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    Dartplayer Dot Net :: View topic - Steel vs Soft Tip; Whats the whoop?
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    Steel vs Soft Tip; Whats the whoop?
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    KopRalph11
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:25 am    Post subject: Steel vs Soft Tip; Whats the whoop? Reply with quote

    I've gotten into this debate/conversation with many here on SEWA. I respect most people's opinion on the subject. One side tends to not like the "plastic" nature and the video gaming aspect of the other. As i have said many times before I believe its the same game with different parameters. I actually find widdys to be more a departure from the norm of steel then soft tip.

    I have to ask how many have played on a yorkshire board or a quad board? How many of us have tried to throw an Ultra heavy or ultra light dart from our normal set? It naturally creates a foreign environment. Unfamiliarity in this case breeds contempt.

    I absolutely distaste the bells of whistles of soft tip. But then i got to thinking, whats the big whoop. Hear me out if I havent lost you already. I simply imagine what a soft tip premier league would look like. With all the crowd noise and pomp. Its unlikely one would even notice the sound effects by the various brands of soft tip boards. SO immediately that irritant becomes mute.

    Now I play in a league where most of the pubs tend to be relatively quiet. I happen to play in likely the noisiest pub. Simply because its small compact and its on a thursday night which attracts everyone for the drink specials. Heck sometimes there is a pop corn gallery less then 5 feet from the oche. Cheering or in some cases pointing out the inability of that shot made. I honestly enjoy the ruckus. Maybe its from the days of youth sports. But I have always enjoyed that sort of din.

    When I first attended my first steel tip tournaments. I figured I'd get the feel of the atmosphere. Sadly I left asking myself what atmosphere? It was a far cry from the craziness of the the World Championships. People would play cards while they waited their turn. Few seemed to hang around to watch the finals. It wasnt anything I had imagined.

    Now having been to Hong Kong many times. No one will ever say its a quiet place LOL. Yet when I watched the soft tip finals. It struck me how polite and quiet the crowd was. I just think thats the natural for the culture. Americans should feel right at home. Ironic for a culture that seems to like noise and noisier in everything else.

    I remember a few years back Wimbledon being rained out so badly that they had open seating for the mid week catch up games. The quiet point winning applause was replaced with insane socceresk crowd. It was a ton of fun. For me if I wanted quiet I'd play golf.

    Back to darts. As with any game there are many cultures and sorts that make up its community. Steel isnt being replaced by plastic. Soft tip is just bringing more into the game. Lets face it I rather rookies play soft tip then risk getting a steel tip in my back.

    Now people whom play golf know there is a massive difference between playing a Brit Links course vs an American manicured course. Its insanely different. Then you add the technology going into the equipment and you know that game varies a massive amount.

    I guess my point is that games can be the same yet very different. Some may like the noise and some may like the tech. Some may enjoy plastic and others may only play steel. My point being is that both are here to stay. Embrace the variances. Honestly it keeps it interesting.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Well...... my knock has never been against soft tip per se. My knock has always been with handicapping. I think straight up versions of each game are pretty much the same with some minor "aesthetic" differences. While I’m not a huge fan of the “tactile” feel of soft tip…. it would not be reason enough for me to not play that game. What is reason enough for me not to play the game is handicapping for all the reasons I have stated ad nauseum in the past. I have found the "World" comps very interesting and enjoyable to watch but then again they are being played straight up as far as I can tell.
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    Last edited by Shannonmiles on Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    SM you and I have talked about this a bit. I completely agree with your sentiments. Handicapping must go and divisions should do the distinction between players.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    KopRalph11 wrote:
    SM you and I have talked about this a bit. I completely agree with your sentiments. Handicapping must go and divisions should do the distinction between players.


    But here is the rub! As far as I can tell soft tip (in this country) and handicapping are inextricably linked. I would be very interested in hearing how places overseas develop their player base. Is handicapping the way they have quickly built such huge followings in places such as Hong Kong?
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Here here! Drop the handicapping and I'm in.

