Nicholson calls for potential unification of MAD and WDF World Championships: "There needs to be clarity for the whole world of darts"
From next year, four World Championships will be organised in darts. In addition to the PDC version, there will also be MAD, WDF and World Seniors.
According to Paul Nicholson, he believes that is too many and a situation like with boxing and their governing bodies (WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC etc.) is upon us.
"When the BDO capitulated we obviously all thought the WDF would take control of the World Championship, especially because they’ve got some new faces at the helm and people who know what they’re doing," said Nicholson on his Sporting Life column.
"But now, when we get to 2022, we’re going to have a situation a bit like boxing in terms of the number of world titles up for grabs!
"In the amateur game we’re going to have the inaugural Modern Amateur Darts World Championship (Dec 1-4), the World Seniors (February) and the WDF World Championship (Jan 1-9).
"But why would you start the latter on New Year’s Day to clash with the climax of the PDC World Darts Championship! The WDF should really leave that time slot alone and follow on shortly afterwards just like the BDO World Championship used to do.
Even though it’s not meant this way, that time slot comes across as confrontational and that’s not what this sport needs at the moment."
Move back to Lakeside
With the World Championship, it moves back to the home of World darts, Lakeside but Nicholson is indifferent on this move.
"I wasn’t keen on the BDO World Championship moving from the Lakeside but I’m not sure going back to the original home is the best way to begin a new era. Having said that, from a darts fans view, where else would grab the attention like Lakeside?"
For 'The Asset' having seen it with his own eyes in terms of the volatility between the PDC and BDO, he does not want a situation between MAD and WDF.
"When the Modern Amateur Darts organisation launched last year, many felt they were the saviour of the amateur game.
"That said, I do believe there’s more than enough infrastructure in darts for both organisations to exist and run alongside each other brilliantly. But in our sport, there’s too much history of confrontation and segregation, and I suppose that worries me a little.
"Even when I’ve travelled around the world for many years, there’s still this ‘us and them’ attitude about the PDC and BDO, which dates back to 1993! We should have moved on from that a long time ago.
"I’m therefore worried about the same situation escalating in the amateur game, especially when there’s already been a bit of jostling to see who can put their World Championship on first.
"I’m an executive director of MAD so clearly I’m fully in support of it. But what I don’t want is two feuding organisations on two sides of the table shouting at each other. It would be bad for everyone involved, especially the players."
What he would do
So what would he do in this situation? Nicholson called for a potential unification of one World Championship to show clarity and unity.
"If it was me, I’d put the MAD and WDF world championships together – unifying them before they have a chance to be split. That would prevent the vibe of players, fans and officials siding with one over the other," he concluded.
"There needs to be clarity for the whole world of darts and if there is, we could have a very bright future for the amateur game. But division like the past could destroy the start of a new era.
"I am behind the people who are doing this hard work, and I know for the future of the game they will make the right choices.