After the World Championships this year, we have seen some record breaking averages. Michael van Gerwen set the record with an average of 114 against Raymond van Barneveld and in the same game, Barney lost with an average of 110.
Even Gary Anderson lost the World Final whilst averaging 104.So what role do averages play in darts?
The straight answer is not a lot. The only statistic that really matters in darts is how many legs you have won or lost, however many professionals do use them as a guide for performances, they can be a little confidence booster if they have lost a close game.
In the Liverpool Open Darts League however, individual averages will not count for very much as individuals will usually play one leg each, but team averages could be very important in the league matches and gain individual data.
Averages can often set a guide into how well you are playing. The higher the scores you hit, the higher your average will be and vice versa, but at the same time they can also be misleading.
Ged Lofthouse, part of Ship and Mitre B, does not agree with the use of a averages to measure performance. He said: “I don’t really agree with using averages. They do not represent how well you play. You could have three in the treble one and it will be nine scored. But the reality is, you could have been a width of a wire away from a 180. Peter (Mylchreest) used to use them but I never set much store by them”
He said: “Averages are a fairly good indication of how well someone might have played in a tournament but, as with most statistics, they don’t always inform you who was the better player. Timing is an important issue, for instance playing poorly on your opponents throw might have a big impact on your averages but doesn’t always impact on who wins in the end. Also, hitting you double with the third dart after wiring the other two significantly reduces your overall average but that doesn’t mean you were playing badly. In the singles game I don’t think they have much relevance unless you are looking at them over a season.”
For example, if you hit the wrong bed through a width of a wire it could significantly lower your average and it may not be representative to how you are playing. You could well be missing due to bad luck but your average might not reflect that.
In the longer haul games, i.e. individual or pairs games then averages could play a bigger part. The longer the game, the more representative your average will be.
Overall, averages can be a good guide if you want to improve your game but the key is not to let them run how you play, as long as you are hitting the targets you need, there is no need to worry.