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The mission of The World Axe Throwing League is to promote competition through sportsmanship and fair play. Our Axe Throwing Rules assure that all leagues and events are played in a sportsmanship-like manner. Although competition may become intense, we expect our participants to maintain a high degree of sportsmanship up to and after the final throw. As a participant in any WATL tournament or event, you must pledge to:

  • Respect the game, play fairly, and follow all rules and policies.

  • Accept & respect the decisions of WATL officials.

  • Demonstrate good sportsmanship before, during, and after games, win or lose.

  • Be responsible for the sportsmanship of teammates and assist in maintaining a respectful environment for all participants.

  • Be courteous to opposing players, teams, officials, spectators, monitors, or facilitators and treat all players and WATL officials with respect.

  • Help to maintain and keep all equipment and conditions at the facility in good condition.

  • Obey all facility rules, while respecting all equipment, common areas, playing areas, parking areas, and surrounding neighborhoods.

  • Not engage in discriminatory behaviour based on, but not limited to race, religion, creed, language, gender identity, or sexual identity.

  • Refrain from the use of abusive language or profanity. (Including but not limited to: contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words or actions concerning race, colour, language, religion, gender, or sexual orientation

  • Not engage in any behavior which would endanger the health, safety, or well being of any player, official staff member, or spectator.

  • Not engage in verbal, written, or physical threats or abuse aimed at any participant, official, staff member, or spectator.

  • Not initiate a fight, scuffle, or exchange with any individual (including but not limited to: pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, verbal threats or harassment).

  • Not use alcoholic beverages at any location unless permitted by the facility/venue.

  • Not allow, use or encourage illegal drugs at any location.

  • Wear/use all required and issued equipment and/or uniforms.

  • Under no circumstances are live targets allowed. No thrower is to throw an axe at a target while there is a person or live object in between or in front of the thrower.



Sports are filled with judgment calls and, as a result, disputes between players, opponents, and staff may occur from time to time. However, it is important that participants respect and handle all disputes that may occur in a civilized manner. WATL has the absolute and sole discretion to investigate and review any and all evidence available to maintain the integrity of the rules & the sport in any match. Protests for player eligibility or rule misapplications/misinterpretations are time-sensitive and must be made before the next throw. Non-throwers do not have the right to argue or challenge any calls made by the league judge or referee. Competitors under the age of 18 may name a representative to speak on their behalf. The representative is only able to challenge calls for the said competitor. Each representative is to be named before the start of the league/tournament. The representative is expected to follow all rules of play as if they were the competitor.

All decisions made by on-site WATL Officials must be respected and obeyed. Any feedback regarding rules, players, officials, or staff members should be brought to the attention of a WATL Director during normal business hours in written form. Any behavior deemed unacceptable by WATL officials may result in a verbal warning, ejection, suspension, and/or expulsion as outlined below. Repeated Code of Conduct violations by the same player or team could result in an expulsion from the league without refunds. All Code of Conduct violations during and outside of matches will result in disciplinary measures.

Any intimidation, trash talk, abusive language, profanity, threats or general disrespect during any league or tournament towards any presiding Certified Judge or WATL Official will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate removal from the league or tournament. Pending a formal investigation, WATL reserves the right to suspend the player or spectator in question for a minimum of 6 months.

Disciplinary Procedure

Upon an offense needing disciplinary action, it is recommended that the WATL official issue disciplinary action in this order:

  • The offending thrower will first receive a verbal warning.

  • Should similar offenses continue a second time then their most recent match points will be brought to 0 and the match will count as a loss.

  • Upon a third offense by the same player, then the offending player will be suspended from the season or tournament.

A WATL official is not required to follow disciplinary measures in this order.



Section A:

  1. Axes

    1. Each and every axe is inspected prior to each league night to ensure the axe is up to standard.

    2. Broken axes may not be used.

    3. Axe Heads must be one solid piece of metal held tightly to the handle

      1. Axes Heads that have become loose or have an axe head that is easily removed (ie. heads that are clamped or held into the handle by screw or pin) are dangerous and will not be considered for league play

  2. Participants are instructed to grip the axe by the handle and only the handle.

    1. If an axe breaks or if a player would like to switch axes, they must notify the presiding official and are allowed up to 1 minute to switch axes.

