In the tournament series, the PDC distinguishes between the big major events that are broadcast on television and the events of the Pro Tour.
The PDC Premier League Darts, the World Cup of Darts, the Champions League of Darts, The Masters and the World Series of Darts are invitational tournaments, the prize money is not included in the Order of Merit.
World Darts Championship
The World Darts Championship has been held since 1994 and is the largest darts event in the world. From 1994 to 2007 the “Circus Tavern” in Purfleet was the home of the World Championship. 2008 followed the move to the “Alexandra Palace” in London, which is also affectionately called “Ally Pally”.
32 players qualify via the Order of Merit and are seeded. 32 additional players qualify via the Pro-Tour Order of Merit.
The 32 free seats will be played in worldwide qualifying tournaments. The PDC Europe awards five starting places for the first main round of the World Cup. The German starting place goes to the winner of the Superleague. Further places via PDC Europe will be played in Spain, the Netherlands, Austria and Eastern Europe.
The World Matchplay has the biggest tradition next to the World Championship. The Summer World Cup has been held since 1994 in the impressive “Empress Ballroom” in the “Winter Gardens” in Blackpool. In 2002 Phil Taylor threw the first 9-Darter in the match against Chris Mason, which was broadcast live on TV.
The top 16 of the Order of Merit is set. There are also 16 other players via the Pro-Tour Order of Merit.
World Grand Prix
The World Grand Prix has been held since 1998 and is the only darts event in the world where double-in, double-out is played. In 1998 and 1999 the event took place in Rochester, England. In 2000 the change to Ireland took place. After one year in Rosslare the “Citywest Hotel” in Dublin became the new home of the WGP.
The top 16 of the Order of Merit is automatically qualified, seeded players are only the top 8, plus 14 additional players via the Pro-Tour Order of Merit and the two best Irish or Northern Irish players in the Order of Merit who are not already qualified.
UK Open Finals
The UK Open is also called the “FA Cup of Darts” because of the way it is played and is the only major tournament where several boards are played in the first rounds. There is no seed list and each round is drawn by lot. The UK Open has been held since 2003, until 2013 the “Reebok Stadium” in Bolton was the venue. Since 2014 the “Butlins Resort” in Minehead is the venue.
For the UK Open Finals there have been no separate qualifying tournaments since 2019. All 128 Tour Card holders are automatically qualified, plus 32 players who can play their way into the main draw via regional tournaments. Players placed higher in the rankings will not enter the tournament until the second, third or fourth round.
European Darts Championship
The EDC was created in 2008 to give mainland European players the chance to compete against the best darts players in the world. The EDC is hosted by PDC Europe in cooperation with the PDC. The first event took place in 2008 in Frankfurt am Main.
The Top 32 of the European Order of Merit qualify for the EDC. There is no draw, the tournament schedule is based on the ranking position (1-32, 2-31 etc.). The European Order of Merit only includes the prize money of the European Tour events.
World Cup of Darts
The World Cup of Darts is the only team event in the tournament calendar and is hosted by PDC Europe in cooperation with PDC. The first WCoD took place in England in 2010. In 2012, the second Team World Championship took place for the first time in Germany. The event was played for three years in the “Alsterdorfer Sporthalle” in Hamburg. From 2015, the “Eissporthalle” in Frankfurt am Main was home to the World Cup of Darts for four years. In 2019, the event returned to Hamburg, where it now plays in the “Barclaycard Arena”.
32 nations with two players each will be invited to the WCoD by the PDC. The eight best nations will be seeded according to the rankings of the two invited players.
Grand Slam of Darts
The Grand Slam of Darts is the only major event where professionals from the PDC and BDO (British Darts Organisation) participate. Home of the GSoD since 2007 is the “Civic Hall” in Wolverhampton. The Aldersley Leisure Village is the venue in 2018 and 2019 due to renovation work.
The Top 8 of the PDC Order of Merit is set. The first round is played in eight groups of four, one seeded player is drawn in each group. The two best players of each group advance, from the second round on the KO system is played. Up to 16 additional places will go to the finalists of the PDC Major Events. Free places will be played in a separate qualification tournament. 8 starting places will go to BDO players, one BDO player will be drawn in each group.
Players Championship Finals
Since 2009, the Players Championship Finals are a final tournament for the best players of the PDC Pro Tour. In the first two years was played in the “Circus Tavern”. In 2011 the Players Championship Finals took place twice. The first three editions of the finals took place at the beginning of a year according to the final ranking of the previous year. Since 2011, the Players Championship Finals have been held at the end of the season. Since 2012, the “Butlins Resort” in Minehead has been the only venue home to two PDC Major events.
