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Dart Trivia

Dart Trivia

  • Some dart players in England think throwing darts can get boring, so they take some six inch nails and use them instead. Joe Hitchcock used to love to beat "the champs" in this fashion. One of his favourite tricks was to "nail" a button from between someone's outstretched fingers.
  • The late Jim Pike, a darts legend in England before most of us even threw one, was such a marksman that he could shoot a cigarette from someone's mouth with a dart - AND STICK IT IN ANY DOUBLE.
  • The best flights in the world are made from turkey feathers. So who's the "turkey" now?
  • The average speed of a dart hitting a board is around 64kph (40mph).
  • London, 1937. The late and great Jim Pike went around the board on doubles, retrieving his own darts, in the time of 3 minutes 30 seconds. He did this shooting from a distance of 9 feet.
  • Can you score more than 180 with 3 darts? - Turn 16 to the top of the board and it becomes 91. Three triples give you 819.
  • There are more pubs with dartboards in the center of New York than there are in the center of London.
  • Years ago dartboards were made from elm wood. The numbers and wedges had to be carefully painted on and the spider (wires) had as many as 100 staples holding it to the board. To keep it from cracking, the careful pub owner would soak in a bucket of water or spillage from the beer taps over night. This activity spawned the popular misconception that soaking a loose dartboard in water will prevent darts from falling out. While this is true it will also considerably shorten the life of the board. The boards we use are made of tightly packed fibres of hemp or sisal. When these are moistened, they swell and will invariably bulge, causing the fibres to fall out. The best way is to let natural moisture in the air tighten the board for you. This, however, can take some time. If you've got a really bad board, steam it gently or hang a moistened rag over it to let it "breathe" the moisture slowly.
  • At an exhibition match at the Gipsy Stadium, in England, in July 1977, Muhammed Ali faced former Welsh champ Alan Evans. With Evans scoring only on triples, Ali won hitting a bullseye on the way out and immediately proclaimed himself darts champion of the world. 
  • On February 21st., 1989, at Buckingham Palace, London, Eric Bristow became the first dart player to receive the coveted Member of the British Empire award (M.B.E.). Mr. Bristow admitted he was nervous meeting the queen, saying, "It was more nerve-racking than any TV final." This gives him the right to have the letters M.B.E. present after his name.
  • We've all heard of people playing darts for money or a beer, but this tale's got a different twist. It's a known fact that singers Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdinck are old friends and like to play darts. When on tour they've been known to appear at various pubs all over the world looking for a game. During the 1970s, they purchased a 3,000-acre ranch and settled for the fishing rights by playing a game of darts. Just for the record, Jones won.
  • Scotland's No. 1, Jocky Wilson hit a 24-dart 1001 leg against American Bud Trumbower in March of 1987, at Eastgate U.S. Marine Base in England: 180-140-140-140-81-100-100-120. Jocky scored an incredible 600 points in his first 12 arrows and capped the leg with a fine 60-20-40 game shot to average 41.7 points per dart.
  • On November 11, 1975 at the Broomfield WMC in Devon, England, international star Cliff Inglis tossed a magnificent 19-dart 1001 game, smashing all previous records to date: 160-180-140-180-121-180-40. Cliff averaged an unbelievable 52.68 points per dart despite getting lucky with his first dart, hitting a D20 instead of the triple. 
  • All-County Welshman Leighton Rees, on December 18, 1976, finished a game of 3001 in 141 darts, connecting on only the single and double bulls and closing with a double bull. Leighton converted 34 double bulls and 52 bulls while just 55 darts went astray during this epic leg.
  • Tony Elleson, at the Now Inn Crumlin in Gwent, England, scored a perfect double start/double finish 301 game in June of 1987. While not so unusual in his feat perhaps, but after his first throw he broke a shaft retrieving his darts and literally had to sit down for five minutes and dig out the remains before finishing his game. Certainly the stoppage of play did not affect his concentration: D20-60-60-60-57-D12. 
  • On June 19,1987 at the Fishing Boat Inn in Northumberland, shooter Tab Hunter (no, not the movie star!) recorded a brilliant 23 dart 1001 leg: 100-180-140-125-140-100-140-76. He averaged a fine 43.5 points per dart, ending the final 76 in two.
  • Duncan Swift, playing out of the Felilxstowe Dock Sports and Social Club, Surrey, scored 493,470 points to capture the 24 hour solo record in May of 1987. While shooting and retrieving the darts himself, Duncan hit an incredible 123 180s, 643 140s and used a total of 18,369 darts for a fabulous 26.86 points per dart average.
  • In April of 1988, Stephen Wagg set the 12 hour solo record for scoring double and single bulls at the Thorncliff Cricket and Social Club in Sheffield, England. Stephen registered 961 double bulls and 3,335 single bulls for a score of 131,425. He tossed a grand total of 9,714 darts for a 13.52 per dart average.
  • An eight-hour record for scoring bulls and double bulls was set by Birmingham players George Perry and Tony Hodgkiss at The Seventh Trap Public House in December of 1987. The two, averaging 16.19 per dart, hit 1,406 double bulls and 4,247 single bulls for a total of 176,475 points, breaking the old record of 1,048 double bulls and 3,308 single bulls.
  • In June of 1978, All-World John Lowe captured a 1001 leg in 22 darts: 140-180-140-100-140-140-125-D18. John averaged 137 per throw or a grand 45.6 per dart en route to this memorable game.
  • Pat Irwin of the Mitre hotel, playing in a double start/double finish 501 match, hit a 170 in (Dbull-60-60) and a 170 out (60-60-Dbull) in the same leg, in April of 1987.
  • In a special pairs 3001 challenge match against Steve Brown and Gene Raymond, London county leaguers Reg Harding and Dave Lee slugged an 86 darter, just 11 darts short of the world record:
    The pair hit 3 maximums en route to a 34.8 per dart average over the course of the challenge.
  • Probably the most notable individual effort occurred on October 13, 1984 in the quarter-finals of the MFI World Matchplay Championships. The match featured British stars John Lowe and Keith Deller with Lowe hitting the first televised nine-dart perfect 501 game in the history of the sport. For the record he went: 180-180-141 and collected (eventually) a cheque for 102,000 pounds for his efforts. (Ironically, due to complex tax laws, Lowe could not pocket a penny from the jackpot until two years later, as the currency sat in a British bank waiting for final approval.)
  • Paul Lim of San Bernadino, Calif. threw a perfect 9-dart 501 leg at the 1990 Embassy World Championships. Because he did it before the TV cameras he received 52,000 British pounds ($88,000 US) for his remarkable achievement 
  • Big Cliff Lazarenko fired his first 9-dart perfect 501 game at an exhibition at the Aberlynon Leisure Centre. Using 25-gram titanium tungsten darts, he threw two 180s and a T20, T19, D12 for the 141 out in the last match of the night.
  • In the most perfect of perfect 501 games, Roy Blowies, playing at the Widgeon's Pubin Calgary, Alberta, Canada in late 1989 achieved his 9-darter by doubling in on the bullseye first. He scored 161(dBull-T20-T17), 180, 160(T20-T20-D20).

