Hay River hosts territorial darts championships

Earl Ruttle of Hay River competes in the NWT Darts Territorials, held in Hay River from March 8-10. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Earl Ruttle of Hay River competes in the NWT Darts Territorials, held in Hay River from March 8-10.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

Hay River will be well-represented at this year’s national darts championships.

That follows the championships of the Territorial Darts Association held at the Royal Canadian Legion in Hay River from March 8-10.

The territorial championships selected the top eight women and eight men, plus two alternates, to go to the nationals, which are set for Saskatoon, Sask., from June 11-14.

Five female players from Hay River made the NWT team.

The ladies’ team consists of Brenda Moreau (Fort Simpson), Samantha Antoine (Hay River), Michelle Smith (Hay River), Sam Bohnet (Yellowknife), Tanya Ruben (Hay River), Ang Carter (Hay River), Joy Cathers (Inuvik), Kim Squires-Rowe (Hay River) and alternate Gloria Allen (Inuvik).

The NWT men’s team consists of Keith May (Yellowknife), Elvis Beaudoin (Yellowknife), Danny Clouston (Yellowknife), Paul Morey (Inuvik), Sheh Murillo (Yellowknife), Joe Laba (Yellowknife), Norm Sanderson (Yellowknife), Tim Griffin (Yellowknife) and alternate Dan Kipling of Hay River.

Fifty-six players from around the NWT competed in Hay River for the right to go to national competitions.

The communities represented were Fort Simpson, Yellowknife, Inuvik and Hay River.

“It was a good competition,” said Dan Kipling, one of the tournament’s organizers and the treasurer of the Hay River Darts Association. “It was all levels, basically. There were beginners and all the way up.”

Like any alternate at the national championships, he may play if a team member is unable to make the event due to work commitments or some other reason.

Kipling has been to the national championships about a half-dozen times already, and he said each province has a team, including two from Ontario, and the NWT will be the only team from the North.

The NWT has a modest goal heading into the championships.

“To try not to come in last,” Kipling said with a laugh. “The problem with the Northwest Territories is we don’t have the competition they have down south, or the pool of players to pick from. It’s really tough competition.”

However, he feels the NWT has a pretty good team this year.

Along with the provincial teams, the players from the NWT will be facing seeded players, Kipling noted. “They don’t have to play on a team. They’re ranked players. So they can go in and just play, and they get seeded into the nationals at a certain level.”

The national competition is used to select Team Canada to go to the world championships.