hist-games: Darts

Alexx S Kay alexx at world.std.com
Mon Nov 17 14:43:13 PST 1997


The following was snatched from the Alt.Sports.Darts FAQ 
(http://coombs.anu.edu.au/~chris/faq_20/title.html)
and is attributed to by Geoff Gant (softly at pncl.co.uk): 

'Darte' was referred to in 1314, but probably not the game we know. 
1901 was the first recorded reference to the game that we know. 
Legend has it that the Pilgrim Fathers played a form of darts, 
 and Edmond Carl Hady of Pennsylvania states that they played 'butts' - 
 throwing short arrows into the butt of a wine cask. 
In 1896 Brian Gamlin from Lancashire designed the current numbering system. 
John Reader of Sussex recorded the first 180 in 1902. 
Oche is an old French verb meaning to notch or nick and is dated well 
 before the advent of darts. 
In 1908 in Portsmouth, three beer crates from S. Hockey & Sons were put 
 end to end (9 feet) to mark the throwing line hence 'Toe the Hockey'. In 
 1911 Petrie Brewers took over Hockeys, and new crates of 2 feet were 
 introduces. Four of these gave a throw of 8 feet. 
In 1898 an American patented a folded paper flight. 
In 1906 a Yorkshireman patented an all metal barrel. 
In December 1977 The World Darts Federation recommended a throwing distance 
 of 7' 9 1/4". Up till then there were many different rules:
     South Africa 9': 
     Nottingham 6': 
     Norfolk 6' 6": 
     Newcastle 7' 3": 
     Stoke 7' 1":
     Some Norfolk leagues threw from 6' 11.9" (9 foot diagonal to the bull!!) 

Alexx

Alexx at world.std.com
http://world.std.com/~alexx
"What will we do when they come?"
  "See if we can sell Mom and Dad into slavery for a star cruiser."
[Calvin & Hobbes]

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