The turn of the year is usually a wonderful time for darts. Unfortunately, 2021 is not like any regular New Year.
The PDC World Championship owns December. It stands toe-to-toe with the glitz and glam of Premier League football and draws in raucous crowds to Ally Pally from across the continent, as well as attracting large audiences watching from home who usually wouldn’t dream of switching on to the sport.
Gerwyn Price claimed the crown to become the first major UK sport champion of 2021, and usually those pictures of fireworks and a victor in PDC’s showpiece event are followed by another course of darts action: the BDO Darts World Championship.
However, the tournament won’t go ahead for the first time since 1978, leaving darts fans at a loss as to how to spend their January evenings, especially under lockdown restrictions.
Why is there no BDO World Darts Championship 2021?
Well, to put it simply, the BDO no longer functions.
The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) was formed after a split from the British Darts Organisation (BDO) in the early ’90s, and many of the game’s top players went along with the new PDC tour with its own world championship.
This was the first nudge of the snowball down the hill for the BDO, as they never recovered from the divide.
The World Darts Federation demoted the BDO to associate member status in 2019 following irregularities at the Masters event that year.
Players complained of a venue that was too small, while a number of players weren’t registered for the event without knowing they had to be.
Fake names were also used in the draw, leading to a redraw, culminating in truly farcical scenes and a heated meeting between the top-seeded players and organisation officials. The BDO simply couldn’t recover from the blows to its reputation in recent years.
The 2020 tournament was the last to be played, but wasn’t without its own controversy. The lack of a tournament sponsor meant prize money had to be slashed in the run-up to the competition, and many players dropped out while one-time large crowds dwindled to minimal levels.
In September 2020, the BDO went into liquidation and the 2021 was officially scrapped.
Darts fans will still be able to soak up many former BDO alumni strutting their stuff, including one of their most recent top talents Glen Durrant, in the PDC Premier League to take place throughout 2021, but the BDO is no more.
If you’re looking for something else to watch check out our TV Guide.