The PDC Summer Series will be held in Milton Keynes from July 8-12. The event consists of five consecutive Players Championship tournaments. Due to the threat of the Coronavirus that still applies, the PDC has taken a number of measures to ensure that everything runs as safely as possible.
The PDC wants to create a so-called bubble around the PDC Summer Series. Players are expected to arrive at their hotel on Tuesday, July 7. They are then given a face mask to wear until they are in their hotel room.
Players and staff (such as tournament officials, security and production staff) undergo a Coronavirus test on a predefined time slot on the same day. They must then await the results in their hotel room. The corona test (£ 110 each) is paid in full by the PDC.
A negative result means that a player is free of Coronavirus. As proof of this, a player is presented with a wristband, which must be worn throughout the event. With this wristband, a player can move freely within the bubble, which consists of a hotel, restaurant and playing area.
Removal from hotel with positive test
When a player resident in the UK has tested positive, the darts player in question must leave the hotel immediately. They must then go into home isolation in accordance with the UK Government guidelines.
Non-UK players are first given the opportunity to make arrangements to self-isolate in the United Kingdom. They have to go in isolation for two weeks before they can return home.
The PDC advises players with Coronavirus symptoms to first undergo a Covid-19 test in their own environment. In this way a possible wasted trip can be prevented. Even if that test is negative, a player must still participate in the PDC test on Tuesday, July 7.
Extra measures around PDC Summer Series
There are consequences for leaving the bubble. Regardless of the length or content of the trip, a second Coronavirus test will be done and in the meantime a player must go into hotel room isolation. A second test must be paid by the player himself.
It can take up to 12 hours for the results to be confirmed, putting a player at risk of being excluded from participating in any of the Players Championship tournaments during the PDC Summer Series.
Medically qualified doctors are also present at the location. They can send players with symptoms to their hotel room until they are declared medically healthy again.
Measures are also taken during the tournaments to prevent infection. Players are expected to keep a distance of one meter from each other and wash their hands regularly.
In addition, walk routes are utilised and there is a waiting area where players must stand when their opponent is throwing. Players each have their own table where they can put their belongings (such as a bottle of water, phone and darts equipment). These tables are cleaned after every game. Once players have lost and done their marking duties, they must immediately leave the playing area and return to the hotel.
The PDC Summer Series consists of five Players Championship tournaments, each with £ 75,000 in prize money on offer. Players earn £ 500 with a win in the first round and this adds up to £ 10,000 for the winner of an event.
The prize money counts towards the PDC Order of Merit, Pro Tour Ranking and the Players Championship Order of Merit. In addition, a special PDC Summer Series Order of Merit is being set up. The number one of this ranking receives an invitation to the Grand Slam of Darts.
These five tournaments are also the last ranking tournaments in the qualifying race for the World Matchplay. This prestigious event will take place from July 18-26.
Author: Pieter Verbeek