players who entered, but as it turned out, only the Saturday was needed.
With a slight evolution of the process, we used in 2019, the original plan for the day involved a number of timed triples matches between teams made up of the players not undergoing their individual assessments and taking place simultaneously with those. The plan was for these games to be observed and each player marked using the same process as our coaches follow at international events. Unfortunately, the lack of people available to undertake this observation & marking meant this element had to be removed from the event.
All the players who took part have been asked for their feedback on the event. I am grateful for the replies received so far and hope the people who haven’t responded yet, will be able to do so. All suggestions/thoughts/views will be considered before the next rounds.
The Standings at the end of Round 1 can be seen below. Each player’s individual detailed scoring will be emailed directly to them by the National Coach.
Congratulations to everyone who took part, and a big thank you again to Monkstone PC and the volunteer markers.
Let’s hope the following rounds take place in kinder conditions.
WPA National President