I think we did this last year too, and it got kind of interesting.


So, does anyone want to make any bold predictions for this year's tournament. Doubles? Singles? 20's? Intermediates? Cues? Top 4? Top 16?

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Comment by Ray on July 29, 2011 at 2:47am

I would like to take a moment to correct one of my previous comments.  Brian Cook actually faced Bruce Hartung on 2 seperate occasions.  Bruce with the victory in 2005 and Brian won the rematch in 2007.  Therefore 7 different opponents in 8 years.     

Comment by Joe Arnup on June 13, 2011 at 6:33am
It should be noted that when I call Brian the "Great One" , I say it with much respect and thought towards Joe Fulop.   If we hadn't had Richard, Clancy, and Orr we wouldn't have appreciated Wayne so much.
Comment by Ray on June 12, 2011 at 11:07am

Just to comment on Joe's points.


Congrats to all the top 4 finishers in the doubles.  The Maders have been so close so many times.  The deserved the win.  The Browns put forth a great effort and continue where they left off in Stratford as a top 4 deadly doubles duo.  Seemingly out of nowhere comes the Johnston's, but anyone that hangs around Ab Leitch that much is bound to be good.  Slaters... yeah, no one surprised to see them in the top four.  Congrats again.   


Indeed.  Great to see the youth not only playing, but showing they have what it takes to be contenders.  The future of the game depends on the next generation, and we need to encourage them as much as possible whenever possible.


As for the 20 shootout.  The concept is there, but I think the shootout should have been held earlier.  I am not trying to make excuses, but my focus was unfortunately long gone at that point.  I am very disappointed in my lack of focus and effort.  Either way congrats to Justin Slater for defending his title.


Julian.  What can you say.  Incredible.  The kid is a 20 machine.  Kids seem to have no nerves.  He has a little more to learn, and I am sure he will learn it fast, but still an incredible run.  Great job Julian and I hope to play you again several times in the future.


Cook makes 8 straight top to appearances.  Indeed a feet that may never be matched.  Great consistancy is what is takes to be in contention every year, and Cook just keeps on bringing it.  Look back through the history and you will quickly see that he has faced 8 different people in those 8 years.  That alone tells you a lot. 


I only hope I can make it back to the top 2 next year to face Brian again, but looking back at the WCC history book, it does not look good for me;)


Side note:

It was great to see Joe Fulop out to compete again this year.  Although not the threat he once was, he still has the drive and the crokinole fire inside him that makes him the true champion he is.  Thanks for passing along your crokinole wisdom, and for being such a huge icon to the game.   You have taken the game to a new level and we are just trying to follow in your footsteps.

Comment by Joe Arnup on June 10, 2011 at 11:03am

{I won't delete this message.   The only reason I scratched my pompous predictions, for those who noticed, was that I was afraid they'd be taken out of context. } 


Anyway, wow, what a tournament.   The level of competition everywhere was outstanding.


In competitive doubles, family was the theme.   4 of 6 six top teams were family(Slater,Brown,Mader,Johnston), and at least a couple of deadly teams (Bierling,Haymes) in the lower half. Congrats to the Maders, who had always been up there, but had never won.      


Singles had several great stories.   My top five headlines:


5.  Youth Movement - 4 of the top 16 players were under twenty.   How cool is that? 

4.   Twenty Shootout - Although a little anti-climatic after the final, it was fun to see a winner takes all shootout between two of the best in the game. Well, usually the best in the game ;)  

3.  The Kid from BC - Julian Chalmer, just 11 years old from Winlaw, BC, places 5th in the world.   Now that is clutch.  

2.  Best Ever?  - Brian Cook reached the final table for eighth consecutive year.   

In a game that can be so tight, such as crokinole, consistency is hard.   For example, as good as Ray Bierling and Justin Slater are, Ray missed the top 4 last year and Justin missed it this year.  

This is a Wayne Gretzky record that won't be touched, and will likely get harder to beat before he's done.  BC is the great one of crokinole. 

1.  Worth the Wait!  -  With an enthusiastic fist pump, Ray Bierling celebrated hitting an incredible take-out 20 that put him ahead for good to win his first ever championship.  For those keeping track of statistics, that makes him the first first person to win all three of the competitive finger style trophies.  

And what a match.   After talk of the game getting too 'boring' with everything just centre shooting, it was a back and forth display that had hits, misses and everything in between.  A very fun showdown, and a classic example of how fine of a line it can be between first and second. 

Comment by Brian Miltenburg on June 7, 2011 at 8:41am

Ok, I forgot to mention that Ray will probably win the big one, and the Mader's will win the doubles....


Oh well, my picks weren't too good again, except for Tyson Kuepfer! Wait a go buddy!

