About The PDC
THE Professional Darts Corporation was initially formed as the World Darts Council in January 1992.
And is now the leading professional body in the sport with over £15 million in prize money being paid out on its global circuit of tournaments. WDC was formed after 16 top professional players, along with managers Dick Allix, Tommy Cox and John Markovic, decided to break away from the British Darts Organisation to take the sport to a new level.
The first WDC event, the UK Masters, took place in October 1992 and the first World Championship was played over the 1993-94 festive period, establishing the partnership with Sky Sports which remains to this day. The World Matchplay event followed in the summer of 1994, and four years later the World Grand Prix was introduced to the calendar to give three major televised events.
In July 2001, the Board of Directors who had carried the PDC forward since its inception decided to step down in favour of a specialist team, headed by promoter Barry Hearn, who came in as Chairman. The PDC has built up a reputation as the leading innovator in terms of staging professional darts tournaments and as such is constantly looking towards the future and improving the organisation in every area.
The Betway Premier League was introduced in 2005 to great acclaim, and is now not only a sell-out success in arena venues across the UK & Ireland but was also staged in the Netherlands for the first time in 2016, with the four-month season concluding wth the Play-Offs at The O2 in London.
The Grand Slam of Darts was inaugurated in 2007 as a cross-code tournament featuring stars of the PDC and BDO circuits, while the European Championship and Players Championship Finals have joined the UK Open on the series of televised ranking events and The Masters sees the world’s top 16 players compete in an invitational event and the Champions League of Darts sees eight players face off live on BBC Sport.
Alongside the series of televised tournaments, the PDC has also expanded the circuit of non-televised events, with the internet-streamed European Tour accompanied by the ProTour, which comprises the Players Championship series of events and UK Open Qualifiers.
The PDC’s commitment to spreading professional darts worldwide includes affiliations with regional tours in Australia, New Zealand, China, Russia and Scandinavia, while the World Series of Darts was introduced in 2013 to take the sport’s top stars around the world to compete in high-profile events.
The ongoing international growth of the sport also sees international qualifiers competing in the sport’s biggest event, the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, while the Betwat World Cup of Darts has also grown to feature 32 nations.
The PDC continues to go from strength to strength, with its central aim to ensure the sport receives the recognition and respect professional darts deserves, with both the Qualifying School – where players can win Tour Cards to compete on the PDC circuit full-time – and the introduction of the PDC Unicorn Development Tour and PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship and the second-tier PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour guaranteeing a pathway to the top for aspiring stars.
The PDC also work with affiliated organisations for a number of region circuits worldwide, notably the DPA in Australia, SDC in Scandinavia, and in North America, where each region stages a series of ranking events each year which produces qualifiers for the World Championship.
The expansion of the PDC across Europe led to the introduction in 2012 of the European Tour series of events, which has expanded to feature events in Germany, Denmark, Austria, Gibraltar and the Netherlands which will give leading professionals and emerging talents from across the Continent the chance to compete at the top level.
The PDC is also affiliated to the Junior Darts Corporation – set up initially by professional player Steve Brown through a series of Academies across the UK – which provides a circuit of events for players aged 10-18 as a pathway towards the Development Tour and Qualifying School for starlets aiming to join the full PDC circuit.
PDC Televised Tournaments
World Darts Championship
Premier League Darts
World Grand Prix
Grand Slam of Darts
Players Championship Finals
World Cup of Darts
World Series of Darts Finals
13 European Tour events, 30 Players Championships.
2 Simultaneous Qualifying Schools in the UK & Europe.
24 PDC Unicorn Challenge Tours:
For the PDPA Associate Members who did not win a PDC Tour Card in January.
20 PDC Unicorn Development Tours, Inc the World Youth Championship
For players aged 16-23
Junior Darts Corporation
For players aged 10-18
Qualifiers (Tour Card Holders Only):
For the World Championship, World Series and Grand Slam.