Everything You Need to Know about Darts & Lawn Darts


On our site we have Lawn Darts that are an outdoor and larger version of the classic pub game darts. Darts is a popular game that is enjoyed by professional and amateur players on a regular basis. It seems like the game has always been around and it just always remains to be an extremely popular game. In this post, we will run through the origins of the game, the rules of darts and lawn darts and tell you about the lawn darts game we have available.

Origins of Darts

Darts is one of the oldest established English pub games which, since the late 1970s, has become one of the most popular sports in the world.

As far as the origins of the game are concerned, javelins, crossbow bolts and archery have all been considered. Of these the most likely scenario is that the game has its roots in archery. Indeed, glance back to the earliest type of dartboards and you will see that these were concentric targets – miniature forms of the archery target. Moreover, darts is most commonly known as ‘arrows.’ Some would say that these two points alone are sufficient to confirm our sports heritage.

Up until the early part of the 20th century, darts existed in disparate forms across parts of England, the only matches taking place being either ‘in-house’ or friendly matches between pubs which were close to each other. (The cost of transport was prohibitive at that time.) However, after World War 1, the first brewery leagues appeared and grew to such an extent that, by 1924, the seeds had been sown for the establishment of a national darts association. The News of the World competition was established in London in the 1927/28 season and by the end of the 1930s had expanded to cover, by region, most of England. The total entrants in the competition in 1938/39 was in excess of 280,000.

Such was the take up of darts by the brewers and the dart-playing public that, by the 1930s, it had become a popular national recreation in England and parts of Wales, played by all classes, often ousting existing pubs games such as skittle and rings. Darts playing boosted morale in the forces during the Second World War being played in the Officer’s Mess and PoW camps alike. Darts was standard issue in the NAAFI sports pack. American soldiers visiting British shores took darts home with them and generated substantial interest in this ‘olde Englishe’ game in the US which up until then was little played in that country.

The News of the World Individual Darts Championship was revived in 1947/48, this time on a national basis, and continued to be described as ‘the championship every dart player wants to win’ until its demise in the 1990s. The 1950s and 1960s were periods when darts maintained a fairly low profile even though participant levels were still extremely high. The NDAGB was undertaking sterling work both in establishing county leagues and organising top competitions such as the NODOR Fours. The 1960s saw darts on TV for the first time and through the work of the British Darts Organisation (BDO), established in 1973, and the introduction of split screen technology darts really took a hold of Britain and then, it seemed, the rest of the planet.

The 1970s and 1980s witnessed the first darts ‘stars’ such as Eric Bristow, John Lowe, Alan Evans, Jocky Wilson, Leighton Rees, Cliff Lazarenko becoming household names. The establishment of the Professional Darts Corporation PDC (initially the World Darts Council (WDC)) following the ‘great split’ of 1993 took darts in a new direction. This has resulted in the introduction of key, high profile competitions including the World Matchplay, Grand Prix and the World Championship. The innovative UK Open has proved that the organisation are earnest in their plegde to take the sport to new heights.

Origins of Lawn Darts

Research has indicated that Lawn Darts were first introduced around the end of the 1950’s. Popular with the privileged few who could afford pastime luxuries with the added bonus of having a lawn in their back garden. The game was a little ahead of its time as there weren’t all of the popular yard games around like we have today. The first game sets were designed with 4 darts and 2 targets. The 4 darts were made with a heavy metal pointed tip that would allow them to stick into the ground without bouncing around.

The game rose to popularity in the early to mid 1980s and it became one of the most popular yard games around. Unfortunately, due to numerous accidents, the game was banned in the United States. Although, the modern version of Lawn Darts games are now made from more suitable materials like plastic so that the game can still be fun but more importantly it is now safer for everyone to play.

Rules of Darts

There are many games that can be played on a dartboard, but darts generally refers to a game whereby the player throws three darts per visit to the board with the goal of reducing a fixed score, commonly 501 or 301, to zero (“checking out”), with the final dart landing in either the bullseye or a double segment. A game of darts is generally contested between two players, who take turns. Each turn consists of throwing three darts. When two teams play, the starting score is sometimes increased to ‘701’ or even ‘1001’; the rules remain the same.

A throw that reduces a player’s score below zero, to exactly one, or to zero but not ending with a double is known as “going bust”, with the player’s score being reset to the value prior to starting the turn, and the remainder of the turn being forfeited. A darts match is played over a fixed number of games, known as legs. A match may be divided into sets, with each set being contested as over a fixed number of legs.

Although playing straight down from 501 is standard in darts, sometimes a double must be hit to begin scoring, known as “doubling in”, with all darts thrown before hitting a double not being counted.

The minimum number of thrown darts required to complete a leg of 501 is nine. The most common nine dart finish consists of two 180 maximums followed by a 141 checkout (T20-T19-D12), but there are many other possible ways of achieving the feat. Three 167s (T20-T19-Bull) is considered a pure or perfect nine dart finish by some players.

Rules of Lawn Darts

In Traditional Lawn Darts, points are scored when a dart lands in the target area. Usually if a player from each team lands a dart in the target, the scores cancel each other (so if Team A got 2 darts into the target, and Team B got 1 in, Team A would get 1 point and Team B would get 0). Also, some versions of Lawn darts include a smaller “bulls-eye” ring for additional points.

The winner is the player with the most points once you have played all of the rounds.

Lawn Darts from Garden Games

Product Code: 14

Price: £22.95

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