If someone asked you to think of a sport, you might think of something physical like tennis, football, basketball or even swimming. Chances are, darts wouldn’t be the first thing to come to mind, yet it is still a sport. While darts players aren’t generally as prone to injuries as participants of other sports are, they can still suffer injuries if they’re not careful.
No doubt you’ve heard of repetitive strain injury. This is an injury that generally occurs in the upper body and can affect various areas of the upper limbs such as:
- Upper arms
Different people experience it in different ways, but any injury of this kind can be difficult to recover from. The total number of new cases has been seen to rise year-on-year, as well. For example, in 2005/6 374,000 people reported issues with this condition. However, the following year saw an increase to 426,000 people. This doesn’t just relate to RSI caused in the workplace, but all cases of RSI that were reported to during those time periods.
Since the dominant arm is used to position and throw each dart, it stands to reason this arm is most likely to be affected. The more often a person plays darts, the more likely it is they could potentially experience a repetitive strain injury. One of these is called dart elbow, and it is known as such because the affected elbow becomes red, swollen and painful on the outside. This can occur through the sudden jerking motion of throwing the dart.
Tears to the rotator cuff in the shoulder, damage to ligaments and tendons in the wrist and even problems with one or more fingers or the thumb are also possible. As you can see, it makes sense to protect yourself as best you can and to make sure you don’t play long sessions of darts. This will protect you against injury, and hopefully mean you can enjoy the game without risk.
Injuries caused by the darts themselves
Very few darts players will ever be injured by being hit by a dart. However, it is wise to step well back behind the oche (the line on the floor behind which darts players must stand when they throw their darts) to make sure you are out of harm’s way. Being hit by a dart is rare; one study into perforating eye injuries between 1st September 1977 and 30th June 1985 discovered just 19 people, or 5% of the total, had suffered their injury by being struck by a dart. Of course, this only covers eye injuries for a period of a few years, but it shows they are quite rare.
It’s also worth mentioning there is an outdoor version of darts that some darts players enjoy for a change. This is called lawn darts and while it isn’t played often, some people do have a set. The size of the darts in this case is much larger, and while they don’t have the sharp metal ends, they could still potentially cause injuries if proper care isn’t taken. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed back in the Eighties that over 6,000 people had visited hospitals during an eight-year period with injuries caused by playing lawn darts.
Where do you play darts?
Many darts players enjoy a casual game in their local pub each week. This is one of the most popular places for people to enjoy this game. Pub numbers have fallen since 1982, when there were 67,800 in the UK; by 2015, there were 50,800. However, many casual darts players still congregate at their local once a week to play darts, and some pubs have their own teams. Other darts players might visit social clubs and other environments that are maintained and run by other people.
Again, it is worth noting very few injuries occur by accident where darts players are concerned. Most pubs and other social venues are very safe to use, too, because the owners take great care to ensure the premises are safe and adhere to all health and safety regulations. With that said, you never know if something like a slip, trip or fall might potentially occur. An old carpet with a frayed and raised edge might be all it takes to send you tumbling to the floor. Similarly, if drinks are spilled on tiled or wooden pub or social club floors and they are not cleaned up, they could lead you to slip or fall over quite easily. Several injuries can potentially happen in this situation, including the possibility of broken bones or soft tissue injuries.
Why should you contact Accident Advice Helpline?
We’ve seen how darts players can suffer injuries through repetitive actions, but we have also seen how injuries can occur because of negligence. Whenever you play darts in a club or pub or a similar venue, you have a right to expect that venue to be safe. If you’re injured while playing, perhaps by slipping or tripping over an obstacle that shouldn’t be there, as we mentioned above, you might have an opportunity to receive some compensation for the injuries.
Accident Advice Helpline is here to make it easier to determine whether that’s the case. You can ring our team on 0800 689 0500, or on 0333 500 0993 from a mobile. With Dame Esther Rantzen as our patron, we are proud that we have been assisting people like you for over 16 years. You now have a chance to see if you have evidence of negligence on the part of a third party, and if so, we can support you throughout the process of making a no-win, no-fee* claim. Make sure you are ready to see how easy it could be to get our help. You can always begin by completing the online test that takes a mere 30 seconds to fill in and send. With answers at your fingertips, it has never been easier to get in touch with us when we’re able to help.