Young Guns Forcing Generational Change? Or The Old Guard Failing To Keep Up?

Darts World lets our readers have their voice heard and, it’s fair to say, our reader *Elias Wilhelm has gone from gentle homage to the Winter Gardens, to a full blast at some of our senior Pro’s:

In recent years, many young players, such as Aspinall, Dobey or De Zwaan, have attracted a lot of attention. Slowly, but surely they supplant themselves into the world’s elite. Slightly older players just can’t seem to keep up.

The Asp, Nathan Aspinall, has been amongst a group of younger players nipping at the heels of those who have been at the top for many years.(pic: Taylor Lanning)

How can it be that these are being harassed by young players from their place at the top of the world? Terry Jenkins, Ronnie Baxter, Mervyn King, Kevin Painter, Andy Hamilton, Robert Thorton. These were all players who have played in the Premier League in the last ten years. Now some have almost completely disappeared, while some have to fight to keep their spot on the tour.

Raymond van Barneveld ended his career simply because he no longer had the ability to win. He was in pain. It was too hard for him to endure, to go to tournaments, and hardly ever to win.

In addition, many trips were a problem for him. His departure was then at the end of last year full of disgrace. That’s exactly how many older players feel. The whole trips back and forth is much too exhausting. The tournament calendar is getting more and more crowded.

RVB’s career petered out over the last few years (PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG).

The tournaments are indispensable for them because otherwise, they would drop in the rankings. That’s why they have no choice if they want to stay successful, they have to play and play and play. On top of that, strong young players join in. Especially the players, like Nathan Aspinall, who are almost unstoppable. Full of energy, they’re pushing up the rankings. Also players, like Humphries or Van Den Bergh, who beat big players every now and then and score good results.


All this makes it difficult for the older players, which is why it is no wonder that they are slowly being ousted from the world elite. Experience no longer plays such a big role and young players have a lot of self-confidence and no respect for,(or perhaps, fear of) the older players.

Everbronze? The Adonis does not conform to the conventions in any way!

Many are happy when players like Steve Beaton or Mervyn King can still keep up. But it is obvious that time is running out for the veterans.


Elias Wilhelm (@ewh27) is a Darts World reader and budding darts writer who appears to be getting the hang of our ‘Talking Points’!

*Reader’s writes is Darts World’s area for our reader’s voices to be heard. Their views are their own and do not represent the opinions of the magazine or its staff.

Betway Premier League - Fixtures Confirmation

Target’s Big Guns Go Head To Head – Taylor & RVB Stage Remote Re-Match.

One of the early LockDown darts headlines involved Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld, in an internet-based, Paddy Power backed, re-staging of their classic 2007 World final.

RVB claimed the match after coming from a long way behind (not unlike the original), but charity was the main beneficiary, with the NHS being Phil’s chosen cause.

The two, Target backed, legendary dartists used a ‘soft-tip’ Nexus board for their first LockDown encounter. Tonight they will play again using a more traditional steel-tip, and sisal board, set up:

Details from Target:

The game, which is the first to 11 legs, will be played from Stoke and Den Haag with scoring taking place remotely as the players film and call out their own scores from home.

Viewers will be able to watch the game on Target Darts’ YouTubeFacebook and Twitter channels at 19:00 BST / 20:00 CET tomorrow (Thursday 4th June).


‘OH’ Micheal Van Car Wash!

IT’S Michael, er, Van Car Wash! The three-times World Champion is ready to return to the oche after the prolonged lockdown break by cleaning cars and vans.

MVG could be washing your windscreen at the latest event to bring live darts back to the public!

The World No 1 is lined up to take part in the first Hannover Drive-in Darts Gala on June 24 against Dutch pal Raymond van Barneveld, German star Max Hopp, and South African Devon Petersen. It will be a four-hour open-air exhibition event with German families paying a maximum of €61.50 (£55.33) to watch from the safety of their own cars or vans. A limited number of punters can pay the VIP top price of €181.50 (£163.28) which involves a space in the first row, a sticker, a photo by their car, and their windscreen cleaned before the show by one of the four stars.

The Gala is a madcap way of bringing back top-class darts following the Covid-19 sporting shutdown. Players will do ‘walk-ons’ in golf buggies through the car park, there will be big screens erected and fans can tune into a special radio frequency for commentary. The only time fans can leave their cars is for toilet use, but they may be encouraged to honk their horns with each 180 hit. On the oche, players will observe social-distancing rules with one official rotating a ‘Stop-and-Go’ sign before each throw.

