Authored by: Luke J. Harris

Routledge Handbook of Global Sport

Print publication date:  January  2020
Online publication date:  January  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138887237
eBook ISBN: 9781315714264
Adobe ISBN:


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The sport of darts is a twentieth-century phenomenon that owes its origins to the working-class public houses and social clubs of England. The sport’s association with the pub has helped to shape the games development and arguably held back its recognition as a sport. This chapter focuses upon its development from a game played in the pub to an internationally recognised sport, which has grown far beyond its original routes. Of principal focus will be its rise and fall as a television sport in the 1970s and 1980s, a legacy which created a strong relationship between darts and popular culture and most significantly a split between the players and the its principal organising body, the British Darts Organisation. This resulted in the creation of what today is known as the Professional Darts Corporation and a permanent split in darts with two rival organising bodies. This split helped darts to create a new identity and its growth to become a globally recognised and official status as a ‘sport’ in 2005.

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