Column #148 The Top Ten Darts Websites in the WORLD!
September 1, 2003
The Top Ten Darts Websites in the WORLD!
I receive a lot of e-mails from people asking questions about the sport of darts.
I try to be as helpful as I can.
“S’up, Dahtoid? Yo. I be new ta da game but wants ta learn. Name’s Antonio. From Joisey. Where’s da bes’ place ta check out some smokin’ action?”
“Nigel here. BLIMEY! I lost me blasted darts. Tell me old boy, where might I locate a brilliant set? Cheers.”
“Hey buddy. It’s Ed-Bob. One of our shots down the Roadhouse got busted for DUI and can’t get to matches no more. Where can I find a hot new team mate? Write back soon.”
“G’day Dartoid. Kevin Berlyn here. I just got a new board. Tell me matey, where’s th’ best place to hang it? Arrrr.”
Pretty much I always give the same response. I find that “Hooters” leaves most of my readers satisfied.
But the other day somebody asked a real toughie. “Hey, you frickin’ wanker. Where do you steal the shit you write? PS: this is the Lord.”
Well, the answer to that one ain’t Hooters. Not that I haven’t gone there in search of material…
The answer is the Internet.
Yes, there’s all sorts of wonderful information about the sport of darts to be found these days by simply typing “www” and a dot and a small string of letters into a computer.
I do it everyday when I should be working.
So I’m kind of an expert when it comes to surfing the Information Highway for information about darts. Barely ten years ago, there were only some fifty sites out there dedicated to our sport. Some guy from Switzerland named George Vacek scoped them all out and created a super-site called “George’s List of Darts Sites.” But apparently George died or something. This forerunner of the plethora of sites that currently exists (34 billion as of yesterday) has vanished from the ether.
Anyway, after years of research and with all due respect for George who first stepped foot into the jungle of darts on the Internet (and who once directed me to a couple of bars in Zurich), I now feel qualified to recommend the Top Ten Darts Sites in the WORLD today.
I visit each of them regularly and rip off everything I can.
DISCLAIMER. The list that follows is in no particular order. Each and every one of these sites offers something extraordinary. For example, most of them carry my column.
The reason I have declined to formally order the sites is because I always make my best effort not to piss people off. All of my regular readers, particularly those of the well-endowed female persuasion, will seriously question this statement.
Still, to order the list would risk offending someone, possibly even a female somebody. And that would be just plain stupid.
So here’s the list:
– Passionate Darter by Sherilyn Herkey
– Professional Darts Corporation by Gayle Farmer
– Bulls Eye News by Jay Tomlinson
– Dart Players Australia by Kevin Berlyn
– Crow’s Darts by Tim Cronian
– Philly Darts by Mike Broderick
– John Lowe’s Website by John Lowe
– American Darters Association by Glenn Remick
– Patrick Chaplin’s Website by Patrick Chaplin
– Cyberdarts by Rick Osgood
– Dart Base by Karlheinz Zochling
The first thing you may have noticed about the list is that there are eleven entries, not just ten as suggested in the title to this column. This is because I can’t count. If you’ve seen me throw darts you will appreciate that I am being completely honest about this.
Your second observation might be that the first two entries are for the only two sites created and run by women. Of course, this is by design and not meant in any way to denigrate the quality of the sites themselves. Both are amazing. I list them at the front end of the list only because I love fronts and ends.
Sherilyn Herkey created Passionate Darter a couple of years ago for some class she was taking about auto mechanics. She set out to design a web site about vintage cars. This is the result. She failed the course (of course, of course) but continued to follow her passion. She has catapulted her project into one of the more unique and interesting sites on the Web today. Buried here is an exhaustive listing of books about darts, dating back to the 1930’s, and tips on how to find them. There is also a collection of interviews including one with John Lowe that simply has to be among the best ever conducted.
The Professional Darts Corporation’s (PDC) site, Professional Darts Corporation, is simply out of this world and that’s not just because it’s, strictly technically speaking, based in another world. This site is as good as it gets for three reasons and they’re all Gayle Farmer. This woman can WRITE. I stop by the PDC site every morning to read whatever fresh news Farmer has to report on happenings at the apex of the world of darts. Here you can watch Phil Taylor’s 9-darter, read John Part’s outstanding discourse on practice and preparation and follow the rankings of the best of the best in our sport. You can even sign up to receive text alerts to your cell phone, in real time, of the scores of PDC competitions. About the only thing you won’t find here is my column. That’s because the PDC think’s I’m a sexist, vulgar scum-bag from America which is, again strictly technically speaking, true.
