2018 Rules Announced January 16 2018
1.1 All players must be a member of the Professional Darts Players Association (PDPA) to feature in the Professional Darts Corporation’s (PDC) Order of Merit. Membership is defined in the below listed categories:
An Honorary Member is defined as a player who has been awarded Honorary Membership by the PDPA.
A Full Member is defined as a player who has joined the PDPA and holds a PDC Tour Card or a player who has qualified for an event as listed in 1.2; or can be a non-playing Full Member such as a PDPA board member or Honorary Member.
For the avoidance of doubt, references to Full Member eligibility to enter Events in this document refers to Tour Card Holders only.
An Associate Member is defined as a player who has joined the PDPA but does not hold a Tour Card (for example a player who attempted to win a Tour Card through Q School or non-UK national who has paid a PDPA membership having qualified for the World Championship).
A Day Member is defined as a non-UK national who enters and participates in non-UK ProTour Events (including European Tour Events), or relevant qualifying Events.
A Secondary Tour Member is defined as a player who is only permitted to play in Challenge or Development Tour Events. For the avoidance of doubt, they are not permitted to play in qualifiers for Premier or ProTour Events unless otherwise allowed under these Rules.
1.2 All players who participate in the televised stages of the following Events must be a Full Member of the PDPA: World Championship (excluding PDPA Associate Members), World Matchplay, World Grand Prix, Grand Slam (excluding BDO qualifiers) UK Open (excluding Amateur Qualifiers and PDPA Associate Members), European Championship, Players Championship Finals (excluding PDPA Associate Members), Masters, World Series Finals, Premier League, Champions League.
In the event of a non-PDPA member qualifying for or being invited into an Event through an Order of Merit, a qualifying Event, or PDC Board invitation they must join the PDPA prior to participation in the Event.
1.3 All Full Members or Honorary Members who wish to participate in Events must sign and accept the PDC Player Contract and the PDPA Constitution and Code of Conduct and agree to abide by the Rules of the Darts Regulation Authority (DRA) and pay any appropriate Sanction Fees to the DRA before being allowed to participate in any PDC organised Event.
Associate Members who wish to participate in Events must agree to abide by the Rules of the DRA and pay any appropriate Sanction Fees to the DRA before being allowed to participate in any PDC organised Event.
1.4 Any player who is not in good financial or disciplinary standing with the DRA, PDC or the PDPA or with companies involved with the DRA, PDC or PDPA will not be allowed to participate in any Event until such time as they are in good standing.
2.1 The PDC operates various Orders of Merit, based on prize money won in its Events.
Events are categorised as follows:
Premier Ranked Events: World Championship
World Grand Prix
Players Championship Finals
Premier Invitational Events: Premier League
World Series Finals
ProTour Events: European Tour
UK Open Qualifiers
Secondary Tour Events: Challenge Tour
Other Events: World Youth Championship
Non-UK Affiliate Tours (as administered by PDC Nordic & Baltic, Eurasian Darts Corporation, Dart Players Australia, Dart Players New Zealand)
2.2 For every Premier Event there shall be a £5,000 prize fund for any player achieving a nine-dart leg. This shall total not more than £60,000 across 12 annual Events but may be carried over at the end of a year if not won during the period it takes for all 12 Events to be played.
This prize fund is not counted on any Order of Merit.
Should this prize fund not be won in a particular Event, it shall be carried over and have the same amount again added to it until it is won (i.e. £5,000 in Event one, £10,000 in Event two, £15,000 in Event three, £20,000 in Event four etc). Once the prize fund has been won, it will revert to £5,000 for the next Premier Event.
If this prize fund is won during a Doubles match at the World Cup, each player shall be paid half the available prize fund.
To clarify: nine-dart finishes hit during qualifying Events of Premier Events do not count in respect of this prize fund.
2.3 If more than one player completes a nine-dart finish at any point during any Premier Event the prize fund will be divided pro rata based on the number of occasions on which the feat has been achieved.
To clarify: if one player achieves the feat twice and another once, the player who has achieved it twice will be entitled to a two-third share of the prize fund, regardless of the stages of the Event when he achieved the feat. This prize fund does not count towards any Order of Merit.
If two or more nine-dart finishes are hit in the Premier League, either side of the UK Open, the prize fund on offer at the start of the Premier League would be deemed applicable with the prize fund reset for either the UK Open or the Premier Event which follows the Premier League in the calendar.
2.4 All Events will be scheduled and categorised at the discretion of the PDC Board of Directors, following consultation with the PDPA, but with the final decision resting with the PDC Board of Directors.
2.5 Prize money won in all ranking Events determine a player’s standing in the relevant Orders of Merit. Prize money will be displayed in UK£ as per the details in 2.1.
2.6 All prize money paid to PDPA Members in all Events will be paid in UK£ directly by the PDC or its local agents in the standard amounts detailed above, unless otherwise advertised.
