E M P I R E   D a r t .   Q u a l i t y   e q u i p m e n t    f o r    s o f t   a n d   s t e e l   d a r t   s i n c e   1 9 7 8 .

How many possibilities for 9-dart finish are there?

When I recently surfed the internet, I noticed the following post on a larger dart page: „All 71 nine-darters at a glance”! Hmm? With only 18 potential nine-darters a feat.  But now in medias res: There are actually and mathematically detectable only 18 nines, not one more. It does not even change, when you use the combin-ations 170-180-151, 151-180-170 or 180-151-170 instead of the combination 180-170-151. Then you would also have to be as consistent as to change the order of the various sums of throws and describe its entirety as „9-darter“. You could even recalculate to see, in how many it results then. Usually only the classic variety is played, so 180-180-141.
Now and then, however, the order of the throws is also interest-ing. Quite recently, a German top player who immigrated from the E-dart faction into steel dart, came to the following sense of achievement: 170-170-161. You also have to know it, before throwing it yourself.

Why do you need Dart literature?

To be honest: There is a lot to read about anything, without anything being written you don’t know. Nevertheless you should ask yourself why authors write so much then. Of course it’s boring to read things you think you already know, but many darters wouldn’t be where they are now, if specialists wouldn’t have written down their experience – positive or negative one. Out of that many beginners, advanced or professional players take advice which they wouldn’t have thought of, or thought of too late. Even I have looked into some of our books. I still loose most of my games, but now at least I know why! And it’s definitely not the fault of the books. Well, I think I’m going to sit down and learn some of the tips by heart – and then I’ll see you at the World Championships in Las Vegas!

How important is sleep?

Dear Boris! Don’t worry about that. In general you should allow yourself enough sleep during the week before the competition. Nevertheless you should not lie in bed for 24 hours, but have to prepare the biorhythm of your body as well as possible for the day of the competition. Often tournaments take place in the evening – so try to sleep late in the morning and adjourn your training units to the evening at the time the competition will be. On the competition day itself, you should also sleep late and then start with some easy exercises. Later on you can also have an after noon nap. But – important – not longer than 10-30 minutes, otherwise you would drift off to slow-wave sleep phase. And at least 4 hours before the competition begins you should not sleep anymore! If a tournament lasts all day long and you feel tired, then try easy kinds of relaxation like daydreaming, or simply hear your favourite music with headphone. Seal yourself off from the en - vironment for a short time and try to completely forget darts for a moment. You will quickly realize: After only 10 minutes of relaxation you will be fit and well-adjusted again, to beat your next opponent concentrated and with a steady hand.

How can I use the tournament brakes wisely?

What do you mean, Bine (greetings to Zurich!), mental or physical? I think you want to know both – mental at first. Very important: Avoid stressful situations between the different games! A pocket video game when missing a new record at the same time can even be the origin of stress whereas reading the shallow content of a book might hardly be more exciting than finding lint on the team-shirt. Looking for the potential opponent in the next round as well as the endless spiel of the so called darts aces as they occur in every kind of sport can be to stressful for your mind. Just relax now and look for a calm place. You should retire – physical or mental – before the next game starts. Chill out, free your head from all thoughts. Leave important happenings behind and don’t take them into the game. Should you think of not having switched off the cooker you have already lost the game. On the other hand, you should stay physically active – but not too much! Throw on the next board immediately and go on with the training? No, but a loose cool down after the tournament as well as a short warm up should be the activities shortly before and after the games. Apart from that just sit down cosily, relieve your legs or go for a little walk outdoorsy. You should avoid running to the next gas station or singing student songs – you can definitely use your breath better during the next round.

How do I behave at darts?

A short game in the bar next door, a small tournament at the weekend in the sports club, a league match or a simply afternoon animation in the holiday resort. On such events all players will be pleased, if you wish them “good darts” – so good throws – in the beginning of the match. Generally this is a lie, as in fact you wish for good throws only for yourself. But as friendliness is part of sportmanship, one tells this lie at this moment. If then good throws really happen during the game, you’ll gnash your teeth, but again wish your opponent “good darts” – and even better throws for yourself. However this is different when standing on the stage or when you are in the finale or a special game. Here applies the law of fairness, keep still and don’t bother your opponent’s concentration by lauding him. This is – even if it was well-meant – unsportsmanlike. Your opponent might also not like it, when you pick his dart up after a Bouncer. Many dart players are superstitious, like many other sportsmen/sportswomen, too. And they believe, that luck will abandon them, if somebody except the referee or themselves touch their darts during the game. Whether that’s true or not: Always be professional and fair.

