You read correctly the game that was banned for your protection in 1988 is making a resurgence. The lawn dart supplied decades of fun (and occasionally injury) to thousands of children and adults from the late 1950’s until they were banned.
The object of the game is similar to horseshoes. There are 2 hoops that are set 35 feet apart and you are trying to throw you dart so that it sticks into the ground inside the hoop. The darts are roughly 12″ long and made of steel with plastic fins to aid in the accuracy of your throws. While there are variations on scoring the most common method is to count a point for each dart inside a hoop. If you opponent also lands in the hoop then darts cancel each other out. Not a complex scoring system, and it could be seen as a nice leisure activity throwing a 12″ dart in your backyard.
As you can imagine the chance for injury was great. After 3 deaths the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a ban on the sale of these entertaining, yet dangerous projectiles. And as recently as 1997 they reissued the warning after a young boy suffered a head injury.
If you’ve made it this far you might be wondering why are we sharing anything about lawn darts? Well while there are some folks who have found a legal loophole to sell these toys, we don’t advocate that you buy them. Instead check out some of the plastic and foam alternatives. While you might not be able to get them to stick into your deck, or see who can impale a squirrel after you’ve had a few with your buddies while you are tailgating; but maybe that’s not a bad thing.
Fundex makes a great plastic alternative that is far less likely to cause a head injury or impale Uncle Steve’s unsuspecting foot. Check it out: Fundex Jarts
If you have a pool, they make an aquatic version: Water Jarts
We’ve got more outdoor backyard fun on tap so don’t miss it. And please feel free to share any stories you have of fun with lawn darts.