What Are Axe Throwing Leagues?

Axe Throwing Leagues offer a way for people who love throwing axes to compete against each other in a longform competition. Leagues run very similarly to pool or dart leagues, are 7-8 weeks long, and cost $15/week or less!

League Types

Total Axe offers two different league types– a feature that very few axe throwing venues have. We have the classic Total Axe league, with the “Michigan Rules” that we’ve had since our inception. As of recent, however, we’ve joined the International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF), which offers a different rule set. For more information on us joining the IATF, click here.

Total Axe “Michigan Rules” Throwing Leagues

Axe Throwing Jargon

Game – 5 throws
Match – 3 Games
8-ball – 4 small circles in the corners of the target. Worth 8 points, but only on the last throw.
Foul Line – Red line 10 feet form the target. Cannot be crossed until the axe stops moving.

The Target

The target is a series of rings like most other target sports. The bullseye is four inches in diameter and scores 6 points if you touch it. Outside of the bullseye are 4 more rings worth 4, 3, 2, and 1 points. The point value you receive for your throw is that of the innermost ring that your blade makes contact with. There are also four smaller zones in the corner of the target called the “8-balls.” If you make contact with one, you get 8 whole points.

Gameplay

Every week starts with 30 minutes of warm-up time. After warm-ups, each person throws 4 matches against different opponents. At the beginning of the match, players take one warm-up throw, then start their match.

Both players throw at the same time for the first 4 throws of the game. On the last throw, the leader goes first, followed by the other player. Either player may “call the 8-ball” if they want to make the attempt. If they do, they can only score by hitting the 8-ball, no other rings will count. Players cannot call the 8 before the last throw of a game.

After each game, players switch sides. This keeps the match fair if one target has an advantage or disadvantage to it. Whoever wins more games wins the match, and overall score does not matter for rankings (except to break ties for playoffs).

Playoffs

On the final week of league, the top 16 players face off in a double-elimination tournament. Traditional seeding is used – the best player plays the worst player, second-best plays second-worst, etc. In the early rounds of the bracket, matches are best 3 out of 5. In the later rounds, matches are 4 out of 7. Players have to lose two matches to be eliminated from the tournament. At the end, the last player standing is crowned champion and receives a trophy and gift card.

IATF Leagues

Axe Throwing Jargon

Round – 5 throws
Match – 3 rounds
Clutch – Green circles
The Red Line – The foul line, which is 110″ from the target. Crossing this line before both axes have been thrown will result in a fault.

The Target

A standard IATF target has three concentric circles forming the bullseye, in addition to two smaller green dots above the circles. The smallest circle is worth 5 points, the next circle is worth 3 points, and the final circle is worth 1 point. The two smaller green dots, or Clutches, are worth 7 points. Anything outside of these circles or clutches is worth 0 points. The throw will receive the score of which circle has the majority of the embedded blade in it. The exception here is when any part of the blade sticks in the Clutch, all 7 points will be awarded. The player must remove their axe from the board to receive the points.

Gameplay

Each week, throwers will get 30 minutes of warm-up time prior to the matches starting. Throughout the season, throwers will play 28 matches, averaging to about 4 matches a night. Before the first match, throwers get 3 practice throws. Before the second match, throwers get 1 practice throw. After that, no more practice throws are allowed.

For the first 4 throws of the round, players can throw at the same time at the bullseye, trying to get as many bullseyes as possible. On the fifth throw, the thrower with more points will throw first. Only on this fifth throw is the Clutch option available. If the player calls it, the Clutch is live. You cannot take this call back.

After each round, players switch sides, to avoid any board advantages. Whichever thrower wins more rounds will win the match. If the throwers win, lose, and tie a round, they will go to a big-axe tiebreaker.

Complete IATF rules are available on their website.

Playoffs

On the final week of league, the top 16 players face off in a double-elimination tournament. Traditional seeding is used – the best player plays the worst player, second-best plays second-worst, etc. In the early rounds of the bracket, matches are best 3 out of 5. In the later rounds, matches are 4 out of 7. Players have to lose two matches to be eliminated from the tournament. At the end, the last player standing is crowned champion and receives a trophy and gift card.

Other Benefits of Joining an Axe Throwing League

Aside from the weekly throwing, our league members get other perks as well. Some of our current benefits are:

  • Half-off open throwing during any open throwing hours
  • $30 discounts on additional leagues
  • 10% discount on reservations