Anatomy of a Dartboard & Darts

Anatomy of dartboards and darts

Darts are some of the most popular games across pubs and pool halls worldwide. Dart games are easily accessible, quickly learned, and affordable to get into if you are someone looking for a new hobby or just a few hours of fun with your friends.

Of course, as with any sport or game, you will find a wide range of quality and features depending on your skill and knowledge level when it comes to equipment. For those who are serious about their darts, there are a large number of options for weights, sizes, build quality, and other such changes that offer advantages in their own way. However, for the average dart player, the darts and board at the local pub is probably all you will ever really know.

Much like any other sport, the general anatomy of the equipment will always stay the same with only a few minor changes and adjustments here and there.

Let's take a few moments to closely examine the standard anatomy of dart equipment, and what it all means for the uninitiated beginner.

The Anatomy of a Dartboard

A dartboard is a round playing board with rings and numbers of various values for scoring. Dartboards can often vary in material and colors, however the general size and function will remain the same.

The standard diameter of an official dartboard will be 18" wide, this as well can vary depending on a few factors. However, 18" is the most common and 'legal' dartboard size for official rules.

Let's take a look at what a dartboard is made out of, shall we?

Materials Used

The most common materials used for a dartboard are:

>> Bristle

Typically made of sisal or hemp, this variety is very common and 'classic'. These are only suitable for steel-tipped darts.

>> Plastic

These are far less common in public settings, and are typically only used in-home. However, you will be able to find a few manufacturers making high-quality plastic boards available today. Plastic boards are only for use with soft-tipped darts, and are typically electronic.

Layout of a Dartboard

Anatomy of a dartboard

A dartboard will consist of numbered rings and scoring areas that are used differently depending on what game you're playing. The layout will be the same no matter what type of dartboard you are using.

The board will consist of numbers for scoring on the outer edge, these numbers are as follows in this order clockwise:

20 - 1 - 18 - 4 - 13 - 6 - 10 - 15 - 2 - 17 - 3 - 19 - 7 - 16 - 8 - 11 - 14 - 9 - 12 - 5

>> Double Ring

Just inside the board from the numbers will be the outer ring, or the 'double ring'. This is a ring of hit spots for each number, alternating red and green, that denotes the 'double' point value for that number.

>> Single Ring 

The 'single ring' zone is the largest portion of the board itself. It is made up of the black and white spaces on the board that are most commonly hit during a game. These spaces are worth only the single value of the number column they belong in.

>> Triple Ring 

The 'triple ring' is the middle ring in the board, alternating red and green in color just like the 'double ring'. This zone is worth 3 times the point value of the column it belongs to.

>> Bulls-eye

The bulls-eye is the circular space in the center of the board. This is typically made up of a green outer-ring, and a red center dot. The green outer-ring is valued at 25 points, the red center dot is valued at 50.

The Anatomy of a Dart

Anatomy of a dart

The dart itself is typically where you will find the most variety. The make, and weight of the dart will largely depend on a mixture of personal preference, league rules, and material of the dartboard. A standard dart is weighed in grams, and can range between 12 - 50 grams depending on the make and size.

The rest of the dart is made up of various materials and components. When discussing the anatomy of a dart, players will typically break the dart down into 4 sections.

Those 4 sections are as follows:

>> Point/Tip

This is the very tip of the dart that is used for hitting the board and sticking in. Depending on the type of board used for play, the tip of a dart can either be steel-tipped, soft-tipped, or even magnetic-tipped.

>> Barrell

The barrel is the gripping point on the dart, and where the bulk of the weight is placed. The barrell is exceptionally important to the performance of the dart as it is used for grip, and counter balance for the flight. Heavier darts will fly faster, and lighter darts will fly in more ‘finessed’ patterns. The weight and make of the barrel will largely depend on preference.

>> Shaft

The shaft is the longest part of the dart, and connects the barrel with the flight. The shaft is responsible for making sure the dart is stabilized during flight, and keeps it from wobbling and remaining on-track.

>> Flight

The flight is the very back of the dart. It is typically made up of 4 ‘fans’ that are used to stabilize the trajectory of the dart. These can be made of a variety of different materials and lengths.

Summing it up

Overall, the exact materials used when you play a game of darts can differ from place to place. If you are playing the bulk of your dart games in a bar or pool hall, you will likely be using a bristle board with steel-tipped darts. However, for those who wish to play at home, the world is your oyster.

You will find that you have a seemingly unlimited number of options for makes, models, quality, prices, and other factors to make your game personalized.

The best way to find out what you like the most when it comes to dart equipment, is by trying it out and seeing what works best for you.

Further reading:

Learn rules of some of the popular dart games:

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