Following Mark Webster’s superb last leg victory, over Joe Cullen, during the Austrian Darts Open, Paul Nicholson tweeted about it being a great advert for winning the bull. Our resident coach has long advocated for taking the backroom bull-up seriously. So we asked him why?
“It’s relatively obvious that throwing first is an advantage, remember what Eric used to say ” It’s simple, win your own legs”. With the improvement in standards across the board it is getting even more so.” said Coach Calhoun.
He added more “it is beyond me how players will have a routine for practising their scoring, their doubles and their finishes, but ask them, “how do you improve your bulling up?” and you will hear a lot of umming & aahing. It’s ridiculous that a professional would allow such an advantage to slip through their fingers”.
So is the coach right? We looked at a recent Pro Tour event. In total there were 36 matches that came down to the last leg. Overall 24 of those went to the player with the darts or two out of three. So it is clearly a big advantage.
However, it was noticeable that the benefits are less pronounced in the early stages, especially the first round. Here it was a little better than 50/50. The advantage of winning the bull increases dramatically through the middle rounds where up to 6 times as many deciding legs are won by the bull winner. Toward the climax of events, it moves back again, to the point of about 1 in 4 being won by the second thrower.
Although based on limited information, this suggests that winning the bull is advantageous in all ways. It’s very advantageous in the middle stages of an event and quite helpful in the semis and finals. So it appears that coach may well be right and we should improve this area.
As our coach says: “its not rocket science, practice it and have system you can rely on” .
We asked Coach Calhoun to put together a few practice ideas for those of you keen on improving this area. Keep an eye in The Practice Board for his suggestions.
Pic: PDC & ITV(Central)