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(DN University Series) The Art of Chalking
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Let's face it. In the world of steel tip, there is no such thing as electronic scoring boards like soft tip darting. So if you are in one of the tournaments and you are just waiting for your match to be called, or if for unfortunate reasons you got eliminated too early - please lend a hand and support other playmates by volunteering yourself as chalker.

My first experience as Chalker, I was as nervous as playing darts as I am afraid to do scoring mistakes. But after a few runs you develop the confidence and things go well and smooth.

Be ready to assume this responsibility. if you chalk, someone will chalk for you in return. So be nice.

Here are some things that you should know about Chalking.

(Thanks to the Toronto darts for some of the useful ideas that I got from them)

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Chalking is probably the number one issue and the truth is that few people enjoy it. Let's face it, however - if you allow others to chalk for you it's only fair that you do the same. We'll get to the math issue in a moment, but for now here are a few things to watch out for:

1.Face the chalkboard and in the direction of the dartboard. You shouldn't be able to see the players and you need to stand still. If you have to move - like to scratch an itch or to erase some of the chalkboard, for example - wait until a player has thrown all 3 darts to do it. It's unlikely that a player's missed dart would be your fault but most people would agree that the fewer distractions a player faces while throwing, the better.

2.You are to be indifferent toward both players. Even if one is a friend or a teammate, you are there to simply chalk their match and not to root for one player or another.

3.Don't speak unless spoken to. The only time you should say anything is to call out a player's score immediately after he or she has thrown 3 darts. Most times a player will simply call out the score as he or she grabs their darts from the board but you always retain the right to confirm the score prior to any darts being removed. If a player is removing his or her darts before you get a chance to confirm the score, politely request that they leave them in the board until you can do so. If you need to go right up to the board to figure it out, do so.

4.You are permitted to tell a player what they have hit and what they have remaining, but only if they ask and you can not suggest an out shot. Period. Even if you are asked "what they should go for", you cannot tell them.

5.If you reach the bottom of the chalkboard and run out of room, let the players know you will be erasing some of the board. Do not erase everything, but rather leave the previous 2 or 3 scores at the bottom of the chalkboard and only erase the top two-thirds for the new scores. This serves to show the players how their scores have gone down and eliminates any second-guessing that there were errors.

6.When recording scores, use two columns on each side of the chalkboard for scores hit and scores left and always keep them in the same order on both sides. When a new score is to be recorded, simply draw a line at 45 degrees through the score hit and score left so that only the current score is showing. This provides everyone with an account of how the scores have transpired throughout the match and it gives the players a chance to agree or disagree with you before their next throw.

7.All scores become absolutely final once a person has thrown a dart on his or her next turn. These are the rules. Everyone has a chance to examine the scores while their opponent throws and if he or she wasn't paying attention, so be it.

8.Do not touch another player's darts while they are in the board.

9.Lastly, be on time. If you know that you're chalking, be courteous and go to the bathroom or for that smoke well before the match is to begin. Nothing's worse than having to wait for a person to come staggering in, pint in hand, 5 minutes after you've been ready to start. At the very least, pre-arrange with a teammate to chalk for you.

And that's that.

People really do appreciate your help and both players should, as a matter of etiquette, both thank you for chalking and shake your hand. We've all known people who mysteriously disappear when a chalker is needed and there will always be people like that, unfortunately. Our advice to you is to not be that person and to at least offer to do your share. If your league plays 14 matches a night and you have 8 players, 6 of you will need to chalk twice. One approach is to chalk a match or two at the beginning of the night, even if it's just to get them out of the way. Just do it. You'll be surprised at how quickly you become good at it, too.

The Math:

For some reason, a lot of people are just plain afraid of counting in public. The thought of having to figure out 336 minus 93 on the spot and in front of everyone freaks them out and chalking a match is the last thing they want to do. Well, the bad news is that if you're going to play league darts, you'll have to chalk some matches. Don't think that your trips to the bathroom just before it's your turn to chalk are fooling everyone - they've all seen it before and will call you nasty names behind your back for it! All kidding aside, here are some tips that with a little practice will help you greatly:

1.If the score is near 100, round up to 100 and then subtract the difference. For example, if a player has 336 points and hits 93, just subtract 100 and then add 7 (100 minus 7 is 93). 336 minus 100 is 236. 236 plus 7 is 243. Simple.

2.Round up or down to the nearest "10" and either add or subtract points as need be. 53 points is the same as 50 plus 3 or 60 minus 7, right? If a player has 162 points and hits 53, subtract 50 and then another 3. 162 minus 50 is 112 and 112 minus 3 is 109.

3.Some people even think in terms of money and change. If you have a dollar and something costs 48 cents, most people quickly calculate that their change should be 52 cents. Well, hitting 48 points when you have a 100 to begin with is the same thing.

4.Here's one that you're sure to love: chalk every match that you possibly can until you get good at it. If your teammates routinely practice on a Monday at the pub, go and chalk games all night. If you go to a blind draw somewhere, offer to chalk matches for people whenever you're free. If you're really new to it, simply explain to people that you're offering because you're new and want to get better at it. 99% of the time no one will argue with having a chalker.

And that covers the chalking and counting aspects of league play.

Now for players. Please don't forget to thank the Chalkers after the game. Always remember they are doing this job voluntarily. They don't receive any compensation for doing things for you. Thus you don't earn the right to yell at them or show unsportsmanlike conduct towards them if they make mistakes. You can probably be nice to look for replacement if his math is really becoming a big issue.