Of course, Jay Tomlinson’s (and Mike Harris’) Bulls Eye News is the electronic issue of Hustler Magazine. No. NO! That’s a filthy lie and another example of why the PDC won’t carry my column. Here’s something that is true: unlike Hustler publisher, Larry Flynt, Tomlinson is not running for governor of California. And here’s another fact: unlike Flynt’s garbage, Tomlinson’s site and magazine are worth reading — indeed a must-read — for anybody who cares about the sport of darts, steel or soft, national or international, professional or recreational. I check this site often for its up-to-date calendar of tournaments and results coverage. And I love columnist Dick Allix, who’s featured here. His most recent column began: “I want to talk about women.” Yep, Tomlinson’s site carries my kind of stuff. I highly recommend that you bookmark this page.
Australia’s Kevin Berlyn has to be considered The King when it comes to creativity in darts web site development. His site, Dart Players Australia, as creative as it is in its own right, has served as a launch pad for his talents. Today Berlyn’s skills are highly sought after throughout the darting community. For example, it is Berlyn who created John Lowe’s site. But Berlyn’s own site is more than just a creative package; it’s crammed with information about the Australian and international darts scene. I stop in regularly because I enjoy the tickle of indigenous words — like “Woolloomooloo” and “Cootamundra” — as they stir around in my head. These are the names of actual towns in Australia. The people in these towns throw darts and have platypuses for pets.
If there’s a more comprehensive site out there today than Alabama’s Tim Cronian’s Crow’s Darts I can’t imagine where it is to be found. There are also very few that have been around longer — Cronian’s site has been up and running for nearly a decade. Here you’ll find the most complete list of links to leagues to be found anywhere on the Internet. You’ll also find a compendium of almost 4,000 darts pubs to check out all over the world. If you’re looking for information on anything from equipment to ladders for organizing a Luck of the Draw this is the site to visit. This is also the only venue I know of where one can enjoy Lance Kent’s “Da Doofus” column about the sport. AND, it’s one of only a handful of sites where a visitor doesn’t have to cast about aimlessly for new content. Cronian has set up a little “update” icon that takes you immediately to the most recent additions.
What Mike Broderick has accomplished with Philly Darts is special – particularly to those darters who surf the Net from the center of the universe (translation: Philadelphia). Broderick’s 2001 creation has rapidly become The Place to Go if you live in Philly, love darts, and want to know what’s happening around you. And this is saying a lot. Philly’s an unusual place. Getting anyone in this city, particularly those involved in darts, to consider that anyone else might, just maybe, have a little information that could be useful to them is not the least bit easy to accomplish. But Broderick has. He hosts league information for five leagues in the city and updates league-related data weekly. He’s established a chat site which has mushroomed from mere local participation into a venue now frequented by darters from all over the world. His message forum is crammed with action. In but two years time more than 100,000 people have visited the site. I asked Broderick to what he credited his success. His answer was as simple as it was obvious. “The thing about my site is the people of Philadelphia. They are constantly giving me great content to publish. Without them the site would be blank.” The answer is that Broderick understands his audience.
I check John Lowe’s site, John Lowe’s Website , pretty much every day — even though (while it’s updated very often) it’s not exactly updated every day. Few sites are. The thing is, even knowing this, I check in religiously because I hope that it is. What I most appreciate about Lowe’s site is his News (and views) section. I ask you: where else with nothing but a click can one read commentary about current goings-on by someone who has been there and done it ALL in any sport and then click another button and correspond with that person? You can do all this and more at Lowe’s site. If you’ve got the time you can peruse a partial listing of his tournament victories — more than a thousand. You can watch Lowe’s televised 9-darter in 1984, the first ever — thrown two big, fat decades before Phil Taylor pegged his. This site is as unique as they come, packed to the gills with tips, quotes and tidbits that convey something very rare coming as they do straight from Da Man who, hopefully, will buy me a couple of jars for writing such nice things about him.
Nowhere is there a darts-related web site more unique than the one created by the Dr. of Darts, Patrick Chaplin at Patrick Chaplin’s Website. Where there are similarities between other sites, Chaplin’s venue is in a league of its own. Now here’s a bloke (translation: a dude from England) who is actually, formally (really!) writing his doctoral dissertation about the social history of darts in Britain. What this means, in real terms, I honestly don’t know. I think it might be a long paper about beer. Whatever it is or will be when it’s completed, Chaplin’s process of getting there (revealing the real history of darts) has produced some incredible revelations and “exploded some myths” — and a boatload of this information is to be found at his site. Damn, it makes for great reading! Perhaps you’ve heard the old story about how dart boards used to be made out of pig’s hair? Well, according to Chaplin this is not so. They were made out of hedgehog hair. Then there’s the old tale about how the Pilgrims threw darts on the Mayflower. No way Jose, not according to Chaplin. What the Pilgrims played was conkers. Want to know why the numbers are arranged as they are on the board, why the oche’s called the oche, how fast the average dart flies? Check this site out. The man’s a genius.
