WELCOME to the Professional Darts Corporation’s 2017 Rules.
Section 4 below refers to the ProTour.
4.1 Tour Cards for 2017 will be awarded to the following players:
Top 64 x eligible PDPA Members from the PDC Order of Merit (having competed in at least 10 events which are counted on the PDC Order of Merit during the preceding two years) following the completion of the 2016/17 World Championship.
32 x Tour Card holders awarded in 2016 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 2016 Challenge Tour Order of Merit
2 x top ranked players not otherwise qualified for a Tour Card from the 2016 Development Tour Order of Merit
16 x automatic qualifiers from 2016 Q School
Remaining 12 places to be filled by Q School Order of Merit
In the event that 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 the Q School.
The Top 64 from the Order of Merit 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 3 2017 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 2016 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 2016 Challenge or Development Tour Order of Merit.
4.2 Entry to UK Open qualifier events is open to all Full and Associate PDPA members on payment of the relevant entry fee.
4.3 Entry to all Players Championship events is open only to Tour Card holders on payment of the relevant entry fee.
All Players Championship events will have a 128-player draw. In instances where the number of Tour Card holders entering a Players Championship event does not reach 128, Associate Members shall be invited to enter, first in order of Q School Merit Table position and then, following an appointed deadline, on a first-come-first-served basis to make the total number of entries up to 128.
In the event that this total still does not reach 128, byes will be awarded in seed order. In the event that 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. However, once a player has participated in two European or Host Nation qualifying events in any one calendar year, that player must become a PDPA ProTour member in order to participate in further qualifying events that year. Nordic & Baltic or East European qualifier entrants are not subject to this rule for 2017.
Entry to European Tour UK qualifiers is open to any Tour Card Holder and any player who finished in the top 32 of UK and non-European players (including ties) of that year’s Q School.
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 their last 32 match in the event will not be credited with prize money on to 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 seedings.
The 32 qualifiers shall come from the following qualifying tournaments:
– 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.
– 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, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, 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, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania and any state not listed here which falls within the EADC region.
Any player who is unable to enter the West & South Europe or Host Nation qualifier due to a scheduling clash with an event in which they have been invited by the PDC, shall be deemed eligible to enter the UK qualifier for the event.
All qualifying tournaments are to be played with a single-elimination format of a minimum of best of seven legs.
The UK Qualifier, West Europe Qualifier and Host Nation Qualifier will each feature one seed per qualifying place available, based on the ProTour Order of Merit. The East Europe Qualifiers and Nordic & Baltic Qualifiers will be unseeded.
In the event of a player withdrawing 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.
In the event of one or more players withdrawing 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 qualifier 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 Europe qualifier on payment of the relevant fee and under the same criteria as West Europe players regarding PDPA Non-UK ProTour Membership
4.6 The entry fee for all ProTour events, including UK qualifiers for European Tour events, is £100 for Tour Card holders, Associate Members and other Full Members.
European Tour Host Nation and West Europe qualifying events can be entered by eligible players for a fee of €125. (includes a €15 Day Membership supplement).
The PDC may, at its discretion, adjust non-member entry fees for tournaments based on currency fluctuations or if tournaments are staged in territories deemed to be ‘developing territories’, such as Nordic & Baltic and East Europe
4.7 The closing date for Tour Card holders to enter for the main draw of Players Championship events will be 1400 UK time on the Tuesday the week before each tournament is due to be played (for the avoidance of doubt, this is 11 days before a Saturday event).
The closing date for Associate Members to fill any remaining spaces in the last 128 of an event will be 1400 on the Friday the week before each tournament is due to be played (for the avoidance of doubt, this is eight days before a Saturday event).
Tour Card holders who miss their appointed deadline but enter in the interim period before the Associate Member deadline passes will have their entries voided and may lose their entry fee.
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 tournament.
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 Non-UK ProTour 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.
4.11 All Players Championship and UK Open qualifying tournaments 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 events will be conducted following the closure of registration, with seedings adjusted accordingly in the event of an entered player who was due to be seeded not registering.
Draws for European Tour events will be conducted either following the UK qualifier or the completion of the field for the last 48 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. European Tour schedules will be announced on pdc.tv as soon as possible following the completion of the draw.
4.13 All ProTour events will progress in a bracket format throughout with no re-draw once the tournament is underway.
4.14 Players who wish to withdraw from a tournament 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, which will only be considered with the support of a doctor’s certificate (not self-certified) or in the event of 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 tournament) a sanction may not be imposed at the discretion of the DRA.
For clarity, these fines will be as follows for 2017:
First offence: £250
Second offence: £500
Third offence: £1000
Fourth offence: DRA referral
Following a 12month consecutive period without offence, a player’s ‘slate shall be wiped clean’ in relation to these offences.
4.15 All games are 501 up, straight start and finishing on a double. The player on the left of the draw will throw first for the bull to determine who throws first in the first leg. The throw will then be reversed and alternate thereafter. All darts will be removed before each player throws.
Where stage matches are being 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.
4.16 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 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.
A £5 supplement will be added to all Players Championship and UK Open qualifier entry fees to cover expense payments to ‘volunteer’ markers.
Where insufficient markers are provided at either Players Championship or UK Open qualifying events, all players who participate on affected boards and who have paid their £5 supplement will received a refund of the supplement.
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.
4.17 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 tournament.
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 4.18 will apply in respect of their prize money.
4.18 Players who are timed out, fail to complete or who otherwise miss their scheduled match shall not be entitled to receive the prize money eligible to them for participating in that round or have it added to their applicable Order of Merit totals.
4.19 If a player intends competing in any ProTour or Premier event despite suffering from illness or injury, he must report this to the Tournament Director in advance. Failure to do this may result in a DRA referral.