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Keeping it real at the Lakeside

Ben Dirs | 09:11 UK time, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

According to some scientist or other somewhere, Monday was the most stressful day of the year. Instead of moping about in his bedroom conjuring up equations of doom, he should have got himself down to the BDO World Darts Championship at the Lakeside in Frimley Green.

Like Scott, James, Andy and Nick, four 21-year-olds from Shrewsbury. They've each shelled out 850 quid for tickets and hotel rooms for the week and plan to spend another £400 each on beer. "It's worth every penny," said Scott, "although one mate pointed out that we could have had a fortnight in Benidorm." For that money, Scotty, you could have had a fortnight in Saint-Tropez.

Up on stage, Martin Adams, the 2007 world champion, is struggling with his doubles. Dave Chisnall, a debutant from St Helens, has taken him to a fifth and deciding set. Scott from Shrewsbury clambers to his feet and starts howling. Adams, nicknamed 'Wolfie', duly takes the next leg.

It was in 2007 that many first woke up to how great darts could be. Over at the rival PDC World Championship in Purfleet on New Year's Day, Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld came back from three sets down to beat Phil Taylor 7-6 in a sudden death leg. On a day brimming with sporting action, it trumped the lot.

A few days later, Adams gave up a 6-0 lead against fellow Englishman Phill Nixon before also triumphing 7-6. To paraphrase Sid Waddell, perhaps the greatest sports commentator who ever drew breath, there hadn't been that much excitement since the Romans fed the Christians to the Lions.

Sid, who was instrumental in making darts a fixture on our screens, doesn't do the Lakeside any more. He spent the festive period busting blood vessels and mixing metaphors at Alexandra Palace, the PDC World Championship's cavernous new home.

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"The PDC crowd are awful and Alexandra Palace is a terrible venue," Wolfie tells me after finally defeating Chisnall 3-2 in a nervy old encounter. John Boy Walton, the 2001 world champion, is getting stuck into a full roast dinner on the adjacent table.

"The PDC is 'sports entertainment', while the BDO has a more educated crowd who love good darts. They have their favourites who they'll shout for and get behind, but it's respectful.

"They had blokes throwing beer around last week at Alexandra Palace, that's not a darts crowd. Some of the antics they get up to, they'd be shown the door at the Lakeside."

The vibe certainly feels slightly different at the BDO. In my previous visits to the PDC, there has been an air of 'ironic entertainment', that cynical and rather patronising modern British curse: "I'm not really a darts fan, but it's highly amusing pretending that I am for an evening."

"At the PDC, everyone's waving those boards about and just trying to get on TV," adds BDO spokesman Robert Holmes. "It's just one big booze-up and the darts is secondary."

The BDO (British Darts Organisation) and the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) don't get on. Not since 16 high-profile players, including every previous BDO world champion still chucking, decided to set up their own world championship - which would become the PDC version - which was first aired on Sky in 1994.

The stream of defections from the BDO continues apace, and the PDC is the home of the greatest thrower of all time, Phil 'The Power' Taylor, who stormed to his 14th world title with a 7-1 beasting of Van Barneveld on Sunday.

But to at least some fans at the Lakeside, the BDO will always be the spiritual home of darts.

"The BDO has all the history, going back to the first one in 1978," says George Ivory from Bordon, Hampshire. "It's the one every player wants to win, like Wimbledon is to tennis players or Wembley to footballers."

"Even Phil Taylor, who won the BDO twice, will say winning here was a highlight," adds Holmes.

"The players that made the sport great - Eric Bristow, Bobby George, Jocky Wilson and John Lowe - all made their names here.

"For all Taylor has done, if you ask a man on the street to name a darts player, they'll probably still say Eric Bristow or Bobby George.

"There are 66 members of the World Darts Federation, of which the BDO is a member, and as many as 100m people will watch this year's event.

"We had the first player from Poland this week, and on Thursday we had Persian TV visiting, because Iran is a real growth area, with 500,000 members in the Iranian darts federation.

"They've latched onto the fact that darts can bring different groups together in peace. Instead of sitting down and debating things, they should have a game of darts."

Back out front, Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney is doing battle with England's Garry Thompson. I ask Charona from Amsterdam why she thinks the UK and Holland are at the vanguard of darts. "Beer," she fires back, before jumping to her feet and waving a '180' board above her head. Thousands follow suit. It looks like a rubbish version of a North Korean mass games.

Beer is both the heartbeat of darts and a stick to beat it with. How, say darts' detractors, can it be a sport if most of its participants drink lager before a match and have the consistency of Spam?

So synonymous are beer and darts that when 2000 world champion Ted 'The Count' Hankey revealed live on the BBC on Sunday that he'd knocked beer on the head, it was like hearing Lance Armstrong announce that he trained entirely on battered Mars Bars.

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"You can take darts out of the pub, but you can't take the pub out of darts," says Adams, before shouting over to seven-time women's world champion Trina Gulliver to bring him a pint.

"You don't have to drink. The generation coming up are slim, trim and exercise. Joey ten Berge (who lost to Martin Atkins on Monday) was drinking Diet Coke the whole time he was practising.

"But the image isn't unfair, we've obviously had a few beers and pies in our time. But so do golfers on the 19th hole and footballers in nightclubs, so we're not the only drinkers in sport.

"And we don't need performance-enhancing stuff to do well. We rely on talent and our mental state. And look at the mess cycling's in, there's always people getting caught out."

Aah, but Wolfie, how can you be so naive? Everyone knows that you can cheat to your heart's content in cycling and athletics, serve a two-year ban and all will be forgiven. Have a few lagers before you climb on the oche and you're nothing but a fat oik.

In the players' bar, I ask Bobby George, who sounds like fifty pence pieces being fed into a paper shredder, whether he cares if people consider darts to be a sport or not (it was recognised officially in 2005).

"I think it's a sport, but I don't care if anyone else thinks it is or not," says Bobby, whose right arm is cradled in a jewel-encrusted sling (ironic really, considering his left arm is weighed down with so much tomfoolery, a lesser man would require a winch to lift it off the dinner table).

"If people play tiddlywinks and they're world-class, they'll think that's a sport, so it's up to the individual."

It is difficult not to come to the conclusion that class has a part to play in much of the sneering. While snooker insists on its players wearing evening dress in an attempt to add a veneer of respectability (even though most of its participants would never wear evening dress in any other situation, apart from maybe at their own weddings) darts doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is.

But while, for example, archery has been an Olympic sport since 1900, despite the fact that in terms of participation and audience its offspring dwarfs it, darts is still looked down on by many. Not that the Lakeside faithful mind much.

"You can relate to darts players, they're more normal than footballers or other sportsmen," says Neil Woodhatch from Bordon.

"I'll give you a prime example. I used to take my kids to watch Chelsea's reserves play in Aldershot, but they wouldn't sign any autographs. They haven't got time for you, they've lost touch with the public. Darts players aren't so distant, and that's what a lot of people like about them."

After Gurney has defeated Thompson 3-1 in the final match of the night, Holmes proudly tells me that the International Olympic Committee recently paid a visit to assess darts' Olympic credentials.

Sid Waddell only knows what the IOC members would have made of the sign on the backstage toilet mirror that reads 'DO NOT SPRAY FAKE TAN WITHIN THE LAKESIDE'. Something tells me darts' bigwigs have a lot more persuading to do.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    I agree, some of the PDC antics are "entertainment" but to say the darts is secondary when Tayor threw an average of nearly 110 in the final has to be a cynical, jealous comment from the BDO. I've watched some of the BDO this week and to be honest it is dull. Darts players as any other sportsmen this day and age deserve recognition for their efforts and money talks. It was mentioned over the PDC week that Co Stompe ahd earned more in his first year on the PDC circuit than in 10 years on the BDO. When you have a family to feed I think playing the game you love and getting paid more for it has to be a draw.
    One final thing, BDO is still covered on the BBC and for those poor souls who do not have a red button on their TV, cutting off Martin Adams the other night at 8pm sharp must have been a real turn off. That would never happen on Sky TV. And we still pay a licence fee??

