Two Guys in Tuscaloosa Aiming to Make BARTS the Next Big Tailgate Game
There are few places in the country where you'll find better tailgating than the Southeastern Conference during football season, so it's only fitting that two guys in Tuscaloosa have come up with an idea that could become the next big tailgating game.
Brian Edmiston and Jared Jaudon both work for The University of Alabama full-time but have been spending their free time developing and perfecting a game called 'Barts' throughout the year. The idea combines takes the fundamentals of darts and adds a drinking element to create a competitive and entertaining outdoor game for backyard parties - or 'barties' as they call them - and pregaming before a sporting event.
"In the simplest terms, Barts was born out of necessity in order to host a successful summer party," Edmiston explains. "I was hosting a backyard bash in the summer involving a round robin tournament of yard and drinking games including cornhole, badminton, and beer pong. I knew I needed a fourth game to round out the field, but was struggling with what game could be added. I have always enjoyed casually playing darts in the past, so I tried to dream up a way to make darts a more outdoor friendly game that could be added to this tournament."
Edmiston built the first board out of scrap plywood and that's how Barts was born.
The game is pretty simple. Teams of two take aim at a target on the board with a chance to score one, two, or three points. Using an offsetting scoring system, teams play to the traditional 21. Players have the option of turning Barts into a drinking game as well by adding a 'beerseye' to the center that opponents have to drink each time it gets punctured by a dart.
Edmiston and Jaudon hosted backyard parties during the summer to get feedback and flush out any challenges with the design.
"The game was a big hit at the backyard party and has been a crowd-pleaser at every tailgate we have played out since then as well," Edmiston said. "I have vastly improved on many details of the game since its inception and am now on my fifth version that improves on the look, feel, and user friendliness of the game."
With a concept now a reality, the pair became ambassadors for the game by taking it to New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, a Mississippi State football game in Starkville, and of course the Quad on Crimson Tide gamedays.
"The reactions to the game have been unbelievable," Jaudon said. "The first tailgate Barts was brought to had complete strangers dumping their beer in our cooler and claiming, 'we got next!' It's definitely a game that no one has seen out on the tailgate scene before so there certainly is some excitement around that. A lot of people will slowly do a walk-by or do a double-take before stopping and watching a few throws before ultimately asking if they can try a round."
Now the goal working to grow the game and expand the business. The games are sold directly off their website, bartsthegame.com, and they stay pretty active on social media under the name @bartsthegame if you want to keep an eye on their travels.
"We are trying to remain grounded and realistic about the future of Barts, but are really optimistic about the possibilities that are ahead. We truly believe it could be the next big thing for tailgating and/or drinking games. There is a very large market out there, and we believe there is a certain demand for a new game like Barts, which brings together the best components of some legendary games including cornhole, darts, and beer pong."
If the momentum continues into 2017, you might just find yourself at a Barty in Tuscaloosa next football season.