    I believe that is the true major issue.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Maybe the Asian kids are just cooler with more on the ball than their non Asian counterparts. Darts is a cool game there and far from it here. I have no idea why as I am someone who loves the game and cannot understand why everyone else cannot see the beauty in the game that I see. It has been proven over and over it's NOT money that drives development of this game. The PDC has amply proven that fact on many occasions on our North American shores. It is love of the game that drives growth in my opinion. As with women you cannot make them love you….. they have to love you on their own accord. The question is..... why is the game currently so “unlovable” at the moment? and what can be done to change it. As for my ideas………to make dart lovable…… zip zilch nada just like I had when I tried to fix my marriage. Trust me throwing money at the problem will not work. Darts or love.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Two obstacles that soft tip has recently overcome, in the late 80's the boards put up in bars (were marginal at best), they are repairable and last forever - you still see them today. The best dart you could buy still had a lot to be desired and were very light (14-16 grams) making the adjustment (adv steel tip weight according to a old poll 2006 i think, on this site 24g) steep. Up untill about 3 years ago the tips were still aweful- now they stick, don't bend or break as much. An the new dart machines are finally using current technology.

    Bullshooters continue to be as much of a social event as a tornament (at the regional level). The money is spread accross all levels , Not many make money - usually just enough to keep player coming back. I'm not knocking this format but it's not the place I would promote to young players. For many of the player its an around the clock drinking event. A portable bar is set up in the center of the event. The player turnout is usually good and the events are fun ... but I beleve they do little to advance the sport.

    Dartlive is something we havent really had in soft tip, big money no handicap events, I think the short format provides hope to a a larger group of players -so excitment is high, Anything to advance the sport of darts has my full support.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Here's a few points from me...

    Handicapping blows. But it's something that is almost ONLY seen here in the USA.

    Another thing that was mostly seen here. Dreadful movable points seen in steel tip. Thankfully due to improvements in boards, the movable point is just about gone.

    Years ago I used to be one of "those steel tip guys" that made fun of soft tip. Like who couldn't hit the huge targets right? I never took into account the targets are just as big for the other guy as well. And when that guy pounds the trips all the time I wasn't used to the massive pressure in soft tip where you HAVE to hit big all the time. Admit it steel tippers... if you open a game with a 180 or 9 mark you can take a breath and relax. Not the case in soft tip. There's always the chance of someone hitting massive shots turn after turn.

    Next, coin drop hasn't been mentioned. Seems as though The World soft tip darts has NO coin drop at all in tourney's. I'll admit, the coin drop is the only thing I don't care for in soft tip.

    Others will not like that bounce outs still count and register as a scored dart. Yet those same people will probably be the 1st to complain about a bounce out in steel tip. How many times have WE ALL heard "oh man, I would of won if that didn't bounce out of the treble 20" Bounce outs are just a part of the game in steel tip. It happens, so what. In soft tip, a lot of players use crappy tips and get plenty of bounce outs. Change to some better tips.... it helps.

    Years ago I moved to an area where it was pretty much soft tip only. With no choice I switched over. Learned to love the game just as much. It took some work, as the games are a little different. But if you're good with your outs then you should have no issue's learning the new outs in soft tip.

    Oh, one more thing. The freeze rule in doubles blows. I like it when it's a straight up shoot out.

    Still, it is my opinion that Dartslive will surge and change the entire view of darts here in the USA. So many things have been tried here, but nothing has worked. I repeat, nothing has worked to make darts popular in the states. I'm very excited to be watching Dartslive locations spread across the USA and new members sign up. Watch and see... it's going to be big.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Its amazing how things have changed. The only complaints in this thread are about Coin Drop and Handicapping. Interesting.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    KopRalph11 wrote:
    Its amazing how things have changed. The only complaints in this thread are about Coin Drop and Handicapping. Interesting.



