Hundreds of people from across the state are in Hampden Township for the 2018 Pennsylvania State Dart Tournament.
“It’s probably the best weekend,” said Hayley Burgh, a player from Pittsburgh.
“We decided to do a different format than most darts by doing a pro-division and then amateur A and B,” said Bill Fannasy, who is co-chairman of the tournament. “It gives new players…an opportunity to be competitive.”
Organizers say there are more female players than ever before.
“As a female shooter, coming out in the beginning, especially ten years ago, there weren’t that many of us,” said Burgh. “Now it’s an abundant supply, like we are trying to find partners, whereas ten years ago, you couldn’t find partners.”
About 85 women are competing this weekend, and so are more than 300 men.
People can pick the color, length and width they want their darts to be. For this tournament, they have to be less than 20 grams.
“If you are a fast shot, you might want a slim, faster dart, whereas if you need a little bit more oomph, it’s called like a standard flight, so it’s a little bit bigger,” said Burgh.
Andy McMaster plays professionally, and says he can practice up to eight hours a day. He competes in different events.
“The object of an ’01 game is to get the score to 0,” said McMaster. “The object of cricket is to close out all the numbers, 15 through 20 and the bulls eye, and score points.”
This tournament uses electronic, soft-tipped dart machines.
Benefits of the event at the Park Inn are going to the Pennsylvania Amusement & Music Machine Association.
“It’s like a family,” said McMaster. “You see these people all the time. We’re all traveling.”
The event goes until Sunday afternoon. Thousands of dollars of prize money goes to the winners.