Prize money will be paid in to the bank account nominated by the player to the PDC which must be either in his own name, the name of a company of which he is a Director, the name of his DRA Licensed Agent, or in the case of a Development Tour player, the name of one or more of his parents/guardians.
2.7 The main Order of Merit is calculated on prize money won by players over a two-year period and is added to each player’s total at 0900 on the day following the conclusion of each Event.
All prize money shall count for two years and be removed from the main Order of Merit 104 weeks after it was won, regardless of the corresponding position in the calendar of any Events.
If there is a clash of dates with Events (for example: March 23 2016, March 23 2018), money will be removed before the commencement of the Event which clashes with the Event from two years previously.
No Premier Event shall count three times towards the main Order of Merit.
2.8 The calendar of Events and Orders of Merit will be published on pdc.tv, the PDC’s official website and it will be the responsibility of the individual players to ensure they are aware of all details.
2.9 Invitations to and seedings for ranked Premier and European Tour Events will be based on the relevant Orders of Merit at the closing date for entries or qualification for the Event in question.
Seedings for Players Championship and UK Open qualifying Events will be based on the relevant Order of Merit at the time of the draw being made – usually the day of the event.
2.10 Players will need to have participated in a minimum of one ProTour or Premier Event over a rolling two-year period to be eligible to qualify for Premier Ranked Events through the main Order of Merit or be eligible to win a Tour Card.
Once a player has not participated in one ProTour or Premier Event over a rolling two-year period, they will be removed from the Order of Merit.
2.11 Only prize money won by players when PDPA members shall appear on the Orders of Merit. Lapsed members, or players who lose their Tour Card and do not regain it for the following year will be removed from the Orders of Merit after Q School, and if they compete again as Full, Honorary, Associate or Day Members their prize money tallies will revert to £0 from the day their membership ceased or their Tour Card was lost.
Non-Tour Card holders who qualify for a one-year Tour Card by virtue of their ranking at the end of the previous year will retain their prize money won during the previous year on the Order of Merit.
Prize money won by Amateur Qualifiers in the UK Open or BDO Qualifiers in the Grand Slam will not count towards any Order of Merit.
2.12 Players who allow their PDPA membership to lapse during or following Q School or participation in the PDC World Championship are not permitted to enter UK Open Amateur Qualifiers for the remainder of that calendar year.
2.13 All prize money won in all PDC Events (not sanctioned affiliate tours) will be subject to a 3% levy, to be paid directly to the PDPA in the form of deductions from prize money.
3.1 Invitations, seedings and structures for Premier Events are played according to the following criteria:
2018 Masters (non-ranked)
Cut-off date: January 2 2018
Seeds: Top 16 in Order of Merit (drawn in seed pattern)
Qualifying Players: Top 16 in Order of Merit
2018 UK Open Finals
Cut-off date: February 12 2018 (following completion of Qualifier 6)
Seeds: Top 32 in UK Open Order of Merit exempt to last 64 and drawn randomly
33-64 in UK Open Order of Merit exempt to last 96 and drawn randomly
Qualifying Players: Top 96 from UK Open Order of Merit
32 Amateur Qualifiers (non-PDPA members) from specific Events
2018 World Cup
Cut-off date: May 14 2018
Seeds: Top 8 ranked nations based on combined Order of Merit ranking (lowest total = highest seed)
Qualifying Players: 32 pairs representing different nations selected at the discretion of the PDC
2018 World Matchplay
Cut-off date: July 2 2018
Seeds: Top 16 in Order of Merit
Qualifying Players: Top 16 in Order of Merit
Top 16 in ProTour Order of Merit not otherwise qualified
2018 Champions League
Cut-off date: July 30 2018
Seeds: Top 8 in Order of Merit
Qualifying Players: Previous year’s winner plus top 7 on Order of Merit not otherwise qualified drawn in two groups of four as per seed pattern
2018 World Grand Prix
Cut-off date: September 17 2018
Seeds: Top 8 in Order of Merit
Qualifying Players: Top 16 in Order of Merit
Top 16 in ProTour Order of Merit not otherwise qualified
2018 European Championship
Cut-off date: October 15 2018
Seeds: Top 32 in European Tour Order of Merit (drawn in seed pattern)
Qualifying Players: Top 32 in European Tour Order of Merit
2018 World Series Finals
Cut-off date: October 15 2018
Seeds: Top 8 in World Series Merit Table
Qualifying Players: Top 8 in World Series Merit Table
Top 4 in Order of Merit not otherwise qualified
Between 4 and 8 invited players at discretion of PDC board
Between 4 and 8 qualifiers from a Full Member qualifier
2018 Grand Slam of Darts
Cut-off date: November 5 2018
Seeds: Top 8 qualified from Order of Merit (one drawn per group)
Qualifying Players: (invited in the following order up to a maximum of 16 players) 2017/18 PDC World Champion; 2017 Grand Slam Champion; 2018 Premier League Champion; 2018 World Matchplay Champion; 2018 World Grand Prix Champion; 2017 World Youth Champion; 2018 Masters Champion; 2018 UK Open Champion; 2018 European Champion; 2017 Players Champion; 2018 Champions League Champion; 2018 World Series of Darts Finals Champion; 2018 World Cup winners ; 2017/18 PDC World Championship runner-up; 2017 Grand Slam runner-up; 2018 Premier League runner-up; 2018 World Matchplay runner-up; 2018 World Grand Prix runner-up; 2017 World Youth Championship runner-up; 2018 Masters runner-up; 2018 UK Open runner-up; 2018 European Championship runner-up; 2017 Players Championship runner-up; 2018 Champions League runner-up; 2018 World Series of Darts Finals runner-up; 2018 World Cup runners-up (2 players with highest individual taking preference if only one spot available).
