News about the world of darts or things in general.

2020 DartConnect Tablet Buyer’s Guide

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UPDATED FOR 2020!

Take advantage of this year’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday for the best deal on a new tablet for DartConnect. Holiday deal guides will be posted closer to Black Friday, check back in November.

Keep reading for advice on what to look for, what NOT to buy and links to our top recommendations and the hottest deals.

NOTE: Tablets recommended here are intended for use with the DartConnect scorekeeping app and not other services such as video or audio for online matches which require more modern equipment.

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WDF Virtual Cup: Regional Groups Announced – Starts 04 October!

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47 Countries! The WDF’s first ever Virtual Cup may be the world’s largest international online competition! Groups have been drawn into 8 regional sections for the Round Robin portion of the competition starting on October 4th.

WDF Virtual Cup Update! World Masters Spots at Stake – Entry Deadline Extended

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WDF and DartConnect are excited to announce there’s been an overwhelming response to the first ever International Men’s and Women’s Virtual Cup competition!  The entry deadline and competition dates have been extended one week.

USA Darts, the premier darts streaming service in North America, will be streaming live Virtual Cup featured matches during the knockout rounds.

The WDF also recently announced that the men’s and women’s singles champions as well as the highest place team will receive invitations to the 2021 WDF World Masters!

Over 40 countries have submitted teams to compete for the title and World Masters berth, including:

Americas 

  • USA
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Jamaica

Isle Nations 

  • Republic of Ireland
  • Jersey
  • Scotland
  • Faroe Islands
  • Iceland
  • Wales
  • England
  • Northern Ireland

Rest of Europe / Africa

  • Romania
  • Germany
  • Ukraine
  • Czech Republic
  • Egypt
  • Italy
  • France
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • South Africa
  • Catalonia
  • Poland
  • Slovenija
  • Latvia
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Lithuania
  • Hungary
  • Finland
  • Monaco

Asia/ NZ / Australia 

  • New Zealand
  • Malaysia
  • India
  • Iran
  • Australia
  • Korea
  • Mongolia
  • Pakistan

The above list was updated on 24 September. More and more are entering every day, check back for updates to the participant list.

Entry deadline extended to 30 September!

What:
Men’s & Women’s Virtual Cup Online Singles Championship

When:
UPDATED!  04 October – 08 November 2020

Who:
2 Men & 2 Women from each member country

Why:
To provide more opportunities for global competition

The tournament will be entirely run on DartConnect’s innovative Digital Steel competition software and scorekeeping app.  This is the same system used at WDF-sanctioned competitions around the world, including the 2019 WDF World Cup in Romania.

Member countries may select 2 men & 2 women to compete in this inaugural event. All matches will be played online over a five week period starting with regional round-robin group play followed by a championship knockout round.

2020 League Survey – Download the Executive Summary

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To create conversations and share creative strategies and solutions for securing the future of steel tip darts, DartConnect conducted a survey of its member leagues around the world to see how they are coping with the global pandemic.

5 Key Steps to Starting an Online Singles League

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DartConnect League Services is an ideal solution for getting an online singles league up and running quickly.  Online leagues can effortlessly transition to in-person play or allow both if Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

If this is your first league, you can start with friends, family, team mates, small groups, big groups, whatever works!  Whether you’re in it just for the fun, or creating a serious league for intense competition, DartConnect will make it less work for you and more fun for the players.

Have a question? Contact:
leagues@dartconnect.com

Get Started Now:

5 key steps

Detailed checklist followed by helpful best practices:

  1. Define Your League
  2. Recruit Players
  3. Create Divisions & Match Schedule
  4. Request a DartConnect League Portal
  5. Organize Players & Start Season

    1. Define Your League. Create a written plan that includes:

        • The official name of your league
        • Signup deadline, start date and target season length (including playoffs)
        • Match Format (ideal length is 90-120 minutes) – see recommended formats below
        • Rules, including online play guidelines (ex: webcam, makeup matches, etc)
        • Player Fee (should cover $5/player DC fee, league expenses and prize funds if applicable)

    2. Recruit Players

        • Create a signup process and payment method
        • Create an email campaign, flyer, website, Facebook Group, etc
        • Promote, promote, promote!

    3. Create Divisions & Match Schedule / Fixtures

        • See best practices below for optimal division structures
        • Form divisions by skill level using prior league DCA if possible
        • Use free tools to generate a round robin match schedule such as Devenezia or Teamopolis

    4. DartConnect League Portal:

        • Submit League Signup Form (ideally 1-2 weeks prior to season start)
        • Set up league portal website with player and season info

    5. Organize Players & Start Season

        • Distribute info to players (via email, website, group chat, etc):
        • Monitor league on DCTV

    Best Practices

    Should you require a webcam?

