THE future stars of darts will be able to play in 15 tournaments in 2011 on the PDC Unicorn Youth Tour, which will offer £30,000 prize money plus an additional £30,000 for the World Youth Championship.

Each Youth Tour event – to be played alongside PDC ProTour events on Saturday evenings throughout the year – will offer £2,000 prize money and be open to players aged 14-21.

The tournaments will offer £600 to the winner and prize money from the last 16 onwards, with all prize money won going towards an Order of Merit.

Following all 15 events, the top 20 players from the Youth Tour Order of Merit (who have played three events) will qualify for the World Youth Championship, along with eight non-UK qualifiers, four players from an open qualifying tournament and a series of Rileys Qualifiers who will form the last 64.

The top two players from the final Youth Tour Order of Merit will also win PDC ProTour Cards to become professionals on the PDC circuit, along with the finalists from the World Youth Championship.

The Order of Merit winner will also qualify to compete in the Grand Slam of Darts and in the preliminary round of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

“The development in the past six years of the PDC ProTour means that the professional game is in a very strong position at the moment but we are also looking to the future,” said PDC Director and former world number one Rod Harrington.

“After the success of the PDC Unicorn Under-21 World Championship last year and the PDC’s involvement with the Stockport College Darts Academy, the creation of a Youth Tour was a natural progression.

“This will be a springboard for the stars of the future to experience competitive darts and progress to the PDC’s professional circuit.

“It’s an exciting time for us all at the PDC and I feel that the PDC Unicorn Youth Tour is one of the best, and most important, developments in darts at the moment.”

Players such as Arron Monk and Michael van Gerwen – who competed recently in the final of the PDC Unicorn Under-21 World Championship, which was won by Monk – will still be eligible to compete on the Youth Tour, alongside the likes of Joe Cullen, Michael Smith and recent Tour Card winners Shaun Griffiths and Adam Smith-Neale.

The Youth Tour will begin on Saturday February 19 in Derby, and be played alongside PDC ProTour events in the UK, as well as in Austria, Holland, Germany and Ireland.

The schedule of events for the PDC Unicorn Youth Tour is:
Event 1 – February 19, Moorways Leisure Centre, Derby
Event 2 – February 26, Barnsley Metrodome
Event 3 – March 12, Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
Event 4 – March 26, K2 Centre, Crawley
Event 5 – April 16, Barnsley Metrodome
Event 6 – May 14, Vienna
Event 7 – May 21, K2 Centre, Crawley
Event 8 – June 11, Barnsley Metrodome
Event 9 – June 18, Van Der Valk Hotel, Nuland
Event 10 – September 3, Moorways Leisure Centre, Derby
Event 11 – September 17, Van Der Valk Hotel, Nuland
Event 12 – October 1, Citywest Hotel, Dublin
Event 13 – October 15, INEC, Killarney
Event 14 – October 22, Gladbeck
Event 15 – November 5, K2 Centre, Crawley

Entry to each event will cost £25, with initially only the two February events open for entry.

Players must call the PDC Head Office on 08712 501 180 to make their entry and receive an entry number to confirm their entry, with payment to be made in person when registering at an event before 4pm on that respective day.

Entry will be open from 9am-5pm on Monday-Friday, and entries for each Youth Tour event will close at 5pm on the Friday preceding each event.

All games will be the best of seven legs and events will be played under DRA rules.

Players must be aged 14 or above, and 21 and under on January 3 2011 to be eligible to play in the PDC Unicorn Youth Tour events.

The events will begin at 5pm on Saturdays, with players needing to register by 4pm. Should any player still be competing in the PDC ProTour event at 4pm, they will forfeit their entry to the Youth Tour event.

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