How do I behave during the breaks from throwing?

Well, it seems that Bernhard has never watched a darts-video before! But he should do. It’s a good stimulation to the own psyche, I predicate. Well, the opponent throws ton plus .. and I don’t look there! Perhaps he didn’t throw it then? But yes, he did! So I might as well look there! However: You can motivate yourself, even on negative events during the game (your opponent throws quite good) – by just not looking there. Instead: Set the wings of the fly to 90˚, screw tight the tips, and the shafts then too. Are the shoe laces tied correctly? Is the handy turned off (woe betide you if not)? Look at the throwing line for your next throw! Full concentration – prepare yourself for the next throw! But even when we look there, watching the (possibly good) throw – it will change nothing in the course of the game … nothing at all. Concentrate on your next throw, not on the one of your opponent. You play your game, not the one of your opponent! By the way: You can also use the (very) short break, to fill up your fluid balance – have a drink of water, concentrate on your next throw …. and let your opponent look old!

How to breathe while playing?

Oh well, Julius from Munich: so that you are still alive at the end of the match! We already had this question in last edition no.17 of our Empire Dart catalogue – but now we are in the tournament mode, and here it’s a different world, as more influences come in addition. As for example nervousness. Match lost = end of the tournament! The crowd, turmoil and hecticness all around do their more thing. But even therefore the question is warrantable – how do I breathe right to reach the highest possible stamina and the greatest success while playing, and possibly for a quite long time? More precisely: Darts is an approved precision sport, to be equated with disciplines like archery, skeet and others. Aware breathing is decisive. Who breathes wrong, raises and lowers the chest while shooting in the wrong moment. Who holds one breath while throwing, risks gasping breathing afterwards – not good for the following darts. Who breathes out before throwing, does not use the breath to give the right power to the dart. You should find the happy medium: Breathe calmly through the nose, raise your arm and throw the dart into the targeted segment, while simultaneously breathing out. Of course you have to practise this. Through the so-called exhaling on exertion the pressure in the chest is increased, the backflow of blood to the heart is decreased and the rest of your body is thereby provided with less blood. And different from relatively short league matches you have to ration your breath in another way during tournaments with a high mode of sets and legs – find another frequency. You can compare it with a sprint and a long-distance run! Different to a mostly rather short league match, the modes in the finals of a tournament up to “best of 7 sets – best of 5 legs” (very seldom higher) put very high requirements on your body. These you have to get over before you go on the stage. And there action will start in earnest. Stage lighting, potential camera presence, background noise from the crowd, mega adrenaline rushes ad nauseam and the awesome score of your opponent – that’s much you have to come to terms with as a rookie on stage. But the heck with it! Your opponent has reached the same round, breathes the same air and sweats in the same spotlight like you. When you caught this, then your breathing will be another. Pay attention to your heartbeat. Bring it down through your breathing. Breathe calmly and consistently through the nose, particularly after your throws – then the frequency is at highest. Try to find a rhythm you can keep up for the whole match. When throwing, use your breath right – puff breath while throwing your dart and in no case hold your breath. From experience upset is highest during the first legs and settles down over the next ones. And then you as well have found a way to gain control of adrenaline, your heartbeat and your breathing.

How to work successfully against a onesided muscle increase while playing darts?

Thanks for this question – Actually I have never been thinking about that. And then I looked at my legs: phew – no difference! But seriously: Indeed there are a number of dart players who have differently thick calves, whose musculature of the shank is visibly marked stronger on the side of the standing leg. In order to noticeably work against this, a sports medicine already advised me to insert climbing the stairs into my training programme – before the matches as well as in private life. Bye, bye lift, I walk! But not willy-nilly – the right training makes the difference: Only put the ball of the foot upon the stair, not the heel. And pay attention to strain both legs equally. Do not roll over the foot, but only evenly walk on the toes. This stretches the sinews and muscles, warms them up, strengthens them and makes them equally fit for the coming competition – a factor in the tournament that has already brought out winners. In order to avoid muscular imbalances generally keep in mind to stretch shortened muscles and to strengthen weaker muscles. Some players I know already complained of spasms during the preliminary round und did not come through the next round.

How large is the risk of injury at playing dart?

