Sunday, October 20, 2019

Time to run (an event!)


Its been a few weeks since our last blog post and in this time we have been building up the name of Darts In Stoke and trying to build a good community and group following, this been said we have decided for the first time in over 8 years nearly 10 years to run a darts event a knockout and to say i'm nervous about the event would be a under statement.

Why be nervous i'm only running the event, yes that is correct but i have been to events before which have been run poorly and then afterwards seen a backlash of people saying i would never attend again and i dont wish for that to happen to these DartsInStoke events. We want to offer events to the darting community of Stoke and Staffordshire a place where if they give up there Saturday or Sunday afternoon they can have an enjoyable afternoon of darts, yes not everyone can do the day in questions and yes some will not like the format but as in life you cant please every sole as much as you try to.

For this event we asked the local leagues on Facebook and players what they would like to see and the outstanding winner was a 501 double start, double finish event so we have decided to run this and also a BO5 games allowing players at least 3 games of darts if not all 5.
A Grand Slam style event has been suggested to us but we wanted to ease our way back into running events so the idea of a slam sounds great and will no doubt get more players in the door as you could be guaranteed 4 or 5 games but with just myself on the control its not going to be easy anyway.

A fear when you run an event on your own is always the surge of players you will get, on average events locally have been seeing numbers of around 30-40 players i can cope with this for sure but if i was to get more in the door on the day my word am i going to feel the heat of the event.

So im now in the process of evaluating how to run the event what i need to make sure the day goes smooth, i will be running the event from my laptop with paper as a back up in case of any problems. A while back i run a NFL fantasy draft event with friends and we got to Rd4 and my laptop broke so i dont really want that to happen, so paper will be my back up for sure. I have 3 boards to use so games should move quickly and at the venue there is another practice board to allow players a place to practice whilst they wait so another box ticked here. 

For any event to run the players need to be helpful, when you win let me know, if you loose stay and mark of arrange for someone to do this for you, i will be asking players if you dont mark leave £2 on the table for someone to mark the game for you, there is always someone at these events who is happy to collect some cash for marking.

However my only rule is i cant play or enter, i did this in the past and it gets messy so for now happy to sit by the door and put scores into a computer and shout out who is on next.

All details for the DartsInStoke D.I.D.O Knockout can be found below.



Till we chat again, enjoy your darts and mind the oche folks.




Twitter - @wayupna - @dartsinstoke
Facebook - facebook.com/dartsinstoke


Monday, October 7, 2019

Staffordshire County Darts - QnA with Aiden Cope and Callum Matthews



This week we build up to Staffordshire County Darts playing there 400th game vs West Midlands at The home of county darts The White Eagle Club over the weekend of October 12th & 13th.

We have spoken with a few of the teams players and asked them there thoughts on the county darts scene and also what got these players into darts.

In this blog we caught up and asked questions to Aiden Cope and Callum Matthews

DIS - What advice would you offer to anyone who is looking to get into super league darts and then ultimately get to play for the county

AC - Stay patient, so many players in the league have potential but want it too quick they just need to stay patient and practice

CM - Join a team where you can play every week, try and improve game on game, you’re only as good as your previous game. Practice an hour a night or so... and enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy the game then don’t bother. Practice your own action. If you’re not playing well make sure you know why you’re not playing well and correct it. Darts is 75% mentality.

DIS - For anyone thinking of coming along this weekend to the match what can they expect and what advice would you offer.

AC - You can expect it to be very Loud, Staffordshire are extremely passionate as a county darts team.

CM - Get to the venue an hour before the ladies begin. For a player if you are drawn 1st, 2nd or 3rd, it can be 3 to 4 hours before you play. If you’re on last it can be longer than that, 5/6 hours maybe. But its a good atmosphere and a good day out, and a pleasure to represent your county.

DIS - Pop you on the spot, what are Staffordshire chances this season

AC - Good because the quality in the groups of teams is brilliant but sometimes the players don't realise the potential they have.

CM - The ladies team did unbelievably well last year, they were the reason Staffs got promoted. If they do the same this season we could go up again. The men have always had a very good team and the B team are as good as the A team most the time. However like any team, if every player plays well we will beat anybody.

DIS - How do you prepare both before matchday and on matchday

AC - No comment not giving my secret away

CM - I never practice the day before a completion. The day before your tournament, if you stop yourself from throwing, when you really want too, the morning after all you wanna do is play, the hunger is there and the dedication to play and practice and prepare is there as well. All you wanna do is play darts, which is a good mentality too have. Like I’ve said before, you want to enjoy the game, want to be there.

DIS - What darts are you using at the moment

AC - 22g Robbie green.

CM - I lost my darts a few months ago so Ian Goodwin, a player who I play with on a Tuesday borrowed me some, and I played on a Thursday with them and averaged 34.95, so he let me keep them.

I would like to thank both players for replying to my questions and wish them and the team the best of luck for Saturday and Sunday.



Staffordshire County vs West Midlands
Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th October

Venue - The White Eagle Club, Riverway,
Stafford, ST16 3TH
11am Start
Cost of Entry £ 4 for both days

Website - http://www.staffordshirecountydarts.org.uk



Till we chat again, enjoy your darts and mind the oche folks.





Twitter - @wayupna - @dartsinstoke
Facebook - facebook.com/dartsinstoke





Sunday, October 6, 2019

Tips and Ideas to deal with your first ever darts knockout.


Darts knockouts can be a daunting place to attend for someone who has never attended one before, in today's blog piece i'm going to go over my tips and do and dont's when attending a darts knockout for the first time.

Now a quick disclaimer these are my own views and my own experiences, everyone deals with events differently so just because something either worked for me or didn't might not be the same for you.

