Walk-on girls will no longer be used by the Professional Darts Corporation, the Press Association has been told.
Women have accompanied players onto the stage for some years – something which has been regularly criticised – and the PDC has decided to act, starting at this weekend’s Masters in Milton Keynes.
“We regularly review all aspects of our events and this move has been made following feedback from our host broadcasters,” a spokesperson told Press Association Sport.
Last year, world number one Michael van Gerwen predicted the move, saying in an interview with AD Sportwereld: “The PDC wants more people to see it as a sport. It does not interest me (walk-on girls). It is just a sport.”
The move made by the PDC, however, has triggered an online petition to reinstate the girls, backed by a former world champion of the sport.
On Friday night it had over 3,000 signatures and was backed by former world champion Raymond van Barneveld.
“I will really miss the girls !! For me they are a part of the darts,” he wrote.
The PDC’s move will likely increase pressure on other sports, such as boxing and F1, to review their use of ring and grid girls.
Darts became quite the spectacle when they introduced entrances for their players, with the individuals allowed to choose their own entrance music.
They were the accompanied by glamorous looking females all the way down to the oche.
However, that is all about to change, with the PDC taking action due to regular complaints over the use of the females.
Only time will tell if they stick to their decision, or whether an online petition backed by a former world champion is enough to change their minds.