Dartoids World

Column #HR59 Some free advice for Chris Helms

Friday, November 11, 2011
Column HR59
Some free advice for Chris Helms

In his many years staggering down the tungsten trail the Old Dart Coach never accused the “Godfathers” of the WDF of being of being fissiparous. The thought never entered either of the brain cells that had not been affected by copious amounts of “group tightener” mixed with just enough “aiming fluid” to be effective. If the end results proved negative it was the lack of “aiming fluid” that took the blame. It’s a given in the book of darts, written by the God Tungsten who replaced the God Brass, that the liquid of choice varies from darter to darter. The ODC used the golden elixir, beer, for the group process, and then added shots of peppermint schnapps for more precise work.

In a letter in the year 1256 Aldobrandino of Siena described beer, “But from whichever it is made, whether from oats, barley or wheat, it harms the head and the stomach, it causes bad breath and ruins the teeth, it fills the stomach with bad fumes, and as a result anyone who drinks it along with wine becomes drunk quickly; but it does have the property of facilitating urination and makes one’s flesh white and smooth.” “Hmmm,” grunted the ODC, “nothing but good can come from beer.” Since his retirement from the oche, which technically came about five years before he quit entering tournaments, the previously named liquid darting equipment have been replaced by Metamucil. The ODC is probably hoping for the same “end” results.

There were a lot of other thoughts that never entered the ODC’s mind. He rested it a lot. He did believe that WDF should stand for the Weasel Dart Federation instead of the World Dart Federation. A weasel is best known as “a carnivorous mammal of the genus “mustela”. Everyone knows that. It also describes “a person regarded as sneaky and/or treacherous.” When used as a verb, rumor has it the term means “to back out of a situation or commitment in a sneaky or cowardly manner.”

It would be unfair to paint the entire membership of the WDF as weasels by the classic definition. By that definition, the term should apply only to the WDF Executive. As to the whole of the WDF and since a weasel is of the ferret family and a group of ferrets is called a “business” (bet you didn’t know or care about that), the WDF at large might be termed “The Business.” Just like “The Mob,” “The Outfit” or “The Family” but not to be confused with the ODC’s pal Jim “The Bizz” Aspin who on occasion emails “Darts, darts, bloody boring darts.”

Readers of this space are aware that WDF Pixy Roy “Pinocchio” Price, acting on orders from a pair of Geppettos named Alderman & Croft (which sounds like a dodgy law firm), came up with a interpretation of a WDF rule that excluded Yank Stacy Bromberg from the World Cup. That interpretation probably handed the Brits the Women’s title and certainly their women the single crown. Weasels. “They showed her.” Had the “Pinocchio” interpretation been applied evenly no American Player would have been eligible.

Now the rule has been clarified. Well kind of…

The new rule reads, “In the course of the twelve months WDF Playing Member must have played at least 65% of their International Singles Events in tournaments which are recognized in the WDF World Ranking Systems as well as International singles events promoted/organized between Member Darts Bodies and also recognized by the World Darts Federation.” “The Business” left themselves some “weasel” room.

What is an “International Singles Event”? Is it whatever the “The Weasels ” decides it is? Is a local event an International singles event if players from more than one country are entered?

Bottom line Croft & Alderman can now devote full time to doing for the WDF what they did to the BDO. Be still my heart.

When Croft & Company were shown the door in the recent BDO elections Croft proclaimed, “They, the new kids on the block although kids they ain’t, will never be able to negotiate a TV contract.” Sorry Oiley (pronounced “OIL EE”) but it was announced that the BDO World Championships will be shown on the BBC and ESPN. How about them apples?

“Free advice is worth exactly what one pays for it.” With that in mind the ODC offers to the incoming President of the ADO, Mr. Chris Helms from the great state of Texas, the following advice. “Tell the WDF that the ADO is withdrawing from the organization forthwith or even fifth with. That saves the ADO $900.00 per year. In addition tell the WDF that while you have no objection to the WDF having a sanctioned tournament in the USA you are not going to require ADO tournaments to pay a sanctioning fee ($50.00) or withhold and forward the $2.00 surcharge per player. Yes, that means no World Cup or no World Masters. So? The ODC agrees with “Whining” Bill Davis that, “The WDF does nothing for the American player.”

