2021 PDC Order of Merit Rules, Announced February 7 2021
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 as either having been awarded an Honorary Membership, or being in one of the below listed categories:
(i) 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.
(ii) 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 a player who participates on a Secondary Tour).
(iii) A Day Member is defined as a non-UK national who may pay a supplement to their entry fee for relevant qualifying Events for European Tour Events.
(iv) 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 following Events must be a Full Member of the PDPA: World Championship (excluding PDPA Associate Members), World Matchplay, World Grand Prix, Grand Slam (excluding Amateur qualifiers) UK Open (excluding Amateur Qualifiers and PDPA Associate Members), European Championship, Players Championship Finals (excluding PDPA Associate Members), Masters, World Series Finals (excluding invited non-members) and Premier 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 who wish to participate in Events must sign the PDC Player Contract and accept the PDPA Code of Conduct and Constitution 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 (including having unpaid outstanding fines or other unpaid sums owing to any such party) will not be allowed to participate in any Event until such time as they are in good standing.
1.5 PDPA membership lasts from the conclusion of one World Championship until the conclusion of the next World Championship and any player who is not a Tour Card holder but qualifies for an Event listed in 1.2 is still required to play at Q School in order to be eligible to participate in that year’s ProTour Events.
1.6 All Events shall be played under the Rules of the Darts Regulation Authority, as covered in the DRA Rule Book published on its website, www.thedra.co.uk.
2. Order of Merit
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 Matchplay World Grand Prix Grand Slam European Championship Players Championship Finals UK Open
Premier Invitational Events: Premier League World Series Finals Masters World Cup
ProTour Events: European Tour Players Championships
Secondary Tour Events: Challenge Tour Development Tour Women's Series
Other Events: World Youth Championship World Series Non-UK Affiliate Tours (as administered by PDC Nordic & Baltic, Eurasian Darts Corporation, DartPlayers Australia, DartPlayers New Zealand, PDC Asian Tour, Championship Darts Corporation).
2.2 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.
2.3 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£.
2.4 Any bonus prize money for a nine-dart finish achieved by a player in an Event will be determined by the PDC Board of Directors and announced in advance of the Event. These payments will not count towards any Orders of Merit.
2.5 All prize money paid to PDPA Members in all Events will be paid in UK£ directly by the PDC or its local agents, unless otherwise advertised.
Prize money will be paid into the bank account nominated by the player to the PDC which must be either in their own name, the name of a company of which they are a Director, the name of their DRA Licensed Agent’s Business Account or in the case of a Development Tour player or other player legally classified as a minor, the name of one or more of their parents/guardians.
2.6 The main Order of Merit is calculated on prize money won by players over a 104-week period and is added to each player’s total at the end of the day on which the Event concludes.
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.
No Premier Event shall count three times towards the main Order of Merit, with the earliest of the three removed if necessary.
2.7 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.
2.8 Invitations to and seedings for ranked Premier and European Tour Events and qualifying Events will be based on the relevant Orders of Merit at the closing date for entries or qualification for the Event in question (as per Section 3).
Seedings for Players Championship Events will be based on the relevant Order of Merit at the time of the draw being made – usually the day of the event.
2.9 Players will need to have participated in a minimum of one ProTour or Premier Event over a rolling 104-week 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 104-week period, they will be removed from the Order of Merit.
2.10 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 (who are not PDPA Associate Members) in the UK Open or Grand Slam will not count towards the Main Order of Merit. For the avoidance of doubt, PDPA Associate Members who have not qualified for the UK Open through their Challenge or Development Tour Order of Merit position are permitted to participate in Amateur Qualifiers for the UK Open.
2.11 All prize money won in all PDC Events (not sanctioned affiliate tours) will be subject to a 2% levy, to be paid directly to the PDPA in the form of deductions from prize money.
