Fox and Parrot Tavern

A Non-Smoking, Family Oriented, British-Themed Pub

1065 Glades Road Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738 865.436.0677


||  Home||  Finding Us ||  Beers & Ales  ||  Menu ||  Coupon ||  About the Tavern ||  Games ||  Holidays ||  Galleries ||  Twinned Pub ||

We participate in: Darts and Highland Games

English Darts

Rules of the Game:

Know the dartboard:

A standard Dartboard

The Board Set-up

The Official WDF Dartboard setup
Click for a larger view)

Brian makes the winning throw! Selecting a set of darts:

You should not rush into buying a set of darts. The weight and shape of darts varies enormously, as do the shapes of the flights. We recommend that you try as many different types of darts and flights as possible before making a purchase. After a while you will soon become aware that each different type of dart behaves differently when YOU throw it. Take your time, find a set that you feel comfortable with BEFORE you buy.


Darts Terminology:

Here is a brief glossary of some of the common and most used terms and phrases used in darts:

"Game on": Advises all players that the match has now started
"Leg shot": Signifies that a player has completed (Won) the "leg".
"Game shot": Signifies that the match winning double has been hit
"Bust": Means a player has scored more than the score required.
"Double in": A double is required before scoring can commence
"Straight start": No double required to start, scoring can start immediately.
"Ton": Means a score of 100 points or more
"Ton-forty": Means a score of 140 points or more.
"Ton-eighty" or "Maximum": Means a score of 180 points
"Ochie" (pronounced "okkey") : The name of the throwing line.

Steve catches the winning throw!

The Basics of the Game:

A game of darts always starts, and ends, with a handshake.

A game of darts can be played in played in several forms. The most common forms are:- One player against another which is known as "Singles" or teams of two players per team which is known as "Doubles" or "Pairs". A game of darts is played over an agreed number of sections which are known as "legs". The number of "legs" in a game is always an odd number usually 1, 3, 5, or 7 "legs". Matches are played as (for example) "Best of 5 "legs". This means that the first player or team to win 3 "legs" win the match.

Players throw alternately in "Singles" matches. In "Doubles" or "Pairs" matches each "Pair" throws alternately with each player in the respective "Pair" also throwing alternately. A "Throw" consists of "3" darts. If a player completes the "Leg" or the match in less than three darts the remaining dart or darts are not thrown.

Matches usually start from 501 in competition darts but other common starts are 301, 401, 701, and even 1001. Sometimes darts matches are played where a "double" is required to start each "Leg" of the match. However, the most common form of play is "straight start" which means that players/teams can begin to score points immediately with the first dart thrown. Both teams start on the agreed starting number and the object is to score down to zero as quickly as possible. The value of the different sectors of the dartboard can be seen above.

Each section or "leg" of the match must be finished with a "double", this means the outer scoring ring. For example as one approaches the end of a "leg" a player or team may have 40 points left to score. This means Double 20 is required and to end the "Leg" a dart must be thrown into the "double" section of the "20" sector. Should the thrower miss "double" 20 and hit (for example) a single 1, the the thrower would require 39 to win the "leg" where a single 7 then "double" 16 could be an option.

Another example could be the player or team require 51 points. Then there would be several alternatives to end the "leg". The usual route would be either a single 11 and then "double" 20, or perhaps a single 19 and then "double" 16. The first player or team to hit the required "double" wins the "leg". A new leg is then started and the procedure repeated until one of the players or teams has won the required number of "legs" to win the match.

Scottish Highland Games

Highland games are traditional competitions originating in the highland areas of Scotland and still held there and in other parts of the world where Scots have settled. The competitions are best known for traditional competitive athletic heavy events.

The best-known games are the ones held at Braemar, Lonach, Ballater and Aboyne. Although they can be dated back to the 11th century, there have been many long breaks and revivals. The Aboyne games have been running since 1867 without a break apart from the two world wars. There is a document from 1703 summoning the clan of the Laird of Grant. They were to arrive wearing Highland coats and "also with gun, sword, pistill and dirk". From this letter, it is believed that the competitions would have included feats of arms.

