Rules and FAQ

  1. Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Facility Rules
  3. Game Rules
  4. Michigan League Rules

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ax Throwing?

Urban Ax (or Axe) Throwing is a sport with roots that date back centuries. Lumberjack competitions have featured some variation of an axe throw for decades. More recently, axe throwing has been brought indoors on ranges. While each venue may have slightly different rules, each has a foul line and a target similar to darts or shooting.

I’ve never thrown an axe before, at least indoors. Will someone be there to help me?

Every person who walks through the door is given a coach to help, regardless of skill level. Everyone is given safety instructions and taught how to throw an axe. Our coaches will assist each thrower until they can hit the target. After that, we will teach you scoring and games.

Can I just walk in?

Walk-in axe throwing is available on a first-come, first-served basis Thursday-Sunday. The cost is $20/hr per person, prorated for as long as you throw. During peak times, as many as 5 people may be put on each target. Each thrower takes 5 throws, then the next player takes their turn, similar to bowling.

Can I bring my own axe?

Yes! We just ask that personal axes are 12-18 inches in length, single blade of 3-4.25 inches, no spikes on the back, and have a cover when not in use. Our coaches will double-check the axe to make sure it’s safe to throw. We will provide any other items for throwing.

Do you offer knife throwing?

Yes, we are currently offering a Deluxe Package that allows you to throw axes, knives, stars, templars and even a tactical shovel! This is available by reservation only on the weekends for $40/person for two hours.

Do you serve food or drinks?

We don’t serve any food, but we do have some non-alcoholic drinks. You are welcome to bring your own food or even have your event catered. Give us a heads-up if you need us to clear a space for you.

Can we tip our coach?

Tipping is never required but always appreciated! Our Coaches will do their best to make your experience fun and exciting. If you don’t have cash, our Coaches take Venmo, and have a Square reader for credit cards.

Facility Rules

  • All adults who enter Total Axe must a valid photo ID. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • Children 13 and over are welcome when accompanied by a parent/guardian.
  • Closed-toe shoes are required for all axe throwers. No sandals, flip-flops, etc.
  • Participants may bring their own food and sealed, non-alcoholic beverages
  • No alcohol is permitted on site. Anyone who appears intoxicated will be asked to leave.

Game Rules

  1. Targets
    1. Targets are constructed from 5 boards arranged vertically next to each other.
    2. The target contains 5 concentric circles, labeled from 1-6 points. Outside of the 5 concentric circles, there are 4 smaller circles labeled with an 8 (the 8-ball), which are only in play on the last throw of each game. Throws that land in the boards outside of any circles score no points.
    3. The foul line is placed 10 feet from the target.
  2. Equipment
    1. Axes must measure between 12 to 18 inches in total length.
    2. Axes must have no more than one blade, spike, or sharp edge, measuring between 3 to 4.25 inches.
  3. Gameplay
    1. Games consist of 5 throws.
    2. Players must throw from behind the foul line and remain behind it until the axe has completely stopped. Crossing the line before the axe has come to rest results in a loss of game.
    3. Players score the highest zone that the blade of the axe is touching. The 8-ball can only be scored on the last throw of each game.
    4. On the last throw of each game, players must announce if they are attempting to hit the 8-ball before their throw. Once they announce it, they may not rescind the call. If the 8-ball is called, no other zone is scored on that throw.
    5. During matches lasting more than 1 game, players switch sides after each game.
    6. Match win is awarded to the player who wins the most games.
  4. Choice of side/Order of Throw
    1. Side is chosen by coin-toss or rock-paper-scissors.
    2. During the first four throws, players throw together.
    3. On the last throw, the person with a higher point total throws first. In case of a tie, players throw together.

“Michigan” League Rules

  1. Attendance
    1. Players must arrive within 30 minutes of start time. Players who are more than 30 minutes late are considered absent for the night.
    2. Players are allowed one unannounced absence. Games must be made up the week after.
      1. Any unannounced absence beyond the first results in a forfeit of games.
      2. Missing the last week of the regular season without making up games the previous week results in a forfeit of those games.
    3. Each match begins with one practice throw for each player.
  2. Singles
    1. Matches consist of three games of five throws each.
    2. The player who wins more games wins the match.
    3. Ties are awarded half of a win.
  3. League Tournament
    1. Each week before the tournament consists of 4 matches.
    2. The last week of league is a double-elimination tournament. The top 14 players compete for the championship.
      1. Standings are determined by number of wins.
      2. Ties in standings are broken by total points scored.
    3. In the event of a tie game in the tournament:
      1. Each player will throw together until the tie is broken.
      2. The 8-ball is not in play at the start of the tie-breaker.
      3. If both players have hit a bulls-eye three times in a row, the 8-balls are the only zone in play
      4. Players must announce and hit an 8-ball of their choice. Each successive throw must be at the next 8-ball in a clockwise direction.
    4. Games per round
      1. During the round of 16, and 8 of the winners bracket, and the first two rounds of the losers bracket, matches will be played until one person wins 3 games (3 out of 5).
      2. During all other rounds, matches will be played until one person wins 4 games (4 out of 7).