The Exclusion Zone around and behind the Oche has been in place for some time now. It is usually clearly marked for major events and especially those on TV. A different colour carpet/flooring is used in order to remove and doubt and make it clear to the referee and watching officials.
Whilst it’s been one of the better ideas that’s been introduced in the PDC over the years, we still see times where a player will celebrate, which they should rightly do, but the opponent is usually stood right on the edge of the exclusion zone, more often than not a big toe is in there. Adrian Lewis is a superb exploiter of the zone, although the DRA have disagreed at times!
The speed and fluency of many in the modern game can mean that it is almost seemless between throws. It is highly unlikely that both players are within the designated spaces 100% of the time during any match.
Subsequently the two darters can get too close for comfort and this can cause friction and change a game when there’s no need for it. It is possible that this is what causes a build up of tensions between differing types of player or personality. Gerwyn Price vs Gary Anderson for example or Daryl Gurney vs Simon Whitlock at the WGP a couple of years ago.
Also slightly increasing the size of the zone at the back of the Oche can only help when players retrieve their darts from the board, will cut down on avoiding flying arrows too.
Others at Darts World seem to feel that that darts has become more and more sanitised and that the over regulation of the playing space and clamping down on players expressing themselves is an example of snowflakery and risks eliminating one of darts key variables. The psychological combat element is and always has been a strong element of the game. No Safe Spaces seems to be their mantra!
What do you think? Let us know your view in the comments or @Darts_World Perhaps tell tell Andrew direct @A_Devonshire
We at dartsworld.com are delighted to welcome Andrew Devonshire. 2020 is going to be an important year, for Darts World, as we look to provide more content, of a varied nature, across all our platforms.
Andrew is a renowned darts writer with a wealth of darts knowledge, and expertise, bringing to our platforms everything the dedicated darts fan wants to see and read. Andrew hails from Bridgend, South Wales, a hot bed of darting tradition.
He has contributed to Darts World Magazine in the past as well as many other publications. He has also assisted the PDPA, in developing their website, together with the fanzone section and newsletter.
Andrew has a wide sporting knowledge and has concentrated on both the BDO and the PDC at various points in the past.
Look out for regular contributions from Andrew, he is passionate about darts, has a lot to say and enjoys nothing more than a good discussion.
We are at that magical time of year again, a new PDC World Darts Champion has been crowned, many congratulations to Peter Wright, a deserving and popular winner. The Premier League players have also been announced and again this year they will be joined by Nine Challengers.
The first two of these players are John Henderson who will star on the opening night in Aberdeen and the new Queen of The Alexandra Palace Fallon Sherrock who has been rewarded for her outstanding victories and performances at ‘The Ally Pally.
So here’s the challenge, who else will be given the opportunity to showcase their talents on the Premier League stage. Pick seven player and one ‘popular choice’ and leave them in the comments or via our social media channels. A prize and bragging rights to whoever gets closest!
I’m going to throw my seven players out there who I think have a chance and more importantly deserve the opportunity, plus one more who could well be a popular addition.
Let’s start with the ‘Popular Choice’ or ‘Housewives Choice’ ! Wouldn’t it be something to see the legend, the Bronzed Adonis himself, Mr Steve Beaton be rewarded for his sheer longevity and dedication to the sport at the highest level, 29 consecutive World Championship appearances and still World Ranked in the top 32 of the PDC rankings. I’m pretty sure Steve would love that one time Premier League Walk-On.
So who will be the other Challengers, it’s certainly a difficult ask to predict all seven selections. I’m not a believer in just picking a ‘Home’ player like a Welsh player for the Cardiff week of the League. If they are ‘Challengers’ then let them do just that at whatever venue. The PDC however take a different view and are likely to give some places partly based on this.
I would certainly throw Luke Humphries in there, another Quarter Final reached at the World Championships and the current World Youth Champion. I think with Fallon already selected you have to go with Mikuru Suzuki too, the Ladies BDO World Champion who was within 36 points of winning her opening World Championship match against James Richardson at The Ally Pally.Third pick would be Chris Dobey, he’s certainly moving swiftly up the rankings and has achieved notable placings in PDC majors and again at the 2020 World Championship.
Premier League crowds love a good Walk-On and there’s none better than YMCA !! My Fourth challenger would be Rapid Ricky Evans. Again he’s produced on the biggest stages at home and at the Euro Tour events and is a joy to watch in full flow even though you could miss it if you blink.
Without question Krzysztof Ratajski deserves to be my fifth selection, he’s lifted five PDC Tour titles already and the former Winmau World Master is a threat to anyone on his day and he would most certainly fit the criteria of a ‘Challenger’. Jeffrey de Zwaan would be my next pick. He’s beaten Michael Van Gerwen in a ‘Major’ TV event and has backed that result up in the last 12 months and is a player the ‘Top Guys’ will not relish facing.
My final challenger would be Jermaine Wattimena. A Quarter Finalist at the World Grand and back to back last 16 spots at the UK Open show this likeable Dutchman is moving in the right direction and sits at a career high 23 in the PDC World Rankings. I’m sure to walk on in front of a sell out Rotterdam crowd in the Premier League to possibly face Michael Van Gerwen would be an occasion he wouldn’t forget but also would rise to!
So there we have it, that would be my list of ‘Challengers’. I believe players outside of the top 16 should be classed as Challengers and it gives fans and followers alike the opportunity to see different up and coming players playing at the highest level against the ‘Top Nine’ players. Only time will tell who actually gets the nod, one thing is for sure though, it’s going to be something special. As World Champion Peter Wright would say ‘Let’s Get This Party Started’.
Andy’s 8: Luke Humphries, Mikuru Suzuki, Chris Dobey, Ricky Evans, Krzysztof Ratajski, Jeffrey De Zwaan and Jermaine Wattimena with Steve Beaton as his wildcard choice.
The Wizard’sPicks: W1—Hendo W2— Sherrock, W3—Jonny Clayton, W4—Willy O Conner, W5—Luke Humphries W6—Joe Cullen, W7—Dobey, W8—De zwann , W9—Dimi Van den Berg. Wildcard : Barney in Rotterdam!
AIM: Ian White, Krystztof Ratajaski, Seigo Asada, Max Hopp, Ricky Evans, Gabriel Clemens, Josh Payne. Wildcard: Ted Hankey!
Jacco Krook: L Humphries, Ricky Evans, Chris Dobey, Ratajaski, De Zwaan, O’Conner (Dublin), Wattinena (Rotterdam). Wildcard; Jose De Sousa.
Can you do better? Leave your 7+1 in the comments or send them via
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Andrew Devonshire is a DartsWorld contributor and popular darts and sports writer who has contributed to many publications. Follow him on twitter @A_Devonshire180
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