If you have spent some time playing or watching darts, chances are you have already heard of Premier League Darts. It is one of the best non-ranking television tournaments, and only five other non-ranking tournaments feature on television.
Since its inception in 2005, Premier League Darts has showcased some amazing talent and thrilling matchups year after year. The top four players in the world compete with six other entrants in an epic battle.
Let’s find out more about Premier League Darts:
Premier League Darts is an international event hosted across the best venues of Europe. England, Scotland, Ireland and other European venues host Premier League Darts tournaments every year.
When Covid-19 hit the continent, Premier League Darts had to be called off like everything else. For many of this year’s venues, it will be the first time they open their doors for an audience.
Many historic venues will host 2022 Premier League Darts matches. From The Brighton Centre to the Utilita Arena in Newcastle — the best and the most celebrated stadiums will welcome guests for the 2022 Premier League Darts. Apart from that, some important venues include Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena and Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.
Format of Premier League Darts
Like any world-class sporting event, Premier League Darts has a detailed set of rules and a specific tournament format.
One season of Premier League Darts usually lasts for 17 nights. The tournament is also divided into three parts: Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3. While each phase has a different format, the playing rules remain the same.
Phase 1 starts with 10 players and ends with eight. After the end of the first phase, only the top eight move to Phase 2.
- Phase 1 includes the first nine rounds of the tournament
- 10 players play against each other in a 12-leg match
- The first player to reach 7 wins. Alternatively, there can also be a 6-6 draw.
After the end of Phase 1, the bottom two players are relegated and the rest move to Phase 2. In Phase 2, eight players compete against one other to capture the top positions. After seven weeks, the top four players move on to the playoffs.
In the playoffs, four players compete 1v1 in two semi-final matches. The winner of each semi-final gets a shot to be the champion of Premier League Darts. Semi-finals are 19-leg matches, while the final is a 21-leg.
The initial schedule of the 2022 Premier League Darts is yet to be announced.
Being a top-tier competition, Premier League Darts rewards its top performers generously. The winner receives £250,000, while the runner-up is awarded £120,000. Semi-finalists receive £80,000. Here’s the list for the subsequent positions:
- Fifth: £70,000
- Sixth £60,000
- Seventh: £55,000
- Eighth: £50,000
- Ninth: £35,000
- League winner bonus: £25,000
A total prize pool of £825,000 is dedicated to Premier League Darts. Apart from the prize money, the event is heavily televised and draws commercial interest. Many players go on to be known faces in their community and to a wider audience.
Now that we have looked at some of the key pointers of Premier League Darts, let’s find out more about some of the most promising players.
Best players from Premier League Darts
In 2021, Jonny Clayton beat Jose de Sousa 11-5 to win the championship. Born in 1974, Jonny Clayton is perhaps the best darts player to come from Wales. Fans call him The Ferret for his speed and precision. He has won Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) World Series finals, PDC Major Finals and PDC team finals.
British darts player Glen Durrant won the tournament in 2020, beating Nathan Aspinal 11-8. He is famous for winning the BDO World Darts Championship three times consecutively. The 2020 Premier League win is his only PDC title win yet, but he shows immense promise and a hard-to-match level of skill.
The most successful player in the history of Premier League Darts is Phil Taylor. With six title wins, he is a notch above all competition. His unbeaten run from 2005-2008 is also a record in Premier Leagues Darts. From 1995 to 2002, he won eight back-to-back world championships. He is also a six-time PDC Player of the Year.
Venues and TV broadcasts
Sky Sports broadcasts all matches live, usually at 19:00 GMT. The venues of the tournament are spread across Europe. The goal of PDC is to extend the sport of darts to more people. With thrilling Premier League Dart tournaments, many people are discovering the sport anew.