This list can produce a maximum of 28 players. If it produces more than 16 players, they shall be taken in order as listed above and no further players shall qualify automatically.
If it produces fewer than 16 places then additional places shall be filled from the reserve list in the following order:
2018 European Tour winners (in Order of Merit order at Nov 5)
2018 Players Championship winners (in Order of Merit order at Nov 5)
2018 UK Open Qualifier winners (in Order of Merit order at Nov 5)
Players shall be separated within the reserve list first by the number of Events in each category they have won and then by their position in the PDC main Order of Merit on the cut-off date.
Once 16 players are reached from the above criteria then the remaining 16 places shall be filled with eight players from a PDC Full Member qualifier and eight players from the BDO system.
The 24 competing PDC players shall be ordered in three pots of eight players each, determined in Order of Merit order after the Grand Slam qualifier.
The top eight ranked PDC players on the main Order of Merit at the cut-off date shall be seeded as per the bracket order in groups A – H with the remaining 16 players placed in main Order of Merit order in to the two remaining pots.
The eight BDO qualifiers shall be drawn randomly, one placed in each group.
2018 Players Championship Finals
Cut-off date: October 22 2018
Seeds: Top 64 in Players Championship Order of Merit (drawn in seed pattern)
Qualifying Players: Top 64 in Players Championship Order of Merit
2018/19 World Championship
Cut-off date: November 26 2018
Seeds: TO BE CONFIRMED
Qualifying Players: TO BE CONFIRMED
For the avoidance of doubt, as per rule 3.6 below, in the event of a player in any qualifying Order of Merit for any above listed Event not being eligible to participate in the Event, all players beneath the non-eligible player will move up one place until all places have been filled.
3.2 In the case of ties in any Order of Merit (money won) or Merit Table (points won), the countback rule will apply; this will be the cumulative money or points won by a player in the previous four eligible Events in the Order of Merit or Merit Table where a tie has occurred. In cases where there is still a tie, this countback will continue one Event at a time until there is a separation.
If two or more players cannot be separated by countback over the entire eligible period of the relevant Order of Merit, the player ranked highest in the main Order of Merit shall be deemed to be highest ranked, with countback continuing indefinitely until a split can be made after the initial four Events on the main Order of Merit.
If this procedure does not produce a separation, a play-off will be organised between the affected players.
3.3 Seedings for Premier Events will be ordered as follows:
TOP HALF: 1-(16)-8-(9)-5-(12)-4-(13)
BOTTOM HALF: 2-(15)-7-(10)-6-(11)-3-(14)
Seedings for European Tour Events will be as per Premier Events but the top and bottom halves will alternate on rotation of Events. To clarify, in odd numbered Events on the European Tour the number one seed will be in the top half but in even numbered Events the halves will switch positions.
Seedings for Players Championship Events, and the World Championship are ordered as follows:
TOP HALF: 1-32-16-17-8-25-9-24-5-28-12-21-4-29-13-20
BOTTOM HALF: 2-31-15-18-7-26-10-23-6-27-11-22-3-30-14-19
Seedings for the 64-player Players Championship Finals are ordered as follows:
TOP HALF: 1-64-32-33-16-49-17-48-8-57-25-40-9-56-24-41-5-60-28-37-12-53-21-44-4-61-29-36-13-52-20-45
BOTTOM HALF: 2-63-31-34-15-50-18-47-7-58-26-39-10-55-23-42-6-59-27-38-11-54-22-43-3-62-30-35-14-51-19-46
3.4 For PDC ranked events qualification and seedings will be determined by the relevant Order of Merit on the closing date for each particular Event.
The Orders of Merit in operation are as follows:
– PDC main Order of Merit: comprised of all money won over a rolling 104-week period in Premier Ranked and Pro Tour (European Tour, Players Championship, UK Open qualifier) events;
– UK Open Order of Merit: comprised of all money won in that calendar year’s UK Open qualifier Events;
– European Tour Order of Merit: comprised of all money won in that calendar year’s European Tour Events;
– Players Championship Order of Merit: comprised of all money won in that calendar year’s Players Championship Events;
– ProTour Order of Merit: comprised of all money won over a rolling 12-month period in European Tour, Players Championship and UK Open qualifying Events;
– Development Tour Order of Merit: comprised of all money won in that calendar year’s Development Tour Events;
– Challenge Tour Order of Merit: comprised of all money won in that calendar year’s Challenge Tour Events.
