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Big Axe and Duals Leagues

In keeping with our goals to expand axe throwing and give the world the best axe throwing experiences possible, we’re proud to announce that this coming year will feature two new sanctioned axe throwing leagues as a part of the WATL. The World Axe Throwing League would like to officially welcome the Big Axe and Duals leagues into our official Axe throwing Rules! Make sure to check out the summary of all the upcoming 2020 rules of our standard league as well at the end.

Updated 12/23/19

Big Axe League

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

  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, otherwise, their throw will be counted as a zero
  2. A match is 5 throws
  3. Each player will play 4 matches in a sanctioned league night, for a total of 20 big axe throws 
  4. Killshots can be called on the 5th throw
  5. In the event of a tie, standard Sudden Death Rules apply where only Killshots are allowed

WATL BIG AXE SPECS

  • The axe head must weigh at least 2.25 lbs, but no more than 3 lbs
    • As stated by the manufacturer head weight, not including the wood in the eye of the head 
      • If manufacturer head weight cannot be located (ie. vintage axes), you may take a picture of the head weight, on a scale
        • 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
  • The handle must be made of wood and handle length must be at least 23” inches & a maximum of 30” inches
    • The measurement includes up to 1”inch above the eye of the axe head (in case a handle is pushed up)
      • 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
  • The axe blade cannot be more than 4 ⅝”
  • Double bit axes & Fireman axes are permitted as long as they meet the specifications outlined herein
    • Only the forward facing blade will count for scoring purposes
    • If there’s an over rotation, and both blades stick to the target, then it will be marked as a fault
  • Axes that have a stated manufacture head weight of 2.25lbs may not be grossly modified to reduce the head weight below standard specifications

Here are some Big Axe Types you can take a look at for your future competitions.

Agdor Axe Montreal Pattern Axe – Hultafors Woodsman 2.25LB head Axe – Oxhead Double Axe – Helko Werk Germany Black Forest Woodworker Axe

INSERT PHOTO

 

Qualifying for the Big Axe World Championship

  1. The Big Axe World Championship will be comprised of 64 competitors
  1. When competing in a WATL sanctioned Big Axe season, if you met the following criteria, you will earn a bid for the Big Axe World Championship:
    1. You must win your local league season and be crowned Regional Big Axe Champion.
    2. Out of all Regional Big Axe Champions per season, the top 12 Regional Champions with the top overall points score from weeks 1 through 7 will earn a placement at the World Championship.
      1. The top scores of all Big Axe Champions must be approved and verified by WATL.
      2. This requires that your facility utilizes the official WATL Big Axe League App or Software.
    3. Other ways to qualify for the Big Axe World Championship:
      1. Place in the top 4 at the US Open or Canadian Open
        1. WATL may allocate more bids to other tournaments at its sole discretion 
      2. Be the previous years Big Axe World Champion team (not applicable to 2020)
      3. Be selected via lottery draw, to participate in the Big Axe World Championship tournament

Restrictions on Qualifying

    1. Cannot be eligible for more than 1 Big Axe World Championship placement in a year.
    2. If an individual has already earned a placement for the Big Axe World Championship, and they win their next Regional Championship and meet all eligibility requirements, the Championship placement will go to the runner-up below them that meets all other required eligibility requirements with the exception of being a Regional Champion.
      1. This means that the runner-up must also place in the top 12 point scores amongst Champions globally.
    3. If an individual wins a tournament outside of the sanctioned season and they already have a placement in the World Championship then their bid is given to the runner-up of the tournament.
    4. Players are able to participate in multiple Big Axe leagues:
      1. For individuals registered in more than one league in a sanctioned Big Axe League season, prior to the start of the season, individuals must identify which league will be considered for their score and eligibility for the WATL Big Axe Championship and official WATL leaderboards. 
        1. Players must email WATL at [email protected] and indicate which league is being considered for a bid
      2. Failure to do so will result in WATL considering the lowest score in the individuals registered leagues as their qualifying/eligible scores for that season.

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. A Sanctioned Big Axe League winner in a season, is crowned Regional Big Axe Champion and is eligible for the Big Axe World Championship.
    3. A WATL Sanctioned Big Axe League must have a minimum of 6 players.
    4. A WATL Sanctioned Big Axe League may not have more than 30 players. If recruiting more than 60 players at the WATL Venue, then they must host Multiple Sanctioned Big Axe Leagues.
    5. Sanctioned Big Axe Leagues must begin within 1 week from the official WATL start dates for each season.
    6. 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.

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 4 different players not participating in another WATL sanctioned league.
    3. The winner of each Sanctioned Big Axe League is considered to be a Regional Big Axe Champion Team for the sake of determining who is eligible for the Big Axe World Championship.
      1. This will allow one location to potentially have multiple Regional Big Axe Champions for the Big Axe World Championship invitations.

