It is all about balance. If you serious about getting good at darts—or even if you aren’t—finding the right balance at the throwing line (or the oche) is a must.
If you are here, you are probably new to darts and looking at what is acceptable or not acceptable to do while at the throwing line.
Can you lean over the line in darts? A darts player can lean over the line (oche) and throw their darts as long as their feet do not go past or over the front edge of the throwing line. A player can lean their upper part of the body as far as they feel comfortable with.
Your stance at the throw line and how much you lean are very important, and some players may overlook that simple fact. Continue reading below if you are curious to find out more.
Are you allowed to lean over the throw line (oche) in darts?
According to the rules of darts, a player is allowed to lean their upper part of the body over the throw line as long as their feet are not crossing the line.
How you position your feet is up to the player’s choice. Their feet can be perpendicular (facing the line) or parallel to it (facing the sides), or even at an angle.
There are no rules as to how you should stand at the throwing line. It is all up to you.
However, both feet should always be behind the front edge of the line. If a player does not follow the rules, one warning is usually considered good darts etiquette before enforcing any penalties.
The most important thing to consider is balance. You need to ensure that you are always standing at the same distance from the dartboard and you feel stable and balanced while throwing.
Usually, right-handed players will stand with their right foot toward or along the throwing line. Alternatively, left-handed players will stand with their left foot near the throwing line.
After placing their leading foot at the throwing line, then darts players will lean forward. They will move and center most of their weight over their leading foot. Which brings us nicely to the next question or how much you can and should lean.
Can you lean and extend as you throw your last dart?
Some darts players may try to lean in more and throw their last dart while crossing the throw line. This may be seen as a bit of a gray area, however, the rules are pretty clear. How much the player leans is not considered a problem for as long as both of their feet are behind the throwing line as they release the dart
Some of the pros will often start walking towards the dartboard almost immediately after they throw their last dart, and it has landed.
Can you step over the line in darts?
Although you can lean over the throwing line in darts, you cannot step over the throwing line. Any dart or darts thrown while the player is stepping over the line will be counted as a miss or zero points. The darts will be counted as thrown, but no score will be recorded.
Can your foot be on the line in darts?
Your foot cannot be on the line in darts. According to darts rules, both feet of the player throwing should be behind the throwing line (oche). All darts thrown while the foot or feet of the player are on the line will be counted as miss or zero points.
How far away is the throw line in darts?
The distance of the throwing line from the dartboard will vary depending on the type of a dartboard.
The throwing distance on steel tip dartboards is 7 feet 9 1⁄4 inches measured horizontally from the face of the dartboard, while the throwing distance on soft tip dartboards is 8 feet.
The throw line should at all times be clearly marked and visible so that darts players will know where to position themselves while approaching the dartboard.
How much can you lean over the throw line in darts?
While leaning forward, it is important to consider what feels best for you. You need to find the right amount of lean that you will feel comfortable playing and replicating. Keep in mind that some darts games can take a long time, and your stance should not tire you.
The amount of lean you use should, therefore, also feel very comfortable. You need to replicate and use the same lean and throwing stance every time you play as you want to be throwing from the same position every time. You need to find the right stance that you will be using not just today or tomorrow but across all the months or years, you will be playing darts.
As a result, you will find that the majority of players will not transfer too much weight on their forward leg, as this will eventually tire their legs and lead to cramps and even injuries.
How far you can or should lean is up to personal choice. This choice is determined by how comfortable you feel and your ability to replicate the same lean.
There is no one size fits all, so you will need to experiment a bit here until you find what feels best to you.
Experiment with different stances until you find the sweet spot between balance, comfort, accuracy, and consistency. Finding the right lean angle can also help you eliminate unnecessary movements.
Is leaning over the line in darts fair?
Beginner players may wonder if leaning over the throwing line can be considered fair. Or if ti gives any distinct advantage to players that are taller and can lean in more. However, the leaning is done to create a more stable and balanced stance and line up your eyes with the dartboard.
It is not harder to throw without leaning, nor is it easier. It is all up to personal feel, choice, and habit.
Depending on where you play, you may have noticed that the throwing line can be raised. In some bars, pubs, and home setups, this is often achieved by placing a standard 2×4 on the ground. (Pro darts players also play with raised throwing lines.)
Some players may argue that the raised throwing line or oche may help with leaning in more, however, the effect on your lean is negligible, if any at all. (The oche is usually between 1.5 to 2 inches high, which is not enough to offer any advantage when it comes to leaning.)
The throwing line is just not high enough to allow you to use it and lean against it.
The reason why the throwing line is raised in the first place is to prevent darts players from getting distracted as they approach the line and the dartboard. The raised oche also prevents players from stepping over the line in the first place.
All this makes the game a lot more smooth and enjoyable for everybody.
Should you lean over the line in darts?
That being said, is leaning over the throw line in darts completely necessary?
Leaning over the line in darts is not completely necessary or required, especially if you have a bad balance or some injuries preventing you from moving a lot of your weight to one of your feet.
Leaning over the throwing line in darts does not necessarily give any advantage or disadvantage to the player doing it as it is purely individual.
Leaning over the throwing line is done for practical reasons as it improves the stability and throwing consistency of many players. However, some players may not benefit from it and will feel the need to lean over the line, which is not wrong or bad at all.