3. Invitations and Seedings
3.1 Invitations, seedings and structures for Premier Events are played according to the following criteria:
2021 Masters Cut-off date: January 4 2021 Seeds: Top 24 in Order of Merit (drawn in seed pattern) Qualifying Players: Top 24 in Order of Merit
2021 UK Open Cut-off date: March 1 2021 Seeds: Tour Card holders will enter from round one onwards depending on their position on the main Order of Merit as follows: 97 – 128: first round 65 – 96: second round 33 – 64: third round 1 – 32: fourth round Qualifying Players: 128 Tour Card Holders Top 8 non-qualified eligible players from the 2020 Development Tour Order of Merit who remain PDPA Associate Members in 2021. Top 8 non-qualified eligible players from the 2020Challenge Tour Order of Merit who remain PDPA Associate Members in 2021. Top 8 non-qualified eligible players from 2021 UK Qualifying School Final Stage Order of Merit. Top 8 non-qualified eligible players from 2021 European Qualifying School Final Stage Order of Merit Associate Members from 2020 who become Full Members for 2021 will qualify as Full Members and further places will be offered to players from each of the final 2020 OOM Tables using the Development Tour first, then the Challenge Tour one player at a time, until all 8 places are filled. The same procedure will be followed in the event of withdrawals under Rule 3.6 below.
2021 World Cup Cut-off date: To be confirmed 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
2021 World Matchplay Cut-off date: To be confirmed but following conclusion of final Players Championship or European Tour event before World Matchplay 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
2021 World Grand Prix Cut-off date: To be confirmed but following conclusion of final Players Championship or European Tour event before World Grand Prix 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
2021 European Championship Cut-off date: To be confirmed but following conclusion of final European Tour event Seeds: Top 32 in European Tour Order of Merit (drawn in seed pattern) Qualifying Players: Top 32 in European Tour Order of Merit
2021 World Series Finals Cut-off date: To be confirmed Seeds: To be confirmed Qualifying Players: To be confirmed
2021 Grand Slam of Darts Cut-off date: To be confirmed Seeds: Top 8 qualified from Order of Merit (one drawn per group) Qualifying Players: To be confirmed
2021 Players Championship Finals Cut-off date: To be confirmed but following conclusion of final Players Championship event Seeds: Top 64 in Players Championship Order of Merit (drawn in seed pattern) Qualifying Players: Top 64 in Players Championship Order of Merit
2021/22 World Championship Cut-off date: To be confirmed but following Players Championship Finals Seeds: Top 32 in Order of Merit seeded through to Last 64 Qualifying Players: Top 32 in Order of Merit Top 32 in the ProTour Order of Merit not otherwise qualified 32 invitations at the PDC’s discretion (international qualifying Events, PDPA qualifier, PDC Secondary and Affiliate Tours). Full criteria to be published in 2021.
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 be recalculated from the most recent Event 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)-4(13)-5-(12) BOTTOM HALF: 2-(15)-7-(10)-3-(14)-6-(11)
Seedings for European Tour Events will be as per Premier Events but the top and bottom halves will alternate across 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: 1-32-16-17-8-25-9-24-4-29-13-20-5-28-12-21 BOTTOM HALF: 2-31-15-18-7-26-10-23-3-30-14-19-6-27-11-22
Seedings for the 64-player Players Championship Finals are ordered as follows: TOP HALF: 1-64-32-33-16-49-17-48-8-57-25-40-9-56-24-41-4-61-29-36-13-52-20-45-5-60-28-37-12-53-21-44 BOTTOM HALF: 2-63-31-34-15-50-18-47-7-58-26-39-10-55-23-42-3-62-30-35-14-51-19-46-6-59-27-38-11-54-22-43
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 ProTour (European Tour and Players Championship) 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 52-week period in European Tour and Players Championship 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 52-week 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 52-week 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.
