The Professional Darts Corporation have no plans to further increase the number of female-only events, insisting that integrated tournaments are the way forward for darts.
The PDC will stage its first-ever televised women’s tournament, the Women’s World Matchplay, at the Winter Gardens, which will take place ahead of the men’s final at the iconic Blackpool venue. The tournament will comprise of the top eight female players from the 2022 PDC Women’s Series Order of Merit following 12 events.
The Women’s Matchplay will be screened live on Sky Sports, giving additional exposure to the female game, which is in rude health thanks to the exploits of Fallon Sherrock, Lisa Ashton and rising start Beau Greaves.
The winner of the new tournament will receive an automatic place in the Grand Slam of Darts later this year and go up against the best male players in the game. And despite the addition of the Women’s Matchplay to the schedule, PDC chief executive Matt Porter insists men and women regularly playing against each other is their priority.
“Our aim is still to have integrated darts, men and women competing together at the top level. The more women-only events we do, the less chance that will come a reality,” Porter told Online Darts TV.
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“This [the Women’s Matchplay] is a way of giving more women an opportunity to play on TV, and it’s a way of giving more context to the Women’s Series. Fair play to Sky, who are great champions of women’s sports. As soon as we told them, they were like, ‘brilliant, we’re showing that’.
“But you’re not going to see a Women’s Grand Slam, a Women’s Grand Prix, a Women’s UK Open. It won’t work like that."
The opening two Women’s Series weekends have already taken place, with the third and decisive weekend taking place in Barnsley on June 25-26. The Women’s World Matchplay will take place on Sunday, July 24.
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