    2. Any throwers knowingly purchasing and throwing restricted axes will be subject to sanctions, including but not limited to: forfeiting tournaments, seasons and and additional suspensions from WATL based on the severity of the infraction

  3. Injuries

    1. If an injury occurs during league play and the player is deemed to be unable to finish the remaining matches by a judge or medical professional then they may make up their matches the following league night with no penalty.

      1. This will not count towards the player’s right to miss 2 weeks

      2. If there are throws remaining in the current match, then those scores are counted as zero

    2. If an injury occurs during any tournament and the player is deemed unable to progress by a Judge or medical professional, then any matches pending will be marked a 0 points scored and matches forfeit.

  4. Throwing

    1. Axes shall never be thrown when a participant is picking up an axe from the target area or when a judge is in the lane. This will result in an immediate disqualification (counted as a loss) for that match.


Section B:
Pre-Game Rules

1. Minimum Age:

  1. WATL does not enforce any age requirement or limit. Each affiliated location is allowed have an age requirement if they so choose. Please contact your local participating league location to inquire about their age rules.

2. Target Quality:

  1. Targets should be relatively new and of sound quality prior to league commencement.

    1. When targets deteriorate to a point where excessive movement or ‘wiggling’ of the axes occur when they land in the damaged area causing or risking good throws to fall out, the boards should be switched out to ensure fair play.

    2. Boards all must be individually secured and not able to slide or lift off from the target during Competition.

    3. If a large piece of wood or chunk falls out during play, the player may request to have the board changed but the ultimate decision will fall on the axe throwing referee (judge).

      1. Requests for board changes must be made before a game begins.

      2. Requests for board changes cannot be made between games of a best 2/3 match set. The request must be made before the match begins.

    4. Targets must be sprayed with water from a spray bottle prior to the start of league play.

      1. If boards are continually hard, league members may request to have more water sprayed on the boards.

  2. No-one other than the official judge may alter the boards before, during, or after any match unless authorized by the presiding official.

    1. This includes pulling out pieces of boards, chopping or softening the board with their axe, watering the boards, etc

3. Warm Up Throws:

  1. The number of warm-up throws allowed applies to all WATL sanctioned leagues and tournaments.

    1. Players may have up to 5 practice throws prior to their first match

    2. Players may have 1 practice throw prior to any subsequent match

      1. Players may have 1 practice throw between match games in the case of a best 2/3 match set

    3. Players are not allowed additional practice in empty lanes between matches for any sanctioned events (leagues, tournaments, etc) unless otherwise approved by a WATL employed official (i.e. The Commissioner or Head Judge). 

    4. A WATL employed official may, at their sole discretion, determine a different amount of warm-up throws during any official WATL event

  2. The axe throwing referee will notify players when their match will commence.

  3. The league will allow practice throws before official league start time subject to availability, fairness, and consent of referee on-premises.


Section C:

Covid-19 Update

In keeping with CDC guidelines, it is recommended that fully vaccinated players continue to wear masks at WATL events.

Masks will still be mandatory for players who are not vaccinated.

If your local/state guidelines do not mandate a mask policy, masks are not required.

WATL still recommends wearing a mask as a precautionary measure and will be monitoring CDC guidelines for future updates.

  1. Each league week allows every participant 4 matches.

  2. Each match is played against different opponents, selected at random and consists of the following:

    1. 10 throws per match.

    2. In each match, players will take 5 throws then switch sides.

      1. This ensures fair play when there’s varying density in wood.

    3. The winner of the match will be the person with the most points after 10 throws.

    4. In the event of a tie after 10 throws, there will be sudden death:

      1. See Section C Scoring: iv.

  3. Starting targets will be determined by the random selection initially made by the app.

  4. All scores must be uploaded into the WATL App in real time and uploaded to the leaderboard. 

    1. If connectivity issues occur, all scores must be uploaded to the WATL App within 48 hours.

    2. If connectivity issues happen for more than 2 weeks in a given season, please contact WATL for guidance.

  5. After 7 weeks, the 8th and final week of each season will be the playoffs and final match to determine the season’s Local Champion. See Playoffs section for details.

