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, May 31, 2017

Fist Bump in Dart Arts

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

Well, a good question I asked myself is, “Why do d’artists bump fists?” My search found a lot of different views on the topic with many expressing a lot of angst about doing it but in the end it falls into the etiquette category. 

Historically: I could not find anything definitive on the dart arts fist bump. I did find some information that indicated the fist bump is a gesture similar in etiquette to a handshake or even the high five used in sports. It is also believed as a gesture of both respect and approval of the person you bump fists with. It can be followed by other hand and body gestures in greeting others. 

One source wrote, “It is commonly used in baseball and hockey as a form of celebration with teammates, and with opposition players at the end of a game. In cricket it is a common celebratory gesture between batting partners.” - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fist_bump

The wiki page talks about its beginnings as far back as the late 1800’s as a boxer handshake simply because the normal handshake is not possible while wearing boxing gloves. I kind of like and accept this at least in the boxing world. There is also reference to the early seventies when military persons of color used it as a form of salute to symbolize, “Black Power.” 

There are other sports references such as in basketball, a player in the 70’s did it with another player, etc. What some may not know is that in the animal kingdom anthropologists observed chimpanzees bumping fists and they still don’t know why the chimpanzees do that gesture. Even one of our recent Presidents of the United States used the fist bump at the end of one of many meetings while running for the office. 

There is one belief that hygienically speaking the fist bump reduces skin contact reducing the transfer of bacteria thus being a recommendation as a more hygienic alternative to a handshake or high five. 

So, in the end, it really doesn’t matter why or where it began in the dart arts and it is a good alternative to the handshake, if the parties are in agreement to its use, but it should be limited for etiquette purposes, i.e., before a contest begins and after it ends ONLY. As an aside I would add in the same requirement for expressing when a d’artists tosses most excellent arrows, i.e., often said, “Good Darts!” Leave that for after the game or leg ends while changing out players for the next leg of a game or match. 

Now, personally, I don’t mind the fist bump at all. I assumed when I returned to the discipline that fist bumps were a part of the game etiquette. It took me a little time to stop reaching for the handshake and just bump, lightly, fists but I can see how it promotes good social connections and camaraderie in team efforts. I still feel it is only appropriate before and after a contest and I feel strong it should not be overdone or done during siad contest because all the d’artists want to focus, focus and focus. 

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