Rhonda Newcomer

Name:  Rhonda Newcomer

 

Age: 29

 

Marital status: Married

 

City:  Cleveland, OH

 

Occupation:  Athletic Trainer, Research Coordinator for Sports Health and Orthopedic Rehabilitation, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

 

Tell us about the beginning of your interest in darts.:  Both of my parents played darts for the Cleveland Darter Club when I was younger.  There was a dart board hanging in, of all places my kitchen, growing up.  I didn’t actually start shooting until last year, however.  My husband and I were at a local corner bar that I bartended at one night a week and were bored.  It came up that he used to shoot darts in college and I had always thought that darts were fun (what was I thinking?!?!?!).  Anyways, one thing led to another and we got a group of friends together to form a team.  Then since we are of the mentality of why do anything if you are not going to strive to be the best at it, we started to play in tournaments and other local events.

 

In which league(s) do you play?  I am a current member of the Cleveland Darter Club, Gold Coast Darters, and Lake Erie Dart Association                      

 

Which other family members play?        My husband on league/tourneys, my sister goes to some trails events, and my parents used to play                 

 

How far from home do you play?          5-30 miles for league, but I do travel to tournaments.

 

How many days per week do you engage in darts?                    5-6

 

What kind of darts do you use: weight/ brand? 23 gms Smooth Black Widows

 

What is the most annoying antic you see from other dart players? Poor sportsmanship either with winning or losing, I really hate to see people fling their darts around the room.  Not only does it make them look like an idiot but it is just plain dangerous.

 

Tell us about conflicts darts create in home or work life? Since my spouse is with me most of the times I am darting there isn’t much conflict.  My job is pretty flexible at the moment so there is none in that aspect either.

 

What goals in darts do you have?  I would like to reach the top 50 in ranking by next year, and be the top female darter in Cleveland within the next 5 years.  At that point, I will start shooting for top women in the country.  However, that will be career dependent as I don’t know how many tourneys I will be able to travel to in order to consistently earn points.

 

What has been your best moment in darts?  I can definitely say, without a doubt, winning the ADO 4-4 Regional to earn a spot on the East-West AllStar team this year.  It was a play-off between myself and one other female and it went 5 games, so it was a real good experience for me.

 

What’s your advice to a newbie dart player?  My best advice is to determine how serious you want to be about darts.  If you want to be the average recreational darter and are happy with throwing once or twice a week, then go for it and enjoy yourself.  However, if you want to compete at the top level in the city and/or country, you need to get yourself out there and talk to people.  You cannot be intimidated by the better darters. They are the ones that are going to help you.  Well, most of them.  The way I improved was going to our Tournament Trails events, which is a series of singles and blind draw tourneys that are held 4 nights a week, every week.  That is where I networked with people who wanted to help me become a better player.  They helped me work on my mechanics and also learn strategies for both 01 and cricket.  I can honestly say that without the help of my friends, I never would have achieved the success that I already have achieved.

 

What would make your league better and more fun?  Right now, we are having issues with a decrease in numbers, especially at the top.  So in the summer we ended up playing the same teams 5 times in the season.  We need to encourage more people to get out and throw darts, and then improve themselves so the competition is better across the board.  Darts is not fun if you are not competing against similar competition levels.  We are bored with getting our butts kicked and the people who were kicking our butts are bored doing it.

 

 What does the sport need to help it grow/ improve its image?  This is something that has been much discussed in our club (CDC).  We still really haven’t come up with the answer.  I know that many people that I encounter think that all darters do is, well, drink.  And they are correct to some extent.  I don’t drink that much when in serious competition (ie, league, tourneys) and such, but there are plenty others that do.  But that is not what the sport is about.  It is what attracts some people, and I don’t think we will be able to get away from that stereotype since it is played out of a bar.  I hope that with the coverage it is getting on the sports channels it will spark some interest.  I also hope that people do not think that “they aren’t good enough to play league”.  Anyone can play in the lower divisions of most leagues.  As long as you are having fun, it shouldn’t matter how good you are.  I am a good example….A year and a half ago, I wasn’t even playing darts.  This year I played in a national tournament.

 

How far would you travel to see national championship playoffs?  If my husband can get the time off, we would go just about anywhere….

 

Which game would interest you most in a national championship: ( )301 (x)501  ( )Cricket

 

Should a national championship be best of  ( )3 ( )5                   ( ) 7                  ( x) 11

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