How to incorporate Darts at your club?
With incredible marketing and thrilling storylines, darts fever has swept the nation. The incredible rise of 16-year-old Luke Littler is poised to be the first big sporting story of the year, with promoters salivating at the pulling power “The Nuke” Littler has upon the sport. Darts has never been so popular, and community clubs should look to facilitate.
The rise of darts as a nation’s favourite sport to watch
In 2021, a survey suggested darts was the 9th most popular sport in the UK, just ahead of tennis and behind basketball. Since 2021, darts viewership has risen by 33% and winnings for players have increased by 10%. Sales of darts equipment has seen a huge spike according to retailers. Where other sports have perhaps dropped off, such as hockey or bowling, evidence suggests the sport of darts is on the rise.
Last January of 2023, we couldn’t move without hearing some reference to the PDC World Championship final between Michael Smith and Michael van Gerwen and the now famous “I can’t spake” moment.
The players and personalities, the exciting commentators, the heroes and villains, are captivating the viewership and helping the sport capture a new audience. Darts is a sport on the up. The best present storyline features underdog Luke Littler; who, similar to Emma Raducanu’s rise in 2021, reflects the next generation of world-class talent coming through in British sport.
Comparisons to past British great sporting prospects have been made with young darts sensation, Luke Littler. 16-year-old Wayne Rooney at Everton is likened, as is 17-year-old Ronnie O’Sullivan at the 1993 UK Championship. Outlandish international comparisons have been drawn to Neymar Jr at Santos or even 1958 World Cup Pelé.
The story certainly has made headlines and pulled in audiences, as 1.4million people tuned in for the Littler vs Dolan match, breaking records as the most-watched darts quarter-final ever. Clubs need to ride this wave by benefiting from the sport’s popularity and accessibility. Darts could provide clubs with that much needed custom throughout the quieter winter months – as well as a positive alternative option to the packed football TV schedule.
Do you have a darts board in your clubhouse?
A dart board could prove a great addition for your clubhouse, including darts rental and electric scoreboard usage. However it will pay to invest in a quality board and quality darts to attract returning customers.
See here how to set up your own darts board.
If you have a darts board at your clubhouse or bar area, consider its condition. Perhaps investing in a clean, new dartboard and some fresh darts, as well as directed spotlighting, could be beneficial and lift the whole room.
Despite darts’ increased visibility, it’s difficult to measure whether participation at amateur and lower levels has seen an increase. Retailers are reporting increased sales, yet darts clubs and association are few and far between. Consider setting up your own darts club, or hosting a few friendly competitions, making use of your new board.
How to set up a darts fundraiser or darts competition?
Find the next Lewis Littler in your community by hosting a darts tournament.
Prostate Cancer UK, in partnership with Paddy Power and the Professional Darts Corporation, are promoting a fundraising activity involving darts. Their asking amateur darts players to host their own darts fundraiser and help fund lifesaving research.
This idea could be adapted by clubs, or adopted to also follow their noble charity work.
Fundraising ideas and formats involving darts include:
- Knockout tournaments – keep it simple with prizes for the finalists.
- Marathon events – test your will endurance with an all day or night darts marathon.
- League exhibitions – dedicate an existing match with a ‘donate to play’ system.
- Mini games tournament – around the world, killer, shanghai. Rack up points, crown a champion
Apply now and receive a free fundraising pack
Will a darts board affect your insurance?
It is unlikely a darts board will have an impact on your insurance details or premium.
It is greatly recommended that you conduct a health and safety and risk assessment of the darts board, making special mention of its location, decision processes, and darts equipment responsibility.
Contact Club Insure to learn more about your insurance and the specifics involving the clubhouse. You can never be too careful when it comes to liability and safety.
How to watch the Darts Final
The PDC World Darts Championship final is available to watch on Sky, either on the Sky Sports Main Event channel or through the Sky Go app.** The pre-match commentary will commence at 7pm, walk-outs at 8.15pm and the match will start at 8.20pm. The match will be covered live on Sky Sports, and the players will be playing for lions share of a £2.5million prize pool.
Other Darts Events in 2024
Bahrain Darts Masters – 18 – 19 January 2024
TOTO Dutch Darts Masters – 26 – 27 January 2024
Cazoo Masters – 2 – 4 February 2024
Cazoo UK Open – 1 – 3 March 2024
bet365 US Darts Masters – 31 May 2024 – 1 June 2024
bet365 North American Darts Championship – 1 June 2024
Mr Vegas Nordic Darts Masters – 7 – 8 June 2024
Superbet Poland Darts Masters – 14 – 15 June 2024
World Cup of Darts – 27 – 30 June 2024
Betfred World Matchplay – 13 – 21 July 2024
Betfred Women’s World Matchplay – 21 July 2024
Betfred World Matchplay – 9 – 10 August 2024
Betfred Women’s World Matchplay – 16 – 17 August 2024
Australian Darts Masters – 9 – 10 August 2024
New Zealand Darts Masters – 16 – 17 August 2024
Jack’s World Series of Darts Finals – 13 – 15 September 2024
BoyleSports World Grand Prix – 7 – 13 October 2024
Machineseeker European Championship – 24 – 27 October 2024
Mr Vegas Grand Slam of Darts – 9 – 17 November 2024
Cazoo Players Championship Finals – 22 – 24 November 2024
Winmau World Youth Championship Final – 24 November 2024
**Don’t forget, businesses require a tv license, Sky subscription, and a PPLPRS licence to broadcast live sport on Sky!
Not wanting to show favouritism to either the world number 1 one, Luke Humphries, or the young sensation Luke Littler – We’ll be cheering on both British favourites. Good Luck Lukes!