The origin of darts is somewhat unclear, but it is believed to have originated in England during the Middle Ages. The game initially started as a pastime for soldiers, who used arrows and crossbows to sharpen their shooting skills. They would aim at a target, usually a barrel or a tree, and try to hit specific areas to win prizes or bragging rights.
Over time the game evolved to include smaller, more manageable projectiles that could be thrown accurately over shorter distances. The first darts boards were made from tree sections, and the scoring system was simple - players would aim for specific numbers or areas, and the first to reach a set number of points would win the game.
During the 19th century darts became a popular pub game in England. Pubs would often have a designated area for darts, and patrons would play for money or drinks. As the game gained popularity, the rules and regulations became more standardized, and the equipment improved.
In 1908, the National Darts Association was founded in England, which helped to further standardise the game and establish official rules and regs. The first world championship was held in 1927! The game continued to grow in popularity throughout the 20th century.
In the 1970s darts experienced a surge in popularity thanks to the televised coverage of major tournaments. This led to the formation of the Professional Darts Corporation in 1992 which helped to further promote the game and increase its profile. Nowadays millions of people across the globe enjoy playing darts, it is estimated that there are over 21 million players in the USA alone!