Big Axe Wildcard Eligibility:

  1. WATL Big Axe Tournaments will be open to all competitors globally
  2. The number of Big Axe World Championship Wildcards spots will depend on the number of earned bids throughout the year
  3. Big Axe Wildcard Spots will be selected using a lottery method 
    1. The Lotto draw will be comprised of Big Axe competitors who have completed a minimum of 1 sanctioned WATL league or sanctioned WATL tournament and have not previously qualified for a Championship bid
    2. Exceptions:
      1. Competitors that do not have a WATL venue within their metropolitan area or are further than 1-hour of drive-time from their primary residence will be allowed to compete in the Wildcard
        1. Drive time as measured from their home, to their venue, during the time when a WATL sanctioned league would normally take place
      2. WATL affiliates who were not able to have enough participants to run a sanctioned WATL season, but have competitors interested in representing the WATL affiliate and live within the metropolitan area

Duals League

Duals is a partnered competition where both competitors must throw their standard axe (hatchet) at the same time, from the 12ft line, at the same target for each throw. Generally, teams do a countdown (3,2,1) to help sync their throws at the same time. 

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

    1. 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
    2. 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 
    3. 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
    1. Killshots can always be called on the 5th and 10th throw of a match
      1. Teams decide if one or both players will throw for the Killshot. If only one player is going for the Killshot, team must identify which player is going for the Killshot & confirm with the judge
        1. If a Killshot is called, team must identify which thrower or throwers will go for the Killshot 
        2. Points are awarded to any Killshot that is landed
    2. Total score wins the match
    3. Axes must be embedded in the target to count for points as per standard rules
    4. For an axe that is embedded into another axe (a Robin Hood), it will receive the points of the first axe embedded in the target.
    5. 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. Teams will remain in their respective targets for sudden death throws (no switching of targets required).
        1. If an additional sudden death throw is required, teammates must switch Killshots, on the same target
      4. Both Teams must throw within 10 seconds of each other but not before Judge confirms that the lane is open.
      5. 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 closest valid scoring area of each axe head to the closest edge of the Killshot. The single axe with the shortest distance on either team will be awarded the match in favor of the team who threw it.

Qualifying for the Duals World Championship

  1. The Duals World Championship will be comprised of up to 64 teams
  2. A. When competing in a WATL sanctioned Duals season, if your Team has met the following criteria, your team will earn a bid for the Duals World Championship:
    1. Your team must win your local league season and be crowned Regional Duals Champion.
    2. Out of all Regional Duals Champions per season, the top 10 Regional Champions with the top overall points score from weeks 1 through 7 will earn a placement at the World Championship.
      1. The top scores of all Regional Duals Champions must be approved and verified by WATL.
      2. This requires that your facility utilizes the official WATL Duals League App or Software.
      3. Players that earn a bid must be the same 2-player team who compete in the Duals World Championship 
        1. If any one-player is injured or cannot attend, the team forfeits their bid for the Duals World Championship
    3. Other ways to qualify for the Duals World Championship:
      1. Place in the top 6 at the US Open, Canadian Open, Throwdown, or Angrywood
        1. If the top 6 qualifying teams have already earned a bid, the placement will not be passed down to subsequent participants
          1. Any remaining bid placements that are not allocated to winners will go into the Wildcard bid
      2. WATL may allocate more bids to other tournaments at its sole discretion
      3. Be the previous years Duals World Champion team:
        1. must be the same 2-member team 
      4. Be selected via lottery draw, to participate in the Duals World Championship tournament

Restrictions on Qualifying

    1. Cannot be eligible for more than 1 Duals World Championship placement in a year.
      1. A player cannot receive another placement by creating a newly formed team
    2. If a team has already earned a placement for the Duals World Championship, and they win their next Regional championship and meet all eligibility requirements, the Championship placement will go to the runner-up below them that meets all other required eligibility requirements with the exception of being a regional winner.
      1. This means that the runner-up must also place in the top 12 point scores amongst Regional Champions globally.
    3. If a person wins a tournament outside of the sanctioned season and they already have a placement in the World Championship then their bid is given to the runner-up of the tournament.
    4. Prior to the start of a league season, if a team has earned a bid, but would like to form a new team, both players must email WATL & consent to the dissolution of their existing team:
      1. This will result in the team forfeiting their earned bid placement 
    5. Players are able to participate in multiple Duals teams:
      1. For players registered in more than one team in a single Duals league season, prior to the start of the season, both players must identify which team will be considered for their score and eligibility for the WATL Duals Championship and official WATL leaderboards.
      2. Players must email WATL at [email protected] and indicate which Team is being considered for a bid
      3. Failure to do so will result in no teams that the associated players are members of, being able to qualify for the Duals Championship.

