The game of darts in North America in 2012 promises to be quite different from years past. For starters, the American Darts Organization has a new President, the PDC North American Pro Tour is kicking off, Major League Darts has scheduled a National Championship, and DARTSLIVE is expanding throughout North America. There hasn’t been this much excitement and activity since the Lucky Strike tournament series back in the early 90’s.
The American Darts Organization’s new President is Chris Helms from San Antonio, Texas. Chris is a perennial top ranked ADO National touring player that has played on many US National teams and he has many singles and doubles titles to his credit. Arguably, Chris is one of the most accomplished dart players to ever serve as the ADO President. Accomplishments aside, Chris has several characteristics that I believe will make him a successful president……strong leadership skills…strategic vision…and a passion to grow the game. I recently spoke with Chris and he informed me of new changes that are being implemented and new ideas that are being formulated. Based upon what I heard, I think that Chris is on the right track. I am confident that Chris will make a positive impact on the ADO and the members of the organization.
Not long ago, Brian Jackson told me about his idea for a new singles tournament format and singles tournament series to help develop aspiring professional dart players in North America. Brian wanted to create an event which allowed a player to play a large number of matches against many players. He wanted the event to be a platform for player development and provide entry fee value for all participants, regardless of their level of ability. From this idea, Brian created the Major League Darts (MLD) organization. MLD tournaments have been instant sellouts in Canada as the Canadians know a good thing when they see it. The growth of MLD in the USA is building as shown by the numerous scheduled MLD events across the country. MLD tournament players earn valuable MLD championship qualifying points for the MLD North American Championships scheduled for November 30 – December 2, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. The MLD also recently joined forces with the Dart Players of New York (DPNY) tournament series to give DPNY players a chance to earn valuable MLD points for the national championship event. For more information, read the MLD Frequently Asked Questions or visit the MLD website and sign up to become an MLD member today. MLD registration is free!
In a earlier blog article, I wrote about the exit of the PDC from North America. I also hinted at rumors of a new PDC, North American only, Order of Merit qualifying system which leads to the televised year-end PDC World Championships in England. My information source was right and this rumor is now a reality. Beginning in 2012, there will be an initial series of three (3) North American PDC professional tournaments, with plans to expand to more PDC events in the coming years. An Order of Merit ranking is based upon money won at the PDC tournament events. The top ranked North American Order of Merit player will receive an invitation to play in PDC World Championships. Adrian Lewis won this championship event for the second year in a row and this time he pocketed ~$300K for winning the championship.
DARTSLIVE hosted an elite world championship soft tip series in Hong Kong last year which paid significant amounts of money in each qualifying event. The 2012 World Soft Championship schedule has been announced and I hope that it will be bigger and better than before. Last year’s championship finals winner pocketed ~$130K for the win. How many of you have ever played in an event with that type of purse? How many of you would like to play in an event like that? DARTSLIVE is now in the USA and they’re currently expanding into new areas on the West coast, with plans for expansion across the USA. Along with this expansion comes the potential for US DARTSLIVE tournaments, some of which may lead to their world championship event.
From the looks of things already, 2012 has just begun and it’s shaping up to be a great year in North American darts. Several major events have already been scheduled for 2012 and there are many more to come. The only thing that is left is that the players need to get out there and support these events. I plan to make as many of these big events that I can. I hope that you’ll find a way to make it to a few of them too.