Darts Rules, History, Tips & Equipment

A history of Darts, how to play, tips for improvement & necessary equipment

How to Play Darts

Darts, a popular pub game, and professional competitive activity is popular throughout the United Kingdom, the commonwealth, Ireland, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries, the United States, and Canada. The object of the game is to throw darts at a circular target on the wall.

Darts History

It is thought that darts was originated in Medieval England by soldiers throwing short arrows at the bottom trunks of trees, for target practice. Some also think that archery teachers at the time gave their students shortened arrows and had them practice by throwing them at the top of wine barrels. This developed into a past time wherein soldiers would bring short arrows with them to the local drinking establishment to show off their skill and have fun. At some point some one brought in a cross-section of a tree to be used as the board. The rings of the tree provided players with different targets.

The game was primarily an Anglo-American sport up until the expansion of the British Empire. The Pilgrims are credited with bringing the game of darts to America. The United Kingdom was the first to recognize darts as a sport.

Darts Rules

The game is usually played between two people. The dart board is hung so the bulls eye is 5 ft 8 in off the floor (eye level for a 6 ft person). The throwing line is 7 ft 9 inch from the face of the dartboard. A regulation dart board is 47.08 cm in diameter and is divided into 20 sections, scoring from 1 to 20 points. Hitting one of the large portions of the numbered sections, traditionally colored white and black, scores the point value of that section. Hitting the thin inner portion of these sections, colored red or green, scores double the points of that section. Hitting the thin inner portions of these sections, roughly halfway between the outer wire and the central circle and again colored red or green, scores triple the points value of that section. The central circle is divided into a green outer ring worth 25 points and a red inner circle worth 50 points. Hitting outside the outer wire, scores nothing.

Players start from a set score, usually 501 or 301, a player wins by reducing his score to exactly zero. A throw that would reduce a player's score to less than zero does not count, his turn ends, and his score is reset to what it was before that turn. Players throw three darts per turn.

Darts Tips

When throwing the dart hold it level, parallel to the ground, keep it in that level for the entire stroke, then follow through straight to the board with your hand so that the dart stays level. Hold the dart the same way each time. When throwing the dart both feet should be planted flat to the floor.

Darts Equipment

To play darts one needs six darts, three per person, and a dart board. It is helpful to have a pen and paper to keep score.

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