LAS VEGAS -- The National Dart Association hosted its 28th Team Dart international soft-tip dart tournament at Bally's Hotel and Casino here. More than 2,900 players from five nations competed in 10,000 events, with over a half-million dollars in prize money at stake.
About 150 operator members of NDA, a unit of the Amusement and Music Operators Association, sent teams to the 2013 staging of Team Dart. Contestants qualified for the competition by being sanctioned by NDA, and by playing at least 96 league games within a specified period. The NDA-member operating company then entered the player in the tournament; players could participate in as many as 10 events during the nine days of play.
The association pointed out that Team Dart is unique in that skill levels range from beginners to masters. All participants are classified into levels according to their individual or team skill rating. There are anywhere from one to 18 levels in any one event each year, depending on the number and skill levels of entries.
"The unique advantage to Team Dart that all levels in open events pay the same amount of money for each place, be it level one or level 18," NDA explained. "Therefore, every player has the opportunity to be in the money, no matter the skill level."
The events at Team Dart 2013 included competitions on 501 play, including "double in, double out," and cricket play, in singles, doubles and senior singles combo, as well as for 701 play by mixed triples.
Top overall money winners for this year's event were Stacy Bromberg, entered by D&B Electronic Darts (Las Vegas) and Ben Dersch, entered by Modern Specialty Co. (Madison, WI).
Top shooters in each level in Team Cricket and Team 501, with a minimum of 24 games played during the tournament, receive Top Gun awards. This year's Top Gun recipients include, for Open Team Cricket, Willard Bruguier with Masters Automatic Vendors & Music Service (Rapid City, SD); Kevin Luke, AJ's Entertainment (West Richland, WA); Rick Hughart, City Amusement Enterprises (Portsmouth, OH); Byron Gilbert, Wyoming Amusement (Casper, WY); Tom Montgomery, City Amusement Enterprises (Portsmouth, OH); and Todd Oborny, Mid-Nebraska Coin Op (Grand Island, NE).
For Open Team 501, Top Gun winners include Karsten Bott, Masters DSAB ev (Waldalgesheim, Germany); Dustin Holt, Midwest Electronics (Ellsworth, IL); Brandon Shirmbeck, Kelly Coin Machine (Carroll, IA); Terry Luster, Prairie State Gaming (Hinsdale, IL); Randy Benson Tri-Valley Vending (Wasilla, AK); and Richard White, Dolphin Coin (Mt. Pleasant, MI).
A global competition calls for an international challenge, and teams from Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United States entered the lists for international bragging rights until next year's competition. The German women's team defeated the U.S.A.'s for first place, and the American men's team defeated Germany's for the top spot. The following ranking in the women's tourney was Canada and Spain in third and fourth, respectively. In the men's match, France, Canada and Spain placed third through fifth, in that order. NDA extended special thanks to Team USA sponsor Mike Bates with Dart Master (Glendale, AZ) for his expertise in organizing the challenge.
NDA manufacturer sponsors Arachnid, Cyberdine, Gaelco Darts, Medalist, NSM-Löwen and Gold Standard Games provided 342 dartboards for the tournament floor; the best of the best battled for the world championship on these machines. Manufacturers also provided games onsite for players to enjoy when not competing.
Team Dart 2014 will be held at Bally's Las Vegas from April 25 through May 3. Information on the event will be posted at ndadarts.com. Those wishing to plan well in advance can reserve rooms at Bally's by calling (800) 634-3434.