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 highest available non-qualified player from the Order of Merit (or if required in the case of the World Championship, the qualifying route) 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 (or at the World Championship, if there is no direct replacement for the player through the route from which they qualified, the replacement player will come from a reserve list from the PDPA World Championship qualifier where final round (and then if required, each earlier round in turn) losers will be ranked in Order of Merit position). 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 into a round other than the earliest round of the Event and misses an earlier round, they will only be awarded prize money due for the earliest round of the Event should they lose their first match. However, should they win their first match, prize money will be awarded as normal.
3.8 Full Members may choose to enter their own nation or region’s World Championship qualifying Event and/or the PDPA Full Members qualifier. The PDPA Full Members 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 Full Members qualifier being held.
If a player qualifies through their own nation or region’s World Championship or World Youth Championship qualifying Event as well as their position on an Order of Merit, they will be deemed to have qualified through that route and not through the relevant Order of Merit and so the next non-qualified player on the relevant Order of Merit will be invited to participate.
In the event of a player qualifying through their own nation or region’s World Championship or World Youth Championship qualifying Event also being in a seeded position for the relevant Event, the seeded position shall take precedence over the qualifying position.
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 2021 will be awarded to the following players: Top 64 x eligible players from the PDC Order of Merit who retain PDPA Membership for 2021 following the completion of the 2020/21 World Championship; 31 x Tour Card Holders from 2020 Q School and 2019 Secondary Tour Orders of Merit who are not ranked in the Top 64 of the Order of Merit and who are starting the second year of their Tour Card; 2 x top ranked players not otherwise qualified for a Tour Card from the 2020 Challenge Tour Order of Merit; 2 x top ranked players not otherwise qualified for a Tour Card from the 2020 Development Tour Order of Merit; 4 x automatic qualifiers from 2021 UK Q School; 4 x automatic qualifiers from 2021 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 participation numbers.
If any players who earn a Tour Card for 2021 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 a combined UK and European Q School Final Stage points list.
If any player entitled to a Tour Card by virtue of being in the Top 64 of the Order of Merit resigns from their PDPA Membership and PDC Player Contract prior to the commencement of 2021 Q School, the next highest ranked eligible player who did not retain their Tour Card for 2021 shall move up the Order of Merit and retain their Tour Card.
The Top 64 eligible players from the PDC Order of Merit who retain PDPA Membership for 2021 following the completion of the 2020/21 World Championship will receive a one-year Tour Card. The remaining qualifiers (excluding the 31 players from 2020 Q School and 2019 Secondary Tour Orders of Merit entering the second year of their Tour Card) will receive a two-year Tour Card as their Order of Merit total will revert to £0 from January 4 2021 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 2020 Challenge or Development Tour Order of Merit is also in the Top 64 of the Order of Merit then they will receive a one-year Tour Card due to their Order of Merit position. Their money from the previous year will remain valid and their Tour Card place will pass to the next highest ranked unqualified player from the 2020 Challenge or Development Tour Order of Merit.
NOTE: From the start of 2022, if a player is in the top two of both the 2021 Challenge and Development Tour Orders of Merit then the Development Tour shall take priority and any further places shall pass down the Challenge Tour Order of Merit.
4.2 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.
The exception to the above position is if Associate Members win a Premier Ranked or ProTour Event they shall be placed as first alternate in order of their main Order of Merit position.
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.
NOTE: Where Players Championship events are played prior to any Challenge Tour events being played in the same year, a combined UK and European Q School Final Stage points list will be used to make the total number of entries up to 128.
4.3 Entry to European Associate Member qualifier is open to any player who played at least one day at either the UK or European Qualifying Schools in 2021 but did not win a Tour Card, unless they are from an East Europe Nation, a PDC Nordic and Baltic Nation, or of the appropriate nationality for the Host Nation Qualifier for that particular event. There is no entry fee and no other players are allowed to take part as Day Members.
Players are only permitted to play in one qualifying event per European Tour event based on their nationality and eligibility. In the event of a regional qualifier not being played, the PDC will announce alternative eligibility for affected players, where possible.