  6. Each official league run by an axe throwing venue is self-contained and may not be combined with other leagues.

    1. Players may only compete at the venue and league they are registered for. There will be no scores recorded outside of that league or venue for their single registered league.

      1. For example, a player may not compete in week 2 of league at venue A, then compete in week 3 for that same league in venue B.

  7. No wearing earphones while throwing

  8. Pauses in play

    1. A presiding official may call a pause in play for any reason deemed necessary (rules review, confirmation, second opinion, etc…)

    2. Should a Pause in Play occur, all match play must cease immediately and will resume at the discretion of the presiding official, where the pause began.

      1. For Example: If one player has thrown but the opposite player has not and there is a Pause in Play called, the match will resume with the opposite player throwing as normal.

    3. Players may be able to challenge a call or ruling which will create a pause in play

      1. During this call, gameplay will be paused at that moment in time

  9. Throwing in a Wheelchair

    1. For individuals who use wheelchairs, all standard league rules apply with the exception of the foot fault line.

      1. Individuals in wheelchairs must have one wheel behind the 12ft line when throwing in competition play.

      2. Any wheel on the wheelchair is acceptable as long as one of them is behind the 12ft line.


Section D:

  1. Scoring Area of Axe

    1. The axe head, blade and cheek up to the front of the eye but not past it.

    2. An axe’s score is determined as the axe rests in the target and should not be removed to determine the score.

      1. Please see exception for Duals throwing in Section P.

    3. If there is no visible eye of the axe in the top of the axe head then it counts as where the handle would meet if going straight through. To be determined by the official presiding over the match.

  2. Points

    1. Axes must be inside the black line in order to count for that value:

      1. 6 points for the bullseye

      2. 5 points for the 1st ring (defined as the unmarked area between the bullseye and black ring around bullseye area)

      3. 4 points for the 2nd ring

      4. 3 points for the 3rd ring

      5. 2 points for the 4th ring.

      6. 1 point for the 5th ring.

      7. 8 points for the Killshot.

      8. If the axe falls before the presiding official scores the axe, the axe is counted as a drop

  3. Killshot Throw

    1. The Killshots are active for any throw during the 10 throw match. Open Killshots will be applicable to Standard and Duals throwing only. Refer to Section P for specifics on open Killshots for Duals throwing.

      1. Before throwing for the Killshot, the player must make clear to the Judge and opponent they intend on throwing for the Killshot.

        1. The call must be made to the Judge before either opponent throws.

          • A judge should remind throwers on which killshot they threw on if the killshot is hit during previous attempt(s), so the throwers know which killshot is open

          • It is also recommended that players confirm with the Judge, what killshot is open for subsequent throws when a previous killshot is hit

      2. This is referred to as “calling the Killshot” and activates it for the full 8 points.

      3. The player cannot change their call (Killshot or non-Killshot) once a Judge confirms, for that specific throw.

    2. Players are allowed 2 Killshot attempts per match

      1. Once a player hits a Killshot during the match, that Killshot cannot be attempted again until the opposite one is hit.

        1. If a Killshot is attempted but missed, the player may throw for that Killshot again.

        2. Does not apply to overtime (OT) throws. Killshots are reopened in OT play. 

        3. Players may start their OT throws utilizing either Killshot, but must continue to alternate Killshots on subsequent OT throws.

    3. In the event of a stalemate caused by throwers refusing to call the Killshot first, this will be solved by a coin toss.

      • The winner of the coin toss will choose who will call first.

    4. In the event of a drop during any standard or Killshot throw, the player may opt to take a 3rd additional Killshot attempt during the regular 10 throw match.

    5. A drop must be correctly recorded in the app and the match to allow a 3rd Killshot attempt.

  4. Example: If a player has taken their 2 Killshot attempts and a drop occurs on the 9th throw, they are eligible for a third Killshot attempt on the 10th throw.

    1. Example 2: If a player has a drop on their 10th throw, they are not eligible for an additional Killshot attempt or throw.

