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Whether you’re a fan of darts or not, there’s no denying that the game is growing in popularity by the day. However, the debate rages on – is darts a sport, is darts not a sport, is it just a fun pastime played in pubs around the world?
We are here today to put this age old debate to bed, and convince you once and for all that darts is absolutely a sport.
For those of you who think darts is not a sport, strap in…
What is the definition of “sport”?
According to the dictionary, a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” The key difference between a sport and a game is that a sport is typically competitive, while a game is usually recreational.
When you break it down like that, it’s hard to argue that darts doesn’t fit into the sports description, but for you skeptics out there, let’s break it down further.
Why darts should be classed as a sport!
Here’s our top 5 reasons why you need to stop calling darts a game, and give it the respect it deserves as one of the most challenging sports out there.
Darts takes physical exertion
Just because you aren’t running a marathon, passing a ball, or kicking goals, doesn’t mean darts isn’t a physically demanding sport. In fact, pro dart players can throw up to 300 darts in a single match – that’s a lot of arm power! Despite that, the training, both of mind and body which goes into preparing for professional competition is up there with any sport.
Phil Taylor, one of the sports greatest players, detailed his daily training routine, stating he would train for 8 hours a day. This would be a mix of gym workouts, darts training games and psychological exercises.
You need insane skill to play darts at the top level
Anyone can pick up a dart and throw it at a board, but playing darts in a professional setting takes extreme skill. It’s not just about hand-eye coordination, you also need to know the right time to release the dart, have perfect aim and muscle memory for each different part of the board. As we mentioned earlier, to master this you need countless hours of training and dedication.
Just like other sports, darts has major organisations
While this point doesn’t directly address the official definition of sport, it does make a fair comparison to many other sports in the world. Darts has it’s own major sporting organisations. The three biggest are the British Darts Organisation (BDO), the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and the World Darts Federation. These organisations host tournaments all over the world, with prize money running into millions of dollars (yes, millions).
The PDC even offers a spot on it’s premier tournament, the World Championship, to female players – how’s that for gender equality in sport.
The American Darts Association (ADO) is another well known organisation, however does not boast the same skill level or prize money as the english leagues.
Several countries have already recognised darts as a sport
If we didn’t need to convince you any more, this hot topic has been discussed on the world stage, with the following countries already officially declaring darts as a spot. This is an exciting development which may lead us to see darts included in the Olympic Games one day.
Countries which have officially recognised darts as a sport include:
The darts community is growing by the day
The final point we’ll make is that the darts community is booming, with more and more people taking up the sport. This surge in popularity has led to a rise in the number of competitive tournaments being held all over the world, which can only be a good thing for the future of darts. You only have to look at the extensive darts communities across Facebook, Reddit, as well as the uptick in participation across the world.
Our last say…
So, is darts a sport? We think it absolutely is, and here are four reasons why. Darts takes physical exertion, requires insane skill to play at the top level, has major organisations like the British Darts Organisation (BDO) and Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), and is growing in popularity all over the world. If you still don’t believe us, just take a look at some of the countries which have already recognised darts as a sport!
Think differently? Reach out to us and let us know your thoughts!
Frequently asked darts questions
Is darts in the olympic games?
No, darts is not currently an Olympic sport. However, there are many people campaigning for its inclusion in future games. When you have people still questioning if it’s a sport, we could still be years away from it becoming an official Olympic games event.
Isn’t darts just a traditional pub game?
This is a common misconception! While it’s true that darts has been played in pubs for many years, it has also been a sport for just as long. The first professional tournament was held all the way back in 1896, and darts organisations have been holding world championships since 1927.
Is darts a competitive sport?
Absolutely! As we’ve shown, darts takes physical and mental prowess, as well as intense training and dedication to compete at the top level. If that doesn’t sound like a competitive sport to you, we don’t know what does!
Why do some people not consider darts as a sport?
This is a common question, with a few different answers. The main reason people tend to give is that darts isn’t physically demanding enough to be considered a sport. Other reasons include its association with pub games and the perception that anyone can pick up a dart and play.
As we’ve shown, this simply isn’t true.
Is darts a sport or pastime?
Darts is definitely a sport! It takes skill, dedication and training to compete at the top level. However, it can also be enjoyed as a casual pastime in your local pub. So whether you’re playing for fun or for competition, darts is a great game for all.
Does darts require skill?
Yes, darts is a skill-based game. It takes hand-eye coordination, aim, and muscle memory to become a pro player. Dedication and hours of practice are also required to master the game.
Who are the top professional darts players in the world?
The top darts players in the world are Michael Van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and Phil Taylor. These players have won multiple world championships and are considered to be the best in the sport.
Is a dart player an athlete?
Yes, a dart player is considered to be an athlete. As we’ve identified, darts is 100% a sport, so anyone who competes at the top level of this sport can be classed as an athlete.
Can you be naturally good at darts?
Some people may be naturally good at darts, but most players will require hours of practice to master the game.
How can I improve my darts skills?
The best way to improve your darts skills is to practice regularly. Playing against better players will also help you to improve your game. See our piece on “How to Get Better at Darts” to learn more.