Sad but true. It appears that the 2011 Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) tournament in Canada was the last PDC event held in North America (NA). The PDC published their new tournament calendar and there are no events scheduled for North America in 2012. What does this mean for North American players?
Beginning in 2012, the only way that a NA player can compete in a PDC event is to become a PDC tour card holder, or qualify through the UK Open, or the Grand Slam qualifiers. PDC tour cards are earned through the PDC qualifying school which is scheduled for January 19-22 in Barnsley (England).
Most NA players lack the time and money to enter ‘Q’ school. And even if a NA player earns a tour card, they will need large amounts of time and money to compete on the PDC tour because all the PDC tournaments are held in the UK and Europe. Also, as a PDC card holder, you are required to enter a minimum number of PDC tour events or you risk being penalized.
There is nobody to blame but ourselves. The PDC invested a lot of time and money in North America. They held big events in major markets and almost nobody came. I played in several of the past PDC events and I was shocked by the lack of participation from the North American players. I am not surprised that the PDC finally threw in the towel and decided to go home. Perhaps our last realistic opportunity to compete in a PDC event has faded away.
Or perhaps not.
I recently heard from a credible source that there may be efforts underway to create a new ‘Order of Merit’ structure for NA players, based upon a series of NA tournaments. This NA OoM would be used to qualify NA players into the PDC World Championship year-end event.
Could this be the beginning of a North America professional tournament series? Perhaps for now, it is a good thing that the PDC pulled out of North America. The glass still looks half full to me.
Stay tuned for more as this story unfolds.