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Bury The Hatchet: Banned from WATL

As WATL continues to grow and evolve, we constantly face changes, challenges and difficult decisions that we must make for the sake of the sport of urban axe throwing.
Effective immediately, Bury the Hatchet has been banned from the World Axe Throwing League. None of their leagues are sanctioned nor will be recognized by WATL.
Here’s what we based our decision on:
  • Last year, Bury the Hatchet had a regional champion, Paul Gammon who was eligible and should have been guaranteed a placement at the World Championship
    • instead, Bury the Hatchet chose not to report that to WATL and instead have him compete in the Wild Card tournament
  • This year, Bury the Hatchet, after many emails clearly outlining the deadline to report scores and a regional champion, elected not to do so
    • Bury the Hatchet unilaterally decided to extend leagues by 3 weeks without notifying WATL.
    • We granted them a 1 week exception for the Canadian Open as they were the only facility to have leagues on Sundays
    • The result: Michael Moore, a well respected and recognized axe thrower missed his opportunity to be place in the top 12 and earn a spot at the World Championship
  • Bury the Hatchet made the same mistake twice, in back-to-back seasons: Bury the Hatchet did not report or communicate to WATL the information we required
    • Our response to this was to simply place Bury the Hatchet on probation for the upcoming season to ensure compliance to WATL rules that venues all over the world adhere to. We explained to them that probation meant nothing more than us watching and working with them extra hard to make sure things went smoothly next season. This will help their players get what they deserve when they compete in the World Axe Throwing League.
    • The subsequent response from Bury the Hatchet’s Owner and an employee:
  • “I find the probation part a bit extreme and insulting. The way you have WATL set up right now it is almost impossible to make a profit running your leagues. You also make it difficult, confusing and expensive to send people to your events.” – Howard Klotzkin
  • “WATL already has a poor reputation, just review comments on social media. The online bashing isn’t directed at BTH, it is aimed at WATL.  If you want to improve your relationship with some of the best throwers in the country, then put your full support behind BTH and drop all probation & sanctions dribble….I’m close to recommending that BTH switch…Or form our own Axe Association and hold leagues and tournaments. You’re making it too difficult and stressful, and will lose all the serious throwers in the Mid-Atlantic region. I expect WATL to be flawless this season, if you’re going to demand the same. No ‘hiccups’, missed deadlines, or abrupt changes. ” – Patrick Creed
  • WATL then reached out to Howard as owner of the Bury the Hatchet to make sure whether or not his employee spoke for him and Bury the Hatchet.
    • Three days later, we received the following email: ” I have decided to run unsanctioned for the spring league in all bury the hatchet locations, Including Atlanta. ”  – Howard Klotzkin.
      • Which as you can see ignored our request for more information

While we welcome criticism, constructive feedback and the opportunity to improve, we do not welcome threats nor will we allow our staff or management to be intimidated.  Bury the Hatchet has made it very clear to WATL through emails and through several conversations that their position is that WATL appears to be the problem because they cannot monetize leagues. Their abrasive approach, the threats and emails sent by Bury The Hatchet make it clear that they do not fit within the axe throwing community we are looking to build. They do not share our values. The fact that they are willing to continue running leagues and make them unsanctioned rather than be compliant solidifies our position that they have no place in WATL and would rather hurt their players than help them.

While others leagues may welcome this behavior, WATL does not share in that vision.

We wish them nothing but the best in forming their own association. We hope that they can then finally appreciate the hard work that goes into building a global community that is worthy of such great throwers and affiliates.
WATL will honour any thrower(s) that have earned a placement at the 2019 World Championship. Qualifying throwers will be identified as “independent”.