DartConnect? Opinions?

Discussion in 'General Dart Talk' started by hubz, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. hubz

    hubz Moderator Site Moderator

    First off, I'll be amazed if I do not provide any background in explaining what DartConnect is, and someone asks what I am talking about. So I'm just going to start in on it.

    I am in the San Diego area. First saw DartConnect in Vegas in January 2015. Laughed at it.

    Can't actually recall the timeline of events, but for San Diego leagues it started to become more prevalent starting in late Spring of this year.

    One of the main proponents here is J.D. Newman, our best shot. He travels to the ADO national events and gets to see the latest greatest across the nation. And then he imposes it on us. LOL.

    Pros:
    -------
    - Trivial for even the dumbest/drunkest chalkers
    - Immediate PPR, MPR data. Gets emailed to you after the match

    Cons:
    -------
    - Dumbs down the chalking community
    - Takes the crowd out of the match except for the ones with great eyesight
    - Need an iPad

    I could have added a few more points to each, but just want to spark some conversation on it.

    I did not like it at first. Mainly because it quantifies how bad I am at darts. And also because, in person, I can't follow matches as easily.

    The best aspect of DartConnect... by far... to me... is being able to follow individual matches at major U.S. tournaments. Next best thing to live video.
     
  2. Squiggle

    Squiggle Active Member

    The first time I ever saw DartConnect was at the Music City Classic CDC Matchplay event. I was actually impressed with it. They were using really large tablets to do the scoring on stage which was easy to see from a distance and they also placed small tablets on several of the nearby tables that also showed the scores. It made it so much easier to see what each player scored. I also like the fact that it can keep records of your averages as well as give you the ability to follow events from pretty much anywhere.

    You mentioned that it dumbs down the chalking community. I'm guessing it's safe to assume you don't play soft tip ever?

    When it was on a tablet the size they used at Music City, it was great! Heck I've had chalkers who wrote so small it was hard to see the score from the oche much less the crowd of spectators. This gives you the ability to easily keep up with scores as well as the ability to keep up with it using your phone if you can't see the screen.

    I feel almost the opposite of you. I feel like it makes it easier to keep up with the match rather than harder.
     
  3. CraigB

    CraigB Best looking Craig B in the forum! $:-{P> Staff Member Site Admin

    Soft tip also dumbs down the chalking community as evidenced by all the soft tip players that come over to steel and have no idea what to do (shot setup and scoring).

    I'm not against having something that makes the scores easier to see for spectators, but all of these types of devices remove a main part of the game IMO.

    What's next? Having something throw the darts for the player? :roll:
     
  4. Erik

    Erik Site Owner Staff Member Site Admin Site Moderator

    Got a graphic or pic you can share? I haven't seen them at all and am curious.

    Thanks
     
  5. hubz

    hubz Moderator Site Moderator

    Squiggle, the DartConnect concept is something for the steel tip community, so my opinion about what will happen with chalking skills only applies to that. I can see the current generation of new players ending up being unable to chalk a game if the battery dies on the iPad. So in that sense, similar to what you've seen for some players crossing over from soft to steel.

    And your Music City experience with DartConnect is the ideal situation... what DartConnect is striving to get to. In order for it to be a good situation for the spectators, you need the huge screen at the board, and additional screens behind the players. But in reality, where is that going to happen besides at huge tournaments? On league night in SD, we MIGHT be fortunate for 3 people to bring their iPads. So those hang over the whiteboards for scoring. We often have a mix of DartConnect and regular chalking going on.

    As a player I can see the iPad just fine. As a chalker I love the simplicity. As a spectator, we need cheap, bigger, touch screens.
     
  6. hubz

    hubz Moderator Site Moderator

    As someone who has battled dartitis for 3+ years... OK, never mind, I won't answer that. ;-)
     
  7. hubz

    hubz Moderator Site Moderator

    I was going to direct you to their web page, but it's tough to get a feel for it there.

    Here is a video from the Colorado Open that shows it in action:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LAT0QMpJdg

    It does make self-chalking a lot easier. Forgot to mention that.

    In this case the iPad just sits in the tray on the scoreboard. At our main dart bar in SD, the scoreboards don't have trays, so you will see the iPads hanging in holders with straps going up to a couple of nails in the top of the scoreboard frame.

    I should point out that it doesn't have to be an iPad. The software runs on Android tablets as well.

