Dartboard height and distance measurements follow several rules. The rules may not seem that important if you’re mounting your dartboard at home. However, if your board is going to be used for competitive play, you’ll want to ensure your dartboard is mounted correctly.
As, if you’re going to play darts at your local pub. If you’re not used to playing on a dartboard that’s setup to the correct height and distance, you’ll find it that much more difficult when it comes to playing to competition regulations. Which will in turn affect your game, considerably!
So, it’s important to get these measurements right from the get go.
What is the Correct Height and Distance to Mount a Dartboard?
An important reason why you need to follow mounting rules is that darting has a strong history. The game has evolved over the years, and the present rules came as a result of a lot of trial and error. So, they represent the ideal conditions in regards to playing darts.
The correct height for your dartboard is: 173 cm (5ft 8 inches) from the floor to the center of your dartboard, or ‘the bullseye’.
The correct distance of your dartboard is 237cm (7ft 9.25 inch) from the front of your dartboard, not the back of your wall, to the back of its throw line, or the Oche. This word, for those who are conversant with dartboard terminology, is the official name of your throw line.
Mind you, the throw line isn’t a line per se, but a piece of wood positioned in the middle of your floor that also has a unique set of measurements. Yes, darting is a precise game, with very precise rules that you’ll need to follow in competitive play.
These are the most common measurements you will come across if you decided to read online about dart distance and height. To reiterate the importance of these measurements, the World Darts Federation has a membership of 70 countries around the world, meaning the members use these measurements during darting competitions.
As long as you follow these measurements, rest assured that you’ll be meeting professional standards as you take part in darting competitions among friends, or while practicing for an official competition.
Things to Consider
The world darts federation has listed 7ft and 9 ¼ inches as the closest throwing distance from the board. Although, if you wish to stand further back, feel free to do so, as some darts players tend to do. Although, you might receive some funny looks, as the assumption in this game is that the closer you are to the dartboard the higher your chances are of scoring high.
The Dartboard Dictates the Rules
Setting aside theory, a bit of practicality is important here. With the sole exception of a handicap dart, which influences a player’s distance from the dartboard, through lots of reading on dartboard height and distance, we came to the realization that the type of dartboard is what dictates dartboard height and distance.
As dartboard rules regarding the appropriate height and distance mentioned above apply to a bristle steel tip dartboard as it’s generally the most common in all darts organizations including the American Darts Organization, the Britsh Darts Organization.
However, keep in mind, depending on the variety of dartboard you choose there are a different set of measurements you will need to abide by.
For instance, the soft tip darts community lists their throw distance as 8 feet from the face of an electronic dartboard. This figure varies a little from that of a traditional bristle dartboard. So, measurements not only change with regards to type of darts and respective dartboards, but with culture as well.
As Belgium changed their dartboard design to simplify the experience players have when throwing darts. Otherwise known as ‘Vogelpiks’ (see below).
In the States, there are dartboards commonly known as American style dartboards that bring a fresh design to dartboards. These have unique measurements as well.
Dartboard Height & Distance for Wheelchair Users
As stated earlier, most of the deviations in dartboard setup are attributed to the board itself. However, the only exception to this is the setup for players using a wheelchair. Presently, there are no specific soft board measurements for wheelchair users, so the above wheelchair measurements are applicable for both bristle and electronic dartboard use.
An advantage of Darts over other games is that it is easy to understand the rules. You don’t necessarily have to be in great shape. Plus, it doesn’t take a great deal of physical effort. As a result, the game is quite popular among physically handicapped persons.
Previously, wheelchair users used to play darts to the same measurements as able bodied players.
However, in 2010, Russ Strobel petitioned Darts Australia to reduce the dartboard height to 137cm, from 173cm. Darts Australia took it down to 136.5cm, but then decided to take it back to 137cm.
How Russ Strobel arrived at 137cm is a mystery, but the information is available somewhere on the darts disability platform.
Until Russ figured out that 173cm was the mean height of a typical man, in the 1920’s; when the dart game was modernizing, nobody could explain why this figure was chosen as the official height.
Electronic Dartboards; Official Height and Distance
Electronic dartboards are a fairly recent addition to the Darts industry, being rather popular here in the States, which is where they were first invented.
The electronic dartboard has a slightly larger scoring zone compared to a bristle dartboard, this makes it slightly easier for a player to score. Therefore, players who are used to bristle dartboards will find it easy to score points on the electronic board.
Nonetheless, soft tip darts are a fairly recent invention. They were developed in 1975, by Rudy Allison, an American, after he witnessed lots of delay brought about by dart scoring. The advantage of an electronic dartboard is that they keep scores automatically, which helps save time when playing alone or with friends.
Something else that’s fascinating about electronic dartboards is that you’re able to play against players in another country, from the comfort of your own home. Essentially, they are like video games, only that the whole experience is real time.
Electronic Dartboard Height
Electronic boards have the same measurements as steel tip boards. The dartboard’s height is the same at 5ft 8in, or 173cm from the floor to the center of the board.
Electronic Dartboard Distance
There is a slight difference when it comes to throwing distance, as it was increased to 244cm, from 237cm, which brought throwing distance up to 8ft.
Dartboard Set Up: How to Correctly Mount Your Dartboard
Your dartboard should be mounted flush with the backing surface. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to have a backing, but it’s highly recommended that you have one.
If you would rather mount directly onto a wall, it’s best to do so on a wooden or concrete wall. Some people prefer to use heavy-duty screws to anchor their dartboard onto a drywall. However, this isn’t the best way to mount a dartboard.
Hanging your Dartboard;
Using U-Shaped Metal Brackets
When you buy a dartboard, it comes with basic metal hangers. In the package, you will find a center screw, a U-shaped hanging bracket as well as three spring clips that you will use to level the dartboard on the backing surface or wall.
The center screw is fixed onto the back of your dartboard dead center. The spring clips come next and they are spaced out once you install them at the back of the dartboard. There’s no specific location where you should install the spring clips. Just be sure to install them evenly across the back of your board. Although we’d suggest a triangular formation.
The U-brackets are then screwed onto the wall or the backing surface. Measure out your bracket so that the U-slot’s bottom is positioned about 5 feet and 8 inches above the floor level. This is the location the screws that go into the back of your board, sit. You want to ensure the center of your board sits at this precise height.
Thereafter, simply slide your dartboard so that the screws fit into the U-shaped slot. The dartboard should sit snugly on your backing with little to no movement at all. If there is some movement, tighten your center screw onto the board and slide it back onto its brackets. Tighten the screws with the right amount of torque so that your board does not spin.
Using a Disc Mount Hanging Kit
The other option that you can try when mounting your dartboard is a disc mount hanging kit. The kits come with two thin, yet robust mounting pieces. There is a disc, which you will screw dead center at the back of your board, plus wide U-shaped brackets that are screwed onto the wall or backing surface.
The disc style mounting kit eliminates that need for spring clips. Width of brackets and discs keep your board flush, secure and level. Some bracket users have reported that it’s a lot easier to position the board dead center using this method.
If your old dartboard assembly needs to have its hanging kit replaced, it would make sense to go for the most modern hanging kit. U-shaped brackets have screw holes that you have to measure to the correct height of 5ft 8inches.
Dartboard Backing Surface and Cabinet
Most darts players and enthusiasts often go for cabinets as the most comprehensive solution to backing. You can make cabinets yourself from a number of materials. However, traditionally they are made out of wood, such as Rosewood or Oak. Due to their functionality and aesthetics.
Dart scoreboards and holders are usually mounted on the cabinet side doors. Some cabinets which feature built-in lighting, whereas some newer models even have electronic or LCD displays that you can use to keep score.
DIY or Custom Backing Surfaces?
Surrounds, also known as backing surfaces, include cork, carpeting, or plywood that has been covered in a black material. The advantage with DIY is that there’s no limit as to how creative you can get. You can choose a decorative or functional backing material in this case, such as pallets, reclaimed wood or cork.
When you select a backing material, remember that the board’s diameter is around 18 inches. So, the backing should be around 3 square feet to leave some room for scoreboards and dartboards, plus some additional room for any wayward dart!
Your scoreboard could be a standard chalkboard or the dry erase type. Whichever you prefer, scoreboards for darts come with pre-printed scoring columns and numbers for ’01 and cricket games.
The Throw Line (Oche)
When paying darts, you obviously have to stand behind a marked line before you throw; commonly referred to as the Oche, pronounced the same way you would the word Hockey, otherwise known as a ‘toes line’. Having measured the correct distance from your dartboard, the next thing is to make this line visible.
For some dart players, a strip of tape will do. You can use anything that can handle foot traffic and will stick to the floor. Lay your strip and ensure the front edge is positioned across your throwing line.
