Split in Darts - Court Action

Court Action

On 25 April 1993, at a meeting in Finchley, the BDO took the step of turning the suspension of the WDC players from playing in any BDO-run tournaments on British soil, into a full-scale ban on the WDC players from being able to play any BDO-sanctioned darts, even down to county level. The BDO also passed a motion which said that any BDO players who participated in exhibition events with WDC players, would also be banned from the BDO. The BDO passed the following motions at the 25 April 1993 Finchley meeting:

  • Any British Darts Organisation official, or British Darts Organisation player, who is associated with the activities of the World Darts Council shall forfeit the right to organise, attend or participate in any events under the jurisdiction of the British Darts Organisation, or its members, until written undertaking is given that they are no longer associated with the World Darts Council or its activities. Motion passed by 57 votes for to 0 votes against.
  • All member counties shall refrain from attending, or assisting in, any exhibitions involving the 16 players named in the World Darts Council statement of 7 January 1993, any players who have affiliated to the World Darts Council since that date, and any players who may affiliate to the World Darts Council in the future. Motion passed by 54 votes for to 1 vote against.
  • All member counties shall exclude any players who are affiliated to the World Darts Council from darts events under their jurisdiction. Motion passed by 60 votes for to 0 votes against.

On 18 October 1993, at a WDF meeting in Las Vegas, the BDO sought to have their bans on the WDC players officially ratified and set in stone on a world scale in the WDF rules, and the Welsh WDF representative moved the motion that the WDC players be referred to as the "former top players". The motion passed by 24 votes for to 3 votes against.

Two countries who voted against the motion at the Las Vegas meeting, the USA and Canada, were the only two countries whose WDF affiliates refused to sanction the ban even after the vote, saying that what they were being asked to do was against their countries' constitutions, and would therefore be breaking the law.

The blanket BDO ban on the WDC led to a protracted four-year legal battle, which would incur large costs for both sides.

The two bodies reached an out-of-court settlement on 30 June 1997 in the form of a Tomlin order.

The BDO recognized the WDC and agreed that all players shall have the freedom of choice as to which open events they wish to play in. The WDC dropped its claim to be a world governing body and renamed itself the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC). The PDC accepted / recognized the WDF as the governing body for the Sport of Darts worldwide, and the BDO the governing body for darts in the UK. The stated purpose of the agreement was to promote the freedom of individual darts players to participate freely in open competition.

Read more about this topic:  Split In Darts

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