Dave McNally: A contrast of throwing styles on the oche

Jamie Lewis has a throw which is done in one really fast, jerky movement which seems to work for him CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

By Dave McNally
11 NOVEMBER 2016 • 9:18AM

Chris Mason and Alan Warriner-Little suggested that they would spend some time during a match watching Mensur Suljovic’s throw on TV at the weekend.

It has got people talking about some of the more unorthodox darting styles.

We’ve had all sorts of throws, from Colin Monk opening his mouth after every thrown dart, to twists of the shoulders and body like Jocky Wilson.

It is often described as unique as a fingerprint and once you have a throw it is extremely difficult to change.

Those old enough to remember Ceri Morgan will have noted the almost spear-like approach to throwing the dart, bringing the dart in from the side of his head and throwing it before it barely entered his line of vision.

This style looked to be disastrous and certainly someone studying the game would have struggled to pick out anything technically virtuous in the throw.

It worked for Ceri, as he made the BDO World Championship quarter-finals on a few occasions and was World Masters runner-up in the 1980s.

One of today’s throwers, Jamie Lewis, has another unique style, aiming higher than the target before bringing the arm back and throwing it from a lower place than where he set his aim.

Jamie’s throw is done in one really fast, jerky movement, suggesting that accuracy would be reduced, but it seems to work for him.

When it comes to throws that don’t extend the arm, the prize surely goes to Aleksander Oreshkin.

The Russian brings his arm back, and then flicks his wrist to throw the dart, in what is probably the strangest throw imaginable.

No follow through with the arm, not even bringing it up straight. It really is a throw that would have the purist scratching their heads with disbelief.

Dennis Smith was also renowned for his peculiar throw, not with the way he released the darts, more with the way he set himself up before the throw.

Dennis twists the dart 180 degrees in his hand, spinning it around to the front then bringing his arm back to throw.

This often contributed to a slower style of play as he had to do the same thing methodically for every single dart, often frustrating both the opponent and the crowds.

Mensur Suljovic, some have argued, has took this to a new level.

Known for his slower style of play and meticulous attention to the whole throwing process, to set up his arm and aim with precision.

Then as he takes aim to throw, he thrusts his whole body forward almost to the point of falling over in some instances, raises his trailing leg from the floor and jolts his whole body.

It defies all the scholarly articles written and science behind throwing a dart, but it is without doubt successful as recent events have proven on the PDC circuit.

Whatever way you throw, it seems that it could be more a case of what is comfortable as opposed to the suggested ‘correct’ way.

Whether this will prove to be the case when the body needs to adapt, who knows?

One thing for sure is that it makes for an interesting contrast of styles on the oche and has started discussions among the darting fraternity.


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