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!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dart Tricks

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

Not really tricks but processes one would use to achieve the consistent dart throw a person seeks to master the dart arts. I use the term tricks because it tends to resonate with folks and that is important that what I try to provide is a resonance that helps me and other master the ability to throw consistent darts.

Visualization is one of those tricks, processes, that all disciplines use successfully to achieve goals. I use it all the time in other disciplines such as my practice of martial arts and karate, etc. Just google sports and visualization and the list will be endless. 

No, my goal here is to speak to a couple of tricks I am trying out because, at the start, they SEEM proficient in reaching my goal of a consistent-accurate dart toss. The first is to extend my arm completely in the aim at my target phase while the second is to consciously cock my arm for the throw so the dart comes all the way back into a full cocked position, i.e., the dart by my cheek then a third one is to make sure my aiming position is to hold the dart such as the shaft and barrel are vertical with the point directed at the floor. Then I add in the fourth trick to make sure the dart is pointing directly at the target and the entire dart remains in that position throughout the entire throw. 

Now, I don’t expect the reader to gleam the tricks by reading because that is not the point of the article, to teach you the tricks to throwing good darts but it is a way to convey the idea and process using a term that means something to you, dart tricks. I want to convey a means that you can associate with visualization that may provide you a means to achieve your consistent-accurate dart throw. 

You have to find your own dart toss, you have to find those tricks the get you there and you have to do your own practice, practice and practice. It may  be that these three things will lead you down the right path to mastering the dart arts. Also, this type of trick, if it succeeds, is also a physical means that creates a pattern and rhythm that reinforces your perfect dart throw. 

One of the other non-physical tricks I gleamed by playing is that most of the best shooters have a system of patterned moves, etc., they use to throw solid-consistent darts and that is to aim physically, feel the relaxed muscles for a relaxed throw, feeling the movement of a complete throwing arm and so on. You know, the mental gymnastics that triggers the mind to pull up the persons perfect throw.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

DART ARTS: Primal Conditioned Response

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

What some refer incorrectly or inaccurately as “muscle control.” Primal conditioned response is a state of mind and body achieved through deliberate conscious repetitive practice and training.

Now, that being said, as long as each person fully and completely understands what they perceive and insinuate regarding the phrase, “Muscle Memory,” there is no reason to not use it. It is necessary and incumbent on sensei to make sure when using it in the dojo that the practitioners and student body do understand what it is when you say, “Developing muscle memory through deliberate conscious repetitive practice and training.” 

In truth, a lot of reality-based adrenal stress-conditioned practice and training is often best to encode our primal conditioned response systems so that when chaos of violence hits we can trigger the appropriate responses, etc., to achieve our goals, strategies and tactics. 

As one relatively unknown arthur stated, “It is not easy for some men to know they have done evil, for reasoning and honor are often clouded by pride.” - Jessica Entiedy

Set aside pride and allow our logical reasoning and honor to get-r-done. 

 More on the subject:

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Classical Darts vs. Techno-Darts

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

Caveat: I do have a bias and agenda on this article, I am old school steel darts and even tho the advent of techno-darts has a place in the dart community, I still feel it is a detriment to the longevity to the classic dart arts - sigh!

What is classical darts? When I think of classical darts, the Dart Arts, I think of steel tips; I think of strategy; I think of the tactics; think of fluid mathematics; I think of physiokinetics; I think of consistency of action; I think of the OODA; I think of the social interactions; I the of the competitive spirit; I think of the brotherhood of darters; and many other complementary traits that make classical darts, traditional.

What is techno-darts? Modern technically driven darts first instituted in electronic "Soft-tip darts" where a good portion of classical darts is taken away from the darter and provided by the electronic dart board - in short, lazy-darts.

Now, with the tech-revolution the classic steel tip darts world is being absorbed into aversion of electronic darts. The cell phone and its apps are being developed that literally play the best part of the game for you where the darter has to do nothing more then the mechanical part of the dart 🎯 arts. 

It recommends to you choices as you throw each dart and all you do is choose and throw. It even has an on-line community that removes the social aspects and the challenge of competition against a live person is removed so you throw to your home practice board, enter your scores and someone, somewhere in the world, then throws his or her darts and enters their score and whalla, you have a game, a game far removed from the challenges incurred in a live game that make classical darts a challenge. 

