“Are darts players athletes”? This is a controversial topic. Most people who play darts seriously or professionally agree that dart players are athletes. However, those who rarely play darts or see it as a hobby have the opposite view.
Depending on personal perspective and experience, each person has their own answer. This article will discuss many sides of the issue and give you our opinion. Let’s find out!
- Some Fun Facts
- How to Define an Athlete
- Are Darts Players Athletes?
- Do Darts Players Need to Be Physically Fit?
Some Fun Facts
Before diving into the topic, we want to provide some interesting facts.
On Wikipedia, Gerwyn Price who is a professional darts player is included in the List of multi-sport athletes.
Also, when you search the keyword “Darts Athletes” on Google, the top search result shows a list of top world-class players with the terms “Professional Athletes / Darts”.
The data above does not directly answer whether darts players are athletes, but they show many credible sources and communities agree with this point of view.
How to Define an Athlete
To answer the question of this article, we need to understand the definition of an athlete.
According to the traditional British definition, an athlete is a “person who takes part in competitive track and field events (athletics), which include a wide variety of sports, with competitions featuring running, walking, jumping, and throwing under different disciplines”.
This definition is quite general. Let’s continue to look into some other definitions from other sources.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an athlete is “a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina”.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, an athlete is “a person who is very good at sports or physical exercise, especially one who competes in organized events”.
According to Wikipedia, it is “a person who competes in one or more sports that involve physical strength, speed or endurance”.
So, we have gone through some definitions from well-known sources. They all agree that athletes are people who play sports and involve in physical activities.
Are Darts Players Athletes?
Based on the above definitions, a person needs to meet two conditions to be an athlete:
- First, compete in a sport at a well-organized event.
- Second, perform physical activities involving physical strength, speed, and endurance.
Is Darts a Sport?
In many countries, darts is recognized as a sport. For example, England recognized darts as a sport in 2005. In such countries, there are many professional darts tournaments and professional darts players are usually considered athletes.
On the other hand, many other countries do not regard darts as an official sport. People play darts just as a recreational activity. In this case, it is not common to see professional darts players as athletes.
Do Darts Require Physical Activities?
The image of an athlete has always been associated with activities involving skill, agility, endurance, and physical exertion.
According to Wikipedia, “physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Physical activity encompasses all activities, at any intensity, performed during any time of day or night”.
Darts players do perform physical activities, such as hand-eye coordination, aiming, and throwing accurately. A professional darts match can last up to an hour, so players need to maintain a high level of concentration and exertion.
However, darts players only use certain parts of their bodies when competing. Most of their movement is in their hands, wrists, and elbows. The rest of the body has to stay still most of the time. Otherwise, it would be tough to hit the target.
This means it’s reasonable to say that darts requires less physical movement than other popular sports. This is a pretty solid argument for why darts players should not be considered athletes.
BUT! It is interesting that darts players have to practice a lot to keep their bodies still throughout the match and hit the right target repeatedly. A professional player must practice for hours, sometimes tens of hours a day or even more, to have the best form and techniques. This effort is the same as practicing any sport at a high level.
Do We Think Darts Players Are Athletes?
Yes, we agree that darts players are athletes, but one thing should be clear that players need to practice darts seriously if they want to be considered athletes. And they have to take part in well-recognized events or tournaments like the PDC World Championship.
Are All Darts Players Athletes?
No. You are not an athlete just because you play football or basketball. Only when you practice seriously and compete professionally can you be recognized as an athlete. The same goes for darts.
Do Darts Players Need to Be Physically Fit?
This is another controversial topic. Because when people mention athletes, they often think about their fitness, qualifications, skills, experience, awards, and titles.
Many people say that darts players look overweight or fat. And this does not look like an athlete with proper physical fitness.
They also argue that darts is a traditional game associated with pubs and beer. So, darts players usually drink alcohol during training sessions. Again, this does not look like an athlete with physical fitness.
But we should understand that each sport requires different standards of appearance and physicality. For example, sumo wrestlers are heavyweight, high jumpers are usually tall and thin, and bodybuilders are muscular. Similarly, darts players have their own body-shape standards.
Dart players usually only focus on certain parts of their bodies during a match. The rest of the body stays still. They do not need a good-looking body. To achieve peak performances, they need strong forearms, broad shoulders, flexible elbows and wrists, and a rock-solid body.
As for the origin of drinking beer while playing, it no longer happens, especially in professional settings. Expert dart players usually have to practice from 6-10 hours a day at the gym, 100% focus training.
So, are darts players athletes? We do not think that people who play darts as a hobby are athletes. But it is unfair not to recognize professional dart players as athletes. They meet all the standards of an athlete. Darts is considered a sport (in many countries) and professionals usually practice tons of hours to have the skills and mental to compete at a high level.
But again, depending on personal perspective and experience, each person has their own answer.
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