Darts an Olympic sport?
Darts are becoming popular day by day; with this popularity, a topic of conversation is also rising with every passing day. And people have started discussing if darts should be an Olympic sport or not?
A quick answer to this question is “YES”, darts should be an Olympic sport. Moreover, the process for adding darts in the Olympic games has already started. We might be able to watch darts being played in Olympics by the year 2028 or maybe even earlier than that.
Darts fans and media have been discussing this topic for years now, and there have been several debates about the possibility of darts becoming a part of Olympic sports.
Unluckily, the game has had a bad reputation of being a game that is played with a beer in one’s hand. But the truth is that whoever plays this sport will surely be rewarded with skills and mental fortitude.
Historical Significance of Darts
If we look for the history of darts as a sport, most of us would be shocked to know about the vibrant history this sport has.
The history of darts being mentioned for the first time as a game goes back to the fourteenth century. The wartime soldiers used to compete with each other, by throwing metal pieces at wine cask lids, when bored.
Some other historical records also describe the same kind of activity, but a simple contraption was used in these activities. This contraption was usually made from the cross-section of any tree, hanging among its branches. In the years 1310-1320 players used to tally the scores on concentric circles. This activity remained confined to military people for a very long time.
The game evolved as time passed and got its modern shape that we play today. The modern darts game was introduced somewhere around the start of the twentieth century and became very popular in the pubs and bars of Europe.
It was a pivotal moment in the history of darts when electronic targets were first made in the United States. In this way, the game became easily accessible to most people.
Today, the modern darts game has a strict set of rules and it is strictly regulated. There are standard dimensions for both darts and the dartboard. The scoring system has also evolved and is set up for ease of the game, and best flow.
In a standard competitive darts game, the players have the goal to reduce a fixed score to zero. The fixed score starts at 501 usually.
Today, the modern darts competitive sport is regulated and organised by the World Darts Federation, at the highest levels. WDF membership is encouraged by the darts’ ruling bodies and organisations of all the nations.
WDF was founded in 1976, and it acts as the organiser for all the darts championship tournaments all around the world.
The WDF is in charge of achieving and promoting proper recognition for the darts game as a legit sport. The federation is also responsible for organising the WDF World Cup championship, and the American, European, and Asian lead-up tournaments.
Currently, WDF has 70 member countries. The ruling body of darts has the privilege of being a member of the Global Association of International Sports Federations. GAISF is the umbrella organisation for every sport, either Olympic or non-Olympic.
Darts an Olympic Sport, Push Towards Its Status
Now, the question arises, if so many people already love darts so much and the sport is already so highly organised in several countries, then why does it need to be recognised by the Olympics? The simple answer to this is, “Exposure”.
Olympic games provide guaranteed exposure to any sport that is a part of it. The sport is introduced to the masses for two weeks, straight. This exposure results in increased funding, popularity, and a large space to expand the scope.
Becoming an Olympic sport is itself a very challenging process, over the years several sports tried to be one of the Olympic sports, and several failed in achieving the title. It might seem like an easy task to be a part of the Olympics, but in reality, is more of a complex process. For a sport to be a part of the Olympics, the first step is to be recognised by the IOC. For this recognition, the sport needs an international federation that ensures the fact that the sport is subscribed to the World Anti-Doping Code.
The next steps are even more complicated than the first one. Further in the process, The International Olympic Committee complicates things. The Olympic Charter of IOC has three main purposes:
- Establishing and satisfying Olympic values
- Regulating and implementing Olympic law
- Defining the constituent bodies’ obligations
Recently, the Olympic Charter introduced a new rule, according to which only 28 sporting disciplines will be able to play in the Summer Olympics. This new rule has made it harder for any new sport, to be a part of the Olympics. In general, being a part of the Olympics means that one sport will have to leave its place for darts.
IOC commission and international federations review the whole Olympic program, at the end of an Olympic game. This is the time when the committee looks upon the importance and value of each sport, and a decision is made about the sport being a part of Olympics events.
So, will the sport of darts be able to successfully get to this place?
Darts an Olympic Sport
There are plenty of people around the world, who want to have darts an Olympic sport, and they have many arguments to justify their stance.
First of all, anyone can play darts, doesn’t matter what is the gender of the player, neither does the age or fitness level matter here. What does that mean? It means that, if darts get a slot in Olympics, millions of people are most likely to come up with the hope of becoming an Olympian. There are only a few sports that can make so many people approach the Olympic fold.
Right now, around ninety countries all around the world have special darts federations, and what’s more exciting is that seventy out of these ninety countries are already the highest ruling body’s members.
We can see the appeal and competition in this sport, in the WDF’s global rankings. Asian, American, European countries are ranking in the top positions, which shows the undeniable and universal appeal of competitive darts.
There is no doubt that competitive darts is a quite simple and accessible game but, a fact that should be kept in mind that, it needs skill and it can also be quite a tactical game, like Olympic shooting or Archery.
Having so many supporters doesn’t mean that everyone wants darts to be an Olympic sport, many people tend to oppose the idea. And just like the people who want darts to be a part of the Olympics, these people also have some solid arguments to fight their stance. But, do their arguments hold scrutiny?
The same statement that is used to support darts is used against it by the people who oppose the idea of darts being an Olympic sport.
Because everyone can play darts and people can even participate in the highest level competitions, some people think that the image and repute of the elite athletes would be threatened by such an easy game.
Some other people hold the argument that hosting Olympic Games is becoming prohibitively expensive, and continuous addition of new games to it will result in increased expenses. They also believe that more games can be counterproductive to the Olympics and hopefully darts an olympic sport.
Maybe, the least reasonable argument these people hold, is that the sport’s image is not perfect. For most people, darts is a pub or bar game, that is played with a beer in one hand.
Still, this is just denying the fact that darts has professional and very skilful players, who deserve the spotlight that the Olympics can provide them. Darts is not just ANOTHER game, it’s a competitive game, and people who have played or watched competitive games must know what exactly competitive means.
With time, the Olympics is evolving and it might be the time for them to see and value the sport of darts, and give it the recognition it deserves.
Darts an Olympic sport is gaining popularity and there is a growing debate on whether it should be included as an Olympic sport, with the possibility of its inclusion by 2028. Darts has a rich history dating back to the 14th century and has evolved into a highly regulated sport with standard rules and equipment. The World Darts Federation (WDF), established in 1976, oversees global competitions and promotes darts as a legitimate sport. Advocates for Olympic inclusion argue that darts is accessible, requires skill and tactics, and could inspire many to aspire to Olympian status. Despite its potential Olympic inclusion, critics argue that darts’ pub image and the cost of adding new sports to the Olympics could be detrimental. However, supporters believe that darts’ competitive nature and skilled players deserve Olympic recognition, and the sport’s evolving profile could align with the changing nature of the Olympic Games.