Youngstown Dart Association hits the bullseye again with players - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown Dart Association hits the bullseye again with players

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Thousands of people are in Youngstown this weekend armed with small pointy objects. It's all part of a charity dart tournament with a group that's once again on the rise.

At some point in your life, you've probably thrown a dart or two, but the Youngstown Dart Association takes it to a whole new level. It's a non-profit group that's been around since the 1980s and after some lean years, it's back in a big way.

"We started out with five teams and worked up now to 54 teams with 500+ members," said YDA president Carl Clay.

The hey-day for darts around here is a couple of decades in the rear-view, but all of a sudden it's booming again.

The league runs from September through March and this weekend is the marquee event; the Frank Perrico Memorial Charity Open benefitting the Autism Society of Mahoning Valley.

"It's an international event. We bring people from all over the United States and Canada, Australia, Brazil to come and play. We have anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 people between the four days here," said Clay.

New this year, there's a spot downtown that can hold that kind of a group, bringing them all to the DoubleTree.

"This year we wanted to do it in Youngstown. We've always done it on the outskirts," said Clay.

"We're kind of the only thing downtown like this, so it's pretty unique situation. To bring a crew in like this for such a great cause, we're really excited about it," said Brandie Noble, the DoubleTree's catering sales banquet manager.

Anyone can sign up, with events throughout the weekend paying out more than $10,000 in all.

Clay's already planning for the YDA to keep growing in the fall. At the moment, he's on the lookout for places to host their weekly matches.

"Every Thursday night, you got 20 people playing darts going to an establishment, learning the game, promoting the game and everything like that," said Clay.

It's a sport back on the upswing in the Valley and hitting the mark for more and more players every year.

It's free to go and watch over at the DoubleTree today or Sunday. Events begin at 10 am on Saturday, and 9 am Sunday. For a full schedule, you can check out the Youngstown Dart Association website.

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