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As the "Top 4" of the PDC are set to slug it out at the O2 we ask what is the the difference between PDC and BDO players!

The BDO Reality Test

Posted: 16.05.12 in Darts Performance Centre Blog category

As the "Top 4" of the PDC are set to slug it out at the O2 we ask what is the the difference between PDC and BDO players!


Recently we published a PDC Premier League Reality Check

We analysed the 531 legs that had been thrown in the PDC tournament at the point we investigated and discovered that 69% of the winning legs had been in 15 darts or fewer and if you added the 18 dart legs into the mix then this accounted for 94% of all the winning legs.

There were two key reasons for publishing our findings. One reason was to take into consideration the current set up which allows anyone to turn up, pay a few hundred pounds and compete for the chance to play in the PDC. Perhaps some of these players will save their money next year when they consider the facts and realise they have more work on the practice board to do before it is worth attempting to make it on the Pro tour.

The second reason is to encourage a “pathway” for dart players to follow. One of my twitter pals @leighbresnan asked me if I was going to do a “reality test” for the BDO as he quite correctly pointed out that the BDO is seen by many as a stepping stone to the PDC. It is not a stepping stone for everyone but it does seem to be a logical progression for dart players to follow for a number of reasons. We will come back to the reasons in a later blog.

To aid the comparison of the Premier League and the BDO we will use the data from the 2012 Lakeside World Championship. Arguably the top PDC players are in the Premier League and the top BDO players show up at Bob Potter`s Lakeside emporium each year.

Our BDO “Reality Test” looks at how many darts the top players need to win a leg. The most important (and only really) criteria are that winning legs will be split as follows:

9 Darts, 12 Darts or fewer, 15 Darts or fewer, 18 Darts or fewer, 21 Darts or fewer, 24 Darts or fewer etc:


There were a total of 691 legs of darts during the championships.

Number of Darts           Number of Winning Legs

9                                              There were no 9 dart legs

12 darts or fewer                             38

15 darts or fewer                             254

18 darts or fewer                             272

21 darts or fewer                             104

24 darts or fewer                             18

27 darts or fewer                             3

30 darts or fewer                             1

33 darts or fewer                             1

In our Premier League investigation we described the statistic that 69% of legs were won in 15 darts or fewer as “eye watering” and that adding 18 dart legs took the total of winning legs to a mind boggling 94% . In comparison, the 15 darts or fewer column for The Lakeside accounted for 42% of the winning legs and if you then add the 18 dart legs this takes the tally for Kist and Co to 82% of all winning legs that are taken in 18 darts or fewer. This may stop a few of the “BDO Bashers” in their tracks!

15% of legs were won in 21 darts or fewer at Lakeside and compared to just a little under 6% in the Premier League. A further 18 legs ( 2.6%) still meant a win at Lakeside despite chucking 22,23 or 24 darts  compared to just 2 legs (less than 1%) in the Premier League. Paul Jennings also picked up legs in 26 darts and the “pub darts” award (apologies if we have offended any pub players) in a mammoth 31 darts.  Three others chipped in with 26, 27 and 29 dart wins. These are the exceptions though!

The difference in the 15 dart legs (69% compared to 42%) demonstrates that there is (and this is not really denied) that the PDC (full time) players do have the edge over their BDO counterparts. However, there seems to be only a small difference in the standard when you note that 82% of Lakeside legs were won in 18 darts or fewer (94% in the Premier League). 82% of legs won in under 18 is good quality darts.

In further mitigation of the BDO, only the top 8 of the Premier League are being compared with the top 32 of the BDO. You could argue that the PDC have the advantage statistically and if you had the top 32 PDC players included the margins may get even closer. There is another investigation for us in the near future there then.

It appears whichever code you “dream” of conquering, 18 dart legs is the benchmark to hit to stand any chance of success. This investigation suggests that there is more room for error in the BDO compared to the very best eight of the PDC where 15 dart legs are the norm.

Now you have read this please get back to the practice board!


The Darts Performance Centre is a resource to assist dart players of all standards play better darts. We are also committed to researching all aspects of darts to provide players with information and solutions that most other sports take for granted. Please support us by joining today.Membership is £25.00 per annum. 

Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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