The dartboard is, without a doubt, a popular spot in a bar. If you love it, then you can continue the fun at home, especially since you only need a few dollars for a board and some space in your man cave or basement.
Before you know it, you will be polishing your skills and wowing your pals at the bar.
There are official rules on how a dartboard should be set up and this includes the distance between the board and where you should stand.
While setting up your own board at home does not need to follow these rules, you might hone your skills better following the mandated distance. But before planning where to put the board and marking the standing line, you will need to make sure your board has enough space.
Playing darts itself does not need so much space, but remember that darts can be dangerous. The last thing you want is for someone to be hit by a ricocheting dart, so make sure your playing space is roomy enough.
Dart games can be dangerous because of the sharp objects that you are throwing across the room. This is why you do not want anything in the vicinity, especially seats or couches where people can get accidentally hit.
A corner is your best bet, one where there are few people passing by. Of course, the throwing area should also have enough space.
Official Height and Distances of Dart Boards
If you find yourself lacking space in your basement or man cave, you can make your dartboard playing area smaller. It will, however, affect your game as you might find your performance on a dartboard following the official distances worse.
If you really want to be good at the game, you should set up your board the way it is meant to be set up.
Once you have identified the spot to place your dartboard, it is time to start measuring. You need a measuring tape to make sure you have an accurate position. Fortunately, there is only one standard for all dart game organizations worldwide, so you do not need to get confused.
The first thing to do is to mount your board at the right height. The official regulations state that it should be 5 feet, 8 inches (or 1.73 meters) from the ground. The measurements are applicable to both steel-tipped and plastic-tipped darts.
Another important thing to remember is that the measurements do not start at the bottom of the board and instead, it begins at the center or the bullseye. You might also want to ask a friend to help you out in holding the board so you can measure accurately.
2. Distance From The Board
This is where you figure out the answer to the question, “how far should you be standing from a dartboard?” Once you have the first part figured out, you will need to mark where you (and your competitors) should be standing while playing.
This spot is called the oche (pronounced like the ockey in jockey). Evening out the throwing distance means no one is at an unfair advantage during the (friendly) competition. Plus, you will base your technique on the distance, so following the worldwide regulations will mean you can throw just as good wherever you are.
There are different standards for steel-tipped and plastic-tipped darts when it comes to the throwing distance. The first is 7 feet, 9 and ¼ inches (or 2.37 meters) away from the surface of the dartboard. While for plastic-tipped darts, you need to be an even 8 feet (or 2.4384 meters) away.
Take note that the measurements do not start at the wall, and instead, you need to consider the thickness of the dartboard. Simply add these values (most boards are 1 and ½ inches thick) when measuring.
3. Distance From The Bullseye
Another way to determine the right distance is to measure from the bullseye itself to the oche, forming a diagonal line. The international standard distance is 9 feet, 7 and 3/8 inches (or 2.98 meters).
Marking the Oche
The oche, or the throwing line, is the closest spot to the dartboard allowed when throwing the dart. This means, you are not actually allowed to cross it, even if it is just the torso or your arms going over.
Doing so is considered illegal in governing boards all over the world. This is because it shortens the throwing distance and puts you at an advantage over those who do not go over the oche. Thus, make sure you stick to the oche to ensure a fair game at all times.
This means marking your throwing line is important. In most instances, using duct tape to mark the spot is enough, especially in places where dartboard games are casual and non-professional.
While going over the oche is considered officially illegal, there is no need for friends to start fights over it. Instead, it is a guide to follow.
On the other hand, professional games and bars take the oche more seriously, which is why they use a thin piece of wood to mark the spot. This is normally attached directly onto the floor and is about 1 and ½ inches high. This makes it easier to monitor whether people are going over the throwing line or not.
Some dart board sets are available that include a dart mat made of durable vinyl material. They can be easily unrolled and are about 10 feet long and 3 feet wide. It has the printed oches for both steel-tipped and plastic-tipped darts, so you do not have to make the effort of measuring.
Just make sure the mat is placed against the wall where your dartboard is mounted. The best thing about it is, it keeps the game fair and your dartboard looks much more professional. Lastly, the mat provides additional protection for your floor in case the darts are flying around the room.
A dartboard is definitely one of the cool must-haves in a man cave or basement. Setting it up is not that difficult, especially when you follow this guide to setting it up. So how far do you stand from a dart board? 7’ 9¼” away.
If you haven't purchased the dartboard yet, here is our handy article and buying guide to help you navigate the learning curve
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