Dart Rules & Guidelines

TDA has been following BDO’s rules of darts for many years as well as WDF’s.
We also follow and push for the guidelines of DRA – Darts Regulation Authority.

Please have an update on what is expected of your participation when playing under the guidance of TDA/DRA/PDC.


Rules for Sanctioned Tournaments:

Every tournament is operated under the rules laid down by the Darts Regulation Authority.

Click here to see the DRA Rule Book, downloadable as a PDF.

Click here to visit the DRA Website


Below is a basic guide for beginners to the sport of darts.

There are a number of different versions of the sport and also a number of different dartboards which are used around the world.
Here you can find details of the most commonly played version – 501 – used in major PDC/BDO events on a standard dartboard.

Dart Board Measurements: (DRA Book – 5.13.08 and 5.15)
Standard height from the floor to the bullseye on the dartboard is 2.37 metres (5 feet 8 inches), distance to the oche (distance between the front of the board and the toeline) should measure 1.73 metres (7 feet 9.25inches). The diagonal distance from the centre of the Bull to the back of the raised Oche at floor level shall measure 2.93 metres (9ft 7.5ins).

Basic Rules:
In a game of 501 the object is for one player or a team to be the first to reach zero from starting total of 501.

In simple terms, after three darts are thrown, the throwing player subtracts the total scored from his current total until he reaches zero.

In order to reach zero each player must finish by throwing a double i.e. if player one has 36 remaining he must hit double 18 to win, while if player two has 45 remaining he must hit single 5, double 20 to win – or a another combination of scores provided the final dart scores on a double.

Some versions of the game require a ‘double start’ whereby players must begin the game with a double as well as ‘checking out’ on a double. The World Grand Prix uses the ‘double in, double out’ rule.

Games can be played to a ‘Best of’ format whereby a player or team winning three legs in a ‘Best of Five Leg’ competition wins the match.

The World Matchplay is one example of a tournament played on a ‘Best of’ format with legs as the scoring format.

Other tournaments will be played in ‘Set’ format, whereby players must win a set by winning the Best of Five legs, before claiming the match in the Best of Five Sets.

The PDC World Championship and World Grand Prix are played using the Set format, with differing lengths of games at each tournament.

Anti-Doping Policy
To see the full set of rules for the Anti-Doping policy click here

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