If you’re into darts and want to find out more about the organisations behind this amazing sport then you should probably start with the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC). This professional darts organisation was founded in 1992, originally as the World Darts Council (WDC), when 16 top professional players decided to break away from British Darts Organisation (BDO). The PDC is now the leading professional body in the sport of darts so let’s take a look at how it all started and what the PDC’s role is in the sport.
How it all began
In the 1980’s darts was suffering from a lack of sponsorship television coverage with many players feeling not enough was being done by the BDO to rectify the situation. This led 16 top players, along with some sports promoters including Tommy Cox and Dick Allix, to break away from the BDO and form the WDC in 1992.
Several years of struggle ensued until the two bodies reached an out of court settlement in 1997, in which the BDO recognised the WDC and said all players should be able to choose which events they play in (though not both in the same year) and the WDC rebranded itself as the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).
In 1994 the PDC (then called the WDC) held its first World Championship over the festive period and established a partnership with Sky Sports which holds to this day.
The PDC World Championship is now an annual event and has been held at the Alexandra Palace in London since 2008.
It is considered to be the most prestigious of the PDC events which also includes The World Matchplay Event and the World Grand Prix. These three events combined are known as the PDC Triple Crown, and only 3 professional players to this date have won all three tournaments over the course of their careers - Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, and Gary Anderson - with just Phil Taylor winning all 3 in the same season.
In addition to the 3 big annual events, the PDC also organise a range of ongoing tournaments for darts professionals, including:
The Premier League - this was introduced in 2005 and is played weekly from February to May each year. 8 players including 4 of the top players from the PDC Order of Merit and 4 wildcards compete against each other in knockout style rounds with nights hosted in venues across the UK, Ireland and Europe.
The Grand Slam of Darts - originally set up to allow the best performing players from the BDO to compete with the best performing players from PDC events and since 2015 has been classed as a ranking tournament.
In addition to these televised events, the PDC has also developed further coverage of darts through internet streamed events such as the European Tour and UK Open qualifiers.
PDC Darts rankings
Players who compete in PDC tournaments are ranked using the PDC Order or Merit. This is a ranking system that rates players based on their prize money earnings over the last two seasons, with separate one year rankings available for PDC Pro Tour events.
The future of the PDC
The PDC is committed to ensuring that darts gets the recognition it deserves and is invested in developing future talent through its Qualifying School, Development Tour and World Youth Championship. It is also growing the reach of darts through international affiliations. The future of darts, it seems, is in safe hands with the PDC.
Now that you’ve found out a little more about the professional bodies behind the sport, why not try your hand at playing the game? Click here to browse our full range of darts, dartboards and accessories.