This question is by no means unimportant, as many may think. Playing E-Dart, you can at most break your finger when inputting the game’s mode – anything else has been considered by the manufacturers of dartboards and –units. The soft tips prevent the rebound of bouncers to the player, as they are rather bending or breaking than doing a great harm. Furthermore the single mounted automat‘s segments absorb most of the power of throw. But with older and cheap steel dartboards it’s another case: The meanwhile almost flat steel spider absorbs the power as well, but returns it, contingented upon the spring effect, nearly lossless – as it’s mounted on the board only at the segment’s corner marks. Thus it can happen, that the dart even lands behind the trower and so the bystanders could be hurt as well. It’s very popular to catch such bouncers, but not at all adviseable - as several darters had to stop playing because of a wounded hand. Also bear in mind to pick up dropped out darts not before you extracted the other darts from the board – thus no loose dart will fall down on your neck.

How to keep in shape.

Who wants to win, needs power and endurance until the last arrow. Successful dart players therefore need a good physical shape. Everyone can improve his shape easily, for example by riding a bike, swimming or in the gym. Slight barbell training also works perfectly. Even during long tournaments, the throwing arm can get heavy. Stretching also belongs to the exercise program. This stretches the sinews and eases the muscles. This is how you keep relaxed and laid-back during the tournament.

How does self-motivation work during the game?

What a good question. Thanks to you, dear Flo from Berlin. Well now: You should never curse at your opponent or bully him until he throws worse than you. That could detract from fun and besides this, your further participation in the tournament could be at risk. So it’s better to concentrate on each single throw and be satisfied when it hits where it was aimed at. That gives a sense of liability, even if your opponent is also no cannon fodder and places good throws himself. Motivation can be taken from tactic, too, provided that it’s successful. Set yourself solvable jobs as reaching the next lower hundred, for example: Start 501, hit to the 2 … next lower hundred reached - should be easy, don’t you think? The effect would be: A good feeling for you because you achieved your aim and a visible sign for your opponent, as for the psyche it’s really a difference whether the remaining score is 399 or 401, isn’t it? Test it! At the beginning of the game set yourself smaller, achievable aims in scoring – then higher aims for an optimal preparation of the finish. And never forget: A partial success is also a success!

How to nourish properly during a tournament.

A question from Kristin from Heidelberg (Thank’s!). My answer: Chips with ketchup and mayonnaise and a cool beer! NO, that’s a joke! This is a very important point and it’s often undervalued. Wrong food and drinks extract the energy from the body which is needed for a long lasting tournament. For example cold drinks: The body is heating up the cool drink up to body heat and therefore extracts itself energy. The warm meal during the break also needs to be digested – and that again needs energy. And you should not even think of drinking beer or alcopops during a tournament. Those withdraw yourself the ability of thinking clearly. You can drink after your victory! But how to satisfy your hunger and your thirst … and still keep equal to the tournament? Well, have a good breakfast, later on bananas, peppers and/or yogurt – for drinks a warm and unsweetened black tea with lemon is recommendable. Therewith you’ll stand cool during a tournament day and have enough energy for good games when others already have the first stomach pains, signs of tiredness or losses in articulation.

What do I drink to stay fit longer?

Dear Angelika from Bamberg, actually my first answer was: water .... preferably non-alcoholic! But my investigations for a more exact answer resulted in: water ... with apple juice! Background is, that most of all league and tournament matches in Germany are played in systems which are too short for visit - ing the lavatory. Therefore WE have to adjust ourselves. Breaks during a match are frowned upon, as they could possibly disturb a good series of the opponent. In England meanwhile breaks have been introduced with higher “best of” matches, to enable the players to relieve themselves. Because without pressure it is easier playing. So: No alcohol (doping test!), coffee (shortly awake, then tired!) or water (goes almost directly through into the bladder!) are awesome – no, better are unchilled or even lightly warm - ed and sweetened black teas with lemon or isotonic, mineral-bearing beverages. Also apple juice spritzer is recommended, as it leaves the sugar needed for concentration in the blood, and only then bit by bit, across the kidneys, finds the way to the bladder. And till then game is over in most cases – hopefully with successfulness for you!

What should be considered regarding the outfit?

