Those folk who have come across my previous blogs know i have touched on this a little in previous blogs, but i felt it was now worth me doing a whole blog on darts etiquette, which for the purpose of this blog and save me keep typing it out im going abbreviate to etq as i dont want to keep writing the whole word out to be honest.
So what is darts etq, is their a set guideline, well the honest answer i guess is no, there is not a set guideline but a unwritten code that i would hope all darts players would adhere to, however coming back to the game after a long stay away i'm wondering if it is still about.
Below are a few darts etq i feel make the game better if we all stuck to them.
Each game begins and ends with a handshake
We have a few variants to this as a fist pump or as our friends across the pond say knuckles, i think is also acceptable, and shaking hands at the end even if you have lost is also a given, however we have seen the pro players not do this also on stage. Its frustrating when you might have thrown 14 bloody match darts and not hit that double (i might also be speaking from experience here) but no matter how annoyed you are shake the opponents hand, this is not a fist pump or tap on shoulder moment they have beaten you fair and square a hand shake is the least you can do, lets be honest if we were jousting and they had beat you, well you would be dead and not able to shake hands so be thankful its not jousting.
Respect and always thank the marker after the game
No one apart from the PDC & BDO officiating team i guess, loves to mark a game of darts. In the pub some players will shy away from the marking duties as they cant add up or take away, but do it fine when they are playing, but without the person at the board your not getting very far in your match lets be fair so at the end of the game thank them, win or loose, go over and say thannk you for marking the game. I hate it when i call a game and go
"Thats game in 2 darts"
Turn around and not one of the players i have just marked for have come towards me to say thank you, and it happens all the bloody time. I have played a game where i have been the away team my opponent has won i have shaken his hand and then walked over to the marker to shake their hand and they have gone
"whats that for"
Well its for been kind and marking the game of darts for us its the least you can do.
Try not to remove your darts until the marker has confirmed your score
This is a courtesy to the marker but also to help you, if you hit a 17 walk up to the board, confirm with the marker/ref that it is just a 17 and then rip them out the board like you wnat to chuck them in the bin, if you hit a S20,T20,T7 but the treble 20 is on the wIre and you remove them to quick the marker might have thought it was just another 20 as they might be thinking what the score is with the last dart. Help them out leave them in and conform the score with them.
Keep quiet and respectful whilst waiting to throw
So we all stand behind the player who is throwing and the last think they want to hear behind them is you f'ing and jeffing about your last throw, yes your darts were terrible, yes you can throw better but keep them thoughts to yourself in your head the player throwing does not want to here them nor does the whole pub or venue you are in, so stay quiet whilst waiting to come back to the oche.
When marking a few do's and dont's
Now yes we need to respect the markers, i have all ready touched on this element, but as a marker there are a few things you need to do as darts etq from your part
1 - When a dart hits the board dont lean in to see what its hit, any darts you are unsure about wait until they have thrown all three darts
2- Dont stand in the way too much, make sure that the players can see where you are marking, dont bloke the board
3 - Dont twirl the pen or rubber in your hand as they are throwing or take a drink of your pint (had that done before)
4 - If they ask you what is left, tell them what they have scored and what you believe it too leave so if they have 103 and hit T19 and ask you say " 57 scored leaves you 46" i had one guy marking once who would have said "thats 57 mate so you need a 6 for double top"
5 - Just be honest with them, if you are struggling to mark or add the score or take it away, say so early on or ask another to mark for you, you wont be thought of any less this way, and trust me the players will prefer you to do this so they can get a smoother game.
Putting your name down for a mark
If you are in a pub in general the rile of thumb (love that phrase) is, if you put your initials up on the board you are requesting to mark a game and then play the winner of the game you mark. Similar in pool when there is a match on you might pop 50p or a pound on the table to play the winner, in darts its the same. When i started playing i would walk in the pub sunday dinner and there use to be 7 initials up before me, so i had to wait but if you walk in a pub and 2 players are playing ask them if you can put your name down to mark and play.
Now this can also go one of two ways and i have had this happen, if the players are decent players they will say no problems carry on their game and then shout you to mark when that leg is done and you will enter into mark a game with the idea of you play the winner.
However more and more now when you approach two players and say can i pop my name down to mark and play you will no doubt be greeted by
"were just playing between ourselves sorry"
Well not exactly, yes their is no written rule but in darts etq you are allowed to put ya name down to mark, they dont own the board if i a pub its just the same as a pool table but ya money down to play. When i was in Bridlington last year i entered one of my fav darting pubs and two blokes were on the board and i went over and said pop me name up for a mark and play please chaps and was told they were in a best of 21 series and were ok. I continued to write my name down on the blackboard and stared at them with contempt i guess you might say. I then went and got my drink from the bar and waited for them, they continued to play and mark their own games, and didnt like it when i corrected them. They then packed up and left, the landlord of this pub come over and said to me that i should have just started marking and then played, which yes i guess now i wish i had but what was the harm in me marking a game, for them to be honest i would have been happy to mark more than one but it was not to be.
So if you are playing your mate on the board and a player comes along to play and pop their name down remember, its not your board its good darts etq to let them mark and play.
These are just a few i have bug bears about off top my head there are of course many more, including if you are just watching in a pub and the first dart the player throws hits a T20 dont then shout out good darts let them hit all 3 in the board first, but all in all lets just be respectful of the game and the players.
Till we chat again, enjoy your darts and mind that oche folks.
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