  • Comment number 2.

    Although I agree about the sports entertainment of the PDC in relation to the crowds, I also think that the PDC remains more popular because they just have BETTER players.. Look at the Grand Slam of Darts.. 2 finals, 2 PDC v PDC

    Thats why the BDO champions move over, to play against the best and earn themselves some serious money.

    Could Ted Hankey and Simon Whitlock really fill arenas week in week out like the Premier League does? I think not..

    I'll look forward to Anderson and Webster following Thornton and King's example and moving to play with the big boys soon.

  • Comment number 3.

    The BDO may be the spiritual home, but the PDC has the better players and consistantly better matches.

    And also, please can we get away from Sid Waddell being the best commentator in the world! His awful, constant rabbiting non-sequiturs he thinks are clever drives me to turn the volume down on Sky's coverage. The BBC's best strength of it's coverage of the BDO tournament is that Waddell isn't on it!

  • Comment number 4.

    The BDO do make me laugh.

    OK, the history of the game is at Lakeside, but the BDO championships is nothing but second division darts let's be fair.

    Averages of 80-odd winning games, 90-odd winning them comfortably.

    There are possibly half a dozen to 10 max players that could make a living in the PDC arena.

    Wolfie Adams makes me laugh. Yes the new venue isn't the best, yes the crowd is more boisterous, yes there is a certain amount of ironic snobbery that goes on, with people going so that they can say at their Chelsea dinner parties what they did and have a laugh, but it's the same at the Lakeside. Does the bloke wearing a horse's head all week do that all week, or is it to get on the tele?

    Let's be fair. Fair play to the BBC for showing this tournament and for trying to big it up as the World Championships, but it's nothing more than a sideshow compared to the true Championships.

    The PDC championships is comfortably ahead in terms of standard of play, standard of coverage and standard of commentary.

    As for Bobby George, do we pay our licence fee for that? He gets my vote for worst tv pundit by a mile.

  • Comment number 5.

    I think 'Wolfie' is slightly biased in his comments attacking the PDC. I agree with him that the PDC is more 'entertaining', both the darts and the atmosphere. Truth is, 'Wolfie' would struggle to make it to the quarters at the Ally Pally so it's probably for the best that he remains a big dog at the BDO and captain of the England side whilst plugging some purist line and sticking close to the 'spiritual home of darts'.

  • Comment number 6.

    The article annoys me all you have is a one sided view from people within the BDO organisation. It no good only speakin to them because they are goin to bad mouth the PDC.

    And for that clown Holmes to claim that most people on the street would still name Eric Bristow if asked to name a darts player, is he for real or is he only asking people old enuff to have watched darts in the 70's and 80's.

    Also the comment about the Lakeside being the one every body wants to win is just plain stupid. If this is the case why do so many players move to the PDC before winning it??

    I am not tryin to totally bad mouth the BDO because i think it does a lot for the grass roots of darts and developing some younger talent, but lets face it any one that has any ambition in darts has to play against the best in the world and thats in the PDC.

  • Comment number 7.

    very bitter article.

    the BDO is so dull its untrue its like being at a morgue, and their is a reason why they hardly ever show the players averages on the BBC, its like comparing the premiere league to the conference the standards are so far apart.

    The PDC is way better in all compartments.


  • Comment number 8.

    Really good article.

    Agree with the comments so far - over the past 5 years or so the PDC has massively overtaken the BDO (as confirmed when Barneveld moved across). Indeed, when Jelle Klaasen won the 2006 BDO title he didn't even bother to defend it, he just jumped ship to the PDC.

    The article relates to the sport entertainment factor v the tradition of darts in the PDC v BDO rivalry. Although this is true I just think this has much more to do with the way the two broadcasters treat sport / broadcasting in general: Sky hype everything, so they hype the PDC into something that whips the crowd into a frenzy. The BBC is obviously less garish and more subtle in its approach, so I think this explains why the atmospheres are different (not to mention the venues: country club v glorified pub - certainly in the case of the Circus Tavern when the PDC was played there).

    But to say the darts at the PDC is secondary is incorrect. Having been to the world champs at both the Ally Pally and the Circus Tavern I can tell you that people genuinely go to enjoy the sport. And let's face it, darts is more enjoyable when players are averaging 100+, hitting big check outs and scoring lots of 180s. Unfortunately for the BDO this happens an awful lot more in the PDC these days.

  • Comment number 9.

    Just a couple of comments.

    The spiritual home of world darts is and always will be Jollees in Stoke On Trent where it started in the 70's not the Lakeside.

    Why do BDO players feel the need to make snidey little comments about the PDC when it's obvious that the PDC have the better tournaments, prize money , coverage etc it just proves that the original "rebels" were right all along and that darts was stagnant under the BDO.

    Who would you rather see as a world champion 14 times winner Phil Taylor or someone who things he's a vampire !!!!! 'nuff said

  • Comment number 10.

    Let's face it, any shred of hope for darts to be taken even half seriously ended when it split into two different leagues. If the people who play and run the game can't see that, they are sadly mistaken. They should look at what happened to the Indy 500 when all the good drivers went off and formed a rival competition, leaving the big race but with no name competitors - very quickly people stopped caring about both.

    And remember the rule for determining whether an activity is a sport or not. If you can smoke while you're doing it, it's not a sport.

  • Comment number 11.

    Very good blog, it's nice to see some realisation in the modern press that despite perhaps having some better players, the PDC is a bit of a charade. BDO is the main organisation breeding new talent and without the BDO the PDC would be nothing more than a pipe dream. T

    he history of darts will always eminate from the Lakeside, no matter what outlandish stunts with it's slightly better players the PDC bring to us.

  • Comment number 12.

    Point 8

    If it's merely entertainment you want, watch me and my mates play. We have a laugh, tell jokes, and the standard is awful, but close. And the interminable time spent trying to hit a double would make tension-filled tv.

    Point 10

    You can neither drink nor smoke playing darts any more.

  • Comment number 13.

    Point 11

    Your Kidding your self if you think that the only way the PDC get new talent is from the BDO. Yes some start there and it is benificial to them but please dont tell me you think its the only place they get players from.

  • Comment number 14.

    The BDO offers more personalities and a far nicer atmosphere, both in terms of attending and watching on television. I concede that the standard is generally better in the PDC, but the better TV is with the BBC.

  • Comment number 15.

    #12 - I'm not talking about what's permitted during televised professioanl competitions, I'm talking about whether phsycially you, me or anyone can play a game of darts while smoking a cigarette. From personal experience, the answer is absolutely.

  • Comment number 16.

    I've only watched half an hour of the BDO this year and that was plenty enough. The commentator was getting over excited about a match where both players were averaging under 85 and one of them missed the board going for a double... I may try and qualify next year!

    I'm not sure why Adams reckons the Ally Pally is a poor venue..? 2,500 people all having a laugh whilst watching some proper darts making a bit of a din (apart from a small minority who do heckle) is fun and some more. Was there on the 30th for the Baxter v Barney game and the atmosphere was absolutely electric, then you look at the Lakeside and it's almost graveyard-esque in comparison.

    On with the BDO bashing!

  • Comment number 17.

    the better TV is with the BBC

    don't make me laugh

  • Comment number 18.

    #15

    I've played five a side with a guy who had a fag on. I know cricketers who smoke in the field....

  • Comment number 19.

