# Almost 18 in a row.January 4, 2015 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Well, that's another known unknown for my list...

☑ Darts Scoring
posted by tychotesla at 4:20 PM on January 4, 2015 [8 favorites]

Can someone explain to me how close to the center a dart has to be to be considered perfect?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:23 PM on January 4, 2015

To quote the late great Sid Waddell, "There's only one word for that: magic darts".
posted by sobarel at 4:24 PM on January 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

So a quick thing about darts scoring. I think I still remember this stuff.

The bullseye has the outer ring (25 points) and the center ("double bull," 50 points), but the two rings running along the edge of the board (double) and about halfway from the edge to the bullseye (triple) are important too — a triple 20, at 60 points, is the highest-scoring space on the board.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:27 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Don't care about darts, but it is always nice to see someone succeed magnificently.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:27 PM on January 4, 2015

I'm amazed that it's a spectator sport. A thousand people in a theater like that, looking at a space about the size of a postage stamp. And going completely apeshit.
posted by chicobangs at 4:33 PM on January 4, 2015 [12 favorites]

Compilation of (nearly) every televised 9-dart finish. The first player to do this on TV, John Lowe, won an extra £100,000 for those 9 throws.
posted by ceiriog at 4:34 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

In this competition, they are counting down from 501 to zero. You have to score exactly 501 to get to zero, and the first person to do so, wins.

The inner bullseye is worth 50, and the outer bullseye is worth 25. Each segment is worth its designated number of points, with double points (e.g. 2 x 20) for the narrow outer ring, and triple points (e.g. 3 x 20) for the narrow ring middle ring.

Given these available points, the minimum number of darts you need to throw to score 501 exactly is nine - it's known as a nine dart finish, and there are several combinations.

Van Gerwen threw one nine dart finish, and 8/9 of a second successive nine dart finish. I suspect that if he had completed the second, the place would have gone bonkers.
posted by carter at 4:36 PM on January 4, 2015 [19 favorites]

Nice grouping.
posted by uosuaq at 4:36 PM on January 4, 2015 [8 favorites]

A thousand people in a theater like that, looking at a space about the size of a postage stamp.

If you have trouble seeing too well, a Kermit the Frog mask should help.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:36 PM on January 4, 2015 [16 favorites]

Can someone explain to me how close to the center a dart has to be to be considered perfect?

So 'perfect' here refers to getting nine successive darts into the nine correct slots on the board in order to score 501 points. It's not anything to do with distance from the centre as such.
posted by carter at 4:38 PM on January 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

not a lot of mucking around in this video. i like that. is professional darts always that way?
posted by mullacc at 4:39 PM on January 4, 2015

There's a fair bit of mucking around during the walk-on.
posted by ceiriog at 4:41 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I love the sound when the darts hit. The sort of sound you would also hear from the deepest caves of Moria.

And he was so pleased with himself at the end.
posted by Ashenmote at 4:44 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I take it the spectators wearing rain coats and hats are protecting themselves from showers of beer?
posted by rocket88 at 5:15 PM on January 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

The English get their excitement delivered in strange packages.
posted by Foam Pants at 5:21 PM on January 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

It seems to me the announcers for the darts score have always had - as long as I can remember hearing them - a legal requirement to gargle gravel before each match and also have a signature 'noise' for a player getting 3 treble-20's that is incomprehensible as a method of signifying 180 (the highest possible score with 3 darts).

"UNNNNNHHHHEEEEERRRRRNNNNNNNNNNEEEEIAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!"
posted by Brockles at 5:38 PM on January 4, 2015 [4 favorites]

I'm amazed that it's a spectator sport. A thousand people in a theater like that, looking at a space about the size of a postage stamp. And going completely apeshit.

See also stadium concerts.

Darts coverage gives us a pretty raw example of a promotional engine at work, with their nicknames and all. It's very similar to other sports' promotional engines of course, but it seems more obviously blatantly absurd in this context, though of course it's equally absurd for other sports as well.

It's gotten even more absurd than ever in fact, particularly in the way sports is covered in America, which at least for F1, is all this gladiator nonsense all the while telling you fuck all about the sport itself or the driver. The Europeans use just about an equal amount of the gladiator metaphor nonsense, but at least they also tell you about the sport and why a certain driver is doing well, or not.