3.5 Seedings for Players Championship Events and European Tour Events, and qualification for Premier Events through the ProTour Order of Merit will be determined on a 12-month rolling basis with 32 seeds per Players Championship Event and 16 per European Tour Event (or as many as entries permit). Seedings will be determined by the rolling 12-month ProTour Order of Merit up to and including the most recent Event completed for Players Championship Events and as of the entry cut-off date for European Tour Events.
For UK Open qualifying Events, there shall be no seeding and a completely open draw shall be made with the exception that the top 32 entrants from the main Order of Merit shall be exempt to the last 128 with these exemptions updated after every qualifying Event.
3.6 If a player withdraws from a Premier Event due to personal or disciplinary reasons before the draw for the Event has been announced by the PDC, the next available non-qualified player from the Order of Merit through which the unavailable player qualified will be invited to participate in the Event. In this instance, the players ranked below the unavailable player will all move up one place in the seedings, where appropriate.
3.7 If a player withdraws from a Premier Event due to personal or disciplinary reasons after the draw for the Event has been made, the next available non-qualified player from the relevant Order of Merit through which the withdrawn player qualified will be invited to participate in the Event and will take the place of the withdrawn player directly in the draw with no alteration made to seedings if applicable. This does not apply to the UK Open where no replacement player shall be named.
If this occurs at the World Championship or other Premier Event where the replacement player is invited directly in to a round other than the earliest round of the Event and misses an earlier round, he will only be awarded prize money due for the earliest round of the Event should he lose his first match. However, should he win his first match, prize money will be awarded as normal.
3.8 PDPA members may choose to enter either their own nation or region’s World Championship qualifying Event (if it is played as a one-off Event rather than a series of Events) or the PDPA Members qualifier – not both. The PDPA qualifier will be the last qualifying Event held and will offer the appropriate number of spots required to complete the field for the Event. Therefore, all other qualifying Events must conclude prior to the PDPA qualifier being held.
If a player qualifies through his own nation or region’s World Championship or World Youth Championship qualifying Event as well as his position on an Order of Merit, he will be deemed to have qualified through that route and not through the relevant Order of Merit and so the next unqualified player on the relevant Order of Merit will be invited to participate. This does not apply to players who qualify through the Development Tour Order of Merit.
3.9 Any player who declines an invitation to any Event may be denied an invitation to that or other future Events at the discretion of the PDC Board of Directors.
4.1 Tour Cards for 2018 will be awarded to the following players:
Top 64 x eligible PDPA Members from the PDC Order of Merit following the completion of the 2017/18 World Championship.
27 x Full Members from 2017 Q School who are not ranked in the Top 64 of the Order of Merit
2 x top ranked players not otherwise qualified for a Tour Card from the 2017 Challenge Tour Order of Merit
2 x top ranked players not otherwise qualified for a Tour Card from the 2017 Development Tour Order of Merit
8 x automatic qualifiers from 2018 UK Q School
4 x automatic qualifiers from 2018 European Q School
Remaining 21 places to be filled by Q School Order of Merit, allocated pro rata across the UK and European Q Schools depending on final entry numbers.
If any players from the above list choose not to take up their Tour Card or are deemed ineligible due to DRA sanction by a deadline determined by the PDC, extra places will be allocated to players from Q School on an alternate basis (UK Q School first) from the Q School Merit Table.
The Top 64 eligible players from the Order of Merit at the end of the 2017/18 World Championship will receive a one-year Tour Card. The remaining qualifiers will receive a two-year Tour Card as their Order of Merit total will revert to £0 from January 2 2018 whereas the Top 64 retain their money won.
Players who lose their Tour Card and then regain it immediately either by winning through the next Q School or through a Secondary Tour Order of Merit will be awarded a two-year Tour Card with their prize money totals reverting to £0 from the day their Tour Card was regained.
If a player who qualifies for a Tour Card through being in the top two of the 2017 Challenge or Development Tour Order of Merit is also in the Top 64 of the Order of Merit then he will receive a one-year Tour Card due to his Order of Merit position. His money from the previous year will remain valid and his Tour Card place will pass to the next highest ranked unqualified player from the 2017 Challenge or Development Tour Order of Merit.
If a player is in the top two of both the Challenge and Development Tour Orders of Merit then the Challenge Tour shall take priority and any further places shall pass down the Development Tour Order of Merit.
