You really like the game of darts and bought a dartboard to enjoy it at your home or just to get some practice without spending money at the pub. It is fun to play and requires components that come at the fractional cost of other pub games like pool or table soccer. All that is left is to set it up on the wall, call some of your best buds and bring a crate of your favorite beer.
But before the fun starts, you need to set up the dartboard properly to reap most of its benefits. For starters, you need a medium to large sized room. A garage or even the attic may be the perfect fit. But for the rest of the tips for setting up the room, you will have to go through this guide. Here, you will learn about the simple steps can take to have the ultimate dartboard setup with official measurements, flooring and even mounting options.
Setting up shop
Finding the right location for a game like darts is not an easy task. Things can go wrong in a matter of seconds if you don’t take some precautions. The walls and floors should be protected, there should be a separate place for spectators and players, and the playing area should be child protected.
To help you with these precautions, here is a list of things which you should keep in mind when bringing the famous pub game to your house.
Figuring out the space
To begin with, the first thing you need to do is make an estimate of how many of your friends will come to play and adjust the playing area according to that. The playing space should not be restrained by furniture or any other obstacles and it should be at least 7 feet wide and 12 feet long. So, even if some friends of friends come, you don’t run out of place.
Darts is a very popular game and you’ll meet a lot of new people once you have a dedicated room for it. You need to take this into account before arranging everything. Additionally, on the wall beside the place where you’ll hang the dartboard, make sure you have some space for scorecard. It should be in the line of sight for everyone and right in the face of the suckers who dared challenge you and are now at the bottom.
Dealing with warped floors
Crooked floor is a weird concept – we never really pay attention to what’s underneath our feet. But it’s not uncommon – floor may get warped over time or due to water if the flooring is wooden. Concrete floors are less likely to be twisted, but there is no harm in checking it out too.
The bottom line is – nobody wants to play on crooked floor. No matter how close your friends and family are to you, they’ll not play darts on a warped floor. They are spooky and generally uncomfortable to stand on, so make sure that your floor is level.
The extent of warping on your floor will determine your next step. In the worst-case scenario, you might have to change the entire flooring – but that is highly unlikely. Often, these floors can be fixed by using carpets, door mats and cardboard.
Don’t worry, the dream is still on, and now we will move on to the next step.
Darts mats and flooring materials
You don’t have to change the flooring of your house to play darts (can you imagine though? That would make it more expensive than golf!) But if you have the budget, why not go for it? It may not be an option for all of us, but for those of you who are still reading, custom floors are your best option.
The life of your darts will depend on the type of flooring you choose. Nobody wants to keep replacing them after every two weeks. Some floor materials will damage your darts and they will lose their sharpness. The bull’s eye you just hit will be nothing when the dart is on the floor.
If you can’t change the flooring, get a dart mat, which is nothing but a roll out rubber sheet that will greatly reduce the fall damage of the darts. Not everybody you are going to play with will hit the board. There will always be that one guy who will smash the darts into the wall or the floor. Concrete floors will break the darts and darts will puncture the wooden ones, carpets will fade away due to foot traffic and vinyl ones are prone to get holes.
So, no matter what type of flooring you have, it is probably not good enough. You must get a dart mat to properly enjoy the game.
Furnishing the room
Now that you have a proper spacious room and appropriate floors, you can start thinking about hanging the dartboard. The dartboard must be hung in a safe and isolated place. You don’t want to keep it near a door or a window. Remember that friend who smashed your darts into the wall? He’ll smash them into the window too.
Anything that is fragile and breakable has to stay out of the room at all costs. You don’t want to cut yourself while clearing the broken glass in your gaming lounge. So, throw out anything that is breakable before nailing this board into the wall. Also, keep in mind that the board shouldn’t be nailed where have to pass in front of it when they must go somewhere. You don’t want to keep pausing every time someone wants a drink or has to go home.
It is also natural that you will be drinking when playing darts – it is, after all, a pub game. Remember – drunk people are the least cautious and accurate, so make sure the fridge (if you have one) and exit are directly opposite to the dartboard. It’ll reduce the chances of injury.
Protect the wall
You are planning to get drunk and play darts, so it’ll be wise to get some protective cover for your wall. Darts will not always hit the board, so buy a wooden block or cabinet to place behind it. Depending on your budget, you can buy something cheap or extremely expensive. The goal is to safeguard the wall and surrounding area.
