Record Prize Money On Offer In 2017

From Bullseyes to Bubbles – Darts Opts For Self Confinement!

DARTS is going from bullseyes to bubbles to get the sport back onto the big stage. Professional Darts Corporation bosses revealed a fortnight ago that the World Matchplay would go ahead from July 18, the first major after lockdown.

Record Prize Money On Offer In 2017
Photo; Lawrence Lustig / PDC

However, it seems almost certain that it will be temporarily moved from its traditional and iconic Winter Gardens home in Blackpool.It is likely to be relocated next month to the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes which has just successful hosted the behind-closed-doors Championship League, also under the Matchroom Sport umbrella.

The PDC yesterday revealed that they will be hosting the PDC Summer Series from July 8-12 at the Marshalls Arena.The Series will see all 128 Tour Card Holders given the chance to compete in five one-day Players Championship events, played behind closed doors at Marshall Arena, subject to the UK Government quarantine policy on overseas visitors.

As with all 2020 Players Championship events, prize money will stand at £75,000 per event, with all winnings counting towards the relevant PDC Orders of Merit.

Official PDC Logo

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn said: “Throughout the challenging times of recent weeks we have continuously explored different ways of getting players back on the oche and live darts back on fans’ screens. 

“I was proud of our players and staff who broadcast 43 nights of live remote darts through the innovative PDC Home Tour, which thrust darts into the limelight in a unique way at a time when almost all other sports were unable to provide any form of competitive action.

“Prior to the Home Tour, I outlined the three-stage plan for the return of darts, starting with events played remotely, followed by events played behind closed doors, before events can be played in front of crowds.“I am delighted that we are now able to move on to the second stage of that plan, and hopefully, we will be able to safely welcome crowds back to our events in the not-too-distant future. 

Cross will defend his title, although its looks likely the venue will be different.

“The PDC Summer Series will provide a welcome return of live darts for both players and fans alike, and I’m sure the event will whet the appetite for the prestigious Betfred World Matchplay. “We appreciate the patience of our players in recent weeks as we worked to secure these events, and further details will be confirmed to them in due course.”

The PDC has also told Darts World they are working closely with players union PDPA in an attempt to unravel a hugely complicated future around the ranking prize money dilemma. With so many tournaments wiped out this year because of the coronavirus crisis, it has been a minefield for bosses to decide on how to freeze ranking money, if that is the fairest way forward for all 128 tour cardholders.


PDC Summer Series: Live Darts Returns!

The Professional Darts Corporation is pleased to announce that live darts will return on Wednesday, July 8 with the launch of the PDC Summer Series.

Official PDC Logo

The Summer Series will see all 128 Tour Card Holders given the chance to compete in five one-day Players Championship events from July 8-12, played behind closed doors at Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes subject to the UK Government quarantine policy on overseas visitors.
   
As with all 2020 Players Championship events, prize money will stand at £75,000 per event, with all winnings counting towards the relevant PDC Orders of Merit.
   
In the event that quarantine restrictions make it impractical for non-UK players to travel to the events, the PDC will announce a revised schedule of non-ranked events for the same dates.
 
PDC Chairman Barry Hearn said: “Throughout the challenging times of recent weeks we have continuously explored different ways of getting players back on the oche and live darts back on fans’ screens.
  
“I was proud of our players and staff who broadcast 43 nights of live remote darts through the innovative PDC Home Tour, which thrust darts into the limelight in a unique way at a time when almost all other sports were unable to provide any form of competitive action.
 
“Prior to the Home Tour, I outlined the three-stage plan for the return of darts, starting with events played remotely, followed by events played behind closed doors, before events can be played in front of crowds.
 
“I am delighted that we are now able to move on to the second stage of that plan, and hopefully we will be able to safely welcome crowds back to our events in the not-too-distant future.

  
“The PDC Summer Series will provide a welcome return of live darts for both players and fans alike,

and I’m sure the event will whet the appetite for the prestigious Betfred World Matchplay.”


 “We appreciate the patience of our players in recent weeks as we worked to secure these events, and further details will be confirmed to them in due course.”
 
The PDC understands that players will have further questions regarding these events and we can assure them that as soon as details are able to be confirmed we will release the information appropriately. The PDC’s intention at this time is to confirm the dates and proposed format of the events so that players can begin to prepare for a return to competitive events and plan accordingly. Please be aware that hotel bookings for the Summer Series will be handled centrally by the PDC and players should not contact the Marshall Arena directly to make reservations.


Marshalling The Matchplay – Venue Change Looking Likely.

