Rules for Setting up an American Dart Oche

This article, or conversation, originally showed up on the old dart forums. I’ve placed it here so it doesn’t get lost.

“I received this question in the email box recently, and thought that it would be good to gather some opinions on it . . . I’ve only ever had the space for a straight dart line. We’ve pretty much shot right down an alley so to speak. Lots of bars where I grew up in the Coal Region have an arched line.

  • Is this the ideal/right way to play?
  • Are there specs for this?

I presume it’s a 7’3″ radius but how “wide” should you swing the arc if at all?”

We have a straight toe line set up for our league, and we use a straight line for the tournaments as well. but that’s just to keep non-shooters from tripping over the wooden toe lines during the day. I know that tons of places have wooden toe lines with the built in arches.

So, is there a spec on how wide you make the arch? and what, if any, rules do you have about shooting from outside the arch of the toe line (and why?)

Response #0:

Here is the by-law from the A.B.D.A. – and I think if the purpose of the A.B.D.A. is to get us all on the same page, that’s good enough for me.

“The toe-board shall be made of wood with a radius of no more than four feet (4’-0”) wide and will measure seven feet and three inches (7’-3”) from the face of the dartboard and or 107.5 inches from the center of the cork to the outside radius of the toe board. This measurement is diagonal.”

Response #1:


Every league around here has arced lines. We take a string measuring 7’3”, stick one end in the middle of the cork, then with a pencil or chalk on the other end, draw a semi circle on the floor. We then use tape or black marker to mark the line. We have been shooting American darts around here since before I was born (I am 49).

Every league here shoots “heel” the line where as long as any part of your shoe touches the line it is legal. Darts are big around here with the oldest league older than me. There are tournaments most every week starting in January through March. Most leagues will start at the beginning of October and run through March.

I live in Cambria County and also know they shoot just like us in Clearfield and Blair. If anyone wants to correspond, get back to me. thanks

Response #2:

Here’s a reply I got from one of the MAJOR tournament directors in the sport [George Haines]. I sent him the question, and explained that I’m not the person to answer it because we don’t use kickplates/toeboards.

“Good Question.As for the arced lines/toeboards. Both the leagues I run down here (Bethelehem City Dart League and the BuxMont Dart League) and the ABDA Tournaments use the arced line/toeboards.

In my opinion. a 4′-0″ wide arc is plenty. If someone needs to go outside the arc/board it should be agreed between the teams prior to the match starting to project the line further if a shooter needs more room for his respective shot. The ABDA toeboards are 4′-0″ wide.

But, on the other hand. The way you have your league and tournaments set up with a STRAIGHT LINE is actually the way I would do it if I had a choice.

WHY? because the game we play baseball 1 to 9 is played on the perimeter of the board (outsides-double-trips). The 7′-3″ line from the face of board (or 9′-0″cork to floor) is struck off of the cork (center of the board) and then swung left and right. But, the cork never is shot at during a game of baseball 1 to 9) unless you threw a real shitty dart.

Think about it. If you are throwing the 6th frame and you need to swing over to the right towards the end of the arc/toeboard….you are actually a couple inches closer to your target. This can cause a shooter to throw high on his target. But, then again if you need to get a dart in the 8th frame and stand to the far right on the arc/toeboard…you then are a bit further away from your desired target.

Basically, it is most likely preference. If you go to bigger American Tournaments you will see the arced toe boards. Hope this helps…..”

Now, i did get a chance to surf through some dart league sites, and in the rules posted by one league they state that the taverns in the league must have a four foot wide oche (toeboard).

Author: bob

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