    This decision is extremely important and should be tailored to the type of players and level of competition. DartConnect can easily be used with or without a camera.  For more information on how to set up webcams to use with DartConnect, click here.

    If the players are serious competitors, are playing for money or prizes, and express concerns about cheating, then requiring a camera is necessary.  If players are more casual and friendly, you can get away without requiring it.  

    Note that you can also make this rule division-specific to accommodate both types of players. Remember that requiring a camera will limit the amount of potential players.

    Most online leagues with a camera rule require the video image to clearly show where the darts land, but some may also require a second camera to show the player at the oche. Showing the player should be considered optional for practical reasons.

    Regarding Cheating

    Cheating is an unfortunate stigma of online darts and there have been some high-profile cases that put a stain on online competition. Even with camera requirements, accusations of dishonest scores can occur. In our experience, it is a rare occurrence in sanctioned competition such as leagues and tournaments, but high profile cases exaggerate how frequently it happens.

    The best way to mitigate this issue is to have a clear and written policy with a severe punishment for anyone proven to be cheating. Most perpetrators are easily discovered because of multiple complaints. The majority of players will play honestly and by eliminating the few “bad apples” you can maintain the integrity of the league.

    Division Setup

    Whether you have one division or multiple divisions, configure your divisions based on the group size, skill levels and type of match schedule you require.  Use the following guide as a starting point.

    • 5 Players – play each other 3x/season – 12 matches
    • 6 Players – play each other 3x/season – 15 matches
    • 7 players – play each other 2x/season – 12 matches
    • 8 players – play each other 2x/season – 14 matches
    • 9 players – play each other 2x/season – 16 matches
    • 10 players – play each other 2x/season – 18 matches

    If you have multiple divisions, make sure you consider how you wish to structure your post-season. Playoffs can be optional, but if you want to crown league champions, make sure you’ve thought out who qualifies and if you want a different match format for post-season play.

    Use free tools to generate a round robin match schedule such as Devenezia or Teamopolis.

    Recommended Match Formats

    Singles leagues are known for providing a lot of darts, typically long-format matchplay, but must balance the player’s skill level with the total # of legs to ensure that matches remain a reasonable length.

    Matches that are too long or too short risk giving players a negative experience. In general, the ideal length for a singles match is 90-120 minutes.  Note that, different from a team format, players will be throwing darts for the entire match and may need periodic breaks.

    The following suggested formats can be adjusted to fit a wide variety of environments and player skill levels:

    We recommend a single set instead of a multi-set format for the majority of groups, especially beginner and intermediate levels.

    General Guidelines:

    • KEEP IT SIMPLE:
      • Make matches all 501 if possible
      • If you must add Cricket, limit the # of legs to avoid late finishes
      • Use “Random Start” for the first leg, then alternate all remaining legs rather than incorporating a shoot for bull (aka “bull up”)
      • Avoid complicated point systems and standings, use something straightforward for ranking, such as # of leg or set wins
    • Tailor formats to skill level
    • Consider handicapping to allow different level players to play together

    Play All vs Best Of

    The biggest tradeoff is predictability of the time required to complete a match.  A “Play All Legs” format has a fixed # of legs and a “Best Of” format can vary considerably.  For this reason we recommend “Play All” for online matches.  This also ensures that players get a fulfilling amount of games to play.

    Top 2 Recommended Match Formats:

    Option 1:  Single Set 501

    • Beginners:  Play All 7 legs or Best of 9 (First to 5)
    • Intermediate:  Play All 11 Legs or Best of 15 (First to 8)
    • Advanced / Pro:  Play All 19 Legs or Best of 23 (First to 12)

    Option 2:  Multi Set – 501 and Cricket  

    • Beginners:  Play All 2 sets / 501 Play All 5 Legs / Cricket Play All 3 Legs
    • Intermediate: Play All 2 sets / 501 Play All 7 Legs / Cricket Play All 3 Legs
    • Advanced / Pro: Play All 2 sets / 501 Play All 11 Legs / Cricket Play All 5 Legs

    Option 3:  Set Play – 501

    This format is best for advanced players, but if necessary can be adapted for lower skill groups.

    • Beginners:  Best of 3 sets / Each Set Play All 3 Legs or Best of 3 Legs
    • Intermediate:  Best of 5 sets / Each Set Play All 3 Legs or Best of 3 Legs
    • Advanced / Pro:  Best of 5 sets / Each Set Play All 5 Legs or Best of 5 Legs

    If you want to include Cricket to provide variety, we advise no more than one set to limit “marathon” legs affecting match length. You may also want to play fewer legs for a cricket set than a 501 set.

    While 501 SIDO is the “standard” game played around the world, for beginners you can change this to 301, 401, or other starting score to adjust match lengths to the players’ skill level.

