Dart throwers on the mark in Vegas

Few darts teams in the world can claim the success Mesa Amusements had at last month’s Medalist World Championship Dart Tournament in Las Vegas.

Competing at the Texas Station Casino, the 30 members representing Mesa Amusements hauled back 16 trophies.

In order to qualify for the World Championship, dart throwers must compete in a combined 120 games during the 10-week fall and 15-week spring leagues. Mesa

Amusements has weekly league play at the Brass Rail, Wrigley Field and Tavern at the Point during the two seasons.

Despite the relaxed atmosphere normally associated with a dart league, the competition in Las Vegas is intense.

“It’s a huge stage,” said Kelly Bohl, who teamed up with his best friend, Bubba Holman, to earn Mesa Amusement’s only first-place trophy, the consolation doubles title.

The casino fits 160 electronic dart boards onto its floor for the three-day tournament.

Players from every state and 30 countries competed in singles and doubles brackets in five divisions. The players were rated from 1-15 based on their handicap (15 being the highest) during the league season and assigned to divisions based on that handicap.

Yolanda Logsdon earned Mesa Amusement’s only singles trophy. She took second in the women’s C division.

By reaching the finals, that got her into The Pit, every dart thrower’s aspiration. It marks the pinnacle of the championships, the four boards where everyone tends to congregate.

By reaching the finals in the C division, Logsdon gets to move up to the B division next year.

“It’s a good thing,” she said. “I always want to get better.”

Competing with different partners, Bohl and Holman were knocked out in the B doubles main draw. They decided to team up in the consolation round (dart throwers can change partners during the competition).

As it turned out, “It was the easiest tournament we played,” said Bohl, who has teamed up with Holman in many league matches and at the World Championships five years ago.

“You’ve just got to get happy and get in a zone,” Holman said.

“We just said, ‘Let’s go,’ and we had fun,” Bohl said.

Down to his last throw, Holman needed a bull’s-eye to secure the victory in the consolation finals, and he hit it.

“For us to bring home the championship trophy was the icing on the cake,” Bohl said. “To do it with my best friend is even better.”

Best of all for Bohl, his wife,  Michell, brought back even more hardware, taking fifth place in three divisions.

Still, as Kelly Bohl said, “We got the big one.”

As Holman added, “We were standing tall.”

There’s only one way for it to get better. That’s to make it to The Pit for the main draw finals.

“We want to win the (main draw) championship,” Holman said of their goal for next year.


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