WDF Darts unter der Lupe: Geschichte, Ziele, Rangliste

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The WDF – World Darts Federation – was founded in 1976 under the leadership of the BDO . Today the WDF has a total of 500,000 darts players .

These numbers alone make it clear that the world association is more interested in promoting darts as a popular sport than in establishing professional structures within an association.

For all players who are organized within the WDF, there are many tournaments during the calendar year to prove themselves and possibly test whether they have enough for a career as a professional.

But WDF Darts is much more than that. The importance of this organization is often far too low. In this blog post you will find out what the World Dart Federation is , what exactly it is about and what its goal is.

What is the WDF?

In 1976, the World Darts Federation – WDF for short – was founded as the new global umbrella organization for the sport of darts. The idea of ​​founding such an association probably came from the collaboration of Olly Croft, Stanley Lowy, Barry Twomlow and Tom Fleetwood .

Lowy was working as Unicon boss at the time, Twomlow was the Unicorn ambassador at the time. In addition to Croft, Fleetwood is also one of the founders, who is also one of the founders of the national American association ADO and organized the most important dart tournaments in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Even back then, many players were wondering how to become a professional darts player and what options do you have?!

How was the WDF founded?

When it was founded, 15 countries joined. Today, more than 80 national associations are members of the world association. By the way, the WDF Germany is the DDV – the German darts association.

In these 80 regional associations, a number of teams and players are organized into the official structures of the respective regional associations. The World Darts Federation now has a whopping 500,000 members .

A main problem with WDF Germany is that there are no comprehensive structures to plan a league system from the bottom up.

If this were the case, then the number of players from Germany would be many times higher than is currently the case.

The 10 most important rules of the WDF

As you probably know, there are countless WDF rules. At least in the tournaments the players have to be of legal age . In addition, each player must be on the board within 10 minutes of the end of the last game .

If this is not the case, there is a risk of disqualification and, with bad luck, the player will slide down in the WDF rankings. But there are other interesting rules from the World Dart Federation, some of which we have listed here. You can find all the WDF rules here .

  1. At the start of a game, each player is allowed to throw 9 darts onto the board they are playing on. This way he can familiarize himself with it.
  2. The throw decides who starts . The two players throw at the bull before the start to decide who has the first throw.
  3. If a player does not complete all of their Round Robin games, they will be removed from the group's results table .
  4. The WDF World Open as well as the WDF World Championship Qualifiers will be played in a knockout format . Markers are used for the first game.
  5. The loser must also stay to mark the next game on the same board. But even if you lose on the stage, you have to return to this board and mark the board you want to play on.
  6. The Wold Dart Federation dress code must be adhered to. This includes trousers and no jeans , a collared shirt and dark shoes . Women must wear a skirt, a blouse and dark shoes.
  7. It is forbidden to show that you belong to a club (motorcycle club, football club or similar).
  8. Players performing on stage must also visibly wear a primary sponsor sticker , if provided.
  9. Due to security reasons, prize money will only be paid out via bank transfer .
  10. Anyone who does not take part in the award ceremony loses the right to receive the prize money and the trophy.

WDF Darts – What is the goal of the association?

The main goal of the association is to make darts better known worldwide in order to establish it as a popular sport in the long term.

Admittedly a big challenge when you consider the subtle clichés the sport already has to contend with in Germany.

The range of regional associations organized in the WDF is nevertheless constantly growing . This is also evident at WDF Germany, as this organization continues to grow.

Which countries do the members of the WDF come from?

Members from all continents are now represented. A few examples that you might not have immediately noticed:

  • Ethiopia (Africa)
  • Brunei (Asia)
  • Australia (Australia)
  • Cyprus (Europe)
  • Brazil (South America)
  • Trinidad & Tobago (North America)

Today the WDF has a total of 500,000 darts players.

This diversity in the composition of the world association shows that the plan to make darts big is gradually working. This can also be seen in the numerous WDF tournaments and the WDF rankings.

