Professional Darts Corporation

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Professional Darts Corporation
2009 World Darts Championship.jpg
2009 PDC World Darts Championship
Darts in a dartboard.jpg
Abbreviation PDC
Formation January 16, 1992; 22 years ago (1992-01-16)
Type Professional Darts organization
Headquarters Mascalls, Mascalls Lane
Brentwood, Essex
CM14 5LJ
United Kingdom
Membership 221
Chairman Barry Hearn
Chief Executive Matthew Porter
Staff 30
Website www.pdc.tv
Formerly called World Darts Council

The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) is a professional darts organization, established in the United Kingdom during 1992, when a group of leading professional players split from the British Darts Organisation to form what was initially called the World Darts Council (WDC). Barry Hearn, an experienced sports promoter, is the PDC's current chairman.

The PDC developed and holds several championship competitions including the annual PDC World Darts Championship, the UK Open, World Grand Prix, Premier League and World Matchplay. It also runs its own world rankings based on players' performances.

History[edit]

Main article: Split in darts

In the 1980s professional darts in Britain lost much of its sponsorship and most of its television coverage. From 1989 the only televised event was the annual Embassy World Championship. Some of the players felt that not enough was being done by the governing body, the British Darts Organisation, to encourage new sponsors into the sport and arrange more television coverage than just one event a year.

As a result, 16 professional players, including every previous BDO world champion who was still active in the game, created their own darts organisation, the World Darts Council (WDC), in January 1992.[1]

The badges worn by WDC players at the 1993 World Championship

They wanted to appoint a PR consultant to improve the image of the game. The 1993 Embassy World Championship was the last time there was one unified world championship. The WDC players wore their new insignia on their sleeves during the tournament but were told to remove them by the BDO.[2] The WDC players decided that if they were not going to be recognised by the BDO they would no longer play in the Embassy tournament.

The BDO took the step of banning the rebel players from playing in county darts and even threatened to ban any player who participated in exhibition events with WDC players.[3]

Tomlin order[edit]

The WDC players took the matter to court in a dispute which accrued large and perhaps unaffordable costs during a protracted legal process. The two bodies reached an out-of-court settlement on 30 June 1997 in the form of a Tomlin order.[4]

The BDO recognized the WDC and agreed that all players shall have the freedom of choice as to which open events they wish to play in. The WDC dropped its claim to be a world governing body and renamed itself the Professional Darts Corporation. The PDC accepted and recognized the WDF as the governing body for the sport of darts worldwide, and the BDO the governing body for darts in the UK. The stated purpose of the agreement was to promote the freedom of individual darts players to participate freely in open competition.

Another condition of this Tomlin order is that the top 16 players, and any Home Country players ranked between 17 and 32 in each year’s BDO Championship, and the top 16 players in each year's PDC Championship, shall not be permitted to enter the other competition in the immediately following year.

Despite this condition, Raymond van Barneveld switched to the PDC within weeks of reaching the 2006 BDO final, later playing in (and winning) the 2007 PDC World Championship – the Tomlin order should have made him ineligible to play.[5] However it emerged that van Barneveld had negotiated a clause in his contract with the BDO, giving him the right to play in the PDC world championship the year immediately after his last BDO world championship.[6]

There was further controversy following the 2007 BDO World Championship, when Jelle Klaasen announced that he would be switching to the PDC. As a BDO World Champion, he signed a three-year deal in 2006 to return to the Lakeside event. The BDO threatened to take legal action for breach of contract,[7] but with previous damage and costs incurred by other legal cases it has become less likely that any action will be taken in future with regards to player contracts and the Tomlin Order.[8] 2007 semi-finalist Mervyn King also moved to the PDC, seemingly against the contracted condition that semi-finalists and finalists were bound to appear the next year.

In January 2012, the PDC invited the four semi-finalists of the BDO world championships, after obtaining a written agreement to release any player without penalty. Ted Hankey was the first player to move,[9] as well as several players (who were not guaranteed a pro tour card due to not reaching the BDO semi finals) entering the PDC qualifying school, including Dean Winstanley, Tony West, Steve West, and Stuart Kellet .

