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Axe Throwing Rules

CODE OF CONDUCT

The mission of The World Axe Throwing League is to promote competition through sportsmanship and fair play. Our Axe Throwing Rules assure that all leagues and events are played in a sportsmanship-like manner. Although competition may become intense, we expect our participants to maintain a high degree of sportsmanship up to and after the final throw. As a participant in any WATL tournament or event, you must pledge to:

  • Respect the game, play fairly, and follow all rules and policies.
  • Accept & respect the decisions of WATL officials.
  • Demonstrate good sportsmanship before, during, and after games, win or lose.
  • Be responsible for the sportsmanship of teammates and assist in maintaining a respectful environment for all participants.
  • Be courteous to opposing players, teams, officials, spectators, monitors, or facilitators and treat all players and WATL officials with respect.
  • Help to maintain and keep all equipment and conditions at the facility in good condition.
  • Obey all facility rules, while respecting all equipment, common areas, playing areas, parking areas, and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Refrain from the use of abusive language or profanity. (Including but not limited to: contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words or actions concerning race, colour, language, religion, gender, or sexual orientation
  • Not engage in any behavior which would endanger the health, safety, or well being of any player, official staff member, or spectator.
  • Not engage in verbal, written, or physical threats or abuse aimed at any participant, official, staff member, or spectator.
  • Not initiate a fight, scuffle, or exchange with any individual (including but not limited to: pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, verbal threats or harassment).
  • Not use alcoholic beverages at any location unless permitted by the facility/venue.
  • Not allow, use or encourage illegal drugs at any location.
  • Wear/use all required and issued equipment and/or uniforms.
  • Under no circumstances are live targets allowed. No thrower is to throw an axe at a target while there is a person or live object in between or in front of the thrower.

Sportsmanship

Sports are filled with judgment calls and, as a result, disputes between players, opponents, and staff may occur from time to time. However, it is important that participants respect and handle all disputes that may occur in a civilized manner. WATL has the absolute and sole discretion to investigate and review any and all evidence available to maintain the integrity of the rules & the sport in any match. Protests for player eligibility or rule misapplications/misinterpretations are time-sensitive and must be made before the next throw. Non-throwers do not have the right to argue or challenge any calls made by the league judge or referee. Competitors under the age of 18 may name a representative to speak on their behalf. The representative is only able to challenge calls for the said competitor. Each representative is to be named before the start of the league/tournament. The representative is expected to follow all rules of play as if they were the competitor.

All decisions made by on-site WATL Officials must be respected and obeyed. Any feedback regarding rules, players, officials, or staff members should be brought to the attention of a WATL Director during normal business hours in written form. Any behavior deemed unacceptable by WATL officials may result in a verbal warning, ejection, suspension, and/or expulsion as outlined below. Repeated Code of Conduct violations by the same player or team could result in an expulsion from the league without refunds. All Code of Conduct violations during and outside of matches will result in disciplinary measures.

Any intimidation, trash talk, abusive language, profanity, threats or general disrespect during any league or tournament towards any presiding Certified Judge or WATL Official will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate removal from the league or tournament. Pending a formal investigation, WATL reserves the right to suspend the player or spectator in question for a minimum of 6 months.

Disciplinary Procedure

Upon an offense needing disciplinary action, it is recommended that the WATL official issue disciplinary action in this order:

  • The offending thrower will first receive a verbal warning.
  • Should similar offenses continue a second time then their most recent match points will be brought to 0 and the match will count as a loss.
  • Upon a third offense by the same player, then the offending player will be suspended from the season or tournament.

A WATL official is not required to follow disciplinary measures in this order.

Gameplay Rules

Section A:
Safety

  1. Axes
    1. Each and every axe is inspected prior to each league night to ensure the axe is up to standard.
    2. Broken axes may not be used.
    3. Participants are instructed to grip the axe by the handle and only the handle.
    4. If an axe breaks or if a player would like to switch axes, they must notify the presiding official and are allowed up to 1 minute to switch axes.
  2. Injuries
    1. If an injury occurs during league play and the player is deemed to be unable to finish the remaining matches by a judge or medical professional then they may make up their matches the following league night with no penalty.
      1. This will not count towards the player’s right to miss 2 weeks
      2. If there are throws remaining in the current match, then those scores are counted as zero
    2. If an injury occurs during any tournament and the player is deemed unable to progress by a Judge or medical professional, then any matches pending will be marked a 0 points scored and matches forfeit.
  3. Throwing
    1. Axes shall never be thrown when a participant is picking up an axe from the target area or when a judge is in the lane. This will result in an immediate disqualification (counted as a loss) for that match.

Section B:
Pre-Game Rules

1. Minimum Age:

  1. WATL does not enforce any age requirement or limit. Each affiliated location is allowed have an age requirement if they so choose. Please contact your local participating league location to inquire about their age rules.

2. Target Quality:

  1. Targets should be relatively new and of sound quality prior to league commencement.
    1. When targets deteriorate to a point where excessive movement or ‘wiggling’ of the axes occur when they land in the damaged area causing or risking good throws to fall out, the boards should be switched out to ensure fair play.
    2. Boards all must be individually secured and not able to slide or lift off from the target during Competition.
    3. If a large piece of wood or chunk falls out during play, the player may request to have the board changed but the ultimate decision will fall on the axe throwing referee (judge).
      1. Requests for board changes must be made before a game begins.
      2. Requests for board changes cannot be made between games of a best 2/3 match set. The request must be made before the match begins.
    4. Targets must be sprayed with water from a spray bottle prior to the start of league play.
      1. If boards are continually hard, league members may request to have more water sprayed on the boards.
  2. No-one other than the official judge may alter the boards before, during, or after any match unless authorized by the presiding official.
    1. This includes pulling out pieces of boards, chopping or softening the board with their axe, watering the boards, etc

3. Warm Up Throws:

  1. The number of warm-up throws allowed applies to all WATL sanctioned leagues and tournaments.
    1. Players may have up to 5 practice throws prior to their first match
    2. Players may have 1 practice throw prior to any subsequent match
      1. Players may have 1 practice throw between match games in the case of a best 2/3 match set
    3. Players are not allowed additional practice in empty lanes between matches for any sanctioned events (leagues, tournaments, etc) unless otherwise approved by a WATL employed official (i.e. The Commissioner or Head Judge). 
    4. A WATL employed official may, at their sole discretion, determine a different amount of warm-up throws during any official WATL event
  2. The axe throwing referee will notify players when their match will commence.
  3. The league will allow practice throws before official league start time subject to availability, fairness, and consent of referee on-premises.

Section C:
Gameplay

Due to COVID-19, we have temporarily updated the rules. Venues hosting any WATL sanctioned Regional, Televised or Major tournament: MASKS ARE MANDATORY. There are no exceptions. WATL expects venues to follow local/state laws for local leagues and local tournaments. If your local/state guidelines do not mandate a mask policy, WATL still requires that masks be worn for Regional or Major Tournaments but are not required for local tournaments or leagues. This is a temporary measure until further notice.

  1. Each league week allows every participant 4 matches.
  2. Each match is played against different opponents, selected at random and consists of the following:
    1. 10 throws per match.
    2. In each match, players will take 5 throws then switch sides.
      1. This ensures fair play when there’s varying density in wood.
    3. The winner of the match will be the person with the most points after 10 throws.
    4. In the event of a tie after 10 throws, there will be sudden death:
      1. See Section C Scoring: iv.
  3. Starting targets will be determined by the random selection initially made by the app.
  4. The match points and win/loss then be recorded and uploaded to the leaderboards.
  5. After 7 weeks, the 8th and final week of each season will be the playoffs and final match to determine the season’s Local Champion. See Playoffs section for details.
  6. Each official league run by an axe throwing venue is self-contained and may not be combined with other leagues.
    1. Players may only compete at the venue and league they are registered for. There will be no scores recorded outside of that league or venue for their single registered league.
      1. For example, a player may not compete in week 2 of league at venue A, then compete in week 3 for that same league in venue B.
  7. No wearing earphones while throwing
  8. Pauses in play
    1. A presiding official may call a pause in play for any reason deemed necessary (rules review, confirmation, second opinion, etc…)
    2. Should a Pause in Play occur, all match play must cease immediately and will resume at the discretion of the presiding official, where the pause began.
      1. For Example: If one player has thrown but the opposite player has not and there is a Pause in Play called, the match will resume with the opposite player throwing as normal.
    3. Players may be able to challenge a call or ruling which will create a pause in play
      1. During this call, gameplay will be paused at that moment in time
  9. Throwing in a Wheelchair
    1. For individuals who use wheelchairs, all standard league rules apply with the exception of the foot fault line.
      1. Individuals in wheelchairs must have one wheel behind the 12ft line when throwing in competition play.
      2. Any wheel on the wheelchair is acceptable as long as one of them is behind the 12ft line.

