(Editor’s Note: Just over three months ago, Tom Tysver started his tenure as a member of the NDA board of directors. As the newest elected member of the 14-person leadership team, Tom brings his perspective as a player and dart league coordinator to the table–literally and figuratively!)
NDA: Tom, tell us a bit about yourself—where you grew up and live now…and your family. Besides work, any hobbies or interests?
TOM: I was born in Casper and grew up here for the most part. I moved to North Dakota for about 12 years, where I lived with my grandparents and worked at a newspaper on the production side. I moved back to Wyoming in 2003 and have been here in Casper since. When I returned, I stayed in the newspaper business and worked for the Casper Star Tribune for seven years. My wife, Melissa and I have two children: Tegan, 10 and Lexi, 21. We like to go camping, four-wheeling, fishing and hunting.
NDA: How did you get into the coin op business and specifically, darts?
TOM: I started playing darts in North Dakota with one of my co-workers in a league there. When I got back to Casper, I continued to play and organize teams. I was approached by one of the owners of Wyoming Amusement about working there. I was ready for a career change and I accepted the job as league coordinator/technician in 2010.
NDA: As league coordinator/tech at Wyoming Amusement Services, what are your primary responsibilities?
TOM: l pretty much handle all the company’s dart leagues here in Casper, as well as a few other towns within 2-3 hours from here. Right now, there are about 600 players in our dart leagues and another 500 in pool leagues. I also rotate on service calls as a tech.
NDA: You are also a dart player. How often do you play and how’s your game these days?
TOM: My game is pretty mediocre, as I play only once a week. I also play pool one night as well. Between family and work, that’s all that fits right now.
NDA: Is being a player helpful in your job as coordinator?
TOM: Sure, I think it’s a good thing. I go to locations and get a lot of questions from players and I can talk their language. It also helps when I’m talking with and recruiting new players.
NDA: What do you like most about darts?
TOM: I enjoy the people and being out talking with players. I like the friendliness in dart people and the common interest we share.
NDA: You’ve been around countless novice players. What’s the best piece of advice you give to a new player?
TOM: Don’t be intimidated by the players you’re competing with or be scared to enter tournaments. I tell players there is a skill number associated with their names and we use it to level the playing field. Just have a good time and play your game.
NDA: If you could play darts with (or against) any person (living or deceased—whether a dart player or not), who would it be and why?
TOM: It would have to be one of my old teammates, Jason Jacobson, who passed away from cancer a few years back. I went to Vegas with him in 2007 and we won our division in Doubles Cricket. When I go to Vegas, I see our names on the Winners curtain. So that’s kinda cool.
NDA: You just started a three-year term on the NDA board a few months ago. Any specific goals or things you’d like to achieve during your tenure on the association’s leadership?
TOM: Mainly, I hope to gain more insight into how things work in setting up tournaments, how levelling is achieved and Team Dart functions. I really just started and I’m looking forward to learning more and contributing more in the future.
NDA: The coronavirus has impacted us all. It seems like yesterday, but it was actually seven weeks ago that this year’s Team Dart was cancelled. Your thoughts on this?
TOM: I was very disappointed. I’ve gone to Vegas several times as a player but this was going to be my first year working and helping run things. But, under the circumstances, it was the way to go. I hope next year, Team Dart is thriving again
NDA: In Wyoming, the impact of the virus seems to have been felt significantly less than in highly-populated regions, states and cities. What have the past few weeks been like from a workperspective?
TOM: It’s been very slow. We’ve been fixing things around the shop and cleaning up. I’ve been working from home and had to cancel our spring leagues. Everyone is disappointed, but they understand that with the bars closed, there is no way to run things. Players are very anxious to get back and play. On May 15, we expect to hear more details on how and when things will open back up. The governor and state health department will decide what kind of limits there will be, and that will have a big impact on bars and leagues.
NDA: What have you and your family been doing to get through these challenging times? What is your typical day like?
TOM: Our 10-year-old has been doing online schooling and my wife is also home. It’s been interesting, with lots of manuvering and trial and error to keep things moving. We’ve gotten a few things done around the house, too.
NDA: No one has a playbook on this, but what is your outlook during the next 6-9 months?
TOM: Hopefully, the virus goes away…and stays away. Depending on the restrictions put into place, I think summer will be slower than usual, but I’m hoping that fall will be as normal as it can be. We are looking forward to having an NDA regional here this fall.
NDA: What is your favorite…
…Music or band: Classic rock–AC/DC, Def Leppard
…TV show: Survivor
…Thing to do in Vegas (besides running a dart tournament there): I like people watching on Fremont Street.
Published April 30, 2020