  5. Previously stated rules regarding alternating Killshot throws will still apply

  6. If the player does not indicate that they are making a Killshot attempt, the Judge will assume it will be a standard throw (a non-Killshot attempt)

    1. If a Killshot attempt is made prior to a Judge confirming the Killshot call, the throw will be counted as a fault

  7. If the Killshot is called but the player’s axe does not hit the Killshot, then no points are awarded.

  8. Sudden Death

    1. In the event of a tie after 10 throws in a single match, the match enters into sudden death.

    2. Points are not counted or tallied during sudden death.

    3. Depending on the venue, sudden death/overtime throws will be completed with either a big axe or hatchet

      1. Venues must determine, at the start of the league season, and announce to League throwers, whether they will be using hatchet or big axe to determine overtime throws

        1. Venues will not be permitted to change their mind after the first match of the season

        2. Throwers must abide by the decisions made by the venue

          1. Venue may, at its sole discretion, provide a house big axe for overtime throws

        3. Big Axe sudden death throws will not be mandatory for WATL Major & Televised Events for 2021. WATL will gather more data after the Winter 2021 season to make a final decision regarding big axe tie breakers.

      2. Hatchet Sudden Death

        1. ONLY Killshots are active during sudden death throws.

        2. Players will remain at their respective targets for sudden death throws (no switching of targets required).

        3. Players must alternate Killshots.

        4. Once the Judge confirms that the lane is open both players must throw within 10 seconds of each other.

        5. In the event that both players miss the Killshot during Sudden Death, a measuring tape or accurate measuring device, will be used to measure the distance from the closest valid scoring area of the axe head to the closest edge of the Killshot.

          1. The player with the shortest distance will be awarded the match.

          2. If Player 1 has an axe that has dropped and Player 2 misses the Killshot, but is on the board, Player 2 will be awarded the match.

        6. If a player touches their axe before a measurement is made, the match is awarded to the opposing player.

      3. Big Axe Sudden Death

        1. Players must start with one or both feet, behind the 17ft mark

          1. Players may step over the 17ft mark but may not cross the 15ft mark. 

            1. Crossing the 15ft mark is a foot fault and will be scored a zero

          2. Players feet may not cross the 15ft line until both axes have been verbally scored by the judge. Crossing the 15ft line before the judge scores both axes will result in a foot fault and the player’s throw will be scored a zero.

          3. If a player calls for a second opinion, both players must return to behind the 15ft line until a final decision has been made.

        2. On the first sudden death throw, the full scoreboard is open, including Killshots.

          1. A coin toss will be used to determine who throws first. The presiding Judge will assign heads/tails to the throwers and toss the coin.

          2. The winner of the coin toss will choose who will throw first.

          3. The person that throws first will also make the first call.

          4. Both players must call their throw before any throws are made. Once calls are confirmed by the judge, the calls cannot be changed.

        3. If the match is still tied after the first throw, all subsequent throws will be for the Killshot.

        4. If a venue is limited in space where the can only accommodate one (1) Big Axe thrower at a time, the 10-second rule will apply only after the first thrower has retrieved their axe, is no longer in the lane, and the Judge has cleared the lane and deemed it safe for throwing

        5. With the exception of the rules related to the first throw for sudden death, all other hatchet sudden death rules apply to Big Axe Killshot sudden death throws.



  1. A Break (breaking) is defined as when the axe is embedded in the wood and has the marked surface of the target area visible on both sides of the valid scoring area of the axe head.

    1. This concept is equally applied across all the target rings.

  2. If the axe breaks multiple sections of the target simultaneously, then the player is awarded the points for the higher valued section.

    1. Axes must be inside the black line in order to count for that value

      1. Touching the black line will not give you the point value; the axe must be inside the higher scoring area to receive those points

      2. For example: Touching the black line of the outer bullseye counts as a 4.  Breaking it (unmarked wood of the outer bullseye on both sides) counts as a 5.

  3. The Killshot must have a red outline using a ballpoint pen which will count as a scoring area, but any blue that bleeds outside of the red outline will not. To gain points for the Killshot, the axe must break red or blue if inside of the red outline.

  4. The inner bullseye must have a black outline using a ballpoint pen which will count as a scoring area, but any red that bleeds outside of the black outline will not. To gain points for the inner bullseye, the axe must break red or black if inside of the black outline.