Section D:
Scoring

  1. Scoring Area of Axe
    1. The axe head, blade and cheek up to the front of the eye but not past it.
    2. An axe’s score is determined as the axe rests in the target and should not be removed to determine the score.
      1. Please see exception for Duals throwing in Section P.
    3. 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.
  2. Points
    1. Axes must be inside the black line in order to count for that value:
      1. 6 points for the bullseye
      2. 5 points for the 1st ring (defined as the unmarked area between the bullseye and black ring around bullseye area)
      3. 4 points for the 2nd ring
      4. 3 points for the 3rd ring
      5. 2 points for the 4th ring.
      6. 1 point for the 5th ring.
      7. 8 points for the Killshot.
      8. If the axe falls before the presiding official scores the axe, the axe is counted as a drop
  3. Killshot Throw
    1. The Killshots are active for any throw during the 10 throw match. Open Killshots will be applicable to Standard and Duals throwing only. Refer to Section P for specifics on open Killshots for Duals throwing.
      1. Before throwing for the Killshot, the player must make clear to the Judge and opponent they intend on throwing for the Killshot.
        1. The call must be made to the Judge before either opponent throws.
          • A judge should remind throwers on which killshot they threw on if the killshot is hit during previous attempt(s), so the throwers know which killshot is open
          • It is also recommended that players confirm with the Judge, what killshot is open for subsequent throws when a previous killshot is hit
      2. This is referred to as “calling the Killshot” and activates it for the full 8 points.
      3. The player cannot change their call (Killshot or non-Killshot) once a Judge confirms, for that specific throw.
    2. Players are allowed 2 Killshot attempts per match
      1. Once a player hits a Killshot during the match, that Killshot cannot be attempted again until the opposite one is hit.
        1. If a Killshot is attempted but missed, the player may throw for that Killshot again.
        2. Does not apply to overtime (OT) throws. Killshots are reopened in OT play. 
        3. Players may start their OT throws utilizing either Killshot, but must continue to alternate Killshots on subsequent OT throws.
    3. In the event of a stalemate caused by throwers refusing to call the Killshot first, this will be solved by a coin toss.
      • The winner of the coin toss will choose who will call first.
    4. In the event of a drop during any standard or Killshot throw, the player may opt to take a 3rd additional Killshot attempt during the regular 10 throw match.
    5. A drop must be correctly recorded in the app and the match to allow a 3rd Killshot attempt.
  4. Example: If a player has taken their 2 Killshot attempts and a drop occurs on the 9th throw, they are eligible for a third Killshot attempt on the 10th throw.
    1. Example 2: If a player has a drop on their 10th throw, they are not eligible for an additional Killshot attempt or throw.
  5. Previously stated rules regarding alternating Killshot throws will still apply
  6. If the player does not indicate that they are making a Killshot attempt, the Judge will assume it will be a standard throw (a non-Killshot attempt)
    1. If a Killshot attempt is made prior to a Judge confirming the Killshot call, the throw will be counted as a fault
  7. If the Killshot is called but the player’s axe does not hit the Killshot, then no points are awarded.
  8. Sudden Death
    1. In the event of a tie after 10 throws in a single match, the match enters into sudden death.
    2. Points are not counted or tallied during sudden death.
    3. Depending on the venue, sudden death/overtime throws will be completed with either a big axe or hatchet
      1. Venues must determine, at the start of the league season, and announce to League throwers, whether they will be using hatchet or big axe to determine overtime throws
        1. Venues will not be permitted to change their mind after the first match of the season
        2. Throwers must abide by the decisions made by the venue
          1. Venue may, at its sole discretion, provide a house big axe for overtime throws
        3. Big Axe sudden death throws will not be mandatory for WATL Major & Televised Events for 2021. WATL will gather more data after the Winter 2021 season to make a final decision regarding big axe tie breakers.
      2. Hatchet Sudden Death
        1. ONLY Killshots are active during sudden death throws.
        2. Players will remain at their respective targets for sudden death throws (no switching of targets required).
        3. Players must alternate Killshots.
        4. Once the Judge confirms that the lane is open both players must throw within 10 seconds of each other.
        5. In the event that both players miss the Killshot during Sudden Death, a measuring tape or accurate measuring device, will be used to measure the distance from the closest valid scoring area of the axe head to the closest edge of the Killshot.
          1. The player with the shortest distance will be awarded the match.
          2. If Player 1 has an axe that has dropped and Player 2 misses the Killshot, but is on the board, Player 2 will be awarded the match.
        6. If a player touches their axe before a measurement is made, the match is awarded to the opposing player.
      3. Big Axe Sudden Death
        1. Players must start with one or both feet, behind the 17ft mark
          1. Players may step over the 17ft mark but may not cross the 15ft mark. 
            1. Crossing the 15ft mark is a foot fault and will be scored a zero
          2. Players feet may not cross the 15ft line until both axes have been verbally scored by the judge. Crossing the 15ft line before the judge scores both axes will result in a foot fault and the player’s throw will be scored a zero.
          3. If a player calls for a second opinion, both players must return to behind the 15ft line until a final decision has been made.
        2. On the first sudden death throw, the full scoreboard is open, including Killshots.
          1. A coin toss will be used to determine who throws first. The presiding Judge will assign heads/tails to the throwers and toss the coin.
          2. The winner of the coin toss will choose who will throw first.
          3. The person that throws first will also make the first call (Killshot or bullseye).
          4. Both players must call their throw before any throws are made. Once calls are confirmed by the judge, the calls cannot be changed.
        3. If the match is still tied after the first throw, all subsequent throws will be for the Killshot.
        4. If a venue is limited in space where the can only accommodate one (1) Big Axe thrower at a time, the 10-second rule will apply only after the first thrower has retrieved their axe, is no longer in the lane, and the Judge has cleared the lane and deemed it safe for throwing
        5. With the exception of the rules related to the first throw for sudden death, all other hatchet sudden death rules apply to Big Axe Killshot sudden death throws.

Technicalities

  1. A Break (breaking) is defined as when the axe is embedded in the wood and has the marked surface of the target area visible on both sides of the valid scoring area of the axe head.
    1. This concept is equally applied across all the target rings.
  2. If the axe breaks multiple sections of the target simultaneously, then the player is awarded the points for the higher valued section.
    1. Axes must be inside the black line in order to count for that value
      1. Touching the black line will not give you the point value; the axe must be inside the higher scoring area to receive those points
      2. For example: Touching the black line of the outer bullseye counts as a 4.  Breaking it (unmarked wood of the outer bullseye on both sides) counts as a 5.
  3. The Killshot must have a red outline using a ballpoint pen which will count as a scoring area, but any blue that bleeds outside of the red outline will not. To gain points for the Killshot, the axe must break red or blue if inside of the red outline.
  4. The inner bullseye must have a black outline using a ballpoint pen which will count as a scoring area, but any red that bleeds outside of the black outline will not. To gain points for the inner bullseye, the axe must break red or black if inside of the black outline.

Section E:
Axe Throwing

Axe Throwing Technique:

  1. WATL players are allowed to throw axes in one of two ways:
    1. 1 Hand holding the axe, in an overhand or underhand position, with the blade facing the target before release.
    2. 2 Hands holding the axe with the blade facing the target before release.
  2. No other style of throws are permitted.
  3. No throw will be thrown without a verbal or gesture signal of an Open Lane from the presiding judge and confirmed by all throwers.
    1. If no signal is given or confirmation received, and a throw is made by a thrower, then that throw will count as a throw fault.
  4. Throws must be taken within 10 seconds of each other.
    1. If a thrower throws after 10 seconds of the other thrower, this will result in a Throw Fault.
  5. Rotation: the axe must make approximately 1 rotation in order for it to count.
    1. If the axe is close to making a full rotation (ie. 50% rotation) and a portion of the blade touches and sticks to the target, the throw counts.

