WATL Player Code of Conduct

The World Axe Throwing League® (WATL®) is dedicated to the development of axe throwing through competitive play and fostering camaraderie in the community. We strive to promote competition through sportsmanship and fair play. Our axe throwing rules ensure 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 or spectator at any WATL-sanctioned 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 throwers, teams, officials, spectators, Judges, or facilitators, and treat all throwers 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.
  • Not to engage in discriminatory behavior based on, but not limited to race, religion, creed, language, disability, gender identity, or sexual identity.
  • Refrain from the use of abusive language or profanity. Including but not limited to contemptuous, discriminatory, or denigratory words, or actions concerning race, language, religion, gender, or sexual orientation
  • Not engage in any behavior that would endanger the health, safety, or well-being of any thrower, official, staff member, or spectator.
  • Any verbal or non-verbal intimidation, threats of physical violence, trash talk, abusive language, profanity, threats, or general disrespect during any league or tournament towards any presiding Certified Judge, WATL Official, thrower, or spectator will not be tolerated and will result in immediate removal from the league or tournament.
  • 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 the thrower and the target, or in front of the thrower.

This Code of Conduct applies to players and all persons associated with the players including but not limited to: coaches, judges, parents, guardians, player family and friends, and spectators.

Failure to comply with the Code of Conduct may result in penalties, including possible dismissal from the event and/or being banned from attending future events.

WATL has a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate and unacceptable conduct, including but not limited to:

  • Threatening verbal or physical abuse
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct
  • Bullying in online and offline forums
  • Any actions that are detrimental to any individual, the public welfare, or actions that are not representative of the purpose and mission of WATL


Sports are filled with judgment calls and, as a result, disputes may occur. Participants must handle all disputes constructively. WATL® has the sole discretion to investigate all evidence available to maintain the integrity of the rules & the sport in any sanctioned event. Protests for thrower eligibility or rule misapplications or 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 a lane Judge.

All decisions made by on-site WATL Officials must be respected and obeyed. Any feedback regarding rules, throwers, officials, or staff members should be brought to the attention of WATL via email at [email protected].

Any behavior deemed unacceptable by WATL officials, presiding Judges, or affiliate owners may result in a verbal warning, ejection, suspension, and/or expulsion as outlined below. Repeated Code of Conduct violations by the same thrower, or team, could result in expulsion from future or all WATL-sanctioned events without refunds.


  • Purposeful distractions are defined as, but are 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 gameplay will not be permitted.
    • First Offense:
      • The first purposeful distraction from an opposing player will result in a zero score for that throw, for the player causing the distraction, and a Code of Conduct warning is issued.
      • The first purposeful distraction from a spectating league member or tournament participant will result in a zero in the first throw of their next league game/tournament match.
      • The first purposeful distraction from a spectator not participating in the sanctioned event will result in the immediate removal from the facility
      • 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.
    • Second Offense:
      • The second purposeful distraction from an opposing player will result in a forfeit for that league game/tournament 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 league game/tournament 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 the remainder of the 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.
  • Game Fixing & Sandbagging:
    • If any player is found to fix a league game/tournament match to achieve a desired outcome then that player will be banned from all WATL® tournaments & leagues. Players may appeal the ban, one year after the offense, pending review by the Commissioner.

Disciplinary Procedure

All Code of Conduct violations during and outside of sanctioned events will result in disciplinary measures.

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

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

Pending a formal investigation, WATL reserves the right to suspend the thrower or spectator in question as it deems necessary at its sole discretion.

Presiding WATL officials are not required to follow disciplinary measures in this order.

Social Media Policy

WATL recognizes the importance of the Internet in shaping the public’s perception of our sport and organization. WATL also recognizes the importance of our Council Members, sports coordinators, judges, employees, volunteers, and players in leading and setting the tone of social media interactions in a manner that advances the mission and goals of WATL.

This Social Media Policy applies to all WATL officials, Affiliates, Ambassadors, Council Members, Judges, employees, volunteers, and players, collectively referred to as “WATL Members”. This Social Media Policy applies to all social media content posted by WATL Members in their professional and personal capacity; defamatory or disparaging of WATL or other WATL Members, in relation to WATL.

