|Interview Steve Brown||Back||1||2||3||4||5||6||Forward|
When did you move to the US?
Seventeen years ago.
And what was the situation of the sport of darts there and then?
Well, we had a lot more major tournaments then, but overall, there weren't as many events as there are now. As always, things go in cycles; some areas flourish, while others struggle. The main problem is that the North Americans are generally isolated from the rest of the world; they don't get too many opportunities to compete with and against the top players, certainly not over a longer format, anyway.
Has it changed in the meantime?
Definitely, with the change in the attitude of many newer players one of the main problems. In the old days, players were willing to put time, effort, and money, into improving their game. Not so much these days, though. It's almost like a lot of players don't want to play unless they can really get something out of it, ie money, or at least the glory of a win. Sure, nobody likes losing, but we all have to learn to lose before we can learn to win. Also, although we still have the players, we seem to have less people willing to put the time and effort to organize things than there were back then.
What is your idea what one could do in other countries to make darts as popular as ih the UK or the Netherlands?
The main things, I feel, are that we need to get darts accepted as a spectator sport, and that we need to get the youths playing. Also, we need to get rid of the, "Oh no, that's dangerous!" mentality of the American public.
How would you assess the American dart players compared to the British or Dutch dart players?
We'll find that out at the World Cup! Seriously though, we have the quality, but they just need the experience.
As you are now working for the ADO - what are the problems the ADO has to fight?
Honestly? Ignorance, ego, and prejudice - from both inside and outside the sport. Bet you're sorry you asked that, now!
And what do you think the ADO could and should do for the sport?
We know what we want to do, but with limited resources it's not as easy as people think. What many don't realize is that we are not actually an organizing body as such. While we do stage National Championships etc, we are more of a sanctioning body. As the USA's recognized governing body, we also try to get everybody pulling together. There are a lot of things that could be improved, but everybody needs to do their bit, instead of relying on everyone else.
Has the ADO some kind of youth support program?
We do have a youth program, but it's very difficult trying to get it to work over here. With some of the local liquor laws, plus the attitude of some adults who don't allow youth in leagues because "I don't want to get beaten by a kid!", it's tough. It is generally regarded as an "adult" sport in the US. Yeah, you can race motorcycles at 5 or 6 years of age, but we sit here and tell a 20-year old - who may be married with kids, own his own business, and can go and fight and DIE for his country - that he's not old enough to play league darts? Give me a break...