Axe Throwing Distance

  1. One foot must be on the floor while the axe is thrown.
  2. Players feet may not cross the 12ft line until both axes have been verbally scored by the judge. Crossing the 12ft line before the judge scores both axes will result in a foot fault and the player’s throw will be scored a zero.
    1. If a player calls for a second opinion, both players must return behind the 12ft line until the second judge calls the score.
    2. If a player touches their axe before a second opinion call is made, the original score given by the first judge stands.
  3. An exception is made for throwers in wheelchairs. See section B.viii.
  4. All Non-throwing Spectators must be to the side or at least 5ft behind throwers.

Section F:
Attendance

Late Players and/or Early Departures

  1. Players are allowed to arrive up to 1 hour late, after official league start time.
  2. Players are allowed to leave up to 1 hour early, prior to the end of the scheduled official league time.
  3. If a player arrives late, after the 1 hour official start time or leaves earlier than the 1 hour league completion time:
    1. Should a player leave the league night early, the player that was scheduled to go against the one who is now absent will be granted an automatic win, but will perform 10 throws and have their points recorded.
    2. The late player will automatically receive a loss and a zero for all throws.
  4. Exceptions are allowed with consent of opposing players affected that day and approval from referee.

Tournament/Playoff Exception

  1. Players are required to arrive to the playoffs at the start of regulation play.
  2. If a player is not present when their match begins, a 10 minute grace period will be offered.
    1. If the player does not show up, they will forfeit their match and the player that is present will be awarded the win.
    2. If the player arrives during their grace period, but is late for their next match, they will be immediately disqualified.

Absences

Due to COVID-19, we have temporarily updated the rules to allow Players to miss up to 4 days of regulation play during the season and be able to make up their matches and throws in subsequent weeks. All other rules listed still apply:

  1. Players are allowed to miss up to 2 days of regulation play during the season and make up their matches and throws in subsequent weeks:
    1. Players must make up any missed matches by week 7, otherwise, a loss will be attributed to their absence with a score of 0. If a player knows they’ll miss week 7 they must pre-throw any missed matches (up to 8 total for the season) before week 7 takes place.
    2. No missed matches and throws are to be performed during week 8 (playoffs) – the seven week mark is the cut off.
  2. In order to miss a regulation league night, players are required to give a minimum 1 day notice to the referee of their absence.
  3. League participants are able throw up to 2 weeks in advance, including weeks 6 and 7, in anticipation of an absence
    1. This will count towards the participants ability to miss up-to 2 weeks of league play
  4. If a League participant misses 3 weeks or more of league play, they cannot participate in playoffs as they have forfeited WATL Championship eligibility requirements

Section G:
Misconduct

  1. Purposeful Distractions are defined as, but not limited to: Excessive celebration, taunting, using abusive, threatening or insulting language, trash talking, stepping in the lane during a throw, excessive noises, offensive gestures to opponents or any purposeful distractions with the intent to distract a player during a league match or tournament round will not be permitted during games.
    1. First Offense:
      1. The first purposeful distraction from an opposing player will result in a zero score for that throw, for player causing the distraction
      2. The first purposeful distraction from a spectating league member or tournament participant will result in a zero in their first throw of their next match
      3. The first purposeful distraction from a spectator not participating in leagues or tournament will result in the immediate removal from the facility
      4. If the first purposeful distraction is a gross violation, intended to either save the player from a loss, intimidate the opposing player, or be an act of aggression against the opposing player or Judge, WATL or the presiding Judge may elect, at their sole discretion, that the player causing the purposeful distraction to be removed from the tournament, league and/or facility.
    2. Second Offense:
      1. The second purposeful distraction from an opposing player will result in a forfeit for that match. Zero scores will be entered for the full match.
      2. The second purposeful distraction from a spectating league member or tournament participant will result in a forfeit from their subsequent match. Zero scores will be entered for the full match.
    3. Third Offense:
      1. The third purposeful distraction from an opposing player will result in a forfeit of the season for league play or forfeit from the tournament. The player will not be allowed to throw for the remainder of the season or remainder of tournament.
      2. The third purposeful distraction from a spectating league member will result in a forfeit of the season or tournament. The league member or tournament participant will not be allowed to spectate or participate for the remainder of the season or tournament.
  2. Match Fixing & Hippodroming in League Play or Tournaments:
    1. If any player is found to fix a match to achieve a desired outcome, during league play or tournaments, then that player will be banned from all WATL tournaments & leagues. Player may appeal the ban, one year after the offense, pending review of the Commissioner.
  • Not completing tournament or event requirements for participation.
  • Anyone not completing pre-established tournament requirements (such as qualifying throws) will result in their position in the event/tournament being forfeit.

PROCEDURES AND SPECIFICATIONS

Section H:
Lanes

  1. Each throwing area is designated as a throwing lane.
  2. A regulation lane for competition must contain 2 targets.
  3. Fences or walls block this area from the rest of the facility to keep throwers and axes all contained in a safe environment.
  4. Only the two participating throwers and the axe throwing judge are allowed inside the lane at one time. This includes ensuring the area behind the throwers is clear of any other person up to 5′.
  5. 10 ft minimum/clear ceiling height (within the throwing lane) is recommended for safety reasons.
  6. It is recommended for a lane to be a minimum of 12ft in width with the targets evenly distributed.
  7. It is recommended for a lane to be a minimum of 15ft in length to accommodate for a 12ft fault line and safe space to throw.
    1. For venues wishing to host Big Axe throwing, it is recommended for a lane to be a minimum of 20ft in length to accommodate for a 15ft fault line and safe space to throw.
  8. It is recommended that fault lines be 3 inches wide and that the fault be measured from the target to the back of the line; if throwers step into/past the line, it is a fault.
    1. This is a guidance from WATL and is the sole discretion of the venue to create fault lines as they wish.

Section I:
Targets

The target:

  1. Each Target should be made of 3 layers of wood.
    1. The first layer should cover the wall in OSB or plywood.
    2. The second layer is called the Backboards and should be made of wood.
      1. There should be horizontal 2x10s, that are 4′ feet long, drilled into the wall and packed tightly together to cover the full space for the outer Targets. (This usually takes 6 – 8 boards) This will be the backboard where you will then drill your target boards against.
    3. The third and outer most layer is called the Target boards. These are also made of 4′ feet long 2×10 lumber. The targets consist of two components: 1) the targets 2) the headers and footers.
      • End Grain wood is permitted for WATL targets
    4. Approximate Measurements for the 2×10 boards:
      1. U.S: Thickness:1-1/2 in • Width 9-1/4 in • Length 4 ft.
      2. Metric: Thickness 38mm • Width 235 mm Length 1.22m
      3. Variance of these measurements is allowed. WATL does not enforce the exact thickness or width of boards, rather, the proper and accurate size of target specifications.
    5. They should be arranged just like the example picture below.

Headers and footers:

  1. Above and below the targets, you will install headers and footers. This will help protect the top and bottom areas of the target while allowing for branding of your company.
    1. Header: drill one 4′ foot long 2×10 pieces of wood horizontally on top of target against the backboard.
    2. Footer: drill one 4′ foot long 2×10 pieces of wood horizontally on bottom of target against the backboard.
      1. The footer also provides the benefit of allowing you to change boards quicker and easier.
      2. The top of the footer should be 36 inches off the ground.
  2. The end product is a backboard that is 4′ feet x 6′ and another layer of wood that fully covers the back at 4′ feet x 6′ as well.

