The beginnings as i understand them
Originally posted by Andy on the old forum:


The history of darts could conceivably be thought to go back as far as man has been throwing weapons at targets as practice for there hunting skills maybe , It all involves the same principle which is throwing something sharp at a target aiming for a specific point .
We are told that in the very early days of darts the target was often a section of tree trunk as this gave natural divided areas because of the growth rings and any cracks in the timber . The darts are said to have been much larger than there counterparts today almost a foot long !
The game was popular with sailors who apparently used sections cut from old masts ,It is thought that the game was taken to America by the first settlers on the Mayflower .
As the game began to develop rules were being laid down and the game became an indoor sport ,The darts also became much smaller with feather flights.
In 1898 a very helpful American chap patented the first paper folding flight and in 1906 an equally helpful English chap patented the first metal barrel , The game as we know it had really started to develop now !
So how did they know where to throw from ? Well its believed that the throwing distance was 3 beer crates , Not just any beer crates , ones from hockey and son a big brewer in the southwest , 3 crates gave a throwing distance of 9 feet , It is believed by some that over time the crates used were reduced in size to 2 feet so 4 were put together and the throwing distance was reduced , However im personally not convinced by this . It is also believed that the word oche derived from Hockey the brewery who owned the crates used for the first measurement. Ladies began to play the game so another throwing mark was added at some point.
In the early 1900s gambling or games of chance were illegal in public houses and it was believed that darts was a game of chance therefore illegal , It was down to a pub landlord to take it upon himself to challenge the ruling in court where he is said to have thrown 3 darts into 1 segment of the board and then proceeded to challenge others to mach his efforts but ass you can imagine they couldnt so darts was no longer considered a game of chance but a game of skill leading to the game being played widely in pubs.By the end of world war 2 darts had taken hold in most pubs , Teams formed and organised matches played .

So thats it as far as i know , There have indeed been may advances in darts , More rules , Regulations and Governing bodies etc . I hope this has been of some interest , Its not gospel but i think its credible and pretty accurate but i dont know everything (thats the wifes department) and i do make mistakes.
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These are the replies to the above from the old forum:

Bo

I read your quotes on the origin of darts and it is a feasible and well trodden path, which most everybody adheres to. However on closer scrutiny this whole accepted ideology falls flat on it's face. Obviously this/my observation is in no way aimed at you!
A dart is an ancient hunting weapon it must of been one of the four oldest successful hunting techniques of man. Logic states this.
I do not want to relate the other three as they are equally misunderstood, suffice to say that two are actually still practiced and performed in sporting events including the Olympics, the other is an illegal pastime; as was darts in one of its later guises (and still is in the UK).
You should all be proud to be part of this ancient hunting skill, which incidentally is the true mark of a sport, as mankind originally didn't make war on itself.
If man discovered fire C. 1,000,000 years ago it is very feasible that the dart is at least 500,000 years old and I believe that to be a very conservative estimate.
Without the dart there would not have been the Woomera or Atlatl, archery would never have arrived on the scene. I do not include the javelin or throwing spear as the wording was a successful hunting device and these two employ a completely different type of delivery. Have you ever wondered why 99% of you stand the way you do to throw a dart?
Bo

dannyd180

As long as they don't exceed 12 inches (including stem flight etc), they could still be used now!!

Rebel

Great read that, very interesting,

Cheers,
Greg

Saber

Very good stuff that read.

DR. DARTS

I read with interest the theories about the origins of darts. I've spent a good part of my life de-bunking myths about the game and these include the theories that the hockey was named after a west country brewer and that darts was taken to America on the Mayflower. If anyone wants to find out about the history of our great sport then please read (or buy) my book DARTS IN ENGLAND 1900-39: A SOCIAL HISTORY published for the first time in paperback by Manchester University Press at £14.99. Chapter 2 covers 'The origins of darts' and will, I am sure, be an eye-opener for all those interested in the true history and development of darts.

For starters, the modern game is partly FRENCH!!!

No there's a subject for forum debate!

A Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013 to all 'dartsnutz'

Cheers!

Dr. D.

old dart

Talking about the history of darts does anyone remember the tv programme in the 70s called Indoor league it covered darts arm wrestling bar billiars and also skittles I think. A lot of the big names would be on it . The thing I dont remember is did the players play for money a title or just exhibition, does anyone know

Getagrip

I have a dvd of the indoor league, if you search youtube you will find clips of it.

I think they played for a title I dont remember any money involved in it.

"Ah sithee!" as Freddie Trueman may say

mc1958

Cheese skittles - awesome looking game

Getagrip

LOL Cheese skittles!


I think there is a new TV show starting soon with Rory Mcgrath where they take part in lots of weird games such as pea shooting championships.

mc1958

Cheese skittles is a proper game - looks great fun, just don't stand too near the skittles if I'm throwing the cheese lol

http://inversionlayer.wordpress.com/2008...-skittles/

Getagrip

Ah I think I have seen that, I was thinking the food stuff, but its the shape of the puck thing.

DR. DARTS

Hey guys and girls, let me put all these theories to rest by referring you to my book DARTS IN ENGLAND 1900-39: A social history (now available in paperback at £15.99). Chapter 2 THE ORIGINS goes through all the theories and debunks several myths including that outrageous theory that darts found its way to the USA on THE MAYFLOWER. (For more about that see Dan Peek's book TO THE POINT - THE HISTORY OF DARTS IN AMERICA) You'll be pleased to learn from my book that modern darts in partly FRENCH!

I know this sounds like a book plug (which of course it is) but it will help settle all sorts of arguments so you can spend your time talking about loads of other perhaps more important darts stuff like 'Why does the sport need the BDO when the England Darts Organisation now looks after England's darts and the WDF is the world governing body?' (Discuss)

Cheers!

Saber

Thanks Doc for ya post. Interesting stuff. And a link to your site would be nice to post here. I have just signed up for your news letter btw- cheers! hint put ya link in your signature LOL
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