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 winner in a season, is crowned Regional Duals Champion and is eligible for the Duals World Championship.
    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.

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 Duals League is considered to be a Regional Duals Champion Team for the sake of determining who is eligible for the Duals World Championship.
      1. This will allow one location to potentially have multiple Regional Duals Champion Teams for the Duals World Championship invitations.

Duals Wildcard Eligibility:

  1. WATL Duals Tournaments will be open to all competitors globally
  2. The number of Duals World Championship Wildcards team spots will depend on the number of earned bids throughout the year
  3. Wildcards Teams will be selected using a lottery method 
    1. The Lotto draw will be comprised of teams who have completed a minimum of 1 sanctioned WATL league or sanctioned WATL tournament and have not previously qualified for a Championship bid

We’re extremely excited about these upcoming leagues and to see who will be crowned the new Duals Champions and Big Axe Champion next year!

Rules Changes for 2020

This year we have some rules changes we would like to go over for the upcoming year. These rules are all on our Rules page now, but here’s the summary of all the changes being implemented. Make sure to keep in mind, not all of these rules are new, and some may just be clarifications or new wording on previous rules.

Code of Conduct 

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

Gameplay

  • Pauses in play
    • A presiding official may call a pause in play for any reason deemed necessary (rules review, confirmation, second opinion, etc…)
    • 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. 
      • 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. 
    • Players may be able to challenge a call or ruling which will create a pause in play
      • During this call, gameplay will be paused at that moment in time
  • Throwing in a Wheelchair
    • For individuals who use wheelchairs, all standard league rules apply with the exception of the foot fault line. 
      • Individuals in wheelchairs must have one wheel behind the 12ft line when throwing in competition play. 
      • Any wheel on the wheelchair is acceptable as long as one of them is behind the 12ft line

Scoring

  • If the axe falls before the presiding official scores the axe, the axe is counted as a drop
  • Axes must be inside the black line in order to count for that value
    • Touching the black line will not give you the point value; the axe must be inside the higher scoring area to receive those points
    • For example: touching the black line in the bullseye counts as a 4, but breaking it (red on both sides) counts as a 6. This concept is now equally applied across the targets rings

Throwing

Throws must be taken within 10 seconds of each other.

  • If a thrower throws after 10 seconds of the other thrower, this will result in a Throw Fault.

Attendance. Absences

  • League participants are able to throw up to 2 weeks in advance, including weeks 6 and 7, in anticipation of an absence
    • This will count towards the participants ability to miss up-to 2 weeks of league play
  • 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

Misconduct

  • Purposeful distractions during match play will not be tolerated:
    • 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. 
      • First Offense: 
        • The first purposeful distraction from an opposing player will result in a zero score for that throw, for player causing the distraction
        • 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
        • The first purposeful distraction from a spectator not participating in leagues or tournament will result in the immediate removal from the facility 
      • Second Offense: 
        • 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.
        • 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.
      • Third Offense: 
        • 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. 
        • 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.
  • Match Fixing & Hippodroming in League Play or Tournaments:
    • 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.

Axe Throwing Distance

  • Players may not cross the 12ft line until both players have thrown their axes
    • Axes must be scored before crossing the line

Target Design

  • Targets will have no marking other than the lines, bullseye, and killshots

Axes

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

Saftey

  • Injuries
    • 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 makeup their matches the following league night with no penalty.
      • This will not count towards the player’s right to miss 2 weeks
      • If there are throws remaining in the current match, then those scores are counted as zero
    • If an injury occurs during any tournament and the player is deemed unable to progress by a Judge or medical professional, then they any matches pending will be marked a 0 points scored and matches forfeit.

World Qualification:

