The Yorkshire Dartboard is a forerunner of the now standard, London dartboard or as others may call it the ‘Clock’ dartboard, however, this dartboard has no treble bed or outer bullseye. The bullseye still scores 50 and is smaller than a standard bullseye on a standard dartboard.
By the late 1920s the trebles ‘standard dartboard’ was introduced and remains the most popular dartboard in the world today. However, the ‘standard’ dartboard was not an overnight success in the UK. Initially, it had to compete with other existing target boards played across the United Kingdom. These have come to be known as ‘regional dartboards’ and were usually named after their region of origin of the where the dartboard was first made. For example, the Yorkshire Doubles board, Kent Doubles, the London Fives and the Manchester Log-end Board.
The Yorkshire board with has a ‘standard’ numbering system without trebles, The Manchester ‘Log-end’, The London 'East End' (Narrow Fives) and Ipswich (Wide Fives) Dartboards have a different numbering system. All these boards are still available and still played on in the UK (c 2018). However, they still remain regional and are played on less than the standard dartboard.
I probably, at this point, also should mention here the Irish Black and Lincolnshire Dartboards.
The Irish Black Dartboard is the same as the Yorkshire Dartboard, however, unlike the Yorkshire Dartboard, the playing surface is totally black not the standard Black, Red, Green, and Natural as seen on the Yorkshire Dartboard. However, the rules remain the same. The Lincolnshire Dartboard again looks the same as the Irish Black but it is wider 15 inches diameter to double outer rim. The Yorkshire and Irish Black are both 13 ¼ inches.
It is also worth noting that the only other area where a doubles board is traditionally strong is Kent, and it was taken to the county by the Yorkshire miners who went to the Kent coalfield.
Illustrations of both the Irish Black and the Lincolnshire dartboard are also shown here. Both boards have been made in the past from soft wood and sisal. The traditional jet-black dye used for the wooden construction was carried over to the sisal boards. Black dye was used so the wire dividers could easily be seen.
In the 1970s the Yorkshire dartboard featured in the first series of ‘Indoor league’ before it was replaced to the now familiar London ‘Clock’ board featuring the treble ring.
Indoor League was a Yorkshire TV daytime TV program featured pub games played across the UK: Darts, Table Skittles, Ally Skittle, Bar Billiards, Pool, Table Football, Shove Ha'penny and Arm Wrestling!
It was ‘Indoor League’ along with coverage of the News of the World Individual Championships that started bigger interest in darts on our television screens. In 1976 the BBC approach the BDO and said they would broadcast a World Championship event. The rest is history.
Indoor League not only helped darts but it also introduced us to two of the most famous TV darts commentators Dave Lanning and Sid Waddell who sadly is no longer with us.
1972 Colin Minton (beat Charles Ellis)
1973 Tommy O'Regan (beat Alan Evans)
1974 Leighton Rees (beat Alan Evans)
1975 Conrad Daniels (beat Cliff Inglis)
1976 Leighton Rees (beat Charlie Ellix)
1977 Tony Brown (beat David Rocky Jones)
It is worth noting handmade Lincoln, Irish Black and the Manchester log-end dartboards were made from a Manchester Dartboard supplier Perrigo and the differences were plain to see. Perrigo has since stopped production of the wooden dartboards. However, some of the boards are still made and can be purchased elsewhere.
It is also worth noting that a well-known dartboard manufacturer also makes a black dartboard naming it as a Lincoln. However, on enquiry, the board is of standard size and incorrectly given the ‘Lincoln’ name. The board should have been named an Irish Black. (ref Guinness book of darts by Derek Brown and first-hand experience via Perrigo, Droylsden, Manchester)
Lincolnshire, like all counties in the UK, hold onto tradition as this make their identity and although the traditional Lincoln dartboard may not be readily available, it is not true that the Lincoln board has reduced in size as some might have you believe.
If the doubles board is played in the county of Lincoln on a standard size black doubles board dartboard, they have adopted an ‘Irish Black’ and should not be given the name ‘Lincoln’ dartboard regardless what some advertising or other writers might have you believe.
The height and throwing distances for the Yorkshire dartboard differs than that of a standard dartboard.
The Yorkshire dartboard is hung so that the centre is 5ft 6ins (1.676m) from ground level, the throwing line or 'oche' is 7ft 2ins (2.184m) from the dartboard face at ground level. The diagonal distance from the centre of the bull to the throwing line at floor level is 9ft (2.743m).
The Yorkshire Dartboard: Some may disagree with the set-up I have listed above and this may be due to changes seemly adopted in parts of Yorkshire but not necessarily all. The information I have gathered from Yorkshire and Professional Dart players confirm this set-up, however, I am aware that some set the Yorkshire board up as per a standard clock board.
|A: Height to Centre Bull||B: Centre Bull to Oche||C: Throw Distance|
|5ft 6ins / 1.676m||9ft / 2.743m||7ft 2ins / 2.184m|
The order of play is either determined by a toss of a coin or by each player throwing for the centre bull the nearest being the player that throws first. The rules here can vary depending on the league you may be playing in; the local rules should be observed at all times.
When throwing for the bull, if the first thrower hits the centre bull or outer bull the dart is usually removed before the second player throws. If the second player hits the same as the first player then the bulling-up procedure starts again. If the first player's dart does not hit either the centre bull or outer bull then the dart remains in the board until the second player throws. If the first player's dart is obstructing the bull the second player may request the marker/referee to straighten the dart. (See local rules)
Once the order of play has been determined the winner will start leg one and odd legs after that. The loser will start leg two and even legs thereafter.
Any standard darts may be used.
A throw consists three darts except were the game is finished in less.
Darts cannot be re-thrown this includes darts that miss the board and darts that bounce of the board wiring system. Only darts that have their points touching the scoring area of board score.
A player may be told, if he asks, what number they scored, or what number required for the game, by the score announcer, but not the outshot.
If the number required for the game is exceeded in the course of a throw, throw ceases, and no account is taken of the score obtained during that throw.
There is only a bull (50) and no outer bull on a Yorkshire Board.
The game is to score 701, 501 or 301 as previously agreed.
Generally, each player’s score must start and finish a game with a double (The narrow outer ring of the board). Competition games, however, are usually played with a straight start (no compulsory double) but with a compulsory double to finish.
The first throw is deducted from the player's start number e.g. 501 and then from the subsequently reduced total. The scorer should show both the score obtain for the throw and the reducing total remaining.
For fast practice, games play 301. For league and competition 501 and for pairs 701. In fact, any agreed starting number can be used but usually, the number should end 01 the reason for this is so a player must hit another part of the board other than the 20’s segment in order to win a game.
Webster's Yorkshire Bitter was launched in 1982, but Samuel Webster and Son's Brewery dates back to the early 1800s. It was founded in 1820 by John Mitchell, and by 1838 the Brewery was operated by Samuel Webster. The Brewery's history indicated Samuel Webster bought it circa 1860 and registered it in 1890. Watney Mann Ltd later acquired the business in 1972. Webster's was later amalgamated with Wilson Brewery Ltd in 1985. Hence the 150 years of brewing excellence as shown on the Yorkshire dartboard here suggests the dartboard was made no earlier than 1982, but most likely 1988, which co-insides with 1838.
Webster's Brewery sponsored the BDO UK Open Darts Championships in 1989, 1990 and the World Matchplay darts tournament in 1995, 1996.