How Popular Is Darts? Let’s Find Out With Facts
Darts is a game that has been played for centuries and still maintains its popularity around the world. Let’s explore just how popular darts is by examining its worldwide reach, popularity in the UK, presence in the US, and the reasons why it has remained a beloved game for so long.
- Is Darts Popular?
- What Country Is Darts Most Popular?
- How Popular Is Darts in the United States?
- Why Is Darts So Popular?
Is Darts Popular?
The short answer is yes, darts is a popular game worldwide. According to the World Darts Federation, there are over 70 member countries with millions of players in total, making it a truly global game. In some countries, darts is considered a sport (if you wonder why, read this).
While specific statistics vary by region, darts has a passionate following in many countries, and its popularity only continues to grow.
What Country Is Darts Most Popular?
There’s no doubt darts is the most popular in the United Kingdom. In fact, the UK has been considered the birthplace of modern darts, and the game has become a cultural institution in the country. Here are some facts to support this argument:
1. The PDC World Darts Championship, held annually at Alexandra Palace in London, is one of the biggest sporting events in the UK. In 2020, the tournament drew an average audience of 1.2 million viewers per day across its broadcast on Sky Sports.
2. In 2021, the PDC announced that its prize money for 2022 reached £15 million (nearly $19 million), reflecting the growth and popularity of the sport.
3. The World Darts Championship final between Michael Smith and Michael van Gerwen, in January 2023, saw an average of 1.72 million viewers on the German free-to-air network Sport1, peaked at 2.36 million.
4. Darts is a popular betting sport in the UK, with many bookmakers offering odds on major tournaments and events. Rumors said the UK sports betting market for darts was worth millions.
5. The popularity of darts has also led to the development of darts-themed video games, such as PDC World Championship Darts and Darts of Fury, which have sold millions of copies worldwide.
6. We researched the keyword search volume for “darts” using the keyword planner in 2023. The highest volume recorded was more than 300,000 in January 2023, while the average volume remained larger than 100,000.
How Popular Is Darts in the United States?
While darts in the US is not as popular and professional as in the UK, it still has an impressive sizable following. According to a survey conducted by the National Sporting Goods Association, more than 17 million people in the US played darts in 2020. In addition, there are numerous leagues and tournaments held across the country, including the American Darts Organization (ADO) and the National Darts Association (NDA).
One of the biggest darts events in the US is the US Darts Masters, which is part of the World Series of Darts. This tournament features top players from around the world and is held annually in big cities in the US. The event draws a large crowd of spectators and is broadcast on national television.
Another reason why darts is popular in the US is its accessibility. Unlike other sports that require expensive equipment and specialized facilities, all you need to play darts is a dartboard and a set of darts. This makes it easy for people to play at home, in bars, or in other informal settings.
Why Is Darts So Popular?
Darts is popular due to multiple reasons. But here are the most accepted ones:
Darts is easy to play but hard to master
One of the reasons darts is so popular is that it’s easy to play but difficult to master. The basic rules of the game are simple: players throw darts at a board with numbered sections, and the goal is to hit specific targets to score points. Nearly everyone who can pick up a dart can play the game.
However, becoming an expert at darts requires a lot of practice, skill, and strategy. Players must learn how to control their throw, aim accurately, and develop a sense of timing and rhythm. Not to mention a strong mind for hours of competition.
It requires minimal setup and participants
Another reason for the popularity of darts is that it requires a minimal setup. At the bare minimum, all you need is a good dartboard and a set of darts and you are good to go. This makes darts an accessible game for people of all ages and backgrounds. It can be played at home, in a pub or bar, or at a professional tournament, making it a versatile game that can be enjoyed in many settings.
An investment in a good dartboard is totally worth it since you can use it for many years. Check out our list of the top 7 best dartboards if you want one or consider replacing your old board!
For players, you usually need two for fun. You can even practice by yourself. Darts can also be played in groups or teams of many players.
It’s a fun activity and also a competitive sport
Darts is also popular because it offers a balance of fun and competition. It’s a game that can be enjoyed casually with friends and family, or played competitively at a high level. There’s a sense of camaraderie and socializing that comes with playing darts in a relaxed setting, but there’s also a competitive edge when playing in a tournament or league.
For many experienced players, darts can be an additional source of income. Top players in the world can even earn millions from different tournaments, exhibition matches, and sponsorship.
It’s good for both body and mind
Believe it or not, playing darts can also be good for your body and mind. It requires hand-eye coordination, proper techniques, balance, and focus, all of which can improve with practice. Throwing darts also provides a low-impact form of exercise, which can be beneficial for people who want to stay active but have limited mobility or physical ability. For high-level competitions, many players even believe darts players can be considered athletes due to the equal invested effort to master the game.
In addition to the physical benefits, playing darts can also have mental health benefits. It can be a stress-relieving activity that allows players to unwind and socialize with others. It can also improve cognitive function, as players must use mental arithmetic to calculate their scores and develop strategic thinking skills.
It has a long history
Finally, the long and storied history of darts is another reason for its enduring popularity. The game has been played for centuries, with evidence of similar games dating back to medieval times. It has been played in pubs and taverns for generations, and it was even played by soldiers during World War II as a way to pass the time.
In recent decades, darts has gained even more popularity thanks to the efforts of large organizations and communities. Major tournaments and leagues have been established, and the game has become more widely televised and accessible to audiences around the world. As a result, darts has become more than just a pub game—it’s a legitimate sport that is respected and celebrated by fans and players alike.
Hope this article and the facts help you understand how popular darts is and why that is. Happy darting!
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