Darts is a very standardized sport. The Darts Regulation Authority (DRA) is a not for profit organization which oversees the governance of the darts world, sets the rules and publishes the governing rulebook. All the information in this article has been taken from the DRA 2019 rulebook unless stated otherwise.
A dartboard height is measured from the centre of the bull to the floor level below the board. The height of the dartboard should be 1.73m (173cm or 5 foot 8 inches). This height is the same regardless of age and gender.
This height is dictated by clause 5.5.8 of the DRA rulebook. It should be noted that the height of the floor is taken as whatever height the Oche (throwing line) is on. In many darts tournaments you’ll notice that the Oche is on a raised walkway or platform, and as such the dartboard is higher then 1.73m from the main floor so that the dartboard height relative to the oche is consistent.
What you’ll also notice is that the 1.73m doesn’t nicely convert to an imperial height of 5 foot 8 inches which is commonly used if you’re setting the dartboard on imperial dimensions.
173cm / 2.54 = 68.11inches
5×12 = 60inches
The height of a dartboard in imperial measurements is therefore 5 feet and 8.11 inches.
How far do you stand from a dartboard?
The distance from the Oche (throwing line) to the dartboard is another fixed dimension laid out in the DRA rulebook clause 5.7.1.
You should stand a minimum of 2.37m (237cm or 7 feet and 9.3 inches) from the back of the oche to the face of the dartboard.
It should be noted in the above that the distance is measure from the back of the Oche, if you measure from the front of the Oche you will see a slightly different measurement due to the size of the Oche itself. We can calculate that in feet and inches based on the Oche dimensions given in the DRA rulebook.
From clause 5.7.1:
“A raised Oche, a minimum of 40mm high, 20mm deep and 500mm wide placed…”
Therefore, the distance from the front of the oche to the dartboard is:
(237-0.2)/2.54 = 93.23 inches
7×12 = 84 inches
93.23 – 84 = 9.23 inches
So, the distance from the dartboard to the front of a regulation sized Oche is 7 foot and 9.23 inches.
What Height Should I hang my Dartboard for Juniors/Children?
It comes as a surprise to many people, but the standardized heights for dartboards are the same regardless of age of gender.
Now, if you’ve ever tried to watch a young child throw darts at a dartboard hung at regulation height and distance, you’ll know that it isn’t always easy for them to generate the required power and accuracy to lodge a dart securely in the board. Many younger kids find this very deflating and it can take a fair bit of practice to get them to a standard where they are starting to consistently hit the right areas of the board.
At many local clubs and young darts events you’ll see the rules relaxed for younger participants to try and create a playing field that works for the younger players.
Whilst there are no hard and fast rules about the altered height of a dartboard or its distance from the Oche, it’s common to hang the dartboard approximately at eye height of the participants. For a 10 year old child this would be approximately equal to 1.37m (137cm or 4 feet and 5.94 inches)
In terms of the distance from the Oche to the dartboard face, I wouldn’t personally recommend bringing it any closer than the 2.37m discussed in the DRA rulebook. The reason for this is that darts are sharp and can do a lot of damage, when they bounce back off the board, which happens from time to time, I wouldn’t want a child (or anyone for that matter!) in harms way. At over 2m back, it’s very unlikely you’ll get a dart coming that far back.
Use of a bristle board would them be preferential over most other types of board as the sisal fibers in the board tend to be good at ‘gripping’ the tip of a dart due to their coarseness.
Can you lean over the throwing line (Oche)?
So, you’re planning on being a bit sneaky and trying to claim as much distance as possible by leaning over the Oche?
Well – you’re right to try! There aren’t any rules about leaning over the Oche to try and minimise the throw distance but the DRA do outline some requirements which must be met.
You can lean over the Oche (throwing line) so long as you do not tread on the Oche, and your feet remain grounded on the floor behind the Oche.
As you can see from the above, having long arms would be helpful, but there isn’t much advantage to be had by leaning over the Oche, especially if it causes you to be off balance and makes your throwing worse.
I encourage newer players, who tend to be the players who try this, to concentrate on standing in a comfortable pose and finding a repeatable action you can perfect before trying to get any small advantages to be gained by leaning as far as possible.
What are the dimensions of a dartboard?
The final piece of dimensional information you need to know to complete your set is the dartboard requirements.
In section 5.5 of the DRA rulebook there are a number of requirements set out about the dartboard, I won’t list them all here but here are the key items to know if you want to make sure you’re buying the correct size dartboard:
- All dartboards should be bristle boards – Bristle boards are made from Sisal fibers. I’ve discussed common types of dartboard materials over in this article which is worth a read if you aren’t familiar with the option.
- The dartboard should be 451mm in diameter (45.1cm or 17.76inches – you’ll see full sized boards advertised as 18 inches)
- The dartboard should be hung so that the 20 segment is coloured black and is at the top of the dartboard.
So, there you have it. All the dimensions you need to be aware of to make sure you have your dartboard set up at the right height, your Oche the right distance and the size of the board correct. Happy throwing!