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Introducing: World Axe Throwing League Tournament Circuit And 2021 Updates

March 25th Update, the changes to the Rules have been reflected on this page- this includes the Region Change Due to Covid-19 and updates to Regional Tournaments.

Clarification from March 22nd, 2021, as seen below, there have been changes to the Major Tournament structure. These changes streamlined the Major Tournament, saving venues time and players money. However, we prefer not to change the previous language and instead highlight changes in blue for additional transparency. The WATL would like to stress that we will be very open to feedback for the remainder of 2021 to improve and refine the system for 2022.

As of February 19, 2021, WATL has clarified a few small changes to ensure the ease of registrations and participation in Major tournaments going forward. Please pay attention to these changes, marked in blue.

In what can only be described as the biggest change ever, today, we’re introducing an entirely new system of play for the 2021 year and beyond. Qualifying for the 2021 World Axe Throwing Championship will now be done through a system of Circuit Points that will be awarded for league and tournament play & placings. This announcement is also closely tied to the WATL Pro League announcement.

PLEASE NOTE: To ensure overall fairness and avoid potential changes to qualification mid-year, upon the commencement of Winter League on January 4th no changes will be made to the structure of this system until after the 2021 World Axe Throwing Championship. We will be very open to feedback both leading up to and during 2021 to improve and refine the system for 2022.

This Tournament Circuit flow chart will help visualize how things will work and be integrated in 2021.

DEFINITIONS

While we aim to increase the quality of competition across the board Major and Televised tournaments will still include an allotment of lottery bids to allow for less experienced WATL members to accrue high level tournament experience.

ALL THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FOR STANDARD HATCHET THROWING AND WILL BE MODIFIED & APPLICABLE FOR BOTH DUALS AND BIG AXE.

