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, August 24, 2016


Barrel Types
  • Pencil -- a long, consistently thin barrel
  • Front Loaded -- a teardrop shaped barrel
  • Torpedo -- Thicker in the middle and tapered at the ends
  • Scalloped -- there is a notch in the barrel for fingers
  • Stubby -- short barrel, usually weight limited

Grip Types
  • Smooth
  • Knurling (cross-hatching usually cut on a lathe)
  • Ringed Grooves
  • Dimplex -- little nubby things
  • Razor -- small cuts that give a great grip
  • Shark Fin -- wide grooves with edges angled towards shaft end. (lots of grip to throw, and little grip as it is released).
  • Unidirectional -- like Razor and shark fin combined (small groove shark)
  • Scalloped -- the holding place is also the grip.

Flight Types
  • Standard gives maximum leverage to the flight mechanism because of its larger area.
  • Kite has a smaller area, giving the dart faster flying speed.
  • Teardrop allows maximum lift from a small flight and tends to keep the tail of the dart down.
  • Slim is designed for the fast-flying dart and allows the tail to stay low.
  • CoalCracker is an alternate name for Slim or Super Slim flights.
  • Lantern -- similar to the kite design but slightly more back heavy trajectory.
  • No.6 shape is similar to the standard shape flight but narrower through the top.

Shaft Types
  • Metal
  • Nylon
  • Spinning [came with the darts I bought so I kept them] (When a second dart lands right where a prior dart lands... The flights on the prior dart rotate out of the way so that the second dart can land, instead of being bounced out. This is a big deal when you are shooting tight groups. Rotation on release of the dart won't make it fly sideways.)
  • Magnet (A Magnet shafts is a refinement on the spinning shaft. These shafts are two part shafts. A magnet in the barrel-connected portion of the shaft is used to retain a ferrous flight carrier that is inserted into the flight end of the shaft.)
  • Carbon Fibre (Carbon fibre is light yet extremely strong. It is virtually unbreakable. As of 2013 a very few companies offer carbon fibre dart shafts. They should allow all the benefits of nylon shafts, with a similar durability to a metal shaft.)

Tip Types
  • Soft
  • Steel (fixed)
  • Retractable (hammerhead; no bounce; found in steel darts)

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