Dart Board Set
up for Steel Tip Darts
by Frederick Everson
The Home Dart Board – Steel Tip
Setting up a Dart Board
A dart board does not require lots of space. You need enough ceiling height to accommodate the arc of the dart in flight, and about 10 feet of space in front of the board. The toe line – properly called “the hockey” is a distance of 7 feet 9 and one quarter inches from the face of the board (not the wall it’s mounted on). It takes an exceptionally low ceiling to interfere with a normally thrown dart, and I mention it only because I once played in a cellar pub where the ceiling was so low, my normal throw at double 20 hit the overhead. The center of the dart board should be at a height of 5 feet 8 inches off the floor. These measurements must be exact, and should they be off, the seasoned player will notice the discrepancy with his first throw.
Another consideration should be the wall the board is to be mounted upon. Drywall will not support the weight of a bristle board without using a drywall anchor. It will also readily show the results of errant darts. If you are renting, its a good idea to have a substantial backboard. And the more people you have playing, the bigger that backboard should be. A dart cabinet is a good investment. It gives protection from all but the worst thrown darts, while providing scoreboards and storage space for all your dart equipment.
If you do not have a dart cabinet, you will still need a score board. It should be located in close proximity to the dart board, and should be able to be seen from the hockey. Chalk boards serve well in pubs, but they make a lot of dust. A neater alternative for home use is a board that uses dry erase markers. Just be sure to keep a supply of markers on hand so that the game goes on uninterrupted should one marker run dry.
The next consideration should be related to inevitable bounce outs. Regardless of dart tip sophistication and the design quality of the dart board, some darts will drop to the floor. A carpeted surface will not hurt the dart, and vice versa. A hardwood floor will show the holes made by bounce outs, and add character to a dart room (unless you’re renting – then the holes will add to the amount of the deposit the landlord keeps when you leave). Concrete and tile will dull your dart points, causing more frequent bounce outs, and the harsh impact will also break shafts. Burrs on your points will also damage the dart board. My apartment has a tile floor, which I covered with a 4x8 sheet of panelling to protect my darts and the tiles. Cardboard and such will not stop a dart, and may even do more harm than good. Whatever you put down to protect your floor and your dart, make sure a thrown dart can’t penetrate it, or the resulting damage is apt to be exacerbated.