    #15 - I've quite often played a game of football with a fag hanging out of my mouth and half my sunday side have a couple of pints before a game. OK, it's not big or clever but it totally negates your point.

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi All,

    I cant disagree more. The PDC is where it is at. The great players, entertaining action, fantastic atmosphere, brill entrances and amazing commentary all make for a cracking competiton.
    The BDO is boring, dull and the standard of dart players is shocking. Forget doubles, they cant hit treble 20's!
    And when a good player comes along on the BDO, he goes where the real players are an switches to the PDC, as we all know from the many many that have switched.
    When I watch taylor v barney, or even in the 1st round, jenkins and part get knocked out, barney v baxter, or taylor getting a 110 avg, barney's 9 darter. Thats darts for me. When ITV did the grand slam of darts, you once again see the difference in darting quality, against each brand.
    I dont think the BDO comes close to the PDC in anyway.
    And the players obviously don't either, or they wouldnt swtich. The BDO is the platform for players to make the PDC. FACT

  • Comment number 21.

    And someone meantioned bristow! he is now a sky PDC pundit! He knows where the game is at too.

  • Comment number 22.

    The BDO has been and always will be the heart and soul of darts; as another poster wisely said average joe public can only mane abut 3 players, i.e. the ones who lit up the Embassy stage...Jocky Wilson (come back Jocky son you are much missed) John Lowe Eric Bristow the holy trinity of darts in its BDO guise.

    Sorry PDC you are simply the dart's version of football's Premier League: all money, no history and no class.

    Long Live the BDO.

  • Comment number 23.

    The BDO has been and always will be the heart and soul of darts; as another poster wisely said average joe public can only name abut 3 players, i.e. the ones who lit up the Embassy stage...Jocky Wilson (come back Jocky son you are much missed) John Lowe Eric Bristow the holy trinity of darts in its BDO guise.

    Sorry PDC you are simply the dart's version of football's Premier League: all money, no history and no class.

    Long Live the BDO.

  • Comment number 24.

    Lots of people watching darts nowadays probably don't even know why we have the BDO and PDC. Bristow, Taylor, Lowe and the rest were right to start their own organisation after darts started to decline in the early 90's.

    It's quite funny when Adams said after his first round match that he expected a tough game from an opponent who had had a good season at county level!!

    Adams may well be scared of big time darts. He doesn't even attempt playing in the Grand Slam of Darts, an event which a couple of BDO players such as Anderson and Fitton have had reasonable success. Surely it won't be long before thay make the move over to where the money and quality players are.

    A very one sided article which i'm sure the PDC won't even take notice of. And yes, you probably do get a few more excited people in the PDC crowds... considering Taylor and the like play in front of 2000 to 3000+ people instead of 500 to a 1000.

  • Comment number 25.

    Post 14, spot on mate.

    I have always been a BDO fan despite conceding the talent in the PDC is far superior now. I was bitterly dissappointed when King switched back in early 2007 and when Barney eventually did that was really the beginning of the end.

    Adams is and will always be my favourite player and last year's final was an epic, with my nose growing I never doubted him for a minute. It is just a shame these two sporting bodies cannot make amends because the sport in it's entirety will be so much stronger for a unification.

    You cannot blame players for switching to the PDC, after all that's where the money is and the oppurtunity to pit your wits against the very best bar Wolfie of course.

    Nice to see dart's getting a bit more recognition so well done Dirsy, the snooker comment was spot on aswell.

  • Comment number 26.

    I think something we are overlooking here is that if I want to watch the PDC I have to pay £40 to Sky.

    The PDC also shows about 10 tournaments a year, which is fair enough but they are rarely evening matches that most people can watch, we only get the highlights after their football coverage.

    The BBC offers the darts at no cost without a collosal dish being glued to my chimney, with the same 'New Year' excitment of when I watched the darts as a boy.

    When Sky make it cheaper to watch, perhaps they will start to change my mind.

  • Comment number 27.

    Many of the players at the top of the PDC circuit have come from BDO simultaniously yet the BDO always replaces these players. Move players like Barney, Klassens, King, Van der Voort, Van Gerwen, Thornten, Stompe (all recently crossed over) back to the BDO & just think how much of a better BDO competition we would have had. Only Barney was a multiple major winnr on the BDO circuit but having to attempt to compete with Taylor has improved the standards of all the PDC players i believe. Once Taylor finishes im not sure the gap in class will be so obvious. The only difference between the two really is the money on offer, meaning any half decent player would be silly not to switch to the PDC.

  • Comment number 28.

    A lot of people are talking about the standards of play and it is obvious to everyone with a brain that Taylor is far and away the greatest player and that 110.9 average is untouchable.

    What is not being discussed though is the actual difference in overall standard. A friend of mine calculated the average of the 3-dart averages in the last 32 of the PDC tournament just finished and the 1st round (last 32) of the BDO tournament and the difference is quite astounding:

    PDC = 92.77
    BDO = 84.30

    It muct be said that the round of 32 in the PDC is over 7 sets to the 5sets of the BDO first round. However, I think this goes to show that the better standard of darts is in the PDC albeit that the BDO does have a few very good players.

  • Comment number 29.

    This is a very interesting article and is probably one of the major topic of debate amongst darts fans - which is the better organisation.

    Without wishing to completely dismiss the BDO, I think it is quite obvious that the PDC is by far and away the best organisation. I am 22 years old and I have never in my lifetime known darts be so popular - and what is the reason for this? An annual tournament with a subdued crowd at a country club or 8 - 10 major tournaments a year (including a fantastic Premier League concept) in huge venues, with big crowds all enjoying themselves watching some of the greatest darts players on the planet?Sky have made darts popular - the way they portray it on TV makes it look appealing to people watching and makes them want to go or even take up the sport. I think also the influence of Phil Taylor cannot be underestimated. The man has made the sport his own and is a reason why it is so popular.

    I admit that perhaps the PDC is more of an entertainment factor than the BDO but Sky have made the best out of what is basically a pub sport.

    The standard of play is clearly higher in the PDC and I can think of only 3 or 4 players in the BDO who would make it in the PDC where surely the attractions are bigger.

    The BDO is nothing more than a starting point for these players, and people like Martin Adams who it would appear is to remain in the BDO for the rest of his career, whilst being admired for their loyalty, surely must feel a sense of a waste of talent - that he hasn't pitted his wits against the greatest players on the planet and will always be a big fish in a small pond.

    I think though the crux of the matter is that its ridiculous that a sport like darts should have 2 governing bodies anyway, but that's a totally new debate all together...

  • Comment number 30.

    martin adams says the PDC crowd is terrible!
    look at the bdo crowd dull holiday makers that quite frankly would prefair a cabaret or something like that than watch some borting darts match averiging 80 thinking their great look at the pdc brilliant atmosephere at the events they care about the fans and love thier darts they look for sponsorship and get darts on the telly a lot more so to be quite fair the bdo worlds isnt the one to win the pdc is the one with the most money the better players so if you want to win a world championship who would you prefair to beat in a final martin adams or phil taylor

  • Comment number 31.

    Personally I prefer the BDO and the BBC darts coverage of their championship. I know the PDC is a higher standard and that's the place to be to earn serious money but i think the BDO and the Lakeside feel more cosy. Its not so boisterous, it seems people really are there to enjoy the darts. Also the commentator's on Sky are absolutely abysmal, all you get is inane chatter from them its awful! The BBC provide better statistical coverage during the match as well, giving you the 3 dart averages, averages for the first 9 darts and they tell you what score each dart's landed in as soon as its landed. Its sometimes difficult to know if a dart's hit the 20 or the treble but the BBC tells you straight away.