    Well I for one have a few other problems with soft tip. Please don't get me wrong. I see nothing wrong with those who enjoy the game. To each their own I always say.
    However, I see nothing even remotely the same between the 2 styles. In steel tip, there are stead fast rules, that are very easily understood. But with soft tip, there are so many different rules, like handicapping, freeze out, single outs, darts counting even after bouncing out, and you practically need to be a brain surgeon to understand some of the rules, like freeze out.
    Then there is the weight of the darts you are allowed to use. I throw a 30 gm dart, not sure about now, but back in the early 90's. the weight limit was 16 gm's.
    Like I said, I have nothing against the game per-say. I am sure it is as great a game to those who play it, as steel tips are to me. It's just not for me.
    I am not going to pretend to know the game, but these are just a few things that I find that has kept me away from playing soft tip.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    The bounce-outs count is the main thing I would hate, equal with handicapping.

    The dart weight is another issue although I would probably learn to live with that eventually.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    ABA- Changes (improvements) in boards as well as better tips, results in a lot less bounce outs then there was in the past. Take the time to watch some of the new Dartslive matches. Very rare to see a bounce out. Might happen a bit more frequently then in steel tip, but it is what it is.

    Also, to add to the bounce out thing. How many times have us steel tip shooters seen someone complaining about a bounce out and how they would of won the match? Examples.... "oh man, you see that bounce right out of the bullseye? I woulda won if those 2 bulls counted" or.... "yeah man, 60 laying right on the floor. I woulda had an out shot if not for that 60 on the floor"
    C'mon. Admit it. I've seen it. Highly likely I've even said it a few times.

    Soft tip has made huge strides in the past few years. What Dartslive and
    others are trying to do is make the game as simple as possible. Handicapping is a thing of the past. Freeze rule isn't even used in the new dart formats. So really those complaints are pretty void.

    Dart weight might be an issue for some. From what I've personally seen most guys in the USA tend to use a heavier dart then the guys over the pond. Seems like 24 gram and up is about the standard. Whereas a lot of players from the UK area seem to prefer a few grams lighter. 19, 20ish and up is very common. Let's not include PT in the mix. His Phase 6's are reportedly 47 grams. Laughing Laughing How he fits them in the treble with regularity I really don't know. Even still, I think most of the new boards will take a 20 gram dart.

    My only complaint with soft tip is all the damn fist bumping. If I hit something decent I don't want to bump fists every time. Way to much fist bumping in soft tip. Hate it!! I'll be the 1st one to give ya a bump before or after the game but not during.

    * End rant. Very Happy
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    PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    KopRalph11 wrote:
    Its amazing how things have changed. The only complaints in this thread are about Coin Drop and Handicapping. Interesting.


    Probably because guys like me who have a long laundry list of reasons why I won't play are being nice and not polluting your so-far well-mannered thread! Laughing
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    PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Or maybe, some of the long list of guys who were on the "hate soft tip bandwagon" have jumped off. Wink

    Dartslive/new points and bords have brought the game closer. Just as imporatant "money" not enough to make a living but enough to attend events and sponsors to help with the expenses.
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    PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I have only ever played steel tip and dont know anyone who has tried soft tip locally.

    Someone in the U.K. must play soft tip because all the U.K. retailers sell soft tip products.

    I dont have any real compulsion to try it though, but I wont say its good or bad for that reason but just accept it as another form of darts, I see how popular it is in the other countries especially the asian ones and I worry a little that with such a big following there it will eventually take off here and kill the steel tip game which would be a great shame!

    I hope that never happens though.
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    One of the complaints I see about soft tip is that "bounce outs count". I play both so I understand the reasoning behind the complaint. What someone who's been mostly a steel player they may not understand that with soft tip you probably have 5-6 times more bounce outs than you do with steel tip. The sheer number of bounce outs would make the game too frustrating to play if it didn't count. Most steel players don't know this but soft tip still has plenty of bounce outs never register a score. For me this is pretty close on average to the bounce outs I have when throwing steel.

    The reason why we all love our new boards over the old staple and wire ones is because we have less bounce outs and we get to count more of the darts we actually throw

    The other benefit of counting all the darts where they hit on the board is the complainers. I think we all know the Mr. "I was robbed that was a triple/double" guy. When the board registers where the dart hits there is much less to complain about(yet they still find something).

