A Tribute to Mark Ingoldsby
Mark Ingoldsby was among the founding leaders of the Minute Man Dart League, and for over 30 years served as league statistician, compiling and publishing the weekly standings and all star point achievements, never once missing a deadline. His long and dedicated service is unmatched by any other MMDL officer, and our league community expresses our gratitude for all of Mark's tremendous accomplishments in establishing, growing and maintaining the world's largest steel tip dart league.
Mark retired from the board prior to the fall 2009 season but continued on as league statistician through the end of the fall 2012 season. The following retrospective of Mark's MMDL career was provided by another former board member, John Bullock.
In the mid 1970's, while playing darts at the Sand Trap in Danvers, Mark Ingoldsby was approached by one of the league's early officers, Don Skane, who asked if he could print the weekly stats sheet through Mark's family printing business in Danvers. Mark said that he would be willing to take on the job and his involvement with the league began.
Mark's family printing company fronted all the money for postage, captains kits etc. for the start of many seasons until the MMDL was financially sound and could take over the costs. After stabilizing this enormous undertaking, Mark, Don Skane & crew knew the MMDL was going to "FLY" under "non-profit" control and the league started to become a full, legitimate business and major player in the world of darts.
Working with Don Skane, Bill Batty and Harvey Sankey, Mark started with less than a 100 teams and began doing the stats every week -- typing the team standings in descending order entirely by hand for many years.
Soon, the league grew to over 400 teams and it presented a real challenge as incomplete reports, sloppy handwriting and late mailings were a big problem! Mark began mailing the one and only weekly report with NO STATS -- just a letter to captains and sponsors regarding the deplorable condition of the match reports he had to deal with on a weekly basis.
The league then decided to institute formal measures to "have the captains clean up their act," and thus created the infamous point deduction penalties for match report infractions that are still in place today. The BOD agreed it had to be done and these policies helped tremendously to expedite the match reports, but the penalty deductions didn't solve the fact that Mark had to type the standings every week. At this time the reports, in addition to the standings, listed top ten All Star Points for every division and area, including high ons and outs of 100 & above, increasing greatly the amount of information to process, print and distribute. WHAT A NIGHTMARE that became for Mr. Ingoldsby!
During this time, Don Skane and Mark traveled around the state visiting many pubs, played in lots of pub shoots, and of course Mark was always asked if he had "The Standings" with him, of which he always carried several copies. It was a good promotional tool to have the league standings hanging on the wall next to the dart board and something that is missing in today's digital world.
When the team count reached over 400, Mark asked the Board to see if he could hire someone to write software to automate the "bull work" of producing reports in descending team order. A program was coded and it became a huge timesaver once all the "bugs" were worked out.
At the rate that the MMDL was growing during the 1980s, this modernization was sorely needed. Within a few years the MMDL had grown almost exponentially and by 1990 had over 1,100 teams and slightly over 10,000 members. Mark was increasingly concerned about being able to compile all the stats by himself by the Friday afternoon deadline, and worried by the fact that the new software had a database limit of 2,000 teams. The MMDL reached its peak in 1990, growth was leveled off and this problem never came to be.
In 1980, Mark did a spot on the local television show, "Evening Magazine" on WBZ-Channel 4. He was interviewed during that year's Witch City Open, promoting the tournament and explaining the game of '01. Unfortunately, Google and YouTube searches were unable to find a video of this footage.
Mark NEVER missed producing the weekly report in all his years with the league, even through family tragedies and numerous life events, his reliability never wavered, a testament to his true professionalism and dedication to the MMDL community.
THANK YOU MARK INGOLDSBY!