Darts: a game where participants compete with one another by throwing small arrow like devices at a target that is round and has numbers and sections and an inner bull with an outer bull and so on. Darts now refer to the standard game with a specific bristle board design and a set of rules. Rules that are general to the game and rules that govern games like, “501,” “301,” and “Cricket.”

Darts is a traditional pub game that was and is commonly played in the United Kingdom as well as other places in Europe and across the pond here in the America’s.

Wikipedia tells hits history in a terse form, i.e., “The dartboard may have its origins in the cross-section of a tree. An old name for a dartboard is "butt"; the word comes from the French word but, meaning "target". In particular, the Yorkshire and Manchester Log End boards differ from the standard board in that they have no treble, only double and bullseye, the Manchester board being of a smaller diameter, with a playing area of only 25 cm across with double and bull areas measuring just 4 mm. The London Fives board is another variation. This has only 12 equal segments numbered 20, 5, 15, 10, 20, 5, 15, 10, 20, 5, 15, 10 with the doubles and triples being a quarter of an inch wide.”

There have been a variety of darts created over the years but the most common today is the tungsten dart. There are electronic darts but for this blog and for my efforts in tossing darts I remain a steel dart fan and enthusiast. I am recommending a book for novice darters but only because it appealed to me and my studies and rest assured most of the dart books out there are outstanding. In short, find one if this one does not fit your needs and get it. I can tell you when I started to play over twenty years ago, before I laid down my darts in 96, I tossed darts for several years without knowing some very important and critical mechanics, etc., of the dart game. As I take up once again my steel darts I have found a fountain of information to help make the game both enjoyable and competitive. Enjoy, diddle for the middle and let the darts fly!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

BASICS: The Throw

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

I can see no other part of the darting process that holds more importance than the throw. The throw involves a good deal of variable just from the shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm and especially the wrist, hand and fingers of the throw. As long as the rest of your body is static, stationary, and unmoving then you can get the throw right by the following recommendations.
  • When performing your throw, you practice, practice, practice and then practice some more.
  • Perfect your smooth, fluent, single action arm to propel the dart precisely to its intended target.
  • Achieve mushin before stepping up to the throw line, immovable mind is critical.
  • Concentrate and focus on the intended target. 
  • Come to the line relaxed and confident.
  • Check your stance and grip.
  • Take hold of the first dart.
  • Check your stance and grip.
  • Bring your arm up so the dart is at a good sighting position level to the right eye.
  • The dart should almost but not actually touch your cheek.
  • The closer to the cheek without touching the better increasing the accuracy of alignment of the eye with the intended target.
  • Never lose sight of your dart by pulling it back to far.
  • You should see the dart out of your peripheral vision while still focused on the intended target. 
  • Make certain your elbow is pointing at the dart board.
  • Make sure your arm and elbow stays pointing at the dart board throughout the dart toss.
  • Bring the forearm back to the face, ensure your upper arm remains horizontal.
  • The wrist is a pivot point, allow the hand to bring the dart a little further back to the right ear without losing sight of the dart.
  • With the target and dart in sight, take careful aim.
  • Elbow still pointing at the dart board.
  • No other movement, move the forearm forward and, at the top of the arc prescribed by that action, release the dart with a light, smooth, fluid motion.
  • The dart should fly toward the target along the sight line.
  • Your focus should not wonder at any point in the throw and remains on the intended target.
  • Keep the elbow tucked in, and move only with the forearm and wrist.
  • Follow through, follow through, follow through; release the dart smoothly and complete the follow through!
  • Maintain the exact same speed and rhythm of your throw consistently. 
  • At each time of a toss, throw each dart at the same speed with the same smooth, confident action. 
As you can see now darting is not just a kids game and it takes a good deal of concentration, focus and mindfulness coupled and connected to proper physiokinetics to achieve a good, consistent throw every time. 

Chaplin, Patrick, PhD. “The Official Bar Guide to Darts.” Sterling Publishing. New York. 2010.

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