In 2016 the number of participants in the Players Championship Finals was doubled. The Players Championship Order of Merit will only include the prize money from the Players Championship events. The 64 best players in this ranking will qualify for the final round. There will be no draw, the tournament schedule will be based on the ranking position (1-64, 2-63 etc.).
The Masters is one of the PDC’s more recent events and is an invitation tournament at the beginning of a year. 2013 and 2014 were played in Edinburgh, 2015 followed the move to the “Arena MK” in Milton Keynes.
The Top 16 of the PDC will be invited. There is no draw, the tournament schedule is based on the ranking position (1-16, 2-15 etc.).
World Series of Darts
The World Series of Darts was launched in 2013 to make darts more popular around the world. The first event in the series was the Dubai Darts Masters in 2013. 2016 the World Series made station in Dubai, Auckland, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney and Perth. In 2017, the PDC returns to the USA with an event as part of the World Series. Since 2017 there has also been a World Series event in Germany.
Participants: 8 to 16
Six players qualify via the Order of Merit, two additional starting places are awarded via wildcards. These eight players compete in all World Series events of a year. In some events, the eight PDC pros face eight local players.
World Series of Darts Finals
In 2015 a World Series of Darts Final was held for the first time. Since 2018 the event is organized by PDC Europe in cooperation with PDC.
The top eight players of the separate World Series Order of Merit are seeded and will enter the final in the second round. In addition, four more players will be entered via the Order of Merit, and eight participants will be invited by the PDC. Four more places will be played in a separate qualifier.
Premier League Darts
The Premier League Darts is the biggest road show of the PDC. On 15 match days, the four participants in the final of the Premier League are determined. The Premier League is played in Great Britain and Ireland, since 2016 there is also a matchday in Rotterdam. 2018 was the first time the event was played in Germany, since then the “Mercedes-Benz Arena” in Berlin has been part of the Premier League.
In 2005 and 2006, 7 players took part in the Premier League, from 2007 to 2012 there were 8 participants. Since 2013, the Premier League has comprised 10 participants. After nine match days (Judgement Night), the last two players in the table are eliminated. The top 4 after fifteen match days qualify for the final.
The Top 4 of the Order of Merit after the World Cup is automatically qualified. Six additional starting places will be awarded with wildcards.
PDC Pro Tour Events
The PDC Pro-Tour includes the Players Championship Events and the European Tour Events. The prize money from these events will all go towards the Pro-Tour Order of Merit. While the events of the European Tour will be held in front of spectators, the Players Championship Events will be held without public audiance.
Players Championship Events
The Players Championship Events will be held in Great Britain. Since 2019 there are also events in Germany. The field of participants is limited to 128 holders of a PDC Pro-Tour-Card. Free places due to cancellations by players will be filled according to the Challenge Tour Order of Merit.
European Tour Events
The European Tour has been organised since 2012 and is the tournament series of the PDC Europe with events in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Gibraltar.
The top 16 of the Pro-Tour Order of Merit is set. 32 additional starting places will be played in various qualifying tournaments. In the first main round, the 32 qualifiers determine the opponents of the top 16 who will enter the tournament on the second day.
The Development Tour is the newcomer series of the PDC. The minimum age for participation is 16 years. Players who were under 24 years of age on 02 January are also eligible.
Each season, 20 tournaments will be held on five weekends as part of the Development Tour. In 2016, the Development Tour made its first stop in Germany.
The top 72 of the Development Tour Order of Merit as well as 24 other qualifiers determine the World Youth Champion. In the final round of the 96 best players, the finalists will be determined. The final of the World Youth Championship will take place in the Players Championship Finals.
The Challenge Tour is the perfect foundation for the Players Championship events. Ambitious players can gain valuable competition experience here, while former top players have the opportunity to play their way back. Each season, 20 tournaments are held on five weekends as part of the Challenge Tour. Every participant of the Q-School is entitled to participate in the Challenge Tour, Tour Card holders are not allowed to participate.
PDC Qualifying School
The Q-School is the ticket to the professional darts sport. At the beginning of a new season all free PDC Tour-Cards will be played on four days. The four semi-finalists have a Tour-Card for sure. All other available Tour Cards will be issued on the basis of the separate Q-School Order of Merit.
Any player who participated in the Q-School and did not receive a Pro Tour Card is eligible for the Challenge Tour. In addition to the Q-School in England, there has been a European Q-School in Hildesheim since 2018. All players who are not from Great Britain or Ireland are allowed to participate.
Only holders of a PDC Tour-Card may participate in the Players Championship Events. The top 64 of the Order of Merit after the World Cup will automatically receive a Tour-Card. The Tour Card is valid for two years, so players who have dropped out of the top 64 will be allowed to enter the Players Championship for another year. Additional Tour Cards will be awarded to the best players on the Development and Challenge Tour. All available seats will be played through the Q-School. Only 128 Tour Cards will be awarded each year.