Darts can be easily adapted into a wide number of variations without losing its basic identity and compelling nature. Of these games, my favorites are those based on other popular sports such as baseball, tennis, and basketball.
Today, I’m going to teach you all about one of the most peculiar of these “sport” based variations: Football Darts!
Football darts, like virtually every other dart game, is easy to learn and hard to master. But if fun is what you’re after, you owe yourself the chance of learning its quirky ruleset and giving it a go.
Join me below, as we tackle all there is to know about this awesome darts variation.
Football darts is heavily influenced by football (that’s Gridiron, or American football if you are from outside the US), and its basic structure, terminology, and scoring framework are very similar to those of that great American pastime.
Just like football, football darts is played by two teams. Now, the teams may be composed of several players each, or they can be made up of one player each. The rules remain the same regardless.
The aim of the game is to make your way across the “field” (board) towards your opposing team’s “end zone”. Each team has a limited number of “downs” to achieve this goal, and failure to do so results in the opposing team switching to “offense”.
Like its namesake, football darts can seem complicated from a distance. However, once you know the rules it is easy to understand.
Rules Of Football
The flow of football darts follows the same structure as football, albeit with some important distinctions.
Football darts is played across a horizontal swathe of the dartboard. This includes the 11, 6, and the bullseye. It is important to note that all the doubles and trebles in these sections are part of the play area.
Double 11 and Double 6 are considered the endzones. Each endzone is assigned to one of the competing teams.
As play begins, each team will take turns between offense (active team) and defense (passive team) until a winner is determined.
During the offense phase, each team will have four “downs” to make their way across the field and into the opposing end zone.
Each down is composed of three darts, so a full offensive push is made up of twelve throws.
For a team to successfully advance through the field, they have to hit their side’s double 11, single 11, treble 11, and single 11, until they reach the bull. Then, they must traverse their opponent’s side by hitting the single 6, treble 6, single 6, and the double 6 to score a “touchdown”.
Once a team scores a touchdown, they take a “field goal” for extra points. To successfully score a field goal they must throw a dart in any of the segments belonging to the 20.
Once a touchdown is scored, and the subsequent field goal is attempted, the teams switch from offense to defensive.
The new offense starts from that team’s own endzone.
If a team fails to score and runs out of downs before getting to the opposing team’s endzone, the new offense will start from the spot of the former offense’s last down.
Football darts can be played until a pre-established number of darts has been thrown, but the most legitimate experience is to set a timer and play for four quarters of 15 minutes each.
Scoring Football Darts
The scoring rules for football darts are basically the same as the scoring rules in American Football.
This means that a touchdown is worth 6 points, while a successful field goal is worth 1 extra point. As such, scoring is typically a multiple of 7. However, just like in football, the score can be a multiple of 6 due to missed field goals.
Scoring football darts is very easy, especially if the players are already familiar with football.
Tips For Winning Football Darts
Football darts is not a particularly beginner-friendly game because it requires some level of both precision and accuracy. As such, the best tip I can give you to succeed in football darts is to practice your doubles and triples.
If you have skilled players make the field goal only count if it hits in the triple. Using the whole 20-segment as a target will be too easy for most seasoned players.