MVG feels Phil Taylors controversial remarks are uttered to “to stay in the spotlight”.(pic Taylor Lanning)

The event, which will be run by PDC Europe, will be held in a huge car park next to the stadium of Bundesliga 2 side Hannover 96. MVG has also hit out at Phil Taylor for suggesting that he could lose his top spot in the sport to Peter Wright. The Power recently claimed that Snakebite could take the mantle as the main man as MVG gets used to life as a father of two children. But Van Gerwen hit back at the 16-times world champion believing he makes big comments to “stay in the spotlight”.MVG told Bureau Sport:

“Taylor has always made statements like that about me, but I have always been very correct with him.

You know what it is, I am the only one who has made it difficult for him over a long period of time”

He was never used to getting such competition and he was never able to digest it well. He has always seen me as a major threat “I think he does this to stay in the spotlight. I’m breaking more and more of his records and before you know it, people will have forgotten about you; which is probably quite difficult for him.”


Phil Lanning| 5-times award-winning journalist/publicist

Drive-In Darts! Germany To Host Innovative Darts Event!

In another superb effort to give spectators some live sport, and show darts at its very best light, the first Hannover Drive-In Darts Gala will be held on June 24th. Darts has been at the forefront of such innovations during the Covid-19 crisis and PDC Europe released the following information:

Darts is shifting into the next gear!
Special times require special measures. That is why you no longer have to go without LIVE darts events and can be the first ones to see the greatest stars of darts again – from the safety of your own car.


Join us in Hanover for the first Drive-In Darts Gala in history and experience the Dutch legends Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld, Germany`s Number 1 Max Hopp and „The African Warrior“ Devon Petersen.
The voice of German darts, Elmar Paulke, will be the MC.

Triple-20-Ticket: The price per car is 60 € plus 1,50 € system charge. Two persons per car + a maximum of two related kids.

VIP 180-Ticket
Our limited VIP offer includes
• a space in the first row
• a prefessional photo with the players around your car
• a 180 sign signed by all the players
• a surprise package and a sticker for the Drive-In Darts Gala pioneers!
• CAR-WASH SPECIAL !!! The new Meet & Greet … Prior to the show (6.30pm – 7pm) your windscreen will be cleaned by one of the stars – for an ideal view of the show 😉

VIP 180-Ticket: The price per car is 180 € plus 1,50 € system charge. Two persons per car + a maximum of two related kids.

Please note the conditions of participation and safety instructions.

Hannover-Drive-In-Teaser
Four ‘Giants of Darts’ will contest the Drive-In Darts Gala next month!

Original Report from pdc-europe.de

Matchroom Live To Launch On May 6th And Will Include Classic Darts.

Sports fans can relive many iconic moments and see fantastic archive footage with the launch of Matchroom Live on Wednesday, May 6.

Barney & The Power’s 2007 Clash will be on the
new service.

Matchroom Live allows fans to delve into the history books of Matchroom Sport’s portfolio of events, with many great moments from boxing, snooker, pool and darts any many more sports to be available for free.

Fresh archive footage will be added continuously, ensuring every sports fan has countless hours of sport to watch wherever they are in the world.

Classic moments available at Matchroom Live include the legendary 2007 World Championship final between Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld alongside nine-dart finishes and other memorable contests from PDC history.

Fans will also be able to live stream ongoing events through a subscription package and pay-per-view options in territories without current broadcast rights holders.

This will give fans direct access to events including Pool’s Mosconi Cup and World Pool Championship, the World Snooker Championship and the remainder of Matchroom Sport’s catalogue of live events.

Matchroom Live is a video-first platform, with the ability to cast to virtually any device whether that be a console, Smart TV, or connected device. The services will also allow fans to watch up to four live events at once with ‘QuadPlay’.

The service is built and powered by sports streaming and video technology specialists StreamAMG, a longstanding partner of Matchroom Sport operating PDCTV since 2016 and streaming Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz II for the Indian Subcontinent in December 2019.

Fans can sign up for the free archive of sports from Wednesday May 6 at http://matchroom.live.

The Matchroom Live platform will sit alongside PDCTV, and those with an existing PDCTV Subscription will not be affected.

ENDS

Darts Legends Make Case for Annual ‘Founders Fest’.

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!

