What is the World Matchplay?
The World Matchplay is an annual darts tournament, sponsored by Betfred. Thirty-two of the world’s top professional darts players compete to take home the Phil Taylor Trophy and prize money. Last year’s top prize of £700,000 went to Belgian, Dimitri “The Dream Maker” Van den Bergh.
2021 will see the tournament return home to the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. Darts players have met in the Empress Ballroom since 1994. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, last year’s tournament was played behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
Format of play
The World Matchplay tournament is played in legs. Since 2016, this is what the format of play has looked like:
|Round||How winner is decided||Info|
|First round||First to 10 legs||Match must be won by 2 clear legs. Sudden death leg at 12–12.|
|Second round||First to 11 legs||Match must be won by 2 clear legs. Sudden death leg at 13–13.|
|Quarter finals||First to 16 legs||Match must be won by 2 clear legs. Sudden death leg at 18–18.|
|Semi finals||First to 17 legs||Match must be won by 2 clear legs. Sudden death leg at 19–19.|
|Final||First to 18 legs||Match must be won by 2 clear legs. Sudden death leg at 20–20.|
When is the World Matchplay?
The 2021 World Matchplay will take place between July 17th 2021 and the 25th. Due to remaining COVID-19 restrictions, seating won’t be available at full capacity throughout the whole event.
|Saturday July 17th||19:00 BST||4 x First Round|
|Sunday July 18th||13:00 BST||4 x First Round|
|19:30 BST||4 x First Round|
|Monday July 19th||19:00 BST||4 x First Round|
|Tuesday July 20th||19:00 BST||4 x Second Round|
|Wednesday July 21st||19:00 BST||4 x Second Round|
|Thursday July 22nd||19:00 BST||2 x Quarter-Finals|
|Friday July 23rd||19:00 BST||2 x Quarter-Finals|
|Saturday July 24th||19:00 BST||2 x Semi-Finals|
|Sunday July 25th||20:30 BST||Final|
What channel is World Matchplay on?
Sky Sports has shown the World Matchplay in the UK every year since the tournament started.
World Matchplay facts
- Players compete for a trophy named for Phil “The Power” Taylor, one of the most successful UK darts players of all time.
- Prize money: Total £700,000 / Champion £150,000 / Runner up £70,000.
- Most tournament wins: Phil Taylor has appeared in 24 finals, winning 16 of them.
- Started in 1994.
- First winner: American Larry Butler beat England’s Dennis Priestley 16-12 to take victory in the first World Matchplay darts tournament.
- Has been held in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool since the tournament started in 1994. Except in 2020. COVID-19 restrictions meant the tournament was played behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
- Run by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).