PDC Director Rod Harrington took on some thorny topics in a recent interview.

Having discussed the World Cup of Darts and Premier League with Live Darts, Harrington was asked about a major talking point. There has been much debate about gamesmanship in recent times. Tensions were heightened by Gerwyn Price’s antics at the Grand Slam of Darts, and a heavy subsequent punishment from the DRA. The PDC has not taken an official position yet, but Harrington laid out his own thoughts.

“In every sport, you have gamesmanship – a bit of verbal.

“And let’s be quite honest, Sky TV love it. A little bit of niggle puts a bit of spice in. And then you’re going to go ‘Gary Anderson against Gerwyn Price, got to watch that one!’

“That’s what it’s all about. We’re not just a game, we’re a business. Without the TV income and gate money, these players aren’t playing for millions of pounds.

“Sometimes it’s just…just get on with it.”

Characters wanted

Harrington paid specific reference to Price, who has turned somewhat into the pantomime villain of the PDC due to his high-energy approach.

“I grew up with Eric Bristow talking to you, and things happen – so you had to adapt and get aggressive with it.

“It isn’t quite what that was. A couple of things Gerwyn Price did were over the top, I didn’t have a problem with most of what he did.

“We want to see celebration. We don’t want to see boring dart players, throwing three darts, walking up and walking back again.”

Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Photo: Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

No change required

Rankings also came up in the conversation, with questions over its accuracy in reflecting the current quality of PDC players. Concerning the possible integration of a more reactive ranking system, when asked if there were plans to make a change, Harrington was dismissive.

“Not at the moment. Sky want to see the top players. So if Gary Anderson’s not in a tournament, they’d be going ‘why not?’

“We did this thing two or three years ago, where we realised that this was happening.

“For all the majors, we’ve got two rankings. We’ve got one-year ranking, and the world ranking, which is two years.

“We felt that it was the perfect mix of the players who are doing their thing at the time, and the likes of your Gary Andersons and your Michael van Gerwens.

“Players always come up to me and bitch about this, and this, and this – and some of them, you have to go ‘you’re only saying that because it affects you personally’.

“But there are certain people, and you go ‘hmm, that’s a good point’. We look all the time to tweak.”

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Author: Ed McCosh