BARNEY BREEZES PAST BEATON IN UNIBET WORLD GRAND PRIX
RVB seemed to enjoy his remote darts, perhaps he could be persuaded to make an annual appearance at ‘Founders Fest’

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.

Coach says:

Betway Premier League - Night 15 Round-Up
Phil Taylor is still throwing at a level that would win many events. (Pic: L Lustig / PDC)

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.

Dennis would represent what could be known as Gen 2 at Founders’ Fest!

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?

Taylor & Barney To Rubble For Charity – Game On!

PHIL TAYLOR TO TAKE ON RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD IN DIGITAL DARTS LEGENDS MATCH ORGANISED BY PADDY POWER AND TARGET DARTS:

Darting greats Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld will be renewing their rivalry – after Paddy Power set up a Darts From Home match between the pair, in conjunction with Target Darts. 

Using the interactive Target Nexus dart board, the pair will be able to play remotely – with the board allowing the players to see, speak to, and play each other from their own homes, meaning the match can happen in complete isolation during lockdown.

Paddy Power will make a £1,000 donation to the NHS charity Heroes for every 180 hit in the match. 

And big finishes are practically guaranteed – with the entire bullseye (including outer and as well as inner bull) worth 50 in soft-tip darts, this match could have one of the highest averages in darting history.

The clash will be filmed on mounted iPhones sent to both players and will be available to view on Target Darts Twitter and Facebook.

NOTES
Heroes is a charity initiative, which supports the welfare of frontline NHS 

Fair play to the players and sponsors here, there could be a tidy sum available, for very good causes, after this and Taylor v Barney always has a great watchability factor! Good luck to both and congratulations to Target and Paddy power for their swift organisation. (DW Ed. Team)

William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Ten Round-Up

The Power & Barney To Play ‘Isolation’ Darts!

Something to look forward to that can be enjoyed in splendid isolation? Look no further:

The Sun newspaper are reporting that Phil Taylor and Raymond Van Barneveld are to ‘face off’ once more in a unique game of elite darts.

Darts long history of charity and supporting good causes will be extended into the Covid-19 crisis.

The pair, together with their sponsor Target darts, are trying to arrange a remote game where neither player will leave ‘their living room’. The match, which will by for charity, will feature Phil playing from his Stoke on Trent home whilst Barney does not have to travel from Holland. The match will highlight and perhaps assist the difficulties caused by the current social restrictions caused by the Covid-19 virus.

Target produce an intelligent ‘Nexus’ electronic dart board that can be linked online via wireless technology.

Taylor was quoted as hoping that the match would satisfy the craving public’s for some live sport whilst lifting the spirits and making a contribution to worthwhile causes.

The 16 times world champion also tweeted earlier:

I’ll certainly be trying to win this one!

Phil Taylor via twitter.

Target have also confirmed that attempts to arrange the one-off match are underway. The match seems to match up to the attempts of (PDC supremo) Barry Hearn who is seeking new ways to promote and host darts during the current difficulties.

As far as DW is aware neither player is currently subject to self isolation but both are willing to raise do their bit for those who find themselves in difficulty due to the virus.

Raymond Van Barneveld

It certainly gives those who love darts something to look forward to. A ‘front room thriller’, to match the 2007 World Championship final, world certainly give us something to talk about.

Overall ‘The Power’ leads ‘Barney’ (61 to 18) in head to head meetings. But Raymond’s 2007 win is the one that will always be remembered.


Original Article: The Sun

Featured Pics: L Lustig / PDC

Phil Taylor

This Week – Our Weekly Trawl Through Darts’ Archive Nets.

This edition of our regular look back through some of darts most memorable, or significant, moments, stretches from March 15th – March 21st. We journey back as far as the early 1990’s and through to 2015. Wade, Barney, Aspinall, Hamilton and Lazarenko all feature:

29 Years Ago:

Raymond van Barneveld
The RVB legend got moving in 1991. This week 29 years ago marked a good start to a signature season.