    As i've said I can see why people would prefer the PDC as you can see from the averages that the best players are there but at the end of the day i'm not a die-hard fan. I watch it for a bit of enjoyable entertainment and for me the organisation and coverage that gives me that is the BDO Championships on the Beeb.

  • Comment number 32.

    Re: Post 6.

    Actually Holmes is probably right about the average person on the street as my mate has no interest in darts and he can only name 2 players who are Taylor and Bristow

  • Comment number 33.

    I've regularly been to both the PDC and BDO events down the years and both tournaments have strengths.
    I prefer the Lakeside venue and the fact it is accessible on the BBC. Like peoples' comment the PDC don't seem to have found the right venue and also the Sky factor just makes it cheesey and overblown.
    Yes the PDC do have the better players and in depth. But the BDO do have about 6 players who could (and may still) go to the PDC and win plenty of matches.

    People talk about the averages and if you want to be a slave to them you can be. But when you watch a game in PDC and BDO you will see 180s 140s and tons being scored in both - and it isn't that noticeable if you get a few extra in the PDC. I don't sit there saying "oh dear that was a 88 ave set whilst in the PDC that would have been 95 , so I am turning this off now".
    No I look for good matches as well as the average. For example the Fitton v Whitlock game last night. There are of course good games in the PDC too. I am just saying the average isn't that vital as long there is some decent scoring the the legs are progressing.
    Ok so Taylor hits a 100+ average , great, but watching him stroll to 13 world titles (and even when he doesn't win he looks most of the time as if he will) isn't the most interesting. I don't sit there at the end saying "never mind the fact it was a boring one sided match / tournament at least he got a really good average".

    By the way it is Bordon not Borden.

  • Comment number 34.

    The boozy fagged up days of the old BDO tournies the best and grandest of 'em all. Bullseye was good toobck then; they all lined up to get on it like guests on Morecambe and Wise.

    PDC not better just different, you pays your money you takes your choice.

  • Comment number 35.

    so fans at Lakeside don't get boozed up and wave boards around trying to be seen on tv?

    oh right.. i must've been hallucinating when I saw exactly this happening.

  • Comment number 36.

    The BDO slags of the 'entertainment' aspect of the PDC, yet on a BBC Five Live interview with corrent BDO world champion Mark Webster - he confirmed that they are in discussion with Setanta Sports to take the game forward. Setanta copy everything that Sky does anyway. What will be their excuse for the inferior dart average when that happens??

    Wolfie isn't good enough to live in One-dart Manleys shadow - and thats one hell of a shadow!!

  • Comment number 37.

    you leave Wolfie alone, he' s grrrrrrrreeeeaaaatt!

    post 35. i'm talking about the players not the fans!

  • Comment number 38.

    TO say that standard is irrelevant is a very strange point.

    I don't deny that you can watch good matches on the BDO because there are many I have enjoyed but it is the same with the championship in football many good matches and some good players.

    Ultimately though if you want to watch the world's best challenge each other at the top of their sport you have to watch the PDC.

    I agree watching somebody win a world title easily 7-1 in the final is not ideal but it is the same as in golf. Watching woods win majors by 5 or 6 shots isn't that exciting but it is enthralling because the sheer standard is mind-boggling. The same is true with Taylor. It wasn't exciting in the final vs. Barney, but to see undoubtedly the world's second best player taken apart by one of the greatest all-time performances was truly remarkable.

  • Comment number 39.

    BDO slags off the boards and walk-on etc. and then goes and copies it without remorse. Robert Holmes really is one unintelligent fellow.

  • Comment number 40.

    perhaps it's a generational thing, some of us who went to the famous embassy darts matches in the late 70s and early 80s are no different than football fans who long for the return of standing terraces; maybe the present BDO isn't so wonderful but it's a link with a glorious past, and it is one worth preserving.

  • Comment number 41.

    The only thing i'd agree with in the whole article is that sometimes the hecklers at Ally Pally and other PDC events lack respect. Booing in the Mardle V's Thornton was shocking to say the least. The real dart fans have respect for both players,whoever there supporting.

    As for the rest of the article, you do have to laugh..........The PDC and Sky are lightyears ahead in both the organization and coverage. During commentary 2 days ago i heard dreary old Tony Green (while i was slipping in/out of consciousness) asking Ted Hankey which way will the player left on 3 would go to checkout.................Bobby George and his yellow teeth and his tacky bling are cringeworthy to say the least. His seventies/eighties bling is a sign of the past as is Olly Croft and his Maroon Blazer.

    The whole Lakeside event is stuck in the Dark ages. Darts has moved on ten fold, yet the BDO stick to the same old floored system.

    I do agree it has it's place at bringing youth players through. But once there good enough they will inevitabily move over to the PDC so they can use there talent to make a good living.

    Martin Adams is a medium size fish in a tiny pond. Would he even make it through the first round at Ally Pally?

  • Comment number 42.

    "TO say that standard is irrelevant is a very strange point"

    I think you are responding to me?
    Nope I didn't say it was irrelevant, I just said it is not the ONLY thing and I am not a slave to it like some people are . "No I look for good matches AS WELL as the average."

    I admire Taylor. He is amazing. Sure. I am just saying a great average does not always mean exciting darts like some people state here. Taylor scores a great average and whilst of course we all know how good he is, but sometimes the average doesn't make close and exciting matches, which for me is as important as average.

  • Comment number 43.

    SirPhillipTaylor, completely agree with what you have written. Yes there's booing and nobody suffered more than one-dart. He has managed to turn that around to his advantage and the crowds love him. Mardle and typically James Wade struggle to block the background noise out.

    The PDC is exciting and for once I don't mind the staoppages for adverts so I can get up and dance and swing my pint around!! LOL.

  • Comment number 44.

    Point 26. 'The PDC also shows about 10 tournaments a year, which is fair enough but they are rarely evening matches that most people can watch, we only get the highlights after their football coverage.'

    Are you kidding? We've just had 13 evening sessions shown live from 7pm and lasting until 10pm or 11pm. In a few weeks, we will start 14 successive Thursday night broadcasts in the Premier League. Later in the year, there will be live tournaments featuring evening broadcasts from Bolton, Blackpool and Dublin.

    The PDC has revived my interest in darts which had disappeared when my only viewing option was the BDO. The quality is vastly superior and a 5 figure crowd will attend the Liverpool Echo Arena next month. You couldn't get 10,000 people who aren't ardent BDO fans to tell you who Martin Adams or 'Wolfie' are.

    Barney has improved massively since switching to the PDC. He had to if he wanted to compete. I sugest that Adams and Wolfie know they'd be out of their depth.

    The only thing I will say against the Sky coverage is Waddell. The man used to be a likeable idiot, but seeems to have become a parody of himself now.

  • Comment number 45.

    Point 26: BDO is moving over to Setanta. Subscription for PDC or BDO. Your choice!

  • Comment number 46.

    Martin Adams is simply running scared as he knows he can't compete with the talent of even "average" PDC players. When averages in the mid 80s consistently win games and tournaments in the BDO it shows the gulf between the two.

    I wouldn't surprise me if not one player averages over 100 in a game in the BDO "World Championship" whilst Barney was annihilated with a 102 average in the PDC final and Taylor averaged over 100 for the whole tournament.

    The most telling comment over the past few weeks is from Kirk Shepherd, "I’m going back to the BDO and back to work. I’m just not good enough for the PDC."

    Talent and money talk, the PDC has both. The BDO is sadly second rate.

  • Comment number 47.

    Yeah it would have been good to have the alternate view of the PDC. To say the darts is secondary is completely wrong, everyone gets very involved in the games as the standard is so high. The atmosphere created at Alexandra Palace is absolutely electric, you can tell the players enjoy the event, right from the walk ons.

  • Comment number 48.