Section E:
Axe Throwing

Axe Throwing Technique:

  1. WATL players are allowed to throw axes in one of two ways:

    1. 1 Hand holding the axe, in an overhand or underhand position, with the blade facing the target before release.

    2. 2 Hands holding the axe with the blade facing the target before release.

  2. No other style of throws are permitted.

  3. No throw will be thrown without a verbal or gesture signal of an Open Lane from the presiding judge and confirmed by all throwers.

    1. If no signal is given or confirmation received, and a throw is made by a thrower, then that throw will count as a throw fault.

  4. Throws must be taken within 10 seconds of each other.

    1. If a thrower throws after 10 seconds of the other thrower, this will result in a Throw Fault.

  5. Rotation: the axe must make approximately 1 rotation in order for it to count.

    1. If the axe is close to making a full rotation (ie. 50% rotation) and a portion of the blade touches and sticks to the target, the throw counts.

Axe Throwing Distance

  1. One foot must be on the floor while the axe is thrown.

  2. Players feet may not cross the 12ft line until both axes have been verbally scored by the judge. Crossing the 12ft line before the judge scores both axes will result in a foot fault and the player’s throw will be scored a zero.

    1. If a player calls for a second opinion, both players must return behind the 12ft line until the second judge calls the score.

    2. If a player touches their axe before a second opinion call is made, the original score given by the first judge stands.

  3. An exception is made for throwers in wheelchairs. See section B.viii.

  4. All Non-throwing Spectators must be to the side or at least 5ft behind throwers.

Section F:

Late Players and/or Early Departures

  1. Players are allowed to arrive up to 1 hour late, after official league start time.

  2. Players are allowed to leave up to 1 hour early, prior to the end of the scheduled official league time.

  3. If a player arrives late, after the 1 hour official start time or leaves earlier than the 1 hour league completion time:

    1. Should a player leave the league night early, the player that was scheduled to go against the one who is now absent will be granted an automatic win, but will perform 10 throws and have their points recorded.

    2. The late player will automatically receive a loss and a zero for all throws.

  4. Exceptions are allowed with consent of opposing players affected that day and approval from referee.

Tournament/Playoff Exception

  1. Players are required to arrive to the playoffs at the start of regulation play.

  2. If a player is not present when their match begins, a 10 minute grace period will be offered.

    1. If the player does not show up, they will forfeit their match and the player that is present will be awarded the win.

    2. If the player arrives during their grace period, but is late for their next match, they will be immediately disqualified.



Due to COVID-19, we have temporarily updated the rules to allow Players to miss up to 4 days of regulation play during the season and be able to make up their matches and throws in subsequent weeks. All other rules listed still apply:

  1. Players are allowed to miss up to 2 days of regulation play during the season and make up their matches and throws in subsequent weeks:

    1. Players must make up any missed matches by week 7, otherwise, a loss will be attributed to their absence with a score of 0. If a player knows they’ll miss week 7 they must pre-throw any missed matches (up to 8 total for the season) before week 7 takes place.

    2. No missed matches and throws are to be performed during week 8 (playoffs) – the seven week mark is the cut off.

  2. In order to miss a regulation league night, players are required to give a minimum 1 day notice to the referee of their absence.

  3. League participants are able throw up to 2 weeks in advance, including weeks 6 and 7, in anticipation of an absence

    1. This will count towards the participants ability to miss up-to 2 weeks of league play

  4. If a League participant misses 3 weeks or more of league play, and does not make up those weeks, they cannot participate in playoffs as they have forfeited WATL Championship eligibility requirements


Section G:

  1. Purposeful Distractions are defined as, but not limited to: Excessive celebration, taunting, using abusive, threatening or insulting language, trash talking, stepping in the lane during a throw, excessive noises, offensive gestures to opponents or any purposeful distractions with the intent to distract a player during a league match or tournament round will not be permitted during games.

