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, October 25, 2016

The Throw - more

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

There are all kinds of principles involved in the dart arts but it might be that the actual throw holds high importance in the overall way a game is played. The following are provided as a general guide to what you want to look at and for in developing and maintaining your dart arts throw.
  • Grip
  • Straight barrel dart
  • Thumb and forefinger last to leave dart at end of throw to follow through.
  • Common stance, foot just off a side-position, i.e., abut thirty degrees between a side stance and toe-on.
  • Don’t lean forward much, keep body over knee and ankle (see the consistency article)
  • All about a rhythm, consistent smooth rhythm and cadence from aim, retraction and then throw with follow through.
  • Elbow once set in the aim - DOES NOT DROP. 
  • Elbow remains pointing vertically down to the ground and then rises up to the arm aim level as you reach the follow through, extension of hand, fingers, etc., as the dart leaves the hand and arcs to the target.
GRIP: Find your grip, one that provides you an important trait of throwing good darts. Once you find that most excellent of grips make sure you use it in every throw; make sure you feel the grip each throw when your grasp the next dart; make sure the grip and dart are situated to maximize the throw from start to follow through. Remember, the more fingers you involve in the grip the greater chance of missthrows, etc. 

STRAIGHT BARREL DART: Just a preferred barrel for, I feel, most good dart players. I like the narrow one provided by the company who makes the piranha darts with the razor grip barrel. Yes, there are other types of barrels that are good and it is best to find the one that suits your throwing style best. 

THUMB & FOREFINGER: To my throw, these two fingers dominate, i.e., are the control of my throw. It dictates how I hold the dart and it positions the dart in the place I need to throw using fingers, joints, the hand/palm, the wrist flex and extension along with other factors that make my throw a good one. As the checks above insinuate the thumb and forefinger are the last part of your hand on the dart as you enter your follow through. 

COMMONALITIES INVOLVED: Body balance and stability are paramount; how you lean at the ockey line determines these two body states; the rhythm of your throw remains steady with proper cadence when the body does NOT move, even a smidgeon. Watch yourself throw by suing your cell to take a video from the side and then note those aspects of the perfect throw that need to be improved, adjusted or kept stable and proper for the sake of continuity. The extension of the arm, hand and dart to start; the retraction and where it cycles into the forward momentum of your throw, the attitude and energy in the entire throw; and the follow through where you will actually see the hand, wrist and fingers flop out and down in the follow through, after the dart leaves the forefinger and thumb. Watch the pro’s and you will see how relaxed and flexible they are at that point. 

BODY MECHANICS OF STANCE: Read the stance and throw articles here: 

CREATION; RHYTHM & CADENCE: Like music, you have actual notes that can be heard then you have natural voids or empty timings and spaces that contribute to the overall sound of the music. Notes that run together tend to make for chaos in the sound we hear but appropriate spaces or pauses between the notes can make for a simple tune to an actual opera of sound. How you approach the line, assume the stance, prepare the throw and set the mind state all lead to that actual throw and when the throw begins it is an opera of movement toward a sound, “thunk”, when the dart hits the intended target - there is little like that moment in the dart arts except achieving good darts in competition with dart-ists of like mind. 

THE ELBOW: The check explains this well as does the basics of the throw linked above but physiokinetics and other principles and sub-principles are how we learn the importance of the elbow as to both positioning and movement when the throw is performed. 

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