The Darts Regulation Authority have issued a revised list of regulations which grant referees the authority to deduct legs for persistent gamesmanship or immediately disqualify a player for serious physical contact during a match.
The DRA released their 2019 rulebook earlier last week, which includes an updated section titled ‘In Play Sanctions’ in a bid to curb the level of misconduct and gamesmanship within the sport.
Referees or Tournament Directors are now permitted to issue sanctions for persistent gamesmanship, aggressive behaviour, physical contact, encouraging the referee to issue a warning to an opponent and visible or verbal obscenities.
If a player breaches a rule, they will be issued with a formal warning in the first instance, while they’ll receive a second warning informing them that they will be docked a leg if their behaviour continues. The player would immediately be docked the leg in progress if they commit a third act of misconduct, and if their behaviour persists they could be forced to forfeit the match.
The revised DRA rulings come a week after Gerwyn Price was issued with a record fine of £21,500 and a suspended three-month ban relating to three separate incidents at the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts. Price and Anderson contested the Grand Slam final in Wolverhampton, in one of the most controversial matches the sport has ever seen.
The pair clashed and exchanged words throughout an ill-tempered showdown, with Price repeatedly celebrating wildly in Anderson’s face, while ‘The Flying Scotsman’ responded by pushing his opponent away in the penultimate leg of the contest. Whilst Price was fined £21,500, Anderson received a formal warning for his push on the Welshman.
However, the latest regulations implemented by the DRA gives the referee or Tournament Director discretion to immediately disqualify a player and ensure they are removed from the venue if they make ‘serious physical contact’ with their opponent or anyone else while involved in a match.
Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis was handed a three-month suspended ban and a £3,000 fine by the Darts Regulation Authority for this type of incident last February, following his heated clash with Jose Antonio Perales in a UK Open qualifier.
Lewis remonstrated with his opponent throughout the contest after he grew frustrated at deliberate gamesmanship from the Spaniard. The 33-year-old prevailed 6-5, but after landing the winning double, Lewis had to be led away by security after appearing to push Perales in the neck, although he issued an apology less than 24 hours after the incident.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC