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!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Diddle for the Middle

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

Diddling is how the dart artists determine who throws first in a match. What I find different from the European way of diddling is this, i.e., “Europeans determine who goes first by throwing and hitting the double bull or the single bull or as close to the single bull as possible, etc.,” and “Americans determine who goes first by throwing to the double bull but even if both hit the double bull they measure who comes closest to the absolute center of that double bull.” Hmmmm …

I like the European way, i.e., toss the bull and if both hit the double bull they re-throw until one or the other goes outside the double bull. This also applies if both hit the single bull, they re-throw until either one or the other hits the double or either one or the other misses the bull while the other hits the bull - single or double. Make sense?

Doing it this way, the European way, leaves no room for contesting just how close one is compared to the other especially when it is so very, very close. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

In the Money

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

Last nights local game turned out pretty good for me, I was in the money as they say, i.e., I finished well enough to get some mony - $7 ;-) Now, you might be thinking (and laughing your keister off to boot), seven bucks, are you serious? Yea, it isn’t the amount that matters to me but that I improved my game and got to the finals where I placed. 

Since my darts have been gone for well over twenty years, since I have not been back in the game at the local level just as long and since this is only my fourth outing at a local doubles blind draw I feel pretty good about the improvement of my dart arts.

My first three outings showed consistent moderate improvement. My fourth outing was a dump, I won only one game and that was mostly due to my partner in that game. Then, last night, I had a hit and miss set of games with most excellent partners but I hit some decent darts to carry my weight - mostly. 

At first, warming up before the night of darts began, I played 301 with another darter and my shots were crap. She’s a good player but regardless, my darts pretty much sucked and got worse up to the last five minutes before the games began. I had five minutes to get some semblance of my throw back on. 

Game ON! Started off a bit rough then I got in some decent darts. Can’t remember when, but I hit a few three dart higher scores, for me they were higher, where at least twice I hit 100 points or a bit more. Felt really good. 

The best part of the night, while practicing a bit before pairing up for the finals, a solid darter sitting behind me spoke up and complemented me on my form and such. He did say that I had this tendency to cut off my throw, not following through. Yes, a very bad habit from the old days that I am trying to overcome. He also had some cool advice on overcoming and reprogramming my throw for more consistency in the follow through. 

Ball up a piece of paper and throw it at the wall from the proper distance. The lightness of the paper makes it hard to reach and hit the wall solid, solid as balled up paper can, unless you follow through. I practice on a dart board but at work this could be great for practice during my two daily breaks and my lunch hour - very cool and very nice of him to chime it and help me and my game out. 

When the final rounds began I was a bit pumped and made some decent and beneficial throws to carry, support and win the round that put us in the money, so to speak ;-). Really decent improved night of darts, makes for a positive reinforcement toward continued improvement and makes for something positive to work on in practice. 

Game On, the Boot!!!

Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <Ray, my partner at the Paddock Bowl Local Dart Tourney ;-) > as the inspiration for this post.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

GAME: Psych Tricks in Darts

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

I remember the last time I played in any tournament a person, who played really well too boot, tried to psych out his opponents through his body language but mostly by the things he would say around those he played. I often wondered why, is it just because winning was so darn important to him he felt he had to use whatever method he could to win, Win, WIN!

What it meant to me, later because I tried that for a while too, was I had a lack of confidence in my abilities in darts that I would resort to such tactics to win. It meant that when I would or did win by such means, I won not by my ability but by using tricks. Compliance professionals abound in this world whose goals are always to get something from others often to their benefit financial and sometimes to their benefit of other resources. 

In a perfect world two darters will step up to the ocky line, throw their throws and win on dart skills without resorting to tricks or games of psych-means. This may sound a bit naive but to me, winning a dart game and tournament means winning on my skills throwing darts and playing the strategies and tactics of the game to achieve that goal while using other means is just not how I wish to go. 

It is like a world class darter playing against  a relatively inexperienced darter going for massive points in cricket to not just win but to win by such a margin that the inexperienced player is beaten down both mentally as well as proficiency in the dart arts. Yes, I know they frown on that but it does happen often in a malicious mean self-serving, to the player doing it, way that it can be a detriment to the game and gamesmanship itself. 

I assume it is a lack of self-esteem and a means to make the person feel good about themselves at the expense of others - I call them bullies. Make your dart arts yours first and foremost, make your proficiency and expertise about your skills in throwing and don’t resort to bully tactics because that is, in my view, the wrong way to win. 

If I were to one day win a world class level tournament, I would hope, want and expect that win to come from within me and against another darter of equal or greater skills without resorting to some trick to win. For me, it is about honor and sportsmanship and gamesmanship and to win outside that would be to lessen myself and my dart arts. 

