This is a very easy procedure: You contact the league office of the association you want to play for and become a member of it – everything else will be prepared for you by so-called league coordinators. You will be integrated into the lowest division of a league near your location – so that you don’t have to drive long ways– and amongst others you will get the association’s own magazine and with it the current dates for all regional, nationwide, national and international tournaments, as well as current rankings of all divisions of the whole league. And now go for it and sign up your team – maybe we’ll meet at a tournament!
Basically I advise you to define the final number of participants and the number of the available automatic dart boards. After having decided on the number of participants, you have to divide them to the dart boards. If there are less than six players per board, you can play the system “Round Robin”, this means each against all. Thereby, you have to make sure that you play in the mode “Three-“or “Five Legs”. That means, that all Legs – so three respectively five rounds – have to be finished. Then the first players of each board play against each other crosswise, whereby the winners and losers again carry out their winner. What is left over are the ranks one to four. However, if there are more than six players per board, I commend the “k.o” – system with the “best of” mode, where the player, who has won more than half of the Legs, wins the game. Here, the players are registered in a system similar to a pyramid and play against each other accordingly. The player who loses, drops out, unless you play a “double k.o – system”, where the loser of the main round gets a second chance in the “loser round” to reach the finale of the tournament. Is he losing again, he definitely drops out. To make the organisation as easy as possible, the EMPIRE DART team has assembled a practical tournament package for you, including all important things.
My recipe: Take at least four players (better six or more) –who all have time in the evening of the very same day- , a pub with an automatic dart board, give the players some darts and let them play against other teams in the system “each against all”. This is how easy it could be, if you “only” want to play against other teams in pubs. But should it be a bit more – for example the application for a registered association -, you have to follow these rules: There have to be at least seven members and you need to elect a board of directors with two chairpersons, a recording clerk and a treasurer. All mixed with a little help from the department for sports and culture of your hometown, plus a pinch of bureaucracy in the form of official articles of association … and now you are a registered association. And then as icing on the cake: The registration and admission in a dart league of your region … and here we go. However, the most important thing in a dart club is, that you get along well with each other and want to win together … but you should also have the ability to loose.
Not a simple question from Ralf, especially as I do not know his playing ability and how much experience he already has with league playing. Let’s try it this way: For a real greenhorn the first tournament is the best way to promptly cease playing darts. Here the wheat is sorted from the chaff. For one who has at least some league experience it means: “We’ll see what happens”. A newbie is mostly wondering: “Is that right down my alley?”. These players principally know their strengths and weaknesses, but they don’t know which exertions will await them. In the league match the fielding moment is foreseeable. In the tournament the breaks between the matches depend on the organisation, e.g. one or more boards for one group, the other players coming first and much more. All in all: You as a newbie will find out, whether you are really already qualified for tournaments. Another factor is the own ambition. Do you long to win tournaments? Of course! Do you long to become a representative player? Yes, indeed! Do you really want to invest much more time for training, car trips lasting for hours, as well as most of the year’s weekends? And besides money for the fees, logistics, overnight stay, etc.? Eh? Come again? Who is floored thereby, should scale down one’s ambitions for the time being. Preliminarily decide upon tournaments nearby. Dart is such a terrific and cool sport! And it is absolutely honourable to say: The journey is the destination!
When you decided for a tournament nearby, it could e.g. be the singles championship of your district, maybe even the local club plays host to this. Also people who are non-members are allowed to take part in. The advantage of such an event at the beginning of your tournament career resides in the experiences you will be able to acquire concerning procedure, duration, stress, pressure, eating, drinking, muscles, etc., etc., etc. You will learn how to register correctly and to read the fixture lists precisely. There are no calls for the matches and the person who does not report, has already lost. You will learn the whole procedure with “diddle for middle” or the common toss of a coin, who starts which set and why. Being the loser of the last match you are automatically – at least with playing steel darts – the writer and referee of the next. What happens when hunger, thirst or other physical pressures are plaguing you and you will come to a wrong decision at the wrong time? When you really buckled down and reached the finals with higher modes – will you then still be able to summon the energy to do it? Are you prepared to play in front of a larger crowd than your club mates? Really everybody once started off in a small way and then decided which way he wants to follow whereto, with which effort. And that’s what you will do as well!
That sounds trivial but this question is justified! When answering, your position in the tournament must also be kept in mind. What’s meant? Well, the preliminaries are all more lax, although every loss of a Leg and every defeat can mean your off. However, this is also your last chance to assemble your equipment for the following rounds. In the main part of the game that may be broadcasted, it will look unprofessional, if you put various darts and spare parts on a table and reassemble your darts. In the previous group matches this is not unusual. Imagine the following situation: You are standing on the stage, that is illuminated much better than the remaining boards. Suddenly you realise, that neon flights are unsuitable here. You shouldn’t start to reassemble your darts now, as this would be bad for your concentration and you would need more time for your throw than the referee allows, although there is no official time limit. Therefore, you have to come completely ready onto the stage, a small bag with E-Point tips, flights and shafts and that’s all! Further replacement darts are a no-go and who changes his darts during a final game, has no business being there!
Who does not like to see his favourite standing on the podium, holding a huge cup in his hands – which indeed oneself would like to have at home. But therefore you have to train – and with frequent and good training the success will come – and with it the first cup. Such cups are there in the greatest designs, materials and sizes. My first one was made of granite and was falling out of my hand immediately, as I was so excited during the award ceremony. It was only the prize for the third place in a tournament in a local bar…but anyhow – and furthermore it didn’t break! On the pages XX-xx you can look for the cup, you would like to win at first. And don’t think of cleaning it at once like “it’s just a dust catcher, I’d rather like to have dough” – cups are made for eternity and can also show your kids and grandchildren how good you once were at doing sports. Besides this, they look good in your glass cabinets or upon shelves – if your name isn’t Phil Taylor and you need a whole wing of the house for your cups. A cup is a persistent reflection of your success!
In order to anticipate it basically: There is neither a „handicap“ as with golfing, nor a license such as in boxing or motorsports, to be allowed to participate in dart sports events.
Dart is a popular sports, that has prescribed of the dissemination of the philosophy “dart-sports and fairness”. Important for participation in a tournament are most sex and the district-, state- and/or federal affiliation. And in a pub one round per Leg (no, nonsense ...). The thrown score, divided in its entirety by the thrown darts and titled as “average” mostly only reflects the form on the day. And that can vary enormously, even with professionals. So no jitters: The first high feeling in a tournament I had with a double ten against my
“discoverer” who, however, left me with this leg to one.
My clue: Dare it, go forth and play. Gain experience with all due respect for experienced players. The average is not a measure of your joy and your current – and guaranteed not your future – skills. Read the next clue – this whets your appetite for more!