Shop Now

Running Axe Throwing Leagues in 2020

We have had many requests from new affiliates and players for a quick guide on the basics of Axe Throwing Leagues, so we’ve put this outline together for you. Please note, this is not intended to replace the Official WATL Rules Page. In the event something conflicts with the rules page here, the rules page overrides anything outlined here or anywhere else on the website.  Please make sure you read the rules page in its entirety. This is only intended to provide suggestions on best practices and context.

Running Axe Throwing Leagues – 2020

Some definitions:

  • A match is a set of ten throws (Except in Big Axe Leagues which it’s 5 throws per match)
  • A round is a set of three matches, with the best of 2 matches advancing and or winning.  This is only used during tournaments.
  • A lane is a set of two targets used for competition
  • A target is a set of wood with the target circles drawn on it and assigned to a single thrower
  • Sudden Death throws are used in the case of a tie, where after the tenth throw, the points are identical creating a tie.  Sudden death uses the point value of the 10th throw. The point value does not contribute to the match scores

Target description:

  • Bullseye is six points and is defined by a filled in red circle surrounded by a black circle in the center of the target.
  • Concentric circles are then surrounding the bullseye worth 4, 3, 2, and 1 point with lower point values being farther away from the bullseye.
  • A kill shot is worth 8 points, and is the blue circle and only able to be active on the 5th, and 10th throw.  It is also used during the sudden death round.

Dates for 2020:

Winter League starts the week of January 12th

Spring League starts the week of April 5th

Summer League starts the week of June 28th

Fall League starts the week of September 13th


Arnold Sports Festival Open = Weekend of March 6th

Canadian Open Tournament = Weekend of April 24th

Throw Down Open Tournament = Weekend of July 31st

U.S. Open Tournament = Weekend of September 4th

AngryWood Open Tournament = Weekend of October 9th

World Axe Throwing Championship = Weekend of Dec 4th

League Year

Each year of WATL Leagues there are 4 seasons with a break of 3-4 weeks in between.

The seasons:

  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall

These seasons coincide with the northern hemisphere seasons.



In each season there are 7 weeks of regular matches finishing with a tournament in the 8th week. Each week in the league can be played any day you wish, but the week starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday.

Week 8 is a playoff to determine the champion in a double elimination bracket.

Each Leagues week must start on the same week, then throughout the season, the scores are uploaded the same week they are finished. All scores must be submitted no later than Saturday of each week.

If someone joins late, they can make up their missed  throws up to 2 weeks:

  • Every league week, each player plays 4 matches. All four matches will equal to 40 throws per week.
  • League is typically scheduled the same night every week to allow for league players a way to set their personal schedules
  • In the rule book, if three weeks are missed, the players are not eligible for the playoffs.

Week 8 playoffs:

  • Overall standings from week 7, set the seed for the playoffs which are a double bracket elimination Regional Tournament.
    • It’s best to think of the first 7 weeks as qualifying for the 8th week Regional Tournament.
  • Double elimination means that each person has to lose twice.  After losing the first game, players drop into the B bracket for final placement.  
  • Additionally, the winner of the B bracket goes to the final round with the winner.
  • Print your bracket (website) is one that is very useful for creating paper brackets. But as an example here’s the World Axe Throwing Leagues double elimination bracket.


From the rule book:

  • The final Championship round is between the winner of the W bracket and the winner of the U bracket consisting of best of 3 matches. Allowing for one practice throw between each match.
  • The Winner: will be the person who wins 2 out of the 3 matches first.
  • The W winner must lose twice in order for the U winner to win the Championship
  • This means that if the U winner, beats the W winner in a best of 3 matches, they must play another best of 3 matches in order for the U winner to win the Championship

League week

Before your first week of league starts:

  • Weigh all new axes that have not been weighed yet during the season
  • Ensure all waivers, liability forms, etc. are complete
  • Create a new season in the app and add all players into the season.
  • Be sure to have fun, and your players will too.

The first hour it is recommended to have a practice session and sign in. A standard is for an hour of practice around the league. Each person gets ten throws and then is cycled to the back of the line.  Players do not have to participate in practice.

Before the beginning of the week night, there is an announcement period.  Topics should be:

  • Business promotions/announcements
  • Community Announcements
    • A fun idea is that players get a chance to write a message on an index card.
  • High scores and standings
  • League announcements for the season
  • Review of all the rules 
  • Question and Answers

During the practice session, the judge should be assigning groups of matches in the app

After the briefing, games begin and assigned four random players automatically in the app. It is best practice not to play the same person twice in the same evening. The reasoning here is to create a fair and competitive landscape so that top throwers don’t shred weaker throwers.

Take whomever is present, play out four rounds of the membership pool for the evening.

In an ideal world, the bracket would be built out for the entire season, with as few replays of players as possible throughout the season (seven weeks.)  


Duals and Big Axe Leagues

New this season is the introduction of Duals and Big Axe Leagues. Both of which are run in the same way as our Standard League and have any additional rules on our rules page. Some things to note that is recommended for running Duals and Big Axe Leagues

The big axe league is for one person with a larger axe (specifications of which are in our rules page) but the major difference between this league in our standard one is that it requires more room to throw (at least 18 ft) and each match is only 5 throws.

Duals is the exact same as the Standard League, though it will have two player teams. Each team throws on an individual target.

How To Get Better At Axe Throwing

The WATL App

The scoring App for WATL is located at

Some things to note about app use:

  • The app is mandatory for use in official leagues.
  • It is a web app so it is not one you will download on your phone.
  • You must have an internet connection to record scores.
  • It is optimized for tablets and laptops, not phone use.

For all app help, you can refer to the App FAQ or email [email protected]

Common FAQ’s and workarounds

Building targets:

Building brackets:

The app shold function and built all matches and brackets for you but in the case of a error in the software:

  • is a website that can build your league brackets out for most of the season.  Note: based on the four throws per league night rule, every four rounds would be a single night of throwing.  Once the league numbers are exhausted, then start another one, and it’s random.
  • Seeding is recommended to be done by arrival time/sign up as they walk in on the first night of the new bracket sheet.

Disaster recovery:

  • It is recommended that paper backups be kept of the evening to be able to reconstruct each evening’s play.  This is to protect against failure of the database and or “software glitches” happening to the software. This should include, basic member records, throw win / loss, points, who they played and other important notes relevant to reconstructing a week.  They should be kept through a league year in the event something is needed for the world championships.
  • All documents should be noted as to who completed them, dates, times, etc. for the events.  The judge / coach should sign off on the form at the completion of each evening.
  • This could be a print out of the software or complete manual records.

Some other suggestions:

  • Week four appreciation night.  This is a good way to get players through the season, let them know they are valuable assets to the community.
  • Week eight potluck.  For those facilities which are not restaurants, a pot luck or similar bonding type is valuable for the community.

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.

Leave a Reply