4.2 Entry to UK Open qualifying Events is open to all Full and Associate Members but is limited to 256 players per Event. Once all Full Members have entered, Associate Members shall have their entries accepted on the basis of their Q School Order of Merit position until a 256 player field has been reached. Places will be allocated to Associate Members from both the UK and European Q Schools on a pro-rata basis depending on how many places are available to be filled and how many entrants there were in each Q School. For example, if there were 200 entrants in the UK Q School and 100 in the European Q School, two-thirds of the available places will be allocated to players from the UK Q School. If this does not fill the 256 places once all players from one Q School have been offered the opportunity to compete, players from the other Q School shall be entitled to enter in order of their position on their Q School Order of Merit.
4.3 Entry to all Players Championship Events is open initially to Full Members.
All Players Championship Events will have a 128-player draw. In instances where the number of Full Members entering a Players Championship Event does not reach 128, Associate Member entries shall then be accepted in order of Challenge Tour Order of Merit position as of the Event entry deadline to make the total number of entries up to 128.
If this total still does not reach 128, byes will be awarded in seed order. If this total still does not reach 96, all 32 seeds will receive a bye and additional byes will be awarded on a random basis.
For example, if there is one bye, it will go to seed one; if there are two byes they will go to seeds one and two etc.
4.4 Entry to European Tour non-UK qualifiers is open to any player from the relevant nations on payment of the relevant entry fee (if applicable). However, once a player has participated as a Day Member in two West & South Europe or Host Nation qualifying Events in any one calendar year, that player may not participate in further qualifying Events that year unless he played at least one day at the 2018 European Q School. Nordic & Baltic or East European qualifier entrants are not subject to this rule for 2018.
Entry to European Tour UK qualifying Events is open to any UK Full Member and any UK player ranked in the top 32 of UK and non-European players (including ties) of the Challenge Tour Order of Merit as of the Event entry deadline.
4.5 European Tour Events will be played with a 48-player main draw consisting of the top 16 ranked entered players from the ProTour Order of Merit and 32 qualifiers.
The top 16 ranked entered players from the ProTour Order of Merit will be exempted and seeded in to the last 32 where they will play the 16 winners from the matches involving the 32 qualifiers.
Seeded players who lose in the last 32 of the Event shall not be credited with prize money on the Order of Merit, ProTour Order of Merit or European Tour Order of Merit, however they shall still receive full prize money payment.
A player in the top 16 of the ProTour Order of Merit may opt to enter the relevant qualifier for the Event in order to ensure any prize money won, even if that player loses his first game, counts on the relevant Orders of Merit. In order to be placed in the qualifier, a player must inform the PDC of his request in writing at the time of entry.
A player who qualifies for a European Tour Event as a qualifier but later becomes a seed due to the withdrawal of one or more other players shall be credited with their prize money on the relevant Orders of Merit regardless of how far they progress in the Event.
The last 48 round shall be drawn at random with no seeding.
The 32 qualifiers shall come from the following qualifying Events:
– UK Qualifier: shall produce 18 players from those entered and eligible under rule 4.4. Players with the following nationalities are eligible to enter: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar.
– West & South Europe Qualifier: shall produce eight players from those entered and eligible under rule 4.4. Players with the following nationalities are eligible to enter: Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Italy, San Marino, Monaco, Malta, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey.
– Host Nation Qualifier: shall produce four players from those entered and eligible under rule 4.4. Players with the same nationality as the location of the relevant Event are eligible to enter and in this instance any player with that nationality may not enter the Western Europe qualifier.
– Nordic & Baltic Qualifier: shall produce one player from those entered and eligible under rule 4.4. Players with the following nationalities are eligible to enter: Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.
– East Europe Qualifier: shall produce one player from those entered and eligible under rule 4.4. Players with the following nationalities are eligible to enter: Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo and any state not listed here which falls within the EADC region.
In the case of the 2018 European Tour Event to be staged in Denmark, the four Host Nation qualifiers shall be allocated two to Denmark and two to the rest of the PDC Nordic & Baltic region combined. The Nordic & Baltic qualifying place for this Event will be awarded to the highest ranked player from the PDCNB region on the main Order of Merit as per the cut-off date.
In the case of the 2018 European Tour Event to be staged in Gibraltar, the four Host Nation qualifiers shall be allocated to a stand-alone qualification event for Gibraltar based players who shall, for this Event only, not be eligible to compete in the UK qualifier.
Any player who is unable to enter their relevant qualifier due to a scheduling clash with an Event in which they have been invited by the PDC, shall be deemed eligible to enter an alternative qualifier as determined by the PDC for the Event and shall be, if relevant, seeded as per their ProTour Order of Merit position.
All qualifying Events are to be played with a single-elimination format of a minimum of best of seven legs.
Qualifying Events shall be seeded from the ProTour Order of Merit depending on the number of qualifying places with one seed per place available.
If a player withdraws from a European Tour Event due to personal or disciplinary reasons before the cut-off date for the Event, the next available non-qualified player from the ProTour Order of Merit will be invited to participate in the Event. In this instance, the players ranked below the unavailable player will all move up one place in the seedings, where appropriate.
