Dreiburgen Lawn Darts
Dreiburgen Lawn Darts (or the game we never got to play)
This is another one of those games that I stole from some of my Renaissance Faire friends. The rules were basically the same as for the commercial Lawn Darts then available in stores. Of course, those were rather small and we wanted something more period so we found pictures of period use of Welsh and Irish war darts. These seemed to be up to five or six feet long with a light haft. We used the simplest means we could think of to make the darts. That is to say we used broomsticks, landscape spikes for the tip and a small flap of leather for the fletchings. I added a collet at the front of the broomstick to keep the spike from splitting the broomstick. At the back, we just cut a slit and glued in a flap of leather. We wanted this to be a game of distance and accuracy. So our target was a good distance (I don't remember how far) from the throwing line. The Target was made of three concentric rope circles. The center circle was 3', the next 9' and the outermost was 15'. We only made three darts, and only one person could throw at a time. We also had a "rangemaster" who acted as both safety officer and called the throw. If I recall, the center of the target was worth 20 points, the middle was 10 points, and the outside ring was 5 points. I think we were going to bring this to one of the Dreiburgen Viking Games.
Did I mention that we never got to play this game? There was a mundane controversy regarding the safety of commercially available lawn darts going on. Ours were definitely more dangerous. So it was decided that we weren't going play it. I kept hoping that we would someday. But in April 1987, seven-year-old Michelle Snow was killed by a commercial lawn dart thrown by one of her brothers' playmates in the backyard of their home in Riverside (not one of our people, but a tragedy none-the-less). We decided that the game would never happen at one of our events. I suppose that if the rules were changed, and the use of the darts was a shorter throw against a hay bale like an ax or knife throw, the game might still work - but not the way we designed it.