Daily Archives: June 8, 2009

Women of Philadelphia English Dart League

Women of Philadelphia English Dart League (WOPEDL)

Contribution by: Gail Flaherty: President and Joyce Hamilton: Vice President – 2004

“Our league is in North East Philadelphia, Fishtown and the surrounding area.

We have sixty five members on ten teams. The league has been around for twenty eight years and the majority of the women have been members for a long time but it’s been a while since we’ve had a new team of women. Our members are working class, over thirty, beer drinkers, middle to lower income, most women hold jobs and are married.

We have two divisions now but we used to have A, B, C, and D. Our division 1 is Philly’s better women shooters.

There is a women’s advanced league that is separate from us so we don’t need a division for better players and although some of our members play in that league we are not affiliated with them.

We have eight board members: four Officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer; and four board members who serve as a grievance committee who are voted on every two years. They handle grievances unless it comes from within their division, then I call captains from another division. No one is paid but officers do not have to pay dues. We haven’t had a grievance in over three years.

We have people from the Quaker City English Dart League who volunteer to help us when ever we need it. Our Treasurer has been in office since the league started and the person who was President before me was President eighteen years.

Captains are selected when nobody else wants to do it. There isn’t anything specific to be a captain and the duties are spelled out in the by-laws.

We have dues of $50 per year for members and sponsor fee is $20.00 per month or $160.00 season.

Under the umbrella of the QCEDL we are associated with the American Dart Organization (ADO). Being new officers we’ve been looking at whether things done in the past have been the right thing to do, but we don’t want to change a whole lot of things right away. We work closely with the QCEDL and the Women’s Advanced Singles League.

Our rules are six pages which cover playing situations and six pages of by-laws which cover positions definitions, dues, objectives, and duties of board members.

Start time is the most troublesome rule to enforce. Getting our division 2 teams to start a match before 9:30 is difficult. Out of the six teams in that division there are three teams who are always there early and three teams who don’t walk into the bar until 8:30 so by the time they get situated it’s quarter till nine . We changed our forfeit time so it is now 8:30.

We don’t have a whole lot of problems that would make us enforce the rules. When things come up at meetings we handle those things right then and there. We’ve had chats with captains and if that doesn’t work the rule says the team can forfeit the thirteen games. That’s the difference between women being social shooters and serious shooters. We would kick out a team that wouldn’t follow the rules. That has happened where a whole team was banned for two years.

Sponsors just have to pay the dues, set up the dart board and lighting, and make sure the women aren’t bothered by patrons when they are playing.

The captain decides who will play. The ideal is to have four girls who will show up, that way every one plays the same number of games. There is a maximum number of games a girl can play and it is nine, and there’s a rule the requires every one there gets to play.

We play thirteen games: 4, 501; 6, 301; 3 cricket, one and done. We play on Monday nights and the captain decides who will play. The ideal is to have four girls who will show up, that way every one plays the same number of games except for the last cricket. A girl can play a maximum of nine games, and there’s a rule that requires that every one there gets to play.

We have a traveling league and I, the President, do the scheduling. I just go by my calendar and fill in the dates. We use a website that tells how to schedule, when we need it.

We hold six scheduled meetings a year to get score sheets, collect dues and talk about what ever comes up. Sometimes they only last ten minutes. As little as we are if someone misses a meeting they are penalized five points and if a team misses three meetings they are gone, and that is enforced.

We know how well everyone plays so we know which team to put in which division, even if girls switch teams.

Last year I sent out flyers to bars in the city and all the women on the rosters of QCEDL thinking I’d get responses. We didn’t and we’re hurting for players. I know it is not the league itself. I think it’s because people just can’t afford to go out. We used to run Bring a Friend shoot we called an inter divisional shoot, but everybody brought someone who was already playing so that didn’t help.

We contact the membership through our captains or call them on the phone. Standings go by email unless they don’t have a computer, then they are snail mailed, and the standings are posted on the QCEDL website.

We have a place on Phillydarts.com website where we post our standings or a luck of the draw, or anything extra.

Our planning covers a whole season. We need more members and we want to run some dart shoots because I really think people might come to them in Philly. We have a goal of getting the girl friend shoot back where a member brought somebody who didn’t play the game and they were your partner. We have been asked to have instructions for our members but we haven’t done it yet. We have a couple of girls who likes to grip, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s still aggravating.

Our hall of fame is under the QCEDL so another one would just be a duplication of effort.

We are going to recruit new sponsors with the help of a bar owner who is going to take us around and introduce us to other bar owners who might be interested. We aren’t going to bother mailing flyers again. We’re not going to recruit more board members because if they are like us we’ll just but heads and we don’t need that, lol.

We have a banquet once per year where we present individual awards: President’s award for great improvement, Diane Lucera Maier award for dedication to the sport and sportsmanship and we have trophies for ton eighties, ton seventy ones, and high on and off and middle. Then every one receives a trophy and certificates for weekly high on and high off.

We have a very good time on our dart night. It’s a shame that more women don’t realize they need that one night a week out with the girls. So many women give up their whole life to raising their kids and taking care of their home and they forget about taking care of themselves and loose who they are. Just the night away is probably the best thing about our league.

It is really fun and we have a great time on Monday night. We are best friends.

Info about our league is found on Phillydarts.com”

South Jersey English Dart Association

South Jersey English Dart Association (SJEDA)

Contribution by Steve (Secretary) and Nicole (Treasurer) Schoener- 2004

Mt. Royal New Jersey is the center place of the league and it covers Swedesboro, Paulsboro, National Park, Westville, and Deptford.

22 Teams 147 members. Lost a couple of teams when previous officers left the league two years ago. 60 are now playing in the summer league. There were 25 new shooters this past year.

We have one member that is seventeen, he‘s allowed to play, to people all the way up to in their seventies. There is not a typical person. There are seventeen women, one hundred thirty men, different races, different religions, we cut across a little bit of everything.

We have four divisions that are A through D. The better shooters are in A, the newer shooters are in D. A lot of the teams in the lower divisions could have played in higher divisions this year. There was close parity from the way the system was set up.

We have a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and seven Executive Committee members who are appointed by the President.

We have a committee that works on our banquet and things like that. They are Executive committee members.

This is the first time we’ve had a change in directors since the two previous people took over the league back in 1975, I think it was, so we hope to give it a good run. The people are asked every year if they want to run and there is an election so we’ll just have to see how it goes.

We are not associated with any national organization but do work with a couple of area leagues on tournaments and things like that. Vineland, Cumberland County and Atlantic County leagues. When we have a big shoot we get a hold of everybody, even the Quaker City Dart League and try to make it fun for everybody. We have a working relationship with a couple of other leagues just because we shoot in those other leagues and we’ll bounce ideas off them.

We have member dues, $50 a person, and sponsor fees, $100 plus the $50 forfeit fee. The sponsor can take the forfeit fee back at the end of the year, or roll it over in the escrow account for the next year.

We did a 50/50 this year and we did a couple of shoots in different bars with 50/50s in those where half the money went to the players and half went to the league. We are a nonprofit so we are allowed to have 50/50s.

We have rules: seventeen sections. The most troublesome of the things was – we had in the by-laws where people could postpone a match and there were some people postponing the postponements and things got a little out of hand. There is one rule with a specific penalty and that is if a member of a team gets into a fight the whole team is suspended from the league. If the captains don’t show up at a meeting they get fined, since we have so few meetings now if you don’t show up it’s a big deal. There was one captain who owed $66 since he missed six meetings and there was a big stink about that, and people weren’t turning in their score sheets on time. If someone doesn’t pay a fine they are not allowed to play. They have a month before the first dues are to be paid and if the fine isn’t taken care of they aren’t allowed to play.

The best thing, we think, was changing the number of meetings. We found that two was too few and every month was too many so we settled on three scheduled meetings and if there is a problem we call additional ones. We have one at the beginning of the year to get organized and dues and one in the second half for dues. The meetings are held to about an hour so they aren’t too taxing and we hold them in bars that can handle them so it isn’t too crowded. Then we had some problems getting started and had to call a couple of meetings because of a sportsmanship problem. We think we’ve hit a happy medium. We feel problems should be settled between captains but a captain can call the President or Secretary or Treasurer then we talk about the problem and see if it needs to come up to the whole Executive Committee. We’ve only had one or two people who missed a meeting so far so the meetings are pretty well attended.

We enforce the by-laws depending on how serious the problem is. You can be suspended, or fined or lose points depending on what the Executive Committee decides.
If a team forfeits the sponsors forfeit fee is taken for the fine. The team members have to replace the amount before they can play again. If they don’t make up the money, or if they have three forfeits, they are out of the league. There isn’t a team that will not make up the money. The team polices itself so if it’s one person the rest of the people make up the money because they know they will not be able shoot and all the players want to shoot. Players are not allowed to shoot until that debt is paid, even if they go to another team.
The game format we play in all divisions is 501, 301, cricket, 601, then 501, 301, cricket. All are best of three games. We play on Wednesday night.

We have luck of the draw shoots in different bars at different times. The league goes to the bar with the idea. We have a women’s only shoot, where they have to be a member of the league to play, and a jacket shoot, but we didn’t have the jacket shoot this year.

We use our summer dart program as an instructional type league at the Mt. Royal which is a learning experience for a lot of the shooters.

We put teams in divisions using a scoring system that is kind of hard to explain but it gives you an average for the year then we weigh the average of the team against the averages of the other teams, while giving weight for the division they’re in. If a team has a little lower average than a team in a higher division you have to give weight to the schedule too. And then the Executive Committee has to agree to the line up of the teams. It’s sort of a combination of objective and subject evaluation.

We get averages by dividing the number of points a player has by the number of legs they shoot. You get points by getting high on shots, high scoring shots, and then in cricket there’s four’s, five’s, sixes, sevens, eight’s and nines. And then you have outshots. Cricket is an easy way to boost your average but we only have two cricket games so it’s normally only two people on the team who are shooting cricket.

A person gets on a team by deciding who they want to play with, but you have to have a certain average. I mean if you have an A division average you can’t join a C team. We can’t have four people who have a four average pick up a person with a twelve average because that will bump them up to a higher division. We figure that out before the season. We determine what is the highest average a team can pick up before they move into another division. A person doesn’t have to leave a team if they get a better average, but their average may just move the whole team up a division. When a team wins a division, most of the time they will move up a division because the team average will be better than the losing team in the next higher division.

We contact our members through the captains and on our website we have a little message board. You can go on the message board without having a password, but to check all the statistics and everything you have to have a password. We use email occasionally, and the phone.

We plan ahead six months. We just started opening things up to members so we’ll need to do that with other leagues too if we want to plan farther ahead than six months.
We have a goal of getting more people into playing. Before it was kind of a dictatorship and people didn’t have a say in things now we’re just trying to make it so the people have more of a hand in things. (Just make sure people know that dictator comment came from Steve [Nicole]). We think the increase in membership came through word of mouth and change because everybody is excited when it is their ideas. It’s something like a verbal suggestion box. We asked what was needed to make the league better and everybody came up with ideas that we tried to do. Before, the people who had been playing in the league a longer time and were in the A and B divisions had most of the say so we got more C and D players to step in to represent their divisions. We’re trying to make it more fun and so everybody has a good time.

Sponsors must provide a dart board, lighting, and there has to be enough room for the people to shoot. They have to pay the sponsorship fee and forfeit fee and provide one drink for everyone playing once a night. If they don’t comply the team can’t shoot out of there until they do.

We have a banquet every year, actually attendance was way up this year. We give out awards for overall average, best average for a rookie shooter, ton eighties, most improved shooter, things like that. Our system of having averages for everybody allows for those kinds of awards. Awards for women are separate from the men because it’s very tough for our women shooters to be as good as our top men. But it’s hard for a lot of the guys to beat our top men too. The women play among the men, it’s just that their awards are separate. This is the first year we did that. For who ever wins the division the sponsor gets a plaque and the players have a choice between a trophy, a plaque or a patch. Then we have awards for who ever wins the playoff, because who wins the division doesn’t always win the playoff. The sponsor gets a plaque and this year we left a spot on the plaque for the sponsor to have a picture of the team put on it.

In the SJEDA you get to hang out with people with similar interest, and most of the people in the league are fun to be around, not really poor sports, so there’s good camaraderie and good times and you come out for the love of the game. You get to learn more about the game and, over the years, you can see your progress compared to everybody else because of the averages. We have the website were everybody’s averages are listed but you need a password to see the averages and stats stuff, but not to see the message board.

We have people who complain but don’t want to act on their complaint and that’s annoying. And at a meeting when you’re trying to discuss something and everybody is having their own conversation, someone will ask a question and then after you go through a ten minute explanation of what they inquired about the people are talking and you have to repeat it ten times.

The SJEDA is a fun league to get involved in, you’re shooting people around your caliber, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. You get to meet decent people who have similar interest, in a relaxing atmosphere.

The website can be used for more information or to contact us: sjeda.com

Old English Dart League

Old English Dart League (OEDL) Philadelphia Pa.

