Has there ever been a better time for darts?
The February issue of Darts World has traditionally been a little thin. Times have changed. This 72-page issue (578) is as packed to the gunnels with darting news, views, and information as The Circus Tavern was for World Senior Darts last week!
The tradition of this issue being dominated by World Champions is continued, as you may have noticed from the cover. We already have three titleholders for 2022 and we await more from the WDF’s return to the Lakeside in early April. Let’s hope that the delayed event is the final blow from Covid and that full normality will be soon restored.
Peter Wright’s victory was richly deserved and his second chance, in three years, to fully enjoy being a World Champion may well be more fun than his first. Ally Pally produced some superb highlights, many involving unlucky runner-up Michael Smith whose wins against Jonny Clayton and Gerwyn Price will live long in the memory.
Aussie Raymond Smith was this year’s popular newcomer/underdog and let’s hope we see more of him and his son Ky. Preston Rydz finally began to demonstrate a talent that even he seems not to be fully aware of. The Riot could almost be seen as the leader of a new generation who began to assert themselves. William Borland’s 9-darter along with Nathan Rafferty’s emergence adds to an ever-expanding ‘Next Gen’ just waiting for signs of weakness from the old guard.
The Masters again produced an unexpected ‘fairy story’ with an emotional Joe Cullen finally coming of age with a TV event win. A place in the Premier League may be controversial but Joe is certainly a popular choice.
Meanwhile, the PDC overhaul gathered pace. Cazoo stepped up to sponsor the majority of the events. The format of the Premier League is totally revamped and even the boards have changed. The partnership with Winmau is a tremendous coup for one of the best-known darts brands and the two look made for each other.
Away from the PDC, it’s even busier!
MODUS’s Live League is already back underway and will surely go from strength to strength after 2021 provided such high-level play and preparation for players to go on and win in other codes/formats.
MAD has metamorphosed into the ADC and seems to have caught the attention of amateur players.
World Seniors Darts was quite simply a fantastic success. The brave decisions paid off and, despite some early teething troubles, the mix of quality, entertainment and nostalgia proved irresistible. Congratulations to inaugural Champion Robert Thornton who played the best darts from the first round to the final!
Issue 578 sees us up to date with the UKDA National League. With the supplement herewithin, Darts World has now printed the results of every match to date and will continue to do so. We shall also always include comments and a selection of reports and stories. Our online Amateur section (at dartsworld50.com) contains more and fuller reports.
Finally, the success of our annual ‘Souvenir Issues’ and the delay to the WDF World Championship will see another Darts World first. From March we shall be launching Darts World Extra. This periodical digital supplement will allow us to bridge the gap between print issues and reach a wider audience across the Darts World.
Darts has indeed never been in a better place!
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