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.