If one or more players withdraw from a European Tour Event due to personal or disciplinary reasons after the cut-off date for the Event, extra places shall be awarded to the Host Nation qualifying Event. In this instance, the players ranked below the unavailable player will all move up one place in the seedings, where appropriate unless the draw has already taken place, in which case the replacement player shall be entered in to the seed position in the draw but as an unseeded player.
PDPA members who are not of a nationality covered by the above qualification criteria (i.e. non-European) may participate in the UK qualifier. Non-PDPA members who are not of a nationality covered by the above qualification criteria (i.e. non-European) may participate in the West & South Europe qualifier.
4.6 There is no entry fee for players to enter ProTour Events, including qualifiers for European Tour Events.
Any player who enters and subsequently withdraws from an Event will be subject to rule 4.14.
The PDC may, at its discretion, implement entry fees for Events staged in territories deemed to be ‘developing territories’, such as Nordic & Baltic and East Europe.
4.7 The closing date for entries for the main draw of Players Championship Events will be 1400 UK time on the Tuesday the week before each Event is due to be played (for the avoidance of doubt, this is 11 days before a Saturday Event).
Associate Members shall be informed as soon as possible after this deadline whether their entry has been successful.
Only Associate Members who entered by the appointed deadline shall be considered for ‘top up’ places if not all Full Members enter an Event.
Any variation from this will be advertised on pdc.tv. The PDC reserves the right to alter these times in the Event of logistical issues. The list of entries will be published on pdc.tv before each Event.
4.8 All PDPA members must enter through the PDC’s online entry system or via their local affiliate organisation (as stated in the Event rules). All non-PDPA members must enter through the PDC’s local affiliate organisation with entry not accepted until payment is made by the appointed deadline.
4.9 Entry in to Events, whether as a Full, Associate or Day Member of the PDPA constitutes acceptance of all PDC, PDPA and DRA rules.
4.10 All ProTour main draw matches will be best of 11 legs throughout except for European Tour semi-finals (best of 13 legs) and final (best of 15 legs).
4.11 All Players Championship and UK Open qualifying Events will start at 1200 local time, with registration closing at 1100. Any player not registered by 1100 will be omitted from the draw without exception.
Any variation from this will be advertised on pdc.tv. Players’ attention is drawn to Events which take place the day after a Premier Event, as these may start later for operational reasons.
4.12 Draws for Players Championship and UK Open qualifying Events will be conducted following the closure of registration, with seedings adjusted accordingly if an entered player who was due to be seeded has not registered.
Draws for European Tour Events will be conducted at the PDC’s discretion and with the intention of ensuring players have the most possible time to plan their travel arrangements for the Event.
4.13 All ProTour Events will be played in a bracket format throughout with no re-draw after any round.
4.14 Players who wish to withdraw from an Event they have entered must do so in writing to the PDC prior to the closing date if they wish to apply for a refund of their entry fee (if applicable), which will only be considered with the support of a doctor’s certificate (not self-certified) or if they have a serious family issue with supporting evidence.
Players who enter but decide not to travel, or wish to otherwise withdraw from an Event, are requested to inform the PDC as a courtesy.
Players who enter and then subsequently withdraw from a ProTour or Premier Event after the cut-off date will receive standardised fines from the DRA which will increase with each offence and may result in a suspension.
Where no other player is disadvantaged by the withdrawal (such as a UK Open qualifier without a cap on entries or an Event where the relevant player’s place in the draw can be filled without any implications on any other player or the Event) the DRA may choose not to impose a sanction at its own discretion.
For clarity, these fines will be as follows for 2018:
First offence: £300
Second offence: £600
Third offence: £1200
Fourth offence: DRA referral
Following a 12-month consecutive period without offence, a player’s ‘slate shall be wiped clean’ in relation to these offences.
4.15 All matches shall be played under the General Playing Rules of the Darts Regulation Authority, as covered in Section 5 of the DRA Rule Book published on its website.
4.16 Where stage matches are played at Events, the bull up shall be conducted in the practice room at a time to be advised to players, but not less than 30 minutes before the expected start time of their match.
4.17 The PDC/PDPA will use their best endeavours to supply a marker at Players Championship and UK Open qualifying Events but players must assume that marking will be their own responsibility.
Each European Tour qualifier, Players Championship and UK Open qualifying Event will operate on a “loser marks” basis and it is a condition of participation that the losing player of each match marks the following game, if a marker has not been provided, as directed by Tournament Officials. In genuine cases of inability to mark, a player may arrange for someone else to mark the next match on their behalf. It is the player’s responsibility to ensure that someone replaces them and that this person can mark to a competent standard and is dressed as per the DRA rules.
If a player arranges someone to mark on their behalf, the Player must notify the Board Official or Tournament Director giving the identity of the person with whom they have made the arrangement.
In either case, the marker must be in place immediately following the completion of the previous game.
