Past National 501 Singles Champions
Past National Cricket Champions
Past 501 Youth National Champions
Challenge Cup History

In 1975, there was no network for dart organizations. But there were hotbeds of activity – in Philadelphia, New York, Cleveland, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Washington DC, New Jersey and Virginia. There may have been more, but these were the places that were known. And that was the crux of the matter.

Tom Fleetwood of Bellflower, CA and Ed McDevitt of Philadelphia had tossed around with others the idea of a national organization and decided this was the time to act. An invitation was sent to known organizations to attend an informal meeting to discuss the formation of the American Dart Organization. That meeting, held in conjunction with the Michigan Open Dart Tournament in Detroit that October, laid the foundation for the organization.

The ADO began operation January 1, 1976 with 30 charter member clubs and a membership of 7,500 players. Today, the ADO has a membership that averages 250 clubs on a yearly basis representing roughly 50,000 members.

Below is a “timeline”of accomplishments and landmark events in the ADO’s history.

  • October 17, inaugural meeting
  • October 18, first ADO board meeting: dues, logo and operations established
  • First full year of operation with 30 member clubs and total of 7,500 members
  • Nodor became official dartboard of the ADO
  • First annual ADO Men’s All-Star playoffs held
  • Incorporated in Massachusetts
  • First annual ADO Men’s World Masters Held
  • First tournament calendar compiled
  • First Double Eagle published
  • Tournament sanctioning procedures adopted
  • Standard throwing distance of 7’9-1/4″ established by WDF ad adopted by the ADO
  • Championship Point System begun
  • World Cup II hosted in Las Vegas; first major international darts event outside Great Britain
  • Nicky Virachkul won gold medal in World Cup II singles
  • First Pacific Cup playoofs held
  • Darts handbook written and published
  • Associate Memberships established
  • Jerry Umberger won two gold medals – with Kathy Karpowish and K.C. Mullaney – at the Pacific Cup I
  • First 180 certificates issued
  • Standardized rules for sanctioned tournaments approved
  • First Ladies’ All-Star playoffs held
  • First ADO computer purchased
  • First honorary lifetime membership awarded to Barry Twomlow
  • Won team event gold medal at Pacific Cup II: Judy Campbell, Andy Green, Wade McDonald and Sandy Reitan
  • First Ladies’ World Masters playoffs held
  • Standardized cricket rules for sanctioned tournaments adopted
  • Honorary lifetime memberships awarded to John Ross and James Miceli
  • Sandy Reitan won gold medal in singles at Women’s World Cup I
  • New organizational ad playoff strutures implemented
  • Area managers added
  • Hosted Pacific Cup III in Honolulu
  • Won team event gold medal at Pacific Cup III: JoAnn Anderson, Kathy Karpowich, Jerry Umberger and Nicky Virachkul
  • Adopted standardized modified round robin format and point awards for playoff events
  • Won team event gold medal at World Cup V by beating England 9-0: John Kramer, Rick Ney, Tony Payne and Dan Valletto
  • Revised championship point system
  • Reached 300 member clubs and 70,000 members
  • Youth program introduced and first National Youth Manager, Ken Friend, appointed
  • First East-West All-Star Match and National Youth Championships held
  • Record number of tournaments sanctioned at 207
  • Won team event and ladies’ doubles gold medals at Pacific Cup V: Jim Damore, Katy Hopkins, Paul Lim, Lori (Branthwaite) Verrier; won over-all silver medal
  • Won first matc against Canada
  • Challenge of Champions broadcast on ESPN; TV shows developed in Boston and Denver
  • Longtime sponsor Watneys representing Frank Dickens presented with and honorary life membership
  • Regional realignment completed
  • World Cup VII team of Eva Grigsby, Paul Lim, Kathy Maloney and Tony Payne won the following medals: bronze medal in ladies’ doubles; gold medal in ladies’ singles (Grisby); bronze medal in men’s doubles and a bronze medal in the men’s singles (Payne)
  • Salaried positions established
  • Area playoffs eliminated
  • Record number of 342 clubs joined
  • Master Card, Alamo added as member benefits
  • Won overall gol dmedal in Pacific Cup VI: Eva Grigsby, Kim Kellar, Dave Kelly and Paul Lim
