Darts may be one of the most popular things broadcast on Sky Sports in the UK, but war still rages on about whether or not it actually deserves the moniker of being a sport.
There are arguments to be made on either end of the spectrum.
For many, sport is about physical exertion and moving around a lot, and with all due respect, it’s hard to look at a man like Andy Fordham or John Henderson and say that they are sportsmen if that’s your definition.
However, we’re still yet to hear any arguments being made about golf not being a sport, even though John Daly was one of the premier players in that game despite not being in the traditional shape you’d expect from a sportsman.
For one reason or another, the Olympics have neglected darts for years, but they’ve happily allowed sports like shooting and archery to have spots at the prestigious events, and if we’re breaking it down to basics, those two sports are just darts but on a bigger scale with less skill.
No disrespect to archers or shooters out there, they’re supremely talented at what they do, but their fields are much simpler than what we see in the PDC as they only have to aim for the bullseye, while a game of 501, requires a number of different skills with scoring, set-up shots and finishing all being just as important as one another.
An argument could be made that darts isn’t popular enough internationally to be deemed worthy, as the game is largely dominated by British and Dutch players.
However, the World Cup of Darts already shows that this is a game that is played all over the world, and to a high standard, and the growth of darts is now also being seen on the biggest stages.
Just look at the last World Championships for evidence.
American Darin Young ended the career of five-time world champ Raymond van Barneveld, and Filipino ace Noel Malicdem was mere centimetres away from dumping eventual winner Peter Wright out in the first round.
This is an international sport that will only grow further in the future with the PDC Asian Tour becoming more and more popular and the stars of the tour taking to Madison Square Garden in the near future to show their stuff in the world’s most famous arena.
If archery and shooting are in, then darts should be too, and we can only hope that the IOC consider their stance on this in the coming years.