Mikuru Suzuki

Are women's darts on the increase?

Women’s darts has never been given the accreditation it deserves. It has always been seen as a bit of a novelty by some fans, yet the top players can and frequently do beat their male counterparts.

The 2019 Lakeside BDO World Professional Darts Championship has since 2001 hosted a Women’s World Darts Championship. However, the winner can expect far less in prize money than their male counterparts.

The winner of the BDO World Championship (male) has for the past few years picked up a winner’s cheque for £100,000. However, the women’s winner only receives £12,000 and a first-round loser £500 which hardly pays for their travel and accommodation as many players travel to the UK for the finals.

This year’s lady’s winner was a shock and unknown to most viewers, Mikuru Suzuki who had a three-dart average of 90.12, which is hardly second rate. Mikuru had to travel to the UK from Japan. In Japan, Mikuru is treated like a big sports star and is known mainly for playing Soft-tip darts, an electronic version of the sport.

Soft-tip dartboards scoring area is slightly bigger than the steel-tip version played in the UK and most of Europe so for someone to make the transition from soft-tip to steel-tip is not as easy as it is from steel-tip to soft-tip. Mikuru has been a great ambassador for ladies’ darts, and her 2019 World Championship win has helped to project the sport to a much bigger audience.

The 2019 BDO World Championship played host to many nationalities, including Australia, Netherlands and Poland although most of the players came from the UK. Players downtime is often spent practising and playing the odd online game via their mobile phone such as games from pokies Australia where bonus match bets and free spins can be obtained.

Trina Gulliver MBEFormer 10 World Darts Champion Trina Gulliver MBE has seen an increase in ladies darts players and was a commentator for the PDC World Championships. The PDC decided to make two places available for female players that hadn’t qualified by the normal qualifying route. This year these places were taken by Lisa Ashton and Anastasia Dobromyslova. Lisa won the UK qualifier and Anastasia by the rest of the world qualification. Unfortunately, both players lost their first-round matches but not before frightening their male opponents.

The BDO Chairman Des Jacklin has said the prize fund for the lady’s competitions will be addressed, however, as yet no change has been announced. In ladies Wimbledon tennis the ladies prize fund is as high as the men’s, yet in darts, there is a distinct difference, and some may say bias. A time for change is long overdue.

The ladies give good entertainment and most score well and if the major organisations want to increase participation, then the prize funds need to be reviewed.

The 2020 World Darts Championship tickets usually go on sale mid-year however, yet again a venue for the BDO World Championship hasn’t been announced. Will Lakeside be the main sponsor and host the event again? We will have to wait and see. However, the 2020 BDO World Champions will be without the defending three times men’s champion  Glen Durrant because he has moved to the PDC and can the ten ladies World Champion Trina Gulliver MBE  qualify again for the World Championships, all will be answered over the next few months.

BDO Womes' World Champions

Year Winner Sets   Sets Runner-up
2019 Mikuru Suzuki 3 - 0 Lorraine Winstanley
2018 Lisa Ashton 3 - 1 Anastasia Dobromyslova
2017 Lisa Ashton 3 - 0 Corrine Hammond
2016 Trina Gulliver MBE 3 - 2 Deta Headman
2015 Lisa Ashton 3 - 1 Fallon Sherrock
2014 Lisa Ashton 3 - 2 Deta Hedman
2013 Anastasia Dobromyslova 2 - 1 Lisa Ashton
2012 Anastasia Dobromyslova 2 - 1 Deta Hedman
2011 Trina Gulliver MBE 2 - 0 Rhian Edwards
2010 Trina Gulliver MBE 2 - 0 Rhian Edwards
2009 Francis Hoenselaar 2 - 1 Trina Gulliver MBE
2008 Anastasia Dobromyslova 2 - 0 Trina Gulliver MBE
2007 Trina Gulliver MBE 2 - 1 Francis Hoenselaar
2006 Trina Gulliver MBE 2 - 0 Francis Hoenselaar
2005 Trina Gulliver MBE 2 - 0 Francis Hoenselaar
2004 Trina Gulliver MBE 2 - 0 Francis Hoenselaar
2003 Trina Gulliver MBE 2 - 0 Ann Kirk
2002 Trina Gulliver MBE 2 - 1 Francis Hoenselaar
2001 Trina Gulliver MBE 2 - 1 Mandy Solomons