    Here we go more average talk. Yawn. In cricket I don't watch it because someone might get 35 average over a season or whatever. You go to watch a game of cricket, the contest, not the average. Runs can be scored at the most important time to win matches, it's not just about averages. People go to see a game, a contest, enjoy the occasion etc.

    Yes the PDC has better averages and the standard is better. Great. BDO has better venue and better non cheesey Sky atmosphere. We don't know who will win every year like the PDC Worlds. Both tournaments are good IMO both have strengths.

  • Comment number 49.

    What happens to the BDO this year if Webster,Waites,Whitlock and Anderson move over to the PDC?

    You will spend the next 10 years watching 'The Count' v'S 'Wolfie' in the final with Dreary old Tony Green snooring at the mic!

  • Comment number 50.

    I'd agree that the 'real' element of darts is one of the best things about it. I went to the Lakeside in 2004 and was sitting right next to a table on which a couple stopped Barney as he walked past to ask him for an autograph.

    Barney stopped to say something to the couple and walked off. I assumed he'd given them the brush-off, but somebody next to me said 'he's just said he's a bit tired now (having just finished a match) but will come back in a bit and sign their programme'.

    And twenty minutes later, Barney did.

    In what other sport would you get that level of consideration from one of its biggest superstars?

    Having been to a Premier League date this past year, I would say that the atmosphere's nothing compared to Lakeside, but that's to do with the size of the venues and their lack of character, not the darts being played.

    I'd also say that it's unfair to brand people 'not real fans' just because they're throwing beer about. I saw plenty of drunken loudness at Lakeside and only the fact you wouldn't get away with throwing beer there has probably stopped some people. Lads spending £400 in a week on beer aren't going to be *just* there for the sport are they?

  • Comment number 51.

    "You will spend the next 10 years watching 'The Count' v'S 'Wolfie' in the final with Dreary old Tony Green snooring at the mic!"

    And you will spend the next 10 years watching 'The Power' easily beating 'Barney' in the final with useless Waddell pumping up the Sky hype.

  • Comment number 52.

    Point 26. What are you on about being able to watch darts for free on the BBC, but you have to pay £40 to Sky to watch the PDC.

    Let's be clear.

    It costs £139.50 a year for a BBC license, that's nearly £12 a month and you don't have a choice.

    But really, this is a tiresome argument. Sky dominate the sports agenda because they put their money where their mouth is and they back the sports appropriately.

    I am not a subscriber, I might add. But I do have freeview and I grow tired of the times that the BBC brag about their sports coverage, but then show nothing but contempt for the viewer by leaving a programme in the middle of a darts/snooker match etc.

    Under the BBC I remember the days watching late night highlights of an away cricket test match. With Sky - you see every ball live.

    Whenever the BBC have a sports package, they just shove it anywhere in the schedules, with non consistent timings.

    And as for Bobby George - he was never a great player (yet he is listed above as a player who made the game great). His legend has been made in the last few years as a dozy pundit.

    If I could remove my £12 a month from BBC's pockets and add another £28 to get Sky, I would...

  • Comment number 53.

    #51

    Any darts fan who does not appreciate 'The Power' and his achievements in Darts for me is not a real darts fan.

    He is undoubtabley one of the greatest sportsmen ever. Darts fans should be made up in the fact that they are witness to the greatest dart player there will ever be!

    Phil Taylor is up there with Ali, Phelps, Schumacher, Woods, Rod lehman and so on.

    You can only beat whats in front of you. Whoever has moved across and gone toe to toe with 'The Power' has only made Phil Taylor play better. Living Legend!

    The 'unification' of Darts has already happened within the PDC. All the best best and top players play there!

  • Comment number 54.

    Bobby George is an absolute joke. You only have to read his site to realise how deluded this man is - and that the BBC have created a monster. Here are a few snippets:

    "BOBBY GEORGE is widely recognised as the best known and most colourful and charismatic darts player of all time."

    Er best known - Phil Taylor, Eric Bristow???!!!!

    "He's been featured in 'Gillette World Of Sport' (seen by an audience of 100 million worldwide) and it is hardly surprising that he is universally acknowledged as 'The King Of Darts'. "

    Who by?

    "He has more trophies, awards, honours and accolades than practically any player in the sport. "

    Er - are you kidding? Any player in the sport? The lad won nothing - not even one world championship. Please. Somebody put this caveman out to seed...

  • Comment number 55.

    Point 51. Taylor has won only half the major events since Barney switched to the PDC. James Wade has won 3! Hardly evidence that Taylor will win the next 10 World titles!

  • Comment number 56.

    Am I missing the point here...but isn't the main reason people watch sport is to be entertained?

    In my opinion the BDO, and World Championships in particular has been poor ever since Barneveld left. The loss of all the best players has only highlighted further how poor the coverage and setup is. How long before the BBC lose coverage to yet another sporting event because of this?

    Adams has been in denial regarding the quality of the PDC for years. And the main reason for the atmosphere within PDC tournaments is that the quality of darts and setup attracts a younger audience who want to be entertained. Is that not a good thing for the future of darts?

    Only Webster and Anderson have the potential to be successful in the PDC - Adams wouldn't handle the pressure.

    I also think in 5-10 years time everyone will be talking about the history of the PDC and Phil Taylor.

  • Comment number 57.

    The PDC is better than the BDO.......period!
    I was at the Ally Pally on the 29th of December and saw the Adrian Lewis v Paul Nicholson match, and it was a fantastic game which Nicholson, an unknown, won! The BDO only has 3-4 good players and they would struggle to make the top 20 in the PDC.

    When i turned on to the BDO and saw someone throw a 43 followed by a 41 that straight away made me not want to watch, if you have a choice of watching somoeone throw a 1099 average or an 80 average which one are you going to choose?

  • Comment number 58.

    #53

    anyone that tells me I am 'not a real darts fan' is not a real darts fan lol

    I mean your name SirPhillipTaylor immediately shows where you stand on this.

    If you read my comments above I said Taylor is amazing. I agree.

    My point was I don't share the view with these people that say great average automatically equals great darts viewing and therefore that makes the better tournament. Average counds for something but I don't think it is ALL important. Personally I sometimes look at the PDC and seeing Taylor's procession whilst yes he is amazing and will have a great average it is not that exciting for some of us.

    The PDC has the better players and the better average and Taylor is easliy the best player agreed. The greatest.
    It doesn't mean we all look as individuals for those criteria too for enjoyable darts - and will dismiss the BDO because of it.

    Some people will go to a game of cricket the highest quality as proven by averages and league table. Others will go to a specifc venue, or ambiance, for the contest and occasion.

    Great golf tournaments can still happen when Tiger Woods is injured.

    Personally I think the BDO has enough good quality players for it to be watchable and enjoyable, good matches , open tournament in that we don't know who is going to win, lower averages sure but I am not a slave to that and I still see 180s etc, it has the better venue and non Sky cheesyness and I get to see it because it is not on exclusive Sky.

  • Comment number 59.

    Bdo is seconda rate from the players to the officials and in particular that buffoon Tony Green, one player was left with 3 the other night and Tony says and I quote " let's see which way she goes" 1 double 1 by any chance - if you want darts fans to watch the bdo stop talking to them like childrfen and making stupid comments during the action. If you don't respect your audience you will end up having none.

    Nevertheless I am happy that bbc shows this tournament annually even though it is a shadow of the PDC, it has now become like the boat race and the grand national - you watch it for the occasion rather than the quality

  • Comment number 60.

    #55

    Taylor had a bad year in 2007, but he has won pretty much everything this year AGAIN. He has won 13 out of 16 world titles, so it is possible he will keep winning winning which for some of us isn;t the most exciting and enjoyable thing.

  • Comment number 61.

    Martin Adams has never said one good thing about the PDC.

