The Fun and Competitive World of Axe Throwing Leagues
You can be a world champion. We mean it. The best in the world.
As part of the World Axe Throwing League (WATL), Axes and O’s organizes sanctioned local league play. The winner of our local league is crowned Regional Champion. The top 16 Regional Champions with the highest scores globally are invited to the World Championship, which is held once a year after the fall season in late November or early December.
That’s an incredible goal to take aim at, and we’d love to have a world champion get their start right here at our Virginia axe throwing venue. But that’s not really the main goal of our axe throwing leagues.
The main goal is to organize fun local competition between the areas most skilled and enthusiastic urban axe throwers. You’ll compete following the guidelines and rules created by the WATL, but more importantly, you’ll meet fellow axe throwers, improve your skills in friendly competition, and make a lot of new friends.
If you’re interested in all the rules and details, we suggest you check out the WATL’s official rules of urban axe throwing page. They break it all down in great detail.
But for those of you who are just getting started with league play or who are new to competitive axe throwing, we’d like to offer an overview that will help you know what to expect, along with a visual infographic of how urban axe throwing is scored.
Conduct and Sportsmanship
In terms of basic conduct, axe throwing is like most sports. You’re expected to compete fairly and respect both fellow competitors and spectators. But there are a few considerations.
One is that an axe is, of course, more dangerous than a dart or a pool cue. Reckless behavior, fits of temper, and inebriation are all things that will get you removed from league play.
The other is that the way an axe sits on the target can be imprecise. You must abide by the rules for scoring and the judgment of the league officials (see infographic below for details on scoring).
Willful misconduct in axe throwing league play is defined as purposeful distraction through taunting, use of abusive language, trash talking, or making offensive gestures. This type of behavior can get your team disqualified.
You’ll help everyone enjoy axe throwing league competition if you play by the rules, respect all participants, don’t lose your temper/become verbally abusive, and enjoy a drink or two but don’t get drunk.
Urban Axe Throwing Rules
Here are the rules you need to be aware of when competing in an axe throwing competition.
- Targets need to be of sound quality to avoid risking fall outs or axe “wiggling” (we’ll take care of this for you)..
- You get 5 practice throws prior to your first match.
- Matches consist of 10 throws. Players take 5 throws and switch sides.
- The winner is the person with the most points after 10 throws.
- The scoring area of the axe is the axe head, blade and cheek up to the front of the eye but not past it.
- If there is no visible eye of the axe in the top of the axe head then it counts as where the handle would meet if going straight through (to be determined by the official presiding over the match).
- If the axe falls before the official can determine a score, it’s counted as a drop.
- Players with the higher points can call for an 8 point “killshot”, which is active on 5th and 10th throws of the match only. The kill shot counts when you hit the small blue balls inside the fifth ring.
- 6 points for the bullseye.
- 4 points for the 2nd ring.
- 3 points for the 3rd ring.
- 2 points for the 4th ring.
- 1 point for the 5th ring.
- 8 points for the Killshot.
Axe Throwing Techniques
So, can you show up for an axe throwing competition and just wing that axe at the target anyway you like? No. There are two specific ways you are allowed to throw the axe in league competition.
- With one hand holding the axe with the blade facing the target before release.
- With two hands holding the axe with the blade facing the target before release.
No other throwing style is permitted.
At an urban axe throwing venues like Axes and O’s, the distance you throw the axe is 12 feet. The throwing area to the target is called the lane. You must throw with one foot on the ground.
- League play is conducted with regulation axes. Axes and O’s provides axes for players at our axe throwing center.
- This is a group activity and drinking is allowed so long as players abide by the conduct rules we’ve outlined here. Excessive drinking is discouraged.
- Axe throwing is far safer than most people assume when they first learn of the sport. It requires no particular physical abilities, and people of all ages can participate. Injuries incurred from a thrown axe are very rare.
- People in wheelchairs and with other disabilities can – and are encouraged to – participate in axe throwing.
So what stands between you and becoming a world-class axe thrower who could compete with the world’s best? Nothing but practice and pushing yourself with healthy competition.
So come out to Axes and O’s to practice all you want and enjoy the friendly competition of league play. It’s a fun, exciting sport where everyday people still have the chance to climb to the top of the sport.
***Wednesday through Saturday you must be 18 and up to enter the building, regardless of participation. On Sundays we are open to everyone 14 and up, and anyone under 18 must have a parent or guardian present at all times.
Serving parties from just a few people to more than 100, we create a memorable, personalized, axe-throwing experience for you and your guests.