Women's only darts events have been around for many decades. However, it took some time for the PDC to embrace women's events. The former British Darts Organisation (BDO) and others under the World Dart Federation (WDF) had always staged separate dart events for women. However, the former PDC chairman said the PDC was an open playing field for all dart players regardless of gender. Barry said if you are good enough, then you can compete.
The PDC maintain 128 players in their 'order of merit' or ranking, as some like to say. To be part of the 128, players must compete at Qualifying School / Q-School at the beginning of the darts season in January. The lucky ones who win over a gruelling several days gain a two-year tour card that allows them to compete in the highly prized PDC Darts Events.
The two-year tour card is only the start, as players must have been ranked in the top 64 after their two-year period. If they fail, they lose their tour card and must attend Q-school again to win one back. A player in the top 64 after two years still retains the tour card unless they fall out of the 64 by the end of the season.
All players who hold a tour card compete in a series of Player Championships. Each event is held behind closed doors but live streamed via the PDC.tv internet stream. A series final is held each year and staged on TV under the title of the Players Championship Finals. The 20023 Player Championship Finals will staged at the Butlins Minehead resort in November, with the seeded players entering the event in the later rounds. Dart fans look forward to this event as much as any other, as 128 professional dart players are on show. The fans pack the auditorium, with tickets selling out as quickly as they are available. Betting is high on the agenda, and the long weekend of top-flight darts is mixed with some downtime spent with the players. Online gaming is popular with fans and players, casino not on bet stop is one of the places many visit during this time where many sports betting sites feature.
Many women compete at Q-School. However, only Lisa Ashton has one straight through. Two years later, she lost her tour card as she hadn't gained the ranking required to stay with the sport's elite.
Over the years, the PDC has invited the top BDO players to compete in the Grand Slam of Darts and in the PDC World Darts Championships. However, with the BDO now gone, the PDC staged its own events to allow women to qualify. These events were attended by the elite women in the sport and proved popular with fans and players, and from here, the PDC introduced a Women's series of events with some serious prize money.
Some have always ridiculed women's darts as a showcase and have not been taken seriously. The BDO World Darts Championship held a Women's event from 2001 to 2020, with the winner receiving as little as 10% of their male counterparts who won the main event.
Despite the few dismissing women's darts, they need to look at some of the scoring averages achieved on the oche. Trina Gulliver won the BDO World title a staggering ten times. Her scoring averages in the BDO finals were up there with the best players in the World at this time. In 2006, 95.97, 2001, 94.92, and 2004, 90.24. So why has it taken such a long time for women's darts to break through to the mainstream? A simple reason is that although a few women players were achieving high averages, there were not enough in this elite group to make the PDC review its policy. However, all things change. The situation has changed, and women's darts are a force that competes squarely on the oche.
The Women's series of dart events created by the PDC has had many of the best women players competing. Not only is there higher prize money than events staged by the WDF, but they also have the chance to qualify for the PDC World Darts Championships, the PDC Women's Masters, and the Grand Slam of Darts.
Women's darts got a well-needed boost when Fallon Sherrock famously won two rounds in the 2021 World Final, beating Ted Evetts in the first round and remarkable the eleventh seed Mensur Suljovic. The feat made headlines across the sporting World, and notable sports stars from different disciplines paid their respects to Fallon. Billie Jean King led the tributes for Fallon's achievements.
Not only did Fallon's win give women's darts credibility. It also gave darts as a sport and the PDC greater recognition in the sporting World. Fallon and other women who have played in the PDC, Beau Greaves and Lisa Ashton, to name a few, have all succeeded against their male opponents.
The PDC Women's Series is open to all women dart players. The 2024 Series calendar is listed below.
Please Note: PDC Calendar correct at the time of publishing. Events are subject to change for operational or other unavoidable reasons.
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