“Like a fine wine…,” NDA’s Team Dart continues to get better with age. For nearly three and a half decades, the annually-conducted soft-tip electronic darts tourney has honed its reputation as the premier event for the sport and the individuals who pursue their passion—for the fun, the competition and the money—by playing darts in the desert each spring.
This year’s program, conducted at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, featured 10 separate competitions—singles, doubles, mixed triples and team events—spanning six days between April 11-17, 2019. The 2019 Team Dart included more than 112 hours of total play, an average of more than 18 hours of play each day of the tournament!
Nearly 3,000 players, divided into multiple levels based on skill rating accrued during league play in the Team Dart qualifying period, gathered in the hotel’s Paradise Event Center convention facility, where they were greeted by 297 dart machines each day (and evening) of the tournament. The boards were supplied by a quartet of NDA manufacturer sponsor members: Arachnid 360, Gaelco Darts, Loewen Entertainment and Phoenix Darts.
During the 10 events, players were placed in a total of 96 different skill levels, a reflection of the breadth and depth of the competitive mix.
“NDA has always prided itself on being inclusive when it comes to attracting the complete range of players, from the best in our master’s divisions to the novice in our lower levels,” said Association President Paul Krenz of Aactive Coin Machines in Winnipeg, Canada.
A whopping 1,607 players/teams earned cash prizes during this year’s Team Dart, with most of the payouts cashed onsite at the hotel’s casino cage. Another 52 won certificates to be redeemed for free entries at Team Dart 2020 or 2021.
And top finishers, who placed 1st through 3rd place in their respective levels during the competition, also walked away with trophies. Approximately 606 pieces of handsome hardware were distributed to this year’s over-achievers.
A live band was featured during the Players’ Party on the opening night of the tourney. The Championship/Finals area was incorporated on the united tournament hall floor that encompassed 78,000 square feet of space. An enhanced player goodie bag included pins, koozies, a set of dart flights, tournament handbook and other items.
Among the many highlights of the program was the International Challenge, an annual competition between the best players from around the world, who represent their countries during often-intense competition. In a reversal from last year’s results, Team Germany took top honors in the men’s event, while Team USA finished first in womens’ play.
Away from the near-continuous play in the tourney hall, NDA conducted its annual business meeting and President’s Reception.
NDA’s Krenz, the first President in the association’s history from outside the United States to be elected to the position, led the gathering that included an update on NDA programs and services, the election of new directors, the approval of recommended bylaws and member service/achievement awards. Emily Dunn, the recently-elected President of the Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA) was a special guest who addressed attendees on the coin- op association’s activities. NDA was founded by a group of AMOA operators in 1986 and the two organizations have worked closely together ever since.
NDA’s membership re-elected Preston Obrigewitsch of Badlands Music in Dickinson, ND to a second, three-year term on the NDA board of directors, while Tom Tysver of Wyoming Amusements in Casper, WY, was elected to his first, three-year stint as a director.
During the NDA President’s Reception that followed the Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 16th, a pair of industry executives were installed as the newest members of the NDA Hall of Fame, a prestigious group of now 28 individuals who have made an indelible mark in enhancing NDA and the sport:
- Alvin Gerlach of Hub Music and Vending, Aberdeen, SD, who served as NDA President in 2015; and
- Adam Lipinski of Gaelco Darts, a 16-year industry veteran who has been actively supporting and contributing to NDA for nearly his entire tenure in the business.
The dates for next year’s NDA Team Dart will be April 2-8, 2020 back at the Paradise Event Center of the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
The NDA is an international trade association of coin-operated companies representing approximately 255 members and 47,000 players worldwide. The NDA is the sanctioning body for the sport of electronic darting, and it is focused on the standardization, recognition, promotion and growth of competition worldwide.
For more information about membership in the NDA, its annual international Team Dart competition or biennial Dart SMART educational conference, contact Jack Kelleher, Executive Director at 708-326-7110 or visit the NDA website at www.NDAdarts.com