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.

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