The nine-darter is called the perfect leg as well as the player uses only nine darts to check out from 501. Nine darts are the fewest possible number of darts to do this. As the nine-darter is difficult to achieve even for the top players the nine-darter is considered as the highest single game achievement in darts similar to a 147 break in snooker.
All in all there exist 3.944 combinations to achieve a perfect leg in 501, usually you'll see the following ways:
- 180, 180, Triple 20, Triple 19, Double 12 - that is the most used way, the mainline
- 180, 180, Triple 20, Triple 15, Double 18
- 180, 180, Triple 17, Triple 18, Double 18
Less common is the following line:
- 167, 167, Triple 20, Triple 19, Bullseye
From Michael van Gerwen you could see during the European Championship 2014
the following variant which Daryl Fitton used in the Finder Darts Masters 2009
- 177, 180, Triple 20, Triple 20, Double 12
In a different order Adrian Lewis in the Premier League 2016
, Phil Taylor 2014 during the World Matchplay
, Michael van Gerwen in the PDC World Championship 2013
and Wes Newton during the World Matchplay 2012
threw a nine-darter:
- 180, 177, Triple 20, Triple 20, Double 12
To the more unusual nine-darters counts Colin Lloyd's perfect leg during the German Darts Championship 2019:
- 180, 171, Triple 20, Triple 20, Double 15
Sadly the nine-darter was not recorded - only Lloyd's Reaction
As well unusual was Jamie Caven's combination during the Qualifier for the Dutch Darts Masters 2016:
- 171, 180, Triple 20, Bullseye, Double 20
Sadly that one is not recorded either.
2019 Michael van Gerwen surprised twice with unusual variants during a Players Championship
in Wigan and during the European Darts Open
- 177, 174, Triple 19, Triple 19, Double 18
- 180, 174, Triple 19, Bullseye, Double 20
But van Gerwen stood out 2007 with an unusual nine-darter. During the Masters of Darts
it looked like this:
- 174, 180, Triple 20, Triple 17, Double 18
During a Players Championship in 2019 Ritchie Edhouse achieved the perfect leg like this:
- 174, 174, Triple 20, Triple 19, Double 18
It is a pity it didn't happen at a streamed board.
In the Double In, Double Out format of the World Grand Prix in Dublin till now only a few nine-darters were thrown. The first was achieved 2011 by an Irish player - Brendan Dolan
. 2014 both Robert Thornton
and James Wade
threw a nine-darter when they played one another in the second round. All World Grand Prix nine-darters were thrown in this combination:
- 160, 180, Triple 20, Triple 20, Bullseye
The number of players who threw a perfect leg has grown over the years - till 2006 it had only been around ten players. Today there are over 200 pro players who managed it.
The very first nine-darter during a TV tournament was the nine-darter by John Lowe
during the MFI World Matchplay 1984. He threw it in his match against Keith Deller with 180, 180, Triple 17, Triple 18, Double 8 and was rewarded with 102 000 pound. It took till 1990 till the next nine-darter followed - thrown by Paul Lim
during the BDO World Championship against Jack McKenna in the traditional main line. Both nine-darters were not thrown live on TV.
The first nine-darter live on TV was thrown by Shaun Greenbatch
2002 during the Dutch Open against Steve Coote (180, 180, Triple 20, Triple 15, Double 18). The first live nine-darter on British TV scored - of course - by Phil Taylor
and it was thrown during the World Matchplay 2002 in the main line. Like John Lowe Taylor was awarded 100 000 pound for this perfect leg.
The first nine-darter in a PDC World Championship achieved 2009 Raymond van Barneveld
against Jelle Klaasen and he used the most used way.
The first nine-darter outside of Europe threw Mervyn King
in September 2009 in the South African Masters against James Wade and it was a main line nine-darter as well.
Two players till now managed to throw two perfect legs in a single match: Phil Taylor
in the Premier League 2010 and Michael van Gerwen
in the UK Open Qualifier 4 2017. Phil Taylor threw one in the combination 174, 180, Triple 20, Triple 17, Double 18, and the other in the main line. Van Gerwen choose against Ryan Murray both times the variant 177, 180 (and reversed) Triple 20, Triple 20, Double 12.
The PDC by now has introduced a Neun-Dart Club
- players who achieve a nine-darter in a TV event will get a golden pin, those who threw a nine-darter in a Pro Tour event a silver one. In the history of the PDC were 305 nine-darters thrown from 1996 till today. Still Phil Taylor heads the list with 22 nine-darters thrown but Michael van Gerwen follows him close with 21 perfect legs.
It was Phil Taylor who threw the very first PDC nine-darter 1996 during the Belgian Masters but it was not recorded at that time. But Taylor never managed to throw a nine-darter in a PDC World Championship opposed to Michael van Gerwen. The till now last nine-darter in a big TV tournament threw Dimitri van den Bergh
during the Grand Slam 2018 against Stephen Bunting (180, 180, Triple 20, Triple19, Double 12).
In BDO tournaments nine-darters are not thrown as often. Paul Lim's perfect leg in the World Championship 1990 is still the only BDO World Championship nine-darter. The till now last BDO nine-darter was thrown 2017 during the British Internationals by Paul Hogan
against Alan Soutar (180, 180, Triple 20, Triple 15, Double 18). Hogan won the tournament with it.
Till now no female player managed to throw a nine-darter in a televised or recorded event. Apart from the cameras it was Mandy Soloman who threw against Robert Hughes 1995 during the qualifiers for the BDO World Championship 1996 the first women's nine-darter. Soloman threw one in Super League as well. Clare Stansby threw together with Glen Durrant 2013 the first mixed doubles nine-darter during the British Internationals. 2019 it was the 15 year old Beau Greaves who threw a perfect leg in a tournament. Might be she will be the first one to managed a televised women's nine-darter as well. Anastasia Dobromyslova or Lisa Ashton could be candidates for that achievement too.
Of course far from all nine-darters were presented in this article. You can find a very detailed list here: Mastercaller
. Should there exist recordings to the listed nine-darters they are linked.