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!

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Standards of the Dart Arts

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

Standards are defined as: “A level of quality or attainment; a required or agreed level of quality or attainment; an idea or thing used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations (principles of conduct informed by notions of honor and decency).”

European dart arts have consistently taken the art or darts to higher and higher levels in the last decade while American dart arts has actually fallen, or at minimum, remained static and somewhat low. Yes, this is a personal opinion and I expect to hear many say that it also has risen but to date I have not found one iota of proof. 

This disturbs me as one, “Old Timer,” dart’ist and promotor of local events said, “the dart’ist today relies heavily on the drink to maintain their ability to toss arrows. I believe that even the European’s do the same with one exception, they don’t do it on the televised events.” This is discouraging and coupled with the elitist attitudes often described to me seems to put the dart arts into a category that the general public uses the minute one says, “Darts.” 

Personally, the only drink I have when the “Game is ON” is coffee and water. One to remain awake as most dart arts are played after hours, evenings, and along with other obligations makes for a very tired practitioner after certain hours pass. Most locals I play with tend to imbibe through out the evening as would any social drinker which is not a bad thing. But, as long as that remains regardless of its perception of others it will always trigger the perception of local workers drinking beer and tossing a few darts for fun in a more social context. 

If the dart arts is ever going to achieve the same high standards of social acceptance and participation this attitude, perception and distinction of the discipline is going to need a paradigm shift. The real question is, “How the heck are we in the dart world of America going to make that happen when things like cognizant dissonance and confirmation bias are triggered every time one hears the word, Darts.” 

Dart arts quality with honor, respect and standards commensurate to that of European Dart Arts must be raised to those levels or beyond. We Americans have a history of being seen as the underdog who when challenged tend to pick up that big stick and beat that belief into submission and oblivion henceforth and beyond. Again, how do we do that, that is the real question?

My first thought is promotion, we must use influence and compliance principles to create an atmosphere and communications model that would promote and influence everyone toward a more honest view of what the dart arts are and what those same dart arts can achieve - think, Olympics!

Some suggestions to start the ball rolling:
  • Read the PDC rules as set forth by the, “Darts Regulation Authority.” 
  • Research the growing pains of the dart arts of England that led to its European acceptance and continued growth.
  • Research the dart arts progression from a pub game to the televised events drawing in the entire European Nations and the larger than life earnings those dart’ist earn.
  • Research the processes used by the great dart artists who have taken the dart arts to such high levels of expertise and play never before seen in the history of the dart arts tantamount to how the game of golf has reached such heights of play, professionalism and acceptance by the world. 
  • Use the proper and appropriate means to change American attitudes and perceptions of the dart arts. 
  • Research the world of American Darts and compare them to European Darts to find those concepts, ideas and standards that would elevate our discipline to be competitive with theirs. 
This may be a start and we can hope but … 

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