Television coverage[edit]

Following the breakaway group's first televised event in 1992 (the Lada UK Masters on Anglia Television), satellite broadcaster Sky Sports signed a deal to exclusively cover three PDC tournaments each year. To capitalise on its investment, the channel introduced a number of new techniques to make the coverage more interesting for armchair fans.

Unlike the BDO world championship, which is covered via the general entertainment BBC Two channel, Sky's dedicated sports channel allowed the PDC matches to be covered in their entirety. Over ten hours per day of live darts on Sky Sports is not uncommon. The British Darts Organisation's events were more limited to selected matches and highlights, although in recent years the BBC has increased its interactive TV coverage allowing viewers to see many more events live.[10]

Sky television is an advertisement and subscription based channel, and generally after each set a commercial break is taken. Planet Funk's 2000 single Chase the Sun is played in the auditorium and it has become a cult track amongst darts fans, who tend to dance along to the tune during the breaks.[11]

Currently Sky Sports broadcasts six tournaments live each year in both Ireland and the United Kingdom. PDC events are also televised in Australia, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa and the United States.

The PDC signed a three-year deal with ITV in 2007 with the inaugural Grand Slam of Darts from 2007 and the inaugural Players Championship from 2009. The matches are shown live on ITV4 with highlights on ITV1. With ITV being an advertisement channel like Sky Sports, when commercial breaks are taken after 4 legs as the tournaments that ITV cover do no play in sets. The Fratellis 2006 single Chelsea Dagger is played during the breaks on ITV. In 2010, Bravo signed a contract to show the European Championships.

In 2007 Sky Sports decided to extend their coverage of the Premier League Darts to 2010 following the high number of viewers to previous tournaments.[12]

Cameras[edit]

Sky Sports introduced more cameras to cover the sport, and many of these innovations have been copied by other broadcasters.

Unique flight cams show the trajectory of the dart through the air in slow motion to sometimes surprising results. A tiny camera has also been inserted into the dartboard itself beside the number 16 - one of the most common doubles - that shows the darts being thrown towards the board. Sky Sports have also used a player cam; a tiny camera was fitted to Dennis Priestley's shirt to capture his view of the action while playing.

Elsewhere, floating video cameras capture the action of the watching crowds. Spectators become far more animated and vocal, similar to a football crowd, while holding up humorous placards - often featuring corny puns - regarding the players. Some supporters even wear face paint or dress up as their favourite player via their trademark attire or customary nickname.

The players' wives have also been a focus for the cameras, as they cheered or screeched on their husbands. In January 2005, Sky One commissioned a programme entitled Darts Players' Wives, primarily focusing on the wives and their relationships.

In December 2008, Sky started to broadcast darts in High Definition (with the exception of the final Las Vegas Desert Classic in 2009), and in July 2010 (at the World Matchplay), broadcast the Semi Finals and Final in 3D to around 1,000 licensed premises in the UK and Ireland

Commentators[edit]

John Gwynne has covered all PDC events from the inaugural 1992 competition until his retirement in 2013. Dave Lanning covered all events up until December 2010, when he retired. Contrary to popular belief, long-time BBC darts commentator Sid Waddell did not switch allegiances to Sky until after the 1994 BDO World Championship. He brought his own unique brand of commentary to the game, and was a cult figure amongst darts fans and sport fans alike. He continued to commentate until his death in 2012. Stuart Pyke joined the team in 2003. Other commentators include Nigel Pearson, Rod Studd, and former players Rod Harrington, Wayne Mardle five time World Champion Eric Bristow and three time World Champion John Part.

Jeff Stelling was the original presenter of Sky Sports' darts coverage, but most of the events are now presented by Dave Clark. In addition, the 2005 Premier League was fronted by Gary Newbon. ITV events were fronted by Matt Smith, with Ned Boulting undertaking features and interviews. Bravo employed James Richardson and Dave Gorman to front its coverage until the channel closed in 2011.

