INTERVIEW: VAN DER VOORT PROPOSES NEW RANKING EVENT

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INTERVIEW: VAN DER VOORT PROPOSES NEW RANKING EVENT

Vincent van der Voort recently implored PDC Chairman Barry Hearn to focus more on ranked events, rather than invitational tournaments.

The Dutch Destroyer has gone a step further, detailing his proposed adjustment to the darting calendar in a Dartsnews.com interview. Van der Voort believes that the format currently in use for the Masters could easily be adapted to make the tournament a ranking event.

Currently, only the world’s top 16 are invited to the season-opening event in Milton Keynes. As a result, prize money does not count towards Order of Merit totals.

“It would be an idea to set up a ranking tournament with the 32 best players from the previous season,” Van der Voort suggested.

“(The proposed tournament) would be instead of the Masters, because it’s not a ranking tournament. With this new format, players are rewarded for their results based on a one-year Order of Merit.”

The two-time PDC World Championship quarter-finalist had issued a scathing critique of the new tournaments being added to the calendar.

He said: “All the tournaments being introduced now are invitational events. Then it becomes more entertainment than sport. The ultimate question for Barry Hearn is: do you think darts is more a sport or entertainment?”

Ryder Cup

Van der Voort also had some stern words for compatriot Raymond van Barneveld. The five-time world champion recently announced his plans to retire at the end of 2019. However, Barney does not intend to disappear from the darts scene, and had suggested setting up a tournament akin to golf’s Ryder Cup.

“Not a good idea,” Van der Voort surmised.

“Raymond is always complaining that he only wins tournaments without ranking prize money. With a darting equivalent of the Ryder Cup, you get another tournament without prize money for the PDC Order of Merit.”

He added: “The calendar is already full. But there is a number of events that could easily be removed. The World Series of Darts Finals could be swapped for a ranking event, the Masters can be changed into a ranking tournament as well.”

“Everyone has their own opinion about this, and this is mine.”