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We have the answer to a most puzzling question, women

2011 Grand Slam Preivew

Posted: 11.11.11 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

We have the answer to a most puzzling question, women's rights and welcome the BDO players to the "top table"!


The Grand Slam of Darts

I must admit I have been baffled and confused this week! It has been busy mind. We were in Belfast and at The Northern Ireland Open at the weekend and then up to Wolverhampton for some video coaching. All my family commitments still needed juggling and the website needed updating. During all this there was still something lingering in the back of my mind, nagging away, teasing me, and I had not found the answer to it:

How did Barrie Bates qualify for the Grand Slam?

Last year’s Grand Slam was the first to be covered by The Darts Performance Centre blog. We described it then as “unique”, due to the diverse qualification criteria. This year's qualification process has even surpassed last year's, which is quite a feat! Lest we forget, last year two women players were admitted but upon close scrutiny of this year’s qualifiers they have been un-ceremoniously dumped which is a dissapointment. 

Neither Stacey Bromberg or Tricia Wright won a match at last year`s Grand Slam so maybe the mixed darts experiment was dubbed a mistake. However, neither of the youth qualifiers won a match either, Aaron Monk and Michael Van Gerwen also ended their tournament on the big fat zero! Bizarrely, the Youth section has been given an extra berth, Monk is back again via winning the Youth World Championship and Van Gerwen and James Hubbard qualify as this year’s PDC Youth finalists.

Oh well, a bit of equality in darts will just have to wait for another year...


This is the aspect of the Grand Slam that we love. The “poor” BDO boys mixing in with the “rich kids” of the PDC!  I am joking of course, although I do smile when heated arguments erupt about who has the best players! Passionate PDC fans argue until they’re purple in the face that the players competing for their “brand” or code if you prefer are better than the players from the BDO. Arguably the very tip of the PDC does have a band of extremely talented players. If the argument was as simple as say are the top 6 of the PDC players better than the top 6 of the BDO then most people would probably back the PDC players.

However, the argument is not as simple as that. The BDO (like the football league) is a breeding ground or talent machine for players to learn their trade before being snapped up by a Premier League club (or moving to the PDC). Some players simply enjoy playing in the BDO, maybe they have careers or work outside of the BDO that they can pursue as well as playing competitive darts and do not want the pressure of relying on darts for their livelihood. Also, not everyone is motivated by money, which does seem to be the “carrot” that is most often dangled to tempt players to the PDC. Did you just ask where the current top 6 in the order of merit started their careers? Thought so, yep,the BDO!

In January a lot of the “better players” of the current PDC are going to have to qualify via the Q School in January. I believe they are in for a shock. There is a wave of young talent keen to get involved in the PDC as well as group of BDO players who are going to try to qualify too. If you are tempted to argue how much better PDC players are maybe wait until after Q school.  At least wait until the end of The Grand Slam, just in case Scott Waites wins again.

Bazza Bates

This is the page you want, the qualification criteria. Barrie is here as a runner up in the World Cup as partner of Mark Webster (I think).


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Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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