The 2022 Premier League is set to undergo the most radical change since the tournament’s inception, with eight players to contest 16 mini-events during the season, before a champion is crowned on Finals Night in May.
The Premier League has featured multiple format changes since its formation in 2005 – initially beginning with seven players before moving to eight and ten competitors, and in 2019 and 2020, ‘contenders’ and ‘challengers’ were also introduced to compete alongside the sport’s elite.
The majority of the last two seasons have been played behind closed doors in Milton Keynes, although the sport’s biggest roadshow will return across the UK and Europe over the coming months, with an increased £1m prize fund on offer
However, this year’s event has been reduced from ten competitors back to eight, with the 16 league nights acting as individual events, comprising the quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final over a reduced best of 11 legs format, with a £10,000 bonus the reward for each night’s winner.
In addition, ranking points will be awarded each night, to form the league table from which the top four players will advance to the Play-Offs. The winner will claim five points, the runner-up will be awarded three points, while semi-finalists will receive two points.
Players will face each other twice in a quarter-final clash to form the draw for 14 of the 16 league nights, with the additional two nights (Night Eight and Night 16) seeing the sport’s leading names colliding again in a draw bracket based on the league table following Nights Seven and 15 respectively.
“The Cazoo Premier League has grown beyond recognition since first being introduced 17 years ago, but the time was right to introduce this ground-breaking new format,” said PDC Chief Executive Matt Porter.
“Our new format means that every match matters. Every night throughout the season has its own champion and will provide even greater value for fans attending and watching around the world, with seven games playing through to a conclusion to find a winner in each venue.
“There is also the wider race to be involved in the Play-Offs and to challenge for the overall Premier League title and a share of the massive £1 million prize money.
“We’ve already seen great interest across the UK and Europe from fans looking forward to attending the Cazoo Premier League live once again, and this year they’ll be experiencing more top-class darts than ever before in this event.”
Jonny Clayton will return to defend his Premier League crown, with world No 1 Gerwyn Price, world champion Peter Wright and five-time winner Michael van Gerwen also set to feature, although the eight-player line-up is set to be revealed in the coming days.
Each night will see quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final played over the best of 11 legs (first to six).
Each player will meet the other seven players twice over the course of the season in a quarter-final game, plus two further nights will feature additional fixtures in the same format.
Night Winner – 5 points + £10,000 bonus
Runner-Up – 3 points
Semi-Finalists – 2 points