Axe Throwing Rules and Regulations

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Axe throwing is all the rage right now. It has come a long way since its days as an exclusive sport for lumberjacks. With the increased number of facilities, you can now see men and women throwing axes. It has grown into a sporting phenomenon. Currently, 2 leagues organize events, namely the International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF) and the World Axe Throwing League (WATL).

Are you planning to join the axe throwing bandwagon yourself? If so, you must be aware of the Axe Throwing Rules and Regulations. The IATF and WATL each have their own rules and regulations, so you need to understand which rules the facility you are competing in follows.

WTF Axe Throwing Rules and Regulations


Targets play an essential role in fair competition and try to achieve it in most aspects of the game. The target quality is an example.

Sometimes a wooden target can be hit and cannot move forward, or it is too difficult to drop as usual. The rules state that if the target is too damaged, they can ask the player to replace it.

Similarly, if the target looks too stiff, you can request spraying additional water to soften the wood. If your ax continues to bounce off the target, or falls, ask the coach to have it replaced. Only the coach can decide whether or not to change the target.

The Axes

  • The total length is at least 12 inches.
  • An ax weighs up to 2 pounds.
  • The maximum blade size cannot exceed 4.75 inches.


You can perform 5 warm-ups before the first game. After the game starts, you can only do 1 warm-up throw.

Game Play

There will be 4 different games, with each player making 10 throws a game. The player with the most points at the end of 10 throws wins the game. Players change sides after 5 throws, so each player will have an opportunity to throw in each board for fairness.

There are 7 weeks of standard play. The playoff starts on the 8th week, with each player trying to eliminate the other. The sudden death penalty determines who will advance to the playoffs if a tie ensues.

IATF Axe Throwing Rules and regulations

The International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF) was established in 2016 to cater to the growing sport of axe throwing. It was created to standardize rules to enable broad and accessible completion among players.

Standard match format

  • Each regular game includes 3 rounds:
  • Each round consists of 5 throwing axes per player per round;
  • Players must win 2 of 3 rounds to win the game;
  • In regular games, a third round is always played even if a player wins the first two rounds.
  • In all regular games, the total number of points should be 15
  • If a player wins in the first round and ties in the next 2 rounds, it is still considered a victory in the match because he won the majority of the rounds in the game.
  • A large ax will appear if the players are tied at the end of three rounds. A tie occurs when the sum of all players wins in all three rounds and leads to a total tie:


  • A black ring is worth 5 points.
  • The red ring has a value of 3 points;
  •  The value of the blue ring is 1 point;
  • The green ring in each corner is worth 7 points.


  •  Players must announce that they are about to make a clutch. Also called known as “clutch call” or “clutch call”;
  •  Players can only launch clutches in the round’s fifth and final round.
  • The unexpected grip is not valid even on the fifth pitch. No call clutch means there are no points;
  • After calling the “clutch,” only this point region is allowable; all other point regions have a zero value:
  • If players are asked to use the Clutch but hit the bull, they will not receive any points.

Majority rules

  • All ratings are based on where most of the blades land and stay on target;
  • The area with which you should have an ax stuck to the target is the area where the axe attaches.
  •  Any part of the blade that does not touch the wooden target is ignored;
  • The number of blades dipped deep into the target across the surface doesn’t matter either;
  • ·If they disagree, the player should ask the third party to take measurements from the device,
  • ·Clutch is an excellent example of this rule
  • · In a clutch, if any ax blades stick to the clutch area, the throw is good:

 Axe throwing etiquette

Throws may be thrown in any one of three ways:

  • ·2 hands over the head;
  • ·1 hand, over the head;
  • ·1 hand, underhand;
  • · No other style of throw is permitted.

When a player gets ready for their throw and is in their throwing stance, the blade of the axe must be facing away from the thrower’s body. Any throwing stances that start with the blade of the axe facing away from the target are not permitted;

For a throw to count, the axe must make roughly one rotation before impact.​

5th Throw Etiquette

  • On the 5th axe of a round, it is customary and sporting for the point leader to throw first:
  • This is so the underdog can know how many points they must get on their final throw to win (e.g., Clutch needed to win);
  • If a match is out of reach (> 7-point lead) or for any other reason, the losing player can choose to throw first.

Foot placement for a standard throwing axe

  • When setting up to throw, players’ lead foot may be on top, beside, behind, or in front of the black line:
  • At that point, their back foot must be entirely planted behind the black line;
  • The back foot may be planted off-center to the left or right of the black line, as long as it is still entirely behind the back of the black line concerning its distance from the target.
  • During the motion to throw the axe, the player may take a whole step forward, bringing their rear foot to the front of their body and planting it as the motion to throw continues:
  • This foot that has now moved from the back of the player to plant on the floor in front, once planted, must not leave the ground again until the axe has left the hand of the player and has been thrown;
  • During the throw motion, any steps taken before crossing the backplane of the black line do not count towards the legal step count.

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