Column #HR240 FREE ADVICE for the BDO, ADO and local leagues

Monday, September 10, 2018
Column HR240
FREE ADVICE for the BDO, ADO and local leagues

Yes, ‘tis been awhile since we last had the chance to visit and chat about darts, particularly things about which only the Old Dart Coach has interest…

The British Darts Organization has removed the final vestige of its claim to world darting dominance. The decision, inevitable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west (most days), is that PDC players are now welcome at all BDO tournaments while BDO players may dip their toes in chilly PDC waters.

Most believe this action was to allow BDO women the opportunity to qualify for the PDC World Championships. One BDO critic wrote, “They (the ladies) who could have gone (would have) regardless – as what could the BDO do, ban them from TV events they don’t actually have anyway?”

In life and sport there are undisputable true facts. “You can’t unring a bell.” “You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube.” “You can’t roller skate in a buffalo heard.”

BUT you can refill a pint lager of beer. Fortunately. All dart players can breathe a sigh of relief and give thanks to the tungsten God…… wherever she resides.

The ODC was musing recently…

(Editor’s note: before the ODC was the ODC others viewed this “musing” condition in a “WTF” manner – in fact some still do).

Undisputable true facts notwithstanding, dart organizations often do try to “unring the bell.” Playing “what if” or repeating past decisions do nothing but feed egos that are often bloated like the Goodyear Blimp 99% of the time – and achieve no positive results.

In 1992, the BDO banned “the rebel players” and formed their own organization – the World Darts Council). The “rebels” were barred from playing in county darts (then a really big deal). The BDO even threatened to ban any player who participated in exhibition events with WDC players.

The dastardly “rebel” players fired back with a lawsuit. The BDO’s crotchety public face proudly defended their position as what was best for darts. In truth, it served a personal interest – protecting the BDO fiefdom. When the American Darts Organization board told the fledging “machine dart industry” to “bugger off” they were also for protecting their personal kingdom. It was done. The results are in…

The resulting carnage cannot be changed. The bell can’t be unrung. Move on. The results in both cases were disastrous. The BDO and the ADO were devoured faster than the ODC woofs a Famous Star Burger from Carl’s Jr. (Although there’s always another Famous Star Burger.)

Too often those who are chosen to run darting entities are unqualified from the standpoint of background or abilities. In their personal lives they’re often successful in their chosen fields or appear to be, which fools people. Running an organization, any organization, is challenging requiring devotion with a large helping of the ability to lead. It also helps if “leaders” don’t make the mistake of doing what has been tried and failed in the past. In all fairness, what worked yesterday probably won’t work today.

As Rajeev Suri is quoted as saying, “Don’t hold onto the past; it won’t help you move forward. Dare to dream.” Rajeev Suri is the Singaporean Indian CEO of Nokia. Richard Branson says, “My attitude has always been, if you fall on your face at least you’re moving forward. All you have to do is get up and try again.”

The PDC became financially relevant when they brought in a person -Barry Hearn – who probably had only a passing interest in darts. What he did know was how to run an organization and, more importantly, how to surround himself with people of proven ability. The PDC could have rested at most any point and merely raked in the money. They didn’t, and to this day continue to develop new events while expanding their reach.

In 2019, the PDC will offer almost 200 individual events. The Premier League expands to 17 nights. The European Tour visits Germany, the Netherlands, Gibraltar, Austria and Denmark. There will be 30 Players Championships for those with tour cards. They’ll announce later this year the calendar for World Series of Dart events.

One of the biggest changes has been made to the Coral UK Open. The prize fund has been boosted to £450,000 with the winner taking home £100,000. The qualifiers for card holders have been eliminated – all 126 card holders will be in the tournament with the top 96 in the Order of Merit getting a bye in the first round, assured of £1,000 paycheck.

It’s always fun to offer advice to both the BDO and the ADO as they couldn’t give a “Sweet Fanny Adams.” Here’s goes…

The BDO should – right now – sell, barter or give away their organization to the PDC. Could this happen? If history is any indication, it’s a possibility…

In 1626, the Fugarwe Indians allowed the Dutch to use Manhattan Island in exchange for “iron kettles, axes, knives and cloth.” It turned out that the Fugarwe’s didn’t own the land, so they sold the Dutch nothing. The BDO is in a similar situation to the Fugarwe.

For the ADO, they need to sell or share the organization with someone who knows how to find sponsorship, letting them to keep 50% of what they bring in. Then, they need to introduce programs that mirror effective machine darts programs. Need a hint? Get your own dart board that makes scoring and finishing easier. As golfing great Jack Nicklaus has said of the diminished popularly golf, “It’s too hard. Make it easier. More fun.”

As these suggestions are free – and probably worth as much – below is something for local leagues where the “whine” too often is, “I didn’t have time to read the results.”

The ODC had a pal many years ago in Northern California who took over running a league. There were with three divisions – 2 “A” and 2 “B” and a “C” – at 6 venues. To keep interest the result sheet included the following week’s schedule with odds on each game, much like NFL.

“Take the Hooters 7-6 over Barking Spiders.” For lower ranked teams, even with a loss they could claim “we beat the spread.”

With Burt Reynolds passing on the ODC realized that he’s the only 60s and70s, sex symbol left…

An elderly darting couple were taking advantage of the Early Bird Special for dinner. The kindly wife grabbed her husband’s sleeve and said…

“I just cut a silent fart. What should I do?

“Change the battery’s in your hearing aid.”

Stay thirsty my friends.

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.
Howie Reed

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