Where players are required to mark themselves, the first game on each board will be marked by the last player listed on the schedule of matches for that board.
4.18 Players may be asked by Tournament Officials to move from the board to which they were originally allocated to another board. These and other reasonable requests from Tournament Officials must be adhered to immediately to help the smooth running of the Event.
Players are requested to note this rule particularly in respect of Players Championship or UK Open qualifying Events at which selected boards are to be streamed on the internet. Any player who refuses a request to play on a board selected for streaming will be disqualified from the Event and rule 4.19 will apply in respect of their prize money.
4.19 Players who are timed out, fail to complete or who otherwise miss their scheduled match shall be awarded loser money for that round and be eliminated from the Event unless their withdrawal instigates a referral to the DRA in which case their prize money payment will be withheld subject to the DRA’s investigation and not appear on any Order of Merit until that investigation has been concluded.
A player who benefits from a bye but then loses the match in the round in to which they were placed as a result of the bye shall only be awarded prize money based on the previous round. For example, if a player receives a bye from the first round in to the second round of an Event, but then loses in the second round, he shall only receive and be awarded first round loser prize money. However, if he wins his second round match but loses in the third round, he shall be awarded third round loser prize money.
4.20 If a player intends competing in any Event despite suffering from illness or injury which may affect his performance, he must report this to the Tournament Director in advance. Failure to do this may result in a DRA referral.
5.1 Both the UK and European Q Schools shall comprise four separate one-day Events, all played over a best of nine leg format under standard ProTour rules. The entry deadline shall be 1400 on the Tuesday prior to the opening day.
Players shall enter the appropriate Q School based on the eligibility criteria in rule 4.5.
Players who are eligible to enter UK European Tour qualifiers shall play in the UK Q School. Players who are eligible to enter West & South Europe, Nordic & Baltic or East Europe qualifiers shall play in the European Q School. Players from other nations may choose in which Q School to participate.
5.2 Tour Cards shall be awarded to the finalists of each day’s play at the UK Q School and the winner of each day’s play at the European Q School. Once a player has been awarded a Tour Card he shall not play in the remainder of Q School. The remaining Tour Cards will be awarded to the remaining players who occupy the qualifying positions in the Q School Merit Table which shall be comprised of points as awarded in 5.3.
Entrance to Q School constitutes acceptance of a Tour Card, if a player’s performance earns one. If a player earns a Tour Card by virtue of his performance at Q School but declines a Tour Card, he is not eligible to appear on the Q School Merit Table or play in ProTour (including qualifiers) or Secondary Tour Events in 2018.
5.3 A Merit Table for each Q School shall be compiled with players awarded one point per win from the first round which is drawn without byes to determine the allocation of any additional Tour Cards as necessary.
If two or more players are tied on points, they will be separated in the ranking list by a countback, one Event at a time, until they can be separated. If they can not be separated after all matches have been taken in to consideration, legs won will be used to determine positions in the Merit Table and then leg difference if that does not separate the players. If the players still can not be split, a play-off will be organised.
5.4 Entry to the Q School shall cost £400 plus a £50 2018 DRA Sanction Fee and be paid in advance. The player shall then be deemed to be an Associate Member of the PDPA for the year providing the player participates in at least one day of Q School. Players who achieve their Tour Card must upgrade to Full PDPA membership at a cost of an additional £100 in order to be granted their Tour Card.
5.5 The players who finished in the top eight of the final 2017 Challenge Tour and Development Tour Orders of Merit and who were not awarded a Tour Card for 2018 will be invited in to the 2018 Q School. If any of these players achieve a Tour Card through the Q School, they must pay £100 for PDPA membership and £50 DRA Sanction Fee before a Tour Card is granted to them.
6.1 Entry to Challenge Tour Events is open only to all players who participated in the 2018 Q School but did not obtain a Tour Card.
6.2 Entry to Development Tour Events and the World Youth Championship and its associated qualifiers is open to all players who are aged 23 or under and 16 or over on January 2 2018 unless they are ranked in the top 32 of the PDC Order of Merit on this date. Players who turn 16 during 2018 shall be eligible to enter Development Tour Events or World Youth Championship qualifiers once their 16th birthday has passed.
Any player aged between 16 and 23 who cannot compete in the Development Tour by virtue of their PDC Order of Merit position shall automatically be entered in to the Last 64 of the World Youth Championship for that year and must inform the PDC before the date of the qualifier whether they wish to participate or not.
6.3 The World Youth Championship starts at the Last 64 round and is comprised of a minimum of 16 invitations, plus any players who under rule 6.2 have qualified by virtue of their PDC Order of Merit position with all remaining places up to 64 being taken from the final 2018 Development Tour Order of Merit, using countback as per rule 3.2 if required to determine positions.
6.4 Challenge Tour and Development Tour Events and the World Youth Championship are played under the same rules and regulations as ProTour Events where not otherwise specified in this section.