It seems that our society is falling off the edge of the social spectrum and that people for one reason or another simply don’t want all the stresses that come with social interactions. They fail to understand that for our species to survive we have to have personal contact at least on the level of the tribe or family and that families survive by their association with other families. Social media allows us to do things, things we normally in social interactions would never do, without the repercussions of close social proximity. There are other more social and critical meanings involved especially in regard to species or social survival, ours. 

Anyway, the process of going techno-darting is going to be a winner in these more social media endeavors and popularity, ease of use and convenience let alone the instant gratifications involved with minimal effort of the mind and body will mean this techno-dart thing will catch on and grow - IT TAKES no REAL EFFORT!

It seems that steel classic dart arts may end up being a small dart art where only the few, often older darters, will gather together, play local games, do the local league darts and not much else. One area that will be missed is the addition to the Olympic Games but as the game is watered down and the effort and challenge is removed for ease of use through technology that dream will die if it has not died already. It would be like making the game of “Clue” an Olympic Sport, NOT!

What's next, a virtual dart board and virtual darts?
Goodbye both steel and soft tip darts?

Monday, December 12, 2016

DART ARTS: Getting Perspective

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

Progress in the dart arts can be troublesome especially if a newbie has not yet gotten proper perspective to his or her ability as related to others. It comes down to getting a perspective but to do so means you have to experience and witness other darters from the very novice levels all the way up to the most proficient. 

It would be a very large mistake to simply take the top players as a litmus test to one’s ability in tossing a few arrows. I mean, you have to gain a perspective as to the darter, their level and their status as player being once agin the novice to the middle level to the top players. 

It came to me when viewing the various stages of one particular top player. We of the social media and Internet tech-revolution era that most of the great players are recorded and available on media outlets like Youtube. When you get the opportunity you should collect a wide range of play for those top players so that you can see how they play the dart arts over time. 

In one video, a novice player of young years, the player thows some darts and it becomes obvious when the hit their targets yet sill drift off into side scores such as either a “1” or a “5” when going for the twenty that compared to your own throws seems close or similar then you begin to get a better picture or perspective as to how well you shoot.

I say this simply because, I have and have witnessed, others get so frustrated and angry when the darts fail to cooperate and hit the intended targets. Yes, this is the art of the dart, the chaos and art of tossing darts as so many variables are involved that on occasion you may not see, feel or realize what exactly happens when the dart thrown goes awry, i.e., misses the target by a millimeter or a mile. 

Finding perspective to your dart arts vs. all those other players of various levels helps you find that level and gives you hope that you to have the ability and the possibility of becoming a top player in the world of dart sports. It is a reminder that even the very best fall off the mark and score low scores. It is the mark of a professional to see it when it happens, to remain in control and to then pull yourself back into proper form and execution to be the dart, to be the target and to hit it consistently. 

Get some perspective, view the best and the worst and find your place in comparison to gain a perspective, a realistic perspective, of your ability and potential. 


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Why 501/301 vs. 500/300

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

I thought the answer was going to be complicated but in truth it isn’t and the “01” games, as they are often referred to by the dart arts, got its start from another game. The game of Cribbage played on olod English pubs, a card game, that scores from the value in the cards and scored by the peg holes in a “Crib board.” 

It is the crib board that hints at the “01” aspect rather than just picking an even number like 300 or 500, etc. There are thirty holes on each side of the crib board … wait for it … plus one extra hole per side called the “Home” making the score sixty-one.

I quote, “In the early days of modern darts the score, to enable scores to be fairly recorded, was defined as 'five times round' the crib board, that is a total of 300 (60 x 5) plus 1 - 301. At every stage of play the players could see where they were in terms of score by looking at the crib board.”

Then chalking was introduced and to change the already established rule of the “01” games was not needed because, as you know, history and heritage often keep things the same such as, “If it works, don’t change it” attitude. 

“When chalking was introduced and as more people began to play, later versions of the game were anything - 01, (601, 701, 1001, 1,000,001 etc) but this is how it all started. Also, if the - 01 wasn't there it would make darts terribly boring as good players would just keep hitting 20s. With the - 01 it means that players have to move away from the 20 bed - at least for a short while - in order to win the game.”

This is why I use golf, a common well-known game to everyone, as an analogy to playing dart “01” games where the long game is to bring the score down as quick as possible to at least 170 or less, then the short game is working to get the “double-out” in the least amount of throw darts as humanly possible. 

Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <Patrick Chaplin: Darts History> as the inspiration for this post.

Note: the above hat tip link takes you to a site that has a lot of historical information about the dart arts. Interesting stuff to say the least, soooo, “Game On!”