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LEAGUE PLAY

Darts Leagues are similar to bowling leagues, or even softball leagues. There are many variations, but the following is a general overview that applies to most leagues.

Leagues may be run by a group of volunteers, or the league may be run as a business. A group of players, (usually from 4 to 8) form each team, who play one night a week for a season, which may run from 8 to 40 weeks in length. During the season, each team normally plays each of the other teams several times.

In some areas, each team member must join a Darts Association, paying annual dues of $5-$25. This entitles you to participate in league activities, get the newsletter, if any, and sometimes get a patch, pin, or shirt with the assn. logo.

Each team sometimes have to pay a team fee every season, ($10 to $75) which goes towards paying the statistician, printing scoresheets, buying trophies, jackets, etc. In many cases, the team fee is paid for by the sponsoring bar, that is, the pub at which the team plays darts. The bar will also often provide team shirts, imprinted with the bar logo and team name.

Some leagues also have nightly fees, or player fees. These are usually in the $2 to $5 per night range, and is normally paid back at the end of the season as prize money, or as perks such as a major party, pre-paid trip to an out-of-town tournament, or as jackets. (One soft-tip league in Texas gives every member a 4-day trip to Las Vegas at the end of the season. They fill an entire chartered plane once each year!)

If several bars participate in the League, then play is usually Home-and-Away, meaning that you play at your home bar every other week, and visit at the other teams' bars the alternate weeks. Some leagues, called In-House Leagues, play all games at just one location.

Leagues in most areas play on weekday evenings, although there are quite a few local exceptions. Typical start time is 8pm, with play normally lasting from 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours. Play consists of a variety of games of '01 and sometimes Cricket, with Singles, Doubles, and Team matches usually played. Don't be afraid to join a league, due to lack of skill... Most leagues are split into divisions, of different skill levels, or have some sort of hanicapping system to level the field.

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