It would be interesting to see how Darts would be covered in the States.
posted by juiceCake at 5:43 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ton eighties all up in here. That's some inspired shooting, there.

I threw competitive darts for twenty years or so, and I still catch it on tv when I can (a little difficult on this side of the pond). I wish cricket got a little more respect, though. You need the same skills as you do for oh-one, but there's a strategy aspect, too.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:56 PM on January 4, 2015 [7 favorites]

Today I learned a darts player has a lengthier Wikipedia page than Charlie Kaufman.
posted by davebush at 6:41 PM on January 4, 2015

A thousand people in a theater like that, looking at a space about the size of a postage stamp.

So you haven't been to a British pub in the evening Thursday, Friday or Saturday then.
posted by srboisvert at 7:29 PM on January 4, 2015

"Can someone explain to me how close to the center a dart has to be to be considered perfect?"

What carter said above - it doesn't matter so long as you are within the wire part but there are several versions. Quoting the wiki:There are many games that can be played on a dartboard, but darts generally refers to a game whereby the player throws three darts per visit to the board with the goal of reducing a fixed score, commonly 501 or 301, to zero ("checking out"), with the final dart landing in either the bullseye or a double segment."

There are other versions of the game but "501 down" where you start with a score of 501 and each dart subtracts the amount is probably the most common. There is a "perfect" way to do this in that the darts thrown first hit the highest value targets and the later darts hit the target to exactly reduce your score to zero. You have to hit zero exactly to win. If your score is down to twenty-one you don't win if you hit a fifty, you have to try again next turn.

It's slightly more complicated than that in that you need to hit an odd number - say triple seven- to be able to double out, but that is the gist as I understand it.
posted by vapidave at 7:55 PM on January 4, 2015

There's a skill that'll come in handy come the zombie apocalypse.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:08 PM on January 4, 2015

For more interviews (ehh look), more darts, click on this button. (Points)
posted by jscott at 8:21 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Perfect montage material, just add a couple of air horns and AC/DC's "Thunderstruck".
posted by four panels at 8:49 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Today I learned a darts player has a lengthier Wikipedia page than Charlie Kaufman.
posted by davebush at 9:41 PM

I shit you not, for many years the Wikipedia page on Lightsabers was three times as long as the entry on Shakespeare.
posted by four panels at 8:50 PM on January 4, 2015 [8 favorites]

There's a skill that'll come in handy come the zombie apocalypse.

Keep your distance and go right for the eyeballs.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:15 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Once, while in Japan, and practicing my language skills at a local darts bar, I challenged a guy to play for a beer. He gave me a funny look, agreed, and then threw 6 triple 20s in a row. After I bought his 2nd beer, he introduced himself as the number 2 player in the country, showed me his nickname on the flights he was using, and I understood why everyone was finding the lopsided match so amusing. I didn't realize at the time how rare that level of skill was.

In my whole life I've only scored 180 twice, and probably never will again.
posted by bashos_frog at 9:30 PM on January 4, 2015 [15 favorites]

Darts.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:51 PM on January 4, 2015 [4 favorites]

Next time you see a dart board in a bar, look at the scorekeeping chalkboard. That one with all the code-like number-letter combinations on it? That's the out chart for what combinations of throws will get you down to zero in a game of oh-one.
posted by axiom at 10:21 PM on January 4, 2015

I shit you not, for many years the Wikipedia page on Lightsabers was three times as long as the entry on Shakespeare.
posted by four panels

Ahh yes, there's even a term for that. Wikigroaning
posted by revmitcz at 10:53 PM on January 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Meh. Anyone can learn to throw 180 after 180 sober. The whole point of darts is maintaining the manual dexterity and mastery of arithmetic while completely drunk off your ass.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:54 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Guy would make a pretty decent lvl 1 mage.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:10 PM on January 4, 2015

Sensational stuff! Televised darts has a very soothing effect on me, what with all the thunking and neatly executed checkouts. Nothing soothing about this though :-) That last dart was only about 5mm off the double 12...
posted by ZipRibbons at 1:21 AM on January 5, 2015

Sys Rq: The whole point of darts is maintaining the manual dexterity and mastery of arithmetic while completely drunk off your ass.

