Darts is a simple game, however, there’s a lot to unpack about its history and gameplay.
But don’t feel amiss when you don’t know about these facts; at least you get to score some knowledge about this seemingly mundane game to tell your friends on your next dart sessions.
The Soldiers Started It
Well, there’s a lot of versions of its origin story, but let’s focus on this one from 14th Century England.
It was a time of war, and soldiers need a break from a hard day’s work. So they picked up some arrowheads and started throwing them into empty wine barrels. While it’s a way to destress and wager on bets, it also improves their aims and throwing skills, which are essential for their jobs.
Through the years, the barrel was replaced with cross-sectioned tree trunks, and seeing as how it has radial cracks in it, rules and scoring systems were made to make it even more exciting. Eventually, it all trajects into the dart games we know nowadays!
It Had Illegal Beginnings
In 1908, a pub owner from Leeds won a case to legalize darts in a very peculiar way—sort of a cowboy roulette if you get it.
Seeing as it’s a matter of throwing your shot at a distance, people deem it as a game of chance and risks hence illegal. When the pub owner was arrested for letting his customers enjoy darts inside his turf, he called in his best shots by bringing in a darts hotshot at that time, William Annakin, with him to court. Pleading that it was a ‘game of skill’ over its negative connotation of ‘game of chance,’ William demonstrated his skill by pinning three darts into a 20-segment dartboard.
Impressive as it was, the next witness, a courtroom clerk, tried to copy his actions but only to fail with one dart to the board and two flunked on a mahogany wall. Case dismissed, and officially, it was accepted as a game of skill. Since then, people had the luxury of playing it legally.
Elmwood was the First Material For the Dart Boards Back in the Day
Stick this in—the boards then were very tedious! People used circular blocks of elm before as boards, and they just painted over it. But because elm isn’t that much resistant to holes than today’s boards, they would lug and soak them overnight to close its holes. Imagine how much hassle it is for a pub assistant or owner during those times to cater darts on their business so that people can enjoy it.
Choose a Weapon—Light or Heavy Darts?
Typically a dart weighs around 18 to 40 grams with most players choosing 18 to 23 grams for a brass type and 23 to 26 grams for tungsten. But did you know back then it can go over 50 grams?
There are all sorts of dart materials from brass, nickel, silver, or tungsten, varying in weight, grip, and shaft. Think of it like a bowling ball where you get to choose your weight. So perhaps next time, you may want to experiment on which works best for you. Hit it!
No, the Scores aren’t Random
If you see the number sequence around a board, you might be wondering what the logic is behind it? Here’s the thing, they’re all strategically placed. So next time, you miss by a millimeter, you should know that the sticks and holes don’t lie. You get a score for accuracy, but you get a snore for inaccuracy.
The Bottom Line: Exploring Interesting Trivia and Tidbits About the Game of Darts
If you think darts are just about hitting the bull’s eye, well, you’re missing it. There are different rules and games you can choose to play with: Around the Clock, Chase the Dragon, Cricket, High Striker, Mulligan, and more, so get on your A-game!
Darts may look like a leisure sport, but there’s plenty to discover in the game of darts. If you’re looking to learn more information and fun facts about the sport, check out Your Darts, where we can let you in on the loop about darts.