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Darts is not only a competitive international sport, but also a hugely popular game for both home and social venues. In this darts guide we cover many of the standard darts regulations players need to adhere to, but before we get into that let’s cover a bit about the history of darts.
Modern darts as we know it surfaced in 1869 and Lancashire carpenter Brian Gamlin was the man who invented darts in this form. However, originating as a military pastime, the game was present in alternative forms much earlier, so the answer to ‘when was darts invented’ truly lies in the 1300s, during the English medieval era.
Today we have two variations of the game that are played, pitting soft tip vs steel tip darts, with the difference between soft and steel tip darts coming primarily from the darts equipment required. Soft-tip darts uses a plastic, electronic dartboard with many holes in which to plant special soft-tipped darts. This form of the game is more child-friendly and is also likely to cause less damage to property from wayward throws!
This darts guide however focuses on steel tip darts – the more classic pub-style game with heavier sharp steel points to throw into a traditional bristle dartboard. Below we cover some key aspects of the game, answering common questions in the process.
Dartboard dimensions and sizes are the same whether you are after a standard beginner dartboard or a professional dartboard, with the (exact) regulation dartboard size being 17¾ inches or 45.1cm in diameter, although you may sometimes see this rounded up to 18 inches or 45.7cm.
In terms of thickness, a dartboard sits 1.5 inches, or 3.81cm, out from the wall or stand on which it’s mounted.
Today, there are various materials available which modern dartboards can be made from including sisal fibres, cork, and paper, though the material determines the durability. Paper and cork dartboards are much less suitable to withstand repetitive practise without wearing away, unlike our premium dartboard range which uses sisal fibres – the most durable material for a long-lasting dartboard.
For those wondering how dartboards are made, long sisal fibres (extracted from the Agave plant) are collected in tube-like bundles which are then sliced into thin dartboard-width discs. A number of these discs are then pressed together, secured to a circular backboard, and sanded down for a smooth finish. The main ink design and metal framework can then transferred to the surface to complete the board.
Knowing how high a dart board should be is essential as it ensures the dartboard you’re using is at a height that is consistent with other boards you may play on. The official dartboard height is 5ft 8in, or approximately 173cm from floor to centre of the bullseye.
When it comes to positioning the board at the regulation height there are different options available. You can easily achieve the recommended dartboard height off the floor by using a portable dartboard stand. These stands are quick and easy to setup and takedown which is ideal if you plan to store the board away when it’s not in use. Alternatively, you may prefer a wall-mounted set-up which offers a more permanent solution as you’d find in most pubs and other venues. If this is your preferred option our PINPOINT dartboards are supplied with hanging bracket accessories that make hanging up a dartboard straightforward.
For steel-tipped darts matches, the correct distance to stand from a dart board is 7ft 9¼in, or 237cm. This darts ‘oche distance’ measurement should be taken from the ground directly below the board to the throw line. If playing on an uneven surface the dart throwing distance can be measured diagonally from the throw line to the centre of the bullseye and should be 9ft 7½in, or 293cm. For ladies, the official darts distance remains the same, but many local leagues allow a variation in how far ladies and juniors stand from the board. Most commonly, the alternative darts distances in this instance are 7ft 6in (approximately 232cm) or 7ft 0in (approximately 213cm). A minimum of 2ft either side of the board should be kept clear during play – steel-tip darts are sharp and can cause damage or injury.
When purchasing a dartboard for the first time there are a few things to consider. Where you plan to play, how much space you have available and your budget for new darts equipment will all help determine which dartboard to buy.
Figuring out how seriously you take, or plan to take, the game before choosing the quality of dartboard to buy is also important. Both our beginner and professional dartboards are heavy-duty and designed to last, and both have a classic black, white, red and green design.
Our PINPOINT Beginner Dartboards are a quality bristle dartboard that are made from high-quality Chinese Sisal to ensure their durability, whilst our PINPOINT Professional Dartboards are made from Brazilian Sisal, the most premium Sisal available that is endorsed and used in professional darts events.
Another subtle difference between our beginner and professional models is that the beginner dartboard features pristine slim wiring whereas the professional option has blade wiring which is designed to maximise scoring areas and reduce bounce outs.
Both dartboards are guaranteed to deliver high-level performance so choosing which option to go with will come down to the different factors mentioned above and what you’re looking for.
As well as our boards we also stock all of the other essentials you could need including dart sets to suit different ability levels and budgets. In addition to our brass and tungsten darts we have rubber darts mats that provide an easy way to mark out the distance from dart board to oche whilst also protecting your floor surface, dartboard surrounds that protect walls from stray darts that miss the target, and dartboard stands for anyone who either doesn’t want to have a dartboard permanently mounted to a wall or who hasn’t got the wall space to hang one.