Monday, 11 July 2016

Momentum Darts Wave – Explanation


Having given you all a day or two to have a look at the Excel file for my Momentum Darts Wave (see previous post), I thought I'd explain it a little bit today.

Basically, it's based, as I mentioned, on Infostrada's wave for football matches. Now, I don't work at Infostrada, but I think I kind of understood what they were on about and so I tried to develop an equivalent for darts.

The idea is that a player's momentum goes up or down depending on certain moments in the match. These can be divided into "positive" and "negative". For my prototype, I chose the following positive moments:
  • big treble
  • 180 
  • double hit
  • set win
  • 100+ finish
  • bullseye finish
And the following negative moments:
  • missed a big number
  • missed a double
  • bust 
  • bounce out.

Clearly, you could add further moments, both positive and negative, if you thought of some.

For each moment, I then assign a momentum parameter, such as "2" or "3". For the positive moments, this is positive and for the negative moments, this is negative. This is the multiplied by the number of moments occuring in any 3-dart volley to give you the momementum score (positive or negative) for that visit to the oche. Clearly, you can have more than one moment during a visit (e.g. two missed doubles and one hit double). Also, something like a 100+ finish always comes in combination with a double hit. Or a 180 always comes with three big trebles. This should be considered when setting, fiddling with the parameters.

One big question on this darts wave was how to manage the x-axis. On Infostrada's football one, they use time. But darts isn't really a time-based sport so I did it with number of darts, with a data point every 3-dart visit (currently I pay no attention to whether or not you check out in 1, 2 or 3 darts.). Then for each 3-dart visit there is a parameter which takes a bit off your momentum - meaning if you have zero positive or negative moments, your momentum drops a little bit. In theory you could have it hold constant but I think it makes sense for it to go down a bit.

Then the really fancy thing about the wave is that it updates live as you go. So every time you enter the results of an oche visit, the wave extends. Which is really nice and meant I had to find out how to use Excel names and things.

Another nice thing about it is that you can adapt is so easily. For example, for your rank amateur player like me, you could add in "60+ score" as a positive moment. And maybe take out "missed big number" or at least significantly lower the parameter because otherwise I'm going to struggle to get above 0 momentum.

Speaking of 0 momentum, one other feature of the wave is that you can't go below zero. So if you're at zero, or if you tank down to zero, you don't go any lower, meaning that a swift 180 can quickly see your momentum getting going again.

There are a couple of other little touches like if you have had fewer darts than your opponent (they've just thrown) then your momentum is not shown to go down, but flattens out to the end. This isn't really super important, but, given the live updating of the wave, it is important not to create false impressions.

I'm sure there are plenty of improvements and refinements that could be made, but I hope you enjoy it now as it is.

Do let me know in the comments section if you have any comments. 

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