Have you ever wondered how many combinations there are for a nine-dart finish? Or why it is important for darts to be recognised as an official sport? Well, we have listed some fun, some interesting and some silly facts about darts below for your reading pleasure:
You will know that darts players, like snooker players, will sometimes have to do calculations on their feet. It’s something that becomes innate over time. But did you know that 23 is the lowest score that can’t be made with a single dart? We are really talking about prime numbers over 20 here, so 23 is followed by 29, 31, 37, 43, and so on by needing at least two darts to score.
A bogey number is a score that cannot yield a check-out with three darts. As you know, 170 (treble 20, treble 20 and bull) is the highest score you can check-out on, but there are seven bogey numbers 169, 168, 166, 165, 163, 162 and 159. Every other score under 170 is possible, as long as you make the right shots.
Most nine-darters you see on television follow a similar pattern, 180, 180 and 141. Some players will have different preferences of aiming for 141 (treble 20, treble 19, double 12, or treble 20, treble 15, double 18 are common ways). And, then there is the perfect 501 – treble 20, treble 19 and bull repeated three times. But there are almost 4,000 ways to do it overall.
The word “oche” is part of every darts fan’s vocabulary, but nobody is entirely sure where it comes from. All kinds of theories have been bandied about, including that it is a taken from the word “hockey” said in a Cockney accent and was misheard. However, it is true to say the oche was first known as ‘hockey’.
As of 2021, three darts players have received the MBE from the Queen – Eric Bristow, John Lowe and Trina Gulliver. Phil “The Power” Taylor was set to receive the MBE in 2000, but it was later rescinded after a controversial court case.
Most people are aware that Phil Taylor has the most PDC world titles (16), although it might be a bit more of a challenge if you were to name every world Darts Championship winner in the history of the PDC. When it comes to the BDO World Championship, the legendary Eric Bristow is king with five titles. The Crafty Cockney was also beaten in five finals.
Trina Gulliver is the undisputed queen of women’s darts, with 10 BDO world titles, including seven in a row from 2001-2007. Gulliver also boasts the highest tournament average for the BDO World Championship, with 89.45 recorded in the 2001 tournament.
While darts has been on the television for decades and can trace its roots back to the 19th century, the English Sports Council only recognised the game as an official sport in 2005. While this might seem like a trivial issue, it is actually important for the game to receive funding from bodies like the National Lottery. The next step, therefore, is being recognised by the Olympics.