    1. First Offense:

      1. The first purposeful distraction from an opposing player will result in a zero score for that throw, for player causing the distraction

      2. The first purposeful distraction from a spectating league member or tournament participant will result in a zero in their first throw of their next match

      3. The first purposeful distraction from a spectator not participating in leagues or tournament will result in the immediate removal from the facility

      4. If the first purposeful distraction is a gross violation, intended to either save the player from a loss, intimidate the opposing player, or be an act of aggression against the opposing player or Judge, WATL or the presiding Judge may elect, at their sole discretion, that the player causing the purposeful distraction to be removed from the tournament, league and/or facility.

    2. Second Offense:

      1. The second purposeful distraction from an opposing player will result in a forfeit for that match. Zero scores will be entered for the full match.

      2. The second purposeful distraction from a spectating league member or tournament participant will result in a forfeit from their subsequent match. Zero scores will be entered for the full match.

    3. Third Offense:

      1. The third purposeful distraction from an opposing player will result in a forfeit of the season for league play or forfeit from the tournament. The player will not be allowed to throw for the remainder of the season or remainder of tournament.

      2. The third purposeful distraction from a spectating league member will result in a forfeit of the season or tournament. The league member or tournament participant will not be allowed to spectate or participate for the remainder of the season or tournament.

  2. Match Fixing & Hippodroming in League Play or Tournaments:

    1. If any player is found to fix a match to achieve a desired outcome, during league play or tournaments, then that player will be banned from all WATL tournaments & leagues. Player may appeal the ban, one year after the offense, pending review of the Commissioner.

  • Not completing tournament or event requirements for participation.

  • Anyone not completing pre-established tournament requirements (such as qualifying throws) will result in their position in the event/tournament being forfeit.



Section H:

  1. Each throwing area is designated as a throwing lane.

  2. A regulation lane for competition must contain 2 targets.

  3. Fences or walls block this area from the rest of the facility to keep throwers and axes all contained in a safe environment.

  4. Only the two participating throwers and the axe throwing judge are allowed inside the lane at one time. This includes ensuring the area behind the throwers is clear of any other person up to 5′.

  5. 10 ft minimum/clear ceiling height (within the throwing lane) is recommended for safety reasons.

  6. It is recommended for a lane to be a minimum of 12ft in width with the targets evenly distributed.

  7. It is recommended for a lane to be a minimum of 15ft in length to accommodate for a 12ft fault line and safe space to throw. 

    1. For venues wishing to host Big Axe throwing, it is recommended for a lane to be a minimum of 20ft in length to accommodate for a 15ft fault line and safe space to throw.

  8. It is recommended that fault lines be 3 inches wide and that the fault be measured from the target to the back of the line; if throwers step into/past the line, it is a fault.

    1. This is a guidance from WATL and is the sole discretion of the venue to create fault lines as they wish.


Section I:

The target:

  1. Each Target should be made of 3 layers of wood.

    1. The first layer should cover the wall in OSB or plywood.

    2. The second layer is called the Backboards and should be made of wood.

      1. There should be horizontal 2x10s, that are 4′ feet long, drilled into the wall and packed tightly together to cover the full space for the outer Targets. (This usually takes 6 – 8 boards) This will be the backboard where you will then drill your target boards against.

    3. The third and outer most layer is called the Target boards. These are also made of 4′ feet long 2×10 lumber. The targets consist of two components: 1) the targets 2) the headers and footers.

      • End Grain wood is permitted for WATL targets

    4. Approximate Measurements for the 2×10 boards:

      1. U.S: Thickness:1-1/2 in • Width 9-1/4 in • Length 4 ft.

      2. Metric: Thickness 38mm • Width 235 mm Length 1.22m

      3. Variance of these measurements is allowed. WATL does not enforce the exact thickness or width of boards, rather, the proper and accurate size of target specifications.

    5. They should be arranged just like the example picture below.


Headers and footers:

  1. Above and below the targets, you will install headers and footers. This will help protect the top and bottom areas of the target while allowing for branding of your company.

    1. Header: drill one 4′ foot long 2×10 pieces of wood horizontally on top of target against the backboard.

    2. Footer: drill one 4′ foot long 2×10 pieces of wood horizontally on bottom of target against the backboard.

      1. The footer also provides the benefit of allowing you to change boards quicker and easier.

      2. The top of the footer should be 36 inches off the ground.

  2. The end product is a backboard that is 4′ feet x 6′ and another layer of wood that fully covers the back at 4′ feet x 6′ as well.


