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A fantastic night of darts was overshadowed by shouts from the crowd. Is it over enthusiastic fans or something more sinister?

Players Championship Night 3

Posted: 11.12.11 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

A fantastic night of darts was overshadowed by shouts from the crowd. Is it over enthusiastic fans or something more sinister?



Cake and Eat It

The fantastic darts on display last night were overshadowed by the intervention of members of the crowd. During the Pipe/Webster match a spectator yelled out just as “The Force” was about to throw for a match winning double. The same thing happened the previous night as Terry Jenkins was going for a crucial double. Then later on last night “The Power” suffered the same fate as he was attempting a crucial shot which, had he hit it, may just have kick-started a comeback.

The commentators leapt straight onto their “high horse”. They discussed how “idiots” were ruining the night; alcohol was blamed as the catalyst for the stupidity of trying to distract a dart player from throwing and various other simplistic ideas were hurled at us to explain this heinous crime.

What about the other side of the coin? The PDC do actually encourage fans at their events to drink. We have seen shots of fans with “double” pint glasses -fancy dress is encouraged as well as singing and loud party music is played to get the crowd in the mood! But what are they then in the mood for? Unfortunately not the type of mood that promotes quietly sitting watching sporting drama unfold.

The PDC earn money from the sale of alcohol. This can be either directly via payment from the event organisers or indirectly through favourable terms to hire venues due to the additional revenue guaranteed in bar sales that a night at the darts inevitably brings. Also they earn via ticket sales as “darts fans” pass onto friends how great a night at the darts can be and of course Sky and other TV channels love the “great tv" this atmosphere brings to our screen. In turn this income is poured back into the darts economy which allows for the huge amounts of money dart players can now earn in prize money.

If, and it is only an if, all these three “fans” shouted out because they had imbibed too much alcohol or maybe they just wanted the other player to win and like fans in football for example will try any tactic to disrupt the opposition, then that is of course an unwanted intervention.  We are certainly not going to condone this behaviour, however, there is also an argument for “you can’t have your cake and eat it”!

Put The Lights On

A few years ago a daring betting scam was discovered involving dubious businessmen gambling on the outcome of football matches played in the evening. If the score at half-time did not fit into their strategy of how the position of the match should be the floodlights were immobilised. More recently we have had cricketers from Pakistan sentenced to prison sentences for perverting the course of a game in order that money could be won on the betting exchanges.

We have already discussed the option that is was just a drunk and/or over-zealous fans desperate for “The Power” to win on Friday night and “Webby” and “The King” last night that disrupted their opponents at a crucial stage of the game. What if it was something more sinister?

There are huge swings on the betting exchanges literally on every throw of a dart. Is it beyond the imagination bearing in mind the audacious plots we already know about in other sports that darts could have been victim of a similar scam? I can’t believe that, but...! Maybe before the “idiots” are dismissed as just that someone from the forces of law and order should go and have a good chat with them, once they have sobered up of course!


We are currently offering one of our aluminium dart cases to all new members signing up during December. Membership is £25.00 per annum.


Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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