Contributions from: Tom Maroukian: Secretary – 2004

Jeff Baxter Position/Office – Treasurer Occupation – Manf. Engineer

“I (Tom) started in the league in 1987, but the league was formed as a center city Philly league in 1978. The area the league covers is from The Delaware River to the Schuykill River, south to south Philly and some north off Spring Garden to Fairmont. It is mostly center city with a few teams in N. Liberties, Fairmount & S. Philly and the occasional NE Phila. Team. There are 234 members and 28 teams.

The Board Of Directors has six officers: President, Vice President, Treasure, Recording Secretary, Recorder/Statistician and a Chairman who are elected to staggered 2yr terms. All officers are paid a nominal stipend as well as the divisional Director per the By-Laws. Officers are elected by the general membership. Ten Board members are elected by the members and Board members elect Officers from the available Board of Directors. If there are more people who wish to serve than positions we’ll have an election but we haven’t had to do that yet. As a rule the people who volunteer for the Board are in for the long haul because those who volunteer are truly interested in the league, promoting the league and making it thrive. The only time we lose people is when they lose jobs or are relocated or something like that.

Volunteers are asked for at general membership meetings but it is hard to get people. They don’t want to get involved because they might have to work at their job or something else and this is just darts, a night out. This is a fun league and they do not take it seriously.

Committees appointed as needed. If a need for a committee is found a committee is formed to address the need. Like if the membership is getting low a membership committee will be formed to address that need. The membership looks to the board of directors to get the ball rolling on things. It’s like pulling teeth to get these guys to volunteer for anything because they view throwing darts as: I go out on Tuesday, have a couple of pints, throw darts, go home then go back out next Tuesday.

League future is planned one year at a time.

We raise funds through sponsor and member fees. Sponsors receive discounts for multiple teams. A player’s fee is $50 per year and the sponsor’s fee is $200 for the first team and $125 for the 2nd & $100 for each additional team per year. Sometimes a sponsor will pay member’s fees or part of them.

We have two fund raising events, one in the fall and one in the spring, they are all star shoots. Plus an occasional 50/50 at league wide events (All-Star shoots & Banquet). We are a not for profit corporation which limits how much money we can have from season to season.

This is an inner city league where, I guess, 30% to 40% of members don’t drive. They walk or take public transportation to play darts. Players are mostly young urban professionals who shoot darts one time per week. It’s an opportunity to go out, commiserate with their buddies, drink a few beers and throw darts. Many work in the food industry with odd hours. Early on it was a serious league but it wasn’t taken seriously. The gentry of the OEDL is different than other leagues. Mostly bar/service industry personnel and young professionals with ties to Center City bars and a core group of ‘lifers’ round out the rest. The attitude was, if you show up you show up, if you don’t you don’t. It wouldn’t be unusual for a player to miss three or four weeks then show up again. This is probably true of most leagues, especially in lower divisions. Members stay in the league although we do have attrition since the majority of players travel a lot and get relocated. They play on Tuesday night, go home and you don’t throw them again until the next Tuesday night.

In an effort to expand and promote more activity we created a C division with definitions within that division: C1, C2 and C3. That was our farm system where we’d bring the kids in and start them out in the C division and teach them some of the outshots and some of the strategy of Cricket and as a rule we’d have somebody who played on an A or B team who would drop down an become captain of that team. There was no sense having a Captain of a team who’d never played darts before, that just wouldn’t be fair. As Captain I played just enough games each week to remain eligible. The understanding was that you didn’t drop down from A or B to win a championship you did that to promote the game and help the new guys along. Some flyers & notices to try and recruit new teams but not much after this.

We’re not affiliated with a national organization but have some communication with QCEDL between some members of both boards. National groups concentrate on National events and don’t offer much in the area of grassroots.

Historical records/record keeping is sporadic at best, basically anything since George Jones has been Division Director for all divisions.

During the late 1980s and ‘90s we realized we couldn’t stay within our close area and expand the number of teams too, so we expanded out to the northeast and south and even out west to Brittinghams, a bar in Lafayette Hills by the turnpike, in a effort to get more teams. We had to split into two divisions: north and south. There was some cross division play, like in major sports where they play across divisions, but travel got to be an issue.

They created the drunk driving laws and when they dropped the limit to .10 ( now it’s .08) if you had more than two beers in one hour you were legitimately fine but still over the limit so we had a membership vote and they did away with the north/south concept. Some bars still wanted to participate and stayed in the league, Brittinghams being one, and again, that made it pretty difficult. You’d play at the Dark Horse one night and the next had to drive fifteen miles to shoot a dart game, and you only went there once in a ten week season. Now, if you got done with the dart game at 11:30 or 12:00 O’clock it made a long night. So we decided, to keep the majority of our members happy, to keep it mainly a center city dart league. Another problem with the center city area is that most bars are small pub like places which couldn’t have more than one dart board so couldn’t sponsor more than two teams. Schedules are designed to have one team home while the other is away. That and some players joining another league contributed to our membership being diluted. In the late 1980s there were over a hundred teams and some bars sponsored multiple teams. The league dropped from over one hundred teams to twenty eight teams with maybe one hundred fifty people now.

There were obviously rules and by-laws and the league was pretty well structured. There is a lot of structure. Thirteen pages of rules by section and subsection (Rule 4.D) and ten pages of by-laws by Article & paragraph: (Article VI paragraph 3), because back in the 1970s when it was formed it was THE league in Philly. Then due to conflicts of personalities with other leagues in the city the OEDL turned into something like ‘take your darts and go home,’ which is not a recipe for growth. The league became very stagnant.

The rules say anyone can be a captain. It is done by consensus of the team unless it is a new team. Then we make sure the new captain knows the rules.

One of the more difficult things the board of directors has to deal with is deciding which players can play on which team. Teams submit player rosters at registration and no restrictions are placed on the rosters (no 2 – Pro limits). The BOD tries to the best of its abilities to seed teams properly in Divisions. In general Team that wins a lower division move up and those that finish at the bottom of a division move down. However the BOD takes in to account if teams pickup or lose players that may affect their team performance either for the better or worst.

Decisions about team and player placement are subjective. We mostly have someone on the board who knows the player in question and we can decide if the player should be allowed to play on a certain team in a certain division. That decision is based upon how well the player plays not where they live or something like that. The league controls who can play on a team through having a player “married” to a team for a half of season. Players who sign for a team and plays one week can not switch teams. That is to prevent teams from loading or stacking a team during the season. That sometime causes a problem because a player who had to quit because of business may not be able to get back on the same team if he returns.

The rule that most members like is the one that keeps people from switching teams because at one time or another this will impact their team. The ones that cause the most conflict are Postponements and Forfeits. Absolutely the most difficult. Basically the rules say you’re permitted to postpone a game and the offended team gets to choose where the match will be made up. Captains were expected to negotiate but conflicts arose so the rules requirement can lead to a forfeit and that causes hard feelings. Especially teams that blow off games when they are completely out of it or way ahead and the team’s forfeit gives the other team enough points to affect the standings. Either way teams that intentionally forfeit games for any reason should be asked to leave. To take care of that conflict one week is open in the schedule where all postponements should be made up. We also said there can be no postponements in the last two weeks of a season. Another effort we made is to keep one sponsor from having two teams in the same division.

There is a maximum of ten players allowed on each team.

Rules are enforced through points penalties. Can’t fine a sponsor, can’t fine an individual or captain if they say they told someone they couldn’t do what was expected.

This is a fun league but for the players it’s an extremely competitive thing for bragging rights. They want their sponsor to get a trophy to display rather than the other sponsor. To my way of thinking it’s competitive for the wrong reasons. It should be because the players are better than the other players. It’s a hard sell to bars to be a sponsor since they equate everything to dollars, which they are business people and they should, so the players think of that too.

Accommodating the dichotomy of players being upset if rules benefit another team, being competitive and this being a fun league where people sometimes don’t show up is a difficult thing. It depends on whose ox is being gored. As a board member we’d like to leave some of the rules problems up to the captains but when a captain does something for one team but will not do it for another it causes hard feelings so we had to say no more negotiations, follow the letter of the rules. We hardly ever have problems with things like someone stepped over the line, or the board isn’t hung right, it’s almost always over some stupid thing where a captain should extend a little curtesy to another but doesn’t.

In our league we have two halves. One starts in September the other in January. We set a deadline for submitting rosters. In the summer teams sign up for the fall session. Most are guys who have played before. We promote new bars who are not in the league with flyer handouts. We contact captains and sponsors by word of mouth, email, snail mail. When the roster sheets are in, the board assigns teams to divisions and we make up the schedule. The schedule, rosters, rules and other information the captain needs make up packets and these are handed out to captains as information packets at a scheduled meeting prior to the start of the season.

The OEDL has various schedules that can accommodate fair & balanced schedules. The recorder makes up the schedule using a formula. Other members on the board also are familiar with the formula. Division directors, who are members of the board, over see scheduling of the division that is their responsibility.

Teams are assigned to divisions based on subjective judgment of the committee. Typically 6 divisions seeded with the best teams in DIV 1 and then down to DIV 6. We have no special youth, women, or Pro/elite/advanced divisions. The application requires information on background as far as where they have played which helps. Division A people want to play in A. B and C may have people who are better than B or C people. In these cases we’ve found it is better to let them go into the lower division. The winner of B or C division moves up to the next level. A division teams stay in A.

The league plays on Tuesday night and in DIV 1&2 15 games : 3 X best-of-3 501 single matches & 1-single Cricket, 3X Doubles D/D, 301 best-of-3, 3x doubles cricket rest are different versions of s/d ‘o1 games. DIV 3-6 13 game with 2X best-of-3 single S/D 501, 3x Doubles D/D 301, 3xdoubles Cricket rest are different versions of s/d ‘o1 games. There is a ‘C’ division format that has not been used recently, it is 12 games no singles matches and only 2X double d/d 301. middle 4-man s/d 801 is worth 2 pts.

Board meetings are held once per month, 2 General Membership meetings per year or 1 per half-season: membership meetings and package pickup, basically to inform the teams of rules & situations so that they can’t claim ignorance when they violate rules. Also to make sure the league collects dues in a timely manor. Captains or 1 representative are required to attend or penalty points will be accessed. Anyone can attend but usually teams only send what is required.

Membership contact has improved through using email addresses and snail mail to sponsors and captains as well as email. We use our Website, Phone, Registration Mail-out to all teams for sponsor & captains. Usually no News letter.

Mr. Sr. Phila & each Division have an All-star/singles match for each half-season. We are trying a roving Luck of the draw this year. It will move from bar to bar. We have two singles shoots, one at the end of the fall season and one at the end of the spring season, called All Star Shoots, and at year end we have a banquet with a luck of the draw tournament where achievement awards are presented. We have a year end Banquet for Fall & Spring seasons. Recognition awards – teams – Plaques for 1st place & playoff Champions teams get shirts/jackets for 1st place & Mugs for playoff champions / individuals. – High-On & high-off for each division for each half-season. Also T-71+ for anyone who shoots one. There are pewter plates for sponsors, certificates, jackets and patches for individual accomplishments in high scores and out shots.

Sponsors need to provide a safe environment and playable board. BOD checks setups of new teams and investigates problems if reported. Sponsors must have a dart board, lighting, toe line, score board. The board checks this. Sometimes, when there aren’t many sponsors, you might let one slide, but by and large the sponsor must provide us a safe place to play. They must also supply a contact person.

As a matter of policy the OEDL has records of meeting minutes and accomplishment awards. Dirty Franks, in the League since early 80’s, acted as the league clubhouse, but no longer.

The best thing about the OEDL is the competition. I enjoy the competition. There is consistency in who you play. Most aggravating is getting people to show up and help. Plaques encourage team success and format allows a greater flexibility for later arriving players.

The most troublesome is getting matches started on time. By-laws mandate eight PM as the starting time but it can be as late as eight forty five before the first dart is shot. That is way too late to start a 15 game match. Not so much a problem in A division as in B and C.

What’s unique about the OEDL is it is mostly a safe league, it’s a gentlemanly league, most bars are close together and most of the sponsors take an interest in what we do. Nothing special except to play darts in a team atmosphere.

Contact information for questions and comments may be found on the website: oedl.net.

New Jersey Dart League

New Jersey Dart League (NJDL) Kearny New Jersey

Contribution by Henry Magee – 2004

This is an English steel tip league.

NJDL covers Hudson, Bergen, Essex and Passaic County We’re in the Tri state area and can be in four different counties in a few minutes by foot. We have enjoyed teams from all parts of those areas. Teams/sponsors come and go. The league is broken into conferences and divisions so teams leaving don’t hurt the league as a whole.

Right now the league is carrying 28 teams and each team consists of minimum of 6 maximum of 12. A lot of the teams sign up the minimum of 6 then as the season goes on, who doesn’t show, who quits, who moves away, the teams end up carrying up to twelve players on the roster.

