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Article: Two great schemes at The Starts of Darts Forum – Pro Markers and Player Sponsorship

Two great schemes at The Starts of Darts Forum – Pro Markers and Player Sponsorship

I thought I’d mention the two great schemes being run from "

The Stars of Darts" forum (, one of which I’ve mentioned before, the ‘Player Sponsorship Scheme‘, is a way for anyone to buy a (or more than one) £25 share in the sponsorship of a professional darts player. The second scheme I’ve not told you about before this the ‘Volunteer pro tour markers scheme‘, where you can volunteer to actually mark professional players games on the pro tour! Both schemes are organised by Dave ‘Spaceman’ Ahmet over on the Stars of Darts forum. He’s a darts pro himself, who puts a lot of his time into helping run the Stars of Darts forum, and helping put something back into the darts scene (and some would say something into the tills of many pubs and clubs in the tour towns!).

Player Sponsorship Scheme

The player sponsorship scheme is all about fans helping an upcoming darts pro (or an established one who is looking for much needed sponsorship to take them to the next level). The PDC pro tour is an expensive sport to take part in; two tournaments each weekend costing £100 each to enter, plus hotels and travel to the event. If a player goes out early, they aren’t even going to make their entrance fee back, let alone all the other expenses. If the player wins the event, they are taking home most of a £6,000 wedge!
Therefore it is often the case that it’s hard for a player to be able to enter enough events to get enough ranking points to qualify for the big TV tournaments (where there is a lot more cash prizes on offer!). Once a player has ‘made it’ into the top 16, they are making more than enough money to fund themselves – so for someone with the skill, it’s often just that initial help they need to make it into the big league.

That’s where there player sponsorship scheme comes in! Each ‘fan’ buys £25 shares in the scheme (from 1 to 12 shares maximum to stop someone having too much influence in the voting). Then once a target amount is reached (over £3,000 is ideal), those share holders discuss and vote for players who have put their names forward to be considered. No player with over £5,000 sponsorship already, or within the top 16 will be included, as they have had their break already. The voting may go on for several rounds, until a player is chosen, and awarded the sponsorship money.
As the player wins money on the tour (and in TV events hopefully!), they put back a small % into the scheme, so if we pick well, it might be the case we get a lot of the investment back, which can be used to re-invest in another player. The players also wear a "The Stars of Darts" advert patch, which will hopefully push more potential sponsors back to the scheme, plus it gives a great warm fuzzy feeling when you see YOUR player standing up on the oche in a TV tournament. Imagine how it feels to watch and root for a player you have a share in – something more than just having a sly bet! Voting for the next player starts end of May, so sign up quick if you want to take part!

Pro Tour Marking – volunteer scheme

A lot of people might not realise that the pro’s themselves have to mark at the tour events (there are 16 boards, and there aren’t many professional markers – they are saved for the semi-final and finals!). Losing players have to mark for other players, which can’t be an easy thing to do when you’re feeling cr@p!
A scheme was born to help the players, so they don’t have to mark as much, letting them concentrate on their game. That’s where the Pro tour marking volunteer scheme comes in. YOU can volunteer to take part in darts on the coal face – by volunteering to be a marker! By volunteering, you get close up and person at floor events where the public are not normally allowed. Imagine scoring for Phil Taylor vs. Mervyn King for example – where it’s just YOU and the players. The players are very keen to have volunteers mark their games, and really do appreciate it. Obviously you need to have marked before – unless you really are confident on your maths! The players understand you’re giving up your own time to help them out, so are usually very patient with the odd mistake. It’s been known for the markers to be given a signed board after a 9 darter (imagine marking one of those!!).
The position of volunteer marker is unpaid (hence the volunteer status), but most people who have done it have all agreed that it’s well worth it, to be in that unique position with the best darts players in the world. There are things going on to see if the PDC can somehow give something back to the markers (t-shirts, free tickets to tv events etc) – but most people would give their right arm to be able to volunteer

If you’re interested in either or both of the schemes, please get yourself over to "

The Stars of Darts" forum ( – a very friendly and darts savvy forum (quite a few pros are members – including all those who are up for the sponsorship).

There are forum sections for each of the schemes – get yourself registered and say hello (and message

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