WDF – Darts and the pesky international perspective
This is in lieu of the changes that have occurred in the BDO from an international perspective. What I will write will also be about my personal view on BDO, PDC and the future of darts. All heavily angled from not being of the British persuasion.

First I need to explain how darts looks like from my angle. I am a member of a local club (federation of members), it in turn is a member of the region section (think county), that in turn is a part of the Swedish Darts Federation (SvDF)
SvDF in turn is a member of the National Sports Association (Riksidrottsförbundet) that is a member of the Swedish Olympic Committee. SvDF is also a member of the WDF, but not BDO or PDC.
This setup means that we get access to the same amenities as the big Olympic sports with training camps, sports medical doctors, travel support to WDF sanctioned competitions and so on and soforth.
A further consequence is that our national championship is at the same week as most of the Olympic sports, and that we during the national championship have to be stone cold sober.

Lakeside
From an international side of things, it has for a long time become ever more embarrassing that it is the same national singles championship, and at the same venue. Yes, the team championship is under the auspice of the WDF, but it has started to grate.
It could be argued that it should be arranged by the BDO as long as the world champions all were of the British persuasion, but now we’ve had an assortment of Canadians and Dutch holding the title. So, releasing the world championships to WDF is a must in the end, especially now that no British channel seems interested. And there would be quite a few international companies salivating for the opportunity.

PDC
PDC is now a tremendous force in the professional side of things. They have the coverage, they have the huge audience, they rake in the cash. And they are darn good at it. In many respects they are the equivalent of Pro-boxing.
The drawback is that they have very few players. If you are not consistently above 90+ in average they will not have you. And they are not in the least interested in changing this. So, PDC is fantastic for about a hundred players.

And here is what PDC sucks at, and that is everything else associated with darts for us players. If you are a decent player between 60 to 80 in average they will never have you. People talk about their programs below the pro circuit, but neglect the fact that they are only interested in you if they believe you can achieve a consistent score above 90.

BDO
The system that BDO has built up, and via WDF spread around the world, is truly fantastic. It holds tens of thousands of players from across the globe. It is the bulk of darts, it is the hearts of darts.
It is both a fantastic school for those who in the future will become professionals, and it is at the same time a fantastic arranger of competitions for us who will be amateurs for all of our life, but still love to go to large competitions and play some of the best.

Of course there should be a WDF world championship for the amateurs. If you look at the PDC it is clear that those that succeed in the PDC has had a distinguished career first in the BDO/WDF. And almost all that changes rapidly fade into obscurity in the PDC.

The future of darts
For us “internationals” the question of the survival of the BDO is in the end moot. Yes, there would be a few weeks of confusion if they all of a sudden disappeared, but the WDF can take over the slack fairly rapidly.

Secondly, the World part of the World Championship must come into being if it is to be saved in the long run.

The PDC will for the time being remain the preeminent professional outfit. It may though not remain like that in the end due to changes in the organization, and changes in television and audience demands.

What I am trying to say is that I am 100 percent sure that the legacy of the BDO will remain, not sure about the survival of the BDO as such, sure of the survival of the WDF and that I think the PDC will survive the next decade.

Now, what the hell have the internationals been up to while BDO has been infighting and the PDC been serving lot’s of beer? Grab ye’r coats and let’s go unto the humongous stage.

The Olympics
In the late eighties a Swedish madman got it into his head that darts would be a fantastic Olympic sport. Instead of making a big fuss about it and try to get Olly Croft to understand the concept of the Olympics he started at the other end.
What he did was that he dragged the Swedish Darts Federation (amid grumbles from beer guzzling swedes) into the National Sports Association (next door to the SOC). It only took him 30 years to drag Swedish darts into the mainstream of big league sports.

By this time, he had the support of a lot of people, among them the Chairman of the Swedish Olympic Committee. She in turn dragged the IOC to a darts match. As chances had it they went to one of the PDC world championship finals.

And the IOC was stunned in all possible ways that the word “stunned” can operate. Appalled and Attracted at the same time.
The attracted part comes from the work that the IOC is doing to attract more high viewership sports, while dumping unattractive sports. And a huge crowd of roaring fans and large masses of telly viewers made them drool.
The appalled part comes with the PDC and specifically Barry Hearn. The true lords and ladies of the Sports did not want a wannabee contender.

In the end the IOC contacted the WDF for “consultations”, that may lead to a period of “harmonization” and then official “contender” status. These statuses have come slightly differently far in different countries. Here we are now officially “contenders” with official support of the SOC.
If we will see darts in the Olympics in 6 to 14 years is still written in the stars. But, it is dependent on how all of you of the British persuasion deal with the current situation.

Fun factoid
Due to darts being held during the National Championships Week we have started to receive a lot of new darts players. In my club we might have the weirdest newbie, the reigning Swedish champion in 110-meter hurdles (giving us a pre-olympian ? ). We also got the number 3 javelin thrower and the Swedish X-games contender on skateboard. Their level of professionalism in how they attack darts is quite humbling.

Anyway, enough befuddled mumblings…
Reply
One of the issues I can see if the BDO does die out is who would take on running the World Championships?