Tell ’em to “Take a hike – we don’t need you!”

Oh yes, ADO and while you’re at it junk the “Yut” program. Darts is a game for adults to act like adults. It’s not the responsibility of ADO dart players to pay for kids to learn how to drink, swear or act like jerks. The youth of today seem to be learning it just fine all on their own.

If the ADO is serious about promoting the game it best do something different because what’s on the agenda today ain’t working. Maybe take a page from Electronic Darts because they seem to be going “huckley buck.” Give some money back to the players or, God forbid, actually find some sponsors to help out local tournaments.

While the ODC’s actual knowledge of “toy darts” is minimal it’s crystal clear that the game is growing in popularity. Why? Maybe because everyone competes at their level of ability. What a novel idea. And then there’s the money.

Follow the money trail…

Currently on going in Hong Kong is the World Championship. It’s played in eight stages, a stage being a tournament, with the final stage being played November 13th. Each stage has an entry fee of 300 HKD (Hong Kong Dollars) which is $38.61 – with prize money of $12,869 going to the winner. Not too Chablis.

After the competition of the 8 stages the Grand Final December 17-18 will pay out 1,000,000 HKD or $128,723.00 to the winner!

Ray Carver, who’s won two stages, leads the American contingent of 10 players for the final stage this weekend. Carver’s two winning stages were worth $25,738 and a 8th in the Championships standing. Carver was told by the WDF and the ADO that he couldn’t play for the America in the 2009 World Cup. Did he moan or cry? Nope. He went on to play for real money. As opposed to no money.

Other Yank steel darters of some renown playing in Stage 8 are Rob Heckman (who may be the best Thai import since Vicky Virachkul), Scotty Burnett, “Big” John Kuczynski, and one Sean Gregory Downs. Downs would admit, if pressed, that on at least one occasion many years ago he shared “group tightener” with the ODC. The place was Earl’s Court in London and the pub the old (comma) Cock’s Inn. True fact.


Not familiar with the word Fissiparous? It’s the perfect word for describing what the Executive of the WDF isn’t. The classic definition is “tendency to break apart.”

They do hang together. They might not know it and certainly wouldn’t admit it if they did but the WDF Executive, aka The Weasels, lives and operates by the words of Ben Franklin spoken on August 2, 1776 at the signing of the Declaration of Independence: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

The BDO did the business with Croft & Company and now it’s time for the WDF membership to do the same. Rope is cheap.

Hopefully some day dart players or officials will finally stand up for the sport of darts which is made for Pubs.
“Do all darters drink?”

“No… only most of the good ones.”

Thanks to Mr. David Brook of the Island Lager Bar in Patong Beach, Thailand we know that drinking beer and playing darts may well be a positive for automobile safety.

“You say what?” A recent study indicates that 23% of all traffic accidents are alcohol-related.

The ODC points out that, therefore, if you drink you are 77% less likely to be involved in an automobile accident. Works for him.

More from the Sage of Patong Beach… Mr. Brook also is now convinced that both Osama bun Laden and Muammar Gaddafi have assumed room temperature, hence they have both “registered to vote in Chicago.” “Poof positive,” as Congressman Barney Frank would say.

As the second most interesting man in the world says (The ODC is holding the #1 spot for the second week in a row) “Stay thirsty my friends” and play darts.


  • Howie Reed

    Astute, often controversial, and always humorous, the Old Dart Coach, Howie Reed (a former rodeo cowboy and advertising executive), is heralded as the Dean of Darts Chroniclers - the most prolific and widely followed writer ever about our sport. He goes back decades with the legends and knows where the skeletons are buried (just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers!). Here are four well-known facts about the Old Dart Coach: 1) he is a Republican, 2) he loves the ladies, 3) he can drink most anybody under the table, and 4) he throws darts as bad as Dartoid.