Is Darts a Sport or a Hobby?

is darts a sport or a hobby

Key Takeaways

  • The existence of professional darts organizations and the recognition darts receives from sporting authorities solidify its status as a sport.
  • It is growing in popularity and participation as a spectator sport
  • The game is played as a competitive sport around the world
  • Darts is recognized as an official sport in England, United States, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium

What is the Definition of a Sport?

The definition of sport can be summed as something that requires both skill and physical exertion during competition against other individuals or teams. 

The physicality may not be the same in darts in comparison to other sports, however the amount of practice hours required to reach the top level, is monumental.

Professional dart players train hard, and it can be argued that to reach the top, the same level of dedication and sacrifice is needed. Darts may not have the same physical demands as other sports, but it requires skill in which an individual needs to develop to get to the top.

Professional Organizations and Recognition

Darts has its own ruling bodies, which help govern the sport and ensure players follow strict rules and standards, showing the organization and professionalism related to darts as a recognized sport. Tow f the major organizations are:

  • Professional Darts Corporation (PDC)
  • British Darts Organization (BDO)

Just like in many sports, it would be hard to recognize darts as a sport without the ruling bodies. 

They provide platforms for professional players to demonstrate their skills on an international stage and compete against other professionals. 

Darts is getting more popular, with increasing participation from amateur and professional athletes. Events featuring top-level players on TV have given darts mainstream appeal as a spectator sport. 

Why Is Darts a Sport?

Many people debate if darts should be considered a sport. 

The athletic image associated with the biggest sports in the world, Basketball, Soccer and American football, are not often associated with darts.

Being described as athletes is not the most common way to talk about darts players. It is often just looked at as “just a pub game” or “a hobby”.

It is a pub game and is played as a hobby, but darts is a sport and recognized as such worldwide. And a growing one at that. 

  • It takes physical prowess, skill, focus and hand to eye coordination to be accurate when throwing darts at a dartboard
  • Professional darting organizations exist that have rules and regulations, just like other sports
  • More people are playing darts at amateur and professional levels and growing the sport to unprecedented levels
  • Darts is competitive and requires strategy, just like other sports

Physical Exertion and Skill

At the top level, playing in bars and being on stage with a drink in hand, has long gone. It’s an outdated image the sport has worked hard on changing. Picking up a dart is now surrounded by professionalism, even within the amateur scene. However, to some casual fans, the bar culture remains.

The nature of darts as a pub game contributes to the perception it lacks physical demands. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Physical exertion and skill are key to why darts are classified as a sport, which is no secret within the darts community. Darts is a mental game, however it also requires:

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Concentration
  • Accuracy
  • Confidence
  • Aim
  • Ability to adjust
  • Fast counting
  • Perform under pressure

The wide mix of physical effort and skill makes darts stand out from mere recreational activities.

Is Darts an Olympic Sport?

No, darts is not currently included in the Olympic Games, but there have been campaigns for its inclusion in future games. However, the split between the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and the World Darts Federation (WDF) is a bone of contention in this regard.

The PDC attracts all the world’s top players and has the most televised events and the biggest prize money on offer. When one player plays under the PDC, they cannot play under any other governing body.

In order to be a sport participated in the Olympics, players would have to compete under the WDF banner, something unlikely to happen. It means the world’s top players would be missing from the most prestigious competition in the world, which would degrade the sport.

FAQs about Is Darts A Sport?

Is Darts a Sport or a Hobby?

Yes, darts is recognized as an official sport in various countries including England, United States, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium. It requires skill, physical prowess, and involves physical exertion and competition against others.

What Are the Main Professional Darts Organizations?

The main professional darts organizations are the British Darts Organization (BDO) and the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC). These organizations have their own rule books, and the official rules for the PDC are issued by the Darts Regulation Authority (DRA).

Is Darts Recognized in the Mainstream Sporting Environment?

Yes, darts has gained recognition in the mainstream sporting environment. It was officially recognized as a sport by Sport England in 2005, and the game’s acceptance increased when Phil Taylor, a world darts champion, was awarded second place in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards in 2010.

What physical skills are required in darts?

Darts requires physical skills such as aim, hand-eye coordination, muscle discipline, and muscle memory. Professional players undergo extensive training to develop their technical ability and achieve a high level of skill.


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