Ever wondered how the camera knows where the next dart is going?
Glen Durrant fights Danny Noppert for the BDO World Darts Championship title tonight and more than a million people are likely to tune in to watch – but how does the TV coverage keep up with the many possibilities on the dart board?
Huw Ware has the answer. Huw became the youngest referee in darts history in 2011 at just 17 years of age, and refereed the Lakeside World Championship final in 2014.
He has since moved behind the scenes, and works as a spotter: one of many people who ensure the cameras know exactly where to point their lenses.
“I’m in charge of telling the cameras where the next dart’s going to land,” says Huw. “I’m in contact with the director, the commentators and the cameramen telling them which ways the players are likely to go, and then I take them through dart by dart as they’re actually throwing on the oche.”
As with any sport, unpredictability is rife – certain players prefer different tactics, while a missed shot often means a player will have to find an alternative route.
“A lot of the time they surprise us,” Huw continues. “Particularly the BDO where a lot of the players do go with what they feel on instinct.
“Our cameraman who is on the doubles has been doing every single Lakeside World Championship since 1986 though. He’s done more checkouts than I’ve had cooked dinners, so he knows what he’s doing!”
Huw was part of the Wales youth side which reached the semi-finals of the Europe Cup youth tournament in Aberdeen in 2011, but even as a keen fan of the darts, being a spotter is no easy ride.
“We’ve just had the youth final, which went along at such a pace that there were a couple of times where I missed the first dart and literally had no time to readjust whatsoever,” says Huw. “It was very tough.
“I think spotting is more difficult than refereeing,” Huw continues. “There’s more room for enjoyment as a referee. With the spotting you’re very conscious of the fact that you’re an integral part of what everybody at home and in the crowd can see, and you really don’t want to go wrong once.
“Every single time we’re on a checkout you do feel a certain pressure to make sure you get it right and to get the darts in shot.”
Not the easiest job in the world by any stretch then, but a crucial part of the experience for fans at home and in the crowds.