There’s no dresscode for playing darts like at billiard sports. The only important thing is, that the “second skin” is comfortable and offers enough freedom of movement. But of course, the outfit has to be right, too, as dart is a great hobby and a fascinating sport, that gets more and more into public focus, even on TV! Large tournament halls are often drafty, particularly in winter. At hot fights, it is therefore important, that the fabric has a high share in cotton. That keeps you comfortably dry. In the tournament breaks you should additionally put on a sweatshirt to protect yourself from a cold. In summer, the heat can really discomfort you. Then stylish T-shirts with tasteful dart-motives offer you ease. Real dart fans do not only show at training or tournaments which sport makes their hearts beat faster. The dressy outfits of the EMPIRE Dart range will give you the perfect “dart-feeling”: There are T-shirts, sweatshirts or classic polo shirts – all available in your size, uni- or multi-coloured, quite as you like it. Naturally each single piece is manufactured thoroughly.

What does Bouncer mean?

That’s very easy: “An incident during a game that doesn’t always cause enthusiasm” (what a sentence!) To say it easier: A dart that falls off the board or bounces on the surface! And unfortunately, it must not be thrown again. But let us have a look at the rules: The hit only counts if the arrow stays in the board as long as the player pulls it out again. That means: the hit doesn’t count should the dart fall off the board before the player can pull it out – but only if the board hasn’t counted the points! Indeed, should the dart have touched the board and has activated the contact behind the segment it is counted and therefore valid. If the dart hits the wire (the so called “Spider”) it isn’t counted – the automat may not register which segment shall be counted. The hit is registered as a “bouncer” and therefore not counted! But there is something good in this system: It sometimes happens that such bouncers ended up in another place as they were thrown to! Really, that happens!

What makes out a professional dart player?

According to a common wisenheimer-Internet-page a professional sportsman/sportswoman is a player, who mainly earns his money with the sports he does. But also somebody who does it professionally, so with experience, efficiently, solidly and successfully. So you can say you’re a professional player, whether you can find such attributes with yourself. But fewest will achieve to be a real professional. In Germany it’s almost impossible to live only on dart sport as a paid dart professional, without doing another job. There are not enough paying sponsors. And different to England, the mother country of dart sport, dart is not of much public interest. Although the number of players is constantly increasing, not only in German-speaking countries.
But what is then an amateur? Whereat this term sounds somehow and wrongly insulting. Also amateurs, so non-professionals, can do their sport with great experience, efficiently and very successfully. They just can’t live on it.Let’s sum up how we want to understand and use the term: A dart professional is a dart player who mostly comes from the British Empire, travels around the world, holds tournaments, and thereby does not only bring his portrait and his sponsor’s logo into the living rooms, but also a tidy sum of money onto his bank account. Therewith he blows so much time, that he has no more time left for other jobs.

What is better during a tournament: hot or cold beverages?

Hi Olli from Dresden. That’s a good question, very good indeed! From time to time, even in professional dart sports, you can see players on stage who down really cold water. Okay, water, and they’ve got breaks in between. But ice-cold? Actually that’s an absolute no-go. What happens in the body when, standing with - in the full stage lighting (feeling like in Egypt in high summer), it has to bring peak power and is then filled up with ice-cold water? The body absorbs the liquid, directs it into the right channels (after recognizing its worth for the body) and then it only has to do following: heating-up! Up to body temperature, up to 36.6 degrees Celsius! But wherefrom does our body take this energy? From the whole body. And thereby stableness, throwing precision and concentration – in short all that helps us to win the match – are put at risk. We do not need the available energy for heating beverages but for reaching a maximum number of sets and legs. And this is only possible if we drink beverages having room temperature, which do not deplete the body of energy in this sweaty surrounding area. Note: In many southern countries people mostly drink hot tea during noontime.

What do dart and Formula One have in common?

To be successful in dart, you have to be talented and hardworking. In addition, the equipment, that means arrows, flights, tips and so on, is very important. That’s the same as in Formula One. Talent and experience alone are not enough. As well the reliable function of motor, gear unit, steering and everything else is decisive. A perfectly functioning technology often decides on victory or defeat. Empire Dart tries to translate this requirement from the Formula One high performance sport into its products. Empire Dart products have to be more and more perfect, more and more optimal and always better than the competitor’s products. Whether you are a hobby player or a professional player – everyone has the same conditions with Empire Dart first-class equipment. And then really talent and hard work are decisive. In Formula One, it does not just depend on the driver. You also need a good team. That’s the same with the Empire Dart Team. Everyone does his best, so that Empire Dart can keep its promises and every player can fully rely on Empire Dart.

What does the term Oche mean?

