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.