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Darts, the sport that begins and ends with a handshake!

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Dart Myths

It's amazing some of the things you will here at dart tournaments or even local pubs. Here are some of the more common myths you might hear.

  1. Tall people throw better than short people.
  2. Men throw better than women.
  3. The more expensive the dart, the better they throw.

I'm sure there are more than just these (if you know of anymore, please email them to me) but I will address these at this time.

Players Height: There's a couple of reasons you will hear for this. One is that because tall throwers have longer arms and can lean further over the line, they don't have to throw the dart as far. The other is that they can hit double and triple 20s easier because they are at eye-level as opposed to being forced to 'throw up' at them. Give me a break, the bottom line is that the dart has to be thrown into the board. A thrower has to develop his/her throw regardless of their height. Tall people do have one advantage though, they can reach their darts easier after throwing at a double twenty. :-)

Men are better than Women: What amazes me most about this is that I've only heard female throwers say this. I cornered one once at a tournament and asked her how she came to this conclusion. She said it was obvious, most of the better throwers in her league were men. There was only one women in her league ranked in the top 10. I then asked her how big her league was and she stated around 200 throwers, only 15-20 were women. Let's look at the number:
200 throwers, 180 are men, 20 are women
To be in the top 10% you need to be in the top 20
Top 10% of the men = 18, top 10% of the women = 2
So it only makes sense that the majority of the better players are men, but it definitely doesn't mean men are better, just that there are more of them.

Expensive darts throw better: First off, darts don't throw, you throw the darts. Think about it, what is a dart? It's nothing more than a shaped piece of metal. (If you want to know more about the dart itself, click here.) Unless you've found some type of remote-controlled dart, and I would be very interested in it if you did, you're still going to have to get the dart to the board. The only thing that is going to make you better at hitting what you're aiming at is practice, practice practice; not a more expensive piece of metal.

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Score keeping Tricks

Keeping score is probably the most hated part of steel-tip darts and is one of the main reasons soft-tip darts has really taken off (at least that's my opinion). If you don't believe me, yell out at your next dart tournament that you need a score keeper. Then count the number of people that get up to go to the rest room, or to the bar to get another beer, hoping that someone will agree to do it before they get back.

Many people seem to have a very difficult time subtracting a throwers score. There is a trick you can use that might help. Let's say 77 is scored and the thrower currently has a score of 413. Instead of trying to subtract 77, subtract 80 instead and then add 3 to the result. It's easier to quickly subtract 80, getting 333, then adding back the 3 points leaving 336. You could even do it the other way, subtract 70 then subtract 7 more from that result. Just a thought!

Another thing you should do is announce the score of your throw. If you and the scorekeeper come up with a different amount, at least one of them is wrong. Somebody watching the match, especially your partner if you're playing doubles, may correct you if you're wrong. (Lance Kent)

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Cricket Stuff

A common question amongst new throwers is what do you do in case of a tie in cricket. First off, there is no way to tie in cricket. The first person with everything closed and has a higher or equal score to their opponent is the winner.

Point Mongering: There is absolutely nothing illegal about scoring points. There has been quite a bit of whining in the darts newsgroup about people pounding points when they weren't needed. If you don't like it when it happens to you then you have one of three choices: close the number they are scoring on, start pounding back on a number they have open or put up your darts and find something else to do. Whining about it and getting angry will NOT help you win the game and will most likely annoy the people around you.

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The sport is darts, not soccer or handball!!!

First, this is darts, not soccer. All of you wanna-be Peles, listen up. When a dart bounces out of the board and the flight is still connected, it WILL be coming back at you point-first. Kicking at the dart is not a good thing (unless you happen to wear combat boots, steel tip shoes, or maybe cowboy boots). Two particular instances come to mind.

The first happened back in the early '90s when this one thrower was having a bad night when it comes to bounce outs. Finally his frustration level peaked and he kicked at the dart as it flew back. Unfortunately for him, he was successful. It went right through his nylon tennis shoe, his sock, and lodged into his foot (24 gram hammerhead dart). Even though he had drank a number of beers, the pain was still easy to see. He pulled the dart out, wiped off the blood, and downed the rest of his beer.

The second just happened in July of '97. Another frustrated dart thrower decided to take up soccer and kicked the incoming dart. This one was actually a soccer style kicker so the dart hit the rubber part of his shoe and didn't stick into his foot. That was the good news. The bad news is that it bounced off the shoe and hit the score keeper. Nothing serious though that person didn't feel very comfortable keeping score for the rest of the evening. Fortunately he was very understanding and was not badly hurt.

Now, to settle a rumor that always seems to float around with dart throwers, there isn't any rule that says you get to throw again if you catch a dart that bounces out of the board. Some local pubs may have a house rule, but as a person that use to do it, I would suggest you just back up and let it land harmlessly on the floor. I quit after getting stuck a few times. Think about it, which hand are you going to try to catch it with. Your dart hand!! It could make finishing the game/match a bit more uncomfortable. Though, if you are playing me and can catch the dart with your teeth (kids, don't try this at home), I will gladly let you throw it again and would probably buy you one of whatever you are drinking. Though, I would have to think you've already had enough to drink to try this in the first place.

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Darts are not TOYS!!!

Fortunately, I've only seen this once happen a couple of times since I started throwing in 1985. You do not throw your dart/darts at anything but the board no matter how angry you are at the way the game is going. Absolutely nothing good will come out of this. I've seen one fight and another instance where a fight was going to break out but it was fortunately broken up before it started. This is the reason that many establishments will not hang up steel-tip boards.

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You know you've had enough to drink when:

You can't remember the out for 32

You're happy when you can hit the 20 at least once per turn

You walk up to the line and a dart that sticks into both your shoe and foot and you don't feel any pain

The front of your shirt is soaked with whatever it is you're drinking

You lean too far while standing at the line, lose your balance, and fall down

You see six boards but could have sworn there were only two when you arrived

The board you are throwing at won't stop moving

You wonder if throwing with your opposite hand would get better results

You don't understand why people are staring at you like you're an idiot after you hit a ton (of course you only had 40 left in '01)

You wake up and everyone else is gone (this one's for you Jim)

You go to call home for a ride but can't remember your phone number

You start playing 'name-that-tune' on the stereo by swapping out CD after CD (I'm guilty of this one)

Every member of the opposite sex looks good (this rule may only apply to the guys)

You look down just to realize you have three cigarettes burning at the same time

You have to close one eye to focus on the dartboard

You missed the dartboard with all three darts

You can't remember who your partner is

You can't remember your name, address or telephone number, birthday, spouse's/significant other's name, etc.

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