    Additional Resources

    Get Started Now:

    New WDF Virtual Cup Launched For 2020

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    This Fall the WDF will crown the first ever International Men’s and Women’s Virtual Cup Champions!

    While Covid-19 has brought in-person competitions to a halt around the world, the WDF is embracing online darts to provide international players with more opportunities to represent their country on the global darts stage.

    UPDATE:

    Entry deadline extended to 30 September!

    What:
    Men’s & Women’s Virtual Cup Online Singles Championship

    When:
    UPDATED!  04 October – 08 November 2020

    Who:
    2 Men & 2 Women from each member country

    Why:
    To provide more opportunities for global competition

    To bridge the absence of canceled events around the world, the WDF has partnered with DartConnect to bring a new online cup competition to WDF member countries.  The tournament will take place from 04 October – 08 November.

    The tournament will be entirely run on DartConnect’s innovative Digital Steel competition software and scorekeeping app.  This is the same system used at WDF-sanctioned competitions around the world, including the 2019 WDF World Cup in Romania.

    Member countries may select 2 men & 2 women to compete in this inaugural event. All matches will be played online over a five week period starting with regional round-robin group play followed by a championship knockout round.

    PDC Autumn Series Picks Up Where Summer Series Left Off

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    Following the success of the Summer Series held in early July, the PDC has scheduled the Autumn Series in Germany for 12-16 September.  These five one-day events are a continuation of the Players Championship Tour and provide ranking points and qualification chances for the Grand Slam and World Grand Prix.  Plans for a Winter Series in the UK should be finalized soon.

    The Summer Series showcased the world’s top 128 professionals playing behind closed doors inside the PDC “bubble” created at the Milton Keynes arena. Due to virus-related regulations, players were required to keep score for their fellow players if they lost and many players were thankful to DartConnect for making it a stress-free job.

    Details surrounding the new Autumn and Winter series’ will be forthcoming as the requirements for coping with Covid-19 restrictions are ever evolving and the venue moves from the UK to Germany for the September events.

    In addition to video streaming on PDCTV, live scores and results for every match will be shown on DartConnect TV.

    To see all the results and player performance stats from the Summer Series – Click Here.

    Featured matches streamed on PDCTV:

    Check out the PDC channel on DCTV for live events, results, player stats and more:

    World #3 Gerwyn Price marks a match for Stephen “The Bullet” Bunting at the Summer Series

    Attn: UK Amateur Dart Players

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    To: UK Amateur Super League and County Players

    Monday 20 July 2020

    A message from the founder of DartConnect:

    For the last several years we have enjoyed working with the PDC, making floor matches available to fans and friends around the world. Our recent experience with the WDF at the World Cup in Romania, various European competitions and the Scottish Open had us looking forward to the Welsh Open and beyond.

    Then the current health crisis disrupted the game of darts everywhere.

    This appears to have also contributed to the uncertainty of the future of County and Super League play in the UK. Our mission is to make the game more accessible to everyone and we are ready to accommodate all levels of play, in whatever capacity is appropriate. We fully respect and support whatever direction the counties and players elect for the future of UK darts.

    We will enter into formal conversations with the organization(s) that are selected to represent the future of UK darts. As always, DartConnect is open to discussing opportunities that involve system integration and data sharing. In the meantime, to learn more about the DartConnect services and pricing, please visit www.dartconnect.com.

    We look forward to returning to in-person darts as quickly and safely as possible.

    David Macher
    CEO and Founder
    DartConnect

    New Updated Quick Keys for 01

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    DartConnect users will notice some changes to the app’s quick keys for scoring 01 games.

    Below are the new number layouts for Basic, Advanced and Master Quick Keys. The biggest change is larger buttons for the big scores of 100 and 140, which also allows 2 additional quick keys to replace them in the margins.  When the keypad is used, the large keys will disappear and reveal the “+, – and 0” keys.

    Quick Key sets can be changed in the user settings by tapping the gear icon.

    Basic Quick Keys

    Advanced Quick Keys

    Master Quick Keys

    VIDEO: Pro Tip – 01 Rapid Score Entry

     

    DartConnect’s quick keys and one tap remainder make it the fastest way to enter scores for 01 games.

    PDC Live Darts Returns At Last

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    PDC Summer SeriesHeld within the “Bubble” concept that all professional sports have been forced to implement, the PDC ProTour is finally back from its Coronavirus hiatus and DartConnect will be there with full LIVE coverage.

    Five straight days of competition, dubbed the “Summer Series,” faces the biggest changes in the tour’s history as play resumes with strict social distancing measures. Staff markers will be absent to reduce occupancy, resulting in players marking games for one another with DartConnect.

    This means the players themselves will be responsible for feeding the live scoreboards to fans on DartConnect TV, another ProTour first.

    The PDC Summer Series
    08-12 June 2020
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Daily Start Time: 1100 GMT / 1200 BST