4.4 Day Members are permitted to take part in up to two Host Nation Qualifying Events in any One Calendar Year upon payment of the appropriate Entry Fee which includes Day Membership Fee. Once a Day Member has played in a second Host Nation Qualifier that player may not participate in any further Qualifying Events that year. There are no restrictions on the number of entries in the PDC Nordic and Baltic and East European Qualifiers in 2021.
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 at the Entry deadline and 32 qualifiers.
The top 16 ranked entered players from the ProTour Order of Merit at the Entry deadline will be exempted and seeded in to the last 32 where they will play the 16 winners from the matches involving the 32 qualifiers.
Invited players (the top 16 ranked who are exempted to the last 32 and any Host Nation qualifiers who qualify automatically as a result of their ranking) who lose in their first match 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.
An Invited player 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 their 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: - Tour Card Holder Qualifier: shall produce 24 players. Entry to Tour Card Holder Qualifying Events is open to all Tour Card Holders and Tour Card Holders from all Nations may only enter this Qualifier. - Associate Member Qualifier; shall produce two players from those entered and eligible under Rule 4.3. - Host Nation Qualifier: the highest two ranked players on the ProTour Order of Merit from the Host Nation, who are outside the Top 16 from the ProTour Order of Merit as at the Entry Deadline from those entered and eligible under Rule 4.3. (If there is only one or there are no players then those places shall revert to the Host Nation Qualifier). Additionally a knockout qualifier shall produce between two and four players from those entered and eligible under rules 4.3 and 4.4. Associate Members 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 Associate Member qualifier for that particular event. - PDC Nordic & Baltic Qualifier: shall produce one player from those entered and eligible under rule 4.3 and 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, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo and any state not listed here which falls within the EADC region. - In the case of the 2021 European Tour Event to be staged in Gibraltar, the Host Nation qualifiers shall be allocated to a stand-alone qualification process for Gibraltar based Associate and Day Members who do not hold Tour Cards. In the case of the 2021 European Tour Events in Prague and Budapest, Czech and Hungarian players who do not hold Tour Cards shall not be permitted to enter the East Europe Qualifier when they have their own Host Nation Qualifier.
All qualifying Events are to be played with a single-elimination format of a minimum of best of seven legs.
Tour Card Qualifying Events shall be seeded from the ProTour Order of Merit based on the OOM on the day of the Qualifier, depending on the number of qualifying places with one seed per place available. Other qualifying events may be seeded based on alternative criteria by prior agreement of the PDC with the relevant qualifying organiser.
If a player withdraws from a European Tour Event due to personal or disciplinary reasons after the cut-off date for the Event Entries and before the commencement of the Tour Card Holder Qualifier the next available non-qualified player from the ProTour Order of Merit as at the Entry deadline date 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 Tour Card Holder Qualifier for the Event, extra places shall be awarded to the Host Nation qualifying Event. In this instance, the players ranked below the unavailable player at the cut-off date will all move up one place in the seedings. If the draw has already taken place, no replacement player shall be named and a bye shall be awarded.
4.6 There is no entry fee for players to enter ProTour Events, including Tour Card Holder and Associate Member Qualifiers for European Tour Events.
Any player who enters and subsequently withdraws from an Event will be subject to rule 4.13.
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 a day to be displayed on the PDC Player Entry System. Where possible this will be 11 days prior to the start of a block of events but it is players own responsibility to check the details for each event.
Where required to complete the 128-player draw if not all Full Members enter an event, Associate Members shall be invited to enter after this deadline as per Rule 4.2.
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 and advertised at www.pdc.tv). 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 All ProTour main draw matches will be best of 11 legs up to and including the quarter-finals, and then the semi-finals will be best of 13 legs and the final will be best of 15 legs.
4.10 Start times for all Players Championship Events will be advertised on www.pdc.tv with registration closing one hour before the scheduled start time. Any player not registered by the registration deadline will be omitted from the draw without exception.
