Nine dart finish


Nine dart finish

A nine dart finish is the ultimate checkout in the game of darts, constituting a perfect game. It is notoriously difficult to achieve, even by the game's top professionals. It is considered to be darts equivalent to a maximum 147 break in snooker, 300-point game in bowling or a perfect game in baseball, a Golden Set in tennis and batting 6 sixes in an over, or bowling a hat-trick in Cricket.

Methods of achievement

A single game (known as a leg) of darts requires a player to score 501 points. As a result of the combinations of scoring it means that nine throws is the minimum necessary. Although other combinations are possible, the traditional way requires a score of 60 (treble 20) with each of the first six darts, leaving 141. This final outshot is difficult under any circumstances, but much more so when a nine-dart finish is in prospect, and many players have achieved the two 180s but missed a crucial dart during the 141 outshot.

This outshot is traditionally performed in one of three ways:

* treble 20 (60), treble 19 (57) and double 12 (24) (the most common)
* treble 18 (54), treble 17 (51) and double 18 (36)
* treble 20 (60), treble 15 (45) and double 18 (36)"(All games of darts have to end with a double or the bullseye)"

There are two ways to perform the 141 outshot with a bullseye finish:
* treble 17 (51), double 20 (40), and bullseye (50)
* treble 19 (57), double 17 (34), and bullseye (50)

Also possible are:
* treble 20 (60), treble 17 (51) and double 15 (30)
* treble 19 (57), treble 16 (48) and double 18 (36).

It is said that the most perfect nine dart finish constitutes a player scoring 167 with each set of three darts in the following way:

* treble 20 (60), treble 19 (57) and bullseye (50)

This takes away the chance of any dart being deflected which means the element of luck is reduced to zero. It is only usually seen in exhibition matches as, in tournaments, players are inclined to aim for the treble 20, only switching to the treble 19 for a cover shot.

A nine dart finish is also attainable in games which require a double to commence scoring, though the scoring patterns seen are typically different. In such games, throwing for double 20 first can lead to a maximum score of 160 with the first throw, leaving the thrower commonly requiring 180 then 161 in their remaining six darts, though other outcomes are possible. It is worth noting that in these games, only throwing for double 20, double 17 or bullseye to start the leg can result in a nine dart finish.

First televised nine-darter

The first televised nine dart finish was achieved at the World Matchplay championship on October 13, 1984 by John Lowe, [ [http://www.john-lowe.net/9-Darter.htm John Lowe website] ] [ [http://www.metacafe.com/watch/40590/perfect_game/ Video of John Lowe's 9 dart finish against Keith Deller – World Matchplay 1984] ] who used the second method (with the T17 first, then T18, D18) above as his outshot after scoring two maximum 180s. For this he received a prize of £102,000, and he went on to win the whole event.

Only World Championship nine-darter

The first player to manage the outshot in the world championship was American player Paul Lim on January 9, 1990, against Ireland's Jack McKenna. He favoured the first method of those listed above for his outshot. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1100000/video/_1100964_paul_lim_9_dart_finish_vi.ram Video of Paul Lim's 9 dart finish v Jack McKenna – World Championship 1990] ] Lim won a £52,000 bonus for the feat, which was more than the eventual tournament winner, who claimed £24,000 for becoming World Champion.

Even with two versions of the World Championship in operation since 1994, Lim's achievement has yet to be equalled, although several players have come close (Mervyn King and Denis Ovens having each missed the final double on their attempts).

First live televised nine-darter

Although Lowe and Lim had scored televised nine-dart finishes, neither were actually shown live on television—they were recorded for later broadcast by ITV and BBC respectively. It was not until BDO player Shaun Greatbatch accomplished the feat live on Dutch television on February 3, 2002 at the Dutch Open final against Steve Coote [ [http://www.tdv.to/dutchopen_02.html Dutch Open 2002 results] ] that a perfect game was broadcast live. Greatbatch employed the third style listed above for the outshot. [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4UkNlLk334 Video of Shaun Greatbach's 9 dart finish v Steve Coote – Dutch Open 2002] ] The first live nine-darter on UK television was by Phil Taylor a few months later at the 2002 World Matchplay.

