New ‘Players’ Player’ award – just one of the improvements for the forthcoming 2015-16 season

As part of our end of season review, after assessing players’ feedback and following some new ideas from within the team, we are pleased to announce the following changes for 2015-16.

In short, we are tweaking our use of the head to head rule, we are renaming the titles of our knockout competitions, we are evolving how the World Rankings are calculated and we are launching two new awards!

First up is a change which affects how positions in groups are determined. This change will be implemented in all SMPT events. Currently, positions are determined firstly on total points, then head to head results and finally shot difference within the head to head. Whilst we believe this is the fairest way to determine group positions, we understand that it can be difficult for players to calculate the shot difference within the head to head. To simplify this situation, from the start of the 2015-16 season, positions in the group will be decided as follows: total points, then head to head results and finally overall shot difference. With groups tables constantly updated after all rounds we know this change will make it easy for players to know where they stand and what they need to do to qualify as groups reach their conclusion.

Our second alteration involves revamping the names of the knockout competitions in our ranking events. The Main Knockout now becomes the Cup Knockout, the Plate remains unchanged and the Wooden Spoon Knockout becomes the Shield Knockout. After all, we felt the term ‘Wooden Spoon’ just does not reflect the quality of the players who compete for this prize.

The third development sees a distinction made between the ‘Order of Merit’ each season and the ‘World Rankings’ which will reflect performances over a rolling 12 event period.

So how will the World Rankings be determined? Well, after each of the six world ranking events which make up the 2015-16 Order of Merit, the ranking points earned by players will be added to the total they amassed in the 2014-15 Order of Merit. This means that after the 2016 World Masters the World Rankings will represent performances across a maximum of 12 events. Then, after the first ranking event in the 2016-17 season, any ranking points earned will be added as usual, but the points from the first ranking event in 2014-15 will be removed. This pattern will continue so that the World Rankings will become a reflection of performances over a rolling period of 12 events.

We are also delighted to be introducing two new awards! As part of our continued support of young players (which enables under 18s to play for free) and to recognise our talented junior bowlers, next season’s highest placed under 18 in the Order of Merit will be crowned the SMPT Young Player Of The Season. This prestigious accolade will be presented alongside a second award to the Players’ Player Of The Season, the winner of which will be determined by a poll open to all of the season’s ranking event entrants.

We hope you are all as excited by these enhancements as we are and we look forward to seeing you all again next season.

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