Target Design

  1. Each WATL affiliated location shall purchase an official target protractor/stencil.
  2. The small hole on the left of the stencil will have a screw that will be drilled through it into the center of the middle board. (Approximately 24 inches in the center of the board. That will make 60 inches from the floor).
    1. A black, 20mm marker will then be used to draw the remaining circles.
    2. Holes are 22mm thick to allow for a marker to fit that has 1/2″ thick felt.
    3. Lines are to be 20mm thick.
    4. The inner Bullseye is to be colored in red and outlined in a black waterproof pen.
    5. Targets with the inner bullseye and 5 ring design are only required for sanctioned league and tournament play. Venues may leave the entire bullseye (3.5”) for day-to-day, non-league operations.
  3. The bullseye (inner red circle and unmarked 5 ring) must be 3.5” inches in diameter inside the center ring. The bullseye must be 24” inches (60.96 cm) from the bottom of the board. This should make the center of the bullseye 60″ from the floor.
    1. The inner bullseye (inner red circle) should be 1.5” in diameter, outlined with a black, waterproof pen.
  4. The Killshot (2 blue circles) are 1.5” inches in diameter and positioned inside the 1 point ring.
    1. The bottom of the Killshot is positioned approximately 35.25 inches from the bottom of the board to the bottom of the Killshot and 2.5 inches from the outer side of the board ensuring they are centered inside the 1 point outer ring. This should make the bottom of the Killshot 71.25″ from the floor.
    2. The Killshot should be 1.5” in diameter, outlined with a red, waterproof ballpoint pen that clearly shows/denotes the Killshot, thereby eliminating overspray or bleeding caused by markers. The red outline of the ballpoint pen will count as a scoring area, but any blue that bleeds outside of the red outline will not.
  5. All targets must be level (no slanting of the targets are allowed).
  6. Targets will have no marking other than the lines, bullseye, and Killshots
  7. “#WATL” or “World Axe throwing League” is required to be listed prominently on either the header or footer boards
  8. WATL requires proper lighting insofar as boards are able to be seen clearly from behind the throwers.
  9. Projected Targets are not WATL compliant. Only boards with physical markings are permitted.

Section J:
Axes

  1. Axe Regulations
    1. Scoring Area of Axe
      1. The axe head, blade and cheek up to the front of the eye but not past it.
      2. If there is no visible eye of the axe in the top of the axe head then it counts where the handle would meet if going straight through. To be determined by the official presiding over the match.
  2. The blade (or bit) of the axe may be not longer than 4 inches.
    • This is to be measured from tip to tip in a straight line.
  3. No second bits or spikes on the opposite side of the axe head from the forward facing bit of the axe.
    1. Decorative blunt objects are allowed but there may not be anything that could be considered sharp. This will be determined by the presiding match official.
  4. Handle Max Length can be no more than 19in/48.26cm from the bottom of the handle to the top of the axe head.
  5. Axes that are not a one-piece, full metal axe, must have the axe head be one solid piece around the handle with no gaps.
  6. Maximum Weights of an axe
    1. Axe Total = 3 lbs/1.36 kg
  7. Broken axe
    1. If the judge determines that a throwers axe has broken during a match in a significant way. The thrower must provide a replacement axe to be verified and approved by the judge. If they do not provide a second non-broken axe within 1 minute they will have the rest of their match throws counted as 0.
      1. The thrower is allowed 1 practice throw with the new axe before continuing the match. This will only apply if their original axe is declared broken by the presiding official.

Section K:
Judges

  1. A Scoring official, known as a Judge, must always be present while members are throwing during league play.
    1. Judges must verify all scores taken for official league play.
    2. A 5′ radius should be maintained around every participant holding an axe, however, the judge may approach the participants and enter this 5′ radius to provide instruction.
  2. Affiliate/Judge/presiding official are forbidden from cheating of any kind. Any caught cheating in any way such as but not limited to, falsifying data, making biased calls in a match, etc. then it will result in a one year ban from hosting any WATL Sanctioned events including leagues, tournaments, etc.
  3. Certified Judges:
    1. At least 1 Certified Judge is required to be present for WATL Leagues or Local Tournaments
    2. At least 2 Certified Judges are required for Regional tournaments
    3. At least 3 Certified Judges are required for Major Tournaments
    4. There must be at least 1 Certified Judge for every lane scored for Televised Tournaments, including the World Championship
    5. Certified Judges are allowed to participate as throwers but may never score their own matches.
  4. For Regional, Major or Televised Tournaments, Judges will not take advice, second opinions, or consultation from any throwers.
    1. Under no circumstances, are Judges allowed to accept advice or consultation from any active thrower in a match.
    1. Judges are only allowed to take advice or guidance directly from a hosting venue’s owners, tournament runners, or a WATL employed official. Judges found to be heeding the advice of throwers will be asked to concede their lane immediately and undergo a review of their certification.
    2. Any throwers found to be persuading or advising an official judge will be disqualified immediately and undergo a review of their eligibility for competing the remainder of the year.
  5. Any intimidation, trash talk, abusive language, profanity, threats or general disrespect during any league or tournament towards any presiding Certified Judge will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate removal from the league or tournament. Pending a formal investigation, WATL reserves the right to suspend the player or spectator in question for a minimum of 6 months.
  6. If another judge or thrower believes that a judge is not following current rules and regulations or is making incorrect calls, they must report it directly to a Head Judge or persons in charge of running the tournament immediately.
    1. Any gross misconduct from Certified Judges may be reported to [email protected]

Section L:
Regular Season

  1. The entire season lasts 8 weeks including playoffs.
  2. There are 7 weeks where players can work on their season total allowing for 280 throws that officially contribute to each player’s season standings.
  3. Levels of Competition – Sanctioned Leagues and Recreational (Rec) Leagues
  4. Rec Leagues are not mandatory and will not count towards official circuit points for the year.
  5. Sanctioned League
    1. A Sanctioned League is the axe throwing league hosted at a participating WATL affiliated venue that follows the rules and regulations of the World Axe Throwing League.
    2. A Sanctioned Hatchet League winner in a season is declared Local Champion and earns seasonal league points for the yearly circuit.
    3. A WATL Sanctioned League must have a minimum of 6 different players.
    4. A WATL Sanctioned League may not have more than 60 players. If recruiting more than 60 players at the WATL Venue, then they must host Multiple Sanctioned Leagues.
    5. WATL must be notified at least 2 weeks in advance, before the end of season, of delays to the end of a season tournament due to acts of God or national holidays.

Multiple Sanctioned Leagues

  1. A WATL affiliated venue may host more than one sanctioned league per season.
    1. If hosting more than one sanctioned league, each sanctioned league must have a minimum of 6 different players not participating in another WATL sanctioned league.
      1. This requirement does not apply to Marathon Leagues.
  2. The winner of each Sanctioned League is considered to be a Local Champion for the sake of determining yearly circuit points.
    1. This will allow one location to potentially have multiple Local Champions who earn circuit points.
  3. Throwers may participate in as many sanctioned leagues as they wish, but only one league will be considered for circuit points, which will be capped at 55 points; 50 points for a victory and 5 points for participation.
    1. Throwers participating in multiple sanctioned leagues may use the same profile and Player ID to compete in all leagues.
    2. Circuit Points will automatically be assigned to the league that gives the player the most Circuit Points.
    3. Once players choose their official league, they cannot change the decision.
    4. If throwers fail to select an official league by the deadline, their official league will default to the last one they were added in to.

Marathon Leagues

  1. A Marathon League is an officially sanctioned WATL league as long as it meets the following requirement:
    1. A Marathon League is a league that is held, in its entirety, over the span of one day.
    2. The must be labelled using the following naming convention: “[Venue Name] [League Night] Marathon League” when creating the League in the WATL app.
    3. If participation exceeds capacity, venues may host multiple sanctioned marathon leagues per season to accommodate, so long as throwers do not participate in more than one in the same season.
    4. Players may compete in multiple sanctioned marathon leagues in the same season.
      1. The additional sanctioned marathon leagues follow the same rules regarding multiple league participation as detailed in SetionL: Multiple Leagues.
    1. Marathon Leagues must be held during the last 3 weeks of the end of the officially announced regular season dates by WATL; during Week 6, 7, or 8.
    2. All rules pertaining to regular season play, playoffs, circuit points, and qualifying apply.

