Has it ever happened to you that you spend days on end practicing and throwing darts at your new dart board home, you start to score well, you feel really good about your game, only to go to the pub or a friends games room and your game feels wrong? Your darts are missing the treble 20 by some distance. This is probably because you have been practising on a dart board that was set-up incorrectly, or your friends dart board is set-up incorrectly – the dart board height and distance from the throw line is wrong.
As you practice repeatedly, be it throwing a dart, a knife, or even a rock, it’s not your brain (well, not just the brain) that learns and memorizes, it’s your muscles. And if you practice on a board that’s 12 feet away, you’ll get it perfect eventually, but it won’t help you on a regulation dartboard. This is the same with the dart board height from the floor. You will get used to playing on a certain height board if you practice enough.
How Far Do You Stand From the Dart Board
So, to avoid having to always pay for rounds of beer at the pub, here’s what you’ll want to do – you want to set-up your dartboard at home properly. To do that, you need three points – the bullseye, the point on the floor right below the bullseye (we’ll get to that later) and the oche (aka toe line or throw line).
If we want to get all technical about it, the correct measures are proscribed by three major governing bodies – to the World Darts Federation (WDF), the British Darts Organization (BDO) and Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), so it doesn’t get more official than that. Here they are:
- Height (ground to bullseye) – 5 feet 8 inches (5’8″), or 173 cm.
- Distance (ground to oche) – 7 feet 9 & a quarter inches (7’9¼”), or 237 cm
- Distance (bullseye to oche) – 9 feet 7 & a half inches (9’7½”), or 293 cm.
Dart Board Distance From The Wall
From the above you can see the official dart board distance from the wall is 7ft 9 1/4 inches. Here’s the deal, though – you’ll find different varieties round the world, which will have either different board heights or throw-line distances, but the majority of boards will follow these general guidelines. The biggest difference you’ll see is between the steel tip and soft tip dart board set-ups, where the former will have a regulation dartboard as we outlined above, and the latter will increase the distance to 8 feet between the front of the board and throw line.
Speaking of which, this is where you need to pay attention. When we speak of the ground point to oche point distance, we’re not talking about the distance between the wall and the toe line. This is the horizontal distance between the front end of the board and the front end of the toe line. In other words, it is the distance from the wall to the toe line, just minus the thickness of the board, and it’s important to keep it like this because boards can vary wildly in thickness.
You can use a simple device called an Ochemate, which was specifically designed for this, or just a plain old tape measure, just make sure you remember to measure it from the front of the board, not the wall, and you’ll be safe. Speaking of safe, here are some tips and tricks on how to set up your dartboard.
Dart Board Set-Up
- 1 – Set-up using the correct Dart board height and distance!
- 2 – set-up in an area where there’s enough place for people who are not playing to move around. If your man cave hasn’t got enough room, clean it up and make some!
- 3 – You’ll want a nice big carpet and/or wooden floor. If you’ve got tiles, or worse yet, concrete, this could damage the darts that bounce out, and there’ll be plenty of those. Better still, get yourself a dart matt.
- 4 – Make sure you have enough lighting, for obvious reasons.
- 5 – If at all possible, place the board in a dartboard cabinet, to protect the wall. Short of that, you could put a makeshift protection – you’ll need one piece of 4×4 plywood, quarter-inch thick, a couple of 10-inch pine sticks, some angular brackets, screws, circular saw and an angle grinder (or just sand paper). Also, get about three yards of green felt to give it a nice pub-like feel.