The Darts stance is the position of your feet and body when throwing darts. There are many different body positions that darts players assume, based on preference. So long as their feet remain behind the toe line or ‘‘Oche’’.
Types Of Dart Stance
Many Darts players prefer to take up different stances, no matter what your skill level. It’s all down to what feels most comfortable for you. Some examples of the most common stances when playing darts include the following:
The angled stance features the throwers’ front foot turned at a 45 degree angle from the Oche. With the back foot placed about shoulders width behind.
The angled dart stance is without doubt the most popular stance used by players of all levels. Likely due to the increased level of stability and the angle of the body to the target.
Front Facing Stance
In the front facing darts stance, both of the throwers’ feet point towards the toe line, toes first (see below).
The front facing stance is not the most common choice among players. Likely due to the lack of weight distribution between both feet. Which in turn affects the players balance and control while throwing.
Side On Stance
The side on dart stance sees players stance with the entire side of their front foot against the Oche. With the back foot parallel to their front foot (see below).
The side on stance is much more common than the front facing stance. Offering more balance and control to the thrower.
What Is The Oche?
The Oche or toe line is the floor marker which indicates the closest point at which players feet can be to the board. The toe line is usually marked by a line or raised wooden block.
A player can lean over the Oche, but their feet must remain behind it while throwing.
Oche Distance from the Dartboard
The Oche should measure 7 feet 9.25 inches from the front of the dart board and the toe line.
Whereas a soft tip dart board should measure 8 feet from the Oche.
Oche Distance from the Dartboard for Wheelchair Users
If a player requires a wheelchair to throw darts, the distance remains at 7 feet 9.25inches. Yet, the height of the dartboard lowers to 4 feet 6inches.
What to Consider While Assuming Your Stance
There are a couple of important things to remember when assuming your stance. These include the following:
How Far Away From The Dartboard Do You Stand?
You should stand 7 feet 9.25 inches away from the dartboard. You should find this distance to be clearly marked for you, on the floor. Usually by a line or wooden block.
Do Not Step Over The Toe Line
Ensure that no part of your foot is over the toe line while throwing a dart. Once the dart hits the board, only then can you step over the Oche.
Can I Lean Over The Toe Line When Throwing Darts?
Any part of the throwers’ body can lean over the toe line. Although the throwers feet must remain behind the toe line whilst throwing.
Most players choose to lean over the toe line to reduce the distance between them and the board. Yet, leaning too far forward can affect your balance, reducing the control over your throw.
Lunging Forward When Throwing Darts
It’s common to see less experienced players lunge forward as they release their dart. As they think it’ll add power, thus adding accuracy to their throw.
Yet the opposite is true. As lunging forward while throwing will affect the flight path of your dart, reducing accuracy.
The Position Of Your Back Foot
The position of your back foot is more important than you think.
Not only does your back foot act as a balance. The positioning of your back foot also affects your body position relative to the target.
For example, if you find that you’re pulling your throws to the left. Try repositioning your back foot further to the left. This should help to square your body up at the target.
Weight Distribution Between Your Feet
Particularly for the side on and angled dart stance. You should feel as though around 75% of your body weight is on your front foot.
Still, it’s important to find a stance which makes you feel most comfortable.
Body Posture While Throwing Darts
Whilst taking your stance, your legs should be hip width apart.
Your legs should also remain straight during your throw. Keeping your legs straight helps you to maintain a stable base during your throw.
You should feel as though around 75% of your weight is on your front foot. With your back foot helping to provide balance.
It’s also perfectly acceptable for you to raise onto your toes, on your back foot. Although it should never leave the floor entirely.
Your body positioning should be strong and upright, not slouched. The shoulder of your throwing arm should be in line with your hip and leading foot.
Depending on whether you’re right or left handed. Your chest should face off to the side of the dartboard.
While taking your stance, your elbow should point out in front of you, towards the target. Whilst your upper arm is almost parallel with the floor. Your upper arm should remain still and close to your chest until the dart has been released.
Your forearm should be at a 45 degree angle to your bicep. Then fully extend upon throwing the dart.
Click here to read more on: How to Throw Darts
Tips to Improve Your Dart Stance
We’ve put together a couple of additional tips to improve your dart stance, below.
Line Up Correctly
When assuming your stance, first ensure that you’re lined up straight on to the dartboard. Lining up on a different line each time can affect the level of accuracy and consistency of your throws.
A good tip I use is to draw an imaginary line down from the bullseye to the floor, then along the floor to your leading foot. Do this each time you assume your stance and you’ll see your consistency improve.
Assume a stance which is most comfortable for your game. If you’re a beginner, my advice would be to practice throwing a set number of darts using each stance. Then find one that works best for you, but don’t be afraid to put your own variation on it.
Maintain Your Balance
Remember, don’t substitute your balance for the sake of leaning too far over the toe line.
When taking your stance, you should feel that no more than 75% of your body weight is on your leading foot. Your back foot should never leave the ground, ever upon release of the dart.
To recap, your darts stance is one of the most important aspects of your game.
Master your stance and you’ll notice your consistency and accuracy improve considerably.
But, as with any sport it comes down to your willingness to continually practice and improve.