Registration and start times for Challenge and Development Tour Events will be advertised in advance of each Event on pdc.tv as they may vary due to entry levels or logistical reasons.
6.5 Development Tour matches are played over the best of seven legs up to the last eight and then best of nine legs from the last eight to the final. Challenge Tour matches are played over the best of nine legs. The World Youth Championship is played over the best of 11 legs.
6.6 Challenge Tour and Development Tour Events are drawn as an open draw with no seedings or exemptions. There are generally two Events per day, however this is subject to change.
The World Youth Championship Last 64 will include eight seeds, being any player who has qualified for the Event by virtue of their main Order of Merit position seeded in main Order of Merit order and then the top (up to) eight ranked participating players from the final 2018 Development Tour Order of Merit, and will play down to a final. The final will then be scheduled during a PDC Premier or Invitational Event at a later date (expected to be at the 2018 Players Championship Finals).
6.7 All prize money in Challenge Tour and Development Tour Events won will count towards separate one-year Orders of Merit.
6.8 The Development Tour entry fee is £25 per Event. Challenge Tour entry is £50 per Event. Entries must be made online prior to 1400 the Friday preceding the weekend’s Events. There is no entry fee for the World Youth Championship.
6.9 The following incentives are on offer to players competing in the Challenge Tour, Development Tour and World Youth Championship:
– The finalists of the 2018 World Youth Championship receive a one-year invitation to the 2019 Grand Slam of Darts subject to the entry criteria as stated in rule 3.1 of this document.
– The winner of the 2018 World Youth Championship receives an invitation to the 2018/19 World Championship.
– The highest ranked player on the 2018 Development Tour Order of Merit receives an invitation to the 2018/19 World Championship.
NOTE: if any of the players who achieve the above otherwise qualify for the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts or 2018/19 World Championship, or reject their invitations, no further places shall be offered.
– The 2018 Challenge and Development Tour Order of Merit winners and runners-up will receive two-year Tour Cards for 2019 and 2020.
NOTE: if any of the players who achieve the above otherwise qualify for a Tour Card or reject their invitations, places will be offered further down the Challenge and Development Tour Orders of Merit.
– The players who finish third to eighth (countback applied in event of ties) on the 2018 Challenge Tour and Development Tour Orders of Merit will receive free entry to the 2019 Q School.
NOTE: in the event that any of the players who achieve the above qualify otherwise for a Q School place or reject their invitations, places will not be offered further down the Challenge and Development Tour Orders of Merit.
7.1 Participation in all PDC Events is subject to players adhering to the Darts Regulation Authority rulebook. Special attention is drawn to the rules referring to behaviour and dress code.
7.2 The PDC reserves the right to remove any Event from the calendar without prior notice but will endeavour not to add any Event to the calendar without a minimum of three months’ notice.
7.3 The PDC accepts no responsibility for any loss, financial or otherwise, incurred by any player or other person in relation to the change in an Event’s date, location or schedule providing such change is advertised on pdc.tv more than three months before the opening day of the relevant Event.
In the event of a change occurring within three months of the opening day of an Event, the PDC will enter into good faith negotiations with any player who can prove they have incurred non-refundable or changeable travel or accommodation expenses for themselves only.
7.4 The PDC reserves the right to consult with the PDPA to add to or amend any or all of these rules at any time to meet any purpose deemed to be necessary at that time by the PDC’s Board of Directors.
7.5 All match results and prize money awarded shall be recorded in all stages of all PDC Premier, ProTour and Secondary Events and this information shall be published as soon as possible after an Event has been concluded on pdc.tv.
7.6 For clarification, reference to ‘non-UK’ in this document shall refer to mainland Europe, America, Asia, Africa or Oceania. Players from Gibraltar and the Republic of Ireland shall be included with UK players.
In instances where a player attempts to enter an Event where nationality is a condition of entry, they must prove legal citizenship of that country. NOTE: residency is not acceptable for entry in to Events, the player must be a legal citizen of that country.
7.7 This document will remain in force until the completion of all 2018 Events unless otherwise advised.
William Hill World Darts Championship
Prize Fund for 2018/2019 tournament to be confirmed but will be £2.5 million prize fund with £500,000 to the winner.
Unibet Premier League
|League Leader’s Bonus||£25,000|
Betvictor World Matchplay
bwin Grand Slam
|Third In Group||£5,000|
|Fourth In Group||£3,000|
|Group Winner Bonus||£2,500|
Unibet World Grand Prix
Players Championship Finals
Unibet European Championship
Coral UK Open
World Series of Darts Finals
Betway World Cup of Darts
|Winner (All Per Player)||£30,000|
World Series of Darts Events
Unibet Champions League of Darts
|Third In Group||£15,000|
|Fourth In Group||£10,000|
European Tour Events
Players Championship Events
UK Open Qualifiers
PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour/Development Tour Events
|Total (Per Tour)||£200,000|
PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship