- January 1, 2010 - 4:26 pm
- Darts, Leagues, Rules & Games
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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 from 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 made 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 coiled paper. However, several types of sisal fibre are used in dartboards today, originating from East Africa, Brazil and China.
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.