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Try a new hobby - join Statesboro dart league
122707 DARTS 1
Darters Herman Metcalf, center, Rick DaSilva, left, and Chad Chambless are the reigning champions of the local American Dart Association league. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    Perhaps your New Year’s resolution was to pick up a new hobby. Perhaps it was to get out and meet new people. Perhaps it was just to try and find a way to hang out more with the friends you already have. Well, by joining the burgeoning ranks of people participating in the Statesboro dart league, you could satisfy any and all those promises – and have fun doing it.
    Statesboro resident Herman Metcalf is the organizer of the dart league, a subsidiary franchise of the American Darters Association, and he aims to make sure you’ll have a good time.
    Starting at the end of January, the local darter group will fire up their spring season.
    So far, the league has had one season – this past fall – with five teams participating and all of the action taking place at Gnat’s Landing. This spring, Metcalf already ahs 12 teams signed up and hopes to at least double that amount as well as increase the number of places willing to host a weekly game. Aside from Gnat’s, he’s got commitments from the French Quarter, the downtown pool hall and John Motts, a new place that will inhabit the old Pizza Inn.
    The league features an express style format, with three-person teams. Each match pits two teams against each other for eight games – three games of team cricket, two games of 2-man cricket and three individual games of 301. In addition, the league will be handicapped in order to balance out the talent level and make each week more competitive.
    “It’s just like a bowling league,” said Metcalf. “The first week everyone will establish an average then, using an ADA chart, we’ll handicap the matches to level the playing field.”
    The season, which will start in later January, will last eight weeks, with a four-team, two-week playoff at the end. Matches will be held on Tuesday nights, starting at 8 p.m. The express format will allow most matches to be over within one-and-a-half to two hours, Metcalf said.
    “Usually, the matches will be over by 10 p.m.” said Metcalf. “Unless everybody is throwing really badly, then it might last up to three hours. But that’s unusual.”
    The cost to play is a $20 per individual membership fee to the ADA and $6 per person per night fee. The membership fee is annual, so it wouldn’t have to be paid again for summer or fall leagues. Teams could recoup some of those fees by winning a few games, since the league will pay each team $1 for every game they win each week.
    To sign up a team, join as an individual, sponsor a team or hold some weekly contests at your establishment, contact Metcalf at (912) 486-0054.

    The standard dartboard is divided into 20 numbered sections, scoring from 1 to 20 points, by wires running from the small central circle, bullseye, to the outer circular wire. Circular wires within the outer wire subdivide each section into single, double (outer ring) and triple (inner ring) areas.
    Landing in the outer ring scores double the amount of points for that section, while the inner ring scores triple the points. The bullseye, or center, also has two sections – an outer ring worth 25 points and an inner ring worth 50.

    Cricket involves hitting the following targets on the dartboard at least three times: 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, and Bull. A triple counts as three hits, a double counts as two, all other areas in that target are counted as one hit. Once a player has hit a target three times it is considered closed. When a target is closed, the opposition can no longer score on it but the person with the closed number can score on it as long as his opposition does not have theirs closed. Triples and doubles are scored accordingly (ie. a triple 20 counts as 60 points, a double 18 counts as 36 points). The single bull is worth 25 points and the double bull equals 50 points. The winner of the game is the person that has closed all of their numbers with as many or more points than the opposition.

    The object of the game is simple... each player starts with the same score, 301, and the first to reduce his score to zero wins. Players take turns throwing three darts each and subtract all points scored from their own beginning score. Darts that miss the board cannot be rethrown.
    The difficult part is the finish, known as "going-out". To win, you must reach zero before your opponent, but you must also reach exactly zero, and the dart that brings the score down to zero must be a double. Doubles consist of the numbers in the outside narrow scoring band and the center (small) bullseye, which counts as 50 points and is an actual double of the outer 25-point bull.

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