The Oche is one of the most common terms in Darts. Also known as the throwing line, the Oche is where players must stand behind before throwing.
Keep reading for more on the Oche, including the rules you need to know.
What Is the Oche in Darts?
The Oche is the line that players must stand behind before throwing darts. This distance is standardized to ensure that all players are on an equal playing field.
There are many rules governing how a player has to stand behind the Oche, particularly if you plan on playing darts competitively.
Rules of the Oche
The number one rule of the Oche is that your foot cannot cross it at any point during your throw.
You also cannot step onto the Oche. The Oche is often slightly elevated from the floor, so there’s little danger of accidentally stepping on it.
Why Do They Call It The Oche?
The history behind this strange word is unknown, as with most facts regarding the history of darts. Some claim it came from a popular pub owned by a brewery named “S. Hockey & Sons,” where many dart players would gather. However, this brewery has no record of ever existing, so this is just a fun myth, not a true origin story.
Others trace it to the Flemish word “hocken” or “hockle” for spitting. Players would spit to mark the throwing distance.
Even though the Oche sounds like a historical word, it was first used in international competitions in the 1970s.
What Distance Is The Oche From The Dartboard?
When playing with steel tip darts, the Oche is 7 ft 9 ¼ inches (2.37 meters) away from the face of the board. The Oche is 8 feet (2.44 meters) away from the dartboard for soft tip darts play.
Some tournaments and pubs prefer to measure the distance by calculating the diagonal from the bull’s-eye to the Oche. This distance is 9 feet 7-1/2 inches (2.93 meters).
There are also regulations governing the size of the Oche, which has to be large enough for players and judges to see it. The accepted measurements are a maximum of 40 millimeters in height, 20 millimeters in-depth, and 500 millimeters in width.
Can You Lean Over the Oche in Darts?
You can lean over the Oche when throwing your darts. Some players use this technique to shorten the distance between them and the board.
However, leaning over the Oche is not an instant recipe for better success in darts. You may gain the advantage of a closer distance, but you lose a lot of balance and consistency if you lean too far.
The Oche is one of the many strange terms that players need to know. You may often hear the Oche referred to as the throwing line.