Image[edit]

The PDC sought to attract a younger audience of both sexes for darts and market the game as a night out rather than just as a sporting event. Through the years, it was not uncommon to see politicians, musicians, football players, boxers and other sporting personalities attending their events. The British Darts Organisation have subsequently sought to emulate most of these innovations.

Players enter matches with their own signature theme music whilst flanked by security men and female valets down to the oche. A "big-time" atmosphere was also created by using smoke machines and pyrotechnics during these sometimes elaborate entrances, similar to those used in boxing or wrestling.

At the oche, players only drink iced water during matches. Though this was intended to further the game's image, which had been tarnished by players' reputation for consuming large quantities of alcohol, the water is also needed to prevent dehydration. With the many lights and packed crowds, temperatures have been measured at over 38 degree Celsius (100 degree Fahrenheit) during some games.

Inside the venues, action is relayed via giant video screens for the large crowds. The BDO now also has video screens, while maintaining their traditional "light boards" of lightbulbs, showing where each dart lands for the benefit of the crowd.

Nicknames[edit]

Eric Bristow, the most successful player in the first few years of the World Championship, had his nickname "The Crafty Cockney" emblazoned on the back of his shirt. Very few dart players had their own nicknames until the Professional Darts Corporation circuit made it almost customary for every player to acquire a nickname. This helps to create a new generation of characters with which its audience could identify.

Sky TV commentator Sid Waddell attempted to christen Phil Taylor "The Crafty Potter" - referring to him being both a protégé of Bristow and originating from the Potteries. However, the tag never caught on and it wasn't until a later tournament that he came out to the tune The Power by Snap! that his nickname was accidentally born.

Jamie Harvey from Scotland became "Bravedart" - a play on words from Mel Gibson's Braveheart film. Sky Sports even filmed vignettes where a kilt wearing Jamie had his face painted blue and ran through woods throwing his darts whilst looking menacing.

As the only player to wear a shirt, tie and waistcoat whilst playing, Rod Harrington's "Prince of Style" tag appeared apt.

Though originally from the BDO circuit, Wayne Mardle is known as "Hawaii Five-O-One" due to his colourful Hawaiian shirts (a play on words on Hawaii Five-O and the starting score in a leg of darts).

Bob Anderson, now living in Clevedon in Somerset, is known as The Limestone Cowboy, after the limestone hills of Wiltshire where Bob used to live, and the fact that he enjoys Country and Western music. This was once taken even further, with Anderson once riding to the stage on a horse.

Current Tournaments[edit]

The Professional Darts Corporation has continued to increase its annual UK televised tournaments in recent years: The World Championship, The Premier League, Las Vegas Desert Classic, UK Open, World Grand Prix and World Matchplay are all covered live via Sky Sports. The US Open was shown on Challenge in 2007 and Nuts TV in 2008, while ITV has televised the Grand Slam of Darts since 2007 as well as the Players Championships. Bravo broadcast the European Championships for the first time in 2010, after ITV4 televised the first running in 2008.

Most televised tournaments have a different format which can give them their own distinctive or unique character.

Ladbrokes.com World Championship[edit]

The World Championship is a single-elimination seeded tournament beginning in late December and finishing in early January. It is the biggest of the PDC tournaments and has the largest prize fund of any darts competition. Held at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet between 1994 and 2007, the championship moved to a bigger venue at Alexandra Palace from 2008.

Phil Taylor has dominated this tournament, reaching the final for the first 14 years between 1994 and 2007 and winning fourteen titles, including eight successive titles between 1995 and 2002. The PDC World Champions have also shared eight BDO World Championships between them, with Van Barneveld winning four, Taylor two, and Part and Priestley one each. These are usually added to each player's haul when describing their achievements - hence Taylor is a 16-time champion, van Barneveld 5, Part 3 and Priestley 2.

