What Happens If a Dart Falls Out of the Board?

What Happens If A Dart Falls Out Of The Board

Key Takeaways

  • A dart doesn’t count if it falls out of the board before it is counted
  • A dull tip damages sisal fibers, causing more bounce outs
  • A dart can struggle to stick on an aging dartboard
  • Boards with a thick spider can also be a cause of darts falling

What Happens If A Dart Falls Out Of The Board?

During a game, a dart needs to touch the face of the board to count, which is why if you Robin Hood a dart, it doesn’t count.

However, it’s not just good enough to touch it, a dart needs to show that it sticks to the dartboard during a throw. If it falls out of the board, it may or may not count, depending on how long it stuck.

Does A Dart Count If It Falls Out Of The Board?

  • When a player throws a dart, if it immediately bounces back out, it will not count
  • Likewise, if it initially sticks, then falls out, before you have thrown all three darts, it won’t count either

If a dart is just hanging from the triple 20, and highly likely to fall out, it is a very good reason to switch to triple 19, to move away from that section of the board.

The important thing to remember is that a dart has to stay in the board long enough to get counted by the scorekeeper. The scores are counted once the third dart has been thrown and not during the throw.

It is at this point you will see players practically running to the board to retrieve their darts almost as soon as they have released the last dart if there is danger of one or more falling out.

Why Are My Darts Not Sticking in the Dartboard?

There could be a number of different reasons as to why your darts are not sticking in the dartboard, which may include:

  1. Dull Tips
  2. An Aging dartboard
  3. A Thick Spider (Metal Numbered Ring)

Dull Tips

One of the most common reasons why your darts are not sticking, may be because of dull tips.

  • If darts are regularly used, they will start to show wear and tear
  • Dull tips are a direct result of heavy use, however that’s the name of the game if you love playing the sport

Sharpening your tips will help if they are struggling to stay on the board, however they shouldn’t be too pointy or sharp either.

Bristle boards are made using sisal fibers, that are often referred to as self-healing. When a sharp tip enters the board, the point of the dart rests between the board’s fibers, which have the ability to spring back when the dart is removed.

This is why a quality board doesn’t display dart holes in the same way as the cheap ones do.

What happens though when your dart’s tips are too dulled, it nestles on top of the fibers, instead of beside them, which damages them and leaves them unable to spring back.

It leaves little space at that point for your dart to find its way into the board, which leaves it struggling to stick

An Aging Dartboard

I mentioned above how the sisal on a bristled dartboard can get damaged from dull tips.

However, it is also common to aging bristle boards and may have nothing to do with your tips, it can happen just from being used a lot over time.

When the fibers on the board have been hammered time and time again, they will eventually stop responding, and your board will struggle to hold your darts no matter what you do.

Typically, when it starts to show the wear and tear, you may start to notice it begin to start swelling and bulging.

There’s no coming back at this point, and you will need a replacement dartboard.

A Thick Spider

The spider is the metal number ring that separates and defines the board into the different scoring segments.

  • Cheaper boards, typically cork or paper, are more likely to be manufactured with thick spiders.
  • Higher quality bristle boards, usually use thinner ones.

Thick numbered rings, tend to cause more bounce outs, thus causing your darts not to stick, as they take up more area space across the scoring part of a dartboard.

FAQ: What Happens If A Dart Falls Out Of The Board?

Why Do Darts Sometimes Fall Out of the Board?

Darts may fall out of the board due to various reasons, such as improper throwing technique, damaged or worn dartboard surfaces, or the type of darts being used. It’s essential to understand these factors to prevent this from happening.

Why Do Darts Sometimes Fall Out of the Board? 

No, a dart that falls out of the board is not considered a valid score. To score points in darts, the dart must remain in the board until the score is recorded. If it falls out, it counts as zero points for that throw.

How Can I Prevent Darts from Falling Out of the Board? 

To reduce the chances of darts falling out, make sure you’re using the right type of dartboard (usually a sisal or bristle board), and inspect it regularly for signs of wear and tear. Additionally, improve your throwing technique to minimize bounce-outs.

What Causes Bounce-Outs in Darts? 

Bounce-outs occur when darts hit the wire or metal divider on the dartboard. They can be caused by throwing too hard, a deflection from other darts already in the board, or hitting a crowded section. To prevent bounce-outs, focus on a controlled and accurate throw.

Are There Any Specific Rules for Dealing with Darts That Fall Out in Professional Darts Tournaments? 

Yes, in professional tournaments, there are specific rules for darts that fall out. Typically, if a dart falls out before the player retrieves it, it does not count as a score. However, if a player removes it from the board before it falls, the score counts.

Can a Dart Be Counted If It’s Hanging on the Board by a Thread or a Small Piece of Sisal? 

Yes, if a dart is hanging on the board by a thread or a small piece of sisal, it is considered “in” and will count towards the score. As long as any part of the dart remains in the scoring area, it is valid.

Is There a Way to Minimize the Chances of Darts Falling Out Without Changing the Dartboard? 

Yes, you can reduce the likelihood of darts falling out by using darts with longer points and ensuring they are sharp. This can help the dart penetrate the sisal fibers more effectively and stay in the board.

Can I Repair a Dartboard with Many Dart Holes to Prevent Darts from Falling Out? 

If a dartboard has many dart holes or is significantly damaged, it’s often best to replace it. Repairing a heavily used dartboard may not be effective in preventing darts from falling out, as it can compromise the integrity of the board.

Are There Any Specific Guidelines for Maintaining a Dartboard to Prevent Darts from Falling Out? 

Regularly rotate your dartboard to distribute wear evenly, and keep it clean from debris that can affect dart penetration. Consider using a dartboard surround or backboard to protect the wall and prolong the life of your board.




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