Found the info in some older Facebook comments, assuming things haven't changed: No Challenge Tour entry for players with a main tour card, with one exception I'll get to in a moment.Zeyes wrote:Just seen that the DPA is setting up its own Challenge Tour system in Australia (...)
I'm not sure if they're planning to exclude main tour players from the Challenge Tour - I suspect they won't, and those regional events are more about offering extra playing opportunities and getting more players into the DPA who can't commit to travelling.
As for the main tour, if I'm not mistaken the cards so far didn't really do anything except allow you to play the full tour rather than being capped to a certain number of weekends. For 2019 they're planning to restrict tournament access further: The top 96 men from last year's ranking have been offered cards (any spots unfilled can be taken up by application), plus 16 women from a list of 25-odd eligibles (dunno how they constructed that list). They're targetting 128-player tournament fields, with the remaining 16 spots taken up by local qualifiers, which I take to mean that you can't just travel to a tournament location from outside the area/state without a card anymore.
They've never been anywhere near 128 players at their tournaments, so they're not going to actually get that, and I'm assuming it's all just to make access to the tour more exclusive / get more players to sign up for tour cards (costs $100 per season). Anyway, the women who decide to take up a tour card are allowed to play Challenge Tour events as well.
Oh, and - being PDC tour card holders Whitlock/Anderson/Nicholson/Cadby will only be allowed to play as guests at one tournament weekend, but won't appear on the DPA Order of Merit in any case. So, if Cadby intends to play some darts next year and still can't get into the UK, he just might have to give up his PDC tour card if they stick with enforcing that rule... I hope someone's told his management.