A new dartboard

A new dartboard is in use in the darts world championships currently being held, reports Alex Bellos at his Guardian blog. Because in darts one has to end on a double, parity becomes important – but previous dartboard designs had clusters of odd and even numbers. The design, by David Percy at Salford in the UK, tries to separate odds and evens in addition to separating large and small numbers as much previous work had done; you can read Percy’s Mathematics Today article.

I’m having trouble thinking of other games where such a drastic change to the field of play could be implemented. One possible example might be Scrabble. The dynamics of Scrabble and of its clone Words with Friends have always felt just a little different to me because WWF has a different arrangement of premium squares which make very high-scoring plays possible.

5 thoughts on “A new dartboard

  1. A couple of other examples that came to mind…

    Whilst the arrangement of properties in Monopoly hasn’t really changed much, the play is determined by the fact that property groups are mostly clumped together and the higher value groups with different ROI curves are further around the board. Changing property distribution there could alter things.

    More concretely, in the chess world, Chess960 (a.k.a. FischerRandom) is the variant where the initial piece layout is selected somewhat randomly before the game starts (leading to 960 different starting positions, including the traditional one). This doesn’t make it an entirely different game, but it does alter a good chunk of the opening strategies. There have been tournaments as high up as serious (world championship contender) grandmasters playing Chess960 games and it’s interesting to see how it changes the game without making it an entirely different game.

  2. I really have more trouble thinking of non-examples to the change of rules being easy to do thing. Do you have a non-example? I suppose it depends on how much you’re willing to change the rules without calling it a different sport/game.

    List of easy to change games/sports below (comes of as more of a rant than I’d like but there are alot of them that spring to mind).
    Rock-paper-Scissors vs Rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock.
    There are alot of chess variants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_variant). Weightlifting dropped the clean and press in 1972 and has changed the weight-classes twice (powerlifting changed it once at the end of 2010 and raw/single-ply/multi-ply are all different to some extent).
    Pole vault now uses different (better in that you go higher with them) poles.
    Foil and Epee are treated as seperate olympic events.
    Yes Bolt does well at both 100m sprints and 200m sprints but if we changed things to 30m (accelaration matters more than top speed here) or a 45 degree slope (presumably different motion) things might turn out slightly differently.
    Team sports are all changable by just changing the number of players (rugby vs rugby sevens, singles vs doubes tennis etc).

    1. Hi Ritchie,vie­len Dank für den klasse Artikel. Hatte Twitter auch lange Zeit als Modeerscheinung gese­hen, aber inzwi­schen geht es kaum mehr ohne. Auch das direkte WP-Zusammenspiel ist super Beste Grüße Andrea

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