First hit the board, then start to do the math and, when you’ve reached a certain point, start planning.
This is the advice Tom Ingebrigtson gives others who are new to the game of darts, and the approach that helped him earn two gold medals at the 2015 55+ BC Games.
Both Tom and wife Marianne Ingebrigtson represented South Central, Zone 8, in the Games, held Aug. 25 to 29 in North Vancouver.
Tom earned his hardware in the Men’s 55-64 Doubles event with partner Wayne Garbe of Salmon Arm, and for earning a three-dart perfect score of 180. He came in fourth place in his age category in the Men’s Singles event, and fifth place partnered with Marianne in Mixed Doubles.
Marianne came in ninth place in Women’s 55-64 Doubles partnered with Sheree Pearson of Salmon Arm, and 17th in singles. The Ingebrigtsons, Garbe and Pearson came in ninth place in the Men and Women Team of Four event.
Tom says this was his second Games, though he and his wife frequently compete in darts events in the province.
“I started playing in Sicamous in late 2009,” said Tom, adding he and Marianne play in the Tuesday evening Fun Darts at the Salmon arm Legion, and in the Salmon Arm Dart League on Thursdays.
“I think it’s great!,” says Tom of the sport. “It does two things, it keeps me standing up and moving… It’s a very low-impact sport, I get to stand, I can sit, go and throw, walk eight feet, that kind of stuff. And it’s great exercise for the brain as you learn how to play the game to do the math. The brain is working all the time. I think it’s a great sport for all ages.”
In discussing his passion for the sport, Tom begins to drop names of professional dart players who have made their living and, in some cases, their fortune from the sport – Dutch darts pro Michael Van Gerwen (number one in the world), British darts legend Phil Taylor and Canadian and three-time world champion John Part. He says he follows darts in the same way others follow hockey.
“If you follow it you get inspiration, you see how they do things,” said Tom. “Because it’s math related, that’s what I watch it for, what I call their ‘finishing techniques.’”
While the Ingebritsons have yet to make their fortune playing darts, Tom says they’ve had their share of wins – and losses, and sometimes those wins have been enough to fund their advancing to the next tournament.
Another piece of advice Tom offers darts newcomers is to have fun. For him, part of that fun is the competitiveness of the sport.
“To get up and just throw darts for the sake of throwing darts – it’s like anything… There’s always that little bit of competitiveness to win.”
Tom also emphasizes the importance of having the right darts partner, as there are fewer singles competitions than there are doubles and teams.