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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Getagrip,

    From my point a view, soft tip thrives on the un-tapped markets. It thrives on atrracting new players to darts, and now has created a professional level to aspire to.

    In strong steel tip areas, It has to this point been a tuff sell (hard to beat free play).

    However; the 12k US tournament in Las Vegas with reasonable entry fee, and reasonible North American player expectation has created a buzz. Don't fault any player for following the money.

    I think if you do play soft tip, you will find its still darts, if you can play one you can play the other.

    I would have little concern about it taking over in the UK though...
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    PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    ShakeyJake wrote:
    What someone who's been mostly a steel player they may not understand that with soft tip you probably have 5-6 times more bounce outs than you do with steel tip.


    Excessive bounce-outs, yeah, I think that's #17 on my list of why I won't play soft-tip. My back does NOT like to have to pick up darts every other turn.

    It's right between #16, excessive *THWACK!* noise of darts hitting the board (especially the bounce-outs) and #18, excessive bells & whistle noises that come from the game machine itself... Laughing
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    PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Last nite durning my practice (A2-52 minutes) I counted bounce outs. 3 darts hit the floor. 2 were hits outiside the double rings (yea my doubles were not healthy last night). Im not sure about the third dart - I was throwign at a trip bed - it was a wire or barrel, it happend during a bad pass and my mind was on my stroke at the time.

    Now with that said, I practice on a almost new Arachnid galaxy 2, unless you play at a bullshooters you seldom find one of these boards that holds the darts as well. I play on older boards Thurs and Saturday both are much worst when it comes to holding the dart.

    As for bells and whistles - I always turn my board off when I do my FS practice.

    As for the thump, The commercial Arachnids are not so bad, the home stuff is loud. I look forward to trying the Dartslive - I understand they have improved the sound. When I travel down to the Tampa and Orlando area Shelti boards are prevalent due to a strong distributor , those boards feel really good when you land a dart.
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    PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Handicapping is absolute BS in my mind. We don't play soft tip here in NZ, but there are some towns who's player base is so small & the skill level so widely spread that they use handicapping.

    I can't see the point in it. The best players stop playing because as "they" feel, the other players are not good enough to bother playing even with their handicap & the players who are not at the top do not get the full value of a victory against a classy opponent because they only had to shoot 300 or 350 when their opponent still starts on 501

    Obviously this attitude only serves to harm darts in general, how do you get others better without them playing better players on an even playing field? (I'd be saying those "better" players were worried about being overtaken in time but anyway)

    In general I believe it would be more beneficial to ban HC's & purely run a divisional system if there are lesser players who don't want to play with the big boys!

    But I know I love playing the better players, & I also like to beat them, shows I'm getting somewhere. A reward for the endless hours of practice (the vain attempt to get the 10,000 hours of experience doing something to attain a level of 'mastery').
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    PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Jacob,

    I agree about handicapping, but I don't understand the atitude of some of your best players. I have been on the high end of some struggling programs. I actually would go to a blind draw LOD that would always team me with the worst player in the house. I one time was paired with a women who was playing left handed due to resent elbow surgery on right throwing arm. Just hitting the board with 3 darts was reason to clap. We won that night, I consider that a really big win and great time. She retired - that was her last game. My point... a really good players loves to play, and should do anything it takes to promote... the game. I may not like Handicapping but if it takes that to bring in players - Im all for it.

    Not to sway too far from the topic, The fact that the new electronic boads monitor your play like big brother.. normall this would not for me , but in this case if you got to handicap - do a good job at it. This system may be the best way for some type of handicapping to work.


    Not that I'm sayin I like it, I'm Just sayin
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    PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Watch some of the recent matches on Dartslive.

    Won't see hardly a bounce out at all... if any.

    Improvement in equipment has reduced bounce outs greatly.

    Just as it has in steel tip darts.
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    PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    KopRalph11 wrote:
    Its amazing how things have changed. The only complaints in this thread are about Coin Drop and Handicapping. Interesting.


