Darts Information

Insider Info

dotIt may seem like a game of chance, but played properly, darts is a game of skill and calculation. If you love puzzles and you're willing to practice a skill until you've got it beat, darts may be the sport for you.

The game of darts is played in dozens of countries including Denmark, Japan, Scotland, Sweden, Jamaica and England, where it is enormously popular.

Darts has its roots in the ancient sport of archery, but the game as we know it dates back to the late 1800s. Darts was so popular in the pubs of England that in 1938, there was an "all darts" saloon in London that offered rows and rows of dartboards for play.

dotThese are the rules that govern the size of darts and boards:

- Darts can be no more than 12 inches long and weigh no more than 1.8 ounces. The needlepoint must be attached to a flighted shaft (flighted refers to the wings at the back of a dart).

- Darts come in three basic shapes: torpedo, which has its weight in the front; straight-barrelled, with its weight evenly spread; and centre-weight darts.

- "Flights" are the wings at the back of a dart. They can be made of plastic or real turkey feathers. It takes two turkeys to make the flights for one set of darts.

- Boards are generally round with rings for scoring. There is a bull's-eye in the center and a set of spokes going out from the center to mark the scoring areas. Clock, Yorkshire, Black Irish and Snooker are all types of dartboards.

- Boards can be made of cork, wood, Plasticine or bristle board.

dotBritish dart slang:

Dosser -- the bull's-eye

Mugs Away -- losers go first

Front Room -- a very close match

Bed and Breakfast -- 26 points, which is a bad score

Getting Started

dotA good set of darts runs from $20 to $50. Tungsten darts are the most expensive.

dot"O1" is a classic game that is played all over the world. The name comes from the starting point score, which always ends in 01, such as 501, 301 or 801.

Unlike most games, you start with points and attempt to lose them. The first person to zero wins. Players throw three darts each and subtract their score from their beginning score. To win, you must reach zero exactly.

A "double" is point value that is located in the ring second from the outer edge on a dartboard. Hitting this spot doubles the point value of that section. In most games you must score a double on your last throw to win.

Darts that bounce off the board or miss do not score and can't be thrown again in that turn.

dotDarting is a mathematical game. You need to be able to calculate the best combination of numbers and recalculate if you hit the wrong spot. Because of the intricate rules, getting a bull's-eye every shot won't make you a winner.

Good habits:

- Stand up straight at the throw line. People think it helps to lean closer to the board, but actually it throws you off center and is bad for your back in the long run.

- Keep both feet on the floor when you throw. Many people want to lift their back foot as people do in bowling. You do want to follow through with your arm.

- Hold the dart level and pointed at the board. Accuracy is based on using a precise movement every time. This isn't the place for fancy tricks.

- Throw firmly but not too hard. If you think the dart is a baseball, you risk breaking the dart and the board. Throwing too hard can also be dangerous because you won't have good control of the dart.

dotDart leagues can be found all over the world. There are leagues for women, men, kids, beginners and advanced. Choose one that works for you. You'll not only learn the sport, you'll make some great new friends.

When you belong to a team, you will be asked to join a dart association. The dues are no more than $25. The team itself may charge a fee to pay for trophies, score sheets and other items.

dotAlthough darts are often associated with bars and pubs (especially in England), that doesn't mean you have to be a certain age to play. There are plenty of darters who play at school or a local clubhouse.

If you can see the board and control your arm muscles, you can play darts. With a little practice you may find that the only "handicapped" people are the ones who don't practice.


American Darters Association
310-1000 Lake Saint Louis Blvd.
Lake Saint Louis , MO   63367-9932




New Jersey Darts
Information about tournaments in the state

Tournament Darts International
Check out their Rogues Gallery of championship darters

World Darts Federation - Playing and Tournament Rules
Learn the rules of the game

American Darts Organization - Links
Find a club near you