A very familiar pattern is beginning to emerge in the world of amateur or semi-professional darts. First the CDC ( North America) and then the World Darts Federation have paused their seasons before they were truly underway. It is to be hoped that this year will not evolve into a repeat performance of 2021.
The WDF released the following:
With the travel restrictions and health risks associated with the Covid-19 global pandemic set to continue, the World Darts Federation will be placing all WDF ranking events on hold for a further 3 months.
Having been in regular contact with the WDF member nations that planned to run events in early 2021, it has been agreed that all tournaments scheduled throughout March, April and most of May are either cancelled, postponed until later in the year, or proceed as planned but without ranking points.
The first event now scheduled to run as planned and with WDF ranking points is the Gibraltar Open on Saturday 29th May.
The regions of Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand will look to resume tournament play at WDF ranked events across their nations from June onwards. We are delighted to see a whole host of tournaments placed on the calendar for later in 2021, including ‘Silver’ graded events in Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Malta and Northern Ireland.
As always, we remind players and tournament organisers that all events are subject to review as we continue to monitor health and travel status for our member nations. Please keep up to date with regular updates via our WDF Calendar.
With seven European events announced as graded ‘Gold’ for 2021, changes to these plans have been inevitable due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus. This means that some of our biggest and most popular tournaments have been affected.
The Isle of Man Open (March) and German Open (April) have both been cancelled.
As it stands, the two ‘Gold’ events scheduled for May, the Denmark Open and Welsh Open have been postponed, with both the DDU and WDO seeking alternative arrangements for later in 2021.
The ‘Platinum’ graded Dutch Open, which traditionally runs in February has been moved to September 3-5.
The first scheduled ‘Gold’ event on our calendar is now the England Open. Due to anticipated social distancing restrictions in June, this tournament has been moved to September 10-12 (with the England Classic weekend having been postponed). We hope that the Dutch Open and England Open weekends in September will be part of a spectacular restart to WDF darts that we’ve all been waiting for, but we will continue liaising with the NDB and EDO respectively and monitoring the global situation closely.
The British Open (October) and the Irish Open (November) are fixed in the diary and we look forward to adding 3 more global WDF ‘Gold’ graded events for the autumn. The Korea Open, the USA’s Witch City Open and one of Australia’s leading tournaments to be confirmed.
This is the full 2021 WDF ‘Gold’ event list, as it stands. The men’s and women’s winners in each event (including the ‘Platinum’ graded Dutch Open and WDF World Masters) will qualify directly for the first WDF World Championships.
- ISLE OF MAN OPEN (cancelled)
- GERMAN OPEN (cancelled)
- DENMARK OPEN (postponed)
- WELSH OPEN (postponed)
- DUTCH OPEN – September
- ENGLAND OPEN – September
- BRITISH OPEN – October
- IRISH OPEN – November
- AUSTRALIA (to be confirmed)
- KOREA OPEN (to be confirmed)
- WITCH CITY OPEN, USA (to be confirmed)
- WDF WORLD MASTERS – December
Plans also continue for the WDF World Cup to be held in Esbjerg, Denmark (28 Sep-2 Oct), but again we will be reviewing the status of this event over the weeks ahead and liaising with the hosts and the nations as to whether it remains viable for 2021.
“Our long term objectives are to safeguard a viable global circuit for WDF member nations and for all players worldwide, providing year-end major tournaments to reward their efforts,” said WDF Chief Development Officer Richard Ashdown.
“As the new WDF World Masters plans progress and we move closer towards the launch of the WDF World Championships, we must remain cautious over restrictions beyond our control, due to the global pandemic.”
The World Darts Federation looks to the future with optimism and once again thanks the nations for their ongoing support. We appreciate your patience during this period and remind players and officials that all details published regarding tournament dates and ranking status are subject to change.
Lead Image: WDF