Previous Winners (1994–2014)

  • 14 Phil Taylor (1995–2002, 2004–2006, 2009-2010, 2013)
  • 2 John Part (2003, 2008)
  • 2 Adrian Lewis (2011, 2012)
  • 1 Dennis Priestley (1994)
  • 1 Raymond van Barneveld (2007)
  • 1 Michael van Gerwen (2014)

Speedy Hire UK Open[edit]

Main article: UK Open (darts)

Held each year in June at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton (2003 - 2013), and from 2014 in March at Butlins, Minehead, the UK Open is played over three days with 168 players in a single elimination tournament. After each round a draw is held where there is no protection for seeded players. This has earned it the nickname The FA Cup of darts.

Previous Winners (2003–2014)

  • 5 Phil Taylor (2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2013)
  • 2 James Wade (2008, 2011)
  • 2 Raymond van Barneveld (2006, 2007)
  • 1 Robert Thornton (2012)
  • 1 Roland Scholten (2004)
  • 1 Adrian Lewis (2014)

Betfair World Matchplay[edit]

Crowds exceeding 2,000 in number assemble at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, the longest serving venue in the PDC. Matches are contested over legs rather than sets, presenting the prospect of some surprising results and upsets. Phil Taylor is again the dominant player in this event, winning fifteen titles, including 13 of the last 15.

Previous Winners (1994–2014)

  • 15 Phil Taylor (1995, 1997, 2000–2004, 2006, 2008–2014)
  • 2 Rod Harrington (1998, 1999)
  • 1 Larry Butler (1994)
  • 1 Peter Evison (1996)
  • 1 Colin Lloyd (2005)
  • 1 James Wade (2007)

PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix[edit]

The World Grand Prix replaced the World Pairs event in 1998. Its original venue was the Casino Rooms in Rochester, Kent until 1999, with one staging in Rosslare in 2000 before moving in 2001 to its current home at the CityWest Hotel in Dublin, Ireland.

This tournament has shorter opening rounds and players must commence and finish each leg on a double including the option of the bull, which is a format not used in any other major televised event. Taylor has dominated the event since its inception and is yet to go two consecutive years without winning the tournament.

Previous Winners (1998–2014)

  • 11 Phil Taylor (1998–2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013)
  • 2 James Wade (2007, 2010)
  • 2 Michael van Gerwen (2012, 2014)
  • 1 Alan Warriner (2001)
  • 1 Colin Lloyd (2004)

Betway Premier League Darts[edit]

Main article: Premier League Darts

In 2005, Sky Sports launched the Premier League Darts television programme. For five months, eight of the biggest names from the PDC circuit (10 in 2013 and 2014) compete in a league table, with matches held across the country at different venues. Phil Taylor has topped the table after the weekly rounds on eight of the ten occasions the Premier League has been staged, going on to win the play-offs six times.

Previous Winners (2005–2014)

  • 6 Phil Taylor (2005–2008, 2010, 2012)
  • 1 James Wade (2009)
  • 1 Gary Anderson (2011)
  • 1 Michael Van Gerwen (2013)
  • 1 Raymond Van Barneveld (2014)

William Hill Grand Slam of Darts[edit]

Main article: Grand Slam of Darts

Introduced in 2007, the Grand Slam was the first tournament staged in the UK to feature players from the two different organisations, the PDC and BDO. Players who had reached the finals of each organisations major tournaments for the previous two years were invited to compete in the Grand Slam. It is held over 9 days during November and shown live on Sky Sports. The first four tournaments were shown live on ITV4, the 2007 Grand Slam of Darts was ITV's first networked darts tournament since pulling the plug on darts coverage in 1988.