So you have decided to attend your first darts knockout, this could be because your friends have asked you or you feel its time to take the next step from pub darts to knockout darts, which ever it is the main thing is you enjoy the day. Before you leave for the knockout do some research into the venue and area and also your travel arrangements. My first ever knockout i attended way back was at a sports hall in Wolverhampton, i had no idea where i was going before hand no idea where i was going to park etc so make sure you do your research first.

Registration time can sometimes be different from doors open time, events i have been will open doors to the venue at 10am but not open registration till midday and then have reg open for 2 hours possibly this can then be a long time between practice darts and competitive darts so plan your time wisely. Also note just because the flyer says toe the oche at say 1pm this will mean that the draw will be done around this time and depending on entries and boards available you could still be in for a wait to play your match. The big events like the British open give you an estimated board time to come back to the venue but the pub knockouts cant do this so you have to wait your turn, so a tip from me would be to see what board you are on find out who is on 2 games before you and try and locate them this way you will then have time to prepare. One of the worst things is sitting around and then hearing your name called to a board, try and go from the a practice board to the oche if you can. 
Another thing to bare in mind now is that you have been called to your board, if you arrive and there is no one there start to practice there is nothing in the rules that says you cant, you will normally get the custom 6 or 9 practice darts but as soon as you get to the board if its empty get some early darts in. Then you have the anxious wait not just for your opponent but the marker, personally i never try and concern myself with my opponents warm up darts they are just that once the game is on everyone changes despite what we say.
If after a few throws you dont have a marker alert control or the organiser asap you dont want to keep waiting for him or her to come and mark, it just builds the tension up in your throw all you will want to do at this point is play your match.

Enjoy the match if its your first time dont over play the game in your head, at the start of your practice darts work out which way you will come away from collecting your darts, generally its the side of the marker but some venues can be tight with boards and this is not an easy option so get your return sorted early. Normally you will be provided with a table to place your case and drink on, at these events its often best to place your darts case on top of your glass but what some do that i have always done is drop one of my flights into my glass, its not gross its a new flight and its not like im going to swallow it. Once your match is over if you have won shake your opponents hand and i would always encourage anyone that comes with me who has not been before to shake the hand of the marker also, its the decent and right think to do they have lost and are out but still were good enough to mark the game. Once won head straight to the control desk and report your result, dont go the bar or the toilet let them know you are done so the next match can get started. Now if you have lost its a gut killer yes, you possibly just want go home but do the right thing and mark the game, pack your darts away pop them in your pocket and stand by the board ready to mark the game. As discussed in other blog posts some events let you put £3 on the table if you dont want mark for someone to come and mark for you, if this is your preferred option leave the money but alert control that you have done this so they can call out for a volunteer marker.

Now i step back to research part of what i talked about earlier if you have won, you could be in for a wait for the next game, i have been to knockouts with friends who have won in Rd1 and then had to wait for over 1hr30 for there next game, so plan your time well here, get food so look at what is close to the venue is it in walking distance can you drive there without hassle and stress. One event i went once in Manchester me and a friend both passed our Rd1 games and were told it was estimated an hour wait for the next games, and the venue had only one practice  board in use so we had done our work and spotted there was a pub about 10 min walk we could go get food and they had a board for us to practice on which was great but if they call you then you want hear it as you are at least a mile away and these events dont do texts telling you your game is coming up. So if you are going to walk out the venue make sure you have a good idea on time and where you are going, games on your board and draw side might go quick and there could be some byes with players who have won leaving (oh it happens) so its always a risk to leave the venue but sometimes can be a good thing to regroup yourself.

If you do stay at the venue in between your games make sure you can here the control desk call your name a given really, but for me i take a book and read in between games settle my mind in all the chaos of a darts knockout can have, some just go the bar and drink its your own personal preference really. Once at the British Open a chap i had been practicing with the day before was more stressed as he had only put 3hrs on his car parking ticket and was worries about it expiring so if you are driving be mindful of time you might be there for over 5hrs you could be done in 30 minutes it all depends on how the event is run.

My best tip for a knockout is speak to other players get involved with chat where possible the darts community is great and yes there are some who are in the mindset of dont speak to me im here to win today that's fine let them be but most are up for a chat and then when you attend other knockouts in that area of close bye you will become friendly with them i still have friends now in the midlands and Manchester that i got chatting with and enjoy speaking with them when i see them at events. When you are on a practice board get involved with routines with others if they are happy for you to join in, if not find out what the routine is and join in on your own so if they are playing 10 up 1 down what ever the player in front is throwing for you either go 1 down or 10 up if they got it etc try not to just spend time throwing at the 20's when your at the board it might be a 9 person snake to throw them 3 darts so use them wisely if you are not involved in any routine set challenges to yourself.

Once the event is over and you are done, most of the time players will stay around and have a game of killer or ATW stay and get involved with these games its good practice and you again will get to know the players a little more, if you see the event host thank them for their time, most dont get paid or kickbacks for running darts knockouts they do so for the love of the game. Give feedback to them both good and bad, what you felt was good about the knockout what could have been improved about the event and venue, it will only make them better.

Confidence is massive in darts and more so when you attend your first ko on your own, but just enjoy the game you love because no matter if there is 15 or 150 other players there they all enjoy a game of darts as you do.

So recap..

* Plan your journey 
* Arrive in good time but not too early, it could be a long day
* Register as soon as you can, it gets it out the way
* Find out who is on 2 games before you so that you can prepare right
* Get to your board early if you like to get the feel of the throw
* If you win, register your score ASAP
* If you loose, stay by the board ready to mark the next game
* If you leave the venue, dont stray too far and perhaps inform control 
* Enjoy the darts and the experience, once you have done one you will do more




Till we chat again, enjoy your darts and mind the oche folks.





Twitter - @wayupna - @dartsinstoke
Facebook - facebook.com/dartsinstoke