Something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgap_CzceBM
posted by merlynkline at 1:27 AM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

There really is no sport that "Seven Nation Army" isn't appropriate, is there?
posted by JoeXIII007 at 3:59 AM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I love watching darts, it's a real skill. I especially love the fact that so many people dress up for the big matches. I don't remember this happening when I was a kid so I'm not really sure when the memo went round. But part of the joy of watching is the camera panning the crowd and you going "They were great darts...ooh, there's Charlie Chaplin sitting beside Beaker!"
posted by billiebee at 4:52 AM on January 5, 2015

Darts is actually a great spectator/TV sport:

• huge amounts of skill to hit a small target with a wobbly piece of metal

• constant action with almost no stoppages (unlike, say, American football) or lulls (like many games of soccer)

• you can't just defend once you're in the lead - you have to finish the job and people can and have fallen apart when they were within touching distance of victory (tennis, snooker etc are also like this but most team sports are not)

• following on from the last point, big psychological element with enormous pressure on certain shots, players going on amazing steaks or suffering from the yips, trying to subtly throw each other off etc

• the maths involved to work out different ways to get to exactly 0 from 501 and finish on a double, taking into account the relative difficulty of different numbers around the board, is pretty impressive

• posted by kersplunk at 5:04 AM on January 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

Part of me is glad he missed the last double because that audience was already way way past losing their shit.
posted by fullerine at 5:06 AM on January 5, 2015

One of my favourite memories is trying to teach the scoring system in snooker to a retired American couple on a full size table in a working men's club in Hull.

Match abandoned we turned to darts.
posted by vbfg at 5:40 AM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Phil Taylor produced this little spell against James Wade - two nine-dart finishes in the same match, the second followed by 7 perfect darts (and a ten-dart finish).

For crowds losing their shit, this is up there. And it has Sid Waddell commentating ("Eat your heart out Isaac Newton, that was an apple fallin'!").
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 8:06 AM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

The world championship is on at the moment... well the BDO rubbish players version. Darts has never really been the same since it split at the beginning of the 90s.
As a kid I can remember the finals as being a really big sporting event up there with the FA Cup, Boat Race and Test Matches. Not so much now.

There was a great documentary on the BBC a few weeks back on its heyday at the end of the 70s and into the 80s. You can still catch it on iplayer

They also showed this amazing short film Arrows (that's also on youtube) from 1979 about a young pre-world championship winning Eric Bristow showing him doing an exhibition match at a miners welfare near Nottingham. The past really is another country - a bit swave of that culture would all be swept away by the coming miner's strike. Apparently it went out in cinemas with The Long Good Friday!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:23 AM on January 5, 2015

My bar-darts career was far more focussed on cricket than "x01" games. Cricket is about scoring 3 hits each in the 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15 plus the bullseye before your opponent.

This game dynamic means a "perfect" game needs only 8 darts: one dart each in the triple ring for 20-15, plus a double bull and single bull.

I've seen it done once. Whole bar exploded.
posted by uberchet at 8:28 AM on January 5, 2015

There was a great documentary on the BBC a few weeks back on its heyday at the end of the 70s and into the 80s.

We watched this. There's a moment in it when Keith Daller's manager was being interviewed around the time Daller had just beaten Bristow, and he was saying how marketable he now was. He said "He could sell anything from cocaine to baby powder." Which says something about the days before PR advice...
posted by billiebee at 9:01 AM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

The pig's bristle trebles board lends itself to big scores which is pleasing for beginners. Modern rules allowing a flying start make things less uneven too. The old rules required a double to start as well as to finish, and in games between duffers it was common for one player to be stuck on double-1 and the other to be stuck on 301.

Try log-end boards such as the Lincoln (standard number pattern but no trebles and no outer bull) or the Manchester (no trebles, a smaller target area, and an non-standard number pattern). Underage drinkers were quickly found out by these boards - you need a fair arm to make the darts stick in. Log-end boards have to be kept underwater most of the time and are pulled out of a bucket an hour or so before use. Sadly, regional boards are a dying breed.
posted by StephenB at 3:24 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

Professional dart players are randomly drug tested for performance enhancing drugs. Unlike other sports and not surprisingly alcohol is allowed for the competitors even though it is banned in other target sports. The most likely performance enhancing drug to be in their system are beta-blockers to keep their nerves in check.

I've played at dart events subject to WADA drug testing.
posted by ShakeyJake at 9:47 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

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