Ways to Grow Your Dart League
by Fred Everson
1. Make your league format friendly to the entry-level player. A multiple player game where veterans can support the new player is ideal. Our league did away with the team game, and I believe it was a mistake. It gave the less skilled player a chance to compete without as much pressure as exists in a singles or doubles match. Then we also opted to do away with the common sense approach to best two of three games to decide a match. Now we play all three games. What happens in an unequal contest, is that the lesser player has to pointlessly endure a third game after getting waxed in the first two. This format may be conducive to inflating the stats of the better players, but it is probably nothing but discouraging to entry level dart throwers. This would not apply to a league that has enough players to have separate divisions based on skill of players, but in a small league where the entry level players have to shoot with the top guns, keeping the playing field level requires some thought.
2. Have a good set of rules and bylaws in place and follow them.
3. Recognize the good play of new players. Have a rookie of the year award. Have another award for most improved player.
4. Make sure every place you play in maintains their dartboards and their scoreboards. Make sure the host bar supplies plenty of chalk and erasers, or marking pens and rags. Worn out boards that put a lot of points on the floor will add frustration to the game. So will scoreboards you canít write on or see whatís written on them from eight feet away. Make sure thereís a shelf for chalk and marking pens. Attending to small details like these make the game flow. And when the game flows its more fun and more relaxing, which in turn makes the beer flow. At least thatís what you tell the tavern owner when you try to get money for new equipment.
5. Host some less competitive events. Try a three-man team blind draw with entry-level players drawing for veterans. Competition is great, but way too many players lose sight of the real reason to play darts. Itís a game, and itís supposed to be fun. Winning is nice, but it ainít everything. I like being around other dart players, and I like playing the top guns best, so I can take a loss. Itís also important to help the entry-level player all you can with things like dart throwing form, strategy, and tactics. The game is a lot more fun and friendly for those who understand the subtleties.
If anybody else has thoughts on how to attract new players to darts, please click on feedback in the left-hand column of the home page and simply type in your message. I will be happy to post any appropriate comment.