A 3 x 4 inches of wooden block with 1.5 inches of thickness will be enough to create a protective layer. I’d recommend you not to spend a lot of money on these things as they’ll wear out quickly and will need replacement. A piece of foam will also get the job done, but it’ll fall apart and create a mess every time you hit it.
Plywood or cork cabinets may be your best options, they are very cheap and can be bought at any local shop.
Do Read: Throw Darts Like a Pro
Hanging and Markings of the Board
Rules are the foundation of any game and measurements their distant cousin. Without correct measurements, the optimal level of challenge may increase or decrease and you may end up playing a completely different game that has no similarity with the popular dart game found in most pubs.
To ensure the setup is optimal, you need a large enough space that fits the measurements mentioned below, and leaves extra room for future customization.
Height from the floor
According to International Standards and Regulations, the bull’s eye or center of your dartboard should be exactly 5 feet and 8 inches above the floor. For readers on the other side of the Atlantic, it is 1.73 meters. It is better to measure the dart board itself before any mounting attempts, since its radius makes up a portion of the height.
Horizontal Throw Line Distance
Soft tip and steel tip dart boards have extremely minute differences between their throw line distance. For soft tip dart boards, it is 8 ft or 2.44 meters and this measurement decreases by ¾ inches or 0.07 meters when it comes to steel tip dartboards.
A common mistake people often make is that they measure this distance from the wall till the throw line, instead of measuring it from the face of the dartboard. You can measure the thickness of the dartboard and then add that into your calculations while measuring throwing line distance from the wall.
Diagonal Throw Line Distance
This method involves measuring throwing line distance from the bull’s eye diagonally, instead of horizontally. The difference in distance still exists between electronic board (soft tip dartboard) and steel tip dartboard. For steel tip dart boards this diagonal distance should be 9 feet 7 ⅜ inches or 2.93 meters and for soft tip dartboards it should be 9 feet 9 ½ inches or 2.98 meters.
To accurately measure this distance, you’ll need someone to hold one end of measuring tape at the bull’s eye so you can take the other end to the front of throw line.
Throw distance for ladies
Darts is an interesting game and is equally appealing for everyone, irrespective of their age and gender. So, there is no surprise that even women love playing darts. Very often, the question arises “Should the throwing distance be same for men and women?” and the answer is yes. In international tournaments the board is kept at the same distance for everyone.
However, there are many local darts leagues in the world, especially in the UK, who keep less throwing distance for women. For our friends over the lake, the rules may be difference, but in the US, the distance does not change. Make sure you use this knowledge when you are entertaining your lady friends.
Dartboard setup for especially abled people
For people in wheelchairs, the height to throw darts at the target is not the same as a standing player. So, to resolve this issue, you should note that a dartboard height of 137 cm for wheelchair players is equivalent to a dartboard height of 173 cm for standing players.
How to mount the board
You have cross checked everything, distances have been measured, protective covers have been bought, there are no doors and windows, and you have the perfect location for your game. Now it’s time to mount everything. You’ll need a drill, screwdriver, pencil and a measure tape. Oh – and the instructions! Here they are:
Mounting the back cover
Mark the position of the bull’s eye on the wall and start working according to it. The dart board is supposed to be at the center of this back cover. So, assuming that your board is square, drill all the four corners with a nail each into the wall. Use more nails if you have to, but stabilize it properly. Make sure that the top edge of this cover has a U opening, if it does not, cut it out yourself. We’ll need this opening to hang the dart board.
Mounting the board
Drill a three to a four-inch nail into the wall above the U opening on the back cover. Hang your dart board from this nail and make sure there is no air gap between the board and the cover. Once it is in the perfect position, use more nails around the U opening to stabilize it even further.
Mounting the scoreboard
Get a small white board from Amazon or any local shop. It will come with its own hanging setup; all you have to do is drill the nails into the wall at least 3 feet away from the back cover and you are good to go.
The only thing missing now is a small cooler or fridge to keep the drinks cold. Get it and your personal gaming lounge is ready.
Making a gaming room in the house is not an easy task, but if you can get permission to build it from your wife or girlfriend, it will be a dream come true. This room will give you and your friends countless memories for years to come.
You no longer need to go to the bar to enjoy a game of darts, you can create a setup within your room. And who knows, you can even charge your friends for it, once you show how amazing and chill it is (we kid, just a little). So, what are you waiting for? Go on and start setting up your gaming lounge today!