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We discuss the hype around the "Worlds" and how "Fergie Time" could help all dart players!

The PDC World Championships

Posted: 18.12.12 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

We discuss the hype around the "Worlds" and how "Fergie Time" could help all dart players!



The Hype

After the many Sky Sports trailers advertising the World Championships (they tell a story about darts too) the event got underway on Saturday to a huge social media and of course Sky Sports fanfare.  Once the excitement had died down the action got underway-Robert Thornton V Magnus Caris! The rest of the players decided this was just too hot an act to follow and an evening of darts that didn’t get close to the hype ensued!

Raymond Van Barneveld wasn’t impressed either, not just with the first day but with most of what we have already been served.  He complained that the players seemed frightened to go up on stage and play their natural game. He is right, and he then demonstrated what can be achieved with an aggressive and care free attitude mixed with a high level of skill and technique.

In several ways though, the “World” Championships could be viewed as a bit of a sham. Yes there are players competing from all over the World but they are repeatedly patronised by the pundits (I don’t think they even realise they are doing it) and by the PDC to an extent. For example, they are made to “stand out” by having to play in a preliminary round and made to walk onto the stage together instead of one at a time like the “proper” players. On the other hand there are UK based players also in the preliminary rounds but that raises the question that why are the lower echelons of the PDC given priority over places that could be taken by some of darts up and coming foreign players?

The qualifiers are not given a level playing field to compete on either. Occasionally the PDC allows “Johnny Foreigner” to host a tour event but more often than not they are held in England and out of the financial reach of the majority of non UK based players.

The globalisation of darts is a fascinating process. I have a vision of the 2033 tournament, twenty years from now.  The finals are getting underway in say Japan or maybe Holland after the previous year’s event in India. In 2033 the UK based players will be mixing in with players of equal ability from dozens of different nations and someone will pipe up reminding us of the 2013 tournament and how the “foreigners” were treated then! It is perhaps more of a fantasy than a vision!


Alex Ferguson is not everyone’s favourite person I realise that. What isn’t in dispute though is that he is the most successful club manager in British football and his desire to succeed has not started to diminish yet, despite his 71 years!

I thought about Adrian Lewis after I read an excellent article by Patrick Collins in the Sunday Mail sports supplement. He relayed how Fergie, despite being delighted United had beaten their near neighbours City recently, couldn’t sleep as he tried to fathom out why his United side had almost let the game slip. After much restlessness he got up in the early hours and watched the whole game back on video.

Lewis on the other hand wasn’t going to be going down that road. After his faltering start to the tournament he admitted to being relieved to be through and would be heading home and would forget all about his poor performance. No sleepless night for Jackpot, except maybe due to his new baby it seems.

We have discussed the benefits of reflection on several occasions. On one hand of course you want to (eventually) move on from a loss or in the case of Fergie and Jackpot a victory, but one that left questions to answer. But there is still much to learn from every performance and just to simply forget it is a waste of the energy and effort that went in to the original performance.

Whether you are Adrian Lewis or last on for The Dog and Duck C team, a bit of “Fergie Time” after a match could be very beneficial!


The Darts Performance Centre is a resource to assist dart players of all standards play better darts. The site is arranged as an on-line coaching manual. There is advice on technique, nerves, psychology, goal setting, practice games, an area to log your statistics and an interactive area where your darting questions are answered by two sports scientists, one with 30 years dart playing experience! Membership is just £25.00 per annum

Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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