Section M:
Playoffs

  1. During the 8th Week playoff tournament all league members will participate in a single match, Double Elimination bracket.
  2. Seeding is done in the traditional manner based on the total match wins from weeks 1 through 7.
    1. In the case of a tie for match wins the seeding will be based on the total points gained during weeks 1-7 between the two tied players.
  3. All competitors eligible for playoffs will be put into two sets of brackets, the winner’s bracket and underdog bracket (A and B brackets for short) after the first round. The first-round winners proceed into the A bracket and the losers proceed into the B bracket. The A bracket is conducted in the same manner as a single-elimination tournament, except that the losers of each round “drop down” into the B bracket.
  4. The final Championship round is between the winner of the A bracket and the winner of the B bracket consisting of best of 3 matches. Allowing for one practice throw between each match.
    1. The Winner: will be the person who wins 2 out of the 3 matches first.
      1. The A winner must lose twice in order for the B winner to win the Championship.
        1. This means that if the B winner, beats the A winner in a best of 3 match, they must play another best of 3 match in order for the B winner to win the Championship.
  5. For WATL sanctioned tournaments, bracket tiebreakers will be determined by the average bullseye hit percentage in the tournament.
    1. For example, in a tournament, if players A & B are tied in 5th and 6th place, the Player with the highest average bullseye percentage hit will be in 5th place and the subsequent player will be in 6th place.
    2. Duals bracket tiebreakers will be based on the total Duals team average bullseye hit percentage. Not the individual players in a team.

THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

The World Axe Throwing Championship is held once per year after the end of the Fall season in late November or early December.

Section N:
Qualifying

The World Championship will consist of 128 competitors. All of the following information is for Standard hatchet throwing and will be modified and applicable for both Duals and Big Axe.

  1. Circuit Points: Points awarded for placements in WATL Sanctioned Events including tournaments and leagues. Points vary based on placing and event.
    1. Circuit points will be allotted to individual WATL App accounts, it is the responsibility of the thrower to ensure they are using only a single account across tournaments and venues
    2. Circuit Points ultimately define who will attend the World Axe Throwing Championship
  2. League Tournament: The 8th and final week of league in which the local champion is declared at each venue.
  3. Local Tournament: Any tournament sanctioned by WATL with a prize pool of at least $100 and a minimum of 16 participants
    1. Venues cannot host more than 4 sanctioned Local Tournaments per year
  4. Closed Qualifier: Qualifying throws taking place with the following predefined entry requirements
    1. The World Axe Throwing Championship Closed Qualifier is open to any throwers in the Top 200 on the Circuit Point leaderboard who have not already secured a bid to The World Axe Throwing Championship (WATC)
  5. Open Qualifier: Qualifying throws taking place in person at a WATL venue with the purpose of qualifying a number of players to a Major or Televised Tournament.
    1. Open to anyone that has participated in a WATL Sanctioned League in the preceding year
      1. Exceptions for the 2021 year:
        1. 2019 League participation will count towards participation requirement due to limited leagues available in 2020
        2. A WATL venue was open in 2020 but was unable to have enough participants to run a sanctioned league; participants are eligible to participate in Open Qualifiers as long as they live within a 1 hour driving distance to a WATL venue from their primary residence
        3. Participant does not have a WATL venue within a 2 hour total travel distance from their primary residence to do their Qualifying Throws
          1. Where travel is defined as driving, ferry, but does not include public transportation or air travel
    2. Open Hatchet Qualifiers will consist of 50 throws
      1. Mandatory Killshot on every 5th and 10th throw
        1. Standard league play of open Killshots does not apply
      2. 10 overtime killshot throws (used as tie-breakers)
    3. Duals Open Qualifiers will consist of 30 throws per team
      1. Mandatory Killshots on every 5th and 10th throw
      2. 5 overtime killshot throws (used as tie-breakers)
    4. Big Axe Open Qualifiers will consist of 25 throws
      1. Mandatory Killshots on every 5th throw
      2. Additional 5 overtime killshot throws (used as tie-breakers)
  6. Venues set a time to hold their Open Qualifier before the stated deadline
  7. Venues may set Open Qualifier prices as they wish. WATL suggests the following prices for each discipline:
    1. $25 Standard Axe
    2. $15 Big Axe
    3. $15 Duals ($30 per team)
  8. Venues will pay WATL a qualifier fee of $5 per thrower
    1. WATL will place a minimum of 50% of qualifier fees in the main tournament prize pool
  9. Local venues must have at least one WATL Certified Judge on-premise to judge throws and collect scores
    1. Any participant found to be scoring themselves will immediately be disqualified from the qualifying competition and be removed from all lottery availability for the remainder of the year
  10. Open Qualifier Rules for those wishing to compete without a participating WATL venue nearby will make their throws at home or at a non-WATL venue:
    1. Must not have a participating WATL venue within a 2 hour drive
    2. Scoring and processing:
      1. Intent to participate must be emailed to WATL with 2-6 weeks prior to the event date:
        1. [email protected]
        2. Subject Line: Open Qualifier [Tournament]
        3. Body text: please include your home address including a picture of your driver’s license for verification. State your intent to participate in the upcoming Open Qualifier
      2. Upon receiving final video submission, WATL will send a video processing invoice of $25 plus any applicable taxes to be paid in full for scores to be processed
    3. Guidelines for video submissions (All criteria must be met):
      1. All throws must be recorded in at least 1080p quality, uploaded to Youtube, and the link submitted directly to WATL, [email protected].
      2. Throws must also be streamed live to a Facebook page/group as determined by WATL during a specified time frame.
      3. During each throw the thrower and fault line must be visible.
        1. Refer to this video for correct camera placement
      4. Camera must be taken to retrieve axe to show axe scoring on each throw, zooming into each side of the axe to ensure paint is broken on both sides.
      5. Player must show, on their stream, on a secondary device, the time as shown on the following website: https://time.is/.
    4. Any player found intentionally cheating during qualifiers will be immediately suspended for a period of 12 months from any WATL sanctioned event and have any accumulated Circuit Points for the year reset to zero.
    5. Players caught abusing the system through multiple submissions or cherry picked throws will be immediately suspended for a period of 12 months from any WATL sanctioned event and have any accumulated Circuit Points for the year reset to zero
  11. Tournament Requirments
    1. Should an event or tournament need qualifying throws or have other requirements needed for participation prior to an event, those requirements must be met by the pre-established deadline/s. Players not completing tournament requirements by the pre-established deadline/s will result in their position in the tournament being forfeit. 
  12. Regional Tournament: A tournament held once quarterly in each WATL region.
    1. Entry Requirements: Open participation for current WATL season members. Exceptions:
      1. Throwers did not have a WATL venue that hosted a league within a 1 hour drive of their primary residence
    2. Throwers are limited to 1 Regional, per season, per discipline. 
    3. Circuit Points awarded for the Fall Regional Tournament are doubled
    4. The winner of these tournaments qualifies for the following quarter’s Televised Tournament.
      1. If a person wins a Regional tournament and already has a bid, the bid is passed to the next competitor – up to 8th place.
    5. Location will vary and cannot occur in the same place more than twice per year unless otherwise specified
    6. Throwers are not expected to attend each Regional tournament
    7. Venues can volunteer to host tournaments or be assigned them
    8. Players are not permitted to travel to another region to throw in Regional Tournaments.
      1. Players must participate in a regional tournament within the region their official league is located in or the region where the thrower resides; whichever region is closer to their residence.
        • For example, if Player A lives in Syracuse but plays in a Marathon League in Orlando as their official league, they must participate in the Regional Tournament that contains the city of Syracuse 
      2. An exception will be made if another Regional Tournament is geographically closer to a throwers home residence. 
        • If a thrower’s region does not host a discipline that a participant desires to participate in, the thrower must travel to the next geographically closest Regional Tournament which provides that discipline.
      3. Breaking either of these rules will result in a loss of any Circuit Points gained from participating in the Regional Tournament where the infraction occurred.
  13. Minimum 50% of ticket sales required for payout by the venue
  14. Major Tournament: Any tournament sanctioned by WATL with a minimum prize pool of $5000 and at least 64 competitors (Venues are encouraged to collaborate with other neighbouring venues to reach requirements if interested)
    1. Venues planning to host a Major tournament MUST submit their tournament proposal for approval to WATL via email at [email protected] Dates, tournament size, disciplines, and any other relevant details must be approved through WATL if the tournament wishes to be sanctioned as a Major.
    2. Types of entries are allotted on a case by case basis with guidance from WATL on the allocation of entries
      1. Up to 50% of spots will be reserved for Pro League throwers
        • Any tournaments with 128 or more capacity, all Pro League throwers will gain entry if they so wish but must register within the allotted time frame given by the hosting venue
        • Tournaments with 64 capacity, Pro League reserved spots will be capped at 25% (16 throwers)
        • If Pro League interest or registration exceeds reserved capacity for any Major Tournament, at the sole discretion of the host venue, may host either a lottery for Pro Leagues or conduct Pro League registrations on a first-come, first-serve basis, for an exclusive 1-week period, until they max out their reserved capacity.
        • Pro League members may still register as part of the general registration tournament process
    3. Open Qualifiers have been removed and replaced with Open Registration. If registration exceeds tournament capacity, the venue may host either a lottery or conduct Open Registrations on a first-come, first-serve basis
  15. Televised Tournament: ESPN/televised tournaments with a minimum of 128 competitors. If Tournament size is increased, the allocation of entries into the Televised Tournament will be determined & clarified at WATL’s discretion.
    1. 16 Entries (Top 16) From Previous Televised Tournament (8 Entries Big Axe or Duals)
      1. Any declined Previous Televised Tournament entries are converted to additional Open Qualifier lottery entries
        1. Top 16 from WATC invited to Canadian Open
        2. Top 16 from Canadian Open invited to US Open
    2. 8 Entries From Regional Tournament Victories From Previous Season (8 Entries Big Axe or Duals)
      1. If any regional tournaments or specific discipline tournaments do not occur then entries are converted to additional Open Qualifier lottery entries
      2. Any declined Regional Tournament entries are converted to additional Open Qualifier lottery entries
        1. Winter winners obtain Canadian Open Entry
        2. Spring winners obtain US Open Entry
        3. Summer winners obtain WATC Closed Qualifier Entry
    3. 64 Entries From Open Qualifiers (32 Entries Big Axe or Duals)
    4. 40 Entries From Lottery (16 Entries Big Axe or Duals)
      1. 30 Lotto Entries from Open Qualifiers (12 Entries Big Axe or Duals)
      2. 10 Lotto Entries from General Draw (4 Entries Big Axe or Duals)

