What Is An Oche In Darts and How To Set Up?

What Is An Oche In Darts and How To Set Up?

6 minutes read
Mar 30th, 2023

The “Oche” in darts indicates the throwline in the dart game. Players must stand behind the line when they want to throw their darts. The word was introduced by the British Darts Organization in the 1970s. Most players pronounce “Oche” like “Hockey” with the H being silent (o-key). In this blog, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about Oche in darts.


  • How Far Is It from a Darts Oche to a Dartboard?
  • The Basic Rules of Darts Oche
  • The Origin Of The Oche In Darts
  • How To Set Up An Oche At Home

How Far Is It from a Darts Oche to a Dartboard?

According to official tournament rules, the distance is 7 feet 9 1⁄4 inches (2.37 meters) from the oche to the surface to which a dartboard is attached. For soft-tip darts, the distance is 8 feet (2.44 meters).

Oche in Darts

Oche in Darts – Source from Wikipedia

For other metrics you may find helpful, it’s 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 meters) from the bullseye to the ground (for where to hang the board) and 9 feet 7 ⅜ inches (2.93 meters) if you measure from the bullseye to the oche.

In some professional games, there will be an encroachment line 1.5m behind the Oche for players waiting for their turns.

A raised oche, on the side note, is regulated to be no more than 40mm in height, 20mm in depth, and 500mm in width.

The Basic Rules of Darts Oche

Can players step on the oche? Their feet are not allowed to go over the edge of the oche that is closest to the board (front edge). Just to be safe, don’t step on the throw line. If the position is invalid, the throw doesn’t count for points.

Can players lean forward and over the oche? Yes, they are allowed to extend any part of the upper body as far as they can, but their feet must stay behind the front edge of the oche.

The Origin Of The Oche In Darts

The origin of the word “oche” remains unclear. It is believed that it’s spelled “Hockey” and then became “Oche” in the 70s. There are many theories of how the word came into use, but they are not supported by strong evidence.

One theory that many people tell is it came from a brewery named “S. Hockey & Sons”. The legend says that people use their beer crates to measure the distances to hang the board and set up the game. However, the Brewery History Society in the 1990s stated that there was no record of such a brewery.

Another popular theory is it came from the Finnish word “Hocken” (meaning to spit). In the very early days of darts, it is said that players determined the “hockey line” by spitting from the position of their back against the dartboard.

How To Set Up An Oche At Home

Use Tape

The most simple and efficient way is to use tape. Though there is special tape designed for darts measurements, you can still use regular tape at home to ensure the correct distances from the board to the ground and from the oche to the wall. Then, draw a throw line or put in place a raised oche.

Use a Laser Oche

If you want a modern solution or don’t want a permanent mark on the floor, the suggestion is to buy a laser oche. Simply attach it under the board and turn it on before playing.

Use Dart Mat

A dart mat can help you prevent darts from damaging the floor when they fall down from the board. It also adds some visual value, making the space or your room more aesthetic. The throw line is already drawn on the mat. Just lay it out on the floor and you are good to go. Very convenient.


Now you have the answer to the question of what an oche is in darts. Remember to measure the distances to set up your game correctly. And don’t forget to stand behind the throw line every time you aim and shoot your darts. Happy darting!

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