Talking Points Extra 3

Talking Points is a regular area of the Darts World Website and involves important or smaller pieces of news or those stories which may need longer exposure than the 24hrs cycle usually allows.

The section proved so popular that it is now the opening section of every issue of Darts World Extra. DWE 3 included Kim Huybrechts, World Cup opinions, and thoughts on the return of MVG to winning ways:

No I in Team

The World Cup of Darts always stimulates plenty of chatter. Whether it be the healthy kind where a couple of teammates will discuss who would gel to make the best current England side – whether PDC (Order of Merit) position is the best selection method – or the less fun type that is often found on social media. 

The most often heard point is that there should be more pairs play, as it’s supposed to be a team event. However, this does lead to the obvious reply that if pairs were so popular there would still be a market for at least a regular World Pairs competition and no one has proposed that for quite some years. The truth is that fans like a little variety but love to see the biggest stars as well.

Surely it is not beyond the wit of man, in this case, Matthew Porter, to add another element to the later stages which would prevent the dreaded “two straightforward singles wins and it’s all over” scenario. A popular suggestion has been that a pairs game should be the opener for every match. Then add the singles which would introduce an element of selection decisions etc. 

Although there is a risk of more time being taken it’s also possible that quite a few games will still be 2-0. An extra element could be added to do with leg totals if people wanted still more drama.

Overall it should be remembered that the vent is very popular but very short. Getting 32 playing teams into a 3/4 day event and making all rounds entertaining is an impressive effort. If one looks at other organisations or even indoor sports, extensive broadcast team events are as rare as rocking horse wranglers.

The top 8 seeds reaching the Qtr finals suggest it’s time for a refresh, perhaps in selection and qualification as previously suggested by Devon Petersen in Darts World, but, it is unlikely that the PDC will risk such a widely successful formula with radical change. Although I think we said that about the Premier League last year. @AIM180

Back For Good?

MVG’s sixth Premier League title is a remarkable achievement when you consider that he is scheduled for surgery (and rehab) between that triumph and the World Matchplay. To play with carpal tunnel for months or years is one thing but to claim one of the PDC’s flagship titles against the best players in the world with such a spectre hanging over you is in another league. A couple of years ago one of the most senior figures in the darts industry said to me: 

Michael is the single most competitive and single-minded person, in any field, that I have ever come across….”

The origin of that quote has mixed with all the great darts players of recent decades as well as being familiar with professional players in golf and snooker. 

I have advocated for some time that the Dutchman must alter his approach, be more selective in his events, and be less combative/dismissive towards his contemporaries. It seems to me that he has begun to do that during 2022. It will be fascinating to see if he can maintain such an approach as he returns from his surgery. We should all wish him well. @JRLott2

Hurricane Fans The Flames

Europe consists of more than just Germany! This would be a summary of Kim Huybrecht’s reaction to the recent World Cup of Darts in Frankfurt. The Belgian pointed out, in no uncertain terms, that there are many European nations with thriving darts scenes that are yet to receive the benefits which these major events can bring. 

The Belgian Hurricane specifically mentioned his home nation but also Denmark, Austria, Poland, and others. His reference to crowds seemed another complaint about the current raucous nature of the dart audience. It may well be that needs to be gotten over and accepted that if our sport expects the rewards and audiences of a global phenomenon it will have to accept the strong involvement of its live audience. 

Kim’s other point seems a fair one. Surely other European nations will soon have more than an annual visit from the World Series to look forward to. The Netherlands and Belgium, in particular, seem ripe for one of the longer majors? They will if Huybrechts has anything to say about it!

Talking Points proved so popular that it is now the opening section of every issue of Darts World Extra

——ENDS—–

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