Televised Tournament Format

Hatchet will be divided into four separate double-elimination tournament brackets. The winner of each tournament bracket will make it on ESPN for single-elimination matches.

Winners of each bracket will then be reseeded by their tournament bullseye percentage into the single-elimination tournament. The top seeded player will be paired against the lowest seeded player in the semi-finals. Middle seeded players will be paired together. 

The winners of these matches will compete to determine the Champion for the Hatchet discipline. 

Big Axe and Duals will be split into two double-elimination tournament brackets. The winner of each bracket will appear on ESPN for a single-elimination match to determine the Champion for that discipline.

  1. World Axe Throwing Championship
    1. 1 Bid for the previous year’s World Champion
    2. 32 WATL Pro League Bids (8 Per Season)
    3. 32 Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points
      • Each region’s top players by allotment will receive World Championship bids. For example, the Midwest region will have their top 4 Circuit Point leaders receive bids for WATC. The break down by regions is as follows:
      • Due to the recent regions change, we will be making reasonable adjustments to this list closer to the Fall
        1. East: 6
        2. North: 6
        3. Atlantic: 4
        4. South: 4
        5. Midwest: 4
        6. Pacific: 3
        7. Mountain: 3
        8. Global: 2
    4. 32 Non-Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points: Top 32 players in Circuit points that have not already qualified through the above regions
    5. 31 Non-Region Locked Bids via Qualifying Throws
      1. Closed Qualifiers: 24 Bids will be reserved for Closed Qualifying Throws
        1. Circuit Point rankings in the top 200 required
      2. Open Qualifiers: 7 Bids will be reserved for Open Qualifying Throws
        1. Highest Scores from participants in Open Qualifying Throws with 10 or more Circuit Points eligible
    6. Seeding for the World Axe Throwing Championship will be awarded based on total Circuit Points for the year
      1. ie. The person with the most circuit points will be given the highest seed in the tournament
  2. Duals World Axe Throwing Championship
    1. 1 Bid for the previous year’s World Champions
    2. 16 Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points
      1. Each region’s top two teams by allotment will receive World Championship bids.
    3. 32 Non-Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points: Top 32 players in Circuit points that have not already qualified through the above regions
    4. 15 Non-Region Locked Bids via Qualifying Throws
      1. Closed Qualifiers: 12 Bids will be reserved for Closed Qualifying Throws Circuit Point rankings in the top 150 required
      2. Open Qualifiers: 3 Bids will be reserved for Open Qualifying Throws Highest Scores from participants in Open Qualifying Throws with 10 or more Circuit Points eligible
    5. In order for a duals team to be eligible for a region locked bid, whereas both partners do not live in the same region, they must participate in at least one standard league or marathon league within one of their two regions.
      1. If they participate in both regions, the region with more leagues played will be chosen for the purposes of a region locked bid.
      2. If they participate in both regions equally, the region with the first league played will be chosen for the purposes of a region locked bid.
  3. Big Axe World Axe Throwing Championship
    1. 1 Bid for the previous year’s World Champion
    2. 16 Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points
      1. Each region’s top two players by allotment will receive World Championship bids.
    3. 32 Non-Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points: Top 32 players in Circuit points that have not already qualified through the above regions
    4. 15 Non-Region Locked Bids via Qualifying Throws
      1. Closed Qualifiers: 12 Bids will be reserved for Closed Qualifying Throws Circuit Point rankings in the top 150 required
      2. Open Qualifiers: 3 Bids will be reserved for Open Qualifying Throws Highest Scores from participants in Open Qualifying Throws with 10 or more Circuit Points eligible

CIRCUIT POINT DISTRIBUTION

Televised Tournament – 15,000 Points

  • 1st – 4850
  • 2nd – 3000
  • 3rd – 2100
  • 4th – 1350
  • 5th – 900
  • 6th – 900
  • 7th – 450
  • 8th – 450
  • 9th – 150
  • 10th – 150
  • 11th – 150
  • 12th – 150
  • 13th – 100
  • 14th – 100
  • 15th – 100
  • 16th – 100

Regional Tournament – 1000 Points

  • 1st – 400
  • 2nd – 200
  • 3rd – 150
  • 4th – 100
  • 5th – 50
  • 6th – 50
  • 7th – 25
  • 8th – 25

Local Tournament – 20 Points

  • 1st – 15
  • 2nd – 5

Seasonal/Marathon League Points

  • League Victory – 50 
  • League Runner Up – 25
  • League Participation – 5

Major Tournament – 5000 Points

  • 1st – 1650
  • 2nd – 1000
  • 3rd – 700
  • 4th – 450
  • 5th – 300
  • 6th – 300
  • 7th – 150
  • 8th- 150
  • 9th – 50
  • 10th – 50
  • 11th – 50
  • 12th – 50
  • 13th – 25
  • 14th – 25
  • 15th – 25
  • 16th – 25

Televised or Major Open Qualifiers – 250 Points

  • 1st – 150
  • 2nd – 50
  • 3rd – 50

Seasonal Leaderboard – 35,500 Points

  • 1st – 7150
  • 2nd – 5250
  • 3rd – 3000
  • 4-10th – 1050
  • 11-20th – 300
  • 21-30th – 150
  • 31-50th – 100
  • 51-100th – 75
  • 101-200th – 25

Section O:
Trophy

  1. The World Axe Throwing League Championship trophy is held with the World Champion at the WATL affiliated venue they are representing for one year, until the next World Championship where it will be delivered back.
    1. If they did not represent a venue (via a win of the Wildcard, Open Tournament etc) then they may keep it at their personal residence.
    2. The Championship Axe will be kept by the winner of that year’s Championship title.

WATL DUALS LEAGUE

Section P:
WATL Duals League

Duals is a partnered competition where two competitors each throw their standard axe (hatchet) simultaneously at the same target from a distance of at least 12 feet from the shared target.