Most prolific nine-darters

Phil Taylor is the only player to have achieved this feat more than once on television, [ [http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/qtotdetail/0,,10180~727715,00.html Planet Darts Phil Taylor profile] ] having done so six times: the first on August 1, 2002 during a quarter final tie at the 2002 PDC World Matchplay in Blackpool, [ [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6405923996953481804 Video of Phil Taylor's 9 dart finish v Chris Mason – World Matchplay 2002] ] consecutive years at the UK Open in Bolton, on June 5, 2004 against Matt Chapman, [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dD9NiZfQFQ&eurl= Taylor 9 darter v Matt Chapman UK Open 2004] ] on June 12, 2005 against Roland Scholten, [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fARNVDw3jLw Video of Phil Taylor's 9 dart finish v Roland Scholten – UK Open 2005] ] the fourth came on May 8, 2007 against Raymond van Barneveld at the International Darts League in the Netherlands. [ [http://youtube.com/watch?v=VcOgcdZZeyA Phil Taylor's fourth televised nine-darter (IDL 2007)] ] His fifth perfect game came on June 9, 2007 at the 2007 UK Open against Wes Newton—this was Taylor's third nine-darter in the Bolton event. [ [http://youtube.com/watch?v=fmbz2y0QiLc Taylor's fifth televised nine-darter] Youtube] His sixth nine darter came on June 7, 2008 again at Bolton at the UK Open 2008, when he went 180, 177, 144 finishing on double 12.

On 20 March 2008 in the PDC Premier League at the Brighton Centre, Taylor hit his 6th 9-dart finish. This was televised on Sky Sports as a replay on the latter stages of the live show. This was because the 9-darter he hit was not during his match with Wade, but was hit during his 9-dart warm up. He successfully hit a maximum of 180 (3xTreble 20), a 174 (1xTreble 20+2xTreble 19), and to finish he hit 147 (1xTreble 20+1xTreble 17+1xDouble 18). Although it is his 6th televised 9-darter it was only truly seen live by the people surrounding the playing area, and as previously stated, was only seen publicly live on television as a replay later in the show. It was declared as an unofficial 9-dart finish. The final score in the match was Wade 4-8 Taylor.

James Wade achieved three nine-dart finishes during a calendar year in tournament play at the UK Open North West finals in March, the PDPA event in Hayling in June and the Vauxhall Open in November. [ [http://www.theiceman.co.uk/nine.htm Alan Warriner-Little website list of PDC 9 dart finishes] ] However, none of the events were televised. Wade changed his playing nickname from the Gladiator to 009, a play on James Bond and reference to his nine-dart achievements.

The 2007 International Darts League became the first televised tournament to witness two nine-darters when Phil Taylor's effort was matched the following day (May 9) by another perfect game from Tony O'Shea against Adrian Lewis. [ [http://youtube.com/watch?v=Xpp6RsJcgCY Tony O'Shea feat at 2007 IDL] ]

Other televised nine-darters

On March 23 2006 Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld achieved his first televised 9 dart finish during the Professional Darts Corporation "Premier League" competition. [ [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8380696190933655659&q=9+dart Video of Ray van Barneveld's 9 dart finish v Peter Manley – Premier League 2006] ]

John Walton hit a nine-darter in the Winmau World Masters on November 17, 2007. [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwCuk4Tna4U John Walton nine darter, Winmau World Masters 2007] ] It was broadcast (although not live) on BBC television—the first nine-darter on the channel since Paul Lim's at the 1990 World Championship.

Jason Clark hit a nine-darter during the German TV PartyPoker.net German Darts Championship on December 1, 2007. [ [http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/LatestDetail/0,,10180~1180528,00.html www.planetdarts.tv] ] Later the same day December 1, 2007 at the same tournament at the Gerry Weber Centre in Halle, Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld repeated the feat. [ [http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/LatestDetail/0,,10180~1180528,00.html www.planetdarts.tv] ] Neither was televised.

Youngest nine-darter

The youngest player to throw a televised nine-darter is Michael van Gerwen, who hit the perfect leg in the semi-finals of the Masters of Darts tournament in the Netherlands. The event was screened live in the Netherlands. Van Gerwen was just 17 years 298 days old at the time. The Dutch youngster scored 174 (T20, T19, T19) and 180, then checked out 147 with T20, T17, D18. Van Gerwen's nine-darter was the first live televised nine-darter that did not start with two 180s. [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or9mhJ-EVq8 Michael van Gerwen nine-darter, Masters of Darts 2007] ]

External links

* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HyUoUibkc8 Video of Colin Lloyd's 9 dart finish v Dennis Priestley – Irish Open 2006]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcOgcdZZeyA Video of Phil Taylor's fourth 9 dart finish v Raymond van Barneveld – International Darts League 2007]

References


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