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Race2WolvesTragically, professional darts remains a divided sport. Whilst darts fans continue to pray for reunification, one tournament continues to bring the world's best players together; or, at least, it should.

Frustratingly, though, the qualifying 'system' for the Grand Slam of Darts is a mess. Too many players who should be in Wolverhampton are not there, and, to be blunt, too many players who should not be there are!

How would DartsMad rectify this? Well, ideally, the GSOD would be contested by the best 32 players on the planet, from both sides of the 'tungsten curtain', all qualifying on merit, thereby making the GSOD the next best thing to a unified world championship. 

To demonstrate how this could be achieved, DartsMad proudly presents our alternative GSOD qualifying model: the Race to Wolves.

In simple terms, the Race to Wolves is a year-long points system to determine the 32 players most worthy of a GSOD ticket. The Race is completely objective, and balances an accurate assessment of every playe's performance with simplicity of calculation, thus ensuring every darts fan can easily digest it. Of course the Race is hypothetical, but suppose darts fans were to get behind it, maybe one day we could lobby Barry Hearn to adopt this fantastic idea!

Race2WolvesHow the Race to Wolves works

Every player starts a new race with zero points. The GSOD itself is the first points scoring event. Thereafter, players accumulate points, on the PDC and BDO circuits, until the week before the following GSOD. 

In addition to determining the 32 players qualifying for Wolverhampton, the Race determines the seeding of each qualifier. The 32 seeds are distributed to four seeding pots (Red, Green, Black & White), similar to the FIFA World Cup, thus giving players every incentive not just to qualify, but achieve as high a ranking as possible.

If a top 32 player chooses not to participate in the GSOD (essentially, if Wolfie still does not want to go to Wolves) then the 33rd ranked player qualifies, and, if applicable, the seeding pots are affected in similar fashion.

The biggest tournaments in darts are designated as 'Mandatory', whilst other important events on the PDC and BDO circuits are 'Optional'. Obviously, the game's biggest events yield the most points, whilst, to reflect the quality of competition on each circuit, the PDC Tour awards significantly more points in total:

Mandatory Events

Semi-final Loser
Quarter-final Loser
Last 16 Loser
Last 32 Loser
PDC World Championship
BDO World Championship
PDC World Matchplay
BDO World Masters
PDC World Grand Prix
PDC Players Championship, PDC European Championship



Group stage win = 2
Last 16 win = 6
Quarter-final win = 12
Semi-final win = 12
Final win = 24

Therefore, total points for winning 7 matches = 60

Optional events

All PDC Pro Tour events

WDF World Cup, WDF Europe Cup, Zuiderduin Masters, all Category 'A' and Category 'B' (on the BDO Invitation Table) European opens

With the exception of the Zuiderduin Masters, every Optional event offers the following Race points:

Winner = 10
Runner-up = 6
Semi-final loser = 4
Quarter-final loser = 2
Last 16 loser = 1

Points for the Zuiderduin Masters:

Group stage win = 1
Quarter-final win = 2
Semi-final win = 2
Final win = 4

Therefore, total points for winning 5 matches = 10

A player's total Race points is composed of: All points in Mandatory events + Best 6 points in Optional events

If two or more players have the same number of Race points precedence is awarded accordingly:

  1. Most points in Mandatory events
  2. Best 5 results in Optional events
  3. Best 4 results in Optional events
  4. etc.

If a player does not qualify for, or chooses not to enter, a Mandatory event, to be frank, that is his problem.  Playing in the biggest tournaments in darts should be an aspiration for every professional.

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