Let me try to explain it this way, “Ruthlessness,” there is a ruthlessness necessary to get and hold a world level professionalism and proficiency. One is to use whatever means necessary and the other is to use those inherent skills of the professional to reach the same level. Using my marital background as an example: “I will be ruthless in the methodologies I implement in a self-defense situation; I will be ruthless at the force levels appropriate to achieve those goals; I will be ruthless in stopping a predatory attack; I will be ruthless in this while maintaining honor and dignity. I will NOT be ruthless to the point where I violate the social constructs of the legal and moral laws, requirements and social conditions necessary for society and societies/group survival. I will cause no grave harm or death unless justified in the arena of conflict and violence as directed, dictated and mandated by society and the various groups that make up our way of life. 

In the Dart Arts: I will be ruthless in my training; I will be ruthless in my practice; I will be ruthless in throwing darts in every game and in every tournament; I will NOT sacrifice my honor or my dignity or my social position in society or the game or the dart arts to win; I will win in a way that is appropriate and beneficial to me, my opponent, and to the dart arts and dart game. 


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Does Dart Equipment …

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

For your entertainment,
not a meaningful any-
Does the dart equipment one uses provide significant improvement in the person’s dart game? I am a new-novice player, i.e., my two or so years in darts was over twenty years ago so I put myself back in the novice arena until I can build my prowess in my throw up to an acceptable level along with some more and significant competitive status, so I tend to think that the answer to this question is a resounding “Yes-n-No.”

Yes, at a fundamental level the equipment does make a difference and No, it is not the end all to the perfect throw that some tend to assume when their actual throw is and stays questionable, inconsistent and just off. I am a firm believer that your throw and your game come from deep down inside yourself, your mind; mind-set; mind-state and competitive ability. The equipment is a necessity because there is a point where the out of the box toy-like darts. Those types of darts give the most professional world dart leaders some difficulties in throwing and hitting the targets. 

This presents a conundrum to the entry-level novice player, choosing the right equipment that will help you achieve your dart prowess while not creating a dependency on that equipment and using it as an excuse when things don’t go well. I advocate and firmly believe that using the middle of the road tungsten darts to find your fundamental throw is more important than finding what others might recommend as the best dart for you.

You have to find the best dart for you, no one else can do that due to too many personal individual unique physical and mental states. You are unique and an individual who has to find, understand then accept your physical and mental traits, etc. and then find the best equipment to supplement and enhance our innate ability in the dart arts. 

For me, with my past experience, I know that I need a longer, slimmer and textured dart set so I chose a 90% tungsten steel tip dart set with a medium shaft and a stand set of flights. I keep those pieces of equipment standard and in a parts box along with a case for carrying safely. Everything else beyond that as equipment to my mind is merely sales-oriented profit gathering stuff that one who becomes dependent on equipment to make their darts fly type thing. The stuff is fun and I tend to like buying what appeals to me but I DO NOT assume or allow those things to dictate how I throw darts. 

So, in a nutshell, just because someone throws well and has chosen the most advantageous equipment, for themselves, does not mean that if a player buys the same that they will become professional world class dart players themselves. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Two of the Best in the World

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

Take a look:

When you begin to feel like your darts are crap just remember what one most excellent dart player once said to me, “We all choke at one time or another.” This goes for the worlds best players as well. There are a group of video’s titled, “Darts Fails ?” and I am only up to #8 so far. Watch them when you feel really bad about how your darts fly and remember, everyone goes through such disappointments even the pro’s. 

Just remember, perspective is important in the dart arts. How you perceive yourself and your darts matters for if you are too hard on yourself and you assume something inappropriate then you lose. Seeing the best in the world drop their proficiency to, for example, having to hit a double one to win then missing it over and over and over again is a way to let yourself know that bad darts are normal and you WILL experience them regardless of the level of play you reach. 

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

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Darts - The Long Game

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

This is about the '01' game, spanning the score till you reach the first opportunity to the out. That means reaching 170 or < than with the least darts scoring the highest points possible.

301 - 170 = 132 points to cross in the long game.
501 - 170 = 331 points to cross in the slightly longer, long game.

132: T20, T16, D12 or T20, T20, D6 or DB, DB, D16 or T20, D20, D16 or ?

331: T20, T20, T20; 151: T20, T17, D20 or T20, T20, T20; T20, T20, T20: 501 - 360 = 141: T20, T19, D12 game

The long game in darts, as in golf, gets you to the last sprint for the finish, the dart short game. Reaching =< 170 means you have a chance of a three dart out and a chance at a perfect '01' game, depending on how fast you got to the short game. Play the long game, get there quick and then do a really short game to the finish. 

Ain’t life grand?