Paignton Darts Academy -By Brian Ivey-

March saw the end of Season one of the Junior Darts Corporations challenge. For eight weeks the students at the academy have competed in the challenge. In order to graduate they most complete 6 of the 8 weeks. Each week the students have one chance to score as many points as they can on the three disciplines set out by the Junior Darts Corporation.  

The first discipline is a shanghai 10 -15 challenge with three darts thrown at 10 then 11, 12 etc. to 15. The idea is to score as many as you can ideally getting a shanghai (double, treble and single). You score what you hit i.e. a double ten equals 20 points, but if you hit the shanghai you receive an extra 100 point bonus. So for instance a shanghai on tens would score you 160 points. 

Next is the Around the World on doubles. Hereby you score 50 points for every double you hit. You start at 1’s and go around to the Bullseye. You only throw one dart at each double so it’s 1, 2, 3, then 4, 5, 6, etc. Your last three darts are 19, 20 Bullseye.  The Bullseye if hit, comes with a bonus and is worth 100 points. 

Then it’s back to a Shanghai round this time on the 15-20 sections. Played in the same way as before trying to get a shanghai on each section. 

The totals of the three disciplines are added together to give a total.  The totals at the end of each season are averaged out over the eight weeks and this gives the total for grading. Shirt colours are awarded based on these totals rather like a belt in judo. If you score 0-150 points you are a white shirt, 151-300 is a purple shirt, 301 – 450 points is a yellow shirt, 451 – 600 equals a green shirt, 601 – 700 points is a blue shirt, 701 – 850 equals a red shirt and finally 851 and above equals a Black shirt.

 This season no one from the academy gained promotion to the next level but most graduated by completing the 6 of 8 weeks required. Pacey Large from Dawlish finished with a black shirt level average score of 859. Twice Pacey scored over the magical 100 point score, his best being 1099. Pacey’s total score of 6867 means he’s tenth in the overall order of merit out of all the JDC academies. This puts him in good place to gain qualification for the Junior World Championships this year being held in Gibraltar.

George Golding in his first season as a Yellow shirt scored a green shirt score of 476 in the first week but didn’t maintain this over the season.  He ended up with an average of 313 maintaining his yellow shirt status.  Steven Ivey missed out on his Yellow shirt after a couple of low weeks ruined his average, even a great week eight score of 447 couldn’t improve his average finishing on 223. The first weeks back after Christmas proving decisive for him. Another student of note this season was Alfie Collins who missed out on graduation because of illness but would have gone straight from white to purple shirt in his first season, but only completed 5 of the eight weeks.  No doubt all three will be chasing promotion in the next season. 

About the author

Brian Ivey

I started playing serious darts at 14, my family always played darts so when I was old enough, I couldn’t wait to start. I have played for several local teams and currently play for the Match room in Preston.

In 2015 myself and a friend Sydney Flannigan started the Paignton Darts Academy. It’s a club for boys and girls aged from 6 to 18 to learn to play darts. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never thrown a dart or play at county level, we have something for everyone. We play lots of games from the standard 01 games to blind killer and more.

The Academy is affiliated to the Junior Darts Corporation and run there challenge each week. We travel to junior darts tournaments and exhibitions regularly.

Held at the Lime Tree public house on Dartmouth road in a purpose-built room. We meet on Saturday mornings from 10am till 12 noon and on Wednesday evenings from 6pm -7pm.

I love playing darts but loving teaching darts even more and since starting to write about it I find that just as fulfilling.