The game of darts first appeared in England during the middle Ages. Soldiers would compete against each other by throwing steel arrows at a point marked on an overturned barrel. It is now a professional sport played the world over. While some players prefer the ease and general safety of soft tip darts, steel tip darts are preferred in both amateur and professional tournaments for their speed and accuracy.
About Steel Tip Darts
Steel tip darts are comprised of a sharp, steel point fixed to the end of a barrel and can weigh up to 50 grams. The best steel tip darts will typically weigh between 20 and 25 grams. Tungsten darts are preferred for their lightweight durability. Considered to be the best steel tip darts available, tungsten darts have a low density that allows for a closer grouping. This maximizes a player’s scoring potential. A board comprised of tightly compacted bristle is used when playing with steel tip darts.
Board and Dart Rules
The Darts Regulation Authority governs the rules of steel tip dart play. Although different versions of the game are played worldwide, basic rules apply to all professional tournament play. The dartboard, measured from the floor to the bull’s-eye, is to be installed at 5 feet 8 inches, and the throwing line should be marked 7 feet 9 ¼ inches from the board. Darts can weigh no more than 50 grams and could use either a fixed or movable point.
501 is the preferred dart game, played by both amateurs and professionals. The first player to reduce his score from 501 to zero is the winner. Players throw three darts each, and then subtract the total points scored. Darts that bounce off or miss the board do not score and are not re-thrown. Players must remove their darts from the board and tally their scores before the next opponent can throw. The game is won when a player reaches exactly zero by throwing a double. 501 is typically played in sets of three or five with a “best of” overall winner.
Feet should be shoulder length apart with your body at a 50 to 90 degree angle with the board. Your front foot should be the same foot as your throwing hand with the majority of your weight resting on the front foot. The back foot is used for balance and neither foot should leave the ground during a throw. When throwing a dart, the elbow should remain in a fixed position until the arm begins moving. To achieve the perfect curve, your elbow should rise slightly when your arm is in forward motion. Your throwing shoulder should remain in a fixed position throughout the throw. Your focus should remain on the target from the beginning of the throw to the end. Bring the dart back a comfortable distance and do not accelerate too fast. The entire throw should be one fluid motion.