The American Darters Association (ADA) web site, American Darters Association, established by Glenn Remick, has been chugging along since 1997. And it just gets better and better. With the aim of keeping the burgeoning ADA membership current on goings-on within the league, Remick’s has designed a system whereby his franchisees are able to electronically transmit information to the ADA office. Remick then updates the site twice daily. So, unlike the rest of us who have to wait until the end of each week to see where we and our team stand (assuming our captain wasn’t too drunk to shove the score-sheet into a mailbox) members of the ADA can monitor their position at any given moment. What could possibly be more motivating for a weekly league shooter? Remick’s site is also the only electronic darts venue you’re going to see emblazoned with the logos of sponsors like Coca-Cola and Michelob.
Online since 1994, Rick Osgood’s Cyberdarts at Cyberdarts was created to “promote the sport and further communication between darters and darts organizations.” One would be hard-pressed to suggest Osgood has been anything but wildly successful. This is the original darts site — if not the first, one of the very first — and is certainly the only one of the handful in existence a decade ago that is still chugging along strong today. Osgood can fairly lay claim to having been instrumental in getting more than 75 darts organizations on-line — including the American Darts Organization (ADO), World Darts Federation (WDF) and even the ADA’s Remick. Perhaps the two most popular attractions at Cyberdarts are its online chat room and e-mail discussion forum which serve, every day, as essential gathering places for darters from all over the world to exchange views and information. Osgood blazed the trail for virtually every other darts-related site on the Internet today.
At Dart Base former Austrian national champion (1991), Karlheinz Zochling, just like Patrick Chaplin, has laid claim to a niche that nobody else on the Information Highway comes close to matching. Ever since appearing in 1996, Zochling’s site has been earning kudos for carrying what is probably the most detailed description of throwing mechanics publicly available today — but that’s not what sets it apart from all the others. Zochling’s focus is on coaching and the importance of the mental side of the game. His site features a classic article on slumps (“The First Slump”), a subject I haven’t seen addressed nearly so well elsewhere. I know for a fact that this single story has influenced several struggling players to hang in there and stick with the sport. If only to read this one column, Zochling’s site is worth a visit.
So there you have it, my Top Ten (plus one) places to rip off ideas from the Web. I pop into each of these sites at least every other day.
Of course, I recognize that this very knowledge might possibly have the effect of causing many of you who are reading this to steer in the opposite direction — as far away from these sites as possible. So, to Herkey, Farmer, Tomlinson, Berlyn and all the rest who have toiled away to create the excellent sites I have discussed: please accept my apology.
Let me also apologize to the creators of the many other fine web sites that exist out there. While I do tend to frequent most often the sites I have mentioned, there are many, many others that I visit regularly.
– World Darts Federation (WDF) at World Darts Federation
– American Darts Organization (ADO) at American Darts Organization
– Minute Man Dart League at Minute Man Dart League
– St. Charles Darts League at St. Charles Dart League
– Windy City Darters at Windy City Darters
– Tournament Darts International at Tournament Darts International
– Tidewater Area Darting Association at Tidewater Area Darts Association
– Cape Cod Darts League at Cape Cod Dart Leagueand
– Ville’s Darts Page at Ville’s Darts Page
If you have the time to click just once into this list I highly recommend a stop at the St. Charles Darts League site. Here you will find a one-of-a-kind column by a mystery woman named Phoebe. I love Phoebe!
Finally (yes, finally, unless you are interested in my list of the Top Ten Porn Sites in the WORLD — in which event I kindly ask that you send your phone number along with several 8” x 10” glossy photographs and a short video) there are just four more sites that you should check out. Yes, four. Sorry.
First, there’s Hooters. The fact notwithstanding that the mention of Hooters helps tie the end of this column back to the beginning, I refer all members of the male persuasion here for obvious reasons. The joint has great buffalo wings.
Second, go to the Golden Retriever Club of America. My dog, Bentley, loves the bitches here!
Third, you must visit Talk Like a Pirate. I suggest this for no particular reason. “Avast, matey! If ye a sicko ye might jus get a kick out of it. Arrrr! Arrrr!”
Finally, finally, FINALLY, if you’re more than just a sicko — if you’re a certified wack-job like me who loves the sport of darts and refuse to take life too seriously…
…I invite you to stop by EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE!
This is where I hang out when I’m not at Hooters.
From the Field,
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