PDC set to drop walk-on girls from darts tournaments

Walk-on girls have accompanied players in darts tournaments for several years. Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images

Walk-on girls will no longer be used by the Professional Darts Corporation.

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 PDC spokesperson told Press Association Sport.

Last year, world No. 1 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 has triggered a petition to reinstate the girls. 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.