That is a question that many darts players have asked themselves.
There is a great deal of debate over this topic, with some people saying that you are not allowed to lean over the line and others saying it’s part of the game. But what does the rulebook say?
Let’s take it one step at a time.
What Is An Oche In Darts?
Oche is simply a word for the line that darts players must stand behind when throwing their darts. Most people refer to this as the throw line or toe line, while oche is a more proper term. It is pronounced o-ki, and while we are all wondering why do they call it oche, its origin is still a mystery.
- One theory is that it comes from the Finnish word “Hocken,” meaning to spit.
- Another theory is that it comes from the name of a brewery called “S. Hockey & Sons.”
I assure you that once you start researching, you can easily find even more theories. The truth is that none of them is proven correct and most of them sound like fairy tales. This is a great read from Dr. Patrick Chaplin as a starting point if you want to know more about the history of the word.
How Far Away Is The Oche From The Dartboard?
Traditionally, the oche is set 7 feet and 9 1/4 inches away from the dartboard. This is the world standard, recognized by World Darts Federation, and it’s measured horizontally.
If you are wondering how to hand your dartboard and how far are darts thrown from, according to dartboard regulations this is the answer you’ve been searching for.
If you like to measure the diagonal distance for the bull’s eye to the oche, the actual measure is 9 feet and 7 3/8 inches. This can come in handy if you have a raised oche or you can not measure the horizontal distance for some reason.
Is It OK To Lean On The Oche?
Now that we know what the oche is, let’s move on to the main question – is it allowed to lean on it?
The short is you can…
A player is allowed to “lean over the oche” in order to throw. You can lean your upper body, as long as your feet are still behind the throwing line.
You are not allowed to place any part of their body on the oche, so as long as your legs don’t touch or go past the throwing line, you are good to go.
If a player violates this rule, they will be given a warning. If they continue to step on the oche, they will be penalized. Some people might argue that it’s not fair if your opponent can lean over the line, but that’s just part of the game.
Keep in mind though if you lean over the oche, it can throw you out of balance and affect your accuracy. It’s not always the best idea. Your stance is important for a successful throw, so it’s recommended to practice your darts technique and try different stances.
It is worth mentioning that this rule can be different depending on the tournament or competition you are playing in. There might be specific regulations about how far you are allowed to lean over the line, and it’s always a good idea to check these beforehand.
While these rules are meant for tournaments, they are not mandatory if you play with your friends in the local pub. If you play with friends at home for fun, you can decide on your own rules for oche length or leaning. Just set them before the game starts and everyone will be on the same page.