Ross ‘The Boss’ Montgomery hopes to be back on the oche in the spring after almost a year out of action during the Covid-19 pandemic.
January is usually the biggest month of the year for the Greenhills ace, with the World Darts Championships taking place, but it’s been a nightmare 12 months in more ways than one for Montgomery.
The British Darts Organisation, of which he was a member, was liquidated in September, as the global pandemic took its toll on the amateur side of the game.
And although the rival PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) were able to hold their world championships earlier this month, the amateur ranks must wait until 2022 for their shot.
The WDF (World Darts Federation) have taken over the mantle from the BDO, but they lack the finances to support the regular Covid testing required and remain sidelined for the foreseeable future.
The Boss - who also broke his finger in April last year - hopes to return to competitive action in the next few months, but knows it will be in a different landscape.
Montgomery told Lanarkshire Live Sport : “As far as the BDO is concerned it is a thing of the past now, but the WDF have taken over and we are looking at having a new WDF World Championships at some point.
“We don’t have the finances like the PDC have, to test all players, keep everyone in the same bubble.
“So the WDF have put everything on hold and announced there will be a World Matsers in December in Holland, so that’s it.
“The next World Championships we’ll be looking it is January 2022 because we have to let tournaments play and generate a ranking system.
“We are just going to wait and see what happens.
“I’m normally away at this time of the year for the World Championships, so it’s been a strange feeling. For the last 14-15 years in a row I’ve been doing it and then that just stopped.
“But there’s no real schedule.
“The first tournament, if it goes ahead, is supposed to be March in the Isle of Man, but I can’t see that happening.
“After that there’s a possibly tournament in Denmark in April, but they’ve had their own problems so I really don’t know if we’ll get there.
“Some countries might require you to have proof that you’ve had a vaccine or tested negative before you can even travel, so I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The 58-year-old, a veteran of 13 BDO World Championships and a quarter-finalist in 2015, had been in a rich vein of form before Covid hit.
He started 2020 brightly, winning the Dutch Open in February – which came after back-to-back title wins in November 2019 – and was sitting second in the world rankings.
Since the sport shut down in March, Montgomery has been able to keep his hand in with ‘virtual’ matches, setting up equipment and a board in his home to face players online.
And he admitted: “For the first couple of months of lockdown I really didn’t do anything.
“But the WDF created a virtual World Cup and they invited myself and Alan Soutar on board to play for Scotland in it.
“I hadn’t thrown a dart for months at that point and I couldn’t even get out my group. Alan, who had kept playing, got all the way to the final, so that was good for him.
“I’ve learned from that and now I’m playing online darts two or three times a week and it’s really helping keep me ticking over.
“I’d really like to be back playing tournaments, back in the local pub playing league matches, but we just need to wait.
“The good thing is the WDF are going to honour the fact I won the Dutch Open in 2020, in terms of keeping the ranking points for it and the qualification rights for when we return to some kind of normality.
“I’ll keep playing the online games and hopefully by the spring things might start getting back to normal.
“The technology we have now is amazing and it’s great that the players have that to keep us ticking over.”