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World Darts Championship: Everything you need to know about the event at Alexandra Palace

Michael Smith will defend his world title against the greatest darts players in the world as the Alexandra Palace is ready to provide drama, fun and entertainment; we're back for the World Darts Championship from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 - live on Sky Sports

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Take a look at how the world watched on as Michael Smith hit a nine-darter in the 2023 World Championship Final and Wayne Mardle lost his voice!

Sit back, put your feet up and switch on the darts. It's that time of year when the sporting world turns their attention to the Alexandra Palace in London for the World Darts Championship.

It's been 30 years since the PDC's first World Championship began and we have seen pretty much everything over the last three decades.

From iconic walk-ons, arguments on the oche, huge upsets and nine-darters, including a certain "I can't spake" - the World Championship always delivers.

When is the World Darts Championship 2024?

The 31st World Darts Championship takes place from Friday December 15 to Wednesday January 3.

There is action every day apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve.

Where is the World Darts Championship 2024?

The World Darts Championship is held at the Alexandra Palace in London, which has been the case since 2008.

Previously, the Circus Tavern in Essex hosted the biggest darts event of the year from 1994 to 2007.

Also See:

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The most outrageous moments from the World Darts Championship. Includes Peter Wright dressing up as The Grinch and William Borland's memorable nine-darter!

Why is the Alexandra Palace so special?

There's no definitive answers for this but hosting a renowned tournament each year which sells out every time probably helps.

'Ally Pally' also hosts the Masters snooker tournament in January and Pool's Mosconi cup biannually during the winter too, so it feels like the home of cue sports in this period.

How to watch the World Darts Championship

You won't miss an arrow in the World Championship on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel, with the best of the action also on Sky Sports Main Event.

Coverage begins on Friday December 15 at 7pm, with afternoon sessions at 12.30pm and evening sessions at 7pm taking place for the rest of the tournament up to the quarter-finals on Monday January 1.

The semi-finals are on Tuesday January 2 from 7.30pm and the final is on Wednesday January 3 at 7pm.

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Wayne Mardle breaks down the World Darts Championship draw and picks out the tough games for the seeded players

World Darts Championship format

The World Championship uses the sets format, with each set being the first to three legs. The deciding set must be won by at least two legs, so if it's 2-2 in the final set, a player must win 4-2 or 5-3. If it's 5-5, a sudden-death leg will take place with no throw for the bull, so the alteration of whoever throws first simply continues.

World Darts Championship format

Round First to (sets)
1 and 2 3
3 and 4 4
Quarter-finals 5
Semi-finals 6
Final 7

Is Fallon Sherrock playing?

Fallon Sherrock is one of two female players in the World Championship, along with two-time BDO Women's world champion Mikuru Suzuki.

Sherrock has a historic run to the third round in 2020 when she beat Ted Evetts to become the first female player to win a match at a PDC World Championship. The 'Queen of the Palace' then defeated Mensur Suljovic before losing in the last 32 to Chris Dobey.

Sherrock faces Jermaine Wattimena on December 17 with the winner progressing to a round two date with Martin Schindler.

Suzuki played in the 2020 tournament but lost in the first round to James Richardson and is making her second appearance at the Ally Pally this year. She plays Ricardo Pietreczko on December 19.

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Watch Fallon Sherrock become the first female to hit a televised nine-darter earlier this year

Who is the defending champion?

Michael Smith is the defending champion, therefore seeded first, after beating Michael van Gerwen in a final which is remember for THAT nine-darter. No player has defended their title since Gary Anderson in 2015 and 2016.

Van Gerwen will be among the big favourites but the form player is Luke Humphries, who has won three of the four tournaments.

Throw in the likes of Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright and fan favourites such as Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld and the ingredients are all there for a spectacular tournament.

PDC World Darts Championship winners

PDC World Champions

Year Player
1994 Dennis Priestley
1995 Phil Taylor
1996 Phil Taylor
1997 Phil Taylor
1998 Phil Taylor
1999 Phil Taylor
2000 Phil Taylor
2001 Phil Taylor
2002 Phil Taylor
2003 John Part
2004 Phil Taylor
2005 Phil Taylor
2006 Phil Taylor
2007 Raymond van Barneveld
2008 John Part
2009 Phil Taylor
2010 Phil Taylor
2011 Adrian Lewis
2012 Adrian Lewis
2013 Phil Taylor
2014 Michael van Gerwen
2015 Gary Anderson
2016 Gary Anderson
2017 Michael van Gerwen
2018 Rob Cross
2019 Michael van Gerwen
2020 Peter Wright
2021 Gerwyn Price
2022 Peter Wright
2023 Michael Smith

How many world titles has Phil Taylor won?

Phil 'The Power' Taylor won 14 PDC world titles but also became world champion twice before the PDC era.

It's a record which many think will be impossible to beat. Van Gerwen has won three titles, with John Part, Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright the only other multiple winners.

How many nine-darters have there been?

It's fair to say nine-darters have become more common in the sport but there have only been 14 in the history of the PDC World Championship.

The first only came in 2009 when Raymond van Barneveld nailed the perfect leg. Barney did it again a year later, then Adrian Lewis made the first nine-darter in a final in 2011.

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Watch every nine-darter hit at the PDC World Championship

Two nines were done in 2013 thanks to Dean Winstanley and Van Gerwen. Terry Jenkins and Kyle Anderson joined the illustrious nine-dart list in 2014, with Lewis making a second nine in 2015.

In 2016, Gary Anderson made a nine in the semi-finals and there was a five-year gap until the next perfect leg.

The player who's faced so many nine-darters against him, James Wade, became the eighth player to do a nine, then there were three in 2022 from William Borland, Darius Labanauskas and Gerwyn Price.

And, of course, Michael Smith's nine-darter in the 2023 final against Van Gerwen has been etched in darting folklore in what has to be the best leg of darts ever.

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Watch how Wayne Mardle and Stuart Pyke reacted to the sensational leg between Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith in the World Championship final that culminated in a nine-darter for Bully Boy

How much beer is drunk at the World Championship?

Around 90,000 darts fans will flock the Ally Pally from the middle of December to early January. As the crowd stand up to love the darts, they may have a pint in their hand too.

How many pints are drunk you ask? Around half a million across the event apparently.

What's the song they play at the darts in between breaks?

Ever had that annoying feeling when you know how a song goes but don't know what it's called? You may think that about the song which is played during breaks in the match at the end of a leg during the World Championship.

It's called Chase the Sun by Planet Funk and you just have to join in when it comes on.

Watch the World Darts Championship from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 - live on Sky Sports. Stream your favourite sports and more with NOW

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