Players’ attention is drawn to Events which take place the day after a Premier Event, as these may start later for operational reasons.
4.11 Draws for Players Championship 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.
4.12 All ProTour Events will be played in a bracket format throughout with no re-draw after any round.
4.13 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 an Event 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 2021: 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.
4.14 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 by the Tournament Director or Players Marshal.
4.15 The PDC/PDPA will use their best endeavours to supply a marker at Players Championship Events but players must assume that marking will be their own responsibility.
Each European Tour qualifier and Players Championship 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.
4.16 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 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 4.18 will apply in respect of their prize money.
4.17 Once a player’s participation in an Event has commenced by them commencing their first match, if they are timed out, fail to complete or who otherwise miss a scheduled match, they shall be awarded loser money for the relevant round and be eliminated from the Event. If their withdrawal instigates a referral to the DRA, their prize money payment will be withheld subject to the DRA’s investigation and shall 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 into which they were placed as a result of the bye shall only be credited on the relevant Orders of Merit with prize money based on the previous round. For example, if a player receives a bye from the first round into the second round of an Event, but then loses in the second round, they shall only be credited with first round loser prize money. However, if they win their second round match but lose in the third round, they shall be credited with third round loser prize money.
4.18 If a player intends competing in any Event despite suffering from illness or injury which may affect their performance, they must report this to the Tournament Director in advance. Failure to do this may result in a DRA referral.
4.19 The World Series Finals, Grand Slam and World Championship PDPA qualifying events shall be open to Tour Card Holders only.
5. UK & European Qualifying Schools
5.1 Both the UK and European Q Schools shall comprise a First Stage of three one-day Events followed by a Final Stage of four separate one-day Events, all played over a best of 11 leg format under standard ProTour rules.
Players from the UK, Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar shall play in the UK Q School. Players from all other European Nations shall play in the European Q School. Players from other nations may choose in which Q School to participate.
Players who lost their Tour Card at the end of 2020, along with the Top 16 players from the Challenge and Development Tour Orders of Merit who do not have Tour Cards for 2021 will be exempt to the Final Stage in either the UK or European Q Schools, depending on their eligibility by nationality.
NOTE: Due to ongoing travel restrictions, the PDC may permit players to participate in an alternative Q School to the above criteria if it is more practical for them to do so.
NOTE: In order to comply with ongoing restrictions, the First Stage shall be divided in to two three one-day Event blocks, drawn randomly with half the entrants in each section and each block shall produce half the number of players required for the Final Stage with the four semi-finalists each day qualifying automatically and the remaining places decided by a Points List with one point being awarded per win from the first full round drawn without byes.
5.2 Tour Cards shall be awarded to the winner of each day’s play in Final Stage at both the UK and European Q School. Once a player has been awarded a Tour Card they shall not play in the remainder of Q School Final Stage. The remaining Tour Cards will be awarded to the remaining players who occupy the qualifying positions in the Q School Points List which shall be comprised of points as awarded in 5.3. Places will allocated to the relevant UK & European Q School Points Lists on a pro-rata basis from the final number of players who compete in at least one day of Q School.
Entrance to Q School constitutes acceptance of a Tour Card, if so earned by a player’s performance. If a player earns a Tour Card by virtue of their performance at Q School but declines a Tour Card, they are not eligible to appear on the Q School Points List or play in ProTour (including qualifiers) or Secondary Tour Events in 2021.
5.3 A Points List for each Q School shall be compiled as per the rules below to determine the allocation of Final Stage Qualifiers and additional Tour Cards.
