Darts can be traced back a long way, depending on how you want to look at it. For example, you could go all the way back to the ancient Greeks, who used to throw spears, whether it be in battle, or for fun during breaks in battle, they definitely used them. In the middle ages, the actual game of darts came into prominence and this is probably the most accurate time to recall, if talking about when the game of darts really began.
Men from all areas of society were taking an interest in the game and were playing it in their local drinking houses. It has also been recorded that Anne Boleyn gave Henry the Eighth a beautiful set of darts, as a gift in 1530.
In terms of a dartboard, slices of tree truck were commonly used, as they were easy to come by and had natural rings on them, which could be used as targets. However, it wasn’t until the late 1800’s and early 1900’s where the game we know and love today, started to develop. Paper flights and metal barrels were introduced, along with a standard dartboard, featuring numbers.
Interestingly, darts was banned from pubs in the early 1900’s, as it was considered a game of chance. However, a plucky landlord decided to challenge this ruling and went to court, showing the game was not one of chance, by hitting three treble 20’s and challenging the officials to do the same. None of them could and darts was reintroduced, becoming more popular and competitions were formed.
Prizes were then introduced for the winners, with the News of the World tournament in 1927 open to residents of London and then expanding country wide in later years.
The National Darts Association was formed in 1954 and the official rules started to take shape. It’s from here, that we have the game we all enjoy today.
If you don’t know what games you are talking about, check out this resource on games to play on a dart board.
Darts is quite cheap to start playing. Initially, you could even go to a local pub or club and ask to use a set they have available (you will be surprised how many places have sets a darts behind the bar) or ask a friend if they have a spare set. Either way, it’s possible to start playing without any outlay.
However, to begin playing regularly, a personal set of darts is required and this can be purchased in a store or online. If possible, it’s best to get to a specialised dart store, as you will be able to try out different sets and see which feels best, before making a purchase. A standard set will come with barrels, flights, stems and a case to keep them in. Once you are happy with the set-up of your darts, you can easily order additional sets from the store or online. It’s a good idea to always keep spares of shafts and flights with you, as these are the sections of the dart which need to be replaced most often.
It’s also cheap to set up a dartboard at home or in the office. New dartboards are not expensive and will come complete with a bracket, to hang the board on the wall. Always place some protection around the dartboard, so the surrounding wall does not get damaged from a wayward dart. You may be confident you will never hit the wall but that’s not to say someone else won’t leave a hole somewhere. There are dartboard surrounds and cabinets available for purchase or a piece of corkboard will work just as well.
Once the dartboard is set-up, at the correct height of 5 feet 8 inches, the oche should also be marked out, to a length of 7 feet 9.25 inches, from the front of the board.
In no time at all, you have your own dartboard and can practice as often you like, at home or in the office. It doesn’t get better than that.
We’ve created an advanced board to help you improve your game.
The IMPOSSIBLE 15 Question Darts Quiz Home
Put your knowledge of darts to the test with our 15 question quiz. We've made it tricky, so you'll have to be a real darts tragic to get 100%.