That way, it will be possible to stand on your strip as you throw. However, the toe should remain positioned behind the front of your strip tape. This is where the term toes line comes from.
Most sports bars and pubs prefer to use a wooden plank as an Oche. Wood secures easily to the floor surface and can be raised to any given height, like 1 ½ inches. A player stands behind this strip, with other both or single leading foot gently pressed against the wooden oche, like in the examples given below:
If you prefer a vinyl or rubber mat, they sometimes come with the toe line already drawn.
The Floor Surface
The floor surface between dartboard and throw line often takes a beating. For instance, if your floor is made of expensive hardwoods, consider placing a thick mat that can handle stray dart tips. Placing a protective layer is also a good idea if you have a concrete floor or some other kind of hard floor surface that might cause your tips to break. The ideal option in this case is a vinyl rubber mat. Here’s a cheap option we found on Amazon, as they do tend to be expensive.
Mats are designed to protect both dart tips and the floor below the dartboard. The mats are typically ¼ inches in thickness, 30 inches wide and about 10 feet in length, designed to fit within the dart throw area. They also come pre-printed with measured toe lines.
If you setup your dartboard in an open space, a rubber mat is an ideal way to create a distinction between the the throw area and the rest of the floor space in your house. Once you are done, you simply roll it up and put it away and the dartboard remains fixed to the wall or behind your cabinet, until you decide to play again.
Of course, you could simply use a rug or soft material to protect your floor. But, if you already have a carpet on the floor, you’re already good to go.
Lighting Up Your Dashboard Setup
Lighting is important for your dashboard setup. However, you do not need an expensive setup. Most bars use simple spotlights placed right above the dartboard. The lighting can also be mounted onto the ceiling, right above your dartboard or at a considerable distance away to light up the surrounding area.
The most popular way to set it up is to angle it back such that it shines directly onto the face of your dartboard. If you prefer to mount it away from your dartboard, ensure you have plenty of space left for the dart player’s arc.
Wattage for each spotlight should be powerful enough to illuminate the entire face of your dartboard. As, if lighting is not enough, you may experience shadows.
If you would like to keep the lighting simple, go for a basic overhead light. The important thing here is that you angle the light sufficiently so that no shadows form on the dartboard. Of course, you should also ensure that no light is pointed directly towards a players face.
Most homeowners prefer a three-light-mount configuration that can be installed on the ceiling. The idea here is to be able to angle the light to create an overlap or a cross lighting effect, which will minimize shadows from each directional spot light.
Safety Considerations when Setting up a Dartboard
There are a few basic safety considerations that you need to bare in mind as you set up your playing space.
For starters, you need plenty of room so that players and visitors can stay off the path of flying darts. As darts can occasionally ‘bounce out’ and cause harm to those who are close by.
Also, ensure that the area around the dartboard doesn’t consist of fragile materials, such as windows, glassware and TV screens etc. Also, don’t set up your dartboard in a place where you have an active entry, exit or a space where a person might walk in as you play.
Dartboard Maintenance Tips
Although dartboards are made from high quality materials like Kenyon Sisal, they need regular maintenance to ensure they don’t suffer wear and tear, and prolong it’s lifespan. Here are a few things you can do to keep your dartboard in good working condition:
#1 Rotate it Regularly
Some parts of a dartboard are prone to wear and tear. For instance, segments 19 and 20 tend to wear out faster because they are the most targeted areas of the board.
To prevent uneven damage and appearance, rotate your dartboard regularly.
#2 Never Use Water to Clean a Dartboard
It‘s common for people to recommend that you use water to clean your dartboard.
However, their tightly packed bristles should never get wet. Try as much as possible to keep your dartboard dry. That also implies that you shouldn’t install your dartboard in a damp or in an environment of high humidity.
#3 Use Smooth, but Sharp Darts
Most of the steel darts on the market are engineered with a lot of precision to improve performance characteristics such as grip, accuracy and to minimize bounce.
Unfortunately, some have newer designs that have been found to cause damage to the fiber in the dartboard. So, ensure your tips are sharp but smooth so that the darts don’t cause damage when they land on the dartboard or when you come to pull them out!
Here’s a few tips on how to sharpen your darts effectively:
As mentioned, the dartboard height and distance are somewhat subjective measurements. They are based on a number of scenarios, but the most important of them all is the dartboard itself. Hopefully we’ve managed to cover all bases when it comes to achieving the perfect set up for your dartboard.
However, if you have any additional questions, feel free to leave a comment, below.