Darts in the Far East

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Darts in the Far East

Post by Dannyboy » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:30 am

So for the last couple of months I’ve been working in the Far East, in particular in Taiwan. To my surprise, there are a number of sports bars over here and a darts league is thriving; not just within the expat community but also with the locals (admittedly from a very small sample size).

Got chatting to an American expat a few weeks ago whilst having a throw myself, about what darts is like in America and also over here. He said that soft tip darts is obviously the more popular game - mostly for money reasons in terms of getting people into bars and paying to use the machines. Cricket was also popular and seems to be the league game of choice.

It appeared very popular though - it reaffirmed my thought that the region is potentially a lucrative one for the PDC to tap into, should the steel tip variety increase its level of participation and interest.

Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea etc all appear to be real target markets - is there room for it too in China?

The Asian Tour this season has been a revelation with 100s taking part and the standard increasing significantly in recent years. In 25 years, we could easily have an Asian world champion? I wouldn’t put it past in the next 5-10 years an Asian player climbing into the top 16.

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Re: Darts in the Far East

Post by el_ringo » Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:27 pm

The problem American darts and Australian Darts run into isn't competitor numbers it's that the vastness of the country makes anythign nationwide a very hard task. SO you tend to have local hotspots which naturally have a ceiling for anyone who is successful in them as all the top talent will be evenly spread and never meeting regularly to improve performances.
Of course in SE Asia you have very large populations in a lot smaller compact areas so you can have a much better condensing of the top players and you only need a very small %age of the population to be interested in playing Darts to have a massive player base. For example in China if 0.1% of the population play darts that's over a million people who could be playing regularly where as if that was the UK it would only be around 60000 persons. It's then just a pure fact of life that the more people who play , as long as there is a suitable outlet, the more top end talent you will find. So to answer your question as long as a suitable tour is kept in place and events like the WSOD events continue to carry on in these parts of the world then Darts will emulate Snooker in that within a few years it's inevitable a top Chinese player will emerge and then once one has then the flood gates will open.

My only concern is from my own personal experiences the SE Asians love electronic gadgets over low tech so it may be very difficult for Soft Tip darts to be ousted by proper darts. However regular proper darts is a very cheap and easy sport to start playing for youngsters so once a top Chinese etc player emerges you may very well find the youngster start player steel tip darts to emulate their new sporting hero and then given the potential rewards the PDC carrot offers stay and follow that route rather the Soft tip route they all seem to go at present.

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