The Canadian Adult Darts Championships are returning following a two-year absence due to Covid-19 and that means Team NWT will get the chance to toe the oche on the national scene once again.
To determine who would make the trip to Toronto in June, the NWT Darts Championships brought together nearly three dozen of the best men’s and women’s players from around the territory to the Hay River Legion on April 1 and 2. From that, the top eight from each division — plus one alternate for each — nailed down their tentative positions.
The format for territorials featured three rounds of play with each game contested over three legs, beginning at 501 and working down to a finish. In darts, the check-out, as it’s known, must be done on a double, which is the scoring ring on the outer portion of the dartboard. All three legs were played in each game — no best-of situation — with each leg won counting as one point toward a player’s final total.
Paul Morey of Inuvik ended up as the winner on the men’s side with 49 points while Ang Carter of Hay River topped the women’s standings with 34 points.
The majority of the Yellowknife representation is on the men’s side: Norm Sanderson, Dean Willis, Bob Mitchell and Bong Ramirez.
Sanderson, who finished third with 45 points, said it was great to get back to a territorial championship after two years of not having one.
“The camaraderie was great and the darts were really good,” he said. “We all fought hard to keep up with the top players but I managed to get third and I’m very happy with that.”
The scores at the end were a bit inflated as he was on a bye and didn’t play the final set of games.
“Paul (Power) and Dan (Kipling) gained on me a bit,” he said. “Paul shot really good darts and did well. I think I was the only player to take two games off of him in a match. I could have had a third in one game but missed the bullseye.”
The bullseye counts as double-25.
Kipling, who’s president of Darts NWT, said the number of participants was low this year and the championships didn’t have stretch over the usual three days that are scheduled for each territorial.
“Normally, more than double the people would come into town, so we’d have to play Sunday as well, but this year we didn’t have to,” he said.
The women’s team is made up of entirely of Hay River players except one: Jen Lavers from Yellowknife. Lavers ended up in eighth spot with 23 points, one ahead of Hay River’s Kayla Power, to earn an automatic place.
Sanderson said one thing that impressed him was the set-up for the weekend.
“The boards were in really good shape and we got to play with the new surround lights (on the dartboard),” he said. “We had tablets on the wall to help with the scoring and that made things go a little faster than normal. The organizers were very prepared.”
The tablets used a program known as DartConnect, which keeps an electronic record of everyone’s performance during a tournament.
With his spot sealed for nationals, Sanderson — a veteran of several trips with Team NWT — said he feels like a rookie again because there hasn’t been a Canadian championship in some time.
“It feels brand new and we’ll go see what we can do against some really good darts players,” he said.
Here are the men’s and women’s teams:
1st – Paul Morey, Inuvik
2nd – Dan Kipling, Hay River
3rd – Norm Sanderson, Yellowknife
4th -Paul Power, Hay River
5th – Max Kotokak, Inuvik
6th – Bob Mitchell, Yellowknife
7th – Dean Willis, Yellowknife
8th – Bong Ramirez, Yellowknife
Alternate – Ron Ruttle, Hay River
1st – Ang Carter, Hay River
2nd – Kim Squires-Rowe, Hay River
3rd – Tanya Ruben, Hay River
4th – Sandra Edjericon, Hay River
5th – Stacey Barnes, Hay River
6th – Norma Harris, Hay River
7th – Crystal Mackie, Hay River
8th – Jen Lavers, Yellowknife
Alternate – Kayla Power, Hay River
source: Darts NWT
-with files from Simon Whitehouse