Darts Trivia Part One
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 favorite tricks was to "nail" a button from between someone's outstretched fingers.
The late Jim Pike, a darts legend in England before most of you 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 the old distance of 9 feet.
MORE THAN 180 (2)?
Following his visit to my website in December 2007, Terry Kenny of Liverpool e-mailed me with a story relating to the question ‘Can you score more than 180?"
‘Patrick, I heard that question asked in a bar not too long ago, so I pricked up my ears and listened. I was certain I heard a guy at the bar say that he had just hit 182. “Impossible!” we cried, “The most you can get is a 180.” However, he was adamant, so we took him to the dartboard and asked him to show us how he had done it. He picked up his three darts and put each one in the treble 20.
“That’s a 180” we said. His reply is beautiful. He replied, "My friend Steve threw before me and hit a 180. But when I followed him with one of my own, I scored 180-too."’
© 2007 Terry Kenny and Patrick Chaplin
There are more pubs with dartboards in the centre of New York than there are in the centre 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 it 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 fibers 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: 41-35-140-125-85-85-140-180-180-80-100-100-100-100-180-55-100-100-140-140-100-100-100-100-45-82-96-32. The pair hit 3 maximums enroute 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.)
© Patrick Chaplin 2007
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