I would say I could name thirty of the players in the league that have been playing here for 19 years or better. Many of those players are of the highest level. That’s not exclusive to the high level players; many lower level players have been around a long time also, fifteen, sixteen, twenty years. Usually it’s the novices that don’t have a lot of playing time. They come to check out what the attraction is, play two three four years and quit for various reasons. For the most part players like what they see and they stick around. Besides being a great sport, it’s obviously a great way to socialize, it’s, it’s – I just love it.
You know, once they get exposed to it, they understand what it’s all about also.

The entire league is run right of this dart store, the Magee’s Dart & Game Shoppe. This is the league office. An advantage when you’re running a league. Most leagues when there is a problem or have a question you play telephone tag for several days trying to track down league officers. Our league has an office with regular business hours 5 days a week. We also have a league night Captains Only “Hot Line,” when you call you get an answer immediately and any rule questions or interpretations are resolved on the spot. This allows the match to go on without a dispute.

Typical members are male / female, black / white, fat / skinny, tall / short, handicapped / athletic, it runs the entire gamete. Anyone can play this game. And everybody can play this game competently. The membership is so eclectic I can’t come up with a single description. They’re blue-collar white-collar father sons mother and daughters. I think it’s that way in most leagues. In my experience traveling around this country twenty something years all the leagues are basically the same, they’re made up of the same type of people. The make up of league players has a lot to do with geography and demographics. For example if you drive over to Hoboken they are what I describe as the up and coming yuppies living in their brownstone town houses. If you go to bars, pubs and restaurants over there you’re dealing with the young professionals. Hoboken has its own league. Due to density and proximity to NYC most residents use mass transit. That makes it difficult to play a traveling league outside of town. It’s also difficult to accommodate visiting teams due to the lack of available parking.

The league is broken down into Conferences and then 3 division skill levels (gender plays no part). There are no directors, none, this is a dictatorship. I’m the president, the secretary, the dart player, I am everything. No committees, no committee members, no volunteers. I set up tournaments myself. That doesn’t mean a couple of guys don’t show up to help me out. I found out over the years that in any volunteer organization all the work is done and ends up on the shoulders of a few dedicated people. Everybody has suggestions, one or two end up doing all the work and the president get all the criticism
.
At this time the league is not associated with any national organization. We have aligned in the past with the ADO & ADA and many members carry memberships to various national bodies. With a national affiliation come additional fees. For most leagues money is tight. It could cost upwards of several hundred dollars a year. National affiliation, in my opinion, only benefits a very few top tournament players. It didn’t make sense to me to, to spend hundreds of the leagues revenue so that a handful of players didn’t have to pay for individual membership of $20-$30 per year.

I do however maintain a good relationship with the presidents of both the ADO & ADA. They have friends of mine for many years. I try to maintain the same relationship with officers of other area leagues as well. All the area leagues are independently operated and are autonomous from one another. We all try to support one another with tournament promotion an attendance.

NJDL members pay weekly dues and sponsors pay annual fees. Members pay $5 a week, each week they play. That’s not less than $30 for a team. If only four guys show up the team still has to pay the minimum weekly dues of $30. This is necessary in order to prepare an annual awards structure & budget. Many teams avail themselves to the “Annual Dues Option” a discount that can save them two, three hundred dollars per season. Sponsors pay $175 per year to sponsor a team.

The NJDL has extensive rules, always a work in progress. When we started twenty-three years ago the rules consisted of, bring your own darts, stand behind the line, and throw at the board and no fist fighting. There were a lot of things we weren’t happy about with and the league needed improvement. When I was traveling around the country, chasing down the Lucky Strike tour I started collecting rules everyplace I went. As the years went by I would read those rules over and I’d say, gee – this is a good idea, so our rules, which are now around forty five pages long and read like a legal manuscript are actually a conglomerate of rules I picked up all over the country. When it was formed several years ago the Hoboken league I spoke of earlier, adopted our rules and with minor changes. In my opinion, a compliment, for 20 years of hard work. Over the years, even when you think you have everything covered, there is always that unusual situation that crops up. I’d make a note and make the necessary changes over the summer. Probably the most important part of any league is having a comprehensive set of rules to govern the league. They eliminate disputes and make for an even playing field. They remove the human factor in making critical decisions. You know the old “Henry, you’re my friend” or “Why is the rule different for me.” Not everyone is not going to like all the rules but everyone knows that here the rules are the same for everyone. No exceptions! Ninety percent of the time players like the rules until it impacts to them. Then its not a good rule anymore.
The rules are basically self-sufficient. It’s all quite clear in the rules; the idea is take the human factor out. The rules have to be clear and concise, I don’t make any decisions.

The most difficult rule to enforce is timeliness, you know, showing up on time. The rules state that start time is eight O’clock and the late start is eight fifteen. If the team is not present by eight fifteen, any member present shall act as captain and complete the line-up for the first set of games (If no one is present to act as captain the entire match is forfeit and fines are now applied). The acting captain now has a difficult predicament. In completing the line up, you can leave a line blank and forfeit the game, or put the names in and hope they come through the door when the game is called.

In the beginning it was very difficult, but now I’d have to say my league is one of the few where matches start on time, the penalty for being late is severe.

There’s nothing you can do about a team that doesn’t care. Teams or sponsors with this attitude are a detriment to the league overall. My first reaction is to contact the captain. The captain has signed an agreement with the league and accepts responsibility for his team in all matters. The captain is the leagues link to the players and visa verse. You can’t have several hundred players contacting the league office nor can you expect the league to contact 1 on 1 the hundreds of players in the league. I explain to the captain the repercussions and how it will affect his team as well as other players in the league. He has a responsibility to correct any problems the league is having with the team and or player. Players have individual goals and awards they are attempting to achieve. When they personally are affected they have a tendency to straighten out their own teammates.

In the case of “No Show Forfeits” Fines are added to the required weekly dues. Weekly dues are required regardless of whether you play or you don’t play. It’s going to cost you thirty dollars dues and on top of that for the first offense there is a thirty dollar fine, it costs you sixty dollars not to go to your match. Second offense: thirty dollars dues – sixty dollar fine, third offense: thirty dollars dues – ninety dollar fine, it costs you one hundred twenty dollars not to go to your match. And if a team fails to pay all members of the team are automatically banned from participation in the league and forfeit awards earned to date. As I said before, most players think darts is such an enjoyable thing they want to stay, now the problem is the team owes one hundred twenty dollars. I’ve had players offer to pay “Their Share” of an outstanding balance. It doesn’t work that way. It was a team effort, a team failure. The outstanding balance must be satisfied in full. It’s not the money that’s important it’s accepting responsibility as an adult. Let him go chase down the players and bring the money in. That’s the frustrating part for league officers all over the country, having to chase down people to get the money these “responsible adults” owe.

I think the most aggravating thing is the whiners, bitchers, and complainers. It’s aggravating when everybody knows what they are getting into, like I said, the rules are the rules, are the rules, and they are all great until it applies to you. And here we are all grown adults and instead of accepting responsibility for doing something wrong it’s always easier to blame your captain, your team mates, the league operator or how the league is run. There aren’t a lot of those but it only takes one to give the whole business a bad image. This is nothing personal. The league has to be run like a business. That’s the way it has to be done. Everything is in that comprehensive forty-five page rules and every captain is required to read it and sign an agreement, along with the sponsor.

Being banned last forever, until the money is paid. This directly affects the sponsor (usually a tavern, pub or bar) and their revenues. The sponsor will not be permitted, to field this team or a replacement team the following season. If a sponsor previously had two teams and one is banned he’s restricted to one team next year. The sponsor has one of two things he can do. Chances are the players are customers of his; he can talk them, or pay the money himself and field a different team the following year.

The league recognizes that on occasions through the year a chance exist that a match needs to be postponed. Deaths, Funerals, Weddings & weather are factors. When a captain needs to postpone a match, and there are all kinds of reasons, in that case the captains all have each other’s phone numbers and at the time of contact they must then and there agree on a make up date. Both captains are now required to call the league office to notify that “Henry we had to postpone the match until what ever night” and now I’m expecting a call from the other captain. The reason we have both captains call is usually when captains are on the phone more than one date is discussed and one thinks they agreed to one date and sometimes the other thinks it was another date, so by calling me I can make sure they are both on the same page. I’m the clearinghouse.

Format: The NJDL match format is as follows. Three games of doubles cricket, three games of doubles 501dido, six games singles cricket, six game singles 301dido. Two points awarded for doubles matches, one point on singles matches, Twenty-four total points no tiebreakers. All games are one and done.

The NJDL plays 8pm
Tuesday nights and the season runs September through June, approximately 30 weeks.

We attempt to hold an annual “Qualified Players” tournament at the end of each season. Players who have competed in 50% of the seasons scheduled matches are considered “Qualified” and as such may participate in the annual tournament for free. Non-qualified or non-NJDL members are required to pay various entry fees’ to participate. Players from all the various conferences now have the opportunity meet and compete for substantial prize money and awards.

We the league don’t have a formal teaching program but I personally am frequently asked to go to a bar & clubs. Individuals frequently come to the store for help with their game. No I don’t charge. I’m flattered by the request. Especially new teams and players. I think it’s beneficial. When I get new teams and see novices playing over the summer months, when they’re trying to put their team together, it’s not uncommon for me to go to the bar and spend the night with the guys and just talk to them about the game. You can’t teach them everything in one or two nights but you can give them the basics. Point out the bad the habits and offer tips and advice on everything from the stance, the stroke, the grip, you know, just the basics to get them started on the right foot.

No, the NJDL never has meetings. I would be the only one there. I don’t need anybody’s approval for any actions I take but I do seek everybody’s ideas and input regarding changes for the better.

Teams are divided into Conferences geographically then placed in divisions by skill level. The skill level is determined by the NJDL rating system. The rules state that every player, on an annual basis, shall receive a skill level review. A skill level review is based on the players previous year’s win percentage. His singles performance only. The rating system determines what skill level a player is permitted play the following season. In our league all skill levels play all other skill levels. A novice player will play a high-level skill level sometime during the season so the average is pretty much an overview of how you stand among all the players. I ‘m not saying it’s ideal or perfect. That is the ratings and it has served us well for several years.

At the start of a match a captain completes a line up for the first set of games. This is done on the Blind, captains don’t know the other captains line up and matching players takes a bit of strategy. Captains who have been around for a while take great pride trying to successfully out wit each other with their strategy. Many have played against or with each other in prior years it’s pretty much an intelligent guessing game. A lot of teams come in to the shop to get the stats of the other teams, (they can go on line); trying to find out how the other captain plays his game.

Gettng Started: I would say, 90% of the time players get on teams, because they just happen to be in one of the sponsoring locations on league night, see the activity, make acquaintances and ask questions. Captain picks them up themselves or they are directed to the league and I get involved. Teams are kept on parity level through the rating system and the “known player” rule. I’ve been playing in this league and others for oh, thirty something years. Having been around for so long and being the only dart shop in the area I pretty much know everybody that plays the game in the area. If I don’t know the player, there is a good chance that somebody I know knows the player. So if a “Known Player” (non-rated) shows up on a roster I can assign him a rating. This prevents stacking teams at lower skill levels. Stacked teams are welcome at the highest level. I love playing against stacked teams. I have no problem with captains recruiting from other teams as long as they play at the appropriate skill level.

Communication: Key to operating a league is communicating with the membership. I use several ways to contact members: Captains, telephone, Internet web page, email, & weekly mailings. We have a lot of options today that we didn’t have twenty years ago and it makes it extremely easy. League statistics are mailed weekly to all Captains and sponsor as well as being posted to the NJDL web page hosted by www.njdarts.com. If you have an irresponsible captain (doesn’t provide required information to team members), any member can access the data to see what’s going on. There’s no excuse in this league for not knowing what’s going on because there’s just too many ways to obtain information and be informed.

Twenty years ago I was looking twenty years ahead, nineteen years ago I was looking fifteen years ahead, eighteen years ago I was looking ten years ahead, every year I found out that because the league, players and their makeup’s were so unpredictable it became very difficult to build the league with a long term vision. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have a long-term vision, I’m just saying that to get two to three hundred people to have the same vision became very difficult. Now I find that I look forward, I would say, one season ahead.
A problem I see is money. We should never have made the league a money league. It changes the complexion of the league when you put money on the line. It took some of the fun out of it.

Florida
had the right idea. I brought that concept back here to NJ and tried to foster it among the area leagues with no success. Each league savored its autonomy and league officers didn’t want to give up some of the authority

I’ve been trying for years to get other leagues to kind of work as a cohesive unit but after twenty years of banging my head against the wall I found out that all I’m getting is a headache. So I tried to do it on my own by establishing new conferences through out the state and the 21 counties. Geography is no longer of consequence. We could start a new conference in Trenton tomorrow, or in Camden County tomorrow. The electronic age has brought everything closer together. I played a number of years in Florida and the benefit I saw in Florida was that they had a state association. One authority that kind of over saw all the member leagues and kept them all on the same page, focused in one direction. It also added little bit of excitement. Members of the various participating leagues had the opportunity to play for a state team and represent it in tournaments. It’s my experience, that members, (with few exceptions), don’t play for the money, they play for recognition. To be recognized as one of thousands around the state to make the State team is an honor.
That’s why the name here is NJDL. That was my vision when I incorporated. The goal being to form conferences through out the state under one banner, NJDARTS. Hopefully one day League Champion will be synonymous with State Champion.

