What are the biggest myths in the world of darts?
When someone says ‘darts’ to you, what is the first thing that comes to mind? The image of darts has changed a lot over the years, as the professional side of the game has taken huge strides forwards.
The PDC circuit boasts a yearly total prize fund in excess of £15 million, and darts is now played and watched by millions of people around the world.
But there are still certain misconceptions which exists around darts. We are going to bust some of those myths to help prove that darts is a sport for everyone.
“Is darts a sport?”
This is a question that still often gets thrown around and has long been in the debate around what constitutes a sport. In 2005, Sport England officially recognised darts as a sport.
As well as England, the United States, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Ireland and Scotland are among the countries to have classed darts as an official sport.
The Cambridge Dictionary’s definition of a sport is ‘a game, competition, or activity needing physical effort and skill that is played or done according to rules, for enjoyment and/or as a job.’ Darts meets the criteria of this definition and even the ‘physical effort’ part as playing does require physical exertion to throw the darts and accurately over a period of time.
“Darts is a male-only sport”
This is a myth which has been debunked on a worldwide scale when Fallon Sherrock became the first female player to win a match at the PDC World Championship in late 2019.
Sherrock beat Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic to reach the last 32 of the biggest tournament in darts, held at London’s Alexandra Palace. It was a feat which brought with it global attention to the sport at a previously unseen level.
Other women have beaten male players in front of the television cameras before, including Deta Hedman and Anastasia Dobromyslova. The PDC now has allocated spots in both the Grand Slam and World Championship for female players.
Meanwhile, the ladies’ game is growing with the PDC Women’s Series and Women’s World Matchplay offering females the chance to play in a professional setup and on a stream/television. The WDF’s own ladies' circuit also builds to a Women’s World Championship at Lakeside.
Check out our range of darts used by ladies' players, including Fallon Sherrock, here.
“All darts players are overweight”
This is a long-held statement thrown at darts and is somewhat true. Flicking through the sports channels you will notice a difference between darts players and competitors in other sports.
However, this is an image which is slowly changing. The emergence of Gerwyn Price, a former rugby player, into the PDC and his rise to the top has shown darts players in a different light.
Many other players are now putting more focus on their health and making lifestyle changes. Michael Smith and Luke Humphries are two high-profile players who have lost several stone in recent years.
A quick glance at the world's top 16 in the PDC will show a higher percentage of fitter players than there was even 10 years ago. Fitness in darts is more important now as some days players could be playing from 9am to 9pm!
“Darts is just a pub game”
Darts has a long and rich history of being played in pubs which dates back for more than a century. There are still leagues and local opens played in pubs, although finding a dartboard in a pub is not as common as it once was.
Many pubs have changed to focus on serving food, which has meant dartboards and pool tables have made way to seat more customers visiting to dine in.
At the top level of the game, the PDC have worked on the professionalism of darts with a global tour that is watched by millions all around the world. Watching the world’s best players compete in front of large crowds in arenas has helped change the view of darts from a ‘pub past time’ to a ‘professional sport.’
The emergence of darts academies also means young players starting out in darts are playing away from the pubs, and as a result playing in pubs is not seen as a crucial pathway to progress through the ranks.
“The bullseye is the best you can score with one dart”
A common myth among people with very little knowledge of darts is that the bullseye is the best target to aim for and will score you the most points.
The bullseye is the smallest target on the board, but in steel tip darts there are four other segments you can hit which are worth more points.
The bullseye is worth 50 points, while the treble 20 (60 points), treble 19 (57), treble 18 (54) and treble 17 (51) all score more points.
In soft tip, players will regularly go for the bullseye as the ‘outer bullseye’ is also worth 50 points. In steel tip, the ‘outer bullseye’ is only worth 25 points.
“You can throw with any length or weight of dart”
Darts come in many different shapes and sizes. A look at the professional circuit and you could see Stephen Bunting throwing with 12g darts, while at the opposite end of the scale Ryan Searle uses 32g darts.
But are there any rules on the length and/or weight of darts you can play with? The Darts Regulation Authority’s rule book does state that there are certain limitations on what darts can be used.
Under their general playing rules, it states: ‘Players shall provide their own darts which shall not exceed an overall maximum length of 200mm nor weigh more than 40 grams and shall consist of a metal point and a minimum of a barrel, stem and a flight.’
Did we miss any darts myths?
Let us know what you think of our list of the biggest misconceptions in darts. Was there a darts myth that we missed and should be included?
Now that we have busted these myths, why not have a go at playing darts yourself? Check out our wide range of steel tip darts at Darts Corner.