Standard WATL Gameplay, Regular Season, Playoff, and Qualifying rules apply with the exception to the below additions/changes:

  1. Standard gameplay rules of open Killshots will apply for Duals throwing with the following changes/clarifications:
    1. Individual throwers on each team may call Killshots at any time, and do not have to call Killshots on the same throw as their partner.
    2. Once a Killshot has been hit, throwers are not required to switch Killshots as in Standard play.
    3. A third Killshot attempt will not be awarded for any drops during Duals throwing.
  2. Big Axe tiebreaker does not apply for Duals throwing.
  3. Each league week allows every team 4 games, 10 throws per game.
  4. Official televised Duals tournaments will consist of best 2/3 match sets, 5 throws per game.
    1. For all other sanctioned tournaments, venues may decide which format they wish to use.
  5. If one teammate throws their axe and it hits the target before the other teammate has let go of their axe, it is an illegal throw and no points are awarded
    1. This call is in the hands of the active Judge and not the competitors
  6. As a safety precaution, players must generally be in unison, standing at approximately the same distances with each other during the duration of the throw
    1. For clarity, one player cannot stand at the 12ft line and another at the 15ft line as it introduces a potential risk during the throw
    2. Players must stand side-by-side with each other, at the same general distance, or if stepping towards the target to throw, their motion must be in general unison
  7. All axes that stick in the target are awarded points accordingly:
    1. ie. Team “A” throws their first throw at the same time, one axe lands in the 4 and one axe lands in the 6, giving them a combined score of 10 for that throw
  8. The total score wins the match
  9. Axes must be embedded in the target to count for points as per standard rules.
  10. Once an axe is scored, the presiding Judge may ask the thrower to remove the first scored axe to determine the score of the second axe. If removing the first axe causes the second axe to drop, the lower score threshold will be given.
  11. For an axe that is embedded into another axe (a Robin Hood), both axes will receive the points of the first axe embedded in the target.
  12. Sudden Death Rules:
    1. In the event of a tie after 10 throws in a single match, the match enters into sudden death.
    2. ONLY Killshots are allowed during all sudden death throws.
    3. In the event that all players hit the Killshot, an additional sudden death throw is required, and teammates must switch Killshots, on the same target.
      1. Teams will remain in their respective targets for sudden death throws (no switching of targets required).
    4. In the event that all players miss the Killshot during Sudden Death, a measuring tape or accurate measuring device will be used to measure the distance from the closet valid scoring area of each axe head to the closest edge of the Killshot.
      1. The single axe with the shortest distance on either team will be awarded the match in favor of the team who threw it.
    5. In the event that 1 player from each team hits the Killshot and the other players on each team miss, a measuring tape or accurate measuring device will be used to measure the distance from the closest valid scoring area of each axe head, that missed the Killshot, to the closest edge of the Killshot
      1. The single axe with the shortest distance on either team will be awarded the match in favor of the team who threw it.
    6. If a player touches their axe before a measurement is made, the match is awarded to the opposing team.

Section Q: Sanctioned Duals Leagues

  1. A sanctioned Duals League is the axe throwing league hosted at a participating WATL Affiliated venue that follows the rules and regulations of the World Axe Throwing League
  2. A sanctioned Duals League season winner is declared Local Duals Champion and earns seasonal league points for the yearly circuit.
  3. A WATL Sanctioned Duals League must have a minimum of 2 different teams (4 people) to be official.
  4. A WATL Sanctioned Duals League may not have more than 30 teams. If recruiting more than 30 teams at the WATL Venue, then they must host Multiple Sanctioned Duals Leagues.
  5. Sanctioned Duals Leagues must begin within 1 week from the official WATL start dates for each season.
  6. Sanctioned Duals Leagues must end within 1 week from the official WATL start dates for each season.
    1. WATL must be notified at least 2 weeks in advance, before the end of the season, of delays to the end of a season tournament due to acts of God or national holidays.

Section R: Multiple Sanctioned Duals Leagues

  1. A WATL affiliated venue may host more than one Sanctioned Duals League per season.
  2. If hosting more than one Sanctioned Duals League, each sanctioned league must have a minimum of 2 different teams not participating in another WATL sanctioned league.
  3. The winning team of each Sanctioned League is considered to be the Local Champion team for the determining of yearly circuit points.
    1. This will allow one location to potentially have multiple Local Champion teams who earn circuit points.
  4. When WATL announces that a player has earned a bid for a WATL sanctioned tournament with multiple duals teams, the player must notify WATL via [email protected] within 2 business days to declare their official team that will be receiving the bid. All other teams which the qualified player is a member of will not be eligible for a bid.
    1. Failure to communicate with WATL regarding official teams will result in a disqualification for all teams in which the player is a member.

Section S: Qualifying for the Duals
World Championship

The Duals World Championship will be comprised of up to 64 teams

Restrictions on Qualifying

  1. Cannot be eligible for more than 1 Duals World Championship placement in a year.
    1. Players can compete for circuit points with multiple different teammates.
    2. If a player earns a bid via circuit points with multiple duals teams, the player must notify WATL via [email protected] immediately to declare their official team that will be receiving the bid. All other teams which the qualified player is a member of will not be eligible for a bid.
    3. Failure to communicate with WATL regarding official teams will result in a disqualification for all teams in which the player is a member.
  2. Duals teams may participate in as many sanctioned Duals leagues as they wish, but only one league will be considered for circuit points, which will be capped at 55 points; 50 points for a victory and 5 points for participation.
    1. Teams participating in multiple sanctioned leagues may use the same profile and Team ID to compete in all leagues.
    2. Circuit Points will automatically be assigned to the league that gives the player the most Circuit Points.
    3. Once teams choose their official league, they cannot change the decision.
    4. If teams fail to select an official league by the deadline, their official league will default to the last one they were added in to.
  3. If a Duals partner cannot attend WATC, the attending partner may team with someone else who has also qualified for a Duals bid but also had their partner drop out from WATC during the current championship year.
    1. The newly formed team will take the seed of the lower of the two previously ranked teams and the original higher ranked team will no longer exist
    2. This is only applicable to Duals teams where one player of a team cannot attend the World Championship in any capacity, for any discipline
    3. Existing teams may not be re-arranged for any reason and combined with others
    4. This exception is strictly for Duals partners that cannot attend WATC
    5.  If there is an odd number of Duals throwers that do not have a partner, meaning, there is 1 person who had a partner that could not attend, they are able to select a Duals participant that did not qualify for WATC but played an official Duals League during the current year.
      1. The new player must have a WATC official jersey
      2. This must be done no later than 2 weeks before WATC and WATL must be notified immediately of the new thrower by emailing [email protected]

WATL BIG AXE LEAGUE

Section T: WATL Big Axe League

The WATL Big Axe League is a competition where competitors throw a big axe at a target, starting with at least one foot behind the 17ft line, but not ever crossing the 15ft mark. Standard WATL Gameplay, Regular Season, Playoff, & Qualifying rules apply with exception to the below additions/changes:

  1. Standard gameplay rules of open killshots do not apply to Big Axe Throwing
  2. Players must start, with one or both feet, behind the 17ft mark
    1. Players may step over the 17ft mark but may not cross the 15ft mark, otherwise, their throw will be counted as a foot fault and will be scored as a zero
    2. Players feet may not cross the 15ft line until both axes have been verbally scored by the judge. Crossing the 15ft line before the judge scores both axes will result in a foot fault and the player’s throw will be scored a zero.
    3. If a player calls for a second opinion, both players must return behind the 15ft line until the second judge calls the score.
    4. If a player touches their axe before a second opinion call is made, the original score given by the first judge stands.
  3. A match is 5 throws; throwers will not switch sides during the 5 throw match.
    1. During a Big Axe tournament best 2 of 3 matches, throwers will switch targets every 5th throw.
  4. Each player will play 4 matches in a sanctioned league night, for a total of 20 big axe throws
  5. Killshots can be called on the 5th throw
  6. In the event of a tie, standard Sudden Death Rules apply where only Killshots are allowed

Section U: WATL Big Axe Specs

  1. The total axe weight must be at least 3.00lbs, but no more than 4.25lbs
    1. The axe head must weigh at least 2.25lbs, but no more than 3lbs
      1. As stated by the manufacturer total weight, not including the wood in the eye of the head
    2. It is the player’s responsibility to provide evidence of the head weight at any time during league or tournament as long as there have been no material modifications to the axe from when the original picture was taken
  2. The handle must be made of wood and handle length must be at least 23” inches & a maximum of 30” inches
    1. The measurement includes up to 1”inch above the eye of the axe head (in case a handle is pushed up)
      1. For example, if there’s 1”inch of wood sticking out from the eye of the head at the top of the axe, the length of the axe handle would be measured from the top of the handle, to the bottom and must be at least 23 inches
  3. The axe blade cannot be more than 4 5/8″
  4. Double bit axes & Fireman axes are permitted as long as they meet the specifications outlined herein
    1. Only the forward facing blade will count for scoring purposes
    2. If there’s an over rotation, and both blades stick to the target, then it will be marked as a fault
  5. Axes that have a stated manufacture head weight of between 2.25 and 3lbs may not be grossly modified to change the head weight above or below standard specifications.