  • Circuit Points: Points awarded for placements in WATL Sanctioned Events including tournaments and leagues. Points vary based on placing and event.
    • Circuit points will be allotted to individual WATL App accounts, it is the responsibility of the thrower to ensure they are using only a single account across tournaments and venues
    • Circuit Points ultimately define who will attend the World Axe Throwing Championship
  • League Tournament: The final week of league in which the local champion is crowned at your venue.
  • Local Tournament: Any tournament sanctioned by WATL with a prize pool of at least $100 and a minimum of 16 participants
    • Venues cannot host more than 4 sanctioned Local Tournaments per year
  • Closed Qualifier: Qualifying throws taking place with predefined entry requirements
    • The World Axe Throwing Championship Closed Qualifier is open to any throwers in the Top 200 on the Circuit Point leaderboard who have not already secured a bid
  • Open Qualifier: Qualifying throws taking place in person at a WATL venue with the purpose of qualifying a number of players to a Major or Televised Tournament.
    • Open to anyone that has participated in a WATL Sanctioned League in the preceding year
      • Exceptions for the 2021 year:
        • 2019 League participation will count towards participation requirement due to limited leagues available in 2020
        • A WATL venue was open in 2020 but was unable to have enough participants to run a sanctioned league; participants are eligible to participate in Open Qualifiers as long as they live within a 1 hour driving distance to the venue from their primary residence
        • Participant does not have a WATL venue within a 2 hour total travel distance from their primary residence to do their Qualifying Throws
          • Where travel is defined as driving, ferry, but does not include public transportation or air travel
    • Standard Open Qualifiers will consist of 50 throws
      • Mandatory Killshot on every 5th and 10th throw
      • Standard league play of open Killshots does not apply
      • 10 overtime killshot throws (used as tie-breakers)
    • Duals Open Qualifiers will consist of 30 throws per team
      • Mandatory Killshots on every 5th and 10th throw
      • 5 overtime throws (used as tie-breakers)
    • Big Axe Open Qualifiers will consist of 25 throws
      • Mandatory Killshots on every 5th throw
      • Additional 5 overtime throws (used as tie-breakers)
  • Venues set a time to hold their Open Qualifier before the stated deadline
  • Venues may set Open Qualifier prices as they wish. WATL suggests the following prices for each discipline:
    • $25 Standard Axe
    • $15 Big Axe
    • $15 Duals ($30 per team)
  • Venues will pay WATL a qualifier fee of $5 per thrower
    • WATL will place a minimum of 50% of qualifier fees in the main tournament prize pool
  • Local venues must have at least one WATL Certified Judge on hand to judge throws and collect scores
    • Any participant found to be scoring themselves will immediately be disqualified from the qualifying competition and be removed from all lottery availability for the remainder of the year
  • Open Qualifier Rules for those wishing to compete without a participating WATL venue nearby will make their throws at home or at a non-WATL venue:
    • Must not have a participating WATL venue within a 2 hour drive
    • Scoring and processing
      1. Intent to participate must be emailed to WATL with 2-6 weeks prior to the event date:
        1. [email protected]
        2. Subject Line: Open Qualifier [Tournament]
        3. Body text: please include your home address including a picture of your driver’s license for verification. State your intent to participate in the upcoming Open Qualifier
      2. Upon receiving final video submission, WATL will send a video processing invoice of $25 plus any applicable taxes to be paid in full for scores to be processed
      3. All throws must be recorded in at least 1080p quality and submitted to WATL, [email protected]
      4. Throws must also be streamed live to a Facebook page/group as determined by WATL during a specified time frame
    • During each throw the thrower and fault line must be visible
    • Player must show, in their stream, on a secondary device, the as shown on the following website: https://time.is/
    • Camera must be taken to retrieve axe to show axe scoring on each throw, zooming into each side of the axe to ensure paint is broken on both sides
    • Any player found intentionally cheating during qualifiers will be immediately suspended for a period of 12 months from any WATL sanctioned event and have any accumulated Circuit Points for the year reset to zero
    • Players caught abusing the system through multiple submissions or cherry-picked throws during marathon sessions will be immediately suspended for a period of 12 months from any WATL sanctioned event and have any accumulated Circuit Points for the year reset to zero
  • Regional Tournament: A tournament held once quarterly in each WATL region.
    • Entry Requirements: Open participation for current WATL season members. Exceptions:
      • Throwers did not have a WATL venue that hosted a league within a 1 hour drive of their primary residence
    • Circuit Points awarded for the Fall Regional Tournament are doubled
    • The winner of these tournaments qualify for the following quarter’s Televised Tournament.
    • Location will vary and cannot occur in the same place more than twice per year unless otherwise specified
    • Will rotate to different locations within the region each season
    • Throwers not expected to attend each one
    • Venues will bid for tournaments or be assigned them
    • Players are allowed to compete across regional lines if desired
    • Players are not permitted to travel to another region to throw in Regional Tournaments. Players must participate in a regional tournament within the region their official league is located in or the region where the thrower resides; whichever region is closer to their residence.
      • For example, if Player A lives in Syracuse but plays in a Marathon League in Orlando as their official league, they must participate in the Regional Tournament that contains the city of Syracuse
        • An exception will be made if another Regional Tournament is geographically closer to a throwers home residence. 
        • If a thrower’s region does not host a discipline that a participant desires to participate in, the thrower must travel to the next geographically closest Regional Tournament which provides that discipline.
      • Breaking either of these rules will result in a loss of any Circuit Points gained from participating in the Regional Tournament where the infraction occurred.
    • Minimum 50% of ticket sales required for payout

