Opinion: Should professional players be allowed to play in the amateur leagues?

Upon hearing that darts professional Stephen Bunting sometimes gets involved with the Oak Tree side, it begs the question, should professional players be allowed to play in the lower ranked leagues?

Sometimes, it can go either way in my opinion. The experience of playing against a player at a higher level can be a real help to a player who wants to develop their game, but on the other hand, it could also be seen as an unfair advantage to the team that plays to the professional.

As is the case in any sport, every team wants to do all they can to win. And having a professional on your team can certainly help the team- especially against a group of amateurs.

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Ship and Mitre B captain Peter Mylchreest, when asked the question simply responded: “Yes. It can improve everybody’s game if they are playing someone who is better than them.”

For a lot of players, especially at Ship and Mitre B, darts is not their first job. It is more of a hobby for these players, whereas a professional is paid to play and they can dedicate sometimes up to eight hours a day on the practice board.

Those hours can make all the difference because, especially in my case, its a game based on momentum and the more you practice, the bigger momentum you can carry into your game. The players who play at the amateur level, more often than not will only have time at home when they get home from work to practice.

All professional players have their own routines. You may have heard of ‘Bobs 27’, it is a game created by ex pro Bob Anderson. Your starting score was 27 and you have to hit each double around the board up to the bull- adding the value of the double to your score. If you miss however, the value of that double is taken away, and if you get to zero, you start again.

What also might not help the amateur level players is the games that are starting at nine. If they have been in work that day, then they might be going into the game feeling fatigued with not much time to practice, which can play to a professionals advantage. They can get their practice in and then have a relax before the game.

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My overall opinion on this matter is that amateurs are at that level for a reason. They all have their jobs and their families that take top priority over darts, which is just a past time for a lot of them, whereas a professional, who can put all of their time and effort into practice and building the proper momentum heading into the match- so whilst it can help a team, it would very much pose an unfair advantage.

 

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