If you have ever sat through a match of tennis or cricket, then you know that some sports employ confusing and often bewildering terminology. Well, the game of darts is no stranger to bewildering glossary terms.
New darts players often get hung up on the terms and that leaves them feeling dazed and confused. That is why today I’m going to shed some light on one of the most common questions posed by new players.
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What Are Sets And Legs In Darts?
Sets in darts are the sequence of games that are played to determine a winner. Legs in darts are the individual games that make up the sets.
In other words, when two or more competitors line up to play a game of 501 or 301, they are playing a leg. Typically, darts are played in sets of 3, 5, or 7 legs.
To win a set, you must win more legs than your opponent. This is very similar to the way tennis is played, where players play points to win a game, and games to win a set. The player with the most sets won wins the match.
To win a match of darts, you need to play legs against your opponent. Each leg is won by the player who checks out first. Then you must be the first to win 2 of 3, 3 of 5, or 5 of 7 legs, to win the set.
Sets And Legs In Dart Tournaments
Sets and legs are mostly employed in league competitions and professional tournaments, so feel free to play outside of these constraints when playing casually against your friends and family members. However, if you aspire to play as the pros do, then you should get used to playing sets and legs in darts.
For example, PDC tournaments are played by using either of two modes. These modes are “Set Mode” and “Matchplay Mode”.
Set mode is the “standard” mode of most tournaments, and requires a number of legs won per set. This means that a “Best of 5 Sets, Best of 7 Legs”, requires that a player win 5 out of 7 games of 501 to win the set; with the player winning 3 out of 5 sets winning the game.
Matchplay mode is different in the sense that it requires players to win a specific number of legs to win the game. For example, a “Best of 21 Legs” Matchplay requires a player to win 11 out of 21 legs to be declared the winner. The most common Matchplay modes are “Best of 11”, “Best of 13”, and “Best of 15” Legs
Since the game of darts has become a worldwide multimillion-dollar industry, tournaments have grown in size and attendance. This means that the number of sets and legs played has decreased to protect players from burning out due to repeated play.
A Perfect Leg – A Perfect Set
The best players in the world are able to play the game so efficiently and effectively that they are able to play perfect legs at competition.
Perfect legs require that a player check out in the minimum number of darts, which in games of 501 is 9 darts. A 9-dart finish is an incredibly difficult feat to pull off, so if you want to throw a perfect leg there is much practice ahead of you.
A Perfect set would require a player to win every single leg perfectly. So a best of 5 legs set would need to be won in 27 darts. This has never been officially recorded. In fact, no player has ever scored back-to-back 9-dart finishes during televised play.