Games are always a surefire way to get some fun going between you a friend, a bunch of friends, or even a bunch of strangers—like all the new kids you meet at camp. In an attempt to pass the time, have fun, and relax, people have played games as far back as history can show us. Chess came around in the 500s and Backgammon was about 2000 years before that! Even older is a game called Senet that they played in Predynastic Egypt which makes it the oldest game as far as we know.
Games have taken on a number of different forms and even media—from board games to card games to sports games and video games. A number of games have positioned themselves on the fine line between game and sport with activities like Ping Pong and Billiards. Another ambiguous leisure activity is Darts.
Darts aren’t nearly as old as Senet or even Chess, but its history is an interesting one anyway. The game is rumored to have originated in medieval times (in the 1500s) when Henry VIII told his archers that he wanted them keeping their skills sharp year round. To avoid the cold weather, they maintained their aim by throwing their arrows indoors instead of shooting them. The arrows were eventually shortened for indoor use.
Since then, darts seem to have been a common game found in pubs across the European continent, yet, we only need to travel back less than 200 years for what we know to be the official start for the game of Darts. Records have been found as early as 1837 in which an adaptation of Darts was developed called “Puff and Dart”. The game involved a hollow cylinder and much lighter darts that were blown at a target instead of thrown.
Any Dart games prior to “Puff and Dart” are assumed to have had the same style point system as indicated by an archery target. The scoring system of “Puff and Dart” was based on the number of “puffs” a player took to hit a certain number (along the lines of strokes in a golf game). But things changed drastically after “Puff and Dart”.
The “Puff and Dart” game did not have a lasting stay as accidental sucking instead of blowing brought about a number of deaths. But that didn’t mean the end of Darts! People reverted back to throwing heavier darts. And, in 1896, an Englishman named Brian Gamlin designed the modern dartboard with the numbering layout that’s now well known today.
Fans of the game of Darts ourselves, we’re happy to offer this kid-friendly Magnetic Darts and Dartboard Game Set here at Everything Summer Camp. Check it out right here and, as always, thanks for reading!