The Game

Dartball is simply baseball played with darts on an elaborate board 4 feet square. Rules are basically baseball rules. There are nine players to a team. Teams may agree to use fewer players. They stand approximately 20 feet from the board and score hits, strikes, balls, fouls and outs according to where the dart lands on the board. The dart is thrown underhand.

The Board

The base of the board shall be twenty-four (24) inches above the floor. The tilt of the board shall be eight (8) inches from perpendicular with the base of the board nearer the pitching line. The pitching distance (the line behind which you throw the darts at the board) shall be 20 feet from the base of the board. The pitching line shall be six (6) feet long, directly in front of the board and flush with the floor.

NOTE: For recreational purposes and if skill levels require, leagues may move the pitching line closer to the board. The important thing is to have fun playing the game. Click here to find out more information about the board.

Playing Regulations

Click here for a print version of the rule book.

Normally nine players shall constitute a team. Teams may agree to use fewer players and many dartball leagues are organized with teams of either 2 or 4 players per team. All darts must be thrown underhand, called pitching. Shooting techniques are as varied as the shooters. Some players have a casual looping pitch; some zing the dart in flat with enormous power. Some pitch from the side; others straight forward from the legs. Some just swing and throw; others raise the dart tip to eye level, sight the target, swing back and pitch. A few players crouch low, almost to a squat, then deliver. Most right handed players plant their left foot forward when they shoot and vice versa.

Runners shall advance one base on a single, two bases on a two-base hit and three bases on a triple, etc. On a two-base single, the batter goes to first and all other runners advance two bases. On a double play, the batter is out, plus the base runner nearest home. In the case where there are no runners on base, there is only one out on a double play. On a sacrifice hit, all runners advance one base (this would include a runner on third) and the batter is out. If there are no runners on base on a sacrifice hit, the batter is out anyway. The batter is out if the dart fails to hit the board, or hits any other object before hitting the board. If a dart strikes the edge of the board and glances off the board, the batter is out. If a dart hits the board and bounces off the board, it is ruled a dead ball and the batter is given another chance. If a dart thrown sticks in the body of another dart already in the board, the last thrown dart shall be ruled as a dead ball. The batter's foot may touch the pitching line without penalty. If the batter oversteps the pitching line, he is automatically out. All darts shall be removed from the board when a player completes his time at bat.

Dartball Handicap Rules

If a league has one or two teams that "always" win, this can be fun for the teams who always win, but can be frustrating for the teams that are always loosing. As a consequence, some teams become so frustrated, they drop out of the league and eventually the league dies as does the sport of dartball. To counter this trend, some leagues have initiated handicap rules to level the playing field for all teams. This has made the league much more competitive and increased the number of teams in the league. A general guideline for the handicap rules are as follows:

  1. First, you determine the average number of runs each team has scored throughout the year. To do this, you take the total runs a team has scored throughout the year and divide that total by the total number of games the team has played throughout the year. As an example, if a team has scored 100 runs in a year and has played 20 games, you divide 100 by 20 and the average runs scored is therefore 5 runs per game.
  2. To determine the handicap a team will receive, you take the difference between the two teams playing on any given night and multiply that difference by 75%. As an example, if Team A has an average of 7 runs per game and Team B has an average of 5 runs per game; you take 7 - 5 = 2. You then multiply 2 X .75 = 1.5. Therefore, Team B will get a handicap of 2 runs per game.

NOTE: You round .5 or higher up and you round .49 or lower down. Therefore, 1.5 is rounded up to 2 runs.

These are general handicapping guidelines. The percentages and methods can be altered to best fit the league. The important thing is that everyone has fun playing the game of dartball. In several of the leagues where handicapping has been initiated, the individual participation as well as the number of teams in the league has greatly increased.

Officials

In league play each team shall provide an umpire and a score keeper. They may or may not be team members. Under no circumstance shall one umpire remove darts from the board before the other umpire has had an opportunity to observe the locations of the darts. Davis Manufacturing sells a wired board. The side of the wire that the dart lands on will determine how the pitch is scored.

Players generally remain behind the batter while he is pitching during the game. If players are in front of the batter while he is pitching, they must remain seated. Players must not distract the batter by clapping hands, stamping feet, waving arms, whistling, etc.

Click here for a print version of the rule book.

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