    Because most guys like me are staying out of your thread to keep it civil. Almost everything about the soft-tip game annoys the crap out of me so why would I want to play anything that does that? I don't.

    In fact, one of the points mentioned above is on my list of reasons not to play. Everyone can hit big scores. Instead of striving to hit a big score, you have to fight to not miss that big score (i.e., you're expected at my level to hit that big score everytime). In other words, there's no joy only the possibility of failure. Where's the fun in that?
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    PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    CraigB wrote:
    KopRalph11 wrote:
    Its amazing how things have changed. The only complaints in this thread are about Coin Drop and Handicapping. Interesting.


    Because most guys like me are staying out of your thread to keep it civil. Almost everything about the soft-tip game annoys the crap out of me so why would I want to play anything that does that? I don't.

    In fact, one of the points mentioned above is on my list of reasons not to play. Everyone can hit big scores. Instead of striving to hit a big score, you have to fight to not miss that big score (i.e., you're expected at my level to hit that big score everytime). In other words, there's no joy only the possibility of failure. Where's the fun in that?


    I used to think the same thing. Until I started playing. With that kind of expectation to hit big scores all the time brings constant added pressure. For example, in steel tip if you open up with 3 treble 20's in cricket, you can take a nice deep breath and relax a bit. You have a healthy lead. In soft tip that same throw doesn't mean as much since the mpr averages will be much higher. This added constant pressure of having to hit big shots really made me an overall better player when I went back to steel tip. But hey Craig... I remember years back having a closed mind just like you. I really did. I used to call soft tips a toy game. Made fun of the massive sized targets, the coin drop, etc... What I forgot was the targets were just as big for the person I was playing and he could hit them pretty good to. Even my awesome math and counting skills had to be improved as there was now many different ways to finish an 01 game. The outshots are different in soft tip playing with a 50 bull or masters out.
    To wrap it up though. I know where you're coming from. I rode the same boat. Funny how I talked so much crap about it but never really played. I'm now very thankful to be fully involved in both soft tip and steel tip. My game has improved because of it. Cheers.
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    CraigB
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    PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    JDNY wrote:
    CraigB wrote:
    KopRalph11 wrote:
    Its amazing how things have changed. The only complaints in this thread are about Coin Drop and Handicapping. Interesting.


    Because most guys like me are staying out of your thread to keep it civil. Almost everything about the soft-tip game annoys the crap out of me so why would I want to play anything that does that? I don't.

    In fact, one of the points mentioned above is on my list of reasons not to play. Everyone can hit big scores. Instead of striving to hit a big score, you have to fight to not miss that big score (i.e., you're expected at my level to hit that big score everytime). In other words, there's no joy only the possibility of failure. Where's the fun in that?


    I used to think the same thing. Until I started playing. With that kind of expectation to hit big scores all the time brings constant added pressure. For example, in steel tip if you open up with 3 treble 20's in cricket, you can take a nice deep breath and relax a bit. You have a healthy lead. In soft tip that same throw doesn't mean as much since the mpr averages will be much higher. This added constant pressure of having to hit big shots really made me an overall better player when I went back to steel tip. But hey Craig... I remember years back having a closed mind just like you. I really did. I used to call soft tips a toy game. Made fun of the massive sized targets, the coin drop, etc... What I forgot was the targets were just as big for the person I was playing and he could hit them pretty good to. Even my awesome math and counting skills had to be improved as there was now many different ways to finish an 01 game. The outshots are different in soft tip playing with a 50 bull or masters out.
    To wrap it up though. I know where you're coming from. I rode the same boat. Funny how I talked so much crap about it but never really played. I'm now very thankful to be fully involved in both soft tip and steel tip. My game has improved because of it. Cheers.


    And the above reply is exactly why those who feel like I do are NOT replying in this topic. My background doesn't match yours at all. I DID try it, I did play and I did want to enjoy it. However, what I saw and experienced gave me my attitude - certainly not the opposite.
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