DRA revises rules to clamp down on gamesmanship in darts

Jamie Shaw in Off The Oche 28 Jan 2019
Referees now have the power to dock legs (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The Darts Regulation Authority has granted referees the authority to dock legs for persistent gamesmanship or immediately disqualify a player for serious physical contact during a match.

The 2019 DRA rulebook includes an updated section on 'In-Play Sanctions' which seeks to clamp down on misconduct during matches.

Sanctions may now be issued by the referee or Tournament Director for persistent gamesmanship, aggressive behaviour, physical contact, visible or verbal obscenity or encouraging the referee to issue a warning to an opponent.

Should a player breach a rule, a formal warning will be issued in the first instance, before a second warning informing the player that one leg will be docked if the behaviour continues.

A third act of misconduct would then see the player immediately docked the leg in progress or the leg that has just concluded and warned that they will forfeit the match if the behaviour continues.

In a case where a player makes serious physical contact with their opponent or anyone else whilst involved in a match, the referee or Tournament Director can immediately disqualify that player and ensure they are removed from the venue.

The rules regarding players entering the 'Exclusion Zone' state that: 'the non-throwing player must not enter the Exclusion Zone behind or at the side of the oche until the throwing player has released the final dart of their throw.'

The non-throwing player should not commence their throw until their opponent has exited the Exclusion Zone following the retrieval of their darts.

The second referee has the same powers as the stage referee and supervise scoring corrections, the Exclusion Zone and general behaviour including at match breaks which is out of sight of the stage referee. 

The revised rulings come after a record fine amounting to £21,500 was issued to Gerwyn Price for three separate incidents at the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts.

A formal warning was also issued to Gary Anderson for his push on Price during their heated Grand Slam final last November.

The DRA defines gamesmanship as: “Any action carried out by a Player during an Event that is intended to gain an advantage by putting off an opponent”.


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DRA revises rules to clamp down on gamesmanship in darts

The Darts Regulation Authority has granted referees the authority to dock legs for persistent gamesmanship or immediately disqualify a player for serious physical contact during a match.

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