  • Major Tournament: Any tournament sanctioned by WATL with a minimum prize pool of $5000 and at least 64 competitors (Venues are encouraged to collaborate with other neighbouring venues to reach requirements if interested)
    • Venues planning to host a Major tournament MUST submit their tournament proposal for approval to WATL via email at [email protected] Dates, tournament size, disciplines, and any other relevant details must be approved through WATL if the tournament wishes to be sanctioned as a Major.
    • Types of entries are allotted on a case by case basis with guidance from WATL on the allocation of entries
      • Up to 50% of spots will be reserved for Pro League throwers
        • Any tournaments with 128 or more capacity, all Pro League throwers will gain entry if they so wish, but must register within the allotted time frame given by the hosting venue
        • Tournaments with 64 capacity, Pro League reserved spots will be capped at 25% (16 throwers)
        • If Pro League interest or registration exceeds reserved capacity for any Major Tournament, at the sole discretion of the host venue, may host either a lottery for Pro Leagues or conduct Pro League registrations on a first-come, first-serve basis until they max out their reserved capacity.
        • Pro League members may still register as part of the general registration tournament process
      • Up to 16 entries into the Major Tournament will be reserved for Sanctioned Local Tournament Victories
      • Open Qualifiers have been removed and replaced with Open Registration. If registration exceeds tournament capacity, the venue may host either a lottery or conduct Open Registrations on a first-come, first-serve basis for an exclusive 1-week period, until they max out their reserved capacity.
    • WATL may, at its sole discretion, decide for open entries to a tournament if it deems the size of available entrants is sufficient.
  • Televised Tournament: are defined as ESPN/televised tournaments with a minimum of 128 competitors. If Tournament size is increased, the number of allocations will be determined & clarified at WATL’s discretion.
    • 16 Entries (Top 16) From Previous Televised Tournament
      • Top 16 from WATC invited to US Open
      • Top 16 from US Open invited to Canadian Open
    • 8 Entries From Regional Tournament Victories From Previous Season
      • Winter winners obtain US Open Entry bids, Spring winners obtain Canadian Open Entry bids, Summer winners obtain WATC Closed Qualifier entry bids
        1. If any regional tournaments do not occur bids are converted to additional lottery bids
        2. Any declined Regional Tournament bids are converted to additional lottery bids
    • 64 Entries From Open Qualifiers
    • 40 Entries From Lottery
      • 40 Lotto Entries from Open Qualifiers
      • 10 Lotto Entries from Open Lotto
  • World Axe Throwing Championship
    • 32 WATL Pro League Bids (8 Per Season)
    • 32 Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points
      • Each region’s top players by allotment will receive World Championship bids. For example, the Midwest region will have their top 4 Circuit Point leaders receive bids for WATC. The break down by regions is as follows:
      • Due to the March 25th Region Change- we will we’ll have more details closer to the fall and we will make reasonable adjustments at that time.
        1. East: 6
        2. North: 6
        3. Atlantic: 4
        4. South: 4
        5. Midwest: 4
        6. Pacific: 3
        7. Mountain: 3
        8. Global: 2
    • 32 Non-Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points: Top 32 players in Circuit points that have not already qualified through the above regions
    • 32 Non-Region Locked Bids via Qualifying Throws
      • Closed Qualifiers: 24 Bids will be reserved for Closed Qualifying Throws for the highest scores from throwers with Circuit Point rankings in the Top 200 that participate in the Closed Qualifying throws.
      • Open Qualifiers: 8 Bids will be reserved for Open Qualifying Throws for those with the Highest Scores from the group of throwers that participate in Open Qualifying Throws that have 10 or more Circuit Points
    • Seeding for the World Axe Throwing Championship will be awarded based on total Circuit Points for the year
      • ie. The person with the most circuit points will be given the highest seed in the tournament
  • Duals World Axe Throwing Championship
    • 1 Bid for the previous year’s World Champions
    • 16 Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points
      • Each region’s top two teams by allotment will receive World Championship bids.
    • 32 Non-Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points: Top 32 players in Circuit points that have not already qualified through the above regions
    • 15 Non-Region Locked Bids via Qualifying Throws
      • Closed Qualifiers: 12 Bids will be reserved for Closed Qualifying Throws Circuit Point rankings in the top 150 required
      • Open Qualifiers: 3 Bids will be reserved for Open Qualifying Throws Highest Scores from participants in Open Qualifying Throws with 10 or more Circuit Points eligible
    • In order for a duals team to be eligible for a region locked bid, whereas both partners do not live in the same region, they must participate in at least one standard league or marathon league within one of their two regions.
      • If they participate in both regions, the region with more leagues played will be chosen for the purposes of a region locked bid.
      • If they participate in both regions equally, the region with the first league played will be chosen for the purposes of a region locked bid.
  • Big Axe World Axe Throwing Championship
    • 1 Bid for the previous year’s World Champion
    • 16 Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points
      • Each region’s top two players by allotment will receive World Championship bids.
    • 32 Non-Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points: Top 32 players in Circuit points that have not already qualified through the above regions
    • 15 Non-Region Locked Bids via Qualifying Throws
      • Closed Qualifiers: 12 Bids will be reserved for Closed Qualifying Throws Circuit Point rankings in the top 150 required
      • Open Qualifiers: 3 Bids will be reserved for Open Qualifying Throws Highest Scores from participants in Open Qualifying Throws with 10 or more Circuit Points eligible
  • WATL Pro League

WATL 2021 REGIONS

THE WATL GLOBAL REGION INCLUDES ALL COUNTRIES OUTSIDE THE USA AND CANADA. ALASKA AND HAWAII ARE PART OF THE PACIFIC REGION.

