The Genesee Valley Darts Association

40+ years promoting steel tip darts! Est. 1977

What to expect at a GVDA tournament


  • It's best to arrive at the venue about a half hour before signup is due to close, so for a regular Tuesday event between 7pm and 7:30pm. This will allow you to warm up and get your bearings and perhaps a refreshing beverage.
  • Go to the tournament sign in table, pay your entry fee (usually $5) and get your name into the draw.
  • Approximately 15 minutes after sign in is closed, tournaments generally begin with some announcements and a brief overview of the rules.
  • From there partners and board assignments for the first round of play will be announced.
  • The length of a tournament depends largely on the number of players. Generally finals matches begin by 11:30pm.

What is a "Blind Draw"

  • All entrants go into one pool of players.
  • The entire pool will be used and names will be randomly drawn to form pairs.
  • This draw will decide your playing partner for the event.
  • This is why the tournament is often referred to as 'blind draw' or 'luck of the draw'.
  • We do not currently do any seeding or ranking for regular GVDA events.


After the draw, but before play begins, the format of the tournament will be confirmed as either single elimination or double elimination. Single elimination events, and the winners bracket of double elimination tournaments are always played as 'Rochester format' - best of three legs. If you play in the league you will already know this as doubles cork's choice.

Playing Rochester Format

  • A match begins with a coin toss to decide which team is 'Home'.
  • The option to shoot first or second for cork goes to:
    • 1st leg: Home team
    • 2nd leg: Loser of the 1st leg
    • 3rd leg (if necessary): Away team (think 'Home, Lose, Away')
  • For all legs the winner of the cork calls the game.
  • The game can be 301, 401, 501 or Cricket.
  • You cannot play the same game two legs in a row.
  • Check the Rochester Open FAQ if you are not familiar with GVDA league play.

Elimination & Brackets

  • In a double elimination event you will need to lose two matches before you are out of the tournament.
  • It is possible to lose your first match, win the entire losers' (2nd chance) bracket and emerge at the end in the final guaranteed at least 2nd place.
  • Once you have lost once in each bracket your team is eliminated from the tournament.
  • We try to run a double elimination tournament whenever it is practical.

Winners' Bracket

  • In the winners' bracket (i.e. before you lose a match) the game will usually be Rochester Format.

Losers' Bracket

  • Most often a single leg of 501.
  • The game changes to facilitate quicker matches.
  • The winner of the coin toss deciding who shoots at cork first (and the winner of that cork throwing first at 501).

Matches & Chalking

  • When a match is called, you will be assigned to a board and an opponent to play.
  • Please head to the assigned board and begin play as soon as possible.
  • If you are chalking a match please notify the tournament organizer and they will will ask for a replacement so that you can go to play your match.
  • Whenever you are not playing, please consider chalking a match - you'll appreciate it when others readily step up to chalk for your match!

The Rochester Open - Microsite

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