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Darts 1: The Zone

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63234.  Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:51 am Reply with quote

What’s the best way of achieving oneness of spirit in Iran?


Playing darts.

The Iran Darts Association is involved in research being carried out in Iranian universities into the benefit of darts “from the scientific and medical aspect,” focussing “on the effect of darts on a person's psyche and the oneness of the spirit.” The ultimate aim “is to equip the officers of managers with darts equipment to be utilised as a method of relieving stress.”

Not a bad idea. Success in the sport of arrows - or any game which involves pinpoint accuracy - clearly depends mostly on one’s mental state. As Eugene Herrigel wrote in "Zen In the Art of Archery":
The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede.

Many people find that they play various sports best when they are “not present.” This is perhaps what sportsmen mean when they say that they are “in the zone” - without consciously trying, or controlling what they do, they find they just can’t miss the target, the ball, the goal. It’s as if they are in a kind of beneficial trance state. Athletes have reported watching themselves from the stands, as their uninhabited bodies perform their duties.

When a player is the exact opposite of being “in the zone” he might become so cripplingly conscious of every minute fraction of his action that he ends up unable to complete the action at all; darts players with “dartitis” are literally unable to let go of the dart. Golfers, and bowlers in cricket, suffer from what seems to be the same condition; they call it “the yips.”

[To panel:] Do comedians ever suffer from the yips - an inability to let go of the punch-line? Or, indeed, do they ever find themselves in the zone, where they just can’t help being brilliantly funny?

Links to:
Laughing Clubs of Mumbai?

Picture ideas:
Perhaps a picture of Jelle Klaasen, current world darts champion (you’ll see why when you see what he looks like; if it’s a non-oche pic, most people would probably guess him as a yoga fan or something similar, rather than a darts player.)

Darts World, October 2005.
Discussion of all this began at
post 54335

63274.  Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:54 am Reply with quote

Cracking stuff, Mat.

Love the mix of high-end philosophy and fatties on the oche.

Speaking of which, where does the word 'oche' come from, or has that been covered elsewhere?

63520.  Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:04 am Reply with quote

Inevitably, it’s disputed - and unfortunately, none of the suggestions is very interesting, or convincing.


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