Darts Jim, but not as we know it – the PDC tour card

From 2011 the PDC will be adopting a tour card system. Announced last month, this is probably the biggest change to the structure of professional darts since the big split of the early 1990s. In the words of Barry Hearn, Chairman of the PDC, “this is Star Trek darts – not darts as we know it Jim.” In January 2011 …

Banking on sport

I received a letter from my bank the other day. One arrives on a hebdomadal basis (which is not relevant or particularly interesting, but is a chance for me to use the new word I learnt from a crossword. Everyone should learn new words). Their records showed that they could not keep in touch with me about upgrading my account, …

Not cricket

I have a problem with Sir Allen Stanford’s $100 million five-year cash injection into our national summer sport, but it is not one that has been widely shared so far. I don’t like Twenty20 Cricket. My problem is not that the handful of games I’ve attended have hardly enthralled. Nor is it the fact that we have created another sport …

Taylor made, again

It was impossible to watch Phil Taylor retain his Premier League Darts crown last week without a sense of inevitability. Of all his major tournament victories, however, this was probably the least predictable – at least after his terrible start to the competition – and therefore one of the most impressive. In what now feels like a parallel tournament, after …

Watching us, watching you

There are 4.2 million closed-circuit television cameras in the UK, making us European leaders in something other than teenage pregnancy and drinking outside pubs. Most of them are a waste of space, at least according to one Scotland Yard Detective Chief Inspector. But Kermodian* rants decrying the infringement of our civil liberties appear at odds with a society obsessed with …

The struggle for column inches

An exciting night of darts at Wembley Arena in mid-April saw Phil Taylor and James Wade secure their places in the Premier League play-offs with two games to spare. For Wade, his fourth consecutive victory came in a tense deciding leg against Peter ‘One Dart’ Manley. Taylor’s victory was more decisive, setting a new tournament record three-dart average of 111.75 …

Chesterfield Station

Chesterfield station becomes a little cold when the sun goes down. I know because I spent an hour there the other day having been thrown off a train on the way back to London from Sheffield. The final of the England national table-tennis championships finished earlier than expected, so I was on the wrong train. My train would be along in an …

Is the BDO courting trouble?

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has held an interest in darts over the last fifteen years that the sport has recently been back in court. And, although the case was neither in the UK, nor a direct clash between the two sides of the tungsten curtain, the decision could turn out to be one of the …

How was the snow?

“So, how was the snow?” I was asked in the pub the night after returning from my first skiing holiday for twenty years. I didn’t know how to respond. I have always thought that skiing is over-rated. There, I’ve said it. Unfortunately, I don’t seem able to find anyone who agrees. It’s over-priced too, with lift passes the only form …

Taylor’s decline helps premier league darts come of age

Four weeks into its fourth year, darts’ only significant league event has finally become interesting. That James Wade is topping the table, a point ahead of Raymond Van Barneveld, is not particularly surprising. And it wasn’t entirely unexpected that new World Champion John Part would struggle a little – the Canadian has rarely been able to sustain form from one …