    He would never have a won a world championship if Barney, King, Klassen, Van erwen etc had not left the BDO. SUrley as a top sportsman you should want to test your skills against the best in the world, and adams has always declined the opportunity.

    The BDO does not have the same atmosphere as the PDC and needs beeter cooentators who actually express some exitement about the game. The BBC coverage was a lot better when John Part was on the commantary team. There are some great players in the BDO Anderson especially, with Fitton, Webster, Waites and Whitlock more than capable of holding there own in the PDC and i wonder wow long they can ignore the challenges and rewards that go with the PDC!

    Martin Adams show show some guts and and compete with the best proffesional dart players in the worls and show what he i smade of, instead of taking on pub players in a second rate championship!

  • Comment number 62.

    cs15hammer ;

    You seem to be missing the point that in darts, averages ARE everything. Darts is not an athletic sport, there are so few variables in the sport that it doesnt have that much going for it to make it an interesting sport.

    The ONLY thing that makes darts fun to watch, is high scoring and big checkouts.

    No one wants to waste their evening watching largely overweight englishmen throwing "60....41....85....100...23....95....140....83...." there just isnt enough variables etc to make that worthwhile. The averages clearly show, this is what you get year in year out in the BDO. I really like watching the PDC darts, because I know im going to see guys at the top of their game throwing big numbers and big checkouts. There is absolutely no attraction in watching men in a quiet hall throwing average darts.... I dont watch the BDO but the thought of watching a tourney where mid 80s average can win the whole thing.....*shudder*

    Averages DO matter in darts, because darts can only be a good spectacle if great darts are being thrown. PDC all the way

  • Comment number 63.

    Point 53...

    Please don't call Phil Taylor a 'sportsman'

    He is undoubtably the best darts player ever. But darts isn't a sport, it's a pub game.

    And to compare him to Ali is just laughable.

  • Comment number 64.

    Im sure most people will agree with me that watching the PDC and seeing (for example) '180 - 180 - 140 - 137 - 140' type sequences, with the crowd going absolutely mental, gets the juices flowing immensely, this is the kind of fare that is regular at the PDC events, especially the latter stages, only need to watch anyone from the likes of taylor, barney, wade, hamilton, klaasen, baxter, jenkins, part , king etc etc they all produce this stuff. its brilliant

  • Comment number 65.

    Point #26

    What are you on about saying that Sky only show highlights in their darts coverage? They have 5 major PDC events a year plus the premier league and every dart thrown is shown live. All of these events have evening sessions and the top billing matches are given a prime time slot to make it possible for people to see the best players at peak times.

    Contrast this with the BBC's coverage of the 2 BDO majors. The masters action is all finished by 7pm and coverage is rarely of live matches - just selected highlights (oddly selected highlights too - no Gary Anderson coverage for example). And the flagship World Darts event is on for 1 hour live in the evening and for a few hours at the weekend with absolutely no flexibility in the schedule for live matches over-running (eg. Adams vs Chilnall, Whitlock vs Fitton) when coverage is basically cut off. Granted there is full red button coverage but it's done on the cheap with no actual content or match reaction between the matches. Also, the highlights are then on at around midnight, so hardly viewer friendly.

  • Comment number 66.

    comment 26 struck a chord with me.

    I don't care about the politics between the BDO and PDC, but i have always watched darts just as the new year comes in and i've always enjoyed the tournament, since I was little. It was that which inspired me to throw a few arrows in a freezing cold garage in the middle of january. With all the defections the BDO seems to get weaker every year but like every other sport if you want people to get into these sports as kids then you need a strong BBC covered BDO tournament. The PDC rivalries take the game to a great level, but for grass roots you can't dismiss the importance of the stuffy old BDO.

  • Comment number 67.

    The PDC darts was probably the best thing on TV over the Christmas & New Year holiday - mind you that probably isn't saying much.

    I have tried to get into the BDO tournament this week, but I just can't. The real reason that Adams doesn't up sticks and join the PDC is he just ain't good enough - end of story.

    However, I get the distinct impression that the PDC draw is "managed" (doctored). I can't recall ever seeing Phil Taylor playing a match in the afternoon. Am I mistaken? I reckon that Sky Sports dictates when he plays so ensure a maximum prime time audience.

    Also, is there ever a Taylor match on Sky where Sid Waddell isn't commentating. Is that also "fixed"?



  • Comment number 68.

    #62 Tenipurist

    Excellent post, spot on!
    -----------------------------------
    'cs15hammer'

    You may aswell watch your darts down the pub then. A colour TV Licence costs you £139.50. The pub offers better value with beer included!

  • Comment number 69.

    #60. Maybe Taylor is set on another period of domination. However, in my eyes this makes for great viewing. You switch on and see someone playing their sport to an exceptional standard or you get the drama of someone beating him occassionally. I've nothing against Taylor at all but loved to see him lose (2006/2007 slump excepted). It provided excitement of the 'ring up and tell your mates to watch' variety. As long as he loses because someone else has lifted their game, not because Phil has slumped to BDO standard darts, I enjoy it. If he plays at a level that no-one can match, as he did last week, admire the craft of one of the best sportsmen around.

  • Comment number 70.

    Its interesting that most people here seem fixated with whether the PDC is indeed better than the BDO. It quite clearly is better, but that does not in any way devalue the Lakeside tournament.

    You can look at the averages and Taylors oustanding performance on Sunday and dismiss the BDO as second rate, but that is not giving the organisation the credit it deservces.

    The BDO is where the young and up and coming players can establish themselves and learn to play at the top level. True, the majority of these players then move to the PDC to earn a handsome living, but who wouldn't given half the chance.

    While it may be controversial to say that the BDO is home of spiritual darts, most of the PDC players started off there. After all Sunday's PDC final was contested by two fomer BDO title holders and five out of the eight quarter finalists at Ally Pally have plied their trade in the BDO within the last 3 years.

    When the 100/1 outsider Klaasen overcame Barney in the Lakeside final at the same time that Phil the Power hammered Manley 7-0 at the circus tavern, you could have argued that the BDO version was the more entertaining that year.

    I myself am a massive fan of both tournaments as I am a darts fan and player.

  • Comment number 71.

    Phil Taylor is the world champion and rightly so, he is the best in the world.

    I simply can't seriously call whoever wins the BDO world title on sunday world champion because he clearly won't be the best in the world or really that close to Taylor. In the best five if he's lucky.

    It may not be exciting watching a one-sided world final but at least it actually had the two best players in the world contesting it.

  • Comment number 72.

    #62 and #68

    well if you are saying darts is solely about mechanical averages then obviously you understand it a lot better than me. Do you sit there with a calculator and graph following the average and if they suddenly hit 100 ave, do a little dance naked down the road? And of they go below 90 suddenly switch off in disgust?

    So when Taylor hit 110 ave in an early round a few years back for the best average ever, that is your favourite match ever?

    When Barney came with back with guts and style to win in 2007 final against Taylor the context and contest was more important than the average. When Adams played Nixon and almost blew his 6-0 lead when trying to finally get his world crown - I wasn't quibbling about the average, as there was drama there. When Taylor and Gregory fought out their great final once people don't say well that was a great final because they got x average.

    There's more to darts than average, there is history, context, competition and guts and characters.

    As someone said above the choice is there take your choice between the 2 tourbaments. I'm glad I can watch both, and I do not bad mouth either event. If the BDO seems dated some of us enjoy it.

  • Comment number 73.

    As most above me have said, the BDO is just a step up to the PDC which is by far the better league/organisation, looking at the averages shows you that.

    The very fact that the BDO insist on giving 1st 9 dart averages as well as the overall averages says it all, their doubles are so porr that the averages are pathetic when put against the PDC.

