It has become apparent that no one is happy, or can understand, or can even decide themselves which is the best way to choose the way to Start a game of darts. I have taken it upon myself to make up the new definitive set of rules to encompass this situation. Here is how you are to proceed in a Doubles Match: The Warm-Up: - ask the Tournament Director what the procedure is. - after it's been explained, have the person next to you ask them again. - repeat for at least half the people in the room, ending up with the most drunken one. - after each explanation, completely forget what the Director said - if at any time it appears the players are getting the gist of it, start explaining to those around you something completely different, hopefully culminating in a loud argument between groups of players. - after the drunk guy has asked and been totally unable to comprehend any of it, and all the explanations are finished, go for a) a drink, b) a smoke, c) a bathroom break, d) all the above - with the aim of making sure you really can't remember. - make your way to your board assignment At the Oche: - in this stage of the Start, it is imperative that there is always at least one of the players missing at any one time. Alternating team members to be the one missing is best. When the fourth player is seen to be close to getting to the board, another player must vacate the area. - have at least one player say he doesn't care how it's done, but when all is finally agreed upon, he is to say that isn't the correct way. - when the three of the four players have actually agreed on the method, one of those players is to go for a) a drink, b) a smoke, c) a bathroom break, d) all the above, while the previously missing member returns and everyone has to start explaining from the beginning again The Methods: - the methods of choosing the Start are a) Coin Toss, b) Diddle, c) Rock, Paper, Scissors, d) Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. The last option is especially appealing as it gets a lively and fun conversation going about The Big Bang Theory, Star Trek, Star Trek vs Star Wars, and Kaley Cuoco, during which there will no mention of darts. Procedure A: The Coin Toss determines the Starting team and they proceed with the Match. While this appears straightforward, it sets up a marvelous debate over who starts the second game. Losers Off or Alternating Start? This can be used to great advantage by the losers of the first game to throw the hot team off of their stride. - Many players will loudly state what they know is the "only way it should be done", which by coincidence is the way which gives them the Start. - go to, or better yet, yell across the hall at the Tournament Director and begin a new version of The Warm Up. Procedure B: The Coin Toss only determines who has the choice of which team shows first in the Diddle. As many players really don't give a flying dart about who goes first, this is one of the most useless exercises in sports, and as such, gets many of the players in a nasty mood.The best drama occurs, by the way, when the Coin Toss Winner makes his opponent throw first, only to see them hit a Double Bull - watch their face, it's priceless. - the second game usually has an uncontested Alternating First Diddler. While this seems straightforward, an argument can always commence when the drunked-up darters simply cannot recall who went first the first time, or (especially important), why. This is good for a long enough debate that someone has to slip off for a) a drink, b) a smoke, c) a bathroom break, d) to talk to a friend about an episode of The Big Bang Theory, or e) all the above... and of course, when the missing member returns everyone has to start explaining from the beginning again. Procedure C: Straight Start, with mature adults calmly proceeding in a sportsmanlike manner, quickly and with no one really minding who goes first, alternating the rest of the match. HAHAHAHA, sorry, I couldn't resist - that will never happen. Special Notation: - be sure to use a Canadian coin for any tosses. These are especially fun as they can have heads on both sides - the Queen's on one, and assorted animals' on the other - or have such wierd and strange items on them that no one knows wtf they are. Commemorative coins like the forty-two types of quarters minted are wonderfully confusing. And even if they aren't, someone will make an amusing comment such as, "There are more polar bear heads on this side than Queen heads on the other, so I win .... hahahaha." The extra fun part of this is that in dimly lit halls and pubs, someone is bound to not see the coin result clearly, assume the tosser cheated and begin a series of derisive mutterings and barely-hidden hand gestures. This is extremely entertaining when the loser of the Coin Toss wins the Start anyway and still maintains a wickedly dramatic, I've-been-cheated, attitude throughout the game, and probably the whole Match. There you have the Rules of the Start. Now go and have fun.