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!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Competing in Darts

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

To be competitive in any endeavor requires certain traits be developed such as, “Preparation; Proficiency; Concentration; Confidence; Nerves; Temperament; Rituals; Dedication; Personal Fitness and Health; and Rules of Formality.” The explanations are base, fundamental foundations of the discipline of darts and are found in almost all such disciplines. They are:
  • Preparation; Establish a routine, check your darts, flights, shafts and make sure you have spares readily available. The physical skills are achieved and refined in practice; the psychological skills are achieved in the arena of competitive pressures against others unknown as to skills and mastery. 
  • Proficiency; Practice both in the dojo and outside with others. Focus on your concentration and build confidence. Throw accurately and precisely in an unhurried fashion and without regard to distractions. It is just you, your darts, and the dartboard. 
  • Concentration; Develop mushin, i.e., lose yourself in the match, do not lose, concentrate on your performance each time you step up to the line. Remove all distractions and achieve immovable mind, focus on each moment, each dart and each throw.
  • Confidence; Do not send out tells, external signals, of distress or disappointment or fear, etc. Regardless of how the darts fly, remain unmoved, stoic, confident and fix issues on the next toss, concentrate on doing just this every time regardless. 
  • Nerves; Deal with them, breathe and relax into a positively relaxed state of mind and body. Have faith in your skills and yourself. Achieve the correct mind-state and mind-set - immovable mushin mind. Step up to the line and get-r-done - just you, darts and the dartboard! 
  • Temperament; Emotional maturity, controlling such emotions and reactions and triggers that would distract from the toss of darts in the moment. Emotions as in fense will cloud the mind-state and disrupt the mind-set removing the immovable mind. Remember to center the mind through breathing, a slow deep diaphragmatic breathing process to focus, concentrate and to act. To achieve or get inside others OODA your temperament and attitude, the mind-state and mind-set, will take the tactical and strategic high ground. 
  • Rituals; Do NOT rely on such things, they are merely distractions and become obstacles of the mind thus the body. The only rituals should be those to toss the perfect darts as described. Like habits, rituals are difficult to break and toss aside once imbedded, don’t allow them that ability.
  • Dedication; a mind-state and mind-set necessary to achieve mastery, the willingness to go the distance to achieve your goals while maintaining every day living. Be dedicated to practice, be dedicated to a competitive experience and be dedicated to a wholehearted effort in the processes to become a master of the art of darts. 
  • Personal Fitness and Health; Stamina, the ability to go the distance regardless of obstacles, pits and obstructions that may or might get in the way. Like water you flow, ebb and seek out paths that circumvent such things. Effort requires stamina and stamina requires fitness and health just like any other discipline. 
  • and Rules of Formality: Know and adhere to the rules and formalities of darts. Know the rules and etiquettes even if they change slightly from org to competitions, etc., because a gentleman darter will go further and gain the most respect than those who fail to live up to the standards, practices and rules of the discipline. 
Chaplin, Patrick, PhD. “The Official Bar Guide to Darts.” Sterling Publishing. New York. 2010.

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