    The top 25 in the PDC could beat anyone in the top 5 of the BDO, simple as that, the money is better, the entertainment is better and the standard is far far better.

    Wolfie doesn't like the noise and crowns in the PDC because he shakes like a girl when throwing a double in the 1st round of the BDO against a no-body and knows there is no chance he could cope under the pressure of the PDC, I notice that he also refuses to play the masters where both sides are welcome as he himself is more than aware that he is not good enough to compete against the best.

    Look at those who have moved accross more recently, Van Barnevald, Klassen, Van Gerwin, Van de Vaart, King, and the list goes on, all were better than wolfie when playing in the BDO and yet, although not struggling (and take Barney out the equation for this one) thery are not immediately the best in the PDC.

    Until the BDO accepts their place they will be a laughing stock (incidently even Bristow now only commentates on PDC).

  • Comment number 74.

    This debate will always rage.

    But with all the transfers since Barney, the PDC undoubtedly have the better darts overall.

    Yes, you get good matches in BDO Fitton v Whitlock a good example last night and you get some shockers in the PDC like Wade v Nicholson q/f but overall the PDC is where the best darts is and that's what matters to most of us darts fans.

    The crowd in the PDC are horrible yes, but that's Barry Hearn ramming as many in as he can to generate the cash, doesn't bother me, a TV viewer.

    Sid is starting to get on my nerves with his constant "stacking" and "use of the lie" technical ramblings, but that's not enough for me to prefer watching inferior darts.

  • Comment number 75.

    Its obvious that many players will go where they can earn most money. I watch both tournaments and enjoy both I do find wolfie a bit of a boring world champion but having said that i'm not a great fan of taylor.

    The gap between the 2 isn't as big as many make out put taylor and barney aside who are quite clearly in a league of their own and you have mervyn king in the semi's who never won a BDO championship.

    I watch alot of pdc darts and it is entertaining but the bdo is a bit more unpredictable pdc is dominated by taylor and barney.

  • Comment number 76.

    15: you miss the point that darts is played indoors and to my knowledge it is illegal to smoke inside.

    The other point that everyone seems to miss on here is that every PDC player is an ex BDO player.

    I agree that the best players are in the PDC but this is simply because of the money involved.

  • Comment number 77.

    Wrong!

    Sky's coverage of the PDC World Championships, as with all of their darts coverage, is superb.

    I went to the Ally Pally for a session of darts and the atmosphere was fantastic. It seems that the occasion transcends the sport - like the Football World Cup.

    In comparison, the BBC coverage is lacklustre and the standard of darts is relatively poor.

    Give me the Power and all that's great about the PDC over the BBC and BDO any day of the week.

    Da dadada daa dada dada daa dada dada daa. Oi! Oi! Oi!

  • Comment number 78.

    Can't help but comment on the person who has saisd "the BDO has all the personalities and the better TV coverage" - are you mental?? seriously that is a ridiculous statement.

    They have Adam's who has no personality, Webster, the same he's like a very poor James Wade, and a man who pretends he's dracula!!!!

    what are you on, the BBC stops coverage at what 7pm, then you need the red button and even then converage stops between matches, an absolute farce, thsoe who disagree are watching something different to me or are just biased towards the BDO, I watch both and always hope the BDO standard rises, but it never does.

  • Comment number 79.

    one last comment cause the naivity of some people is annoying me now...

    "every PDC player is an ex BDO player" - really? think you'll find this is not even remotely true

    "Barney and Tayor dominate the PDC and outside of them the standard is similar" - really?? have a look at planetdarts.tv and see who won the PDC tournaments this year, Taylor won a few, Barney won I think 0, Wade won some plus a few others so don#'t talk rubbish.

    If you're not going to do your research don't bother making these totally incorrect statements.

  • Comment number 80.

    POST 3 - regarding Sid Waddell - I completely agree

    The PDC is obviously the number one tournament - however SKY's obsession with constantly ramming the point down viewers throats drives me nuts - for example prior to the Taylor/Barney final Sky were trying to bill it as the 'greatest ever darts match in history' funnily enough it turned in to the usual Taylor walkover, hardly worth watching after the 3rd set

    I'm also dismayed that Sky tried to con the viewers into thinking that Barneveld's 9 dart finish was 'the first ever in the World Championships' - I think not - Paul Lim did one in the Embassy in 1990 - just another example of SKY's 'we own the whole of sport' attitude - pathetic

    As for Sid Waddell, well annoying is an understatement..I used to love the guy, but over recent years his commentary has become predictable and repetitive to the extreme - in particular he's become obsessed with Taylor's 'scientific understacking' !! he must have coined this phrase about 100 times over the course of the tournament - someone should put him out of his misery

  • Comment number 81.

    Hi All,

    I have read the posts with much interest and I have to say I was at Lakeside on sat and as good fun as it was its not a patch on the PDC. There is a pretty big gulf in class but as people I was talking to on Saturday said Lakeside makes for a good breeding ground for the PDC which is a fair point.

    Personally for me if I am going to watch Live Darts I want to go and see the blokes i see on TV every week in the Premier League - The Barneys, Taylors, Manleys, Mardles etc - watching a bunch of fat old blokes chucking 80 averages is not the way forward.

    Im off to Ally Pally this December!

  • Comment number 82.

    Everyone knows that the PDC is better, but there are some interesting points here...
    Last week when the PDC was on trying to find the results on the BBC website was like pulling teeth, now all of a sudden while the BBC shows the BDO championship there is a darts section, funny that. Surely the BBC should be impartial and not try to big up it's own event by barely covering its rival?
    Also I noticed in this article that no-one who has been involved with the PDC was invited to pass comment, despite the fact several BDO luminaries have had their say quite vociferously.
    Propaganda? You decide.

  • Comment number 83.

    "Aah, but Wolfie, how can you be so naive? Everyone knows that you can cheat to your heart's content in cycling and athletics, serve a two-year ban and all will be forgiven. "

    That's a bit naive yourself, Mr. Dirs. Look at poor old Dwain Chambers who has tried to atone by doing everything but put himself in the stocks for people to lob tomatoes at; he can't seem to get a race for love nor money. Or the wave of Italian cyclists (Magnani, Ricco, Basso, Sella, Chiappucci) who have been banned and all but ostracised from the Italian sporting consciousness.

  • Comment number 84.

    #82

    Surely the BBC will always give extra coverage and priority to the programmes and events that it shows in it's own channels?


    People put down the quality of the BDO. But Barney played 15 BDO world champs and Mervyn King over 10. Both PDC semi finalists this year and have played far less BDO tournaments.

    Taylor and Barney (who is as much BDO as PDC) I don't think there is that much difference between the top 5 other players. OK someone like Lewis will have a good day with average sometime, but I am sure people like Anderson and Webster could beat him.

  • Comment number 85.

    I actually like both organisations... I'll happily watch both when they're on and the lower standard in the BDO hasn't really bothered me in the past. However, the standard of game's in this year's 1st round at the Lakeside was shocking - some very poor performers.

    The problem with the BDO is that - rightly or wrongly - the masses and even casual-ish darts fans aren't particularly interested anymore. It's as if only now, some 20 years later, the effects of the split are REALLY beginning to show due to the increasing SKY coverage, all the best players leaving, the GSOD coverage on ITV, etc. The BDO only televises 2 tournaments a year, one of which lasts 2 days. They give live games 1 hour per night on BBC and a bit at weekends... Highlights at ridiculous times when noone will be able to watch... Even the stauchest BDO supporter will have to admit that it's poor...

    Some other observations. While the PDC commentary is silly at times, and Waddell's nonsense is out of control these days, Tony Green really is dire to listen to. Ex and current players really do make the best commentators regardless of affiliation.






