It’s fascinating to see how darts evolved from a mere pub game to a modern-day powerhouse.
What makes this sport so popular?
Let’s try to answer and hit the bullseye with these dart facts.
Darts History Facts
1. When was darts invented?
Historians agree that darts originated in the 1300s in the United Kingdom during the mediaeval age as a military pastime. Bored warriors would contest by throwing spears and other sharp weapons at the bottoms of overturned wine barrels.
They eventually began using cross-sectioned tree trunks as targets. The tree trunk’s growth rings and radial cracks provided the first template for the sections that would eventually appear on modern-day dartboards.
2. The British Darts Organisation was founded in 1973.
The British Darts Organisation represents roughly 25,000 of the estimated 5 million players in the British Isles.
The BDO founded the World Darts Federation (WDF), which represents over 500,000 darts players from 50 different nations.
3. Darts was officially recognised by Sport England in 2005.
Throughout the years, there has always been debate about whether darts is a true sport or just a pub game.
When making this decision, Sport England looked to see if dart-throwing satisfies certain defined criteria and gave it a seal of approval. So, those still looking for facts on why is darts a sport, should be satisfied with the public body’s decision.
General Facts About Darts
4. How many people play darts?
Darts is played by over 50 million people around the world. This number includes professional and casual players or even some who have played once or twice.
Darts are played by many nations, with Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and Belgium being just a few. It is also played in many African countries like Botswana, Kenya, and Morocco, as well as China and Dubai, although it is most popular in the UK and the United States.
5. How many Americans play darts?
According to the National Sporting Goods Association stats, around 17 million individuals across the United States play darts.
However, no player from the US is in the top 183 players in PDC’s World Rankings. American Darters Association president Karl Remick sees opportunity on the horizon as darts leagues are growing year over year throughout the country.
6. The PDC World Champion gets a £500,000 prize.
The PDC World Championship is by far the most famous darts competition. As per the latest darts competition facts and stats, this Championship’s prize pool rarely goes below £2 million, slightly lower than some of the highest paying eSports tournaments out there.
The following biggest dart tournaments globally are Premier League Darts with a £250,000 prize for the winning player, and World Matchplay with around £150,000.
UK Darts Stats and Facts
7. Darts was the 9th most popular sport in the UK in 2021.
(Our Sporting Life)
The word ‘Dart’ was estimated to receive 84,000 searches in a month and was one of the most popular UK sports. However, the scale of popularity can be understood by looking at the number of monthly searches on a global scale, equalling an average of 785,000 per month.
8. “Dart Scorer” is searched 70,900 on average per month.
(Our Sporting Life)
This term indicates the intent of someone who is already playing darts and is looking for a way to keep track of their scores in the game.
Dart Scorer is widely regarded as the most accurate representation of the number of active players in the United Kingdom. And that number will undoubtedly rise if we include players who score their games without the use of technology such as those who can score in their heads or on paper.
9. 15,000 people participated in darts in 2018 in England.
This is the highest number of darts players in England in the past five years. The number of players kept on rising in 2016 and 2017, with 7,400 and 8,800 people taking part, respectively.
However, after peaking in 2018, darts facts and figures show participation going down to 9,600 players in 2020.
10. Around 1.5 million people watched the PDC World Darts Championship 2021/2022.
According to PDC chairperson Eddie Hearn, the PDC World Darts Championship final featuring Peter Wright and Michael Smith drew the attention of 1.49 million people watching it on Sky Sports.
Although lagging behind some of the most-watched sporting events in history, these PDC darts stats are quite impressive.
Darts Players Statistics
11. Who has the most world dart titles?
(Darts Reference, Line Ups)
Phil Taylor has the record for the most global dart titles (16), among other outstanding dart accomplishments. He has won 79 major titles in his PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) professional life, which is an all-time record.
He has won 14 World Championships, 16 World Matchplays, 11 World Grand Prixes, 6 Premier Leagues, and 5 UK Opens. Now retired, this English darts player has been in 19 World Championship finals throughout his career.
12. Valued at £1,208,500, Gerwyn Price sits at the top of the PDC Order of Merit.
The main PDC Order of Merit is established on cash prizes won by players in ranking events over two years.
Players qualify for broadcast ranking tournaments such as the William Hill World Darts Championship, Betfred World Matchplay, and BoyleSports World Grand Prix, depending on their global rankings from the PDC Order of Merit.
Judging by PDC World Championship stats, Price is followed by reigning champion Peter Wright (£1,203,000) and Michael “Mighty Mike” van Gerwen (£656,750). For comparison, one of the most valuable sports teams in the world pays an average salary of 6.99 million pounds.
13. Peter Wright won the latest PDC World Darts Championship.
Two years after fulfilling his promise to win the world title before his 50th birthday, Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright averaged 98.34 at the Alexandra Palace finals this year.
Based on pro darts stats, he has now won seven major titles since the 2017 UK Open, and this is his third of the season, having also won the Players Championship Finals in November.
14. Who has the most 180s in darts?
Michael Smith set a new record for the most 180s in 2022 PDC. Despite losing to Peter Wright, Michael Smith achieved a new record for the most 180s (the highest score possible for a darts player to score throwing only three darts) during the PDC World Darts Championship in January 2022.
In this World Championship campaign, Michael Smith has achieved 83 180s, topping Gary Anderson’s previous historical record of 71 set in 2017.
Interesting Facts About Darts
15. Darts benefit your health.
(A & C)
Unlike other sports that involve more physical exertion, darts involve a unique blend of physical and mental skills that must be coordinated. It’s a difficult game that needs a great level of ability, precision, and a steady hand.
Professionals believe darts strengthen hand-eye coordination because of the high level of accuracy and precision required. The game also improves players’ concentration and self-control.
16. Brian Gamlin is the first person who put the numbers on the dartboard.
Many dart lovers are unfamiliar with Brian Gamlin’s name, but this English carpenter justifies his place in the sport’s history.
This expert craftworker is credited with inventing the dartboard numbering system, which is still used today and allows players to judge their accuracy in throwing at the target.
Darts is nothing short of exciting to watch. Much like pro wrestling, it has amassed a cult-following thanks to its memorable characters and entertaining events.
So, whether you are in it to bet on the greats as they battle it out in the Ally Pally finals or you are just picking up tips to improve your game at the local pub, use these darts facts and stats to make the most out of the experience.