  • Paul Lim threw prefect 501 game at the Embassy World Professional Championships
  • Memorial Scholarship Find begun with $5,000
  • National 501 championship playoff launched
  • Len Heard reached quarter finals in the News of the World tournament broadcast on Sky TV
  • ADO lawsuit initiated for trade ame infringement
  • Sandy Reitan win Winmau Women’s World Masters – the first women to win both World Cup and Masters
  • Long-distance phone program was launched
  • Proceedings begun to obtain trademark
  • There were 136 tournament listed on calendar – the most ever
  • Southern Comfort announced as sponsor of World Cup IX, to be hosted by the ADO
  • ADO operations Manual completed
  • Won overall silver medal at Pacific Club VII; won gold medal in ladies’ doubles. Team: Sammy Cruz, Sean Downs, Kathy Maloney and Sandy Reitan
  • First dart safety data published
  • U.S. became first country to host World Cup twice
  • Won gold (Maloney) and silver (Bromberg) medals in Women’s Word Cup singles; won bronze in men’s team event: Stacy Bromberg, Larry Butler, Dave Kelly, Kathy Maloney, Tony Payne and Gerald Verrier
  • Marketing section added to Operations Manual
  • Welcome Party launched in conjunction with All-Star events
  • Lawsuit settled
  • Added Signature Dental and Destinations travel programs to member benefits
  • Points Plus program launched
  • Tom and Della Fleetwood retired from the board
  • Ken Edelson of General Sportcraft Co. Ltd. granted honorary life membership
  • Placed fifth in World Cup X; won bronze medal in men’s singles (Carter)
  • Stacy Bromberg was runner-up in Winmau Women’s World Masters
  • National mixed triples program launched: James Reesor, Pat Keys and Tom Williams crowned champions – the only team ever to hold title as te event was abandoned due to lack of support
  • Tom and Della Fleetwood presented honorary lifetime memberships
  • ADO officed mover to Anaheim, CA
  • 20th anniversary of the ADO – 292 member clubs and 60,000 members
  • Minute Man Dart League’s John innegan threw a perfect 501 game in tournament singles play
  • ADO Book of Brackets published
  • First cricket singles playoffs held
  • New qualification system for World Cup launched
  • Accudart sponsored World Cup women’s team
  • Won overall and ladies’ doubles gold medals at World Cup XI: Stacy Bromberg and Lori Verrier
  • Pacific Cup disbanded, combined with Asia Cup
  • Kevin Holden a semi-finalist at Winmau Youth World Masters
  • Glenn Silva threw perfect 501 game in tournament play
  • BDO and WDC settled lawsuit in England, allowing American WDC members to once again participate in all WDF events
  • Realignment of regions begun for first time in 10 years
  • Media kits developed
  • Youth program revised ad expanded to include 18-20 year olds
  • Offered $10,000 for first perfect cricket game at national championship for first time
  • Stacy Bromberg became first player to break 1,000 point mark in championship points
  • Proposal submitted for new international regional cup: Americas Cup to launch in 2002
  • Added Round of Nine and Deadeye certificates for players
  • Longtime contract with General Sportcraft ended; new sponsorship contract with Nodor/DMI signed
  • Dartboard program with Nodor/DMI launched
  • Realignment of regions completed for implementation in 2000
  • Memberhsip fees, sanctioning fees and surcharge increased
  • East-West All-Stars and International programs were revamped
  • Cyberdarts became official Website of the ADO
  • Offered $10,000 for first perfect 501 game at national championships for first time
  • 25th aniversary road show announced
  • Additional Web partnership developed with Isport and Community Explorer
  • Youth manual revised
  • Championship points revised with creation of separate tournament level of $10,000 and $15,000 in prize money
  • Stacy Bromberg was lone dart player named to Sports Illustrated’s “Greatest Sports Figures of the Century” list for the state of Nevada
  • Singapore native Paul Lim named one of the top 50 athletes of the 20th century by Singapore Sports Commission
  • Announced the ADO would accept credit cards beginning in 2001
  • Through 2000 – 173,721 180 certificates have been issued
  • 8,694 Round of Nine certificates have been issued
  • 509 Deadeye certificates have been issued
  • 3,882 tournaments have been sanctioned