Target Design

  1. Each WATL affiliated location shall purchase an official target protractor/stencil.

  2. The small hole on the left of the stencil will have a screw that will be drilled through it into the center of the middle board. (Approximately 24 inches in the center of the board. That will make 60 inches from the floor).

    1. A black, 20mm marker will then be used to draw the remaining circles.

    2. Holes are 22mm thick to allow for a marker to fit that has 1/2″ thick felt.

    3. Lines are to be 20mm thick.

    4. The inner Bullseye is to be colored in red and outlined in a black waterproof pen.

    5. Targets with the inner bullseye and 5 ring design are only required for sanctioned league and tournament play. Venues may leave the entire bullseye (3.5”) for day-to-day, non-league operations.

  3. The bullseye (inner red circle and unmarked 5 ring) must be 3.5” inches in diameter inside the center ring. The bullseye must be 24” inches (60.96 cm) from the bottom of the board. This should make the center of the bullseye 60″ from the floor.

    1. The inner bullseye (inner red circle) should be 1.5” in diameter, outlined with a black, waterproof pen.

  4. The Killshot (2 blue circles) are 1.5” inches in diameter and positioned inside the 1 point ring.

    1. The bottom of the Killshot is positioned approximately 35.25 inches from the bottom of the board to the bottom of the Killshot and 2.5 inches from the outer side of the board ensuring they are centered inside the 1 point outer ring. This should make the bottom of the Killshot 71.25″ from the floor.

    2. The Killshot should be 1.5” in diameter, outlined with a red, waterproof ballpoint pen that clearly shows/denotes the Killshot, thereby eliminating overspray or bleeding caused by markers. The red outline of the ballpoint pen will count as a scoring area, but any blue that bleeds outside of the red outline will not.

  5. All targets must be level (no slanting of the targets are allowed).

  6. Targets will have no marking other than the lines, bullseye, and Killshots

  7. “#WATL” or “World Axe throwing League” is required to be listed prominently on either the header or footer boards

  8. WATL requires proper lighting insofar as boards are able to be seen clearly from behind the throwers.

  9. Projected Targets are not WATL compliant. Only boards with physical markings are permitted.


Section J:

  1. Axe Regulations

    1. Scoring Area of Axe

      1. The axe head, blade and cheek up to the front of the eye but not past it.

      2. If there is no visible eye of the axe in the top of the axe head then it counts where the handle would meet if going straight through. To be determined by the official presiding over the match.

  2. The blade (or bit) of the axe may be not longer than 4 inches.

    • This is to be measured from tip to tip in a straight line.

  3. No second bits or spikes on the opposite side of the axe head from the forward facing bit of the axe.

    1. Decorative blunt objects are allowed but there may not be anything that could be considered sharp. This will be determined by the presiding match official.

  4. Handle Max Length can be no more than 19in/48.26cm from the bottom of the handle to the top of the axe head.

  5. Maximum Weights of an axe

    1. Axe Total = 3 lbs/1.36 kg

  6. Broken axe

    1. If the judge determines that a throwers axe has broken during a match in a significant way. The thrower must provide a replacement axe to be verified and approved by the judge. If they do not provide a second non-broken axe within 1 minute they will have the rest of their match throws counted as 0.

      1. The thrower is allowed 1 practice throw with the new axe before continuing the match. This will only apply if their original axe is declared broken by the presiding official.


Section K:

  1. A Scoring official, known as a Judge, must always be present while members are throwing during league play.

    1. Judges must verify all scores taken for official league play.

    2. A 5′ radius should be maintained around every participant holding an axe, however, the judge may approach the participants and enter this 5′ radius to provide instruction.

  2. Affiliate/Judge/presiding official are forbidden from cheating of any kind. Any caught cheating in any way such as but not limited to, falsifying data, making biased calls in a match, etc. then it will result in a one year ban from hosting any WATL Sanctioned events including leagues, tournaments, etc.

