Dean Winstanley

Darts – The Dating Game?

Apparently, in some regions, it is not unusual for a player to take his/her ‘date’ to a specific darts venue and enjoy quality time on the board! No ‘Wrong Bed’ jokes, please!

Lorraine Winstanley . Photo: BDO

The team at are constantly reviewing and putting together material, from across the globe, for our publications. A section of a recent submission caught our eye. Somewhat to our surprise, it appears that darts, in this case, soft-tip, is becoming a romantic activity for couples to enjoy together.

Daniel Gray and Bruce Thomas are preparing a series of articles following the Asian Soft-Tip Scene which we hope will prove popular and informative. In their general introduction, they outline some of the features of the soft tip world.

Here is the section that caught our attention:

It may be surprising to a western audience but, darts is also very often a couples or dating event in Japan. Many men bring a ‘date’ to play darts at a venue. The soft tip game is considered ‘user-friendly’ for all types of people and players. One reason for this is that the basic game of soft tip darts is much less complicated and challenging than the steel tip game. 

Put simply, the outer bull and inner bull both score 50 points, meaning a player is still rewarded full points (instead of 25) for “trying your best” and just missing the bull. Additionally, don’t expect any high-pressure double-out shootouts in ’01 games as the Japanese have never heard of the ‘double-out’ rule. Yes, you can win by even hitting a single 1! 

Another important difference to the steel game is that a soft board has a larger circumference meaning also that double, triple, and the bull itself is significantly bigger than their sisal (steel tip) equivalents. This, in turn, means big scoring becomes much easier to the inexperienced player (a lucky bull or triple is common!)

Although many of us at Darts World can remember playing darts with former, or current partners, none of us recalls darts forming part of our dating rituals? Obviously, Lorraine and Dean Winstanley may have a tale or two to tell?

We wondered if any readers had darting date memories?


Dean Winstaley Pic: PDC

Forthcoming Article by: Daniel Gray and Bruce Thomas

Lorraine Winstanley interview.

Lorraine Winstanley exclusive thoughts: BDO Worlds player interview series part 3

Lorraine’s views on BDO Worlds, World Masters triumph, how she got into darts and more

We are delighted to be joined by reigning BDO World Masters champion Lorraine Winstanley, who shares her exclusive thoughts to Sam Barnard for Darts World ahead of her eighth successive Lakeside appearance, in Part 3 of our 2018 BDO World Championship profile/interview series.

Lorraine Winstanley interview.
Lorraine Winstanley interview: Read the thoughts of the women’s 2017 World Masters champion ahead of her eighth successive World Championship appearance.
Photo: BDO

Lorraine is in the form of her life currently, having recently won her first Major event at the 2017 World Masters, and is now ranked number 1 in the women’s BDO standings after a year that has included multiple other title triumphs.

But ahead of the Worlds, she has her sights firmly set on her ultimate goal in becoming world champion.

The closest she has come to lifting the trophy is the semi-finals in 2012, but is among the favourites to win at Lakeside in January.

Lorraine discusses with us all of the above and more, including how she first got into game and an update on her husband Dean’s potential darting comeback.

So, read on for our exclusive Lorraine Winstanley interview and profile, the third in our series, ahead of the 2018 BDO World Championship from January 6-14…

If you missed parts 1 and 2 of our interview series with Cameron Menzies and Glen Durrant, click on this link.

Check out our PDC Worlds interview series too.

Lorraine Winstanley profile

Date of birth: 28/10/1975 (age 42)
Place of birth: Buxton
Nation: England
Based: Buxton
County represented: Yorkshire
Nickname: N/A
Walk-on song: Happy by Pharrell Williams
Darts used: Lorraine Winstanley 24g
Sponsors: Harlequin Teamwear, A&S Bearings and Transmissions, Davis Permanent Cosmetics
Twitter handle: @lorraine180

Favourite double: 16
Favourite tournament: Scottish Open
Favourite country/city played in: Prague
Toughest player faced: Every player is tough
Sports/darts heroes growing up:
Best mates in darts: Trina Gulliver, Deta Hedman, Anastasia Dobromyslova
Favourite food: Chinese
Favourite films/TV shows: Eastenders, Real Steel
Favourite bands/musicians: Listen to anything apart from rap
Hobbies outside of darts: Shopping
Current/previous day job: Beauty therapist & hairdresser
Ultimate darting ambition: To become world champion

Lorraine Winstanley interview

Firstly, how excited are you ahead of the upcoming 2018 Worlds? And what makes the event special to you?

I’m really excited for the 2018 World Championship. There’s no stage like the Lakeside stage, it’s every player’s dream to play up there.

It’s the ultimate place to play.

You’ve reached at least the quarters in 5 of your 7 Lakeside appearances, do you believe you can win it this year or in future?

Of course I believe I can win the Worlds, every year I play I believe I can win it.

How does it feel to be the 2017 World Masters champion? Is it your proudest darting moment to date?

It’s amazing to be a Winmau world master, it’s one of my proudest darting achievements along with playing for my country.

You’ve had a brilliant year on the whole, are you playing better than ever? And what is your ultimate dream to achieve in the game?

2017 has been my best year to date, I’m playing the darts of my life so far.

My dream is to be world champion.

What do you credit your form down to?

I think the difference this year is the self belief.

I’ve always had the game, but you have to believe you can do it and it’s never over until that winning double goes in.

Lorraine has high hopes of now becoming a world champion after a hugely successful 2017.
Photo: BDO

Is the standard of the women’s game better than ever? Is there anything you’d like to see improve or change to help the standard continue to rise?

The standard of the women’s game has soared over the last few years. We have all had to raise our game.

More prize money would obviously be a major improvement to the women’s side of the game, along with TV exposure, as along with that comes more sponsorship opportunities.

I understand there will never be equality in prize money as the numbers don’t add up – women’s events don’t have the same numbers as the men entering. You can’t pay out if you’re not taking it in.

I love the tournaments with longer formats. A lot start at best of 7 now, which is better than best of 5.

What are your thoughts on darts potentially being in the Olympics? Is that something that would interest you if it did eventually get into the Summer Games?

I’d love to see darts at the Olympic Games, but I can’t see it happening in the near future.

How did you first get into darts? And at what stage did you realise you were good enough to compete with the best in the game?

I started playing darts as I worked in a pub when I was 18 years old.

I loved the game but I couldn’t count very well. I could add up from working behind the bar but struggled with subtracting so they made me mark on practice nights using chalk.

I’m not the best counter by any means but I’m definitely better than I was.

I’m very competitive so I just loved to play, so I started in the league, played super league then county and I’ve been lucky enough to play for my country.

A quick word on your husband Dean, who’s hinted he could be set for a comeback. What’s the update on the situation and his shoulder? And do you believe he can get back to being a top player?

As regards to Dean’s comeback, all I’ll say is watch this space… as for his shoulder it’s not fully recovered but it’s on its way.

Of course Dean can get back to playing top level darts. Self belief is key and together we can make it possible.

And finally, are there any particular men or women’s World Championship finals you remember watching in the past that stood out most for you?

The most memorable Worlds final has to be Dean vs Martin Adams [in 2011].

That was our first World Championship and something I’ll never forget, a roller coaster week for emotions.

Many thanks to Lorraine for speaking to us this week, and best of luck at Lakeside! Join us next time for part 4 of our BDO Worlds interview series.