Comment by Nathan Walsh on June 6, 2011 at 2:27pm

The World Crokinole Championships were quite fantastic yet again. Although there were no major surprises in who took home the trophies, this year's World Championships did show the diverse and competitive field of crokinole like no other year. Congrats to the Slaters and the Browns, a few NCA regulars, for placing so well in the doubles. Obviously for Ottawa there is a lot to look forward to in the coming years. Congrats also to Greg and his uncle Murray for placing second in the Rec. doubles. In the singles things got even more interesting. A young BC player narrowly missed the top four, and Tom Johnston and Paul Brubacher made it through an elite 16 into the top 4. And a huge congratulations has to go to Brian and Ray. The two have been the top performers for years on the crokinole circuit, and they finally got to meet for the World title. Thank you guys for giving us yet another entertaining and nail biting finish to the World Championships.


As always, videos from the tournament are soon to come. Look for them in early July.

Comment by Brian Miltenburg on May 29, 2011 at 10:57am
I want to throw a few names in.  My brother Eric MIltenburg and Joe Arnup are partnering up, and should be a serious threat.  My son Coe is moving up to Intermediate and I think Kohl Hedley is too.  Tyson Kuepfer I think was the little guy who made the final 4 last year, and he could own that trophy for the next few years if he's still practicing.  I think Justin Slater will definitely make the final 4 again.  His 20's are just too good.  My dark horse for the World Champion pick is Joe Arnup.  He's cocky enough to win it all!
Comment by Nathan Walsh on May 28, 2011 at 9:46am

I guess I'll make a few predictions, but if these are anything like the predictions I had for the NHL playoffs, they won't mean a thing.



4th - Bob and Richard Mader

3rd - Fred and Justin Slater

2nd - John Conrad and Barry Kiggins

1st- Jason and Ray Beierling



Top 4 - Kent Robinson, Brian Cook, Justin Slater, Ray Beierling

(I don't really want to pick a winner out of those 4)


Also, I expect this year to be the breakthrough for a group of players outside of southwestern Ontario. I didn't include any in these predictions, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of them are the "unknowns" that Brian alluded to.

Comment by BCook on May 27, 2011 at 4:20pm
Ray modestly left out the threat of the Killer Bees (Ray & Jason) in the doubles. As for the singles, the other question is what unknown will show up on the day and make it into the 16s or beyond??? There's one every year.
Comment by Ray on May 26, 2011 at 7:12am

Based on this years NCA results and some knowledge of WCC tournament history, I will make a few predictions. 


1.  I think Brian Cook is the one to beat in the Adult Singles Comp.  No surprise here.  He dominated the NCA Tour this past season.  I would not count out last years Champion Justin Slater.  He was out of province and missed the majority of the NCA Tour, but I feel he will be a strong contender.  Jon Conrad is also back to his old tricks and is back at the top of his game.  He had a great run last year, but watch out, because he has playing even better now.  Finally Eric Miltenberg and Fred Slater also had very strong seasons in the NCA and are improving each and every tournament. 


2.  As for the top 16, I think based on Jason Beierling and Nathan Walsh's play in the NCA last year, they will make it in this year.  Do not forget the Jongsma's from Sudbury.  A solid performance last year at the WCC should carry over again this year.   Joe Arnup should prevail as well.  Other noteables I do not want to meet in the prelims would include Dan Shantz, Bill Freeman, Art Eby, Dan Battler, Bruce Hartung, Louis Gauthier, Dave Brown, Ray Kappes, any of the Mader's, Ab Leitch, Dwayne Campbell, Jake Ruggi, Kent Robinson, John Harvey, Ron Reesor, any Haymes, Barry Kiggins or Wayne Gingerich to name a few.  One more not to forget would be Derek Kidnie.


3.  Moving on to the 20's Champion.  This year I am thinking the battle will be between Justin Slater and Brian Cook.  My dark horse will be Jason Beierling.  The first two are obvious predictions.  Brain already holding 2 20's Championships and playing well all season and Justin defending his first 20's Championship with that effortless no fear 20 stroke that he does so well.  I mention Jason because of his high 20 scores in several stops on the NCA Tour last season.  He topped several prelim 20 counts this year on his way so a couple of top 4 finishes.


4.  Doubles.  The Slater's,  The Mader's, Kappes/Bechtel and ofcourse the reunited Kiggins/Conrad.  Brian Cook if he partner's will anyone and the team of Shantz/Freeman.  Let us not forget virtual unknowns to the NCA tour, the Haymes' connection.  I believe this year a new combination may throw their names into the mix.  The Leitch/Gingerich combination should make waves.  These are all teams to watch.  Let us not forget Nathan Walsh.  He seems to excel at the doubles level no matter who he pairs up with.


5.  As for the youth of the game the battle seems to be between Coe Miltenburg and Kohl Headley.  Kent Robinson and Greg Matthison both have youngsters in training, but I think it will be at least one more year before they hit the circuit.  Watch out Cook! 


Looking back I did not make any bold predictions, but more of a summary of who to watch and watch out for.


Close enough, I will leave the discussion open to others predictions.

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