Heavy Events

In their original form many centuries ago, Highland games gatherings centered around athletic and sports competitions. Though other activities were always a part of the festivities, many today still consider that Highland athletics are what the games are all about - in short, that the athletics are the Games, and all the other activities are just entertainment. Regardless, it remains true today that the athletic competitions are at least an integral part of the events and one - the caber toss - has come to almost symbolize the Highland games.

Although quite a range of events can be a part of the Highland athletics competition, a few have become standard.

Caber toss: a long tapered wooden pole or log is stood upright and hoisted by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands. Then the competitor attempts to toss it, turning it end over end in such a way that, first, the upper (larger) end will strike the ground (see photo) and then, following that, the smaller end, originally held by the athlete, will follow through and in turn strike the ground in the 12 o'clock position measured relative to the point (considered at the 6 o'clock position) at which the caber was released. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber. Cabers vary greatly in length, weight, taper and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss. Competitors are judged on the accuracy of their throws.

Stone put: sometimes incorrectly called the Clachneart or "Stone of Strength", is similar to the modern-day shot put as seen in the Olympic Games. However, instead of a steel shot, most American games use a large stone, of variable weight (somewhere between 16 and 28 pounds) while most Scottish games use a steel shot of appropriate weight. There are also some differences from the Olympic shot put in allowable techniques. Some games will feature two stone toss events. The "Braemar Stone" using a 22+ lb.. stone allows no run up to the toeboard or "trig" to deliver the stone, i.e., a standing put. In the "Open Stone" using a 16-18 lb. stone, the thrower is allowed to make a limited moving approach to deliver the stone. Most athletes use either the "glide" or the "spin" techniques.

Scottish hammer throw: this event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. In the Scottish event, a round metal ball weighing 16 or 22 pounds is attached to the end of a cane shaft about 4 feet in length. It is whirled about one's head and thrown for distance over either the right or left shoulder. Hammer throwers usually employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance.

Weight throw: also known as the weight for distance event. Again, these are actually two separate events, one using a light (28 pound or 2 stone) and the other a heavy (56 pound or 4 stone) weight. The weights, made of metal, have an attached chain and handle, and are thrown one handed. The longest throw wins.

Weight over the bar: also known as weight for height. The athletes attempt to toss a 56 pound (4 stone) weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. Successful clearance of the height allows the athlete to advance into the next round at a greater height. The competition is determined by the highest successful toss with fewest misses being used to break tie scores.

Sheaf toss: A bundle of straw (the sheaf) weighing 20 pounds (9 kg) for the men or 10 pounds (4.5 kg) for the women and wrapped in a burlap bag is tossed vertically with a pitchfork over a raised bar much like that used in pole vaulting. The progression and scoring of this event is similar to the Weight Over The Bar. There is significant debate among athletes as to whether the sheaf toss is in fact an authentic Highland event. Some argue it is actually a country fair event but all agree that it is a great crowd pleaser.

Many of the competitors in Scottish highlanathleticscs are former high school and college track and field athletes who find the Scottish games are a good way to continue their competitive careers.

Increasingly in the USA, the Heavy Events are attracting women and Master class athletes which has led to a proliferation of additional classes in Heavy Events competitions. Lighter implements are used in the classes

See our Scottish Highland Games Gallery.



||   Home  ||   Beers & Ales  ||   Menu  ||   Coupon  ||   About the Tavern  ||   Games  ||   Holidays  ||   Galleries  ||   Celebration Gallery  ||   Twinned Pub  ||  

Email the publican at: Foxandparrot @

In accordance with 17 USC 506; 18 USC 2319; and Public Law 105-147, the No Electronic Theft Act;
this web site's structure, graphics, and content Copyright 2004-14 The Fox and Parrot Tavern. All rights reserved worldwide.
Site management and marketing provided by Breakthrough Systems.