Section V: Sanctioned Big Axe Leagues

  1. A sanctioned Big Axe League is the axe throwing league hosted at a participating WATL affiliated venue that follows the rules and regulations of the World Axe Throwing League
  2. Big Axe Targets can not have Footer boards protrude further than the target boards.
    1. The Target boards may protrude over the footer boards
  3. A sanctioned Big Axe League winner in a season is declared Local Big Axe Champion and earns seasonal league points for the yearly circuit.
  4. A WATL Sanctioned Big Axe League must have a minimum of 4 players.
  5. A WATL Sanctioned Big Axe League may not have more than 30 players. If recruiting more than 30 players at the WATL Venue, then they must host Multiple Sanctioned Big Axe Leagues.
  6. Sanctioned Big Axe Leagues must begin within 1 week from the official WATL start dates for each season.
  7. Sanctioned Big Axe Leagues must end within 1 week from the official WATL start dates for each season.
    1. WATL must be notified at least 2 weeks in advance, before the end of the season, of delays to the end of a season tournament due to acts of God or national holidays.

Section W: Multiple Sanctioned Big Axe Leagues

  1. A WATL affiliated venue may host more than one Sanctioned Big Axe League per season.
  2. If hosting more than one Sanctioned Big Axe League, each sanctioned league must have a minimum of 6 different players not participating in another WATL sanctioned league.
  3. The winning player of each Sanctioned League is a Local Champion and is awarded the appropriate amount of circuit points.
    1. This will allow one location to potentially have multiple Local Champions who earn circuit points.

Section X: Qualifying for the Big Axe World Championship

The Big Axe World Championship will be comprised of 64 competitors

Restrictions on Qualifying

  1. Cannot be eligible for more than 1 Big Axe World Championship placement in a year.
  2. Throwers may participate in as many sanctioned Big Axe leagues as they wish, but only one league will be considered for circuit points, which will be capped at 55 points; 50 points for a victory and 5 points for participation.
    1. Throwers participating in multiple sanctioned Big Axe leagues may use the same profile and Player ID to compete in all leagues.
    2. Circuit Points will automatically be assigned to the league that gives the player the most Circuit Points.
    3. Once players choose their official league, they cannot change the decision.
    4. If throwers fail to select an official league by the deadline, their official league will default to the last one they were added in to.

SECTION Y: WATL PRO LEAGUE

The World Axe Throwing Professional League (WATL Pro League) is a qualifying system that helps to identify and recognize the top competitors in the sport of axe throwing for standard hatchet competition. Competitors will participate in the WATL Leagues with other players, but will have additional rules and qualifying criteria in place in order to maintain Pro League status. 

  1. The list of WATL Pro League players will be evaluated twice per year.
    1. Each half year of WATL Pro League is defined as a Cycle
  2. The second WATL Pro League Cycle (July 2021 to December 2021) will be made up of 92 Pro League Members:
    1. The Top 32 of the Pros from the First Pro League Cycle
      1. Based on total average score from Winter and Spring Seasons (Pro League Cycle 1).
      2. Any Pros that do not make it into the top 32 must resubmit qualifying throws in the Pro Open Qualifier, if they wish to try and earn a spot in the next Cycle of the Pro League.
        1. We will release a list of the re-qualified Pros on May 26th.
    2. 32 Players from the Pro Open Qualifier will gain entry to the Second Pro League Cycle
      1. This will be open to all throwers globally
    3. NEW: 12 Pro spots will be reserved for Canadian & Global Players 
      1. WATL will give guidance for this round of Qualifying Throws in June, with WATL allowing for an extended timeline due to closures in Canada & around the Globe.
      2. Global throwers will also be reviewed separately from throwers from the Pro Open Qualifiers.
        1. International Throwers who submitted throws in the Pro Open Qualifier do not need to resubmit their scores.
        2. Due to shutdowns, if international throwers can not compete in the scheduled qualifying throws, there will be a second round at a later date.
    4. NEW: 16 Spots for people who have a Killshot call rate of 50% or more from the previous Cycle.
      1. Anyone who had a Killshot call rate of 50% or more from the previous Cycle will be given priority placement in Pro League and will be eligible for these dedicated spots.
        1. These players will still submit Qualifying Throws
      2. The top 16 throwers who called 50% of Killshots or more from the previous Cycle will initially be reviewed separately from throwers from the Pro Open Qualifiers.
      3. Those whose Qualifying Scores do not make the top 16 in this category, will be judged along with the Pro Open Qualifying Throwers.
  1. Pro League Benefits:
    1. The highest eight placing members of WATL Pro League each season by score, who have not already earned an automatic bid from a previous season, will be awarded automatic bids the World Axe Throwing Championship each season
      1. If the 8 highest placing members already have bids, the bids will go to the next eligible top 8 members
      2. To maintain automatic bids, players must throw in at least one additional league during the calendar year
        1. Exceptions:
          1. Members who earn bids during Fall Season
          2. Members unable to compete in subsequent seasons due to injury or situations outside their control
          3. Members where their local venue is unable to produce enough players for subsequent seasons and they do not have a WATL venue within a 2 hour total travel distance from their primary residence
            1. Where travel is defined as driving, ferry, but does not include public transportation or air travel
    2. Pro League Members acquire an additional 25% Circuit Points from leaderboard placings after each season
      1. ie. Placing 13th Overall
        1. Non Pro League Player: 300 Circuit Points
        2. Pro League Player: 375 Circuit Points
  2. Eligibility for an upcoming Pro League Cycle:
    1. Pro Open Qualification Throws are open to any 2020-2021 League Member or Tournament Attendee
    2. Throwers must abide by all WATL Rules & Regulations, including but not limited to, the Code of Conduct
      1. Any gross misconduct will result in forfeiture of Pro League status
  3. How To Maintain Pro League Status
    1. Throwers must abide by all WATL Rules & Regulations, including but not limited to, the Code of Conduct
      1. Any gross misconduct will result in forfeiture of Pro League status
    2. Throwers must compete in 1 WATL League Season and 1 Major or Televised Tournament per cycle
      1. If a player resides more than 3000km/1864mi (primary residence to venue) from all Major or Televised Tournaments for during the cycle they are exempt from the tournament requirement
      2. If a player does not have a WATL venue within a 2 hour total travel distance from their primary residence or their local venue is unable to produce enough players for subsequent seasons
        1. Where travel is defined as driving, ferry, but does not include public transportation or air travel
    3. Pro League members are required to have a seasonal leaderboard placing in the Top 100 throwers in at least one season per cycle
      1. Pro League members must throw Killshots in at least 50% of instances during league play
        1. Players may choose which matches and which throws to throw a Killshot
        2. Players must finish each season with at least 28 Killshots attempted during league play
        3. This applies to each sanctioned league that the Pro player participates in.
          1. i.e. Player competes in sanctioned League A and League B at different venues, or on separate nights at the same venue. Player must complete League A with 28 Killshots and League B with 28 Killshots; not 28 Killshots between the two leagues
  1. If any eligibility requirements fail to be met by the Qualified Throwers in the Pro Open Qualifier, a thrower will be stripped of their Pro League status for the remainder of the cycle and throwers beginning at next available placement in the Pro Open Qualifier rankings can be considered for inclusion in Pro League in descending order to fill pre-established Pro League spots each Cycle
    1. If not enough players meet eligibility requirements Pro League may include less than the pre-established players per Cycle
  2. Pro League members will have notations on the global leaderboard.
  3. Pro League Play:
    1. Members of the WATL Pro League will follow regular league play against local league members
      1. Special pairing against other Pro League members is not required
      2. Pairings will continue to be done automatically through the WATL app

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