Darts is a competitive sport in which two or more players throw small sharp-pointed missiles known as darts at a round target known as a dartboard. Points can be scored by hitting specific marked areas of the board, though unlike in sports such as archery, these areas are distributed all across the board and do not follow a principle of points increasing towards the centre of the board.
The standard dartboard is divided into 20 numbered sections, scoring from 1 to 20 points, by wires running from the small central circle to the outer circular wire. Circular wires within the outer wire subdivide each section into single, double and treble areas. The central circle is divided into a green outer ring worth 25 and a red or black inner circle, usually known as the bullseye worth 50 points.
Modern darts are made up of four components: the points, the barrels, the shafts and the flights which are all of various weights, lengths and materials. The choice of barrel, shaft, and flight will depend a great deal on the individual player’s throwing style
A game of darts is generally contested between two players who take turns. The most common objective is to reduce a fixed score, commonly 301 or 501, to zero with the final dart landing in either the bullseye or a double segment to win. Not all three darts need to be thrown on the final turn; the game can be finished on any of the three darts.
The development of darts as a game is thought to have originated in England during the medieval era in the 1300s beginning as a military pastime as an effective pastime to practice aim and throwing skills.
The original target in the game may possibly have been a section of a tree trunk, its circular shape and concentric rings giving rise to the standard dartboard pattern in use today.
The earliest darts were stubs of arrows or crossbow bolts. The first purpose-made darts were manufactured from solid wood, wrapped with a strip of lead for weight and fitted with flights made from split turkey feathers. These darts were mainly produced in France and became known as French darts. Metal barrels were patented in 1906, but wood continued to be used into the 1950s.
During the 1800s the game of darts reached high levels of popularity. With this popularity the first numbering systems began to become developed. The development of the modern numbering system was one of the most impactful changes to the game of darts, and through it, the game gained even more popularity and eventual recognition as a sport.
Darts first appeared in the World Transplant Games in 2017 in Malaga, Spain. The event proved extremely popular and continues to be offered as a regular single and a team event.
Darts is a social sport that improves your hand/eye-coordination and concentration, helps relieve stress, increases confidence and works your brain.
It can be played both competitively or socially by all ages and abilities with no physical strain on your body.
There should be a social club or centre nearby to you where you can try the game. If you are able to access a dartboard to keep at home, you can teach yourself and practice before you find a darts partner or join a team. It’s easy and inexpensive to purchase a set of darts.