The points scoring systems for the 2021 PDC Qualifying Schools have been confirmed ahead of next month's events in Milton Keynes and Niedernhausen.
Over 650 players have entered the 2021 Qualifying Schools, which will be split across First Stage and Final Stage this year as players bid to win one of 29 two-year PDC Tour Cards.
Following further discussions with the PDPA, the operation of the 2021 PDC Qualifying Schools will be as follows:
First Stage - Stage 1A and 1B
* First Stage will consist of three days of play, with each day's play featuring a random draw without seedings and games over the best of 11 legs.
* Players are split into one of two three-day blocks in the UK and Europe for Stage One.
* With 32 players exempt through to Final Stage in the UK Qualifying School, UK Stage One will be required to produce a total of 96 players.
* With 18 players exempt through to Final Stage in the European Qualifying School, European Stage One will be required to produce a total of 110 players.
* The last four players on each day of Stage 1A and 1B will qualify by right for Final Stage. All other players will receive one point per victory from the first full round onwards on each day (defined as a round played without byes caused by the draw), and the respective three-day blocks will operate their own Order of Merit to provide further qualifiers for Final Stage, as follows:
UK Qualifying School Stage 1A & 1B will each provide 36 players from their respective Order of Merit.
European Qualifying School Stage 1A & 1B will each provide 43 players from their respective Order of Merit.
* Combined Orders of Merit will be used in the UK and Europe respectively (combining players from Stage 1A and 1B who did not initially qualify for Final Stage) to create a reserve list should any player(s) be unable to compete in Final Stage at either venue.
* The UK Qualifying School Final Stage and European Qualifying School Final Stage will each feature 128 players, comprised as follows (split per venue as per geographical eligibility):
- PDC Tour Card Holders from 2020 who lost their Tour Card.
- Players who finished in the Top 16 of the 2020 PDC Challenge Tour Order of Merit
- Players who finished in the Top 16 of the 2020 PDC Development Tour Order of Merit
- Qualifiers from the First Stage of Qualifying School (however many are needed to make up 128 after the above three criteria have been fulfilled)
* Final Stage will consist of four days of play, with each day's play featuring a random draw without seedings and games over the best of 11 legs.
* As each Final Stage has 128 players, the winner on each day at both the UK Qualifying School and European Qualifying School will receive a PDC Tour Card.
* Additional Tour Cards at each event will then be on offer for players from the Final Stage Orders of Merit in the UK and Europe. All players will receive one point per victory from the Last 64 onwards on each day of Final Stage to form the Final Stage Orders of Merit.
* The split of the 21 additional Tour Cards across both Qualifying Schools will be allocated pro-rata based on the final number of players who participate in Stage 1A and 1B combined at each Qualifying School plus the players exempt to Final Stage, and will be confirmed ahead of the commencement of Final Stage.
For both the Stage One and Final Stage Orders of Merit, players level on Points Won shall be split by Leg Difference, then Legs Won, then Overall Average (based on DartConnect scoring) and then a Play-Off if necessary. Leg Difference and Legs Won only count from games where Points are allocated (complete rounds in First Stage and Last 64 onwards in Final Stage).
Wins by virtue of a walkover in any round where Points are allocated shall be counted as a 6-0 win. If a player withdraws midway through a match their opponent shall be awarded the win by 6 legs to however many legs the withdrawing player has won at the time of withdrawal.
Players who do not win a PDC Tour Card but compete in at least the first day of their allocated Qualifying School dates will become PDPA Associate Members and be eligible to compete on the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour in 2021. Players who do not intend on competing in all days must compete at least in Day One of their allocated dates, due to the Covid-19 protocols in place for these events.
The 2021 Challenge Tour will feature a minimum of eight events before the end of June 2021, subject to government restrictions, with details of further events and all dates to be confirmed in due course.
Due to current travel restrictions, the PDC is working with a number of players to confirm the most suitable Qualifying School venue for them to participate in. Any updates to entry lists will be released once available.