Previous Winners (2007–2014)

  • 6 Phil Taylor (2007–2009, 2011, 2013-2014)
  • 1 Scott Waites (2010)
  • 1 Raymond van Barneveld (2012)

Cash Converters Players Championship Finals[edit]

Introduced in 2009, this tournament is open to the top 32 players on the Players Championship Order of Merit. It is broadcast live on ITV4. Previous Winners (2009–2014)

  • 3 Phil Taylor (2009, 2011-2012)
  • 1 Michael Van Gerwen (2013)
  • 1 Paul Nicholson (2010)
  • 1 Kevin Painter (2011)
  • 1 Gary Anderson (2014)

Partypoker.net European Championship[edit]

The European Championship is a tournament that allows the top players in Europe to compete against the top players in the PDC Order of Merit. It started in 2008 and each year has a £200,000 prize fund. Phil Taylor won the first four editions of the tournament, before Simon Whitlock scooped his first, and so far only, major title in 2012.

Previous Winners (2008–2014)

  • 4 Phil Taylor (2008–2011)
  • 1 Simon Whitlock (2012)
  • 1 Adrian Lewis (2013)
  • 1 Michael van Gerwen (2014)

Bwin World Cup of Darts[edit]

One of three new tournaments for 2010, players from 24 countries compete for a prize fund of £150,000. The qualifiers are drawn from the PDC Order of Merit. Sky Sports screen the tournament, which rivals the WDF World Cup. England have won the title on two occasions, with the pairing of Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis triumphant each time.

Previous Winners (2010, 2012-2014)

  • 2 England (2012, 2013)
  • 2 Netherlands (2010, 2014)

The Masters[edit]

Main article: 2013 Masters (darts)

The Coral Masters is the staging of a non-ranking darts tournament held by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC). The first event was held between 1–3 November 2013 at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Previous Winners (2013-2014)

  • 1 Phil Taylor (2013)
  • 1 James Wade (2014)

PDC Unicorn Under-21 World Championship[edit]

The second of the new tournaments for 2010 is open to all darts players, from both the BDO and PDC, aged between 18 and 21. The final will be televised live on Sky Sports at Alexandra Palace before the final of the World Championship, in later years before the final of the Premier League. The two finalists will also be invited to become PDC ProTour card holders and would receive sponsorship from Rileys Dartzones, the PDC’s staging partners in this event. They will also be invited to compete in the Grand Slam of Darts.

Previous Winners (2011-2014)

  • 1 Arron Monk (2011)
  • 1 James Hubbard (2012)
  • 1 Michael Smith (2013)
  • 1 Keegan Brown (2014)

Past tournaments[edit]

Las Vegas Desert Classic[edit]

The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada was the setting for the "Las Vegas Desert Classic" each July. It furthered the PDC's aim to develop a world darts circuit.

Previous Winners (2002–2009)

  • 5 Phil Taylor (2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009)
  • 1 Peter Manley (2003)
  • 1 John Part (2006)
  • 1 Raymond van Barneveld (2007)

PDC Unicorn Women’s World Championship[edit]

The PDC Unicorn Women’s World Championship is open to all female darts players from both the BDO and PDC. The 32 qualifiers play down to the last 2 in a floor tournament and the final will be televised live on Sky Sports before the final of the World Matchplay. The two finalists will also be invited to become PDC ProTour card holders for 2011 and 2012 and would receive sponsorship from Rileys Dartzones, the PDC’s staging partners in this event. They will also be invited to compete in the 2010 Grand Slam of Darts. The first PDC Women's World Championship, in 2010, was won by Stacy Bromberg who beat Tricia Wright 6-5. The match was played after the semi-finals of the 2010 World Matchplay in Blackpool. It was first to six legs of which Bromberg was 5-3 down before making a comeback to win 6-5.[13]

  • 1 Stacy Bromberg (2010)

US Open[edit]

Main article: US Open Darts

The US Open was a tournament introduced in 2007 to replace the World Series of Darts. The World Series ran for just one year (2006) and offered an aspirational prize of $1 million if an American player won the tournament. However, 15 of the 16 American players crashed out in the first round. Low television ratings on prime-time ESPN led to a switch to mid-afternoon on ESPN2 and the tournament was not renewed.[14]

The US Open was the first PDC tournament shown on a different channel to Sky in the UK. Challenge broadcast the first US Open on 19–20 May and Phil Taylor took the title to add his World Series victory from 2006. The 2008 tournament was broadcast on Nuts TV. In 2010 a Players Championship was named the US Open. Dennis Priestley won tournament in 2009 at the age of 59, the only year that Taylor did not compete in the tournament.