The following story was posted on alt.sport.darts by Geoff Gant (softly@pncl.co.uk):

  •  "I know darts stories can rival fishermans' for size, speed and accuracy, but here is one that actually happened to me.
    It was about 1981, and I was using 28 gramme 'golden' darts which were gold plated, gold coloured stems and flights, and for about a month or so I hadn't been throwing well at all.
    I was at an exhibition match featuring Eric Bristow (he was still good then!), and he outed on double 1, bull, double 1; then double 6, double 3. double 1 for 20, and I thought let's get back to basics - stuff the flash golden darts - buy a set that I can see work and rearrange the practice sessions.
    At that time, Eric was still with Maureen Flowers (ex wife of a pro soccer player) and she was selling darts, pictures, books and stuff. I bought a set of 22 gramme darts (Crafty Cockney style - same as Eric: flights and stems as well).
    Towards the end of the evening, I'd had a few too many, and was having problems getting the flights into the stems. Anyway, sitting in the front row with Eric playing the local 'hero', I pulled his sleeve in the middle of the second leg and said, 'I want to check that these darts I've bought are the same as yours.' He took them from me, got the flights in, threw 180 and gave them back and said, 'Yeh they're the same!!' I replied, 'Fxxk me. Nobody's going to believe this story are they?'
    Eric's reply, 'You know and I know. That's all that matters.'"  

Geoff also contributed the following interesting trivia:

  • 'Darte' was referred to in 1314, but probably not the game we know.
  • 1901 was the first recorded reference to the game that we know.
  • Legend has it that the Pilgrim Fathers played a form of darts, and Edmond Carl Hady of Pennsylvania states that they played 'butts' - throwing short arrows into the butt of a wine cask.
  • In 1896 Brian Gamlin from Lancashire designed the current numbering system.
  • John Reader of Sussex recorded the first 180 in 1902.
  • Oche is an old French verb meaning to notch or nick and is dated well before the advent of darts.
  • In 1908 in Portsmouth, three beer crates from S. Hockey & Sons were put end to end (9 feet) to mark the throwing line hence 'Toe the Hockey'. In 1911 Petrie Brewers took over Hockeys, and new crates of 2 feet were introduces. Four of these gave a throw of 8 feet.
  • In 1898 an American patented a folded paper flight.
  • In 1906 a Yorkshireman patented an all metal barrel.
  • In December 1977 The World Darts Federation recommended a throwing distance of 7' 9 1/4". Up till then there were many different rules:
    South Africa 9': Nottingham 6': Norfolk 6' 6": Newcastle 7' 3": Stoke 7' 1":
    Some Norfolk leagues threw from 6' 11.9" (9 foot diagonal to the bull!!)