What are the WDF Regional Tables?

The WDF Regional Tables are effectively WDF rankings alongside the official rankings. These are used, among other things, to qualify for tournaments. However , Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States have their own regional tables. The five remaining tables are divided as follows:

  • Regional Table of UK and Ireland
  • Regional Table of Northern Europe
  • Regional Table of Eastern Europe
  • Regional Table of Western Europe
  • Regional Table of Asia

Is there a connection between WDF and BDO?

The connection between the world association and the BDO cannot be denied. On the one hand, this is because one of the founding members of the WDF was president of the BDO at the time - we are talking about Olly Croft.

At the same time, Croft also served as general secretary of the World Dart Federation. And even today, a former BDO official still holds the position of WDF Secretary General.

Nick Rolls, former BDO caller, has taken over the position. Despite the clear connections between WDF and BDO, the WDF continues to split off and acts as an independent association.

This is partly due to the decline of the BDO in Great Britain. Nevertheless, the BDO is still one of the more than 80 regional associations in the WDF today - just with a significantly lower status than back then.

Rankings & tournaments at the WDF

The WDF now also organizes some tournaments – with a global flair . These include, among others, the WDF World Cup and the WDF Europe Cup .

The WDF World Cup is the largest team competition in the world . The World Darts Federation's second largest tournament is the WDF Europe Cup, in which the opponents compete against other compatriots in team and individual competitions.

From 2020, the World Darts Federation also launched two new major tournaments and redesigned the WDF world rankings. With more than 100 tournaments held in almost 50 countries, the results are ultimately included in the WDF rankings.

The relationship between the World Darts Federation and the DDV

The relationship between the German Darts Association and the WDF is good and cooperative. Finally, the DDV is a member of the WDF. This means that every player who is organized as a player in the DDV and plays successfully has the chance to take part in the major WDF tournaments .

What is interesting in this context, however, is that German players who try out to be professional players in the PDC cannot take part in any WDF tournaments .

To do this, they can take part in tournaments run by the regional association, i.e. the DDV. Unfortunately, this means that all the really good players in Germany can no longer take part in the big WDF tournaments because they naturally want to try their hand at the financially strong PDC in order to earn a living with darts.

At exactly this point, the world association is tripping itself up, so to speak, because it is depriving the nationally strong players of the opportunity to present themselves at the WDF tournaments in addition to the PDC.

The World Darts Federation and the dream of the Olympics

The WDF continues to pursue big goals. Due to the large number of national associations, the World Darts Federation repeatedly tries to make darts suitable for the Olympics .

As the official world association for darts, the world association always tries to be accepted as an IOC member. If this succeeds, darts would be conceivable as a sport at the Olympics.

The IOC is also the International Olympic Committee . Basically, this would be great news for the sport, as acceptance by the IOC would enormously boost the status of darts as a professional sport.

However, the quality of the players who would then compete at the Olympic Games would still remain a problem.

The following still applies: PDC players are not allowed to take part in tournaments that are directly related to the World Darts Federation. This means that every WDF player who plays in the PDC Order of Merit no longer has a chance to play in their organizations . However, the players are allowed to play in the PDC Premier League darts tournaments.


The World Dart Federation is immensely important, especially since over 80 countries now belong to this organization . Thanks to this opportunity, darts is becoming increasingly well-known and popular all over the world .

But mainly because darts on TV is no longer a rarity and is increasingly coming to the fore .

There is not only a WDF world ranking, but also numerous important WDF tournaments that are of great importance for the players.

Olly Croft, one of the founders, is still there, although many see this as a disadvantage as he prefers to keep things existing instead of introducing innovations.


What is the difference between WDF and PDC?

The WDC has changed its name to PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) and claims that PDC should be the only world governing body.

However, WDF was recognized as a global umbrella organization as was BDO as a British umbrella organization . Basically, the two associations do not differ and pursue the same goal .

However, they are still competitors , as German professional players who play PDC tournaments are no longer allowed to play WDF tournaments.

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