Previous Winners

  • 3 Phil Taylor (2007, 2008, 2010)
  • 1 Dennis Priestley (2009)

Championship League Darts (2008-2013)[edit]

Started in 2008, the Championship League Darts and offers the players outside the top 8 in the PDC Order of Merit to compete for the championship. It is also the first tournament to be broadcast only by the internet.This tournament was discontinued after the 2013 edition. Previous Winners (2008–2013)

  • 4 Phil Taylor (2008, 2011-2013)
  • 1 Colin Osborne (2009)
  • 1 James Wade (2010)

Partypoker.net German Darts Championship[edit]

The German Darts Championship started in 2007 and each year has a prize fund of €100,200 and is held in Gerry Weber Centre in Halle, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Previous Winners (2007–2009, 2012-2013)

  • 3 Phil Taylor (2007, 2009, 2012)
  • 1 Co Stompé (2008)
  • 1 Dave Chisnall (2013)

Other tournaments and contests[edit]

PDC Pro Tour[edit]

Main article: PDC Pro Tour

The PDC Pro Tour is a series of non-televised one-day tournaments. The prize fund is £30,000 for each tournament and features up to 32 boards in action on an arena floor, hence their nickname "floor tournament". With shorter matches and the floor set up, a different kind of pressure applies compared to televised events and a different set of results can be produced. For instance, Barrie Bates was the PDC Floor Player of the Year in 2006 with Colin Lloyd and Mick McGowan also nominated - none of whom won a major during the year. The 2008 calendar features 25 Players Championship and 8 UK Open Regional Finals.

From 2011, players will need to hold a tour card to gain automatic entry to Pro Tour events. 120 cards will be allocated in 2011. These will be offered to:

- The top 88 players from the PDC Order of Merit (they must have competed in at least 10 events)

- Top 4 from BDO Lakeside Championship (semi-finalists and finalists)

- Top 2 from PDC Unicorn Under-21 World Championship (finalists)

- Top 2 from PDC Unicorn Women’s World Championship (finalists)

- Top 24 from January 2011 PDC ProTour Q School

Champion versus Champion[edit]

There have been two head-to-head matches, bringing both respective world champions together in non-affiliated contests.

Billed as the Match Of The Century, Phil Taylor beat Raymond van Barneveld 21-10 at Wembley Conference Centre on 7 November 1999, to be unofficially crowned the first ever undisputed World Champion since the 1993 split in darts.

In a further Head-to-Head, on 21 November 2004 at the Circus Tavern, via the first ever darts Pay-Per-View on Sky Box Office, Phil Taylor once again prevailed after his opponent Andy Fordham had to retire during the match due to dehydration.

The immense heat took its toll on the 30-stone (420 lbs/191 kg) Fordham. Phil Taylor was leading the match 5-2 in sets before it was unexpectedly abandoned.

Promotion versus Promotion[edit]

Main article: Masters of Darts

Taking place at the ExpoCenter in Hengelo, The Netherlands, starting 7 February 2005, the Masters of Darts event brought four top players from both darts circuits together for the first major tournament confrontation since the two organisations separated.

The players were split into two groups, sharing it with only members of their affiliated organisation. Each player then vied against all players from the opposition, with one point awarded for winning a match. Following conclusion of the format, the winner of each respective group played the runner-up at the semi-final stage.

The Professional Darts Corporation pool consisted of Colin Lloyd, Wayne Mardle, Roland Scholten and Phil Taylor; whilst for the British Darts Organisation it was Tony David, Andy Fordham, Co Stompé and Raymond van Barneveld.

