PDC Q-School 2020: Rules explained, and notable former graduates
Q-School is back, and professional careers will be made or broken in two darting venues.
Wigan and Hildesheim play host to UK Q-School and European Q-School . There are 31 precious Tour Cards at stake - one more than last year - with successful players completing the PDC Tour line-up. Play takes place across four days, from Thursday 16 January to Sunday 19 January.
There is a new tournament each day. Players will receive points towards their Q-School Order of Merit total for every win. But preliminary round victories do not count, as some players will receive byes.
There will be 20 PDC Tour Cards on offer at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, with the final two players on each of the four days winning an automatic PDC Tour Card.
In addition, players will earn ranking points per victory in each full round of the event (which does not include Byes), which will be used to form the UK Q School Order of Merit, from which the top 12 players will win Tour Cards.
There will be a European Q-School for the third time, at Halle 39 in Hildesheim, Germany. Non-European players could pick which Q-School to go to. Only the winner of each day's play will take an automatic Tour Card. Seven more spots will be handed out based on the European Q-School Order of Merit.
Q-School has kicked off many a successful career: here are some of the more impressive examples.
Dave Chisnall: Chisnall qualified on the very first day of Q-School action, back in 2011. Although he has yet to pick up a major trophy, Chisnall has established himself as one of the best players in the PDC. Chisnall, the current world number ten, was a Premier League regular until two years ago. Fan favourite John Henderson also grabbed a Tour Card in 2011.
Daryl Gurney: The Northern Irishman turned up in 2013 as an outside bet, and won through on the second day. Since then, he has bade his time before storming up the world rankings. Now the world number seven, and a two-time major winner to boot, Gurney has completed his rise to the top.
Gerwyn Price: The likes of Kyle Anderson, Antonio Alcinas and Benito van de Pas all won Tour Cards at Q-School in 2014. All three of them were successful on day one. On day two, an unknown former rugby player from Wales picked up a card for himself. From there, Gerwyn Price has gone from strength to strength. Now he is a two-time major-winner, and will make his Premier League return in 2020.
Nathan Aspinall: The Asp reclaimed his Tour Card in 2018 as he lost his card after the 2016 season. Since then, Aspinall reached two World Championship semi-finals and also won the UK Open and US Darts Masters. Jeffrey de Zwaan, Gabriel Clemens and Danny Noppert were also successful at the Q-School in 2018.
Glen Durrant: Matthew Dennant had three match-darts to knock Duzza out of the last day at the Q-School in 2019. If he had hit one of those chances, Durrant wouldn't have received a Tour Card. The three-time Lakeside champion survived and won his Tour Card through the Q-School Order of Merit. He won two Pro Tour titles in his debut year on the PDC circuit and reached three major semi-finals. Durrant is set to make his Premier League debut in the new season.