The question is darts a sport or not has been a debate for many years. However, on The 24th March 2005 Sports England took the lead in officially recognising darts as a sporting activity. Later that year, on the 3rd June 2005 Sports Wales, Sports Northern Ireland and Sports Scotland have now added their unanimous agreement that darts is to be recognised as a sport.
But like other indoor pursuits such as Snooker, many feel Darts is not a sport, just a game played by many and enjoyed by millions.
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If you have never played darts before it is one of the best indoor sports games you can play. Although the game originates from the pubs and clubs of the UK it is now enjoyed by millions worldwide, with major event prize money now in the hundreds of thousands of pounds and dollars.
Many of the top professional dart players are now household names, players like Simon Whitlock known as the Wizard! Snakebite, Peter Wright and of course the young Dutchman, two-time PDC World Champion Michael van Gerwen. Many ask how did a game from British pubs turn into such an international sport and attached huge prize money?
Van Gerwen believes that television is the key driver. He says that everything shown on television is good for the sport and gets more people playing the game. When people realize that the sport is becoming more and more popular not just in the United Kingdom but the rest of Europe and the United States, they love to watch it. Darts is now played globally and more countries will be represented in the 2019 PDC World Darts Championships than ever before with £500,000 going to the eventual winner.
Australia is expanding the sport of darts at a fast pace and now has two major PDC Darts Masters tournaments. This year held in Brisbane and in Melbourne.
The PDC World Championships is hosted during the Christmas holidays with the finals taking place on New Year’s Day and will have the biggest prize fund ever seen in the sport.
Barney Francis, managing director, Sky Sports, mentioned that his network signed a seven years broadcasting deal with PDC World Championships in 2017. The success of darts on Sky has been staggering with over a 1.4 million people in the UK turning in to watch the 2018’s final between Rob Cross and the sixteen-time PDC World Championship winner Phil 'The Power' Taylor. Around 2.7 million in Germany watched the same broadcast, making darts a multinational game.
Darts has been a surprising major success for Sky Sports and is only second to football in its overall viewing figures and it looks like it will only get bigger in the future.
van Gerwen mentioned that the prize money has increased with the rise in popularity. However, the sport is still popular in pubs and clubs across the world played between friends for a pint or two. People from all walks of live play the sports so don’t be surprised to find doctors, managers, accounts and IT professional playing a game of darts in the pub.
The PDC 2019 World Championship has a total prize pool for the tournament of £2.5 million pounds, a 40 percent hike from the previous year with £500,000 going to the winner. In the last two years, van Gerwen has won £1.693 million pounds. Winning of the PDC Brisbane Darts Masters competition he earned $35,000, out of the $105,590 prize money pool.
So, if you are new to the sport, sharpen your arrows and get practising because if you are good enough you can earn a lot from the sport.
|2018||Rob Cross||beat||Phil Taylor||7||-||2|
|2017||Michael van Gerwen||beat||Gary Anderson||7||-||3|
|2016||Gary Anderson||beat||Adrian Lewis||7||-||5|
|2015||Gary Anderson||beat||Phil Taylor||7||-||6|
|2014||Michael van Gerwen||beat||Peter Wright||7||-||5|
|2013||Phil Taylor||beat||Michael van Gerwen||7||-||4|
|2012||Adrian Lewis||beat||Andy Hamilton||7||-||3|
|2011||Adrian Lewis||beat||Gary Anderson||7||-||5|
|2010||Phil Taylor||beat||Simon Whitlock||7||-||3|
|2009||Phil Taylor||beat||Raymond van Barneveld||7||-||1|
|2008||John Part||beat||Kirk Shepherd||7||-||2|
|2007||Raymond Van Barneveld||beat||Phil Taylor||7||-||6|
|2006||Phil Taylor||beat||Peter Manley||7||-||0|
|2005||Phil Taylor||beat||Mark Dudbridge||7||-||4|
|2004||Phil Taylor||beat||Kevin Painter||7||-||6|
|2003||John Part||beat||Phil Taylor||7||-||6|
|2002||Phil Taylor||beat||Peter Manley||7||-||0|
|2001||Phil Taylor||beat||John Part||7||-||0|
|2000||Phil Taylor||beat||Dennis Priestley||7||-||3|
|1999||Phil Taylor||beat||Peter Manley||6||-||2|
|1998||Phil Taylor||beat||Dennis Priestley||6||-||0|
|1997||Phil Taylor||beat||Dennis Priestley||6||-||3|
|1996||Phil Taylor||beat||Dennis Priestley||6||-||4|
|1995||Phil Taylor||beat||Rod Harrington||6||-||2|
|1994||Dennis Priestley||beat||Phil Taylor||6||-||1|