This is everything you need to know about the 2021 PDC World Darts Championship
The 28th edition of the PDC World Darts Championship starts in December. It promises to be an unique edition in this Coronavirus era.
Due to Coronavirus measures, the World Championship looks a bit different than normal. Still, the PDC will be happy that their main event can continue this year. Below you will find all the necessary information about this tournament.
When are they going to play?
The tournament starts on Tuesday, December 15 at 18:00 GMT. The first two rounds are played during the first tournament days. The first round ends on Sunday, December 20. The remaining matches from the second round will be completed until Wednesday, December 23. This will be followed by the traditional Christmas break, which lasts three days.
From December 27, the battle for the world title will resume with the third round. The fourth round will start on Tuesday evening December 29, which will then be completed on Wednesday December 30.
At the start of the new year there are still eight dart players in the tournament. They will play in the Quarter-Finals on Friday, January 1, 2021. The Semi-Finals will be played on Saturday January 2, followed by the World Championship final on Sunday January 3.
The schedule for the first two rounds has already been announced. Tradition dictates that the defending champion comes into action on the opening night. So Peter Wright plays on the opening night. World number one Michael van Gerwen makes his appearance on Saturday 19 December.
Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson will wait till Sunday December 20 to make his return to the Ally Pally with a double Dutch contingent of Vincent van der Voort and Jeffrey de Zwaan also in action as the first round concludes.
Gerwyn Price, World Number Three and World Grand Prix champion will open his campaign on Monday December 21, this in a stacked day of darts including Ian White, Krzysztof Ratajski and Gabriel Clemens taking to the stage.
Are fans allowed this year?
Initially fans were allowed into Alexandra Palace for the first half but this will only be the case for the opening night with London going into Tier 3 restrictions from Wednesday onwards.
This means that the capital will go into the highest alert level restricting people from mixing indoors and takes away the ability of live sporting events to have crowds.
As a result, at least until the second half no crowds will be allowed with the government looking at the tier system every two weeks.
What else is different?
The main adjustment is that the sessions will start earlier this year. Afternoon sessions start at 12:00 GMT, half an hour earlier than usual. The evening sessions are even an hour ahead and start at 18:00 GMT.
This way, the PDC has more time at the end of the day to guide the fans to the exit in a controlled manner. Also important, catering establishments are allowed to take orders up to 22:00 local time at the latest. Without bringing the session times forward, fans may not be able to order food or drinks for the last hour of the session. The latter is not done in the famous Fans Village this year, but by a mobile app. Orders are then delivered to the tables by waiters.
Because the PDC wants to reduce the chance of an extension, it has also been decided not to play a tiebreaker in a decisive set this year. So a maximum of five legs will also be played in the last set.
Where can we watch the World Championship?
All of the darts will be shown on a dedicated Sky Sports channel Sky Sports Darts. The broadcast starts at 12:00 GMT for afternoon sessions, while the evening sessions will be covered at 18:00 GMT.
The Sky Sports Darts schedule after the Christmas break will be confirmed as soon as possible.
How much prize money can the darts players earn?
During this tournament, no less than £2,500,000 of prize money is set to be distributed. More than three times as much as in any other ranking tournament.
The 96 players involved will receive a minimum of £7,500 in prize money, while this goes up to £500,000 for winning the world title.
In addition to the battle for the world title, the number-one position in the world ranking is also at stake. This position has been untouchable in the hands of Michael van Gerwen since 2014, but is now under threat for the first time.
Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price can take over this position from him. Wright only has to get as far as Van Gerwen, while Price takes over the first place with a world title.