Despite the overwhelming desire of most players and fans, it is looking less and less likely that the World Matchplay will be held at its traditional home. Although it has not yet been completely ruled out, The Winter Gardens will pose many challenges that can be solved by alternate, more self-contained, venues.

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens may not host the 2020 World Matchplay. (Pic:PDC)

Speaking to ‘Online darts’, Matt Porter (PDC Chief Executive) extolled the virtues of the Marshall arena in Milton Keynes. It is clear that the snooker event played there recently, also under the Matchroom management, and that the PDC has been closely involved with such event planning.

Matt confirmed to Online Darts:

“I worked very closely with the guys at World Snooker. They are following a very similar model to what we intended to.”

It’s clear that Matchroom, the PDC, and World Snooker have put a huge amount of effort into envisaging how closed-door, “bubble-style”, events could be made to work.

Porter concluded:

” The Marshall arena is the perfect location to create a bubble venue. Hotel onsite….excellent transport links and centrally located”

“We get on very well with the management team: they are fully on board with what we are trying to achieve”

From the above and signals coming from Barry Hearn, and others, it seems, barring a late and dramatic change in the regulations that the Marshall Arena team are in pole position to hold this iconic event for the 2020 staging.


Record Prize Money On Offer In 2017

Quarantine Exemption For Darts? Hearn Pressing UK Government.

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn is hoping that darts players can follow Formula One stars and be exempt from quarantine. Last week the PDC announced that the World Matchplay would be taking its place on original dates July 18-26.

Official PDC Logo

But that could still be yet behind closed doors or at another venue rather than the iconic Winter Gardens. News is expected this week that the ProTour has resume in the coming weeks prior to the Matchplay. But one of the main obstacles is the UK Government mandatory 14-day quarantine for those entering the country.

But Hearn told RTL News in Holland:

“Of course I have daily contact with the British government and sports minister and I tell them my story. 

I ask them for an exception for professional athletes.” 

“Not only darters, but also snooker players and Formula One. Formula One has already received an exception, so they are on the right track.

Barry Hearn
Barry Hearn has lead from the front despite a recent heart scare. (pic:PDC)

“But what do we do when the athletes are indoors? We will develop the most advanced and safe method, as we have done with snooker.

“We created a bubble there. Everyone is tested before entering and if you are negative you can go in and not out. Everything has been cleaned 72 hours in advance, so the entire building is safe. We hope the government recognises that this measure does not require quarantine.”


Barry Hearn

Barry Hearn Nominates His ‘Ones To Watch’.

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn has chosen his favourite darts moments, which fans can now watch with a free registration to Matchroom Live.

The new Matchroom Live platform hosts an extensive archive from three decades of Matchroom Sport events, including memorable moments in darts, snooker, boxing, tenpin bowling and pool history.

The archive of PDC events includes classic finals, televised nine-darters and special programmes including The Darts Show.

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn has now selected his top five darts moments, which are showcased in a new feature and include:

  • Phil Taylor’s first televised nine-darter in 2002
  • The classic 1997 World Championship semi-final between Taylor and Eric Bristow
  • Michael van Gerwen’s 17 perfect darts during the 2013 World Championship

Matchroom Live will also be offering subscriptions and pay-per-view options for Matchroom Sport events in selected territories worldwide – with the first event being Championship League Snooker from June 1, available in the Americas, Asia and Africa.

For more details and to register for free, please visit www.matchroom.live.


Darts World’s Ones to Watch section offers a variety of articles and links to some of darts greatest matches, moments and coaching help: https://www.dartsworld.com/category/the-practice-board/ones-to-watch/

PDC Offer Video Archive Free! PDC-TV Steps Up.

The PDC’s streaming, and video archive, service has launched a special registration, and free content offer, during the current difficult time. Wit live action reduced to online challenges, and remote leagues, PDCTV has stepped up to entertain darts fans.

Darts fans can simply click here and register to gain access to hundreds of matches from the last decade or so of PDC action. Interviews and other features are also available.

Another decent move from the PDC who seem to have adapted as well as possible to the troubled times in which they find themselves. With Barry Hearn recovering after a recent heart attack the PDC are still managing to be at the forefront and looking after players and entertaining fans.


William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Ten Round-Up

The Power & Barney To Play ‘Isolation’ Darts!

Something to look forward to that can be enjoyed in splendid isolation? Look no further:

The Sun newspaper are reporting that Phil Taylor and Raymond Van Barneveld are to ‘face off’ once more in a unique game of elite darts.

Darts long history of charity and supporting good causes will be extended into the Covid-19 crisis.

