Bristle (or to be precise ‘sisal’, a material traditionally used in rope making. The leaves of the Agave plant, family of the same species used to make tequila, is used to make Sisal fibre from.) dart boards are the most well know under darts players in South Africa and have been around for years. Little has changed in their construction except for the wiring. Bristle dartboards are perfect for all types of dart games.
Sisal fibers are compressed to form round blocks of about 10cm in diameter. These sisal blocks, about 40 or so blocks, are then placed inside a mold which is then compressed to create the actual board. The edges of the different blocks are what creates the "cracks" (veins) that you see in modern boards.
A wooden back board is then fastened onto the sisal and the surface is then sanded smooth and screen-printed with the appropriate colors. Lastly the metal dividers dividing the different scoring areas are attached and the number ring, on the outside of the board, is fastened on with clips so that you can rotate the board if areas get worn out.
Soft Tip Dart Board:
Apart from the standard sisal dartboards you also get a soft tip boards. Soft Tip dartboards are made out of plastic and plastic pointed end darts are used with them. Metal points and plastic don't go well together. The main feature of these board are their automated scoring system. You can buy soft tip darts at nearly any place that sells darts as almost all the main manufacturers design soft tip darts.
Setting up a Dartboard:
Dartboard Height: The board should hang 5' 8" (1.73m) from the floor to the middle of the board, the bulls eye.
Throwing / Toe line: The dart board must be 7' 9 ¼” (2.37m) away from throw line (also called an Oche) or if you are playing on an uneven floor the board must be 9' 7 3/8” (2.93m) to the throwing line. The diagram will show exactly how to measure the distance.
Throwing Lane: Preferably 2' (0.6m) This is the area on the sides of the dart board. Clearance on both sides of the board is needed as darts are sharp and can harm you.
Mounting: Always make sure the board is fixed flat against the wall and not leaning forward. D20 should be directly at the top.
Ladies throwing distance!The most asked question when ladies play darts is at what distances should they be allowed to throw from. The simple answer is that the BDO World Championship ladies throwing distance is exactly the same as the men's, 7' 9 ¼” (2.37m). Many leagues do have different throwing distances for the ladies so find out what your league rules are regarding this. If you would like to learn more about the history of dart boards then visit this Wikipedia link.