WATL strives to create a positive and inclusive organization that is dedicated to helping participants reach their full potential. To further this goal, WATL strives to engage members of the community in a positive, honest, transparent, and knowledgeable dialogue about WATL through social media. WATL views social media as an important tool for communicating its successes and opportunities for community and individual development.

All WATL Members shall abide by the following guidelines when using social media:

  • Be respectful and always take the high road. When disagreeing with others’ opinions, remain appropriate and polite. If you find yourself in a situation online that is becoming antagonistic, disengage entirely from the conversation. Report any behavior to WATL if the interaction violates WATL’s code of conduct.
  • Do not participate in or encourage Trolling. Trolling is defined as; starting quarrels, sowing discord by posting inflammatory, digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages to players, and the posting of images to incite conflict within WATL and its members.
  • Refrain from posts or comments that are defamatory, disparaging, slanderous, or contentious against other WATL Members.
  • Encourage others to engage in constructive interactions on social media. If you are concerned about any WATL Member’s use of social media, please bring your concerns to the attention of WATL.
  • Personally identifiable information such as date of birth, street address, phone number, or other sensitive information that can identify a particular individual (doxxing), should not be disclosed in any manner on official WATL social networking sites without the approval of WATL and the individual in question.

Violations of the Social Media Policy

By participating in WATL-sanctioned events, attending a WATL Affiliated Venue, or engaging in any WATL social media property, you are subject to this Social Media Policy. WATL may, at its sole discretion, enforce this policy and has the authority to remove any inappropriate or offensive comments from official WATL sites. WATL may block any individual or organization from posting on any official WATL social media platform at their sole and absolute discretion.

Any WATL Member who fails to adhere to the Social Media Policy may be considered in violation of the WATL Code of Conduct and may be subject to disciplinary actions, including, but not limited to:

  • Suspension including ineligibility for tournament and league play
  • Suspension for the current season
  • Permanent suspension from all WATL activities, events, tournaments and league play

Reporting Violations

If you are the subject of or witness to what you believe are violations of the Code of Conduct or Social Media policy, you can email [email protected]. That email address goes directly to the inbox of the Commissioner and is initially only seen by them.

Wherever possible, infractions during an event or at a WATL-affiliated venue should first be attempted to be resolved immediately at that time and place. 

When reporting infractions to WATL, include as much information as possible, including screenshots where relevant, an accounting of all events being reported, and any relevant supporting video, links, etc. All emails and communications are considered confidential until noted otherwise. *note that WATL will not get involved in interpersonal issues between individuals, only blatant violations of the noted Code of Conduct and Social Media policies.

Should an investigation be deemed warranted, the violation will be brought before the WATL Disciplinary Committee which consists of individuals and/or venue owners that have no conflict of interest in the specific situation, for the purpose of the investigation. Said Committee will direct the WATL Commissioner (or other appointed WATL Official) in the gathering of additional information if warranted, including the point of view from both parties involved where relevant.

The WATL Disciplinary Committee will then recommend a course of action to WATL related to the situation, and severity, as well as any disciplinary actions it feels are necessary. WATL may accept the recommendations from the Committee and enact them, or choose to proceed with alternative courses of action, solely at their own discretion.

Parties that reported the violation, or participated in the investigation are not entitled by default to know the outcome of the action (other than it has been resolved), regardless of the chosen action, nor is WATL obligated to publish the results of the investigation publicly. WATL will always work to resolve violations without the need for punitive action, with suspensions being reserved for only the most egregious of violations, or for repeated violations.

Appealing Disciplinary Actions

Any thrower that has been subject to disciplinary action may appeal the decision within 30 days, unless otherwise communicated in the decision, via a method provided in the decision issued. In the case that an action is appealed, the WATL President or CEO will review the investigation, and perform any additional due diligence that they may feel necessary.

The President/CEO will make a final decision on the appeal and may change or uphold the initial decision, at their sole discretion. This decision will be final and binding, and no further appeals will be accepted.

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