    Another thing worth mentioning is that as long as the iPad has a WiFi connection, you can ask the app for a broadcast code at the beginning if the match. If you write that 4 letter code at the top of the whiteboard, then spectators can log into DartConnect on their cell phones, enter the code, and then be able to see all of the scores and stats in real time during the match. Or you can post it on Facebook for others to watch the match.

    DartConnect can also set things up where all matches within a tournament get broadcast automatically to one page, so that no codes are involved. Here is their list of past tournaments:

    http://app.dartconnect.com/dctvlistings/tournaments.html

    Let me know if you have more questions. I'm sounding like a DartConnect salesman, but I'm just trying to give a feel for what is starting to dominate steel tip in a lot of locations.
     
  8. Squiggle

    Squiggle Active Member

    I am almost exclusively a steel tip player now. But I, as many others, did start on soft tip (only known option when I started playing) and I did struggle with my math at first. I got over it by practicing it over and over and chalking matches at tournaments. I did it the hard way. However, like you said, for how I saw darts connect used, it was perfect. I don't think it should necessarily be used all the time for regular matches but I could see it being a really handy tool for a singles or "premier" league perhaps. Since the software also keeps up with stats and averages, it could be a handy tool for someone who's a statistician for a small league. Otherwise I think it would only make sense for a large event (Like the CDC event I saw it used for) and on a large easy to view screen with smaller versions available at tables nearby. You could also link it to big screens through the website probably and that could be handy for main stage events at a major tournament.
     
  9. CraigB

    CraigB Best looking Craig B in the forum! $:-{P> Staff Member Site Admin

    Been there, dealt with that (twice about 15 years apart). *Sigh...* :roll:

    Just remember that the condition is all mental and is usually set off by something you did so that, now, your subconscious is linking dart throwing to the negative event and trying to get you to stop throwing (to avoid future negative events). My second episode tracked back to when I punched a cement wall after giving away a match. I did some damage to my hand and my brain probably decided I needed some time away - heh.

    Since I never did find a "magic bullet" solution (and neither did Bristow - it ended his real career), all I can say is to try and figure out when it started and why, then let it go and begin associating positive images with throwing. Focusing less and using heavier darts has been found to help the transition too. Good luck!
     
  10. hubz

    hubz Moderator Site Moderator

    Thanks for the advice Craig. I think you are correct in that it has to somehow be resolved at a mental level.

    I have tried any number of physical things (stance, grip, non-dominant eye, etc.), and can usually find some sort of trick that allows me to at least compete without falling on my face to get rid of the dart. But there have only been a couple of 3 month periods in the past 3 years where the evil beast has released it's grip on me and let me throw normally. And I threw very well. It's an enormous relief to be able to throw a dart with no hitches.
     
  11. GT

    GT New Member

    Hi Guys, I'm a long time member here and also an official representative for DartConnect. The real goal of DartConnect is to get "more people, playing more darts, more often".

    However, I want to be conscious of following the commercial etiquette here and skirting the salesmanship line, but I will try to answer any questions anyone has about DartConnect.

    I have only had time to skim this thread, but will say we have heard every negative thing there is about electronic scorekeeping, how it will ruin people' brains and make them even lazier or dumb.

    I won't launch a diatribe here, but in over a year of working with this software, traveling to 20+ tournaments, scoring THOUSANDS of matches and talking to players and league reps all around the country, I can honestly say.....my PERSONAL opinion is this type of technology is the future of steel tip and is the best shot to ward off soft tip that is encroaching into steel tip regions.

    Last time I went to a bowling alley, they didn't even have a surface to put a piece of paper on.

    I have to excuse myself and spend the next 20 hours preparing for the Witch City Open, which I am co-tournament director for, so not sure when I'll be able to get back here and check in.

    I do appreciate the discussion here.

    As someone else mentioned, it's tough to get the gist from the website, but we have a lot of YouTube videos, this one with footage from the White Mtn Shootout scratches the surface of what the system can do:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q60E8koAmPk

    EDIT: Came back real quick, forgot to say you can watch Witch City Matches all weekend on DCTV, here's a link to the tournament channel, when matches are live, they will have a TV icon next to them:
    http://app.dartconnect.com/dctvlistings/listings.html#t-wco15
     
  12. Erik

    Erik Site Owner Staff Member Site Admin Site Moderator

    Hey GT! No problem! How about a review on the site?

    I also emailed you folks to see about getting the ap on my kindle to try out.
     
  13. warp1

    warp1 New Member

    Pretty interesting. Any other leagues using it? Curious of the tablet costs...does the bar hold them between matches or each team bring their own?