  • The World Championship will be comprised of 128 competitors
    • Each season, there will be a total of up to 22 invites globally to the World Championship.
      • The top 16 Regional Champions with the highest scores globally will be invited to the Championship 
      • A maximum of six (6) runner-ups or 3rd place competitors globally will also earn a bid to the World Championship if they have points for that qualifying season in the top 25 globally
        • For example, if a venue has 4 competitors that are in the top 20 globally for points: 
          • Player 1: 1650 points (1st place globally)
          • Player 2: 1640 points  (5th place globally)
          • Player 3: 1630 points   (10th place globally)
          • Player 4: 1620 points    (15th place globally)
            • If Player 1 wins, they have a secured bid to the Championship
            • If Player 2 & 3 come in second and third place, they have secured a bid to the Championship
            • Player 4 came in fourth, they do not have a secured bid 
          • Scores for participants who have already earned a bid will not be considered for the top 25 points calculation
          • Any bid placements not allocated in that season will be added to the Wildcard pool
      • All qualified Regional Champions winners that have secured a bid for the World Championship must play at least 1 additional sanctioned WATL season to maintain and keep their placement bid
        • Example 1: If you qualify for the World Championship during the winter season, you must then complete 1 additional WATL season during the same calendar year to maintain your bid. Whether it’s Spring, Summer or Fall.
        • Example 2: If you earn a World Championship bid through a WATL Sanctioned Tournament and you have completed a WATL season prior to the tournament, or complete a WATL season after the tournament, during the same calendar year, you maintain your bid. 
        • Exceptions:
          • Competitors that earn a bid during the Fall season
          • A venue did not have enough participants in subsequent seasons to have a WATL sanctioned league
          • Competitors that do not have a WATL venue within their metropolitan area or are further than 1-hour of drive-time from their primary residence
            • Drive time as measured from their home, to their venue, during the time when a WATL sanctioned league would normally take place
          • Competitors that have a WATL venue in their metropolitan area or within 1 hour of their primary residence but venue did not have enough participants to run a sanctioned WATL season
      • The top 6 qualifiers at the Canadian Open & US Open will have a secured placement to the World Championship
        • If the top 6 qualifiers have already earned a bid, the placement will not be passed down to subsequent participants
          • Any remaining bid placements that are not allocated to winners will go into the Wildcard bid
      • The top 4 qualifiers for The US Arnold, Throwdown, Angrywood or any other officially sanctioned WATL tournament where a Championship bid is announced, will have a secured placement to the World Championship
        • If the top 4 qualifiers have already earned a bid, the placement will not be passed down to subsequent participants
      • Any bid placements not allocated to eligible tournament participants will be added to the Wildcard pool
      • All qualified tournament winners must play at least 1 sanctioned WATL season to maintain and keep their placement bid to the World Championship
        • Exceptions:
          • Competitors that do not have a WATL venue within their metropolitan area or are further than 1-hour of drive-time from their primary residence
            • Drive time as measured from their home, to their venue, during the time when a WATL sanctioned league would normally take place
          • Competitors that have a WATL venue in their metropolitan area or within 1 hour of their primary residence but venue did not have enough participants to run a sanctioned WATL season

Wildcard Eligibility:

  • WATL Tournaments will be open to all competitors globally
  • The World Championship Wildcards will be reserved only for WATL League participants that have played at least 1 WATL season during that year
  • The number of World Championship Wildcards will depend on the number of earned bids throughout the year, but will be at minimum, 16 Wildcard spots
    • Wildcards will be selected using a lottery method 
    • There will be 64 competitors in total that will be selected for the lotto draw
    • Exceptions:
      • Competitors that do not have a WATL venue within their metropolitan area or are further than 1-hour of drive-time from their primary residence
        • Drive time as measured from their home, to their venue, during the time when a WATL sanctioned league would normally take place
      • WATL affiliates who were not able to have enough participants to run a sanctioned WATL season, but have competitors interested in representing the WATL affiliate and live within the metropolitan area or live within 1 hour from the venue will be allowed to participate in the Wildcard

Update 12/23/19

Heres the list of specific changes made after the initial release of this article on the rules changes for 2020. Some of the rules above or in previous articles may conflict with the rules listed in this update section. Please refer to the official rules page for all current and official rules. If there is ever a contradiction on our website then the official rules page is the final source for official rules, always. Please note as above some of these changes are simple wording and not full rules changes.

Section B: Gameplay. 
  • vi. Each official league run by an axe throwing venue is self-contained and may not be combined with other leagues.
    • vi.a. 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.
      • vi.a.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.
  • xi.g. Points are not counted or tallied during sudden death.
Section D: Axe Throwing Distance.
  • ii. Players feet may not cross the 12ft line until both players have thrown their axes.
    • ii.a. Axes must be scored before crossing the line
  • iii. An exception is made for throwers in wheelchairs. See section B.viii.

Section E: Attendance.

  • iii.a.  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.   
Section M: Playoffs.
  • ii. Seeding is done in the traditional manner based on the total match wins from weeks 1 through 7.
    • ii.a. 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
Section R:  Duals League.
Duals is a partnered competition where both competitors must throw their standard axe (hatchet) at the same time, from behind the 12ft line, at the same target for each throw. Generally, teams do a countdown (3,2,1) to help sync their throws at the same time.
Section Y: Big Axe Specs.
  • v. 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.

As always, for updates on everything axe throwing around the World Axe Throwing League stay tuned to our News Feed, check us out on Facebook and Instagram or join our discussion group on Facebook to chat with the WATL community!