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.  The youth program was introduced in 1987.  The first National Youth Manager was Ken Friend.  The first National Youth Championship was held the same year.  B.J. Preston was crowned champion.

In 1997, Kevin Holden became a semi-finalist at the Winmau Youth World Masters.