The term Oche is an English word and describes the line that shows us the minimum throwing distance – it is allowed to throw from this line but a larger distance is also possible. That means, you can stand far behind this line but you have to think of a fictive line on the right and the left side of the throwing line. “Oche” – spoken “Huukie” – is also a term for “freedom of movement” that must not be entered by any other person during the game except from the player and the referee (“referee” – look up in our glossary on www.empire-dart.de) This freedom of movement includes the area that is taken by the length of the throwing line with the distance to the board but also the area within one metre behind and besides the throwing player. That assures him undisturbed concentration and undisturbed completion of a throw. In addition, this is a safety area against possible “bouncers”, which means arrows that fall off the board.

Darters’s slips.

Of course dart players – even world champions – are normal people who are sometimes out of it, especially when being under pressure. Thus the multiple world champion Deta Hedman wanted to shake hands with her opponent, the record world champion Trina Gulliver, after a shot into the double during one of her finals, although they still had to play a whole set. Or Wayne “Hawaii 501” Mardle, whose attention had been drawn, during one of his worse stage plays, to the fact that he was wearing two different socks. In the break he took off the socks and won the match. Or Gary Glitter who prepared with six darts to finish with nine darts and then miscalculated ..... tops instead of bullseye! – double 5. But then at least he finished with the tenth dart. Jack McKenna managed to shoot his own dart with a bounced throw to the bullseye into his shoe. Eric Bristow accidentally threw a burning cigarette instead of his dart towards the board – at that time smoking during stage plays was still allowed. And even a Raymond van Barneveld broke a camera lens which was hidden above a board. Nobody is perfect – people like you and me.

Is a Warm Up / Cool Down useful when darting?

Warming up? Cooling down? Do I look like an egg? Angelo is here obviously not really sure of himself. He’s in the opinion that a usual warming up only by throwing is enough to take part in a game. This may be sufficient for the district league, but we think slightly different – we want more! Before each event – either league or tournament – a good preparation of your own body is as well belonging to it as the practice in throwing …. which only comes after that. You prepare yourself optimal by stretching and moving your muscles – warming up them actively, what means that you only use up to 50% of their capacity. That later on avoids a muscle soreness, which would not in any case wait till next day to visit you. It could already arrive during the game! A cool down – the controlled dying away of the active phase – could for example be shaking out of arms and legs, bending the upper body, etc. Who sits down again immediately afterwards and lets the still flexed muscles cool down uncontrolled has the best chance to harden the muscles during the next game, and thereby to lose exact control of the dart. So it’s better to take a few minutes before and afterwards – nobody will laugh at you therefore! And if so – perhaps it’s your next opponent and after his defeat he recognizes the advantages of your actions!

Is starting the game really an advantage?

Each pro will certainly answer to this question with a clear YES, as they do not only score similar high but also just as constant, and this is why the first thrower should get the first chance to a double-throw. Differently, if the previous thrower weakens and his opponent scores good – thus the advantage changes to the following thrower, as long as he keeps his consistency. It also happened, that the starter of a leg begun with two 180ies and lost his game on the doubles, as his opponent scored normally high and had checked by this certainly. Just follow these rules of the thumb:
1. Each opponent is only as good as he scores
2. You can score as high as, or even higher than your opponent at any time, too.
3. Use every chance!
Another story is the bull-throw, which ensures the winner the advantage of starting. Now he has to use this advantage, as the pressure of having to win this leg is now oppressing him, the more so as for the next leg the advantage of starting the leg passes to his opponent. Keep in mind: Who wants to have three darts more at his own disposal in the end, has to exert himself very much despite advantage of starting.

Do TV broadcasts have a learning effect?

Hello Carola from Regensburg, I think you mean the TV broadcasts and other telerecordings of professional league and tournament games – then I can clearly say YES! It’s not just fascinating to watch the professionals, you can also learn a lot from them. Look at them standing at the scratch line, pay attention to their body and arm position, their grip on the dart – you can copy all that yourself and learn something for your own style. In addition, after watching such broadcasts, you know how they combine in a Finish, at which fields and segments they throw in connection with their rest score and how they throw at the double segments. It is always interesting to see the reactions on lost and gained Legs, Sets and Matches because they show the pressure that these professional players are confronted with. And here comes the clou: Play against your favourite player! Imagine that you are the opponent in the video – take over his round, throw your own score before your favourite player throws again and just find out how far you can get.

Is there any dress code at tournaments?

