Practice Charts & Spreadsheets

The information on this page, including graphics and spreadsheets, were created by Brian McCabe. They have been presented here with his permission. All the text presented in the boxes were written by Brian and copied verbatim from the files he sent me. The graphics were modified slightly to shrink their size but their data is exactly as originally created. You may wish to download the original documents for off-line viewing. Many thanks to Brian for this fantastic set of practice tools!


Good practice = better play.

Interested in improving you game? Important info below. In a hurry? cut to the chase.


Let me introduce myself. I'm a 36yo male born in a small mid western college town. About the only thrill for me was to go downtown to the sporting goods store. One day, at about age 12, I was at the store and saw some chrome plated brass darts with green and red turkey feather, flights made by Unicorn - They were so cool, I had to have them. I got them and a cheap dart board for my next birthday and played just about every day there after. I never realized people took the game seriously, or even that there were games with rules. When my 18th birthday came around, I found my self celebrating at a local bar and restaurant district. It seemed every bar had several boards, and eventually I was drawn into a game by one of the patrons.... I won... big.... and declined several offers to join teams that night.


I went home and considered my experiences. The next day, I with resolve, set out to find out what I could about the game, and eventually wandered in to a place called "The Dart Board Shoppe" the proprietor was, I found out later, a legend to the sport, Bill Niccole (hope I spelled it OK, Bill). It was there I Bought my first pair of hand made tungsten alloy darts and a pro bristle board. I ask some questions about practicing and how "good is good". I got some excelent advice and tips on throwing, but no clear answers that appealed to my analytical mind. I returned with my new toys and over the next weeks in June of 1978 I developed this to track my progress. Believe me when I say it was no fun until personal computers and spreadsheets automated the task.

THE CHASE (instructions here)

Basically it's an Excell spread sheet based on the game of cricket. Across the top of the sheet you will see numbers 20 thru 15 and bullseye. Down the right side are your round numbers 1-10. And across the bottom are the results. It's very simple. Beginning with the 20's on turn 1, throw your round of darts (3 darts per round) and record the number of times you hit the 20's in the cell (remember doubles count 2, and triples 3). move on to round two and record again your hits. the calculations will update automatically as you go, so find your rhythm and role. When you have thrown 10 rounds at the 20's, move on to 19's... fill out the whole sheet. Keep these score sheets and you will have some real evidence of progress, and some good practice besides.

What do the stats mean? Good question.

The first row (labeled "HITS") is just the sum of hits you scored in each column.

The next row (labeled "HPD") is a quantity that describes the number of Hits Per Dart you have scored. To help you understand this; if I thru 2 rounds (6 darts) of darts at 20's and scored 3 hits this number would be ".5" (3 hits / 6 darts = 1/2 Hit Per Dart.)

In the third row (labled "DTC") is another way of expressing The HPD figure. The "Darts To Close" row indicates the number of darts you will need to throw at the target to register 3 hits. in the previous example (3 hits to close / .5 Hits per dart = 6 Darts To Close). in other words you will need to throw 6 darts to register 3 hits in this column.

In the last row (labeled "POP") is a number I'm not sure what to do with, due to lack of data: But, here it goes. If you were a truly great player you might score 9 hits every round at the line. Your total HITS for that column might then be 90. Your HPD would be 3, and your DTC, 1. Congratulation!? a perfect score. The number recorded in the POP row would therefore be "100". This row is an attempt to compare your playing against the only standard available - perfection. This row is your score divided by the maximum possible score, expressed as a percentage, Percent Of Perfect.

You'll find a summery of your session at the end of the chart. these numbers represent your performance for a standard game of cricket. For example I scored 165 hits the last time I ran thru it. This meant my DTC was 26 and change, and damned if I don't take me 27 darts to close a standard cricket game.

I consider myself a very good "C" league player or a poor to fair "B" leaguer. lately I've been scoring round 165 hits for the session. my goal is to one day reach 210. you'll understand why after you've run it thru a few times. I once suggested that the team I was on do this a couple times a week; but my suggestion was not warmly received. They (We) were more interested in suds and yucks than competition.

I hope this will help you. and if you are so inclined drop me a line and your results. Your data will be very valuable in helping me and others compare there skills against something based on statistical data rather than the "at-a-boy--good-group--nice-miss" method.


I played darts off and on over the next years but never joined a team. Eventually I relocated and was friendless in a new city and state. One day in 1993, a work mate and I were at a pub having a beer and checking out the local talent when one of the more attractive waitress announced loudly, "I need 4 men!". I turned to my college and answered, "well - I can go twice - what about you?", he gave me the nod, and we called her to our table for a consultation. As It turned out that the waitress were required to participate in the bar's dart league and she was running out of time to join up. Well - being conspicuously desperate YUM's, with no other prospects, we were persuaded to join her team, and provide the remaining 2 players needed.


Funny thing, though. The waitress quit her job and moved back to London, before the first game was played. I was "elected" team captain, and shortly there after my colleague from work moved back to his home state. I did meet some great people there, and some of my team mates became the best friends I've ever had. I too have since moved on, married... you know the rest. but I think on my dart league friends often, and hope where ever they are, they are well.

Hey guys: Steve "Fred", (shake-wipe-whip-kick-punch) Steve, (yes it's your turn) Brent, Herman (the chameleon), Bob (the moon walker), Dean, Dan, Sherri (not from my glass you don't), Debbie "VanDame", and lbnl Jenn.