I have twenty-two years of records. No hall of fame but I’d love to do it one day.

I regularly update my database of bars around the state, I have thousand of them, and they automatically receive mailings from the league, whether they are in the league or not. If they throw them in the trash, that’s fine. A lot of the sponsor and player recruiting are generated from the mailing. Potential sponsors (new bars) see an opportunity to increase revenue on an otherwise off night (Tuesday). A great deal of it is because of the length of the season, we play thirty plus weeks. That’s at least 15 weeks of league darts in your establishment with the sponsorship of a single team. A league match can increase the nightly “Ring” by as much as $200-$400. There is a minimal expense for a sponsor. The sponsor is required; obviously, to pay the sponsor fee and maintain what we refer to as the dart “pit” which is the dartboard, scoreboard, proper lighting and the oche. There are minimum standards the sponsor has to agree to before the start of the season. It is easy to enforce the minimum standard once a sponsor has seen the benefits of league participation. If I get a complaint about a particular venue I’ll go down and check it out then give the sponsor one week to comply. If he doesn’t comply all his matches become away matches until his place is brought back into compliance. And compared to putting up a $45 dartboard to losing a $200 to $400 dollar ring, there’s no problem at all.

I make up the schedules myself from things I picked up around the country. As anyone will tell you it is very difficult to make a schedule to accommodate multiple teams out of bars without conflicts. Because I’m not a mathematician, Glen Remmick’s group, the ADA, did one of the best scheduling schemes I’ve ever seen. If you look at Glen’s schedules its possible to schedule as many as 2 teams per available dartboard without conflict.

Potential players see an opportunity to go out one night a week with their friends, go to new bars, pubs and clubs they otherwise wouldn’t because there is something to do when they get there and they are sure to know at least 6 people when they arrive. Before the season is over you’ll know and make friends through out the state. The separation by skill level gives teams at each level the opportunity to earn championship recognition and the corresponding awards.

We have an annual awards party that is held the week before the new season starts. Recognition is everything. The season ends in June and that gives me time to make sure all the stats are compiled, all the awards are ordered and received. All the awards here are specific. If you earn a trophy or plaque it would say George Silberzahn, member of, and recognize your accomplishment. No “T” shirts from vendors or umbrellas from the Meadowlands Race Track. There are prizes for a lot of things team and individual alike, and including the prize money. The most coveted awards are the Championship Jackets, Plaques and traveling trophy. The league is broke at the end of each season. For over fifteen years the league has actually run a deficit. I write it off as part of business.

I’ve gotten to meet and play with a lot of phenomenal people over the last thirty years. Guys I met years ago and I still talk with them to this day. It’s an amazing friendship building activity especially with teammates.

I hope people want to be a member of the NJDL because it gives an opportunity to meet a lot of people from all over the state on a regular basis. After all these years it’s still a pleasure to go out on Tuesday night in an organized fashion, and know what you’re going to find when you get there. If you’re new to the area and you don’t know anyone and are looking for a place to go find a dart team, every time I go out I meet somebody new. The game only adds a little bit of excitement that we all share. It doesn’t start out as a passion but it becomes a passion.

For more information or questions: njdarts.com web site, henry@njdarts.com

Landsdale Amusement Company

Landsdale Amusement Company

Contribution by Sherry Kessler: League Coordinator – 2004

We are a soft tip dart league. I work for an amusement company the dart boards are coin operated.

I’ve been here since 1991. I did not run the dart league at that time, but I did play in the league then another girl ran it, but she left and I took over her position. As an employee it is my job to run the dart league.

Lansdale Pa. area, Since we are a traveling league we go approximately twenty miles all around the Lansdale area.

I have two leagues. I have Monday night league, cricket only, and then I have a Wednesday night combo handicap league.

Combined I have one eighty players. I have ten on wed. And I have on sixteen teams on Monday.

The good players stay in the league and the people who just like to shoot darts and those players are not concerned with being competitive.

We started the league in 1987 and if you look at our league traveling trophy you’ll see the names of all season champion players. A few of them are still around playing in the league. I’ve shot them myself. I would say that about half the players stay in the league year after year

Nobody meets. There isn’t a meeting place because everything is done by computer here, we don’t go out with cards and do stats everything is electronic, out of this office.

The league has people like me ( 30ish year old, female), and there’s a guy that just turned seventy that plays. We have a wide range of people.

I play on an all girls team, but we don’t have a women’s division. We tried to form one, but there aren’t enough women shooters. I think we probably have about thirty women shooters so women shoot with the men. The handicapped league is a good way to – women have a tendency to not play as well as the men so with the handicapped league it makes them even, like our all girls team? We’re smack in the middle of the league.

We can’t have a youth league because at Lansdale Amusement Company and we put dartboards in bars. Children can’t go into bars.

We, at one time, had a pro league but generally, our Wednesday night in winter is most like a pro league. We’re not labeled a pro league, anyone can join the league but if your team is an average team you’ll get murdered every time you play these teams. The better players just migrate to Wednesday night.

But we have divisions inside our leagues A division & B division, so the better teams play A division. Generally every body plays everybody in their own division twice and then they play the B division once.

There is one officer in the league: me – one. I’m the omni bud person. I make all the decisions however I do have a meeting that every body’s welcome to attend and give their opinion. At pre league meetings we make decisions on rules, we make decisions on what teams are going to play through out the season. We play fifteen games a night, that’s what we do in the league, and we also decide where our money is going to go. Like our team dues that we pay. We generally have a league party and we put so much money into the league party and all these decisions are made at the meeting.

I get paid through the company but the dart league doesn’t make money, and I don’t get paid by the league. I don’t have any committees. They don’t work. My friends on my team, if I run a tournament they will sit with me, or something like that but for the most part I do everything by myself.

We are not associated with any national organization. We don’t feel we need to pay money to an organization in order to have a little card that says I’m a league member.

We are one of the first dart leagues in the area. We have been contacted by other people asking for advice. The people that make the dart board and make programs, Arachnid, they contact us sometimes to make suggestions. Because we’ve been running dart leagues the longest in the area: since 1987.

When we first started we didn’t have electronic stats we actually wrote them down on a piece of paper, you know, Joe’s team won and we handed in or called in the results and when technology upgraded for the dart board we got these little card readers that had your name and the games you were supposed to play and we used to give these to every team and you used to put the card readers in the dart board and that way keep your individual stats, for not only team wins but actual individual stats. And now we have even more advanced boards in which it enables me to control the whole league from here in the office. I send, through the phone lines, everybody’s stats and results and then I retrieve the stats electronically. I don’t go out, nobody has to call in any kind of results, I pulled it up this morning. All that data is stored in the individual machines and the teams can read it, then I email stats. The league also has a web site. I post all kinds of results and other info.

We use Arachnid boards: Galaxy 2 and Black Widows.

Our league does not make income. The players pay $60 in dues however all that goes back in payouts. Sponsors pay a fee of $60 also. The amounts for fees is voted upon by the members. It changes through out the year. The leagues I’m currently running are $60.

We have two sets of rules. We have general dart league rules specific to general play such as; toe line measurement. Or, the dart board can not be obstructed by a table or pool sticks. These are, general dart league rules about what you can and can not do. Then we have specific rules for what ever league is playing that say things like, a player can’t play more than three games in a row, which ever team loses the previous match that team shoots first in the next match. It’s very specific and my cricket league rules and my combo league rules are different, but the general rules are the same. It’s fifteen pages of general rules and fifteen pages of specific league rules.

The rule that would be most missed is people playing too many games in a row. People forget, people are clouded and forget who played who (lol.) This is so that your best shooter cant shoot over and over again, you have to play another person on your team. If a rule is violated the other captain will call me and tell me the situation. For instance Joe played three games in a row and that means that the third game would be an automatic forfeit. Our enforcement procedure is penalizing team wins. One of the other penalties is a fine of $20, in the playoffs, if you don’t show up because you know you are going to lose. Teams wouldn’t do that during the season because we get paid per win, so if you don’t show up you get zero money and the other team gets all fifteen wins times $2 per win for the week. I keep a running total and bank the money for wins and at the end of the season we have a payout night where we give teams their winnings. Everything is based on wins here at Lansdale Amusement and that generally never changes.

Monday night cricket we play all cricket and Wednesday night combo we play a combination of 301, 501, 701, Wild Card, cricket and 301 masters. I decide when we’ll have tournaments but generally it’s when we have an off week. Every year I have a “I’d rather shoot darts than deer” tournament because in this area hunting season is very big and half the league goes and hunts and in lieu of having numerous make up matches for that week I’ll schedule a “bye” for regular team play and have a special tournament.

Lansdale Amusement doesn’t make money on dart league. The way we make money is by quarter drop in the dart machines. Lansdale Amusement Company and each of the locations have an agreed upon commission we pay to the locations. That’s how we get paid. We do receive $20 per location, per session, sponsor fee. So it covers captain’s packets and paperwork that we give to each team. A captain’s packet contains a schedule, all the rules, line up sheets so they can manually keep track of who is playing how many games are being played each night. The losers announce their line up first and play first.

I have one meeting before each session starts to discuss where the money is going to go, any kind of rule changes any kind of different games they would like to play. I give all players the option of giving their input. They like to give their input and I let them. In one of our leagues there are more people who are more concerned about the league and that meeting is very well attended and people stand in the room I don’t have enough chairs. On our other league everybody is so easy going, everybody is so agreeable, that league is so laid back and mannerly, They just want to have a good time, you know, they tell me everything is great and not to change anything and that the more competitive league. Isn’t that funny??

Teams are placed in divisions by how they played in the previous year. Players can play for any team they want. We have capped the Monday night league so the top four players on a team can not have a marks per round average of more than 10.5. I’m a 1.5 shooter so if there were four people like me that would be six marks per round. On the Wednesday night league it’s so laid back that any body can pick any body they want for their team.

I get information out to members by email and it’s also posted on each dart board and on the web site too. Www.lansdaleamusement.com lacdl@lansdaleamusement.com

I plan a whole season at a time. I would like to bring in more rookie teams.

We have traveling trophies that has everyone’s names engraved on it that won a championship.

I have a promo night when we pick up a new location. I have a tournament there and I try and pick up new players but I would say most recruitment is done at the existing bars by veteran players.

Sponsors have to let players come in with no charge, like a cover charge? They have to have the dart board where it’s free and clear of all objects, like tables and pool tables. Sponsors must provide a phone line so I can down load and up load stats. They have to pay the sponsor fee and that’s pretty much it. If they don’t pay their sponsor fee I take it out of their amusement collections so I don’t get stiffed.

We have a great party, great party. Everybody attends and it’s one hundred percent free. I buy from Lansdale Amusement fees and partly from players dues, we have food, all the beer you can drink, we bring in extra dart boards and we have tournaments and it’s a great time. Everybody looks forward to it.

Most of the time we give plaques for first, second and third place, for players and sponsors, MVP awards, last year we gave engraved mugs to every player.

The money put in from players and sponsors is totaled and that pot get divided by the number of games the league played . In other words, the wins you have is how much you get paid. It’s very easy to do.

Go out and have a good time with friends. It’s a very tight family, the dart league. Everybody knows everybody. It’s like a little soap opera.

The worst thing about a dart league is the whiners.

Our dart leagues are friends playing with other friends there is no assigned teams. It’s camaraderie and we give out plaques, and awards and we have great parties.

For more information: www.lansdaleamusement.com or www.lacdl@lansdaleamusement.com.

Illawarra District Darts Association

Your Name(s) Illawarra District Darts Association

Position/Office none

League’s Base City Wollongong, Australia 26 teams Longevity of members 60-80 years of age

Is there a Clubhouse? Yes it is a 2 storey gaming Venue

Geographic Boundaries of the league 50 square kilometers

Describe a typical member, happy, politically minded, well behaved but most of all, a good sport (all 260 of them just about)

Number/ Longevity of directors and their titles 10 years

Who’s Paid? President, Secretary & Treasurer

# of committees: 3

Is your league associated with a national organization(s)? Yes, the Darts Federation of Australia

Income: Capitation (playing Fees) = Membership dues $3 per week per man, $2 per week per women, life members are free Sponsor fees nil

Fund raising events? Yes for local Homeless families during presentation nights

Rules-Bylaws: Type/ Size; 10 pages and Constitution Most violated rule Arguments in Finals Enforcement procedures Player fronts disputes committee and they deal with the person and report the event to the committee

Sponsor’s responsibilities/ Verification procedure of sponsor compliance. NIL

Number of scheduled meetings: Once every 2 Months. Reason(s)To keep the Association running smooth Attendance. 26 Delegates (one per team)

How are teams placed in divisions? How are players placed on teams? A Grade=8 B,C,D=6Teams, player amount varies from team to team

Membership contact procedure. Committee

On which night(s) do you play? Tuesday Nights Who does the schedules? IDDA Committee

Games format per division Triples=801 open out double in, Doubles 601 Open out, Double in, Singles 501 Open out Double in

Do you hold Tournaments/LODs/special competitions? Yes we do, we have a LOD at the end of the year for $1,500 and numerous Tournaments from single, double, fours and Mixed Doubles throughout the year

Do you have instruction or coaching programs? No

How far ahead do you plan? 2 months at a time

What Needs/problems are there? Getting money back that was stolen from past Secretary

What advances/additions/goals are planned?

