Column #HR323 NO DRESS CODE!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Column HR323
NO DRESS CODE!

Before diving headfirst into 2022, a few items to clean up…

The PDC announced that Cazoo will now sponsor not only the World Championships but also the UK Open, Players Championship Finals and Masters.  The ODC is over the moon.

He can write:

How is your mother, how is your father, how is your sister Sue? 

How is your granny, how is your fanny, how is your old Wazoo?  

Simple pleasures are the best.

For the first time in fading memory the ODC can pick only a single “surprise” at the World Championships.  In years past, players have come from nowhere to make a mark that announces, “I’m here!”  One such player was England’s Callan Rydz.  He started with a 3-0 win over a “wise guy pick” Brendan Dolan 3-0 – dominating with an average of 102.73, winning legs 9-3.

Next out was Nathan Aspinall 4-0 (12-5) with a spiffy 98.35 average followed by a 4-1 (11-4) dusting of Alan Soutar.

Rydz would lose to eventual winner Peter Wright 5-4 with both wining 16 legs. For the tournament, Rydz won in sets 16-5 and legs 40-27.  An outstanding performance.

Sometimes the devil takes control of the ODC.  In the original PDC published draw the “Fem Fatal” Fallon Sherrock was to play the winner between Kim Huybrechts and Steve Beaton.  Then, as if by “Ollie Magic,” Ms. Sherrock was set to play Steve Beaton.  A beginner would recognize an easier draw for Sherrock.  Beaton would win 3-2.  Beaton would then play Huybrechts losing 3-1.  To quote Sid Waddell, “Darts is a funny ole game.”

In the same vein, none of the “retreats,” all promising a “new attitude,” did anything but what was expected.  Raymond van Barneveld, a little svelte, is still unable to operate with any degree of success when under the “cosh.” Cosh?  “A thick heavy stick or bar used as a weapon” – or a needed double or treble.  Barney went down to Rob Cross 3-1.  Adrian Lewis folded like a cheap suit in the rain when after taking the first set against Gary Anderson 3-2, then went down 3-1.  A sorry performance which dictates playing lunch services.

One of the biggest American Darts Organization tournaments will either go on or not from January 13-16 in Las Vegas.  The goings-on will kick off January 13-14 with the ADO national 501 and Cricket singles championships.  Nice for the tournament to have all those contestants at their event.  Not only will the always valuable ADO points be available in the singles but also the “less valuable than they appear” WDF points.  “Less than they appear” as North Americans get zero, zip, nada out of those points.

A nod to yank Jules van Dongen, aka The Dutch Dragon, who currently sits 5th in the WDF rankings. That placing is due to wins in the Seacoast and Charlotte Open.  At press time van Dongen is playing in the PDC Euro qualifying.  Should he get a tour card the WDF will be left in the rear view mirror.

The World Darts Organization is the organization that “represents” amateur darters.  There may be some disagreement with the term “amateur.” For the ladies it’s their only opportunity as the PDC avoids the ladies, but for a chosen few (like a darter does double 1).  The PDC had 650 vying for full Tour cards.  The finals start on January 12th.  Among those still alive are Leonard Gates, Danny Lauby and Jacob Taylor.

Checking on the Las Vegas Open ’01 singles, there is a $4 surcharge included in the $30 entry fee.  The women are paid down to 16 with the men to top 32.  Reaching those levels produces a slight profit (which not drinking during match might help).

Credit to the Tournament owners as they published the surcharges which some others don’t.  $2 of the entry is for the ADO which is okay for an organization – although the ADO is in shambles.  The $2 surcharge for the WDF is a bad joke.  In an era when American steel darts is at an all-time low this makes as much sense as “feeding a jackass creampuffs.”  Waste of time, money and effort.

The Las Vegas Open WDF/ADO ‘01 singles come with special rules.  Players are not permitted to wear shorts or jeans.  Neither are tennis shoes permitted.  No headgear is allowed.  There shall be no drinking DURING matches.  Before or after is fine, just not during.”

If perchance, although unlikely, North American dart players are unhappy with the state of darts they have no one to blame but themselves.  Players have been “led” by incompetence, which they have allowed by sitting on their fat backsides, whining and consuming pints of aiming fluid.  They left the fight to others.  Shame on them.

Most of the revolutionary dart leaders of the past have given up when met by the indifference.  If there were any “againners” still out there this is what would happen on Saturday at the Tuscany Casino in Las Vegas…

A very polite dart player, no gender preference, would approach the entry desk of the Las Vegas Open to explain their desire to enter the ’01 singles.  “I will only pay $28 as I’m not a member of the World Dart Federation with absolutely no interest in their points.  I will be wearing tennis shoes and jeans while consuming all the aiming fluid and group tighter that is necessary to get the job done.”

Granted this would put undue pressure on the tournament organizers who have invested money.  They need entries to break even or maybe make a profit. Is this unfair?  Maybe, but to whom?

The professional players were labeled bad for darts, yet they spawned the PDC.  Regulations for dress and liquid consumption is a “grab your ankles procedure” to placate “critics” while doing not a darn thing for the sport.

What would really help is if more players dressed as they pleased, entered​ and played.  Serve your members not your egos.  It is their game.

Just a wild guess, but the entry person would politely decline a single entry explaining, “The rules are the same for everybody.”  The polite entrant would either acquiesce, pay the $30, change clothes – or retire to a round table with friends to morn a serious but unsuccessful effort.

Now, if that person were an old-time darts revolutionary (one person’s revolutionary is another person’s patriot), they would have answered the entry person as the great JK did to the late Eric Bristow…

This was in a Brisbane, Australia, hotel lobby just prior to the USA beating England 9-0 “PUAR.”  Then, the not polite person would take the escalator downstairs, stop at the sports book and bet on the soon to begin Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cincinnati “Ben Gals” football game – with the $30 saved from a non-entry…

They’d then sit at the bar and have a few beverages knowing that they have a 50% chance of winning their football bet – which is a lot better odds than entering the ’01 singles.  And, oh yes, there’s no dress code and drinking is encouraged.

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.