Brian McCabe

I've recently made some modifications to the long chart. The bulk of this text has been written to answer some questions people have been asking. I've also attempted to combine both versions on one chart. You can use the same chart if you want to work on cricket numbers, or the whole clock. Game summaries are below the table. The summery for the clock game will not update until you over write the formula in the first row of the 14's column (cell H2). I've also changed the game summery to reflect the number of turns it would take to register 3 hits in each column (RTC) instead of summing the Darts To Close (DTC) row. The graphs are automatically updated, and reside on page 2 of the work book. To view the graphs, switch to page 2. Then click on the graph you want to see. "Handles" will appear on the corners and in the middles of the borders. You can then resize the graph with a "click hold and drag" on the handles. There are other features that change the appearance of the graph, such as changing the max and min range of the scale, that might be helpful. The auto setting (default) leaves the min Y value at the center of the chart. This makes the line from the adjoining values difficult to see. Double click on the graph, and a drawing editor will appear. You can change most things by double clicking on the entities you want to change. A dialogue box will appear, and you can change their properties through this window. Please consult your excel manuals for more information. I'm not a tech writer, but I can answer some things; if the explanation is short.

Interpreting the graphs.

The 2 graphs included on this sheet are HITS, and SDPOP. The HITS graph is straight forward, and the easiest to understand. It shows how many times you hit the number you were shooting for, in 30 darts. Your average HITS for all numbers (bulls are omitted) are plotted on this graph as well. Please note that your average is not valid unless you complete the whole chart. This value has no meaning if you stop shooting at cricket numbers. The SDPOP graph is a little more complex. First it calculates your average of the POP row, from sheet 1. It then subtracts this value from you actual POP scored in the column. The math is a little convoluted, but, this graph visually exaggerates your performance, and is a little more "eye friendly". Standard deviation graphs show your average as zero; scoring higher than your average will produce a positive integer, and scoring lower than average will show as negative.

How to use the long spread sheet.

Basically it's the same as the short one. The stats are based on a standard cricket game, and provide an imperial reference point to gage your performance. I have not collected enough data from other players to be helpful, for now, your own scores will have to serve as your baseline. First open the worksheet and save it as another name. You will find these records valuable later. Starting a 20's, throw a round (3 darts) and score as many hits in 20's as you can. Type this value in the corresponding cell and use the down arrow key to move to the next round. Repeat until the column has a value of 0 - 9 for each cell. Note: Don't start over, skip bad throws, or rethrow any darts; you'd only be cheating yourself. After you have recorded 10 rounds (90 darts) in the 20's column, move the cell pointer to the top of the 19's column. Repeat the same procedure in the 19's column. You can view the graphs and other statistical information at any time, but, averages and game totals aren't true until you complete the whole sheet. You can skip numbers 14 - 1 if you want to practice cricket numbers only, or, fill out the whole sheet for practice on the whole clock. If you choose to fill out the whole sheet, over write the formula in the first row of the 14's column, with you score. The graphs on page 2 are more accurate and useful if you use the whole sheet.

What do the stats mean?

At the bottom of the spread sheet are 4 rows labeled, "HITS", "HPD", "DTC", and "POP". These values will provide different ways of looking at your performance. HITS are the sum of your 10 rounds (90 darts), you threw at each column. HPD indicates the number of times each dart hit your target, or said another way, "Hits Per Dart". This value is calculated by dividing your column total in the hits row, by the number of darts you threw (30). If you scored 30 HITS your HPD would be (1). If you scored 45 HITS your HPD would be (1.5). DTC is calculated as 3/HPD. It indicates how many darts you will need to throw in order to register 3 hits, in each column. POP (Percent Of Perfect) is an attempt to compare your shooting against a perfect score. If you threw 30 trips in a row at 20's, your HITS would be 90, and your POP score would be 100. If you scored 45 HITS, your POP would be 50.

Good Darts!

Here is an example of actual output the long spread sheet gives:

This data was taken from one of my recent trials. The graph shows how many hits I recorded, for all the clock numbers, in 10 rounds of throws. You can clearly see which numbers I shoot best, and my deficits. It's curious to see a consistent "cross pattern" on the board; I shoot better at numbers at 12,3,6, and 9 o'clock. A relative smoothness of the curve, from the high areas to the low, shows up better when you average several trials, but, it also can be seen here.

Other info.

It is my hope that more people will adopt this scoring method, particularly the short version, and use it as the standard to compare play. I feel it is superior to other scoring systems because of its imperial and linear nature. Lets look at a few other scoring systems for comparison. The "All Star Point" system unfairly rewards people who play more games. It would be much improved if you divided your points by the number of games played. I also feel the ASP system ignores consistent play. A person who could hit 3 singles ever time would get no ASPs. I dare say, such scores would win lots of games, in C, and even B leagues. This players accomplishments, and contribution to the team, would go unrecognized. The other more known system is used only in X01 games. The "Points Per Dart" system isn't bad, but, only works for the winner. The looser of a game isn't rated because he never finished. This system has one other flaw. Take a look at this graph:

Note the non-linearity of the curves, and the lack of intuitive comprehension. With out a chart like this, no one would know what a score of 32 PPDs would mean to actual play. If enough data were collected, a chart such as this:

could be made, and remove all guess work from the issue. Shooters could run through the practice chart, and know exactly how their performance compares to others. They could set realistic goals for improving their play. League administrators could also place players where competition would be best.

Good Darts All!

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