Shedding light on darts world cup

Graham Stark, president, Darts South Africa,

The article entitled, “Star player heads for darts world cup” as published in the Plainsman on Wednesday June 5, refers.

Contrary to his claims in the said article, Vernon Bouwers does not represent the Republic of South Africa as a dart player in any official capacity as he was not selected by the official national controlling body for the sport, namely Darts South Africa.

With regards to his claim that he is the “top ranked player in South Africa,” it is unclear what the basis for Mr Bouwers’s claim for this status is.

Mr Bouwers has never represented his province at the South African National Championships, therefore there are no official statistics at this level for him to claim that he is the top ranked player in the country.

Mr Bouwers, a member of Darts South Africa, did not undergo a selection process to represent our country as is required by the National Sports Colours Regulations and cannot claim that he is representing the Republic of South Africa.

Instead, Mr Bouwers participated in a competition in Cape Town which was not sanctioned by Darts South Africa and, as the winner of this competition, “qualified” to play in this competition in Germany. So one wonders what “grading system” Mr Bouwers is referring to.

The so-called World Cup in which Mr. Bouwers is playing is not hosted by the international darts body to which Darts South Africa is affiliated, namely the World Darts Federation.

As stated in paragraph two, Darts South Africa is the official controlling body for the sport of darts in the Republic of South Africa and enjoys international affiliation to African Union Region 5 (Zone VI) and the World Darts Federation.

Internally, Darts South Africa is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). Darts South Africa is responsible for the selection of Protea dart players to represent the country in international competition according to a specific criteria and the National Sports Colours Regulations.

The selections are made at the South African National Championships from the inter provincial players.

Once selected, the names of the players and required documentation (passport, etc.) are submitted to SASCOC/SASC with a request for permission to participate internationally and for Protea colours to be bestowed on the selected players and managers.

Section 10(1) (b) of the National Sports Colours Regulations, under the heading, Offences, states: “A person may not project himself or herself as representing South Africa in a sporting authority without written consent from the SASC.”

Mr Bouwers did not undergo any of the afore-mentioned processes. Our officially selected Protea contingent, namely Senior Men, Senior Women, Junior Boys and Junior Girls, will be participating in the World Cup of the World Darts Federation in Romania later this year.

Mr Bouwers is undoubtedly a talented dart player and it is not my intention to detract from his talent and achievements, but I regard it necessary, in defence and protection of our officially selected Protea players, to rectify the misrepresentations in the article published in your newspaper.