Darts has a rich history, stemming back to its origins of a basic wooden dartboard, and crossbow bolts. But alongside this history has been a persistent debate over whether the popular hobby could be deemed a sport. A sport in itself is defined as requiring physical exertion, as well as the ability to achieve a high level of skill. In 1908 William Anakin an avid darts player, was able to prove to a court that the game indeed required a great level of skill. He was able to strike any number the judge requested.
A certain level of physical exertion is also used when the player attempts to make precise throws. For both of these reasons, darts is now recognized as a sport. To be specific, it is deemed an official sport in England, the United States, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.
Why is Darts not Believed to be a Sport by Some?
There are several reasons why dart-throwing is not always seen as a sport. One major reason being its place in your average pub. The dartboard’s humble place within pubs and bars has given it a common reputation. Additionally, its ability to be played by almost anyone often decreases its notoriety.
Some may believe that as the game can be played by anyone with very little equipment and in a casual environment it is not worth deeming the game a competitive sport. Although darts may be easy for one to pick up, it can take dedication and perseverance to grow one’s accuracy to the level of competition making it a worthy sport.
Is Darts a Sport in the Olympics?
Currently, darts is not an official sport in the Olympics. However, the Olympic Committee has said it may be added in 2024. One of the reasons the sport is not currently included is for fears that the game is too accessible. Some believe that achieving victory would be too easy due to the abundance of competitors capable of achieving high scores. Furthermore, the imagery of a game being played in bars and pubs does not paint a picture of a serious and competitive Olympic sport. These factors make it a bit of a controversial choice.
Nonetheless, the sport’s intrigue and popularity draw in audiences. Additionally, new rules may provide a fairer and fiercer competition. Many sports attempt to become official Olympic events and often fail. However, darts has the ability to fit the Olympic Charter’s rules. This means it is much more likely to succeed as a sport within the Olympic Games.
How would darts in the Olympics look?
Unlike many other Olympic sports, darts can be played by almost anyone. This obviously make it a very inclusive sport. This could even draw greater attention to the Paralympic Games as it could be performed in a very similar manner to the original game requiring very few modifications. Ultimately, the idea of anyone possibly becoming an Olympian may be troubling for some, but for others, it could provide great inspiration and motivation to joining the darts community.