In the First Stage, players will receive one point per victory from the first full round onwards on each day (defined as a round played without byes caused by the draw), and the respective three-day blocks will operate their own Points List to provide further qualifiers for Final Stage, as follows: - UK Qualifying School First Stage 1A & 1B will each provide half the required players from their respective Points List. - European Qualifying School First Stage 1A & 1B will each provide half the required players from their respective Points List. - In the event of there being an odd number of players required for Final Stage, the final player for each Final Stage will be the next highest non-qualified player from the First Stage Points Lists. - Combined Points Lists will be used (combining players from Stage 1A and 1B who did not initially qualify for Final Stage) to create a reserve list should any player(s) be unable to compete in Final Stage at either venue. - In Final Stage, players will receive one point per victory from the Last 64 onwards on each day of Final Stage to form the Final Stage Orders of Merit. - The split of the required additional Tour Cards across both Qualifying Schools will be allocated pro-rata based on the final number of players who participate in Stage 1A and 1B combined at each Qualifying School plus the players exempt to Final Stage, and will be confirmed ahead of the commencement of Final Stage.
Wins by virtue of a walkover from this round onwards shall be counted as a 6-0 win. If a player withdraws midway through a match their opponent shall be awarded the win by six legs to however many legs the withdrawing player has won at the time of withdrawal. All rounds subsequent to this round shall count for points.
At any point during Q School, if two or more players are tied on points, they will be separated in the Points List by (in order until they can be split): legs difference, legs won, then DartConnect average based on their totals in their matches. Results from any disregarded rounds are not included in this countback. If the players cannot be split, a play-off will be organised. In the event of a discrepancy with DartConnect meaning averages cannot be verified then they will be disregarded.
5.4 Entry to the Q School shall cost £400 plus a £50 2021 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 2020 Challenge Tour and Development Tour Orders of Merit and who were not awarded a Tour Card for 2021 will be invited in to the 2021 Q School at no cost. 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. Challenge Tour/Development Tour/World Youth Championship
6.1 Entry to Challenge Tour Events is open only to all players who participated in the 2021 Q Schools 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 4 2021. Players who are ranked in the top 32 of the PDC Order of Merit on the cut-off date of an Event are not eligible to enter those Development Tour Events. Players who turn 16 during 2021 shall be eligible to enter Development Tour Events or World Youth Championship qualifiers once their 16th birthday has passed.
All Tour Card Holders meeting the age requirements shall automatically be entered in to the draw for the World Youth Championship for that year and must inform the PDC before the date of the draw whether they wish to participate or not.
6.3 The World Youth Championship starts at the Last 96 round and is comprised of a minimum of 16 invitations, plus any players who under rule 6.2 have qualified by virtue of holding a Tour Card with all remaining places up to 96 being taken from the final 2021 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 from the knock-out stage with group matches the best of nine legs. The group stage will consist of three players per group who will play each other once with two points awarded per win. In the event of a tie on points within the groups, players will be separated by leg difference. If two players have the same leg difference then the head-to head result between the two players will be used to determine positions. If all three players have the same leg difference then a three-way nine-dart-shoot out will be played.
6.6 Challenge Tour and Development Tour Events are played with 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 96 will include 32 seeds, being based on the Main Order of Merit with the remaining positions based on the final 2020 Development Order of Merit, and will be played 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 2021 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 two highest ranked players on the 2021 Development Tour Order of Merit and then the highest ranked player on the 2021 Challenge Tour Order of Merit receive an invitation to the 2021/22 World Championship.
NOTE: if any of the players who achieve the above otherwise qualify for the 2021/22 World Championship, or reject their invitations, further places shall be offered to other players from the relevant Order of Merit until the places are filled.
- The finalists of the 2021 World Youth Championship will be included on the 2022 Grand Slam of Darts qualification criteria list subject to the entry criteria as stated in rule 3.1 of this document.
- The winner of the 2021 World Youth Championship receives an invitation to the 2021/22 World Championship.
NOTE: if any of the players who achieve the above otherwise qualify for the 2022 Grand Slam ofDarts or 2021/22 World Championship, or reject their invitations, no further places shall be offered.
- The top two players on the final 2021 Challenge and Development Tour Orders of Merit who have not otherwise qualified for Tour Cards for 2022 and 2023 will receive two-year Tour Cards.
