Professional Darts Corporation Chief Executive Matthew Porter has ruled out World Darts Federation exemptions and Grand Slam invites in the future.
In January, the PDC granted a special exemption to new Tour Card holders to take part in both the PDC and WDF World Championships, with the latter taking place in April this year. It was originally scheduled to take place in early January but the Covid-19 pandemic saw the event postponed.
The PDC’s Player Contract requires Tour Card holders to obtain permission to compete in other broadcasted events which are organised by other federations. There were seven players who received a PDC Tour Card in mid-January at the 2022 Qualifying School that were initially set to feature in the WDF competition.
As a result of the WDF World Championship being pushed back, the PDC granted permission to the seven players to take part in the rearranged tournament. The players in question were: Nick Fulwell, Cameron Menzies, Ross Montgomery, Brian Raman, Connor Scutt, Mario Vandenbogaerde and Jules van Dongen.
In a statement, the PDC said: “The PDC Board of Directors has agreed a one-off exception to the Player Contract to permit these seven players to compete without a penalty in the rearranged event should they wish.”
And the PDC’s Porter has clarified that it was certainly a one-off and there will be no grounds for further exemption next year or for future Grand Slam invites.
He told Online Darts: “It was a one-off due to COVID rescheduling. We've got enough players coming from different aspects of our own system, I've been quite consistent on this for the last couple of years. We want to reward players in our system, I don't see enough compelling evidence at the moment to take players from outside our system.
"In the past, there was real strength and depth in the BDO [British Darts Organisation] system. We had some good players come through, many of them came over. Now we have our own system that has a strength in depth. If you're playing on one of these other circuits, you're probably playing on the Challenge Tour as well or the Women's Series so the whole reason of us developing a structure was to give players at all levels the opportunity to integrate with us."