The sport of darts over the past two decades has grown beyond most can imagine. The simple game that started in the English pub has grown into one of the World’s most-watched TV sports. Satellite channel Sky darts is the second largest sport watched on their Sports channel in the UK, second only to English Soccer.
For a generation of Dart fans, Sid Waddell was ‘the voice of darts’, and there hasn’t been anyone quite like him. Sid was an English Sports commentator that graced our TV screens for four decades, and unrivalled enthusiasm for the sport of darts not only got him in trouble but also elevated him to the top of his profession.
If you ever wondered what dart players do with their free time, you may be surprised. Of course, a lot of their time is taken up with practice. Mervyn King is renowned for turning up to venues very early to put a few hours on the board before a match while others feel just 30-45 mins is enough before the main event.
Back in the 1980s darts found it’s first big stars. TV coverage started with broadcast of the News of the World individual Champions, Indoor League before a new World Championship was form by the British Darts Organisation. In the beginning this new TV sport captured a new generation of dart fans and players.
Could we have seen Raymond van Barneveld’s last TV darts tournament appearance?
The likeable five-time World Darts Champion announced his retirement from the professional sport last year. Barney plans to follow fellow darts champion into exhibition matches, but unlike Phil’s epic last year in the sport, Barney’s has gone to plan.
Darts has been around for years but its popularity continues to grow. In Europe, it’s one of the most-watched and commercially lucrative sports while its notoriety around the world has increased thanks to major global tournaments and a flamboyant talent pool featuring some of the sport’s greatest ever players. But there remains a small group of countries where the game has, over the last few decades, enjoyed enduring appeal, ultimately producing the professionals who have become icons of the sport. Here we check out the most darts-obsessed countries in the world.
The 2019 World Series of darts got off to an excellent start for the newcomer Nathan Aspinall. On his debut World Series Event, the US Masters Nathan Won claiming the £20,000 first prize.
Nathan’s timely 180 scoring and clinical finishes showed he is a man that will be a force to reckon with however Nathan won’t feature in another World Series until the finals later this November.
Eric was like marmite some fans loved him, and in equal measure, some didn’t. Whatever you say about Eric, he was one of the few professional dart players to make darts the sport it is today.
Eric was an arrogant player, but unlike most, he could back up his words with his play. Famously after beating Bobby George 5-3 in the 1980 BDO World Professional final, he was asked what he thought of his opponent. To the commentator’s amazement, Eric said ‘he will be the No.2 of the future’. Eric, of course, held the No.1 spot at the time. Bobby never lifted the World Championship Title. However, Eric won the event five times.
Despite occasionally being derided as a "pub sport", the popularity of darts has continued to rise over the last decade, and it is showing very few signs of abating. It is currently one of the most-watched sports in Europe, and although uptake in other areas has been significantly slower, audiences continue to grow year-on-year. Iconic throwers such as Michael Van Gerwen and Phil Taylor have played a starring role in this exponential rise in popularity but fundamentally,it is betting companies and the popularity of online gambling which have truly helped fund the sport's recent renaissance.
The Winters Gardens Blackpool plays host to one of the most popular darts tournaments on the PDC Calendar, the World Matchplay. The week-long event 20-28 July will see players play for the newly named ‘Phil Taylor’ Trophy and a top prize of £150,000. Taylor won the event sixteen-times during his professional career the same amount he won the World Darts Championships.
2019 is a year for World Cups. Cricket and ladies’ football are among the sports that have a four-year gap between each World Cup event. Darts, however, has an annual PDC World Cup event featuring 32 countries. But what do sportsmen and women do when they have some downtime? Many love to play darts and pool.
When it comes to the world of darts, there have been some massive personalities in the sport over the years, going back to the eighties there have been the likes of Jocky Wilson and Eric Bristow, to more modern times with players like Phil Taylor and Michael Van Gerwen, but they never tend to be from the USA.
In the age of mobile technology, it comes as little surprise that there are a plethora of fantastic darts apps currently on the market. Whether you enjoy playing with friends and need a reliable scoring app, or even if you just want to keep up to date with the latest scores and match action; as the old saying goes, there’s an app for that.
So, without further ado, here’s our guide to the best apps every darts lover must have:
Last year’s historic decision by the US Supreme Court to finally allowed the individual American States to legalise sports betting was a huge and vital step for the gambling industry.
For an industry that has suffered from legalisation issues from the get-go, getting a huge market to agree on its credibility as a business is something that a lot of operators and gamblers had to celebrate.
Following successful World Championship campaigns, several new names will feature in this year’s PDC World Series of Darts.
There is no place like the World Championship stage to make your name in the world of darts and the British love to see an underdog do well. Players that play heart and passion will always win the crowd over, and the 2019 PDC World Darts Championship was no acceptation.
Casino dartboards were resigned as a thing of the past, much like the former favourite pastime of bingo. But thanks to the wonders of the internet, both of these classics have been making a bit of a comeback. It seems as though people are seeking out classic casino dartboards, mostly the iconic Winmau Casino 301 Dartboard, to get a taste of nostalgia and enjoy the thrills of the unique game once more.
The PDC World Series event returns to Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas 4-5 July for the US Masters. This event has become a favourite to all that attend. This year the top PDC Pro’s Michael van Gerwen, Rob Cross, Daryl Gurney, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, Gerwen Price, Michael Smith and the new rising star Nathan Aspinall will take on eight the North American Qualifiers US qualifiers for the US Masters trophy and a £20,000 first prize.
The 2019 World Series of Darts continues with the German Darts Masters, July 12-13, LANXESS Arena, Cologne. German fans will be hopping one or more of their players can make a significant impact on this year’s event.
Many people thought that the popularity of Darts would decline after the retirement of sixteen times World Darts Champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor. Phil was the driving force behind the popularity of the sport for more than two decades and left a small void behind when he retired in 2018 after the PDC World Championships. His dream of achieving a seventeenth World title nearly came true. However, he lost in the final to a newcomer, Rob Cross. His inspiration, however, has inspired the next generation of players to take the sport to a new level. Young players as Nathan Aspinall, Demitri Van Den Bergh and Jamie Lewis are now challenging the top-ranked tournaments, and it looks like the old guard's reign is coming to an end.
This is an ambiguous topic because there are so many players that could be mentioned for different reasons. However, one player without question must feature in anyone’s list, and that is Phil Taylor.
Raymond van Barneveld is probably the best-known sportsman in the Netherlands. He is responsible for the growth of darts in the Netherlands over the past two decades and is without question one of the top players ever to throw a dart.
Every sport has its fair share of unlucky losers, who manage to enjoy successful careers despite falling short of the top prizes. Take snooker’s Jimmy ‘Whirlwind’ White, for example, who was as shining star during the sport’s heyday in the 1980s but failed to win the coveted World Championship despite appearing in six finals.
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