Indoor League

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== Videos ==
== Videos ==
[ Series 1 compilation] featuring Yorkshire darts, table skittles, table football, bar billiards and best of all, the Indoor League Shove Ha'penny final!
<div class="video"><object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="" /></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>''Yorkshire darts, table skittles, table football, bar billiards and unrivalled coverage of the Shove Ha'penny final!''</div>
[ A tribute to the Indoor League...courtesy of Channel 4's 100 Greatest TV Moments from Hell]
<div class="video"><object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>''A tribute to the Indoor League...courtesy of Channel 4's 100 Greatest TV Moments from Hell''</div>
== Merchandise ==
== Merchandise ==

Revision as of 01:28, 6 October 2008



Fred Trueman


Neil Cleminson (shove ha'penny)
Dave Lanning (darts/table skittles)
Keith Macklin (billiards/table football)


Yorkshire Television for ITV, 1972 (regional only), 1973-7 (national)


For reasons time has since forgot, ITV was exceptionally proud of its much more regional existence compared to the primarily London-based BBC.

Many of its 1970s shows were abashedly working class (Coronation Street being an excellent example), and they don't get more redneck than this. Which other programme would have with an overweight bloke with his shirt hanging out as its logo?

Remember: no spinning, now

The Indoor League must have been the most non-PC shows ever aired on lunchtimes. It was later relegated (or promoted, depending on your point of view) to the early evening.

Cricketing hero, Fred Trueman

So, in brief what was it all about? It started with the camera panning around Fred Truman swigging a pint of bitter (always a promising start on kids TV!). A typical evening's entertainment revolved around a knock out contest in various pub games, some of which do not seem to exist anymore.

Shove ha'penny, a traditional English game somewhat made more difficult by there not being ha'pennies any more

Bar billiards was always a favourite - played on a sloping table with a timer running. The idea was pot the ball without knocking over a number of "mushrooms" placed on the table which resulted in severe penalties. If the ball was not potted it ran back to be re-struck. If it went into a pocket, it rolled back down a chute. When the timer ran out, the ball didn't come back.

The bar billiards was followed by arm-wrestling. Two gentleman with arms the size of small airships would inevitably end in stalemate with one guy having his wrist forced onto the table, but the other guy being unable to push the hand flat. Several minutes of air-time could be spent with no noticeable movement, except the odd grunt to show the players were still alive.

Now place the ring on the bride's finger

Nine ball pool came next. This was an odd Brit version of the game which mankind has never seem before or since. It was played with yellow and red balls (presumably a black must have figured in the picture) but there were no dots and stripes as we all are familiar with now. Rest assured, for the original 15-ball game was also played.

This advanced version used an invisible cue ball

Here's where things get a bit hazy, but there was also nine-pin bowling and weird skittles-type games. Darts was also featured heavily, bringing to light for the first time several World Champions to be. We're sure there were other games - dominoes might be one - but too many brain cells have bitten the dust to recall clearly. Maybe it's the beer.


Signoff: "I'll see thee"

Theme music

Waiting for You by Andre Brasseur.


The original producer was Mr Darts himself, Sid Waddell.

Recorded at The Queen's Hotel, Leeds (and later The Irish Centre, Leeds).

In spite of popular belief Indoor League wasn't the first networked TV programme to show darts – that honour belonging to the News of the World Championship, first networked by ITV in 1970. But even before that, the honour of being the first regional company to show darts falls to Westward Television who started up their own televised invitational championship in 1962.


<param name="movie" value="" /></param>Yorkshire darts, table skittles, table football, bar billiards and unrivalled coverage of the Shove Ha'penny final!
A tribute to the Indoor League...courtesy of Channel 4's 100 Greatest TV Moments from Hell


Indoor League DVD - Vol. 1 - Very good disc containing the entire first series of six shows, recommended!

Web links

TV Cream


Picture 1 - Ha, who needs Playstation 2?
Picture 2 - "101 in 6 darts or more..."
Picture 3 - That's one way to hold it...
Picture 4 - Women playing darts? Whatever next?
Picture 5 - Nope, not a clue what this is.***
Picture 6 - A frenzied crowd looks on

***Footnote: Ian Dolby adds: "I thought you might like to know that Picture 5 is actually a Northamptonshire Skittle alley with some of the skittles knocked over. The idea of the game is to throw a two inch thick, 5 inch diameter disk called a cheese at the skittles in order to knock them over. This is a very dangerous game when played by novices as they are usually crap and this results it the cheese hitting the padded sides or front of the table and flying off in random directions around the pub. I have lost many a good pint in this way."


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