To get our money back by the end of 2006 so in 2007 we can run more tournaments with bigger prize money

Are there historical records/record keeping Yes

Is there a Hall of fame? (Yes Life membership)

Hall membership requirements. Serving on the Committee for 10 years and or serving the Association prestigiously for 25 years

What recruiting efforts are there for: Players, Directors, committee members, sponsors .

All of the above are voted for

Do you have Banquets/ picnics/ affairs? End of year presentation Nights, team dinners

Are there recognition awards for teams/individuals? Yes, for efforts throughout the season

What’s the best thing about your league? Good sportsmanship

What’s the most aggravating thing about your league? The politics which is hurting us at the moment

Why should a person want to be a member of your league? Because we enjoy the game and have good comradery

Greater Trenton English Dart League

Greater Trenton English Dart League (GTEDL)

Contributions by Bill Cobb, President; USPS, Mailroom/Building Supervisor – 2004

Gary Yourman, Tournament Director; Manager, Thin Client Computing @ Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

We currently have fifteen teams, we had started this past season with sixteen teams. We have one hundred and thirty plus members. We have been running two different divisions the last two years and we used two different scenarios to accomplish that. One scenario was playing all teams once and seeing where the split was and then we put the top six in the A division and the rest in the B. With sixteen teams initially we thought we needed to start with divisions in the beginning since playing each other once to determine divisions would only make the season too long and the beginning of the season didn’t really mean so much to them since most teams were the same from previous seasons and everyone knew which division they’d fall into. More than half the teams were not up to the skill level of the top four teams so those fifteen weeks or so didn’t mean that much to those top four teams. It didn’t help their skills progress. So we tried something else, put the top four teams into our A division and the rest in our B division. The A division played each other four times in the first half while the 12 B division teams played each other once in the first half. Then the top two teams in B, after the first half, earned a spot in the A division in the second half of the season. We had a cash prize for them, and a trophy, to give them something to shoot for in the first half. It became very competitive but some people thought it was a little monotonous playing the same three teams over and over but what we liked was that it was competitive for us so it made the whole season interesting so we are currently tinkering with that and maybe we’ll come up with another format.

We don’t want a handicap system though some people think there should be a handicap so that is an issue on going with how to make things more even amongst the entire league.

About ninety percent of the membership lives in Trenton, Hamilton, Hamilton Square, Yardville and Ewing, some in Titusville and other outlying areas, so we’re within twenty to thirty miles. For the most part we’re west Mercer County with a handful over the boarder in Pennsylvania who don’t want to go to Philly, but are only two minutes over the bridge.

I’ve (Gary) been shooting here nine years and I would say that we have a trickle in of new players every year and a trickle out of players who have been here quite a few years but I think most of our members have been here as long as I have. Probably sixty five percent or so have been members for the past nine years as well. I’ve (Bill) been a member for 13 years.

The majority of our members are blue collar, married, thirty to fifty years old. We do not have a women’s league. One year we had an all women’s team but they were more competitive than the men as far as bumping heads and they really got catty and they broke up after that one year. We have a few women scattered through out the league.

We have five Directors officially, a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and ad hoc Director, all of whom are paid. In addition, we have a Tournament Director, Gary, and Ambassador to the community, Lori Ann Pockell. She runs a lot of the events that are going on each week, like the luck of the draws. We have a few people who will lend a hand to help out when needed. We have a competition committee that we convene as needed each year. It consists of captains and players . The number of people we have who are willing to raise their hand and say I’ll help is like most other organizations, not many!

Our officers, with the exception of the two newest, plus Lori have been around for at least nine years.

We are not associated with a national organization. I contacted the ADO once or twice and have heard nothing. I received an email from them and sent a very detailed email back about what our problems are and what we do and I haven’t heard.

We’ve reached out to other leagues that are close to where we are but there hasn’t been much interest, so far, from the closest league in Bordentown as far as joining together to form a larger league. We’ve been in touch with Russ down in Philly, they’ve helped us with a couple of things including our charity tournament. We’re trying to let other leagues know when there are events in our area. Once again it goes back to the ADO question. We’ve contacted them for a mailing list or some sort of contact list but failed to receive anything from them. They’ve never been able to give me a value as to why we should join.

Bars pay a $125 fee to be in the league and players pay $20 for the year. As a league we do not do fund raising events but individual teams will in order to get money for shirts and stuff like that. We get sponsorship from the area’s largest Budweiser distributor. They’ve donated dart boards the last couple of years, and t-shirts for all the teams. When we have summer tournaments they help out with sponsorship and give prizes we can give out and there’s a local trophy shop that gives us a discount as well.

We have by laws, they consist of one document of eight pages. It goes through the structure of the league right down to the actual rules of how you perform the duties of a captain. Starting time gives us the most trouble. There are very few complaints year to year that are something we can take action on. It seems there is one match a year we’ll get phone calls on that – we didn’t finish – the score was five to four at the time – so if there were two games left the final score is now six to five. There is now a rule that says at eleven o’clock if you are only so far down you shoot singles instead of best of three, you shoot on the second board, you resolve it between the two teams. I don’t think we have such a problem that we have a rules violation that happens every week. We go from what we hear, that if there was something the previous year that was not in our rules that needs to be addressed that will come up in the proper way, at the captains meeting at the beginning of the next year. We’ll say here are the rules changes and we have a vote. The biggest problem is those who talk about a complaint to everybody except the right people, the President or Secretary, and by the time I hear about it a couple of weeks later there is nothing I can do about it.

We play six singles and five doubles which includes a Chicago style (501, cricket, 301).

The Secretary does the schedule. We have an issue where there are a lot of bars with two teams so you have to juggle home and away matches so there are only two teams in the bar on any given night. It was always the goal to have the best two teams in a division to play the last week of the season. We try to have every team have an equal number of home games.

The league does not get involved in luck of the draws in individual bars. Lori Ann is our player ambassador and she runs a weekly luck of the draw. This year we plan to build a few official tournaments into the schedule including a singles or GHS style tournament, a doubles tournament and a charity tournament.

We encourage people to come out to the luck of the draws and learn about the game and ask questions. Each team takes it upon themselves to teach people that need help during the season. One thing we’ve created is a summer tour where we travel to bars that are not in the league and don’t have teams and hold a luck of the draw tournament showcasing our league in hopes of generating interest. It has been successful; we’ve picked up some new bars. We’ve done three a year so that’s nine bars and now we’re sort of running out of bars. We’re asking for $100 toward prize money and guaranteeing we will have twenty to twenty four guys from our league, plus who ever shows up from their bar, and we’ve always had that number. It’s been quite successful in promoting our league.

Through the course of the season we will have three to four meetings and two of them are regularly scheduled, at the beginning and the end, then when ever one is needed. The scheduled meetings are to set up the league with who is going to be playing and which teams there will be, and to collect dues. The first meeting of a season is attended the best and we hope to have every bar represented, if not every team in order to collect player dues and bar fees The meeting in the middle of the season is to distribute the second half schedule, pick up the league tee shirts, and answer any questions anybody might have.

At least 50% of the rosters on the top four teams have been consistent throughout the past five to six seasons. The top teams stay pretty consistent. We’ve thought about putting the top B teams from the previous year in the A division. From the league perspective that’s one of the biggest challenges we face year to year, is figuring out the format for the divisions of how to divide teams. There are people who very much like the social aspect and like to see and play every body, and as you get closer to the top teams they’d rather play a competitive team every week. Me, being in the upper echelon of the shooters, I don’t want to play teams that aren’t good to beat up on them. The casual player will often say ‘We won’t get better if we don’t play better people every day.

When we get inquires our first goal is to get them to come out on Thursday night and meet some of the players and captains. The person who does well will get picked up by a team pretty fast but unfortunately the person who does not play well will be given a list of names and told to call them. We won’t place people on teams but we will make sure captains know there are people looking to get on teams. We had a person who got placed on a B team and was too good for them, so ended up playing in Philly where if he’d gotten on an A team he probably would have stayed in our league.

Our primary method of contacting members is through the captains, who we contact by email or phone if necessary. We have a lot of faith in our captains, for one thing, so at the start of the year they get their rosters printed out: here’s what you told us you have, fill in the gaps. Like, if they don’t tell us what shirt size they get XL by default. On our list of members there is solidly 35 to 40 emails so that’s still only 30%. We contact members through email, and snail mail if we have their address and we put a flyer in every bar. I think for a forward looking perspective this is the toughest thing we have to do. After our charity event we had people ask: ‘we had a charity event?’ It aggravates the hell out of me that we can’t get information to one hundred thirty people. Through captains, a call tree, we don’t have valid information and that is a goal this year: to fill that in.

Tactically we look at the league year to year. There are ideas out there that we know are two or three years away. We know at some point we need to make some drastic changes or we will collapse on ourselves. There are tough things to do in the coming year because they seem too drastic to the teams or the captains, or the structure of the league. There are some things we might do part of this year and the rest of it the year after.

One thing that has to be addressed is this division thing and playoffs. And we can’t keep the league running with the same two teams winning every year so we have to figure out a way to do something about that.

The home and away captains are supposed to call in the score. We have three part score sheets and we have self addressed envelopes to mail in a copy. The goal is to get the results in time to have them back out in time for the following week.

We’ve been thinking about a youth effort but need to look for some ideas on it. Our goal is to get this league back to what it was back in the day and one way might be to go the youth route.

We recruit with the summer tour, and lucks of the draw, the web site, and we’ve had some publicity with the charity tournament, the thirtieth anniversary of Conrad Daniels success in England. We are starting to include the local paper in the information about things we are doing. If they decide to come out that would be something someone on the board will stay on top of all the time. The players in the league tell people in the places where they play and I think word of mouth is probably the biggest way of recruiting.

We try to recruit Directors from the league but it took two years to get one replacement.

We use the summer tour to attract sponsors and call them following the event in their bar to follow up with them to see if they are interested in sponsoring a team.

A sponsor has to have two boards in good shape, proper lighting and specs of a dart area that are within the guidelines of the rules. At the beginning of the year every bar is visited to ensure they are in compliance.

We have a picnic at the end of each year where we present plaques and trophies for first, second and third within a division, individual awards for first place in a division. High on, high out, ton eighties, ton seventy ones, round of nine, six corks get a small gift every year.

We have a great group of people. There is no animosity when you go into a bar. It’s a fun night out regardless of who you are playing or where you are. The picnic is a good thing, an enjoyable thing. The people have a good time. Family members come out, we throw a luck of the draw and trophies are awarded there.

The bitching about things to the wrong people about how the league is being run but not being willing to step up is the most aggravating thing we have. Lack of participation in organizing tournaments is what really drives us nuts.

Playing in our league is closer than going to Philly and it’s practically free. For $20 you get to play all year, you get a $10 tee shirt and an ‘all you can eat and drink picnic.

For information: www.njdarts.com and click on the GTEDL link.

Cumberland County Dart League

Cumberland County Dart League

Contribution by Jim Demarest, President – 2004

The center of our league is Millville NJ, and we have a limit of 25 mile radius around the Millville city Hall. We go over that a bit. We have 78 to 80 members on 11 teams. And 90% of our members have been in the league 5 to 7 years, and I guess 20% ever since the league started.

It’s hard to describe a typical member, they’re dart shooters, a variety of people. There are no divisions it’s a handicapped league, with women and men on the teams.

We have a President, Vice President, and Secretary Treasurer, and a Rules committee chairperson. The Secretary is paid. Four or five volunteers help when I need it.

Officers are all kind of new. I’ve been president almost a year. I took over for another because they couldn’t take care of stuff. They had a special election to put me in there and that’ll stay that way for a couple of years. The other President was there four years.

I’ve been shooting eight years so the league has been around probably eleven.

We’re not part of any national association. We’re small and have to get big enough to apply for it.

Because there are probably thirty percent of us in this league that’s shooting in another other league we have them right at hand to talk with but one’s handicap and the other is traditional so we run different.

Membership is $15 a year so at least once a year they have to pay $15, every week the sponsor pays $6 dollars and the members put in a couple of dollars, so there’s $21 each week from each team. I just put in sort of a 50/50 so 100 members put in $10 a month and we use the New Jersey lottery’s Pick three number’s last two digits, drawn the first Tuesday of the month, to determine who wins our drawing and wins $500. I try to get them to pay three months in advance but it’s hard to get them to do that.

