The largest ever field of 40 Men and 16 Women will be competing for the most prestigious titles in World Darts.
The first three World Professional Championships from 1978 to 1980 were contested by just 16 Men, but from 1981 to 2013 the field was 32 Men. The Women’s World Championship was introduced by the BDO in 2001 and has always been contested by 8 Women. Now it is being increased to 16 Women from the 2014 Lakeside World Professional onwards.
“This is a significant, exciting and progressive step forward”, says BDO Tournament Director Wayne Williams. “Not only does it illustrate the global increase in the higher standards of BDO and WDF players, but it also satisfies the growing TV audiences created by TV coverage from BBC, ESPN and Europsort.
“Needless to say, we are delighted to be providing even more valuable opportunities for our players – men and women – as we move the BDO forward and enhance the most prestigious Championships in world darts”.
The additional 8 Men for the 2014 World Pro will earn their places from competition within the worldwide regions of the WDF: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia, Baltic & Scandinavia and the USA. All have regional ranking tables which are accessible on the BDO website from the Tables drop-down menu.
The remaining 32 players will come from the BDO Invitational Table, the World Professional International Play-Offs and include the Winmau World Masters Champion if not already qualified.
The 16 Women will come from the BDO Invitation Table, the World Professional International Play-Offs and include the Winmau World Masters Champion if not already Qualified.
The BBC contract for the BDO Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships has been extended by three years up to an including 2016.