Dart Board Terms

Dartboard, or Dart Board – A target at which a pointed projectile, called a Dart, is thrown by hand as a recreation or game. Dartboards are available in a multitude of designs, sizes, and styles. Traditionally, darts had metal points, and dartboards were made of wood or fiber materials. In recent decades, plastic auto scoring soft-tip dartboards have become very popular. Coin operated electronic softtip dartboards are often called “dart machines“. Although most people are familiar with round shaped targets, there are some regional variations that are square or other shapes. A wide variety of “toy” dartboards are made of wood, plastic, foam, fabric, etc. Darts thrown as such boards may include metal or plastic pointed traditional shapes, as well as magnetic versions, and even round hook & loop coated ball darts.

Dart World "ShotSaver"  Bristle Dartboard
Dart World “ShotSaver” Bristle Dartboard

Bristle Dartboard, also referred to as Bristle Board – A dartboard made of compressed sisal fiber, with self healing properties to close up holes left by dart tips.

Bristle – Sisal Fiber (fibre) material, in appearance similar to hemp, but actually made from the leaves of Agave plants. Bundles of  sisal are compressed to form the self-healing surface of bristle dartboards.

Spider – The dividers that separate the scoring areas from one another on a bristle dartboard, in order to eliminate dispute over darts that might otherwise land exactly between two scoring areas. The darts term Spider has been the original inspiration for a number of brand names within the darting industry.

Arachnid Soft-Tip Electronic Dartboard
Arachnid Soft-Tip Electronic Dartboard

Electronic Dartboards, or  Soft-tip Dartboards, have faces and dividers made of plastic. The Spider on such boards is also made of plastic. To prevent board damage, darts for these boards have soft plastic tips, called soft-tips. Electronic scoring dartboard contain sensors to detect where darts hit, and displays to show the resulting score. Some also have speech capability.

Solar Blast Wall-Mount style Electronic Dartboard
Solar Blast Wall-Mount style Electronic Dartboard

Electronic dartboards are available in wall-mount home versions or free-standing coin-operated machines that are often found in dart bars.

Wires – On older style bristle boards, steel wire was often stapled to the surface of the board to form the Spider. On newer models, the  “wires” separating the scoring areas are sometimes made of thin steel bands, or metal strips in various triangular or diamond shapes. Dart points are less likely to hit, and bounce off of, the new types of dividers.

Hanging Bracket – The mounting bracket that secures a dartboard to the wall. For most bristle dartboards, this is a piece of metal that has a U-shaped slot, and two screw holes for securing the bracket to the wall. A pan-head screw is placed in the center back of the dartboard, and the board is mounted by lowering the dartboard screw into the bracket’s slot.

Number Ring – A removable ring (usually of steel wire) with the numbers One through Twenty attached, each number corresponding to a scoring wedge on the dartboard.  The number ring is held in place with clips, so that it can be easily removed and the dartboard can then be rotated for even wear.


Bull, or Bullseye – The center scoring area of a dartboard.  Most dartboards have a Center Bull, or Double Bull, which scores 50 points. Another ring outside of that is the Single Bull, which scores 25 points. On electronic dart machines, there may sometimes only be one Bullseye, which can be electronically configured to score as as Single or Double.