The German Open, from 1991, was in the second year of what would prove an unbroken run until this year (lets us hope that they can rearrange 2020’s event!). It was notable for a few reasons. Raymond Van Barneveld began a season that would see him win his first ranking event. RVB had to settle for a Qtr Final here though. U.S. star Steve Brown reached the final and showed a little of what was to come. Steve finished in the 3rd place in the first PDC World Championship in 1994, defeating Peter Evison in the play off match, and was still playing elite darts into his 50’s. As with a number of overseas players it is shame that we did not witness Steve at his best, for a longer time, but the slump in darts popularity made it impossible for many to travel and earn a living. Belgian Bruno Raes claimed the title overcoming Brown in the final. Raes was a quite the home player! Between 1991 and 2009 he was the whole range of Belgian events, Belgian Championships, Gold Cups Opens and National Championships were claimed repeatedly while he seemed rarely to venture beyond his borders. Indeed the German Championship may have been his only non Belgian title. Bruno make an exception for the majors in Britain, reaching the last 32 of the World Championships (x2) and the World Masters as late as 2011.

9 Years Ago:

Vincent van der Voort
Vincent was having a good start to 2011. This week saw him reach the semi’s of the RTL7 Masters.

Speaking of 2011, that year saw the only holding of the RTL7 Masters. The Dutch TV giant sponsored a invitational event not dissimilar to the current Champions League of Darts. After a group stage, four groups of three, the semi finals featured Phil Taylor vs Gary Anderson and Vincent Van de Voort against Raymond van Barneveld (handy for Dutch TV) the sponsors were rewarded with the final they craved. ‘The Power’ took on RVB with Taylor emerging triumphant, as was usually the case, by a score of 8-3 in the final.

Another event beginning to become an established feature on the calendar, was the Torremolinos Open weekend. The 2011 tournament was claimed by young Jake Jones. Jake defeated the immortal, so it seems, Paul Harvey in the final. Jones was not yet 18, whereas Harvey was in his late forties and enjoying a very good spell of results. Jones continued an excellent junior career, but is yet to realise his full potential in the game. Harvey is still playing well and was most recently spotted at Rileys qualifier for the UK Open.

5 Years Ago:

James Wade
Often overlooked James Wade was reaching finals, and winning events, from 2002 to 2015 and indeed this very weekend!

James Wade claimed the Pro Tour event held on March 15th (A feat he came close to repeating yesterday when he was runner up to Ian White). His route to the title was one of the tougher, his defeat of Peter Wright, in the final, was preceeded by wins over a handful of superb players including Micheal Smith, Gerwyn Price, Kev Thomas and Mensur. Many undervalue ‘The Machine’s career, but it should be noted that he has been winning PDC ranking events (Pro Tour) since 2002 and is still only 36 years old! Hidden away on the same day Nathan Aspinall can be seen bowing out at the L64 stage. Nathan should be a lesson to all, it is possible to have a tough time at the highest level but then to learn, re group and step up again.

Birthdays:

Andy Hamilton
Happy Birthday to The Hammer (53).

Amongst this week’s birthdays are: ‘Big Cliff’ Lazerenko (68) and Andy Hamilton (53). Both men reached Major Championship finals, only to be thwarted by the icons of their day. In Cliff’s case Eric, John, Jockey or Bob were usually in his path. Whereas, Andy, was often prevented, from lifting trophies, by fellow Stoke-on-Trent titans Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis.

Cliff, however, did manage to lift both the British Open and the British Matchplay.


Devonshires’ Darts Discussion – The Challengers: A Missed Opportunity?

AS many of you will have seen I recently published a piece on the PDC’s ‘Challengers’ concept. Some of our contributors then added their selections to my own. This week the PDC published their choices for the 2020 slots.

William Hill World Darts Championship Preview
The Power vs Barney in Rotterdam? A Challengers / Legend tie to wet the appetite!
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Following the announcement, of the PDC Premier League Challengers, I wonder if more could have been done or a different path taken? Most selections were as predicted and could easily be accepted. What a missed opportunity for us darts fans to have seen something different in 2020.

The PDC could have reverted to selecting 10 players to play the league season with two relegated. Imagine if along with those ten players two legends were picked for each week to compete against each other!

Imagine Taylor v Barney in Rotterdam,  Beaton v Burnett in Cardiff, Priestley v Deller, Bob Anderson v Lloyd (with or without the horse!), Manley v Baxter the list could go on and on. Surely fans would support the chance to see the legends, after all they have helped the PDC on its journey.

Challenger on both merit and legacy?
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG STEVE BEATON IN ACTION

Many of the ‘Legends’ style players are also highly skilled in entertaining an audience and, although their desire to win is unbowed, they may well provide a different style in terms of personality and flair. Perhaps next year!

Original Article by Andrew Devonshire – http://www.dartsworld.com/challengers-challenge-pick-who-should-face-the-premier-league-field/


Follow Andrew: @A_Devonshire