    I would say 80% of the people in our league or extremely poor at chalking and it definitely affects their enjoyment of the night. Also a negative for me other others who have to spend the whole evening checking math from the back and helping.

    Might also help a lot of the soft tip players switch over....no doubt that is alot of what's holding some back
     
  14. GT

    GT New Member

    To answer your questions, there are many leagues (over a dozen) across the USA currently using DartConnect for league matches, including Minute Man and Seacoast in New England (they've recently written acceptance of DC into their official rules) and Rocky Mtn in Denver. We also have DoubleCork National Singles League (formely PDSL) now offering Online Play using it.

    The reasons are varied and include what you mentioned - easy and instant access to stats, paperless match reporting and monitoring, streamlining play by taking scorekeeping problems out of the equation.

    We get inquiries from leagues of every size almost weekly asking how to incorporate the software into their league play, even from as far away as Australia. However, you would not believe the amount of variation that leagues have in their formats, we have had to update the app to accommodate such things as 1/2 and 1/4 points in the match scoring. Did you also know in Australia, they don't count darts after a bust dart in their averages? There are no such things as "standards" in league darts.

    There are a number of dart bars interested in being equipped with DartConnect, some plan to mount tablets, some plan to loan them out like bar darts. The portability of tablets makes this very flexible. A lot of DartConnect users are using it on cheap sub $100 chinese tablets, Dragon is one such brand.
     
  15. Erik

    Erik Site Owner Staff Member Site Admin Site Moderator

    After just a couple days of earnest use I'm downright impressed!

    Arms sore now (thanks GT! lol) so I need to take a day off but I'm thinking I'll fire up the Kindle at the cabin and work on some cricket during the long winter nights ;)
     
  16. SLEEPYKRAMER

    SLEEPYKRAMER New Member

    If anything, Dart Connect is a great truth teller! We have followed along online with the CDC matches and it gives great insight to the scores and averages of the players. There is definitely no room for "fish stories" or the great tale of "the one that got away"...lol.

    I've played a couple of tournaments with them around. I can say that the size can be an issue for some because the tablets are so small. And it does take a little getting used to. But for the most part, it wasn't too bad to use. It kept the flow of the game going and you didn't have to worry about the chalker having a brain cramp and either messing up your score, or struggling to add or subtract your score. I've since been to many east coast events where it is the standard norm to chalk your own games, so this makes it easier. Obviously, there could be some improvements, but for the most part, the idea and concept is worthwhile. And the ability to play remote matches is an added bonus that allows steel tip to cross the soft tip lines.

    I don't know if Brenda Roush comes in here anymore, but recently she and Renee Ripol played a remote match from Denver against Cali West and Robin Curry in NY and it went really well. Perhaps if she comes by, she would be able to offer a little more insight. Now that I am not in NY, I don't anticipate seeing DC at tournaments down this far south.....yet ;-)
     
  17. Squiggle

    Squiggle Active Member

    We just used Dart Connect for the first time for all of the matches at the Music City Classic in Nashville this past weekend. I was a little skeptical when the league board first talked about using it for the event, but I got to admit it was an absolute Godsend! It made everything so much easier and run a whole lot faster and smoother. We did have some mishaps and delays a few times but none were due to Dart Connect. I also signed up for the premium membership at Dart Connect a couple months ago ($24 per year) and I can say whole heartedly that it was worth every penny!!! When they would call me up to a board, I would also get a text message at the exact same time telling me which board I was playing on. This was only an option for premium members. It would send an email notification for everyone, but sometimes that was delayed a bit. Most times my phone would buzz me as they were calling out my name, and more than once I wasn't in the dart hall and couldn't hear the board call so the text was really handy.

    Also, my stats and performance of each match was sent to me at the end of each round. This is great because I'm kind of a nerd and dig keeping up with my stats. I'm the ADO rep for the league and DCTV has a link to all of the match brackets for each event so it will make it so much easier for me to send the results to the ADO. I was also able to watch CDC and NAWDA matches scoreboards while I was at work and couldn't be there in person.

    The practice features that you get with the premium membership are great. You can play 01 or cricket against a computer opponent and it gives you a ton of difficulty levels based on PPD average or marks per round. Also you can set it to "adaptive" and even if you big too tough or too easy of an electronic opponent, it will adapt to the way you are playing to give you a tough competitor without being a blowout one way or the other. You can also play against another person online anywhere! It's really cool.

    I am in no way affiliated with Dart Connect. I am merely a fan of it now and I highly recommend looking into it.
     

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