We have a whole stack of rules, ten, twelve pages. It explains everything that goes on with the league, what it costs, how it works with handicap players and so. The way we enforce the rules is to penalize the team points because it hurts them at the end of the session.

The games are 501 two man team, then three cricket games two man teams, then a two man 501, then we’ll have two single cricket games, then we’ll shoot a 601 three man team, then we’ll go to two man cricket, then two single 301 games, another two man cricket then a four man 701 game and that’s the total for the night. The home team has to put their line up down first then the away team gets to match up the way they want.

The first and third Saturday of the month I hold a luck of the draw at one of the bars, double elimination. None of the money goes back to the league.

I hold a meeting once a month to talk about how much money has been spent out so they know how much we’ll have at the end of the session for prize payouts. We divide the total pot by the number of games played to see how much each game win will pay. Usually each teams gets $2 a point. I make captains sign in and if I don’t see their name signed in they loose five game points.

The league doesn’t have anything to do with who plays on teams. They sign up with who ever they want. There is a limit of six players for a team because we want the league to expand so there will be more teams. You have to have four to play.

There’s letters put out each week that tells what’s going on and they go to captains and places where they shoot. Sometimes I contact members by phone. We plan things for the league six months ahead. I have a picnic scheduled for August 10th and I started that back in January.

I get gripes but it’s always about the same thing and from the same person and he’s not even a captain so I ignore him half the time. So I asked, are you a captain, and he says no, so I said go to your captain and take the gripe up with him, then he’ll talk to me, that’s the way it’s supposed to go.

I’d like to see more teams getting in. I’ve been working on that with two or three different people to get them to put teams in. I go into different establishments and talk to the owners and see if there’s a dart board, then I really talk to them and they want to know what kind of profits are they going to make off of it.

Guys will be in a place where we’re playing and want to know how they can get involved and that’s the way we get new members.

Sponsors have to maintain a clear area to shoot, new boards and lights and get the members to have fun. The rules committee goes around and checks the places.

We have a picnic to get the members together on a Saturday or Sunday and have a barbecue, horse shoes, get away from darts. We give pins for cricket nines, and ton eighties, and this year we gave beer mugs with their name on it for high in, high out, most tons and for the highest percentage shooter in the league. We used to give trophies but people complained about it so I got beer mugs.

When you first come into the league you’re automatically rated as a C shooter, then according to your win percentage, you can be at another skill level, from A to F. Each skill level of shooter has a range of percentage like an A is from 1000 to 751, B is from 750 to 510 and like that. That system has been in place since the league started and it seems to work pretty well. If an A shooter plays a C shooter in a singles game the A shooter has to give up two marks in cricket and 25 points in Oh – 1. Every change in skill level gives up two marks or 25 points so if an A shooter plays an F shooter they give up 10 cricket marks or 125 points.

Camaraderie is the best thing about our league. Friendship, good times through throwing darts on Tuesday nights is the fun.

For more information use: rsjstrack@ixpres.com.

Cleveland Darter Club

Cleveland Darter Club (CDC)

Contribution by Scott Madis- 2004

I’m the Executive Director of the CDC full time; that’s my job. I’ve worked here since October, 1988. I guess the job description is glorified janitor! When I started I was working around eighty hours a week. I didn’t officially get the title until late 1989. I was only going to be working for five days and was just filling in for the Secretary who had left. Five days turned into two weeks, then turned into a month and I’m still here. I know I’ve done a lot things right and I’m proud of that. I affected a lot of changes. I wish things were better for organized darts – everywhere. I think they will get better but I have some regrets.

We are officially The Cleveland Darter Club, an Ohio non-profit corporation, 501c(4) status and we’ve been around since 1969. We are based in Cleveland Ohio and right now there are only 64 – 65 teams in the summer. In fall and winter we’re doing well if we can get 200 teams and in the heyday we had twice as many teams in the summer and fall/ winter. That would be around a little over 400 summer players, and 1,200 to 1,400 in the fall and winter. I periodically do a report to see how members come and go. Prior to 1989 the policy the club had was to purge the roll of people who hadn’t renewed their membership. If you let your membership lapse for two years you were removed. Well, after being here less than a year I had people coming in with CDC membership numbers that didn’t exist in the database. We were entering people who were already in the league so we needed to stop purging membership records. Now we have over 16,000 people who are members of the CDC. I was able to track them coming back and for quite some time it looked like a significant number of those who quit would come back after three years but things have changed dramatically in the last five years. Just because of the state of darts in the country I believe.

More people are playing darts than ever before and we know this to be true. This is evidenced by going to your local Sears store or you can go to Kmart or Walmart or JC Pennys and seeing a bristle board on the shelf. And you can buy a decent set of darts. Fifteen years ago that was unheard of. You couldn’t go to Kmart and see anything but one of those paper boards. Those stores do not take up valuable shelf space with items that are going to sit there and gather dust. They stock inventory that is selling and consistently sells and they would not have darts on their shelves if people weren’t buying them. We know that people are playing darts, or at least buying them more than ever. We also know that people are not playing in leagues more than ever. We know this to be true because every dart association in the country that’s been around for fifteen or twenty years is less than half the size it was. The Cleveland Darter Club certainly is less than half the size it was in the early 90’s. Now there’s a lot of new leagues, there’s small ones everywhere, and that’s great, but the big power house leagues don’t have the size they used to. They haven’t been replaced; people just aren’t playing in them like they used to. If people are not playing then what’s the problem? Well, we call our members every season – there’s three seasons each year and we call teams that don’t renew to play and ask them – hey, why didn’t you come back? And that’s hundreds of phone calls. We rarely get someone saying they were dissatisfied with darts itself. The primary answer is family and job commitments. The new reason that has come up in the last five years is, they can’t spend the amount of time in a bar that they used to. Not because they don’t like the bars. People can not spend two or three hours in a bar and drink adult beverages and expect to go home and not be at risk for being cited for driving under the influence of alcohol. Liquor laws in this state as well as almost every other state are very strict now. It is a money maker for municipalities and it’s also politically correct for politicians to pass legislation that is very strict and harsh. Judges are congratulated and reelected, the ones who are tough on what they perceive to be “drunk drivers”. But people are also suffering because of this. The economy is suffering. Hundreds of businesses, bars, they are run by people, families, they’re going under. In this county, Cuyahoga County, it has more liquor permits than any other in the state of Ohio and it is considerably less than what it was twenty years ago. Basically what I’m getting at is, right now we think of the home of league darts as the taverns. It’s a tavern sport and the players, the league players, they are not willing or able to – they’re afraid to go to the home of darts, so to speak, and spend two or three hours playing a league match.

We rent office space for a club house. We’ve moved four times since 1981, of those four times we’ve moved twice since 2000.

We call ourselves the Greater Cleveland area. Greater Cleveland is pretty much Cuyahoga County, the largest county in Ohio, but our “territory” is spread out a little bit into two neighboring counties.

The most common question that people who don’t play darts ask is what’s the typical player like. I don’t think there is anything typical about the average “large” dart organization – but if it’s a small league they might be all boy scouts or military or something like that. But when you get to a league our size, thousands of people, I don’t think you can draw a straight line on the occupation/ background thing other than they’re outgoing, gregarious. You can put all kinds of adjectives on that: social, fun-seeking, recreational. You certainly couldn’t say they are all sportsmen, because the average one may not be a sportsman. He may not play any other sport except darts and they may just watch football. They may be athletes. There is no other line on the chart that delineates them from any person you might see driving down the road. Their economics, their social background , their heritage, hobbies. They are so diverse. We used to do a format of our news letter in a tabloid-style that if you opened it up it would be maybe one and a half by two and a half feet and I’d print in maybe an eight-point typeface, I would export the occupation field from our membership data base and you could look at this big page full of company names and jobs and figure, well, what is the average darter. But you’d never be able to identify that. The average age right now is 36 ½ and when I first did that little routine it was 33. So in twelve years the average darter’s age has gone up three years.

Our by laws, back in the early eighties, called for thirteen board members. That shrank down to eleven and then that went down to nine and it is currently nine. The reason it kept shrinking was that fewer people were running or wanting to be on the board. So after a while when you had six open seats people didn’t think it looked good. Right now we have five board members who hold the standard offices of President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer. The rest are just board members at large. We have league Directors and all the other assorted committee Chairs: golf outing, tournament trails, all star team, other tournaments, Darthead newsletter, rules, by laws, planning, finance. There is considerable crossover of Board members but there are also people who are not on the Board who are on committees. None of these people are paid, although we would like to see the league Directors paid some day because it is a job – but so far, no. The old school or old guard doesn’t openly accept paying people for jobs that have been done gratis. Traditional ways of doing things are still more popular.

We are a charter member of the American Darts Organization. I couldn’t tell you why we joined originally because I wasn’t around then, but Charlie Andracchio, who has CDC Number Five, was one of our first Presidents. I believe he was with Tom Fleetwood up in some pool hall in Detroit when the notion of a national organization came up and I believe that’s how we go into it from Day One.

We have four leagues and periodically, if there are enough teams, we have a handicap league on Thursdays. We weight them according to their win/ loss record and they give up marks or points to a player of lesser ranking. Over the years we’ve run youth leagues twice, since I’ve been here. The average duration of a youth league is about two years. There was one that lasted four or five years and the reason it disbanded was because the kids grew up and that’s what happens to just about all of them – the youth leagues, that is – all the kids grow up! The members who are avidly into darts get their children into darts and when their kids grow up they don’t have an interest in the youth league anymore.

We’re making another stab at building relationships with other leagues but for the most part they are under new management from what they were five/ ten years ago – and that may make things easier once we gather around “the table”. Our club is sort of the dinosaur in our area.

We have four fees that provide income. Membership fees for bars are $50 per year and $25 for members. Our year is from September 1 to August 31. We also have a $15 team registration fee and then we have weekly fees that amount to $24 per week. We do alot of raffles to raise money; 50/50, and raffles for various prizes, sports tickets, entertainment stuff, we sell entertainment books, spaghetti dinner, a night at the races.

I believe our league rules are ten pages and the by laws I believe are thirteen pages. Our rules have been around so long that, periodically, I’ll go across the web and I’ll look at other people’s rules and see the same text and it’s just too much of a coincidence that somebody talks the same way so I know they got it from somebody else who got it from somebody else and it ultimately came back to us because we’ve been around longer than just about all of them.

Eligibility rules are probably the most difficult ones for people to understand: whether their memberships are paid or not.

Another rule that is hard for some of the veteran players is infractions of the toe line. Our rule is that the dart has to be released before you cross the plain of the toe line and that’s a little difficult with these jumpers. Apparently they’ll jump across the toe line. I get these complaints that ask, “Why is this guy allowed to cross the line while he’s throwing the dart?”. And I say, “Well you’d almost need a freeze frame camera to see whether he’s actually released the dart when leaping across the line.” Then it’s: “Well we’re pretty sure he’s doing that.” And then I’ll ask them, “Well do you really care? ‘Cause if this guy’s jumping in the air when he’s throwing the dart is he really hitting anything to begin with?” If you could get the other team to all jump when they throw their darts you’d be ahead of the game, you know? And that usually pacifies them.

I don’t think we can successfully legislate and enforce league rules without the cooperation of the average player out there. If your rules are not clear and concise enough for the average player to understand them they are not going to able to enforce them for you. They are the ones ‘out there’ on league night, and if they don’t know what is right or wrong and they see the other team doing it then they can’t say, Hey – you’re not allowed to do that, it says in the rules. If you have a huge book of rules, which I think ours is a little too lengthy, and they’re not simple rules that people understand then they can not enforce them. And when I say enforce them I mean stop the match and say you can or can not do this. You risk the argument of: “Well what do you mean I can’t do this, it’s not in the rules.” “Well show it to me.” And then if they can’t find it in the rules on league night that’s sometimes difficult. Leafing through a rule book to find something to prove whether you can or can’t do it. And then you get into the interpretation part of it, so rules have to be written very simple and made such that they don’t lose the enjoyment of the game through a mass of legislative text. Our most successful way of enforcing, especially league ineligibility, for instance, is to publish as much player information as we can; rosters & eligibility. I don’t know how other leagues handle ineligible players. Almost every league has a membership fee and if you have a membership fee for players it’s not fair to have members on one team not current on their dues and still playing the game and getting the same benefits. Most leagues have a penalty for having players who aren’t current with the dues but how do they know who is or isn’t current, or who is or isn’t playing? Do they go through every score sheet? See, in a large league that is darn near impossible – that type of enforcement. We’re just like the IRS in that respect. The leagues are the tax man and they can’t operate without the revenue. So if there are people playing in those leagues who are getting away with not paying those fees then they are doing harm to the league itself. And they damage the credibility of the league if you’re playing on a team and being straight up and here’s another team that doesn’t pay their fees and never get caught. How do leagues go about catching them? Obviously they have to use a computer. They “check the box” and input the financial data. Then do some kind of query to pull out all the players who are not current and then publish them or penalize that team. But then the league administrator is relying on that team captain and the problem with that is that if you are the captain and you are not paying your team’s fees, you’re probably not reading your weekly standings or newsletter either! You’re irresponsible. So for the league to depend on the irresponsible person to do something responsible is not logical.