The pair, together with their sponsor Target darts, are trying to arrange a remote game where neither player will leave ‘their living room’. The match, which will by for charity, will feature Phil playing from his Stoke on Trent home whilst Barney does not have to travel from Holland. The match will highlight and perhaps assist the difficulties caused by the current social restrictions caused by the Covid-19 virus.

Target produce an intelligent ‘Nexus’ electronic dart board that can be linked online via wireless technology.

Taylor was quoted as hoping that the match would satisfy the craving public’s for some live sport whilst lifting the spirits and making a contribution to worthwhile causes.

The 16 times world champion also tweeted earlier:

I’ll certainly be trying to win this one!

Phil Taylor via twitter.

Target have also confirmed that attempts to arrange the one-off match are underway. The match seems to match up to the attempts of (PDC supremo) Barry Hearn who is seeking new ways to promote and host darts during the current difficulties.

As far as DW is aware neither player is currently subject to self isolation but both are willing to raise do their bit for those who find themselves in difficulty due to the virus.

Raymond Van Barneveld

It certainly gives those who love darts something to look forward to. A ‘front room thriller’, to match the 2007 World Championship final, world certainly give us something to talk about.

Overall ‘The Power’ leads ‘Barney’ (61 to 18) in head to head meetings. But Raymond’s 2007 win is the one that will always be remembered.


Original Article: The Sun

Featured Pics: L Lustig / PDC

Record Prize Money On Offer In 2017

Darting Debate: Time For A UK Specific Challenge Tour?

The PDC’s model for the growth and professionalisation of elite darts has proven a huge success. Barry Hearn’s major events dominate the global market, the Pro Tour is the gold standard for the professional game and their tier structure is getting better and better every year. But are the UK’s up and coming players getting a raw deal?

PDC: Barry Hearn
Could ‘Uncle Barry’ re organise the current tour structure and solve two birds with one stone?
PDC: Barry Hearn

For a long time it was obvious, to anyone being honest with themselves, that UK based players had every advantage. Nearly every event here, whether qualifying, tour or TV. We have an ingrained darting culture, strong leagues and a healthy ‘open’ event scene to match.

However, during the past decade, the balance has tipped toward other nationalities, especially those from mainland Europe. This is totally justified and inevitable as the game grows and new markets assert themselves. Yet, it seems it may now be moving to far away from the players of the ‘mother nation’.

The development of region specific tours in Scandinavia and Asia has led to ‘hybrid darters’ being able to zig-zag the globe with the insurance that they can earn ‘bread and butter’ money from their home tour. The best current example of the is Darius Labanauskas. ‘Lucky D’ has progressed on the Pro Tour while retaining a venue (Nordic Tour) where he can maintain the habits of playing long competition days, earning money and most importantly winning!

Johan Engstrom could well be an example of how this can be utilised at the secondary levels. Johnny is a fine player, reaching the later stages of the Winmau World Masters in 2015, and is capable of rising through the PDC ranks. He has the advantage of playing the affiliate tour in his region, the challenge tour and may well have multiple qualifying options for European Tour events. Johan will also be able to select WDF events and plough a second path to major titles and TV events. This has often been easier for European players than UK based PDPA members or associates.

The same may soon be said for the Asian Tour players. Although, due to the travelling etc., it is still a very difficult combination for to attempt.

Looking at, the rapidly expanding field for, Q School events, now being repeated at Challenge Tour level, tells us something. Is there a case for a re-division of the Tour? If so perhaps something like this might work:

  • Pro Tour
  • Challenge Tour (Events in Multiple Region/Nations)
  • Regional/National Tours (UK & RoI, Scandi, Asian, Euro, North America & more)
  • Women’s Tour? (Not my choice, but an option if linked to the others)
  • Development Tour (under 21)

A number of Tour Cards could then be allocated to the tours on the basis of standard and participation.

Q Schools would then be available to those who had played the affiliated tours (minimum events) and/or reached a specific std.

This is far from a complete structure, or system, but offers a possible solution to some of the issues currently being discussed within the darts community.


Feature Pic – L Lustig (PDC)

HISTORY MAKER SHERROCK HEADING TO NEW YORK

DARTS sensation Fallon Sherrock is set to take America by storm after being selected to compete in the 2020 U.S. Darts Masters, which will be held on June 5-6 in the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE, LONDON Round 1 TED EVETTS v FALLON SHERROCK Pic: Christopher Dean / Scantech Media 07930 364436 chris@scantechmedia.com www.scantechmedia.com

Sherrock, a 25-year-old from England, created history as the first female player to win a match at the Professional Darts Corporation’s World Championship on Tuesday, defeating Ted Evetts 3-2 in the first round of the event.