In a rematch of their unfinished 2004 head-to-head clash, Phil Taylor beat Andy Fordham convincingly in the final, 7-1, to be crowned the first Master of Darts. While beating Raymond van Barneveld (BDO World Champion at the time) 4-0 and 5-2 along the way, the undefeated Taylor only lost 5 sets during the entire tournament.

This event was broadcast to viewers in The Netherlands via RTL 5. Surprisingly, no British broadcaster had agreed television coverage of this unique event. The tournament was not held in 2006, however it returned in February 2007 as a Netherlands versus England encounter with five players from each country. Originally announced with a mixture of PDC and BDO players, the BDO players had all switched to the PDC by the time the event began.

BDO tournaments in the Netherlands[edit]

Following the 1997 Tomlin order, players were now free to participate in both PDC and BDO events (with the exception of the World Championships). However, few who took the opportunities to do so - the players themselves had grown accustomed to the split and rarely crossed the "divide".

The 2006 Dutch Open however, saw a controversy surrounding less well-known PDC players at a BDO tournament. The tournament organisers, NDB, disqualified PDC players Tomas Seyler in the last 64 and Erik Clarys in the last 32 who were due to face Mervyn King and Niels de Ruiter respectively. An NDB statement said that "according to the rules of the WDF that exist for many years, players from the PDC who participate in live televised events aren't allowed to participate in WDF tournaments."

This was not the case and it led to the WDF being forced to release a statement on 30 May 2006 which explained that their rules had been mis-interpreted and they do not set eligibility rules for players in individual tournaments.[15] Subsequently for the 2007 Dutch Open, the rules were amended so that only players who were eligible to play in the BDO World Championship and World Masters would be allowed to enter.

SBS6 secured an agreement with the BDO to invite 5 PDC players to each of its two televised tournaments, the International Darts League and the World Darts Trophy, between 2006 and 2010.[16] The popularity of Raymond van Barneveld in his own country possibly contributed to the decision by the Dutch organisers to invite the PDC players.

These two events however only lasted a further two years with PDC players winning the 2006 tournaments (Barneveld IDL and Taylor WDT) and BDO/WDF player Gary Anderson winning both events in 2007. The PDC withdrew their players from the 2008 IDL and WDT - which subsequently never took place.

PDC Hall of Fame[edit]

In 2005, the PDC introduced a Hall of Fame similar to other sports to recognise individuals with noteworthy contributions to darts.

The first two inductees were Eric Bristow and John Lowe, great rivals throughout the eighties and early nineties - at least one of these two players managed to reach the World Championship Final each year during the 1980s, with three being played against each other.

Hall of Fame inductees are now announced at the PDC Awards dinner - which was held for the first time on 9 January 2007.

PDC Hall of Fame inductees

  • 2005 Eric Bristow, five-time World Champion and key player in formation of PDC
  • 2005 John Lowe, three-time World Champion in three different decades
  • 2006 Freddie Williams,[17] a caller/scorer/referee who officiated at darts tournaments for 35 years before retiring in 2006, aged 69
  • 2007 Phil Jones, the Master of Ceremonies since the inception of PDC tournaments broadcast on Sky Sports before retiring after the 2007 World Championship[18]
  • 2007 John Raby, owner of JR Darts a major supporter of PDC darts including tournament sponsorship. Raby, who suffered with Motor Neurone Disease, subsequently died in June 2008
  • 2008 Dave Lanning, darts programme presenter for Sky Sports since the first PDC tournament they broadcast
  • 2008 Sid Waddell, darts commentator on PDC tournaments for Sky Sports since 1994
  • 2009 Dennis Priestley, two-time World Champion who has been playing on the tour while getting treatment for prostate cancer
  • 2010 Dick Allix, Event Director inducted for his contribution to the PDC since its formation
  • 2010 Tommy Cox, Tournament Director inducted for his contribution to the PDC since its formation
  • 2011 Phil Taylor, 16-time World Champion and founding member of the PDC[19]
  • 2013 Bruce Spendley, to recognise over three decades of service to the sport of darts.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]