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.

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.

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