Darts is a form of throwing game where darts are thrown at a circular target (dartboard) fixed to a wall. Though various boards and games have been used in the past, the term “darts” usually now refers to a standardised game involving a specific board design and set of rules. As well as being a professional competitive sport, darts is a traditional pub game, commonly played in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, the Netherlands, Ireland, the Scandinavian countries, the United States and elsewhere.
Before the First World War, pubs in the United Kingdom had dartboards made from solid blocks of wood, usually elm. They had to be soaked overnight to heal the holes made by the darts, and it was a messy business for the publican, although darts was a popular game. This changed when a company called Nodor, whose primary business was making modelling clay (which has no odor, hence the name Nodor), made a dartboard. Their model of dartboard was not a great success until someone came up with the idea of making a dartboard from sisal fibres. Small bundles of sisal fibres of the same length were bundled together. The bundles were then compressed into a disk and bound with a metal ring. It was an instant success, as the darts did little or no damage to the board—they just parted the fibres when they entered the board; this type of board was more durable and required little maintenance.
Modern dartboards are made of sisal fibres; cheap boards are sometimes made of cork or coiled paper. However, several types of sisal fibre are used in dartboards today, originating from East Africa, Brazil or China. The widespread belief that some dartboards are constructed using pig bristles, camel hair, or horse hair, is incorrect. Apparently no such boards have ever been produced commercially.
A regulation board is 17 3?4 inches (451 mm) in diameter and is divided into 20 radial sections. Each section is separated with metal wire or a thin band of sheet metal. The best dartboards have the thinnest wire, so that the darts have less chance of hitting a wire and bouncing out. The numbers indicating the various scoring sections of the board are also normally made of wire, especially on tournament-quality boards, but may be printed directly on the board instead.
Note that there are variations in the design of a dartboard, reflecting slightly different rules. These will be covered later in this article.
Reference: Wikipedia Darts