Temper, Temper

I have received a couple of e-mails on this subject and I wanted to relate a couple of incidents that I have seen to illustrate the problems.

There is a saying in my Darts Club of ..."No Angry Darts!" This refers to a thrower who has just thrown two bad shots and usually bust or ended up with a score of 3 to finish or something like that. Then ...Wham! The third dart flies into the board with all the anger and frustration that the player can muster. Yes, you've seen it, maybe done it yourself sometimes. I know I have. It took me a short time to realise that this was the wrong thing to do, but it was after a couple of incidents I witnessed with other players that managed to persuade me. One player in particular that used to play for our club, had this problem all the time, not very often in matches, but certainly during practice and social darts. He did let it carry over into a match once and he suffered the above indignity of busting on the double at 501. Now this player who shall remain nameless plays with 32 gram darts, which are quite heavy, and when he threw his third dart 'in anger' he had thrown it with such force that it bounced out and over the scorers, players, spectators and landed a good fifteen feet (about 5 metres) away and embedded itself in the table of a group who were just having a beer and a chat.

A lot of shouting, swearing and pushing followed which took about ten minutes to sort out. His opponent then stepped up to the oche for his throw and took out a 95 in three darts to win, which brought a cheer from the group my ex team mate had just missed, and also from the scorers and spectators, some of which would have had their hair parted by the offending projectile if they had not ducked.

One of my e-mail correspondents (thank you - you know who you are) related to me a similar incident, but where the dart luckily had gone straight down and stuck in the floor. The player concerned had then gone to retrieve his other darts but on the way gave the dart in the floor a swift kick. Now I agree that this is very dangerous as the dart could have gone anywhere and even impaled an unlucky scorer or shouter stood at the side of the board. As it was the dart flew along the floor and got well and truly stuck under a gap in the skirting board, and the player had to borrow another players dart to finish the game. Justice ..I hear you say!

Another player in our team sometimes takes a full blown swing at any bounce outs while they are still in the air. I found out some time ago that these volleys were designed to miss the bounce out. The reason being, that years ago he had made connection with the dart, and it went straight through his shoe and stuck in his foot. He ended up having to spend a few hours in casualty at the local hospital, and then buy a new pair of shoes when he got out!

So has darts got any place for behaviour of this kind...I don't think so. It can be intimidating for the other player and also give the perpetrator an adrenaline rush that will probably mess up any following throw.

I have just watched the final of the Embassy World Championship and if you cannot play with a smile and want an answer to this problem then watch Ted Hankey destroy Ronnie Baxter. Ted appears to me, to be the most angry player, but all that anger and frustration is channelled and focused into his next throw. I have never seen such intense concentration in a player. Watch him play if you get the chance. He threw the most 180's ever in the tournament (48) and in the TV interview afterwards he had no idea what he had done or thrown during the match, and said he would have to watch a video to find out...now that is being focused!

Bounce Outs!

Whilst we are talking about bounce outs..I must tell you what happened to me when I first started playing this game. As any serious dart player will tell you a bounce out from a right handed player when thrown normally will mostly land just in front of you and to the right. I know this is true because one or two of the places I have played in have been short of funds in the old floor covering department and there is a definite hole in the floor etched out by years and years of bounce outs landing in a similar position. Well...when I first started playing I did not know this, and my faithful old dog Blackie was lying at my feet asleep, while I practised. I managed to get my first perfect bounce out which landed straight in old Blackies paw! Yelping and limping about proceeded until I could remove the dart and sort him out with a bandage and a dog treat.

Blackie now goes in the other room whenever he sees me pick up my darts!

Throw where you Look, and Look where you Throw, Rockford

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