Yes, there is a dress code, but only for the leg wear! The worldwide standard is to come to a stage play with long black trousers. Black skirts are allowed for the ladies. However, the reason for black is not that it is chic, but it is needed for the television broadcasts. The stage at final tournaments is completely illuminated. White or coloured trousers or skirts would reflect too much in the cameras. With outerwear it can be the same problem, but here the dart associations and tournament hosts do not dictate any dress code to the participants. However, the most players wear dark shirts, as they know the problem. The only exception is Wayne Mardle, who always wears Hawaiian shirts when playing darts. Take a look at the new shirts in our catalogue and imagine how good you look wearing them on the stage! Of course there are not only regulations but also prohibitions. You must not wear headpieces, gloves and head phones, as well as shirts with swear-words or advertising for drugs on them. Sports shoes are not explicitly forbidden, but unwanted. Who breaches rules or prohibitions can even be excluded from or not be permitted to the tournament. So always take black clothes for the final game with you, as you may need them!

Is there a "Dart language"?

How do you ask your opponent to shoot for Bull in Great Britain or in the US? This question will bother us when we are playing for the World Championship, at the latest. We may then not wonder when our opponent tells us “Nearest the Bull”, “Diddle for middle” or “Cork” and is herewith asking us to throw our first dart in the centre of the Board. “Nearest the Bull” contains the message to try to throw your dart as close to the centre as possible whereas “Diddle for middle” means you should have your lucky shot. “Cork” is a relict of old times where the Bull was made of cork. Then during the following game “Mugs away” tells the players to put away their pot of coffee or beer because it’s their turn to play.

Oddities from the world of darts

As in all kind of sports, also in the dart sport there are many sportive or human oddities. The most oddities are to be found at steel dart, so that I want tell you some of them. Everyone knows Phil “The Power” Taylor, not only because of his 15 world cup victories. But fewest people know, that four of his final games were love games. One of his most successful antecessor and former patron, Eric “The Crafty Cockney” Bristow, also became famous, earned much money and won five world cup finals. Furthermore the Queen appointed him as “Member of the British Empire” for his merits, and this is not only an immense honour, but also unique in dart sports. Jocky Wilson, a former Scottish dart player always makes us laugh, too, and above all with this story: After having won a big tournament in his home country, he went out the door to take some tidy gulps, which was something he often and persistently did during his career. And that was why he missed the award ceremony. Compliant with the rules, he was disqualified then and the inferior finalist received the prize money. That shows, what untimely drinking of alcoholic beverages can cause. So always wait until your award ceremony is over! And again, it was Phil “The Power” Taylor, who achieved a world novelty in the final of the Premier League 2010. In an imaginable short match against James Wade, Taylor reached even two of the coveted 9-darts, finishing a Leg 501 straight in – double out with only 9 darts! The laconic answer of the later on inferior Wade was: “At least he needed these two peak performances to beat me.” And he wasn’t worsted by just anybody, but by a born-and-bred honorary doctor. For his achievements for sports in Staffordshire, the local university appointed him as honorary doctor, which also is unique in dart sports. As well Keith Deller, who in 1983 became the at that time youngest world champion at the age of 24. He then qualified for the finale at the first time, and had not only beaten the dart legend Eric Bristow, but also could show a 138-finish in the last Leg. Bristow had miscalculated when, with a remaining score of 50, he hit Double 18 leaving 16 points, instead of throwing to Bullseye and by this possibly becoming world champion himself. Still today experts and commentators speak respectfully of a “Deller-finish” with a remaining score of 138.

Nobody is perfect!

Even a Phil „The Power“ Taylor sometimes falters and stands to lose his just for the umpteenth time won world champion belt in darts, if he is not attentive, or others are instead of him. His former opponent Dennis Priestley had to remind him while shaking hands, that the match is not finished resp. not officially won before he had drawn out his darts from the board by own hands. Misfortune for Dennis: None of the darts fell out while this and it wasn’t played on. Another story is told about John Lowe: At one of his many tournament victories he was on stage for award ceremony, together with pretty girls, selected by the tournament’s sponsors. One of them positioned herself again and again in front of him and was repeatedly pulled back from an official, till John said: “Allow her – if she beats me first!”. Also fine the answer from “The Power“ to the question from Stefan Raab in a German TV show, when being asked why he played darts. Phil analogously: “You can make lots of money!” Later on he played against Stefan Raab. When Raab had the chance to win the match with only one dart by a throw to double 16 (after several cheats tolerated by Phil), Phil offered him 1 million Euros! But Raab failed and was beaten.

Breathing when playing – but how?