What we’ve done is come full circle. We used to allow ineligible players to be on teams and then we just penalized them, and we kept penalizing them -week after week. And on their standing sheet we’d print their roster each week and we put dollar signs next to player names whose membership fees aren’t current so they’d get basically a little statement each week telling them what they were being penalized for. Well, it all sounded real slick and there was some programming involved and I was very proud of this and I thought it solved all the problems. But it didn’t. We’d go week after week and after fourteen weeks would go by we’d have a team call up and say, “Hhey, we got penalized all these points! what happened there?” They never read the material we sent them, and were oblivious to the fact that they were being penalized. Sometimes we’d make calls to them and tell them they had ineligible players. And then they’d claim they didn’t get the message. Or there’s always, “Oh, I didn’t get it in the mail”, or, “The check’s in the mail”. Now we just give them three weeks to pay their membership fees and after that we remove them from the roster. And we publish them on the weekly standings so, not the irresponsible captain, but all the other players in the league know “that guy’s not an eligible player”. We publish the team they are on so everybody knows that when they play that team, and see that guy playing, they’re getting forfeit points for the match. So that’s what I’m saying, you make it simple and concise so the populace knows and then they can enforce the rules on their own. If you can design it so it’s almost a turnkey operation you are much better off in the long run.

As far as the bars. I traveled around extensively when I first started here, and visited Chicago six times in less than two years. They were very helpful to me. One of the major differences between Chicago and Cleveland was that we are a money league. We had significant weekly fees paid in and we paid out significant cash prizes. On the other side of the coin you had the Minute Man Dart league where the members didn’t pay any fees; the bars did. In our club when we first started out teams were responsible for paying their fees. Well, now because the bar business is so tough, getting people to stay in the bar for any amount of time is difficult. So leagues of any kind are their lifeblood. If you own a bar you have to have a league of some kind. A bowling machine league, a pinball league, that golf game, billiards, softball, volleyball. The beauty of billiards and darts is that you have a captive audience, where most of the other sports have the patrons off playing and the barowner is depending on them coming in after the game to spend money. In the case of darts they are in there spending money for two to three hours playing darts. So it’s in the bar owners best interest to get people to come and play on your dart team. That evolved to where a lot of the bars are paying all of the fees for dart teams.

We have a checklist of sanctioning requirements that covers the dart boards, lights and things like that and each of the various things have a point value. If we get a complaint we send out a member of our sanctioning committee to check things out. They run the check list and if they get a point value of five infraction points that prohibits them from league play on that board until the violations are corrected. For example, locating the dartboard near loudspeakers is 1 infraction point, whereas a measurement violations is worth 5, and an automatic No-No. Playing conditions and the affiliate membership fee are the only two things we hold the bars accountable for. How they sponsor dart teams is their business, although we have been working on methods to assist them with this. We’re still experimenting with that subject.

We have monthly board meetings, a monthly planning committee meeting, we have quarterly finance committee meetings. The last board meeting we designed how a motion should be presented and what structure it should have. You’d think after all these years we’d have one, but you might be surprised how many organizations don’t. We don’t expect anyone other than Board members to attend the meetings unless someone has a complaint.

We don’t assign individual rankings or handicapping or any of that stuff, per se. The method we use to assign teams to divisions has two sides to the equation: there is proximity and parity. Proximity is the distance that teams in your division have to travel. Parity is how your team’s strength matches up against the strength of other teams within your division. When a season starts, lets say we get two hundred rosters in, we enter all of the team members into a computer database then we generate reports on any performance those members have had over the pasts year in any of our leagues and that performance includes how well the team they played on performed previously, whether it’s the same team on another team, they could have played on three other teams with different names and different league nights. We scan it all. We also do a tally of each session in which they had individual achievement write=ups. For instance, you throw a ton eighty or high in or high out or cricket trips; those are all what we consider individual achievements. If you hit any of those in the previous two years they print out on your report. That gives us an idea of the parity, of how strong a team is . Say you have five players and three of them were on a first place team and two of those guys got a whole bunch of write ups, so they’re obviously pretty good shots – so we know you’re a pretty darn good team; statistically speaking. We start with whether you asked for a beginner, intermediate or advanced level division. If we know that your team performed well against other teams and that your team has some stand out players who performed well individually, we schedule you accordingly. That’s an objective approach that doesn’t take into account your win loss record because when you take into account wins and losses, well, not all dart games are singles. So for a doubles match what do you do? Many leagues just weight it; say 50% , or less, of the value of a Singles game win. But if one guy plays every week and he sucks, but he’s playing with a partner who’s the best player on the team who can carry him,, which happens a lot, he’s recorded each week as having a win for doubles but he had really nothing to do with it except the A player on the team carried him. His ranking is skewed – it’s not legitimate. Then comes into play how good were the players they played against that night? Statistically it doesn’t work unless the league is small and the players are playing against the same players week in and week out, or numerous times, so you can get a good data sample. I have yet to see an individual ranking system work for a large league. There’s a lot to be said for the smoke and mirrors, and if people believe it works then so be it. If it works, there should be little score deviation between 1st and Last place teams. That’s the proof. If you’ve got a spread of 20 or more points, or two complete matches, then I’d have to say the “ranking” system isn’t worth the trouble if you’re doing individual players.

The other side of the scheduling was proximity. Because we are a large league that covers a big geographical area, it is the biggest complaint we’ve had to solve over the years. Sometimes people would have to drive forty five minutes to get to a dart match and that’s excessive. And that’s just one direction. Even if it’s just a half hour it’s a long time, so we try to keep driving time to twenty minutes. That’s something we can control much better than Parity. We can’t necessarily schedule teams parity wise so they are guaranteed to compete well against each other. So far, nobody can really do that in a large league. With the proximity, what we did was divide our geographic area into seven regions. Rather than drawing a weird, funky map we went by postal zip codes. That way someone could open a phone book to a zip code map, see the bar they play in is in 44113 area, and know they’re going to be playing right around that area. So, when the teams come in we divide them up by the level they request, their statistical team strength, and then put them into their geographical regions. From there we assign them to division schedules.

Our league formats have changed significantly in the past five years. For years and years it was an eleven game format for our Tuesday League. Then we had a new Director who listened to some people who didn’t think playing in the old format was good and it should be changed to a “modern format”. An old games played in a new format – sure!. So he made a small change of maybe one game for another, and that opened the floodgates. Others wanted changes, too. And then people in other leagues on different nights wanted changes, and the changes spread to other nights. The requests started getting out of hand quickly, naturally. Because you’re going to have at least a hundred opinions on what it should be. When I took over as a league director until we found a volunteer to take the job, I wanted to come up with a method of collecting all of those opinions and compile them into something that everyone could read, so they could appreciate the problem imposed on the league director(s). We used surveys. I would send out surveys with suggestions that they could choose from. Uunfortunately the votes were frequently split down the middle and rarely was there a mandate for a particular format. Then I came up with what I called the “Perfect League” format, and it’s still on our website. The score sheet and format description form is there. I came up with a match score sheet where you could basically choose the format that you wanted for the match. Prior to the match starting you pick a format and as long as your opponents agreed to it they could play it. And that went on for about two sessions before we realized that these guys really don’t want to have a choice. They want people to tell them what they’re going to play. But then they want to be able to complain about what they are being told to play. What I called the perfect league didn’t work. What I did then was take the elements of the perfect league and try to come up with league formats that would finish up the league night with a minimal number of players. One of the biggest problems that we hear of, and one of the reasons that darts is down is that people cannot spend as much time in a bar, which I believe we’ve already covered. Many people just can’t stay out that late. Out of a team roster of five players there might be, in fact almost always, at least one guy who can’t stay late for whatever reason. Work, family, you know he can’t stay out past eleven. So I tried to steer the league format towards finishing up with singles games, or doubles games to where it would only take two players on the roster to finish up the match. We’re very sensitive to the amount of time spent.

We have a fellow who’s gone out and recruited a bunch of bars in a neighborhood that’s a pretty tight knit area, and they want their own game format. I couldn’t see a problem with that. It’s a different score sheet, there’s some administrative stuff but it’s just x’s and o’. Don’t foresee any problems with that except other players in other divisions might want to do that too. They can. That is the overriding policy in our rules, it says on the score sheet if they want to stray from the game format that we recommend all they have to do is agree to it. Still, for some reason, it seems that most players want it all spelled out for them in the league, with no desire to negotiate something different if they’re not satisfied with the format.

Tournament Trails is basically a singles and doubles format where the singles is 301 DIDO, cricket and 501 FIDO. And for the draw doubles they play 501 DIDO, Cricket and 501 FIDO. About the only thing that differs from one bar to the next is that most will add money to the pot in varying amounts. For instance one bar might add $50 if they get a minimum of ten people, and if there’s fifteen or twenty people it may be $100. Or they’ll add $5 per head for everybody after ten people. Tournament Trails has been around for a long, long time. I think the fellow who started it was Jack Dore’. Admirably, it hasn’t changed since they came up with it. That’s why it’s popular, it’s very simple, there aren’t a lot of rules to it, and it has a great deal of credibility. The winners win some money. They win a portion of the entry fees and any money the bar pays that night. Approximately 50% of the entry money goes into the Trails fund. In addition to some money players get Trail points. If you enter the singles event you get four points and two points for entering the doubles. Then, after each elimination round, if you beat your opponent, you get additional 2 points for each singles and 1 point for each doubles Elimination. So for a field of sixteen players you’d get twelve Trails points if you win the Singles competition. The tally sheets go into the central office and we keep track of them. Tournament Trails is open to the public but only members can accumulate points. And once a member gets 500 points, the rule is the top fifty point earners with 500 points or more qualify for a trip letter. We publish cut off dates where points accumulated up to a cut off date can be used to get trips to any one of the tournaments listed in the invitation letter. Once you get 500 points you get one of these letters inviting you to take a trip, if you wish. Trips are published as far in advance as possible, so people can make plans early. You can select the trip you want to go on, and any other special arrangements. The Trails program pays your round trip air fare, they pick up your hotel room for the duration of the event, they give you some spending money, $35 I think, they pay your entry fee into two events and you get a custom embroidered tee shirt with the name and date of the tournament, the Tournament Trails logo, and your name on it. There is a Tournament Trails Director who can be contacted for more information through the web site. Any bar who is an affiliate member of the Club has the prerogative to host Tournament Trails. The only requirement right now is that they have three dart boards. I’m trying to have that reduced to one.

When a new player joins the league I direct them to Trails because it’s always a great group of people and basically a mass of darters right there and that’s the best way to learn any game. There are members who periodically host dart clinics, we’re fortunate to have Wade Wilcox and Gary Mawson in our area, both of whom have put on dart clinics but those are not a regular event.

Because we do the Tournament Trails and send people around the country it’s important that we know where these tournaments are so we can advertise them to our members. It’s surprising how many tournament hosts don’t have a tournament flyer ready until a month or two before the actual tournament date. By then it’s too late for the average circuit player. I mean, if you don’t get your air fare booked at least thirty days in advance you’re paying a healthy premium. My advice to all those people doing tournaments is get these things booked well in advance. If you can’t do it at least six or eight months in advance don’t do it until next year. We try to plan a year in advance around here, with trimester budgets.

Our difficulty is that we are trying to get people to play darts in bars and to patronize those bars on league nights. And we really have no help. The average bar basically sucks at promoting themselves.

We have a distinguished darter award – we just renamed it the Peter Smolleck Distinguished Darter Award. He passed away in March. It is not based on how well a person plays but how the person distinguishes themselves in our sport and our Club. Anybody can make a nomination to the committee for Distinguished Darter and then the Board approves the decision of the committee. We also have a lifetime membership award and to date we have eleven lifetime members. We have individual achievement awards for each league and each level in each league. On the score sheet there is a list of achievements such as high in, or high out, minimum number of darts for a 501 game, low darts for cricket, cricket trips, ton eighties, ton seventy ones. When a player gets five of them on any given week night they get a plaque with their name engraved on it along with their accomplishments.

Then there’s the usual plaques for first and second place teams and bar.

If someone enjoys playing darts this is the place. If you want to play darts I think it behooves you to seek out the largest and oldest place to start. There’s plenty of places and events in which to play darts if that’s what you want to do. Then I would say try others as well. Our club has longevity and credibility and an open door policy to anybody who wants to be more involved in any particular aspect. Whether it’s working on a committee or golf outing or being on the board you can walk in and be part of it.

