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Introducing: World Axe Throwing League Tournament Circuit And 2021 Updates

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.


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.


  1. Circuit Points: Points awarded for placements in WATL Sanctioned Events including tournaments and leagues. Points vary based on placing and event.
    1. 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
    2. Circuit Points ultimately define who will attend the World Axe Throwing Championship
  2. League Tournament: The final week of league in which the local champion is crowned at your venue.
  3. Local Tournament: Any tournament sanctioned by WATL with a prize pool of at least $100 and a minimum of 16 participants
  4. Closed Qualifier: Qualifying throws taking place with predefined entry requirements
    1. 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
  5. Open Qualifier: Qualifying throws taking place in person at a WATL venue with the purpose of qualifying a number of players to Major or Televised Tournament.
    1. Open to anyone that has participated in a WATL Sanctioned League in the preceding year
      1. Exceptions for the 2021 year:
        1. 2019 League participation will count towards participation requirement due to limited leagues available in 2020
        2. 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
        3. Participant does not have a WATL venue within a 2 hour driving distance from their primary residence to do their Qualifying Throws
          1. Please see section 5.6 for at-home Qualifying Throws
    2. Open Qualifiers will consist of 50 throws with a mandatory Kill Shot on every 5th and 10th throw & an additional 5 throws which will be all Kill Shots (for tie-breaker purposes)
    3. Venues will set a time to hold their Open Qualifier before the stated deadline
    4. Players inform their local participating venue and must sign up at least 2 weeks in advance of each open qualifier
      1. Players must pay the venue a judging fee of $25 plus any applicable taxes
      2. Venues must pay WATL a qualifier fee of $5/Thrower; inclusive of the $25 total
      3. WATL must place a minimum of 50% of qualifier fees in the main tournament prize pool
    5. Local venues must have at least one WATL Certified Judge on hand to judge throws and collect scores
      1. 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
    6. 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:
      1. Must not have a participating WATL venue within a 2 hour drive
      2. 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
      3. During each throw the thrower and fault line must be visible
      4. Player must show, in their stream, on a secondary device, the as shown on the following website:
      5. 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
      6. 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
      7. 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
  6. Regional Tournament: A tournament held once quarterly in each WATL region.
    1. Entry Requirements: Open participation for current WATL season members. Exceptions:
      1. Throwers did not have a WATL venue that hosted a league within a 1 hour drive of their primary residence
    2. Circuit Points awarded for the Fall Regional Tournament are doubled
    3. The winner of these tournaments qualify for the following quarter’s Televised Tournament.
    4. Location will vary and cannot occur in the same place more than twice per year unless otherwise specified
    5. Will rotate to different locations within the region each season
    6. Throwers not expected to attend each one
    7. Venues will bid for tournaments or be assigned them
    8. Players are allowed to compete across regional lines if desired
    9. Minimum 50% of ticket sales required for payout
  7. 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 neighboring venues to reach requirements if interested)
    1. Types of entries are allotted on a case by case basis with help from WATL
    2. Unlimited lottery entry bids based on desired tournament size – less any Pro League requested entry spots from lottery entry bids.
    3. Up to 16 entries reserved for Sanctioned Local Tournament Victories
    4. At minimum 32 entries reserved for Open Qualifier Spots
  8. 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.
    1. 16 Entries (Top 16) From Previous Televised Tournament
      1. Top 16 from WATC invited to Canadian Open
      2. Top 16 from Canadian Open invited to US Open
    2. 8 Entries From Regional Tournament Victories From Previous Season
      1. Winter winners obtain Canadian Open Entry bids, Spring winners obtain US 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
    3. 64 Entries From Open Qualifiers
    4. 40 Entries From Lottery
      1. 30 Lotto Entries from Open Qualifiers
      2. 10 Lotto Entries from General Draw
  9. World Axe Throwing Championship
    1. 32 WATL Pro League Bids (8 Per Season)
    2. 32 Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points
      1. 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:
        1. East: 6
        2. North: 6
        3. Atlantic: 4
        4. South: 4
        5. Midwest: 4
        6. Pacific: 3
        7. Mountain: 3
        8. Global: 2
    3. 32 Non-Region Locked Bids via Circuit Points: Top 32 players in Circuit points that have not already qualified through the above regions
    4. 32 Non-Region Locked Bids via Qualifying Throws
      1. 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.
      2. 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
    5. Seeding for the World Axe Throwing Championship will be awarded based on total Circuit Points for the year
      1. ie. The person with the most circuit points will be given the highest seed in the tournament
  10. WATL Pro League
    1. Pros will be governed by the WATL Pro League Rules




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:

  • Canadian Open April 30th-May 2nd 
  • US Open September 3rd-5th
  • WATC December 10th-13th

Major Tournament Dates:

  • To Be Determined as venues submit proposals

Open Qualifier Dates:

  • Canadian Open: Scores Due January 17th
  • US Open: Scores Due May 16th

Lottery Dates:

  • Canadian Open: January 19th
  • US Open: May 18th

WATC Cut Off Dates:

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

Winter League Key Dates:

  • Winter League January 4th – February 28th
  • Winter League Finals February 22nd – February 28th
  • Winter League Regional Tournaments March 6th-7th

Spring League Key Dates:

  • Spring League March 29th – May 23rd
  • Spring League Finals May 17th – 23rd
  • Spring League Regional Tournaments May 29th-30th

Summer League Key Dates:

  • Summer League June 21st – August 15th
  • Summer League Finals August 9th – 15th
  • Summer League Regional Tournaments August 21st – 22nd

Fall League Key Dates:

  • Fall League September 13th – November 7th
  • Fall League Finals November 1st – 7th
  • Fall League Regional Tournaments November 13th-14th


Televised Tournament – 15,000 Points:

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

Major Tournament – 5000 Points:

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

Regional Tournament – 1000 Points:

  • 1st – 400
  • 2nd – 200
  • 3rd – 150
  • 4th – 100
  • 5-6th – 50
  • 7-8th – 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 League Points:

  • League Victory – 50 Points
  • League Runner Up – 25 Points
  • League Participation – 5 Points

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