A subject where experts agree upon: The best kind of sports isn’t fun without breathing! What does this mean? Right is: Go on breathing! And of course it’s the same for playing dart as for any other precision sport: A swelling chest decisively redounds to change of height of the projectile to be accelerated, and this is only useful, when it has been factored into the training before. Even if archers and pistol shooters hold their breath at most disciplines, this doesn’t apply to a dart player. He could for instance use his breath as a kind of exertions-/relaxation-tactic – e.g. like this: After taking the dart into the throwing hand, it is mostly lifted with its tip in direction to the board (stop me, if it’s not right). Then the exertion begins, it could be attended by intake of breath; afterwards the relaxation, together with the throw and exhalation. You have two possibilities should you ever see an opponent with a wrong breathing technique and a blue face: Keep quiet and win the game or open your mouth and rescue a life!

Cool down

If you remain in a tournament, so this process is at least as important as the before done warm up. Who is knocked out, thus can choose whether he has sore muscles or not the next day. Decisive with the cool down is, that you do it right. I want to tell you about experiences I made. The most I‘ve copied from other players, who were quite successful over long periods. Especially important is the simultaneous tensing and relaxing of the forearms (make fists, stretch fingers, bend arms) and the shoulders (pull backwards, tense, hang forwards) for minutes. Please repeat these exercises for several times. Furthermore: Phase out and shake legs. Even simple „best-of-five-sets“ leave marks in the muscles, especially in the lower legs. With good preparation – the warm-up – and reasonable follow-up – the cool down – muscle injuries and strains can be prevented best. That’s in any case the pros do.

Is there really the disease Dartitis?

What at first sounds like a joke, indeed it’s a fact with serious effects. Dartitis is the circumscribing term for a mental condition, which leads to problems during dart players throwing the arrow. Players who have continued to develop through training and were able to increase their playing ability continuously, partly over years, suddenly do no more conformably open their hand when throwing and the arrows do no longer hit the target. The player has mostly unexpectedly and rather suddenly lost the ability to control. What happened? Diagnosis: overplayed. The mind closes, nerves and muscles obey the mind, so misthrow.  Even former world champions, as e.g. Eric Bristow, are hit by this. What is to be done? First it’s important, not to allow the diagnosis „Dartitis“ to drive you crazy. A little exercise, carried out several times a day, perhaps can help. Position yourself in front of a wall at a distance of 1-2 meters, take a tennis ball, throw it against the wall and catch it when bouncing off with your throwing hand. Meanwhile don’t think about dart and don’t try to hit a particular point on the wall. Just throw and catch. Approximately for 20 times. And several times a day. It helped me and after about 14 days, I was able to draw on my normal level of performance.

Young talents‘ barrier mental maths with kids?

Unfortunately, yes, at mental maths some children do not give their best: For fear of failure, especially towards classmates. The pressure on the kids is indeed severe. Swotting shall eradicate the deficiencies. Instead, there’s also a playful way to learn correct and quick calculating. Exactly: Playing dart. An example: Schoolchildren of the fifth class who took part in my avocational dart project, learned much easier at school, too. The majority of the participating kids could achieve a better grade in the school report through the oral part. This really works. Of course, tricks are allowed: Instead of calculating 3x19, it’s easier by 3x20-3. Clever. Therewith an awareness of numbers is taught and the young kids recognize, that there may be different paths to the goal. With playful practising, kids learn to concentrate and to combine brain work with trained motion sequences. They become more self-confident, are also able to count in with the opponent and can identify potential faults. This of course makes appetite for more, e.g. a game against an advanced player. And so it was with me – in my school dart project. I was challenged by fifth-graders to a match „Round the board“, so to throw off sequentially all numbers the board yields up to treble twenty. This is purely calculating and throwing! Therewith the young talents can be enthused with dart and will also benefit for school!

Can Dart help in maths? Is mental maths a barrier for kids?

Unfortunately, yes, at mental maths some children do not give their best: For fear of failure, especially towards classmates. The pressure on the kids is indeed severe. Swotting shall eradicate the deficiencies. Instead, there’s also a playful way to learn correct and quick calculating. Exactly: Playing dart. An example: Schoolchildren of the fifth class who took part in my avocational dart project, learned much easier at school, too. The majority of the participating kids could achieve a better grade in the school report through the oral part. This really works. Of course, tricks are allowed: Instead of calculating 3x19, it’s easier by 3x20-3. Clever. Therewith an awareness of numbers is taught and the young kids recognize, that there may be different paths to the goal. With playful practising, kids learn to concentrate and to combine brain work with trained motion sequences. They become more self-confident, are also able to count in with the opponent and can identify potential faults. This of course makes appetite for more, e.g. a game against an advanced player. And so it was with me – in my school dart project. I was challenged by fifth-graders to a match «Round the board», so to throw off sequentially all numbers the board yields up to treble twenty. This is purely calculating and throwing! Therewith the young talents can be enthused with dart and will also benefit for school!

