Left-handed people have a staggering number of challenges to deal with. Everything from tools, scissors, scissors, and basically every gadget was made for right-handed people. On top of the challenges they face in day-to-day life, there is also a lack of proper education that occurs. However, lefties are here and sport has always been one of the few things that anyone can and should do regardless of their hand dominance.
Left Handed History
About 10% of the population is left-handed… that’s since they stopped trying to force left-handers to become righties anyway. Left-handed people have struggled to become accepted in a world where everything is made for righties. From scissors to musical instruments, they are all designed with righties in mind.
In the past, left-handers were treated as outsiders – the dictionary defined a left-handed person as awkward and clumsy or even sinister. Thankfully, we’re a lot more knowledgable now about left-handedness and although we don’t know everything, we know that it’s to do with the right and left hemispheres of the brain functioning differently than right-handed people.
Differences in Darts for Lefties
Darts is a game that has been around for centuries, and it is one of the few sports that has always been inclusive of lefties. In fact, some of the most famous dart players in history were left-handed. One such player is James Wade who is widely considered to be one of the best dart players in the world currently.
The design of darts themselves tends to be symmetrical in nature so fortunately, there are no obvious disadvantages to left-handed players.
While lefties have always been able to compete in darts, they have perhaps been at a disadvantage. This is because dartboards were designed by right-handed players.
The standard dartboard has the numbers 1-20 arranged in a clockwise fashion, with the bullseye in the center. This arrangement makes it easier for righties to hit double 16 or double 8 as they throw across their body.
Lefties, for the same reason, favor throwing at the double 15 or double 10. However, we all know that trying to throw double to finish the game is easier if throwing at an even number. This is because if you hit the single of that number by mistake, you are still left with the possibility to finish on a double.
To explain this in more detail:
- Aiming at double 16 and missing I now have the opportunity to try for a double 8. Not only that, the double 8 is placed just about the double 16 so I don’t have to adjust my position or aim by much. This makes it an easier shot.
- Aiming at double 15 if I hit a single fifteen I’m now left with 15 and now need an extra dart to finish (as there is not a double 7.5 on the board!)
To neutralize this advantage many left-handed players favor finishing on double 20. If they miss the double 10 is a natural shot for a leftie.
Left Handed Darts Players
If you’d like to research lefthanded darts players yourself further, here’s a list of some of the great leftie dart players from past and present:
- James Wade
- Mark Webster
- Alan Tabern
- Mark Hylton
- Darin Young
- Paul Barnham
- Maria O’Brien
- Marc Evans
- Lionel Sams
- Les Wallace
- Sean Palfrey
- Alan Glazier
- Ray Carver
- Marko Pusa
- Martin Phillips
- Davey Prins
- Ron Meulenkamp
- Tom Martin
- Steve Douglas
- Fabien Roosenbrand
- Micky Mansell
- Jan Van Der Rassel
- Andy Hutchings
- Paul Handvidge
- Martyn Turner
Why Do Darts Players Collect With Their Left Hand?
There are a few reasons why players collect darts with their left hand.
- If right-handed players collected the darts in their right hand they would then have to transfer to their left hand.
- In professional competitions, the rules state that players must exit to the right after they collect their darts. If they use their right hand this makes the whole movement more awkward.
- They can protect their throwing hand by using the left.
Although few and far between left-handed darts players can play on more or less an even level with right-handed darts players.
The only difference is the position of the board numbers in relation to the swing of their throw.
Lefties let us know if you have noticed any other disparities we’ve missed!
Sue has been playing darts since her 20’s when she played in weekly tournaments and she enjoys writing about darts. She’s also a great teacher, and she enjoys helping others learn how to play the game well. When Sue isn’t throwing darts, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
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