The Devonshire Discussion – Time to Expand the Darting Safe Space?

The Exclusion Zone around and behind the Oche has been in place for some time now. It is usually clearly marked for major events and especially those on TV. A different colour carpet/flooring is used in order to remove and doubt and make it clear to the referee and watching officials.

Jackpot is a master at the art of close combat darts!
Pic: PDC

Whilst it’s been one of the better ideas that’s been introduced in the PDC over the years, we still see times where a player will celebrate, which they should rightly do, but the opponent is usually stood right on the edge of the exclusion zone, more often than not a big toe is in there. Adrian Lewis is a superb exploiter of the zone, although the DRA have disagreed at times!

The speed and fluency of many in the modern game can mean that it is almost seemless between throws. It is highly unlikely that both players are within the designated spaces 100% of the time during any match.

The Iceman has been known to get under the skin of opponents.

Subsequently the two darters can get too close for comfort and this can cause friction and change a game when there’s no need for it. It is possible that this is what causes a build up of tensions between differing types of player or personality. Gerwyn Price vs Gary Anderson for example or Daryl Gurney vs Simon Whitlock at the WGP a couple of years ago.

Also slightly increasing the size of the zone at the back of the Oche can only help when players retrieve their darts from the board, will cut down on avoiding flying arrows too.

Eric & the other’ Founding Fathers’ did not require exclusion zones, they imposed their own!

Others at Darts World seem to feel that that darts has become more and more sanitised and that the over regulation of the playing space and clamping down on players expressing themselves is an example of snowflakery and risks eliminating one of darts key variables. The psychological combat element is and always has been a strong element of the game. No Safe Spaces seems to be their mantra!

What do you think? Let us know your view in the comments or @Darts_World Perhaps tell tell Andrew direct @A_Devonshire

Addition content by DW staff (italicised)

Featured Pic – PDC L Lustig