Its so loud - I just can’t win!

Really! Let´s see how the pros do. Watching them on stage during the main round, it´s amazing how cool and calmly they act at the whole spectacle of the audience and how they can throw genius darts. Are they deaf? No – but mostly very experienced. The world-class professional players are partially trained by mental coaches. They learn to concentrate and are also really clever. Thus some players wear earplugs or turn quite quickly away from the audience when coming from the board, in order to protect their ears. However, ear- and headphones are already forbidden during games for a longer time (for whatever reason) as well as headgear with ears overlap, not so are earplugs. There is no speaking on the board and with the audience – only to the chalker. Emotional and loud it is usually at the most at 180ies, Leg and Set. And of course the winning of a game is celebrated, when the tension drops. From time to time the audience is involved as well, e.g. when one person is particularly pleased because of a highlight. Then, sometimes the players also demand the support of their fans for the next turns. And note: The volume doesn’t bother those who are going to win – the others are annoyed tremendously!

What is the difference between darts literature and darts books?

Is there really a difference? I would say definitely. Under literature I expect the quality that is able to teach me something by reading. With the books, it´­­s more about entertainment. There are many pages that inform the read­ers about shoe sizes, eating habits, personal characteristics, collected prizes, etc. of dart pros. Such information may be quite entertaining and perhaps not without interest. But from this you will not learn how to dart. For the ambitious beginner the point is to obtain information that will advance him and help him to improve constantly. Who is ambitious in darts and combines skills with knowledge, will evolve his game and himself continuously positively – with appropriate training diligence.
Have a look at the books we selected for you in our EMPIRE Dart catalog. It´­­s all literature that contains really valuable explanations, information and hints. You will soon notice: Our main aim is that you will become better and better in dart.
Of course there will always again arise questions we have not yet written about. Therefore, we offer you to send us your specific questions by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

From the body’s point of view.

Who is preparing for a tournament and demands much from his body, should not only adequately train, but also consciously adjust his body to it.
It is important to find the harmony between movement and rest, between dynamics and concentration. Already by the mental tension directly before or during a tournament headaches are not ruled out. The high load on the forearms and lower legs can cause muscle pain. Then don’t take painkillers if possible, because concentration can suffer greatly from these. It’s better to avoid longer sitting and standing breaks and to walk a few meters instead. Additionally shake arms and legs, this appeals to the strained muscles and tendons. Motion is important. Against back pain that often occurs – especially with untrained players – relaxation exercises or a retreat into the quiet zone are recommended. Lie on your back, tighten your legs, stretch arms and close eyes. Turn on your side and back to the back. During the tournament do not only avoid alcohol, but also ice cold drinks and carbonic acid. This all costs energy which you need for the game. Energy bars are not a „stupid idea“ but provide a filled stomach with little energy loss. The following food has also proved itself for tournaments: Banana, dry biscuits and warm tea. Who wants to be in the vanguard also omits smoking breaks. Hot meals are an energy killer as well, as they strengthen satiation and sleep mode after consumption. And then at the resumption of the game you are perhaps very quickly in an off mode.

Pride comes before the fall...

Arrogance is a human vice, which has nothing lost with darts. Such weaknesses are punished often and quickly. Here an example, as happened at the World Championships of the British Darts Organisation (BDO), in a match between the former world champion Eric „the crafty cockney“ Bristow and the qualifier Keith „the fella“ Deller: He pressed down Bristow to 5:5 on Sets and 2:1 on Legs. Then he lay back with 138 points at the score of 121 points for Bristow and would have to adjust to the possible draw. This would have entailed the overtime of the game and possibly finally the „Sudden Death“. And at this point Bristow made a fatal mistake which made him the loser and the qualifier Deller world champion: Instead of going to throw on the bullseye for a rest of 50 after having scored S17 and T18, he decided on a single 18 and a safe Double 16. He – the world champion – thought, that Deller would not hit. But this was wrong. Thus he lost title, prize money and lots of his fans’ respect because of his arrogance.
So, the message is: Don’t underestimate your opponents – show respect and throw to the maximum ... in the worst case it would be a complete flop.

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