The British Darts Organisation (BDO) is a darts organisation founded in 1973 by Olly Croft, OBE; it is a founder member of the World Darts Federation which was formed in 1976.
The BDO comprises 66 member counties in Britain and organises tournaments for amateurs and professionals.
The BDO set the rules which govern the game of darts, including the size of the throwing oche (2.37m/7ft,9 ¼") and the height and dimensions of the board.
The BDO organised the first World Professional Darts Championship in 1978, known for many years as The Embassy - due to its sponsorship by Imperial Tobacco. It is now known as the Lakeside World Professional Darts Championship.
The existence of two World Championships since 1994 still leads to debate amongst darts followers as to which tournament is the most prestigious. There have been two head-to-head matches between the reigning champions of the two organisations. The challenge matches, held in 1999 and 2004, were not officially recognised as undisputed championship matches.
In their respective matches, the incumbent BDO champions Raymond van Barneveld and Andy Fordham were defeated by the PDC champion Phil Taylor.
In recent years, more and more players have switched from the BDO to the PDC. Four-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld was the highest profile switch and the 2006 and 2007 Winmau World Masters winners Michael van Gerwen and Robert Thornton switched without defending their titles. Very few players have moved the other way.