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WATL Spring Season Rules Update


With the Winter League under our belt, along with the Canadian Open on ESPN and TSN, we’ve been able to learn a lot about how the sport of Urban Axe Throwing is played.  As we grow and players improve, we need to make adjustments to keep our great sport interesting & challenging for all. That’s why we’ve decided to make some changes to the Axe Throwing Rules for 2019 and onwards.

The WATL team has had constructive discussions about moving our beloved sport forward. Many updates are clarifications on rules but we have implemented new ones to make a clear, cohesive, and fun sport for all to participate in. Additionally, we want to challenge players to a new standard, while still allow it to be accessible to all who participate.

Below is a summary of the new rule changes for 2019:

World Axe Throwing Rules: 2019 Spring Update

Section C: Scoring

  • Points
    • viii. The Killshot is Worth 8 Points
    • ix. Killshot Throw
      • The Killshot may be active for the 5th and 10th throw of the match only. Otherwise, it will be treated as if the Killshot is not there.
      • Before throwing for the Killshot. The player must make clear to the Judge and opponent they intend on throwing for the Killshot.
        • This is referred to as a “Call” or “calling the Killshot” and activating it for the full 8 points
        • The Thrower with the higher points must decide to call first
          • In the case of the tie, either thrower may volunteer to call first. If neither thrower volunteers to do so the Judge will flip a coin to decide and assign one player as heads, and the other as tails.
        • The Judge will confirm a Killshot call (or a non-Killshot call) with the throwers prior to a throw being made
          • If a throw is made prior to a Judge confirming the call, the throw will be counted as a fault
        • The player cannot change their call (Killshot or non-Killshot) once a Judge confirms, for that specific throw
        • If the Killshot is called but the players’ axe does not hit the Killshot, then no points are awarded. 
    • x. Sudden Death
      • In the event of a tie after 10 throws in a single match, the match enters into sudden death
      • ONLY Killshots are allowed during all sudden death throws
      • Players will remain in their respective targets for sudden death throws (no switching of targets required)
      • Players may not score on the same Killshot twice in a row. Players must alternate Killshots on the same target.
      • Both players must throw within 5 seconds of each other but not before Judge confirms that the lane is open. This is the same as regular play.
      • 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. The player with the shortest distance will be awarded the match.
        • 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
        • If a player touches their axe before a measurement is made, the match is awarded to the opposing player.


  • Technicalities
    • i. A Break (breaking) is defined as when the surface of the axe is embedded in the wood and has the marked surface of the target area visible on both sides of the axe head.
    • ii. If the axe breaking multiple sections of the target simultaneously, then the player is awarded the points for the higher valued section.
      • a. To gain the points for a bullseye the axe must be inside the black line and break the red.
      • b. To gain the points for the killshot the axe must be breaking the blue
    • iii. No Delays in Throws: Both players must throw within 5 seconds of each other.
      • Players may not “delay” in throwing the axe in hopes that the opponent’s axe may fall out of the target or use delays for strategic advantage.

Section G: Targets

  • Target Design
    • iv. The bullseye (center red circle) must be 3.5” inches in diameter inside the center ring and colored red.
      • 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.
    • v. The killshot (2 blue circles) are 1.5” inches in diameter and positioned inside the 1 point ring.
      • a. The bottom of the killshot is positioned approximately 36 inches from the bottom of the board and 2.5 inches from the outer side of the board. enduring they are centered inside the 1 point outer ring.


Section H: Axes

  • Axe Regulations
    • Axe Blade Length
      • 4.25 inches from tip to tip
    • iv. Maximum Weights of an axe must be no more than 3lbs/1.36kg


Rules Clarifications From Winter Season

Sanctioned League

  • 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.
  • A Sanctioned League winner in a season, is crowned Regional Champion and is eligible for the World Championship.
  • A WATL Sanctioned League must have a minimum of 8 different players.
  • 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
  • Sanctioned Leagues must begin within 1 week from the official WATL start dates for each season
  • Sanctioned Leagues must end within 1 week from the official WATL start dates for each season
    • 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

  • A WATL affiliated venue may host more than one sanctioned league per season.
  • If hosting more than one sanctioned league, each sanctioned league must have a minimum of 10 different players not participating in another WATL sanctioned league.
  • The winner of each Sanctioned League is considered to be a Regional Champion for the sake of determining who is eligible for the World Championship.


  • If there is an injury of a player during league play, the injured player must seek prompt attention for any injuries.
  • The injured player may continue to compete after injury only after the player and league official decides it is safe to do so.
  • The Player and League official may have up to 2 minutes to decide whether the injured player may continue. If no decision has been reached in 2 minutes the injured player must forfeit the match. Their match will count as a loss but all points earned in the match are still recorded.
  • If either the player or the league official decides the injured player is too injured to continue, the injured player must forfeit the match. Their match will count as a loss but all points earned in the match are still recorded