Chalkers can always walk out if they find your behavior unacceptable..
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Great post!!! +1

I do the rounding up and down thing when I keep score. Works like a champ Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Nice post Edgar! +1
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(01-14-2015, 05:51 AM)majeek Wrote: Now for players. Please don't forget to thank the Chalkers after the game. Always remember they are doing this job voluntarily. They don't receive any compensation for doing things for you. Thus you don't earn the right to yell at them or show unsportsmanlike conduct towards them if they make mistakes. You can probably be nice to look for replacement if his math is really becoming a big issue.

Chalkers can always walk out if they find your behavior unacceptable..

If I can add one… don't throw your darts while the chalker is still chalking. Doesn't matter how slow they are. When I'm chalking (and I'm reasonably competent and speedy) I give one warning. Second infraction, I'm gone.
26's so far this year: I've already lost count. :-)

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This is a great thread. In the one LOD I have entered, we had to chalk our own scores. I actually marked on to the opponents side of the board in cricket, made basic subtraction and addition errors, and numerous times had to be corrected for pulling my darts before scoring. I had no nerve problems and threw better than if I was at home, but the scoring was frightening and humiliating. I came home and immediately bought a dry erase board and got to work. The people I played with were very helpful and patient. I can imagine what a drag it must have been to play with me.

I have adopted the round up method for when the ones in my turn are higher than the ones in the total (otherwise simple subtraction). I round up to the nearest ten and add back the difference after I have subtracted. It seems convoluted in my head, but I am doing it enough that it is becoming more natural, with less panic induced brain freeze. Math has always been my arch nemesis.
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Thunk, thunk, thunk, walk, chalk, pull, turn, walk, turn, repeat...

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Playing online 501 will help people with math. I always thought I was pretty good with math but i got into the habit of just writing down what I had remaining after a throw. For example, let's say I had 123 left. If I hit a treble 19 I instantly know that I had 66 left. Then if I hit treble 16 next, I know that I have 18 left. If I went inside the double 9 I know right away that I have 9 left and that's what I'd write down. But my problem was I didn't know what i scored in total. A little time playing long format 501 online sorted that out and I feel like I'm much better at keeping score now. Although errors do and always will happen.
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Excellent post.

One question about this though:

7.All scores become absolutely final once a person has thrown a dart on his or her next turn. These are the rules. Everyone has a chance to examine the scores while their opponent throws and if he or she wasn't paying attention, so be it.

What about pairs matches? Couple of seasons ago I was checking and gave a score of 60 and the chalker took 60 off. As the same player came back to the oche he said 'I scored 100' and in the end we changed the scores. I think our league confirmed the original score should have stayed. He had waited for 3 other players to throw before querying it.

Worst thing was we just lost the match 5-4 and that had a big bearing on the result.
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I go for the rule that the original score stays. That's why if you play in pairs (doubles events), the role of the non throwing partner is to ensure that the score written by Chalker is correct before the team mate pulls his darts from the dartboard and before the opponent starts to throw.

You can not question previous scores.

Me as a Chalker, I announce the points made/scored/earned to receive acknowledgement from both parties before I total them.
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When I chalk for players I've never met, I always inform them that I have the potential to freeze up when calculating large scores. That being said, I feel a lot more at ease and usually do just fine.
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When I'm chalking I always call out the score, not Russ Bray call out, but just loud enough so the thrower can hear. If they don't correct me then, I'm not going to change in 2 throws for now.

I hate when I'm throwing, and the chalker sticks their head in front of the board after the first or 2nd shot to see what I got. I'm always tempted to hit them in the back of the head, and it does sometimes throw me off.
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Very good thread, if you chalk stand there dont put your head in after every dart wait until they finish throwing if your not sure ask them and confirm the score if your not sure if your math is right dont be afraid to ask we all brain cramp sometimes , just think i wouldn't want someone whos chalking to do something when i play so dont do it if your chalking
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Take note also. If you see that the Chalker is slow in mental Math, you can politely tell him what to write on the board (with the approval of opponent too). Take note that some Chalkers feel nervous so please make them feel at ease.

In my case, I offer my Chalker a drink after doing good service as a sign of appreciation. Some do the same thing to me as Chalker.
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This one is especially important:

1.Face the chalkboard and in the direction of the dartboard. You shouldn't be able to see the players and you need to stand still. If you have to move - like to scratch an itch or to erase some of the chalkboard, for example - wait until a player has thrown all 3 darts to do it. It's unlikely that a player's missed dart would be your fault but most people would agree that the fewer distractions a player faces while throwing, the better.


One of our own players has a habit of, when he's chalking, looking at you if you take a couple of seconds longer than normal to release the dart.

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I always make myself available to chalk when not playing. There is nothing worse than getting ready to start a match and having to turn around and ask/look for someone to chalk. If you always shy away from the task, try and start volunteering to chalk because no one is going to get upset if you make an error or take a little time to do the math. If someone does get upset because you are taking too long to do the math, "Tell them to go pound %}]+^#} Sand!
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This really is a helpful thread. The little bits of enlightenment come with every new post (except this one). This is such a big part of acquiring competency in the game that the less experienced among us need to know. I appreciate it.
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Thunk, thunk, thunk, walk, chalk, pull, turn, walk, turn, repeat...

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