Axe Throwing Terms

Agdor – The Hults Bruk Agdor 28 is likely the most popular axe used in IATF Big Axe competition

Ambidextrous – (Also “Ambi”) Skills competition where each competitor throws an axe in each hand at the same time

Around the World – Skills competition where each competitor throws an axe at each zone of the target in order

Axe – A tool typically thrown at a target comprised of a steel blade attached to a handle

Axe Gang – Model of hatchet made by Cold Steel, popularized because of its thin, flat profile and head weight within IATF specs

Axescores – Leaderboard website for IATF

BATL – Backyard Axe Throwing League, first urban axe throwing venue started in Toronto 2011 and currently has over 15 locations

Beard – Bottom of the axe head between the handle and heel

Big Axe – Full size axes (typically over 25 inches) used in IATF tiebreaks and a separate discipline in WATL

Bit – The sharp part of the axe head

Black Box – Starting line for IATF hatchet and foul line for big axe

Blue Line – Starting line for IATF big axe

Breaking Paint – (IATF) throws for clutch must break any paint. (WATL) throws must have paint visible on both sides to count.

Cheek – The flat side of the axe head

Clutch – Green circles in IATF measuring 2 ⅝”, 79” from the ground, worth 7 points when called on the fifth throw of the game

Doubles – Skills competition where two competitors on the same team throw at the same target at the same time

Estwing – Brand of axe with a single piece steel head and handle

Eye – hole in the axe head where the handle is attached

Fault – When a thrower crosses the foul line before they’re allowed and the throw is scored 0

Foul Line – (IATF) line at 9’2” which cannot be crossed until both players have thrown. (WATL) line at 12’ which cannot be crossed until both axes are scored by a licensed WATL official judge.

Hatchet – A small axe, commonly used in competition measuring 13-18”

Head – The steel part of the axe

Heel – The bottom part of the bit

IATF – International Axe Throwing Federation, founded in 2016 to sanction axe throwing leagues

IKTHOF – International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame, founded in 2003 to sanction knife and tomahawk leagues

Killshot – Blue Circles in WATL measuring 1.5”, 71 ¼” from the ground, worth 8 points when called on the fifth and tenth throw of the game

Michigan Rules – Ideal hatchet format utilizing best of three matches, “break the paint” rules, and upper and lower bonuses

Philly-Out – Registering for a limited-field event with some of your friends, then withdrawing from the competition after plane ticket prices increase, guaranteeing that the field will not be filled.

Poll – (Also “Butt”) Back of the axe head

Shopro – The original house axe for indoor competition with a 1.5lb head and 14” handle

Skills Competition – (Also “Skillz”) tournaments thrown in a manner other than standard hatchet or big axe, typically containing ambidextrous, around the world, and several other formats

Toe – Top of the bit

Toe-in – term for altering the throw so that only the toe of the axe catches the target, allowing to stick more easily in hard boards

Tomahawk – A light axe, usually with the handle fixed to the head only by friction and no other means

Trail Boss – Once popular big axe in competition, has become illegal to throw due to currently being manufactured below minimum weight standards

UKAT – United Knife and Tomahawk, an online league for tomahawk, hatchet, double-bit axe, and knife throwing

WATL – World Axe Throwing League, founded in 2017 to sanction leagues, tournaments, and judges

Wedge – Piece of wood driven into the eye of the axe opposite to the handle to expand and hold the head in place

Who Sucks Less – Nickname for WATL overtime rule where if both opponents miss, the one who is closest to the killshot, wins

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