For the past few years, I've been playing in a men's dartball league on Thursday nights between September and March. Often, when I menton this to somebody, I'm met with a blank/confused stare, followed by, "Huh? Dartball? Whuzzat?"
The simplest explanation is that dartball is a dart game that's played using baseball rules. However, as anybody who's ever owned a dartboard knows, this will conjure an image of people playing a dart game that looks a lot like what you'll see happening in any pub. That may be fun, but it's not dartball.
That's not to say that dartball doesn't have anything to do with darts. You are throwing darts at a dartboard, and you do need to stand a specific distance from the board when you're throwing. However, that's where the similarities end.
Let's start with the board. In a standard game of darts, the board is a circle of about 18 inches diameter. The dartball board is much bigger. It's a diamond, measuring approximately 4 feet along each side.
The red areas are your targets - singles, doubles, triples, home runs. The large white squares are strikes, the green areas are outs, and the orange border is foul. There's a bit more to it, but you get the idea.
With a board that big, it should be obvious that you're throwing your darts from a little more than 7 feet away. We throw from 25 feet. Underhand. You read that correctly, we throw underhand.
It's not as hard as it sounds, though - these aren't the same darts that you've thrown at the local pub. We use Number 2 Tournament Darts, which are larger and heavier, so they provide more inertia.
Now you've got the general idea - throwing a large dart, underhand, at a huge dartboard 25 feet away, trying to hit a target that's, at most, 5 inches square (the single). It's a bit tough at first, but as with anything, practice makes perfect (my brother's batting average is usually around .500).
Each Thursday, we play 3 full games against whichever team is our opponent for the evening. Coffee and baked goods (supplied by the home team) are enjoyed, and we have a good ol' time.
Whew... Now, when somebody asks what the heck dartball is, all I have to do is point them here.