Darting ahead with a game of darts

If you thought a Game of Darts was only to pass time and played for fun, Arundhati Surendran writes to give this board game its due credit.

Focus and concentration are two qualities that make a difference to the productiveness of any day. This attribute needs to be developed as it is very easy to get swayed by the many distractions that come in the way.

Luckily there are many online and offline activities that help develop this mental muscle of centring oneself to be more present to the task at hand. The ‘Game of Darts’ is one such super sport that not only gives you a break, can be played as a hobby; it also strengthens your focal power in a big way.

The other advantage of a game of Darts is that it can be played alone, in a group, at your home or office, a club or a gaming centre. The game is also perfect for office get-togethers to build a sense of competition and camaraderie between employees. Though often thought of like a pub game, it is suitable for teamwork and encouraging friendships to form.

The usual thought for “team-building activities” would be an activity that includes a lot of paper cuts, glue, building blocks, messy or bulky stuff, the works. There aren’t many alternatives that are portable or entertaining enough to replace these aged events – are there? Well, Darts is one game that ticks all the checkboxes for the criteria for a team-building activity too.

Easily set-up and transported, there’s no game as appropriate as this one for short employee get-togethers. Having biweekly or monthly Dart game championships give employees something to look forward to while fostering healthy competitiveness.

“Hope and Anchor Dart Club”, Hope and Anchor, 20 Waterloo Street (now Macbeth Street), Hammersmith, London, UK. c.1925.

It helps develop strategic thinking where all your tactics must mathematically add up to your goal, and your body has to follow closely behind

Darts is a game that has existed from the 1860s and isn’t the most common of activities that people indulge in. The sport is much like archery that uses missiles aimed at the board; but unlike archery, the board does not have increasing points closer to the centre. Instead, the score points are randomly scattered throughout the board. The standardised version of the sport follows the rules wherein one starts with a total of 501 or 301 points, and must keep hitting parts of the board to decrease those points till exactly zero, ending it on a double (to hit the board on the outermost ring).

The remarkable thing about Darts is the sheer concentration and focus it compels the player to have. It requires significant wrist strength, and more hand-eye coordination than most, if not all other sports. It also helps develop strategic thinking where all your tactics must mathematically add up to your goal, and your body has to follow closely behind. Without absolute concentration, it is impossible to play a good game of darts. It also helps release stress that becomes a health benefit for the player.

Darts is one game that ticks all the checkboxes for the criteria for a team-building activity too

Interestingly, the standard form isn’t the only way to enjoy this game. As more people play it, many variations of the game can take form. There is ‘cricket’ where two teams play for the bulls-eye; ‘football’ where of the two players, the first to hit the bulls-eye tries to score ‘goals’ by hitting doubles until the second player hits a bulls-eye; and many, many more.

Say goodbye to online memory games or origami to get along with your colleagues or to improve your mind power. Many other options fit the bill better, and Darts hits the mark right on the spot.

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