  • Comment number 86.

    I think the general agreement is there is room in this would for both the bdo and the pdc.

    The Pdc has labelled itself the premiership of darts and this is true . It is where u can make a full tiem living from the professional sport you play, this is not the case with bdo so they will always have this amatueurish status.

    Once again though if you are a darts fan you will watch both as they offer somthing competely different.

    The PDC a high class polished product, the bdo a slightly stuffy old fashioned thing, but it is like visiting an old relative you are always happy to see it.

  • Comment number 87.

    could someone please tell me why the BBC persist in the afternoons showing 3 hours of highlights of the previous evening of darts, and then when it comes to the live coverage they cut the coverage of the one and only match shown live, just as it gets exciting?????

  • Comment number 88.

    about the commentary - I agree Wadell is awful to listen too but Tony Green and Bobby George on the BBC don't have a clue, get someone else in.

    Yesterday I was watching and, can't remember who it was, but a player was on 82 with 3 darts in his hand and threw for bull, which you see all the time in PDC as hitting bullobviously leaves 32 and hitting 25 leaves 57 meaning a simple 17 double top is left - Bobby george's comment was "why on earth is he throwing for bull, I;ve never seen that by someone on 82 before it doesn't make any sense"

    Tony didn't correct him and if they've never seem it finished like this before it just shows that the BDO are well below par.

  • Comment number 89.

    #86

    i completely agree. Some people will like one or the other , others will completely dismiss one or the other. The choice is good. I like the PDC for the fact it has the best players mainly. The BDO still has some good players who could be PDC top 10 and it also has the old style unpolished school darts cr*ppyness that some of us like.

  • Comment number 90.

    Re: TeniPurist - "You seem to be missing the point that in darts, averages ARE everything."

    Unlike a lot of sports, I assume the best darts players play better in practice that in competition, because of the lack of pressure. Is this the case? If so, we'd probably be better off watching them practice than watching them compete. Unless, that is, the interest lies in the competition rather than the stats....

  • Comment number 91.

    Blimey, it's all kicked off...

    Difficult to reply to each individual comment, but here goes:

    First, it should be remembered that the piece is a blog. If it had been written as a straight feature, then of course I would have sought to make it more balanced. But it is essentially a record of my day out at the Lakeside, and as such it reflects only the thoughts of some BDO members about its rival, and not vice versa.

    DavidUnesco - "Surely the BBC should be impartial and not try to big up it's own event by barely covering its rival?" Erm, we did daily reports on the Sky event, just as we do daily reports on the BBC one, so it's not particularly helpful just making stuff up. Conversely, I don't remember Sky mentioning the BDO event at all.

    As for the standard of play, of course the PDC is better, there's no getting away from that. But I would also point out that Sky were forced to pull away from one of their first round matches because the standard was so poor, so it's not all great over there.

    Clearly most people replying to this blog prefer the PDC, and I can understand that: more razzmattazz, better standard, the best player ever. But of course BDO members are going to stick up for their organisation, and the blog reflects the thoughts of any of the fans I spoke to, namely that while they all loved the PDC event, they all believed the Lakeside was the spritual home of darts. But then they would say that, they were there.

    culopelosa - You seem to have a great deal of sympathy for these cycling cheats that have been "ostracised". Poor lambs.



  • Comment number 92.

    Just one more thing...

    A lot of grief for Sid Waddell, which I must say I'm surprised at. If there is one commentator who has done more for his respective sport, I'd like someone to name him. But I agree with his obsession with "stacking". What's that all about?

  • Comment number 93.

    Not sure if all comments have been taken or reported in correct context but as a half decent pub player who follows both I'd suggest that the BDO is still the main source of upcoming talent purely because it costs less to participate. It is true to say that the PDC has the better players and this is due to money. Robert Thorton moved to the PDC after getting £100 or so for reaching last 8 of a BDO Open whilst he was seeing one of the PDC guys get £8,000 or something for getting to same stage (albeit of one of the TV titles). I think that both the BDO and PDC have a part to play in darts but I do have a slight concern with the PDC at the moment. That is that in trying to take over the mantle of the "people's sport" from football (Barry Hearn has mentioned this I think) they go too far down that road and end up pricing the "people" out of attending the darts. The issue of the Ally Pally venue is intersting ... personally I wasn't that impressed with it and thought the Circus Tavern was far superior for atmosphere etc (albeit the Tavern is a bit of a dump essentially on the edge of an industrial estate) but the move is once again about money. The success of the Premier League (whether you believe that it's effectively a football crowd at a darts match or not) meant the jump to a bigger venue to make more money .... to be fair this money is getting fed back into the darts comps (albeit at the higher level of the game). Whilst the BDO claim a more "educated" crowd at Lakeside I'd suggest that these are people who play and watch darts most weeks whilst there are more non darters at the PDC event but to some extent that's because there are just more people. If the BDO people have a look back at some of the early tournaments like the News of the World or even the older world champs they'll see there was a lot more noise going on back then. As I say I believe there is a place for both, essentially the BDO being the feeder system to a large extent for the best players to move on and make real money via the PDC, however, I would suggest that whether it's Sky or BBC the commentators of Sid Waddell and Tony Green have both seen their best days ..... and those days were a long time ago ..... please get rid of both !!

  • Comment number 94.

    I am not sure why people are criticising BBC airtime. The games are all on red button which I am sure loads of people have access to, and included in the licence fee of 12 quid which pays for the overall BBC service for a year, and I find there is a lot more to watch besides darts.
    If you want to watch PDC you have to sign up to the 40 quid a month sky service (I wouldnt find too much else to watch) , so I find this far more inaccessible.

    #90 my points exactly. Looks like you have to have an excel spreadsheet to appreciate darts these days according to some on here.

  • Comment number 95.

    PDC are in a different league than the BDO. 1. they earn more money
    2. they are better players (Taylor average 110 wont be beaten by any BDO players)
    3. better coverage
    4. darts walk on girls
    5. Sid Waddell

    You are not really world champion unless you are in PDC cause Phil 'The Power' Taylor is not in the BDO draw.

  • Comment number 96.

    I've played darts for years but because I'm an American living in Germany, don't get to play it much, let alone watch.
    But Eurosport and DSF (German sports channel) were showing the two champs simultaneously, and without a doubt, the PDC was 10x better.
    The pts about stats being shown was a good one (they never appear on BDO).
    And sadly, when the women faced each other, the futility of them hitting doubles (and triples) was agonizing. True, more tension some of the time, but absolutely zero talent.
    Are there equally talented women to the men on PDC? Or even to the men on BDO?

  • Comment number 97.

    t's not about the red button. I know it's there, we all do, it's fine. However, the BBC doesn't seem to have faith in actually promoting it's competition properly. On the red button you have to wait between games for half an hour with results and upcoming matches. Isn't it interesting that, nearly 20 years after the split, the BDO are still showing such a lack of ambition?

    It's fair enough for those of who want to make the effort to watch it, but it's not attracting new fans, and doesn't seem bothered. Why?

    I'm not a BDO basher, but it's slipping away drastically IMO. If Anderson, Whitlock, Webster, etc leave this year, we might see Edwin Max as favourite for next year's "World Championship" - know what i mean?

  • Comment number 98.

    #94

    A thread elsewhere suggests the BDO signing up with Setanta so your licence fee won't get you BDO darts either.

    Perhaps Ben Dirs can squash that rumour?

  • Comment number 99.

    #97

    I understand your points. But as you say yourself " know it's there, we all do, it's fine." then surely the casual watcher can pick it up too and they will know it is there too?

  • Comment number 100.

    #16

    Ever seen a professional football player miss an open goal?

    I thought so.

    Missing the dart board is very, very, very awful play but it can happen.

 

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