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. In the event a player achieves the above from both the Challenge and Development Tours, the Challenge Tour will take priority.
- The players who finish third to eighth (countback applied in event of ties) on the 2021 Challenge Tour and Development Tour Orders of Merit will receive free entry to the 2022 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.
NOTE: Players are reminded that on-going advice as of the start of 2021 is to not make travel, accommodation or other Event arrangements that are non-refundable or non-changeable due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result of this advice, good faith negotiations will not be entered in to with any player who makes arrangements that do not comply with this.
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 A Player who wishes to participate in a PDC or PDC affiliated event where nationality is a determining factor for eligibility must prove the following in order to satisfy the PDC’s criteria for nationality: - The player was born in that nation OR - The player holds a valid passport for that nation OR - The player has continuous residency (defined as their primary or permanent home in the nation) for five consecutive years immediately preceding the date of the relevant event.
In cases where a player is holding dual citizenship, the player will be required to determine their primary nationality at the time of entering the relevant event and may not then change nationality for a period of five years.
In cases where a qualifying event is being staged by a local PDC affiliated organisation, the PDC’s eligibility rules shall take precedence over those of the local organisation in respect of whether a player is permitted to enter the event or not. In contentious cases, the player’s eligibility must be approved in writing by the PDC before the player is permitted to participate in the event. A player who enters an event and is subsequently denied permission to participate for reasons of eligibility of their nationality shall be entitled to a refund of their entry fee but no further liability shall be accepted by the PDC or its affiliate organisation.
This ruling has been implemented following consultation with the PDPA and both the PDC and PDPA are aware there are a larger number of unique and specific cases regarding player nationalities.
Therefore, the PDC reserves the right to alter or adapt this ruling at its sole discretion in the interests of fairness and sporting integrity.
7.7 This document will remain in force until the completion of all 2021 Events unless otherwise advised. Amendments will be announced on the PDC’s official website www.pdc.tv and unless otherwise stated will come in to force immediately from time of announcement.
8. Prize Funds Breakdown
|2020 PDC Prize Funds|
|World Championship 2021/2022|
|Fourth Round Losers||£35,000|
|Third Round Losers||£25,000|
|Second Round Losers||£15,000|
|First Round Losers||£7,500|
|Second Round Losers||£15,000|
|First Round Losers||£10,000|
|Second Round Losers||£10,000|
|Third in Group||£7,500|
|Fourth in Group||£4,000|
|Group Winners Bonus||£3,500|
|World Grand Prix|
|Second Round Losers||£10,000|
|First Round Losers||£6,000|
|Players Championship Finals|
|Third Round Losers||£10,000|
|Second Round Losers||£5,000|
|First Round Losers||£2,500|
|Second Round Losers||£10,000|
|First Round Losers||£6,000|
|World Series Finals|
|Second Round Losers||£7,500|
|First Round Losers||£5,000|
|League Leaders Bonus||£25,000|
|Runners Up (Each)||£20,000|
|Semi Finalists (Each)||£12,000|
|Quarter Finalists (Each)||£8,000|
|Second Round Losers (Each)||£4,000|
|First Round Losers (Each)||£2,000|
|World Series Events|
|Second Round Losers||£1,250|
|Total (Per Event)||£60,000|
|Total (Six Events)||£360,000|
|European Tour Events|
|Third Round Losers||£3,000|
|Second Round Losers||£2,000|
|First Round Losers||£1,000|
|Total (13 Events)||£1,820,,000|
|Players Championship Events|
|Fourth Round Losers||£1,500|
|Third Round Losers||£1,000|
|Second Round Losers||£500|
|Total (30 Events)||£2,250,000|
|C/T and D/T Events £10,000 per event|
|Last 16 Losers||£200|
|Last 32 Losers||£100|
|Last 64 Losers||£50|
|Challenge Tour £100,000|
|Development Tour £100,000|
|World Youth Championship|
|Third in Group||£300|
|Fourth in Group||£250|