The Ideal Dart League

The Ideal Dart league 

After creating one, running several, playing in a bunch and interviewing leaders of a dozen American dart leagues, I discovered that not one had a regular training, coaching or teaching program. Players are mostly left to their own devices to “get better” at the sport. The reasons were plain: none of the leaders thought darts was complicated, intricate, or sophisticated enough to have such a thing as training and people playing the game didn’t think they needed someone to show them how to “throw” a dart. In addition, league leaders don’t have the time to think this through.


I’ve also discovered there’s practically no conversation or exchange of ideas between leagues and organizations, many of which were struggling with issues that others had long since resolved.

Both of these conditions, lack of training/teaching programs and little or no conversation, come from the profoundly provincial mind set of most of the league leaders. There is practically no discussion or exchange of ideas between leagues, and absolutely none between darts businesses which call themselves leagues or associations or organizations. No one was talking to anyone. They mostly view others in the sport as what – competitors?


I offer below what I call the Ideal Dart League which includes things I’ve found to exist in successful leagues and of which others may not be aware. These are conditions already being enjoyed by some leagues and address some root causes of difficulties within leagues but are not intended to be a cure all .


1. The Ideal Dart League will have a Board of Directors which oversees the activity of the entire league.

     There will be rules/ bylaws which address league wide issues.


2. The Ideal Dart League will have divisions within the league when membership exceeds 150.

     Each division will have a Board of Administrators which oversees the activity of that specific division.

     There will be rules which address division specific issues.


Issues which are among those within the juristiction of the League BoD


Size of the league and divisions;

A. No more than 150 players in the entire league or be divided into semiautonomous divisions composed of no more than 150 players in each division, each with its own leadership in the form of a Board of Administrators.


League wide competition activity

B. A period when activity is largely suspended which lasts two months each calendar year and is most preferably during the summer months.




Elections of League Directors

A Board Of Directors will be elected by league members in good standing no sooner than every two years at the mid period of league activity. They assume office during the suspended activity period following their election.


The Board of Directors:

     1- decides general rules and enforcement procedures concerning revenue issues, player/ team/sponsor conduct, legal status.

     2- collects, disperses and accounts of league finances and ensures that officers who handle money are bonded and the league is in compliance with not for profit organization regulations.

     3- supplies minutes of meetings, which follow Robert’s rules of order, submitted to all league members through Division Administrators on a regular basis.

     4-  writes rules of conduct for all members with expulsion as one penalty for infraction of the rules for membership of individuals, teams and team venues which includes enforcement provisions.

     5- recruits venue owners and players.

     6- conducts a league wide party at which recognition & awards are presented but there is no darts competition and every member of every Division is offered the opportunity to attend with one guest.

     7- establishes league wide rules for day to day operation of the league which include the following:  a grievance procedure for Divisions to bring member complaints to the BOD for resolution when Division rules are not applicable.

      8- A growth program which includes:

     * a player development program to help maximize member’s enjoyment of the league, division and sport of darts;

     * a venue support program to ensure the business advantages of darts is appreciated by venue owners;

     * competitions which are specifically designed to encourage participation by the recreational members of the league in addition to the routine type which are geared to the more serious competitors.

     * a division designated “social club” which has no formal structure, schedule or rules, intended to provide a place(s) and time for individuals who are looking to enjoy darts outside regular league play.

     * a division for electronic machine competition which is handicapped, and preferably, steel tip type.

     9- A forum for membership concerns which include:

     * divisions established with geography as the first determinant and competition as the next.









Some issues within the juristiction of a Division BoA


Elections of Administrators

A Board of Administrators (BOA) will be elected by  that division’s members not sooner than every two calendar years to oversee division competition.


Scheduling of competition

A schedule for regular season competition will be created which includes open dates for make up of matches which were postponed. There are no forfeits.


The BoA will create and administer rules governing when, where, which games and competition format. They will create and administer a set of rules which pertain only to that division’s competition activities and which include:

     1- Scheduling of regular season competition;

     2- A provision for postponement of scheduled matches, but no  forfeits;

          a. captains are granted the authority to negotiate conditions for playing a match instead of postponement.  

          b. if agreement can not be reached the match is postponed. 

     3- Rules concerning minimum team size only – no maximum limit;

     4- A grievance procedure through which members may bring complaints for resolution;

          a. enforcement procedures, for only that division, concerning violations of rules governing conditions for match play.

     5- Rules which require every player to participate in a minimum number of games per match and none which inhibit or prevent team captains from deciding which team members may play in which game or with which team member.

     6- An objective method of ranking individual players by skill and accomplishment. These statistics shall be used to balance competition between teams/divisions and not be used for handicapping players or teams unless the whole division uses handicapping.

     7- Accomplishment awards for individuals, teams and sponsors;

          a- These awards are to be presented to individuals, teams and sponsors, with fanfare, at the annual party run by the league BOD.

          b- Accomplishment awards are not to be monetary.

          8-  Contracts stipulating the responsibility of being a league member, team captain or venue owner, signed by the league/division member, team captain or venue owner which includes, for a member, requirement to help with league activities such as tournaments and league parties.

          a. rules defining the penalty for breaking a contract, e.g.: cancellation of matches at the venue, match schedule being recinded for the team. 





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