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!
Total Axe currently offers only Michigan Rules leagues. We are still a member of the International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF), which offers a different rule set, though currently not in use for league play.
World Blade League Rules
Axe Throwing JargonGame – 5 throws
Match – 3 Games
Corners – 4 small circles in the corners of the target. Worth 7,5, or 3 points.
Foul Line – Red line 12 feet form the target. Cannot be crossed until the axe stops moving.
The target is a series of rings like most other target sports. The bullseye is two inches in diameter and scores 6 points if you touch it. Outside of the bullseye are 5 more rings worth 5, 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 Corners. You can shoot at each once per game.
Every week starts with 60 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 corner if they want to make the attempt. If they do, the main target is out of play for that thrower. Players cannot hit the same corner more than once per 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).
On the final week of league, everyone faces 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. During the final 4, 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
- Discounts on additional leagues
- Free practice before each league
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.
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.
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.
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. Looking to win your first league? Check out our 5 Steps to Becoming an Axe Throwing Champion.