Michael van Gerwen appeared to break darts rules during win over Luke Littler as teenager left 'disappointed'

Michael van Gerwen appeared to break darts rules during win over Luke Littler as teenager left 'disappointed'

WATCH NOW: Luke Littler dealt snub as he strives for Premier League glory

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 10/02/2024

- 10:21

The Dutchman beat his opponent 6-5 in Thursday night's Premier League clash

Michael van Gerwen appeared to break the rules during his entertaining 6-5 victory over Luke Littler on Thursday night.

Littler pushed his experienced opponent all the way in Germany but, after missing two match darts, was made to pay the price.

Van Gerwen was ruthless, punishing his opponent and showing why many are tipping him to win the competition.

Yet some eagle-eyed viewers have now raised the possibility that the 34-year-old broke the rules during the showdown.

Michael van Gerwen Luke Littler

Luke Littler: Michael van Gerwen seemed to break the rules by standing in the 'exclusion zone' during his win


As Littler missed his two throws to put the contest to bed, Van Gerwen's feet could be spotted over the edge of the 'exclusion zone'.

Per the rules, only the thrower is allowed to step foot inside the area until their run comes to an end.

The Darts Regulation Authority describe it as a 'clearly marked area' surrounding the oche.

This in order to give the thrower 'an amount of separation' from their opponent until their turn is over.

The rules state: "The non-throwing player must stand whilst waiting for their throw.

"This position will be behind the throwing player and outside the exclusion zone in a position that does not obstruct officials or broadcast facilities.

"The non-throwing player must not enter the exclusion zone behind or at the side of the oche until the throwing player has released the final dart of their throw."

The referee should have spotted Van Gerwen's error in crossing the line, which clearly wasn't intentional.

However, the fact that they didn't has allowed the 34-year-old to draw level with Littler on five Premier League points from the campaign so far.

Michael Smith still leads the way with seven.

Taking to social media after the match, Littler admitted he was 'disappointed' by the result.

"Unreal atmosphere last night so thank you everyone for the support," he said on Instagram.

"Disappointed not to get over the line but more points on the board before Glasgow."

Van Gerwen was asked whether his win over Littler was 'special'.

Yet the darts veteran insisted it wasn't because he expects the pair to have numerous other showdowns in the coming years ahead.


Luke Littler

Luke Littler was 'disappointed' following his Premier League defeat to Michael van Gerwen


"That's not true," he said.

"It's not special because we're going to have finals like this another 10 times this year.

"We play each other so many times... so it's not going to be special.

"Of course it's important, we all know that, and you have to play well if you want to be on top of the boys."

When quizzed on if Littler would make other players on the tour better, he continued: "Nah.

Michael van Gerwen

Michael van Gerwen punished Luke Littler during his Premier League win on Thursday night


"In darts, it's always good to have fresh blood or people who are in form, people who are in form always push the other players as well.

"That's how darts goes in general, but of course everyone wants to put the pressure on Luke now but I don't think that's really fair on him."

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