The recent (virtual/remote) performances of Martin Adams, Raymond Van Barneveld, and Phil Taylor have, once again, raised the possibility of a large scale ‘Legends Event’ within darts, we suggest Founders’ Fest 2021!
The Darts World ‘Coach’ thinks that such senior stars benefit from the lack of travel, sponsors commitments, and ranking stresses. This enables them to concentrate on producing their best darts for a short period with few external distractions.
I have thought for a long time that darts is in an unusual place as a sport, its rapid expansion, together with the demands upon players, and its relatively lesser physical demands mean that the best to have played can play at a very high level for longer than in most sports.
More often than not it is the travel and other demands that mean icons such as ‘The Power’ feel that they should retire.
We are also a sport that can see new players come through, aged fifty plus, after many years of playing high-quality darts but in different formats. You only have to look at Wayne Warren to see proof of that!
The combination of these two means that at an event such as a senior/legends festival might be both extremely popular commercially successful. Clever use of formats such as pairs or short course matches may level the playing field and perhaps two classifications or age ranges might add to the entertainment.
An annual competitive screened tournament including Barney, Phil, Adams, Colin Lloyd, Ted Hankey in one section. John Lowe, Denis Priestley, Bobby George, and Bob Anderson in another. Others such as Chris Mason and Alan Warriner-Little might join to mix it up. Over time more players will ‘qualify’.
A well organised and professional founders and legends festival could be a lovely addition to our sports calendar whilst reminding us ‘from where we came!’
Founders’s Fest’ 2021, anyone?