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We’ve all sunk a few pints while throwing darts at the local boozer. But have you ever wondered if professional darts players get to drink beer during matches? It’s an intriguing question that reveals the sport’s roots in the pub culture and its transformation into a professional arena. This article explores whether professional dart players can drink beer during matches, revealing the evolution of the sport. We’ll explore the historical roots of this beer-friendly image, its shift, and what darts players do when they’re not on stage.
The History of Darts
Darts has a pretty interesting history, dating all the way back to medieval times. Back then, soldiers would use shortened arrows or crossbow bolts to hit the bottom of wine casks or tree trunks to keep themselves entertained and improve their aim. Over time, this pastime evolved into the modern game of darts that we know today.
Fast forward to the 19th century, and darts was all the rage in the United Kingdom, especially in pubs. A guy named Brian Gamlin introduced the standardised dartboard with its numbered scoring system in 1896, and it made the game even better! The design aimed to penalise inaccuracy, helping to emphasise precision and accuracy even more.
During the 20th century, darts became increasingly popular, especially during and after World War II. It was a common pub activity in the UK and later in the United States. Local pub leagues and formal competitions emerged, cementing darts as a beloved part of pub culture.
The game continued to evolve, and in the late 20th century, it became professionalised with the formation of darts organisations. They standardised rules and organised major tournaments, taking darts to a whole new level.
Today, darts is a global sport with a massive following, professional leagues, and televised championships. It’s pretty wild to think about how this game has transitioned from its military roots to a professional sport millions worldwide enjoy. But can you down a pint before approaching the oche?
Can Darts Players Drink Beer?
Darts and beer have always been a popular combo, especially in pubs. But things have changed in the professional world of darts. The big darts organisations have been strict about players not drinking alcohol during matches. They did this to make the sport look more professional. Today, professional players drink iced water instead of beer on stage.
But it’s a different story backstage and in non-professional settings. In amateur leagues, especially in pubs and local venues, players still drink beer during games. Some leagues have guidelines to prevent apparent drunkenness during tournament play.
Some players, both amateur and professional, think drinking beer can help calm their nerves and improve their focus. However, this isn’t supported by scientific evidence. Drinking too much beer can lead to addiction and health issues, as we’ve seen with some famous players. So, while amateur leagues in pubs may still see beer-drinking during games, professional settings differ significantly.
When Did Darts Players Stop Drinking Beer?
Darts used to be a casual pub game where players could drink beer while they played. The transition began in the late 1980s when darts’ popularity surged, prompting a push for professionalism. The pivotal moment came in 1989 when the British Darts Organisation (BDO) banned alcohol consumption during games. This was a big change, as it went against the traditional image of darts players drinking pints of beer during matches – such a shame.
Beyond image, this shift aligned darts with other professional sports, targeting a wider, family-friendly audience. Other organisations like the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and the World Darts Federation (WDF) followed the BDO’s lead and banned alcohol during professional matches and events. These rules aimed to ensure player safety, maintain game integrity and improve the sport’s appeal.
As darts became more successful and a multi-million dollar industry, the presence of visibly intoxicated players on the professional stage became incompatible with the desired professional image. This transition was further supported by players themselves, who began to adopt a more disciplined approach to the sport, focusing on skill and performance, which is fair play, considering you can win serious money!
The move away from beer consumption during professional darts matches was a gradual but deliberate process. It was driven by a combination of factors, including the sport’s growing commercial success, the desire for a more professional public image, and the need to prioritise player safety and performance. This shift has helped to redefine darts from a casual pub activity to a respected competitive sport.
What Do Darts Players Do When They Go Off Stage?
Off stage, professional darts players switch from casual pint-sinking to strategic planning. While the energetic atmosphere of the game might make it look like a casual environment, a lot happens behind the scenes.
So, what do players do when they’re not playing? During these breaks, players engage in mental preparation, strategy refinement, and consultations with coaches.
Physical relaxation is also crucial during these breaks. Although darts might seem like a stationary sport, it requires a steady hand and a calm demeanour. They might perform stretching exercises or practice relaxation techniques to maintain physical composure.
Drinking water or isotonic drinks is a must for players to stay hydrated, especially in warm venues. Modern professional players refrain from beer during the match, which is why I couldn’t go pro.
Additionally, players may take a few practice throws to recalibrate their technique and reinforce muscle memory.
In professional darts, drinking beer on stage has been banned since 1989. Players now focus on their skills and performance. Although darts has its roots in pubs where drinking was a common sight, most modern players avoid it, especially during televised events. However, some non-professional players still tend to drink before matches or during breaks. I don’t know about you, but I will continue having a few jars when hitting the bullseye.
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