Column #203 An Open Letter to the Santa Cruz County Darts Association
November 17, 2005
An Open Letter to the Santa Cruz County Darts Association
TO: Keith Albertson, Commissioner (firstname.lastname@example.org); Charlie McClain, President (email@example.com); Nicole Smith, Secretary/Treasurer (firstname.lastname@example.org), Abel Romero, Statistician (email@example.com); Roger Champieux, Public Relations Representative (firstname.lastname@example.org); Rob West, Pub Representative (email@example.com); Rob Christensen, A League Representative (firstname.lastname@example.org); and Julie Miller, B League Representative (email@example.com)
DATE: November 17, 2005
RE: The World Series of Darts
Hi. My name is Paul Seigel. I write the Dartoid’s World column.
Perhaps you are aware of the short blurp below, from one of your members, that was recently published in the Sentinel. With all due respect to the writer, the comments reflect quite negatively on the Santa Cruz County Darts Association.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I can’t argue with that.
It’s just a shame that such an uninformed opinion as this is associated with your fine organization.
As a group “dedicated to promoting” the steel-tip game, I urge you (and I will urge others to urge you) and the Santa Cruz County Darts Association to publicly separate yourself from what has been published.
From the Field,
Dart games on reality TV miss the mark, by a longshot
I would like to offer an argument against a dart tournament as Reality TV to succeed the World Series of Poker.
Joe Rhodes of the New York Times had an article in the Sentinel Page B2, Sunday, Oct. 23 in which he said that ESPN is going to hold a World Series of Darts sometime next spring and broadcast a series of eight hour-long episodes, probably in July.
This is a bad idea.
Before I go ahead and prove that it’s a bad idea, maybe I should establish my bona fides. I am a dart player. I am a perpetual member of the Santa Cruz County Darts Association. I also have played for the local soft-tip dart league. I might be considered a dart fanatic. I play darts every week. Used to play darts every day, but a bum hip has cramped my style and I don’t do it that often any more. I have written a handbook for dart players Don “Tiger” Wilson’s Handy Handbook of Hot Tips for Playing Darts.
I once worked as scorekeeper for the American Darts Organization U.S. national championships.
I am not the greatest dart player on the local scene. I am mediocre enough that other dart players have been known to applaud when I enter a pub — in anticipation of finally having somebody they can beat.
But I know good dart entertainment when I see it, and international-champion-level darts is not it.
The American Dart Organization plays only one type of dart game. The proposed World Series of Darts would play only that same one game. It’s called “501.” In this game, a player starts out with 501 points. He or she then throws darts at a dart board, three darts per turn, to make points.
The dart board is divided into 20 numbered divisions, like a pie, with a bull’s eye in the middle. The bull’s eye is divided into a little round circle with another circle around it; the little round circle counts 50 points; the bigger circle counts 25 points. All the 20 pie-shaped pieces are divided so that there’s a “double” ring around the outside edge and a “triple” ring somewhere around the middle. If a dart hits one of the two major parts of one of the divisions say, the 20 the player gets that number of points in this case, 20. If the dart hits the double ring, the player gets 40 points; the triple ring, 60 points. So it’s possible to get 180 points by hitting the triple ring of the 20 division with all three darts. It’s also possible to get only 3 points if you really goof it up and hit the single 1 three times.
These points are subtracted from the original 501 points. This continues until the player has exactly zero points.
Whoever gets there first wins the game.
What makes it difficult is that the dart that brings the total to zero has to hit a double of some number.
When people of my skill level play 501, it can be really thrilling, because I darn near never hit the number that I’m throwing at. This results in a constantly changing game strategy. The game stays exciting until somebody finally hits that crucial double number.
With championship-level dart players, it’s different. While guys at my level rarely hit what they’re throwing at with all three darts, guys at the championship level almost never miss.
You can’t imagine how dull it can be to watch a couple of guys alternate in throwing three triple 20s all evening. And if they happen to miss the triple 20, they just throw a bull’s eye to even things out and go on from there, throwing triple 20s again.
The one thing that might save the proposed world Series of Darts from utter boredom is a factor mentioned by Mr. Rhodes in his Times article.
It’s watching the raucous, funny-looking, beer-drinking, loud-talking nature of the people who will be watching the dart tournaments. This might really be fun as a diversion from actually watching the guys throwing darts.
But I don’t know how much of that any of us could take.
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