I may be wrong, but from what I have seen posted elsewhere at various time the WDF don't want to run the Worlds in addition to the competitions they already run - I don't know how much, but I understand the BDO actually pay the WDF money so they can run it. If there are other organisations salivating at the prospect then which ones? And more importantly which ones that could make it a success?
Reply
Will people ever stop deluding themselves about darts and the Olympics? There are sports that are 20 years ahead of the WDF in getting themselves Olympics-ready at the organisational level, but still aren't getting voted onto the Olympic programme. While some national darts orgs are doing better, it's a simple and sad fact that the WDF is being run as amateurishly as an amateur sports organisation can possibly be, and would need to overhaul basically everything before the IOC would even think about darts as a candidate sport, let alone as an actual strong contender for acceptance. As it stands the WDF doesn't even manage to participate in the World Games.

And all that aside the IOC of course only wants the world's top athletes, so 90%+ of a hypothetical (men's) darts tournament field at the Olympics would consist of PDC players, with a few token amateurs from more exotic places (certainly not Sweden).
Reply
No one's deluding themselves, if Darts can make the IOC money they have a chance as anything of getting in the Olympics, there testing Esports " video games" at the 2022 Pan Asian games about possibly being in the Olympics, so anything is possible it's all down to how much money you generate
Reply
And another one with a distressingly simplistic view of how the IOC operates... Just to compare: Golf is a multi billion dollar business, played to a high standard in most parts of the world, has had competent executives in charge both at the professional and the amateur levels for a long time, and it still took two decades from the first plans to re-introduce it to the Olympic programme to its actual return. Darts is a niche sport with its appeal mostly concentrated in countries the IOC doesn't feel any need to pander to these days, is a fractured mess at the organisational level, and the ones who would need to spearhead any Olympic efforts (the PDC, not the WDF) don't seem particularly interested.

The IOC simply has no pressing need to get involved with the darts world's various headaches. The Olympics already make big bucks, and the org has plenty of other options to keep turning those into even bigger bucks. Including e-sports indeed, although that sector will only become viable if the IOC throws its weight around and essentially sets up a hand-picked world governing body for it, because there's little chance of the various private promoters involved in it to agree to cooperate as needed.

That aside, even if the e-sports trial as a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games is successful (whatever that would mean in this context), the very earliest that it could be added to the Olympic programme afterwards would be for 2032. That's the time scales at play here. Darts isn't even on the radar right now, so we're talking 2032+X even if everybody in darts started collaborating towards the Olympics tomorrow. (Which isn't happening, of course, so it's more likely to be 2040+X if at all.)
Reply
For me the OP is most interesting when discussing the ruling bodies within the amateur game, rather than inclusion in the Olympics. 

I am interested in darts at all levels but I don't think I have a good understanding of how darts is organised on the amateur side.  I will focus my thoughts on how Australia fits into the game's structure as that's what I know about to some degree.

Disclosure: My lack of understanding is likely entirely my own fault.

Pro Side
The "professional" side is, I think, clear. (I say "professional" in inverted commas as not everyone playing in PDC-sanctioned tournaments earns most of their money from darts.) There's the PDC at the top level and then in Australia there's the Darts Players Australia (DPA) at the local level.  If I go to the DPA website I can instantly see it's affiliated with the PDC: the DPA logo is the same style as the PDC's and the website's colours are the same with lots of blue and red.  DPA tournaments carry ranking points that get players in the Australian World Series events and the PDC World Championships at the Ally Pally.

Amateur Side
The amateur (no inverted commas needed) side is not so clear for me and I think it stems from understanding where the BDO and WDF fit in.  When people talk about amateur darts, especially in Britain but also elsewhere, they talk as if the BDO is everything.  I guess this comes from them organising the two biggest amateur tournaments in Lakeside and The Winmau. 

Then there's the WDF, which has "World" in its name and feels as if it should be the overall ruling body for the world game.  The WDF organise the amateur World Cup which adds credence to the idea but it's not clear how these two bodies are related, apart from that they both involve darts.

At the local level there's Darts Australia (DA).  I know that DA tournaments carry ranking points for Lakeside and The Winmau but I believe the WDF World Cup team is selected by the DA board.

Despite a different look and feel the DA website does state it's a founder member of WDF and affiliated with BDO.  The BDO does not mention any affiliations.

A way ahead?

The BDO are making some very positive noises which gives me hope that they are prepared to be realistic about their place in the world of darts and make the best of it.  Could a hierarchy be defined with an overarching ruling body (e.g. WDF) that handles rankings and international tournaments, like the World Cup?  Local/National bodies like DA and BDO sit underneath and continue to organise their own tournaments.

I'd like the branding of all of these organisations brought together for a more consistent look and feel.  The websites could reflect the structure, e.g. on WDF it says something like "The Worldwide Ruling Body for Amateur Darts"; on the BDO something like "The Ruling Body for British Darts, Part of the WDF".  (I'm not in marketing or branding but you get the idea.)
[Image: o6e4x5.png]
Darts: Harrows Glen Durrant Duzza Series 2 24g, short Harrows Supergrip shafts, Harrows flights (Marathon/Retina/Optix/Rapide) 


Best 501: 13 darts (League), 14 darts (Pro Darter)

Best Checkout: 154 (League), 160 (Pro Darter)
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  BDO Gateway International Open/Welsh Masters mc1958 2 998 07-09-2017, 08:36 PM
Last Post: mc1958



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)