Why Is Darts A Sport? Should It Be in The Olympics?

Why Is Darts A Sport? Should It Be in The Olympics?

6 minutes read
Mar 30th, 2023

Many people regard darts as a pastime or simply a hobby game. However, darts is an official sport and there are many professional tournaments around the world for this sport. The article will explain why darts is considered a sport and other interesting facts. Let’s have a look!

Key Takeaway

  • On March 25, 2005, Sport England officially recognized darts as a sport
  • Darts fits the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of sport
  • Darts is not in the Olympic Games
  • Many players believe the PDC World Championship is the best tournament


  • When Did Darts Get Recognized as a Sport?
  • Why Is Darts a Sport?
  • Why Is Darts Not an Olympic Sport?

When Did Darts Get Recognized as a Sport?

During the first few decades of the 14th century, darts emerged as a military pastime in England. Until 1896, Brian Gamlin, a carpenter, created the modern darts. Since then, playing darts has become more and more popular.

On March 25, 2005, Sport England officially recognized darts as a sport, thanks to a great deal of effort from organizations and communities such as the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and the British Darts Organization (BDO).

Why Is Darts a Sport?

The Oxford Dictionary defines sport as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or a team competes against another or others for entertainment”. We can base on this definition to see whether darts can be considered a sport.

When referring to physical exertion and skills, darts poses many physical challenges such as hand-eye coordination for precision, strength, and consistency. Some darts matches can go on for two hours or more. So, to throw darts well, players have to maintain a steady level of exertion and stamina.

Many people often say darts is a game of luck but this is untrue. Everyone who plays darts knows it is a game of skills, accuracy, and strategic thinking.

Hitting consecutively the bullseye, triple-20, or getting a 9-dart finish is nearly impossible if players solely count on luck. Professional players typically spend tons of time, from 4 to 8 hours per day, to get the right techniques, sharpen their skills, calculate, and learn the patterns to win games (for example, what segments to hit in which round to win a game).

Last but not least, the essence of sport is an individual or a team competing against another or others for entertainment. It’s hard to deny that darts completely satisfies this factor. Every year, thousands of people go to darts tournaments, hosted by big organizations like the PDC or WDF, and watch professionals compete against each other.

These events are even live on sports channels and various online platforms. More and more communities emerge both online and offline. These things prove that darts has become a popular sport and continues to get a lot of people’s attention.

Why Is Darts Not an Olympic Sport?

Unfortunately, darts is not in the Olympics and this has been under debate for a while. Many people believe that darts is too accessible and easy to play, meaning anyone with any physical condition and skill level can play darts. This might damage the image of world-class athletes which the International Olympic Committee defines.

Many others are concerned about the image of the sport. Perhaps the image of darts has become associated with pubs and bars. This is not suitable for a serious and competitive environment like the Olympics.

In reality, things are more complicated. To get darts into the Olympics, there are many criteria to fulfill and darts is certainly not the only sport that wants to be included in this popular and honor event. There are hundreds of other sports that also want to be included as an Olympic game.


Another aspect that is worth mentioning is that there’s no unified governing body for darts. Since the Split in Darts, the official governing body has been the World Darts Federation (WDF). But the PDC is actually a more popular darts organization. Most of the top skillful players in the world choose and compete in PDC tournaments.

With the growth and popularity of the PDC, many even argue that winning the PDC World Championship would speak more volumes than winning the Olympics gold medal if darts were included in the Olympics.

“If you asked a golfer if they’d rather win Olympic gold or the Masters, they’d probably say the Masters. And we believe the World Championship is the pinnacle of PDC aspiration” – said the PDC chief executive Matt Porter, back in 2018.

Will darts ever be in the Olympics? It’s still too soon to say. There is no official promise yet. However, many darts organizations and communities are still trying their best to put darts into this international multi-sport event.

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