The achievement has received incredible worldwide recognition as Sherrock enjoyed a hugely memorable, and deserved, win at Alexandra Palace in London.

The 25-year-old will now join the likes of current World Champion Michael van Gerwen in competing in the U.S. Darts Masters, when the World Series of Darts visits New York for the first time next June.

Eight north American qualifiers will also compete in the two-day tournament on June 5-6, with Sherrock set to make history again when she becomes the first female competitor on the World Series stage next year.

“We live in a big world and Fallon’s victory has become mainstream news, rather than sports news,” said Hearn. “It’s astonished me.

“The first woman to do something is always news because it’s a breakthrough moment for the sport. You couldn’t write that type of drama. I think it is a game-changing moment.

“Fallon will get the dream ticket in terms of an invitation to the World Series of Darts in the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York.

“That’s going to be massive news around the world, particularly in America, and the message is clear to other women; if you’re good enough, opportunities exist or will be created.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND1 FALLON SHARROCK PRESS CONFERENCE

“She’s going to have dream scenario there and who knows where it builds from there.”

Hearn added: “The aim of the World Series is to grow professional darts worldwide and Fallon’s inclusion will be another massive step for the sport on the global stage.

“Darts is hugely popular across America and we’ve already seen incredible interest in our first visit to New York, and to have Fallon on stage at Madison Square will be a huge opportunity for her to show her undoubted talent to a new audience.”

Speaking following her inclusion in the tournament, Sherrock said: “I can’t believe it – this is amazing news for me. It’s been a crazy couple of days and I’m not sure everything has sunk in yet.

“It’s all really exciting and to get to play in the World Series in New York will be a fantastic experience for me. This shows that if me and other women show what we can do and win matches, we’ll be rewarded with more opportunities like this. I can’t wait.”

Tickets for the 2020 U.S. Darts Masters are available now and can be purchased from Ticketmaster viahttps://www.ticketmaster.com/artist/2256468.

ENDS

European Tour 2020 – Details Released.

The qualification structure for the PDC European Tour has been confirmed for 2020 ahead of the widest-reaching season of events since the series was introduced.

The European Tour has proven a proving ground for many players including Gerwyn Price.
Pic:PDC.

A total of 13 European Tour events are set to take place during 2020, including visits to Belgium and Hungary for the first time alongside tournaments in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic and Gibraltar.

As in recent years, each event will feature 48 players and sees the top 16 players from the ProTour Order of Merit seeded through to the second round.

PDC Tour Card Holders will now compete in one combined qualifier for a total of 24 places in the tournament, having previously been split into UK and European Qualifiers.

The top two ranked players from each Host Nation will also qualify by right, where applicable, as two of four players representing each Host Nation.

MVG has a fine record on the PDC European Tour.

Further qualifiers will come from the PDC Nordic & Baltic and East Europe regions (one place per tournament), with two places reserved for an Associate Member Qualifier, which will be open to players who competed at the 2020 PDC Qualifying School but did not win a Tour Card.

“The European Tour is a hugely popular and important part of the PDC circuit now and the expansion into two new territories next year is accompanied by this exciting update to the qualification structure,” said PDC Chief Executive Matthew Porter.

“We have reviewed the European Tour with partners including PDC Europe and the PDPA and believe that this new qualifying structure provides a great balance for fans attending across Europe as well as players competing in the events.”

Tickets for the 2020 PDC European Tour are available through PDC Europe via https://www.pdc-europe.de/tickets/

The full qualification structure is as follows:

16 Seeded Players – top 16 entered players from ProTour Order of Merit at time of entry deadline. Will enter each event at the second-round stage, and need to win their second-round match in order for prize money to count to the relevant Orders of Merit.

Up to two ranked players from the Host Nation, outside of the top 16 seeds, from the ProTour Order of Merit at the time of entry deadline. Will enter each event at first-round stage, and need to win their first-round match in order for prize money to count to the relevant Orders of Merit. Should there be less than two ranked players from the Host Nation, additional places would be on offer at the Host Nation Qualifier.

24 Tour Card Holder Qualifiers – from one knockout qualifier featuring all Tour Card Holders

One PDC Nordic & Baltic Qualifier

One East Europe Qualifier

Two Host Nation Qualifiers – from events for Associate and Day Members from the Host Nation. Day Members can participate in up to two Host Nation Qualifiers per year.

Two Associate Member Qualifiers – from events open to any Associate Member who competed at the 2020 Qualifying Schools.

ENDS