On behalf of the World Darts Federation, we hope that players, officials and supporters are staying safe and keeping well during this time.
We began 2020 full of optimism and by making our intentions clear. Our aim was to revamp the world ranking system and to implement the running of two major global competitions LINK.
The season launched with 47 nations committed to host a total of 132 ranking tournaments in 2020 (an increase of 50 events from 2019). A positive start to the year included the iconic Dutch Open and Scottish Open extravaganzas, ranking events in Australia, Canada, USA and Iceland, plus big weekends in Romania, Slovakia and the Isle of Man.
With only 20 tournaments played this season, the Covid-19 pandemic put the world of darts on hold. As is the case for so many sporting federations worldwide, cancellations and postponements of WDF events have been made and continue to be announced.
The WDF Executive made the decision with the full support of the respective host nations to cancel all WDF Cups for 2020. Plans for the Europe Cup Youth (Hungary) move to 2021 LINK, whereas the senior Americas Cup (Jamaica), Asia Pacific Cup (Chinese Taipei) and Europe Cup (Spain) move to 2022 LINK.
We continue to liaise with our organisers regarding the status of forthcoming ranking events that still hope to run in 2020. Any changes to a WDF ranked tournament status will be made available on our website / WDF Calendar and via our social media platforms at the earliest opportunity.
Despite our best efforts and intentions, unfortunately there will be no WDF World Masters at the end of the 2020 season. Without national championships, ranking events and qualifiers being played since March, to assemble 600+ players from 60+ countries would be extremely difficult.
With finance, travel restrictions and most importantly health to consider in the months ahead, the decision has been made to postpone the launch of what will be an exciting and innovative WDF World Masters until 2021.
Discussions with our commercial partners are ongoing with regards to the WDF World Championships. With changes to government guidelines, these are challenging times indeed. Every effort is being made to secure and launch this event at the earliest opportunity.
Our ranking system traditionally runs on a 12 month rolling basis, but we can reassure the players that any points accumulated (and places awarded into majors) in 2020 will be protected and carried forward, counting towards the first WDF World Masters and WDF World Championships.
I can personally assure you that the hard work and development continues towards a positive future for the WDF. The patience and support of it’s member nations and their players is key to creating opportunities for men, women and youth players around the world, from grass roots to the professional game. Together, we will succeed.
WDF Chief Development Officer