Over the years darts has evolved from being a hugely popular game in homes and social settings to being a competitive sport played all over the world. The game was invented in medieval England during the middle of the 1300s. From there, different variations of the game were played, before in 1869 an English carpenter called Brian Gamlin developed modern darts as we know it today.

The dartboard is one of the pivotal pieces of equipment needed to play the game, and knowing how to set it up correctly is vitally important.

With this in mind, we have put together this comprehensive, illustrated guide that gives you all the information you need to know about dartboards. The guide covers the regulation height for dartboards, how far from the dartboard you should stand, the standard size of a dartboard, dartboard materials and more!

How big is a dartboard?

The measurements and dimensions of a dartboard stay the same regardless of the level of darts you are playing at. The exact regulation dartboard size is 17¾in (45.1cm) in diameter although this is sometimes rounded up to 18in (45.7cm). This means the overall circumference of a dartboard is 55.76in or 141.64cm (56.55in or 143.63cm with the rounded-up number).

The thickness of dartboards also stays the same at all levels. Each dartboard will protrude 1.5in (3.81cm) out from the wall or stand on which it it’s mounted.

What are dartboards made of?

The most suitable material for a long-lasting durable dartboard is sisal fibers. Sisal is a species of flowering plant which yields a stiff fiber suitable for making other products such as rope. Sisal dartboards can withstand repetitive impacts without wearing away, which saves you money as you won’t need to replace your dartboard anywhere near as often. Other materials such as paper and cork can be used but these dartboards tend to damage and wear away easily, meaning you’ll regularly have to seek replacements.

For the metal wiring that separates the different sections and segments of the dartboard, blade wiring is used on most professional dartboards. This material maximizes the scoring areas and minimizes the amount of bounce offs when darts hit with the wiring.

If you’re wondering how dartboards are made, the sisal fibers are collected in tube-like bundles which are then cut into discs that are the same width as dartboards. These discs are then pressed together and secured to a circular backboard, before being sanded down for a smooth finish and aesthetic appeal. The metal wiring framework and ink designs are then added to complete the dartboard.

What is the regulation height for a dartboard?

The official dartboard height is 5ft 8in (173cm) which is measured from the floor to the center of the bullseye. Knowing the regulation dartboard height ensures that the board you buy can be fixed at a height that is consistent with other boards you might play on elsewhere.

There are many options available to you to fix your dartboard at the standard height off the floor. The recommended height can be easily attained by using a dartboard stand. If you are a casual player these stands are recommended as they are quick and easy to set up, take down and store away as and when you wish to play. Dartboards that are used frequently at bars, social clubs or in professional games will require a more permanent solution, usually in the form of a wall-mounted bracket.

If you are looking for that permanent fixing our PINPOINT dartboards are equipped with a hanging bracket kit to make fixing your dartboard to the wall straightforward.

What is the correct dartboard throwing distance?

dart board distances and dimensions

The ‘throwing distance’ is the distance that players should stand away from the dartboard when throwing. The correct dartboard distance can be measured from the ground directly underneath the edge of the dartboard to the front edge of the ‘oche’ (pronounced okky), which is either represented by a raised platform or line. Player’s feet must not extend past the oche, but they are allowed to lean their upper body and release the darts from in front.

The regulation throwing distance for darts games is 7ft 9¼in (237cm). If you are playing on an uneven surface either at home or in a social venue the dartboard distance can also be measured from the bullseye diagonally downwards to the oche. If using this alternative approach, the measurement should be 9ft 7½in (293cm).

For ladies and junior players, the official distance remains the same. However, some leagues may allow for ladies or junior players to stand closer to the board. Alternative throwing distances can be 7ft 6in (228.6cm) or 7ft (213.3cm). It is important to note that the regulation distances are only mandatory for competitive play, and they don’t have to dictate where you should throw the darts from. If you’re playing at home or in a social setting you can throw the darts from any distance or at a dartboard height that feels comfortable for your age or ability.

As well as the size of the dartboard, another constant that stays the same throughout all levels, is that there should be a 2ft (61cm) clearance on either side of the board, in front of the thrower. Steel-tip darts are sharp and can cause considerable damage or injury.

Choosing a dartboard

There are a few factors that you need to consider when buying a dartboard. Your budget and how often you intend to play should be key considerations when deciding which dartboard to buy.

If you are looking to practice or play regularly then the PINPOINT Professional dartboard is the right choice for you. Made from premium sisal fibers, this dartboard is exceptionally durable and long lasting, making it suitable for repeated use over an extended period of time. The blade wiring is designed to reduce bounce offs and increase your scoring averages. The dartboard is also manufactured to regulation size, so can be used in competitions at all levels.

Alternatively, if you are playing sporadically at home and are seeking a cheaper option, then the PINPOINT Standard Dartboard is right for you. Still manufactured from premium sisal fibers, this dartboard has comparable durability to the professional dartboard, at a lower cost and is more suited to casual players looking to play at home. Another subtle difference is the use of slim wiring. This is a viable, cheaper alternative to blade wiring and will still prevent bounce outs.

Both dartboards are guaranteed to deliver high-level performance so your choice will ultimately come down to the factors mentioned above.

Now that you’ve read our complete dartboard guide why not check out our other premium quality PINPOINT darts equipment.

As well as our dartboards, we carry all of the other dartboard essentials you need, including brass and tungsten darts sets, rubber darts mats that allow you to mark out the correct throwing distance whilst protecting your floor, dartboard surrounds that prevent damage to your walls from any stray darts, and dartboard stands for people who don’t want their dartboard permanently mounted to a wall.