March 25th Regions Update

Altering Regions Due To Ongoing Border Closure

Due to Covid-19, Canada will be divided into two regions: East and West. This is a temporary measure as travel between North America is restricted. This will be reassessed at the beginning of each Season.

Western Canada: BC, Manitoba, Alberta Saskatchewan. 

Eastern Canada: Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada

Pacific: California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska

Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Michigan become part of the East

For those who earn a regional spot in a tournament that is reverted back to the original regions (West Canada or East Canada) Those regional placements will still be honored for tournament bids

MAJOR DATES FOR 2021

Regional Tournament Dates:

  • Winter League Regional Tournaments March 6th-7th
  • Spring League Regional Tournaments May 29th-30th
  • Summer League Regional Tournaments August 21st – 22nd
  • Fall League Regional Tournaments November 13th-14th

Televised Tournament Dates:

  • US Open April 9th-11th
  • Canadian Open – TBD
  • WATC December 10th-13th

WATC Cut Off Dates:

  • Closed Qualifier: Scores Due October 3rd
  • Open Qualifier: Scores Due October 3rd

Seasonal League Dates:

  • Winter League – January 3
  • Spring League – March 28
  • Summer League – June 20
  • Fall League – September 12

CIRCUIT POINT DISTRIBUTION

Televised Tournament – 15,000 Points:

  • 1st – 4850
  • 2nd – 3000
  • 3rd – 2100
  • 4th – 1350
  • 5th – 900
  • 6th – 900
  • 7th – 450
  • 8th – 450
  • 9th – 150
  • 10th – 150
  • 11th – 150
  • 12th – 150
  • 13th – 100
  • 14th – 100
  • 15th – 100
  • 16th – 100

Major Tournament – 5000 Points:

  • 1st – 1650
  • 2nd – 1000
  • 3rd – 700
  • 4th – 450
  • 5th – 300
  • 6th – 300
  • 7th – 150
  • 8th- 150
  • 9th – 50
  • 10th – 50
  • 11th – 50
  • 12th – 50
  • 13th – 25
  • 14th – 25
  • 15th – 25
  • 16th – 25

Regional Tournament – 1000 Points:

  • 1st – 400
  • 2nd – 200
  • 3rd – 150
  • 4th – 100
  • 5th – 50
  • 6th – 50
  • 7th – 25
  • 8th – 25

Televised or Major Open Qualifiers – 250 Points:

  • 1st – 150
  • 2nd – 50
  • 3rd – 50

Local Tournament – 20 Points:

  • 1st – 15
  • 2nd – 5

Seasonal Leaderboard – 35,500 Points:

  • 1st – 7150
  • 2nd – 5250
  • 3rd – 3000
  • 4-10th – 1050
  • 11-20th – 300
  • 21-30th – 150
  • 31-50th – 100
  • 51-100th – 75
  • 101-200th – 25

Seasonal/Marathon League Points

  • League 1st Place (week 8 tournament) – 50 Points
  • League 2nd Place (week 8 tournament) – 25 Points
  • League Participation – 5 Points

Circuit points for sanctioned leagues will be capped at a maximum of 55 total points per season. (Points awarded for leaderboard standings are based on one league per thrower and the points are awarded separately from what is described below.)

Example 1: One player participates in two leagues – one regular league and one marathon league. They earn 1st place in the regular league, so they earn 50 (1st place) + 5 (participation) circuit points. They do not place 1st or 2nd in the marathon league, so they earn 5 (participation) circuit points. Their circuit point total for the season is 60, but the official cap is 55, so they earn 55 total circuit points. 

Example 2: A player participates in two regular leagues. They place 2nd in one league, so they earn 25 (2nd place) + 5 (participation) circuit points. They do not place 1st or 2nd in the other league, so they earn 5 (participation) circuit points. Their circuit point total for the season is 35 total circuit points.
Example 3: A player participates in two regular leagues and one marathon league. They do not place 1st or 2nd in any of the leagues, so they earn 5 (participation) circuit points per league. Their circuit point total for the season is 15 total circuit points