April’s darting up quick

April will be a busy month for local darts.

A major competition is set to go off and qualification for a significant international competition is also slated to begin.

The Marjorie Bodden Memorial darts tournament is slated to take place during the last two weeks of April.

The tournament is in memory of the late Marjorie Bodden who was a darts enthusiast and a member of the Cayman Islands Darts Association. She passed away from cancer roughly five years ago.

Organizers are targeting a Wednesday night launch on either April 22 or 29.

Other details such as times and venue will be released at a later date.

The tournament is traditionally a single-elimination competition.

Last year it was won by team Darters. That squad consisted of persons who played on the same team during the local league.

The team was highlighted by Filipino stars Rodan Asuncion and Rene Frivaldo. Asuncion teamed up with Cliff Weeks to win the doubles title last year in Trinidad at the 2008 Caribbean Championships.

The squad has since been split up with its members still playing in the local league.

The tournament sees competitors randomly selected. Organizers say the ‘luck of the draw’ element adds to the excitement and unpredictability of the matches.

From there are local trials for the Cayman team going off to the World Darts Federation World Cup of Darts.

The biannual tournament is in Charlotte, North Carolina in September and feature teams from around the world including Italy, Sweden and England.

The tournament is split up into a team, doubles and singles championship with men’s, women’s and youth squads competing in each.

The Netherlands are the defending champions, having won the event the last two times straight.

An organizing committee is being put in place to sort out specifics including a designated team manager. At this point the tentative location for trials is at Corner Pocket.

According to darts association Vice President Philip Parsons the tournament is a big one for Cayman.

‘This is the first time Cayman is going and a lot of Caribbean countries are making their first trip to the competition.’

Cayman is expected to be one of 30-40 countries competing. Regional power Bahamas will be among the competition with the likes of Trinidad and Barbados possibly joining the fray later on.

Parsons is realistic about Cayman’s odds for success.

‘Our chances depend on what group we’re drawn into. If we face powerful teams like England, Sweden and Canada then things might not work out.

‘We would like to get in a group against other Caribbean countries because we know them and have experience against them.’

Though Cayman is among the newcomers for the World Cup they will not be in the dark. Cayman player Earl Smith, who hails from the Bahamas, went to the competition years ago with the Bahamian team. His experiences could be a crucial guide to the Cayman side.

Ultimately Parsons feels the tournament is about getting a new perspective on darts locally.

‘Going to the World Cup in my mind is more about exposure than anything else. We need to see the level of darts around the world and look at how we compare to other countries. It’s about seeing where Cayman darts needs to be.’

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