DARTS Company History Timeline

1801
Although there could well be some evidence waiting to be found, it is not mentioned by Joseph Strutt in 1801 so is unlikely to have been a well-known game at that point and none of the many decrees banning games in prior centuries make any mention of it either.
1819
The first definite references to a game featuring darts appear in 2 journals dated 1819 in the form of a game called Puff and Dart.
1844
Perhaps analogous to the manner in which Homo Sapiens slowly pushed the Neanderthals into extinction. It is said that in 1844, during a game of Puff and Dart at a London pub, a player made the unfortunate mistake of sucking rather than blowing.
1895
To the left is an illustration from an 1895 book showing Victorian boys playing Puff and Dart.
1896
Many attribute the numbers on the dartboard to Brian Gamlin, a carpenter and dartboard maker from Bury, Lancashire, England, who put them on his boards starting in 1896.
1900
Around 1900 the rules and darts began to settle into what they are today.
1903
Brian Gamlin died in 1903 before he could patent his idea.
1908
Historical records show that in the year 1908 a pub owner in the town of Leeds was taken to court for allowing his customers to play darts in his establishment.
1920
The first organized championships had begun in the 1920s.
An English newspaper, News of the World, sponsored darts competitions in the 1920 s.
1924
The establishment of the National Darts Association took place in 1924.
1925
Brewers started to organise Darts leagues from around 1925.
However, as darts increased in popularity and leagues were formed there was a demand for standardisation and in 1925 the National Darts Association NDA introduced formal rules of play.
1927
The News of the World Individual Darts Championship was first contested in London in the 1927 28 season and covered only the Metropolitan Area around the capital.
In 1927 these rules were adopted for the News of the World competition and eventually became therules governing all organised darts play in Britain.
1930
Such was the popularity that the game of darts enjoyed during the first decades of the twentieth century that by 1930 the game was played all over England and in Welsh pubs and breweries.
1935
In 1935, chemist Ted Leggatt and pub owner Frank Dabbs began using the century plant, a type of agave, to make dartboards.
1936
The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC had introduced television in England to a limited number of subscribers in August 1936 transmitting test programmes from its London Television Station at Alexandra Palace, north London, until its formal launch on 2 November that year.
1937
The game gained huge popularity with the females too, when, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, played a game of darts in a social center in Buckinghamshire, England in 1937.
1939
The first People National Team Championships event was held 1939, which was sponsored by The People another U.K. Sunday Newspaper.
1945
After 1945, darts returned to being a working-class pub pastime, played by working-class pub-goers in massive numbers for whom the game had originally been formally introduced and where the game s enduring appeal lay.
1947
The News of the World Individual Darts Championship title was the dream of every darts player and it wasn t surprising when the competition was revived in 1947 48, but this time on a national level.
1950
The game of darts maintained a fairly low profile on a national level during the 1950 and 60 s, but through the excellent organization of the NDAGB, close to 4 million competitors in England alone entered the NODOR Fours competition, sponsored by the Nodor Dartboard Company.
1954
The National Darts Association of Great Britain, which was founded in 1954, took up the task of setting up and organizing leagues at the local and national levels.
Although various attempts were made to setup another national controlling agency but nothing materialized until 1954, when through the support of The People , The National Darts Association of Great Britain NDAGB was established.
1962
The first darts television broadcast was by Westward Television in 1962 when the Westward TV Invitational was broadcasted to the people in the south-west of England.
1972
In April 1972, ITV broadcast the News of the World Individual Darts Championship from the Alexandra Palace, for the first time.
1973
Of an estimated 5 million players in the British Isles, about 25,000 are represented by the British Darts Organisation BDO founded 1973 . The BDO is the founder member of the World Darts Federation WDF , which represents more than 500,000 darts players in 50 countries.
1975
The Embassy World Darts Championship was promoted the first time on television in 1975.
1976
The World Darts Federation was founded in 1976 by representatives of 15 nations.
1978
The first World Professional Darts Championship was organized by the BDO in 1978.
Since 1978 the game has grown into one of the best-loved and viewed sports on television.
1979
By 1979 it was estimated that two million people in Britain played darts competitively three or four times a week with another three million playing it fairly regularly plus at least another two million who threw darts at least once a year.
1980
The BDO grew rapidly during this time and in the mid 1980 s had some 30,000 members already and organized over 800 tournaments in a single year.
In the mid 1980 s the BBC television program Not the 9 O Clock News did a harsh sketch on darts about heavy drinking in the sport, which caused great damage to the image of the game and players.
1985
But the cancellation of ITV s programme World of Sport in 1985 and the general change of emphasis in televised sport away from darts led to a reduction in coverage that shook the darts world.
1988
Although attempts have been made by certain players to rectify the damage, by drinking water on stage during TV broadcasts etc., all ITV coverage of the game was stopped in 1988.
Despite ITV s cutbacks the company still covered the Winmau World Masters until 1988.
1989
1989On February 21st 1989, at Buckingham Palace, London, Eric Bristow became the first darts player to receive the coveted Member of the British Empire award M.B.E. . Bristow was awarded this honour for Services to Darts and UK Exports by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
1992
The first significant organizational split of the sport occurred in 1992 when the British Darts Organization parted with several high profile players who were unhappy with the way the national championships were being run.
1993
In early 1993, fifteen of the top professional darts players were effectively banned by the BDO.
1994
From 1994 satellite TV, in the form of Sky Television, covered the new organisation s World Championship and World Matchplay events.
2004
Darts501 was established in 2004 and from its humble beginnings and a few makeovers the website has had over well over 12.8 million viewers, and the increasing trend continues.
2005
In March 2005 the 'game' of darts was recognised by 'Sports England' as a sporting activity which could pave the way to the sport featuring in future Olympic Games.
2006
The PDC has also tried to break into the television market in the United States by introducing the World Series of Darts in 2006.
2007
In November of 2007 ITV also returned to darts after almost 20 years by showing the Grand Slam of Darts.
In 2007 the PDC introduced the first Youth World Championship.
The tournament was replaced with a US Open event in 2007 which was screened in the UK.
2010
In 2010 Russ Strobel submitted to the Darts Australia a new recommended dartboard height for Wheelchair users.
2015
However, it wasn't until 2015 when the BDO followed suit and introduced its own Youth World Championship.
2016
In 2016 Trina won the World Darts title yet again making her the most successful ladies darts player in the World, a record-breaking Ten World Titles.
2018
In 2018 the website attracted a conservative 1.6 million.
2019
However, in 2019 Lisa was sensationally knocked out in the first round by the Japanese soft-tip star, Mikuru Suzuki.
2019 also witnessed a number of the top BDO players move to the more lucrative PDC. With a 14M annual prize fund, and with the BDO contract restrictions taken off, players flocked to win a PDC tour card.
In 2019 John Lowe the former three-time World Darts Champion was awarded an MBE in the UK Queens New Year's honours list.
2020
In 2020 with a new chairman on-board Des Jacklin, the BDO moved their world darts championship away from the Lakeside venue to the O2 Arena.
Founded
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Company Founded

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