  3. Certified Judges:

    1. At least 1 Certified Judge is required to be present for WATL Leagues or Local Tournaments

    2. At least 2 Certified Judges are required for Regional tournaments

    3. At least 3 Certified Judges are required for Major Tournaments

    4. There must be at least 1 Certified Judge for every lane scored for Televised Tournaments, including the World Championship

  4. Certified Judges are allowed to participate as throwers but may never score their own matches.

  5. Judges may not preside over matches where there is a conflict of interest. This would include judging:  family members, duals partners, significant others ect.) 

    1. Judges are responsible for disclosing any conflicts of interest to players prior to a match 

      1. We encourage the Head Judge to note and avoid potential conflicts

      2. Players can request another Judge if a conflict of interest is present.

  1. For Regional, Major or Televised Tournaments, Judges will not take advice, second opinions, or consultation from any throwers.

    1. Under no circumstances, are Judges allowed to accept advice or consultation from any active thrower in a match.

    1. Judges are only allowed to take advice or guidance directly from a hosting venue’s owners, tournament runners, or a WATL employed official. Judges found to be heeding the advice of throwers will be asked to concede their lane immediately and undergo a review of their certification.

    2. Any throwers found to be persuading or advising an official judge will be disqualified immediately and undergo a review of their eligibility for competing the remainder of the year.

  2. Any intimidation, trash talk, abusive language, profanity, threats or general disrespect during any league or tournament towards any presiding Certified Judge will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate removal from the league or tournament. Pending a formal investigation, WATL reserves the right to suspend the player or spectator in question for a minimum of 6 months.

  3. If another judge or thrower believes that a judge is not following current rules and regulations or is making incorrect calls, they must report it directly to a Head Judge or persons in charge of running the tournament immediately.

    1. Any gross misconduct from Certified Judges may be reported to


Section L:
Regular Season

  1. The entire season lasts 8 weeks including playoffs.

  2. There are 7 weeks where players can work on their season total allowing for 280 throws that officially contribute to each player’s season standings.

  3. Levels of Competition – Sanctioned Leagues and Recreational (Rec) Leagues

  4. Rec Leagues are not mandatory and will not count towards official circuit points for the year.

  5. Sanctioned League

    1. A Sanctioned League is the axe throwing league hosted at a participating WATL affiliated venue that follows the rules and regulations of the World Axe Throwing League.

    2. A Sanctioned Hatchet League winner in a season is declared Local Champion and earns seasonal league points for the yearly circuit.

    3. A WATL Sanctioned League must have a minimum of 6 different players.

    4. A WATL Sanctioned League may not have more than 60 players. If recruiting more than 60 players at the WATL Venue, then they must host Multiple Sanctioned Leagues.

    5. WATL must be notified at least 2 weeks in advance, before the end of season, of delays to the end of a season tournament due to acts of God or national holidays.

Section M:

  1. During the 8th Week playoff tournament all league members will participate in a single match, Double Elimination bracket.

  2. Seeding is done in the traditional manner based on the total match wins from weeks 1 through 7.

    1. In the case of a tie for match wins the seeding will be based on the total points gained during weeks 1-7 between the two tied players.

  3. All competitors eligible for playoffs will be put into two sets of brackets, the winner’s bracket and underdog bracket (A and B brackets for short) after the first round. The first-round winners proceed into the A bracket and the losers proceed into the B bracket. The A bracket is conducted in the same manner as a single-elimination tournament, except that the losers of each round “drop down” into the B bracket.

  4. The final Championship round is between the winner of the A bracket and the winner of the B bracket consisting of best of 3 matches. Allowing for one practice throw between each match.

    1. The Winner: will be the person who wins 2 out of the 3 matches first.

      1. The A winner must lose twice in order for the B winner to win the Championship.

        1. This means that if the B winner, beats the A winner in a best of 3 match, they must play another best of 3 match in order for the B winner to win the Championship.

  5. For WATL sanctioned tournaments, bracket tiebreakers will be determined by the average bullseye hit percentage in the tournament.

    1. For example, in a tournament, if players A & B are tied in 5th and 6th place, the Player with the highest average bullseye percentage hit will be in 5th place and the subsequent player will be in 6th place.

    2. Duals bracket tiebreakers will be based on the total Duals team average bullseye hit percentage. Not the individual players in a team.



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