A combination of things contributed to the demise of the Extravganza. We saw a dramatic downturn of participants after 9/11/01. The following year it was down tremendously. It wasn’t just that people weren’t traveling around as much after 9/11 but that Extravaganza was a niche event. In the beginning the goal was to have the best players come to Cleveland to compete, and it stayed that way. We paid a pro singles event that had a total prize of $8800 and that got a PDC ranking and it brought people in from England, Canada and elsewhere. It’s an anomaly with darts, when you bring the best players in and make them available to compete against, it’s not like other sports, in my opinion. If you’re a golfer and you could go out and plunk down thirty bucks and play against Tiger Woods, or Jack Nicholas or any one of those guys I have a feeling you’d have an endless line of people queued up to play even a couple of holes to play against those guys. But in darts you’re not going to get the average player, who would have paid to play against a golf pro and get his ass kicked, do the same with a dart professional. I think that’s because right now the average darter doesn’t recognize a Ronnie Baxter, or John Part or a Phil Taylor as bigger than life players. I think that will change with the advent of darts on TV. That’s what happened to the Extravaganza: we didn’t get the turn out of the average player. We’d get a hundred fifty people come in from out of town but we didn’t get another fifty people from the greater Cleveland area.

Tidewater Area Darting Association

Tidewater Area Darting Association (TADA)

Contribution by: Cecil Winstead, Chairman, Project Engineer for Govt. Contractor

Chris Bender, Tournament Director, Copier Service Technician – 2004

(Cecil) TADA began in 1973 and takes up Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk. We also attract players from as far away as Williamsburg and North Carolina.

(Cecil & Chris) We have approximately 350 players per year running 3 seasons a year. We hold an annual awards banquet. We oversee one National Tournament that is currently worth $30,000 and several smaller tournaments a year. This will be the 2nd year that we have hosted the Virginia State Championships. We also have a Team Event Tournament, the Dave Ray Memorial, for the benefit of the American Cancer Society in Dave’s name. Dave Ray, Sr. was a part of TADA for many years. He played in the league for a long time. He and his wife, Jackie, ran the Registration Desk for years and years, way before my time (Chris Bender).

I (Cecil Winstead) am the only member of the original TADA from 1973 that was formed by Frank and Jan Owens in the Hampton area. The Golden Palace, which I was partial owner of, in Oceanview (Norfolk) brought darts to the Southside. One thing you have to remember about the Tidewater Area is that we have so many transients. We’re a really large military area. People are constantly transferring in and out of town. People play, move away, move back and go back to playing. Pretty much everyone here has some contact with the military. Quite a few of our players are military.

(Cecil & Chris) We have divisions by skill. Our Summer Season usually has three divisions and the Winter Season could have five to eight divisions. We’re usually about 40 teams, but how team membership falls determines how we setup the divisions so that they’re even.

(Chris) Basically the way teams get into divisions is the lower division teams just want to play and have fun. They don’t really have much care if they win or lose but they want to have fun doing it. This means that if they play one of the higher teams in their division they’ll probably lose more than win. When you get to the top divisions you have players who, yes, want to have fun but they are pretty serious about their darts so you’ll hear more complaints: that fans blowing, it’s too hot, cold, loud and things like that. So divisions pretty much go by stages. First and Second Division have skill levels about the same. A first division player has more experience at the game. They’ll know their out, know the strategy and won’t get shaken. Second Division has the skill to beat the First Division players but not at a consistent level. It kind of trickles down from there. Once you get down to the middle divisions you get the husband and wife teams. One may be of a higher caliber than the other but they want to shoot together. We have no system as far as individually ranking the players. We only do PPD’s for First Division right now. We go with the skill level of the players in the league. I look at the rosters and decide what division to put them in. If the team wants to move up a division we try to do that. If they want to move down a division I have to take a hard look at that. What did they do last year? It’s a subjective decision. I don’t want them going down and tearing up a division just to win a trophy. I’m a champion or a loser by the decision I make.

Our Executive Board is made up of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary/Treasurer, Tournament Director, Assistant Tournament Director, Public Relations Director and ADO (American Darts Organization) Representative.

Cecil says, “The reason that we’re successful is that we’ve changed to be successful. We’ll make a decision and regardless of the arguments we have as a Board behind closed doors, we come out and stand as one and go through with it. I’ve been lucky. I’ve been Chairman for quite a while now and I’ve had pretty good Directors (Tournament) although I have had to relieve Directors in the past. The Executive Board members are elected and when I get a Director who is doing an outstanding job, even if they submit a resignation, I refuse to accept it. They walk away and come back the next day. The Executive Board Officers are elected by staggered elections, two people every year because we can’t lose continuity by having a whole new board elected at once.”

“For our size we put on the best tournament in the country. The way we plan is to have all our checks in place. We have four people doing four different things but we always have a check in place as safeguards.” (Chris Bender) “People are shocked to find out how few people we have in our league (comparatively) to be able to host a tournament of this size and get it done. We still have no major sponsor, we do it all ourselves.”

(Cecil) “We’re associated with the ADO and are one of the original members of the ADO when they chartered back in 1976, I think it was. We are one of the original ten leagues in the ADO. We were started to promote darts and that’s why we stay affiliated with ADO. There are a few smaller dart leagues in the area and we offer them whatever assistance we can but they want to be their own little house.”

“We get our revenue from player dues of eight dollars per player per year and their nightly fees of sixteen dollars per team per league night. There is also a twenty-five dollar sponsorship fee for each team.”

“When we run a tournament or special event, we do it to benefit a charity. We used to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation until they sent us a packet that was about an inch thick to fill out for us to donate money to them. I made a command decision at that time and decided to go with Special Olympics. We have a league member’s son who is a Special Olympic participant. We’ve found that they are a fantastic organization to work with. We were the Special Olympics Organization of the Year for 2001 and 2006 and are really proud of that.”

(Cecil) “We have League By-Laws and Rules. The league rules came from the ADO. These By-Laws and Rules are posted on our website.”

(Chris) “One of the biggest problems in the league is the issue of postponements. A match gets postponed and the trouble of dates to replay comes in to cause the problem. Our other problem is getting dues paid and scoresheets in on time. At the end it all comes out.”

(Cecil) “We have the right to remove Team Captains when necessary. When we have money payouts we can withhold their prize money. Currently we aren’t using money payouts so we enforce things tighter. If a Team Captain gets behind we give them no score on their weekly results. The team members will see a zero on the standings and contact the Captain to find out why? Another problem we have with Team Captains is that they receive all the information for their team but they don’t pass it on to their team members. Our primary tool for enforcing this rule is to make the team members aware when their Captain is behind in scoresheets/fees. These rules are laid out in detail in our League By-Laws. We’ll let things stretch a little but when taken advantage of they will be enforced to the letter.”

(Chris) “ We play on Tuesday’s and play different formats by division. First Division plays four Singles 501, four Singles Cricket, two Singles 301 (DI/DO), two Doubles Cricket and two Doubles 501. Our middle divisions play four Singles 301, four Singles Cricket, two Doubles Cricket and two Doubles 501. The lower divisions play two Singles 301, two Singles 401, four Singles Cricket, two Doubles 501 and two Doubles Cricket. All Division matches are best of 3. If the lower divisions played the First Division format they wouldn’t have time to finish before closing time.” (Cecil) “We tried that for a few years but had a lot complaints so it was changed.”

(Chris) “The Executive Board does the scheduling. There are one or two people who work on it but if it becomes a problem then the rest of the Board gets involved. The Vice-Chairman pretty much has the final say. There isn’t a magical way of doing it. Once you have a certain team number schedule set up you can use the same format for coming seasons. I’ve looked at the schedule forms online but we change so often that none really fit us. We have dart bars that have two boards and bars that have ten boards so we have to work from there.”

(Cecil &Chris) “The League doesn’t get involved in any of the local establishment LOD’s because that’s where dissension comes from. We can’t be considered as picking favorites or questions will arise about why not here? We leave LOD’S totally up to the bar itself. If we are contacted by a bar about holding a LOD, we will suggest people who are capable or assist them in the beginning setup. It is up to the bar itself to handle it from there.”

(Cecil) “We have a special Youth League. We have two establishments that will allow the youth to play. American Legion Post #327 and the AMF Bowling Center. It got all got started years ago as a way to keep the kids occupied while their parents were shooting. Basically, a baby sitting service. The parents would bring their kids to the tournament and leave them in the room while they were shooting. After numerous complaints about kids running wild we decided to give them somewhere safe to expend their energy. We were fortunate enough to have the Lake Wright Hotel that had lots of room and really liked us. We put up boards for the kids and that’s how it started. Now we have one of the biggest Youth Events of any of the major tournaments. We had 49 youth this year at the Virginia Beach Dart Classic.” (Chris) “We have what we call Youth Clinics, not necessarily a league. They come out on two afternoons per month and get to work with experienced adult league players and then compete amongst themselves in a youth only tournament. Youth darts is how my wife (Linda Bender) and I (Chris Bender) got roped into this dart organization stuff. Somehow she volunteered, or got volunteered, to help the kids in TADA’s early youth days. I don’t even remember how that happened but she ended up being Youth Director for six or seven years until she passed it on to someone else and became the leagues Secretary/Treasurer. Right now in our league we have many players who came from our youth program. Some of our former youth are now nationally ranked including David Thibault and Scott Ingrum. Ryan Mahaffey is a former Youth National Champion, who started with us at approximately the age of eight, who has traveled to England to represent the United States. Now he’s preparing for college. I just attended his graduation party last week.”

(Cecil) “We hold Executive Board meetings as necessary and after each General Membership Meeting and Captains meeting at the start of a season. Our Executive Board meetings have about a 95% attendance rating. Captains meetings are mandatory for the Team Captain or a representative from the team. Two points are deducted from any team without a representative at the meeting unless having a previously approved excuse.”

(Chris) “The Board has nothing to do with the individual players and what team they choose to play on. If a lower division team brings in a higher caliber player or a new player in the area, I let them know that they may be moved into a higher division because of it.”

(Chris) “We use e-mail, phone and direct mailing to keep in contact with our members.”

(Chris) “We plan our next league season at least one season in advance. We never know how many teams we will have in the next session and that determines how long the season will run. We always try to start our new league year in September so we try to adjust the other two seasons accordingly. This helps us to play league darts year round without a major interruption.”

(Chris) “We’ll get a call from a bar telling us that they’ve talked to another bar owner and would like to get involved in darts. How many teams can you give us? I have to tell them that it doesn’t quite work that way. It takes a lot of time to go in and talk to these bars. It’s one of the weak spots we have. I try to do it but they want you to do something for them but aren’t really interested in sitting down to talk about the details. Just give me a set up, give me a team, make me money. It’s something that needs a lot more PR and we don’t have enough of that yet.”

(Cecil) “A lot of our problems come with the tournament. We don’t have a major sponsor. We’ve talked to a lot of potential sponsors. The Commonwealth prohibits any alcohol distributor or manufacturer from sponsoring an event unless they own the facility. Smoking is out so the tobacco companies can’t help. This basically leaves us with dart suppliers or dart manufacturers, but they can only afford so much. We tried to increase the female players payout knowing that we probably wouldn’t cover and they are starting to understand that.” (Chris) “We have a lot more potential for growth on the female side but there are mixed results on that. We have records for the Virginia Beach Dart Classic back to 1989 but are looking for information about who won in the tournaments in the years prior to that. We’d like to hear from anyone who remembers these names.”

(Cecil & Chris) “We are in the Charity Darts Hall of Fame even though there is no brick and mortar hall. We recruit players through our website, bars, local and military newspapers and word of mouth. We get a very limited amount of help from our local media but we’re working on that. The charity events are the best things that we have going for us. Our Public Relations Director, Paula Bushey, is the person who should be contacted by anyone seeking information about the league or tournaments we have. She can be contacted through our website at www.tidewaterdarts.com.”

(Cecil) “A sponsor must have a minimum of two boards to support a team. They have the responsibility to make sure that their setup is accurate and the area kept clear while the teams are playing. Division Coordinators are used to address complaints with the sponsors. We don’t pay them to put a team in their bar, we don’t pay for their equipment, but we do want their support. We can’t dictate to them.”

(Chris) “We hold one awards banquet each year during the summer. The youth have their own thing. We used to be a payout league but the players weren’t getting very much money back and it cost more to keep track of than it was worth. The banquet can get stale after a few years so we put a vote to the general membership to get rid of the payout, make the banquet better, add money to our youth and start a charity fund. It was passed. This past banquet we upgraded the food and spent $1500.00 on door prizes/raffles that ran all night.”

(Chris) “The best thing about our league is our National Tournament. Go anywhere in the country and mention the Tidewater Area Darting Association. Most everyone will recognize the name and comment about the great tournament that we hold here. We have a lot of pride in that. We’ve given over $150,000 to charity over the last 20 years. People enjoy playing in our league because it is well run. We offer more than a dart league, we offer a dart community. As an example of this, there is George Sizemore. George owns “Bit of England Dart and Game Shoppe” in Pembroke Mall. They’ve been open for over 20 years and if you walk in there and say you want to play darts, my phone will be ringing in seconds. The satisfaction of the game rewards us for our hard work. We love the game. Darts is a great family community. I love to travel and meet the other darters.”

For more information about TADA, www.tidewaterdarts.com.