Sport Rulebook

From Lumberjacks to Pros: The Exciting Rise of Axe Throwing

Axe Throwing: From Lumberjack Competitions to Modern Sport

Axe throwing has come a long way from its humble beginnings in lumberjack competitions to its current status as a growing sport all around the world. Today, axe throwing is a popular activity in bars, leagues, and even backyard gatherings.

But what is the history behind this sport, and what are the safety protocols to ensure that everyone has a good time and stays safe? This article will delve into the exciting world of axe throwing, exploring everything from its roots to its modern-day twist.

History – Lumberjack Competitions and the Rise of Axe Throwing as a Sport

Axe throwing has a long and rich history that spans many centuries. While some people might think of axe throwing as a modern trend, it actually has its roots in traditional lumberjack competitions.

In the olden days, lumberjacks would use their axes to chop down trees, and they would often engage in competitions that highlighted their dexterity and strength. One of the earliest recorded instances of axe throwing dates back to the 19th century in the United States, where lumberjacks would take turns throwing their axes at a tree to see who could get the closest to the bullseye.

Over time, this tradition evolved, and axe throwing became a popular event at agricultural fairs, rural festivals, and other public events. The goal of the sport was to throw the axe as close to the bullseye as possible, and whoever got the most points would win.

As the sport gained momentum and popularity, it eventually spawned the formation of the first official axe throwing league in Toronto, Canada. Matt Wilson, the founder of the first axe throwing league, was a chef who was passionate about axe throwing.

He envisioned an organized league that would allow people to compete in a fun and safe environment, and his vision eventually came to fruition. Today, there are numerous axe throwing leagues all over the world, with many people embracing this sport as an exciting way to unwind and bond with friends.

Playing Surface – Safety Protocols and Surface Requirements

While axe throwing may seem like a dangerous activity, it is actually a very safe sport when played correctly. Most axe throwing bars and leagues have strict safety rules and protocols in place to ensure that everyone has a good time and stays safe.

For instance, all participants are required to wear closed-toe shoes and sign a waiver before playing. Additionally, there are certain restrictions that must be followed.

For example, alcohol consumption is usually not permitted during axe throwing due to safety concerns. Another important aspect of axe throwing is ensuring that the playing surface meets safety requirements.

The throwing surface should be level, flat, and have enough space to accommodate players who are standing behind the throwing line. The wood target should be sturdy and free of knots, and it should also be large enough for the axe to stick in securely.

In terms of target materials, most leagues use softwood, but different types of wood can be used if they meet certain guidelines. The foul line is another critical element of axe throwing that must be taken into consideration.

The foul line must be clearly marked and should indicate where participants should stand when throwing the axe. This helps to prevent accidents and ensure that participants have a fair and equal chance when throwing.

Final Thoughts

Axe throwing is a sport that has come a long way from its origins in lumberjack competitions. While it was once a rural pastime, it is now a growing trend in cities around the world.

However, it is important to remember that axe throwing is only safe when played in a secure and controlled environment, following strict safety precautions and protocols. Whether you are a seasoned player or someone who is trying axe throwing for the first time, always ensure that you prioritize safety above all else to make the experience as enjoyable and accident-free as possible.

Axe Throwing Equipment: The Different Types of Axes and the Necessary Equipment

Axe throwing is a thrilling sport that requires a unique set of equipment. Different types of axes have different characteristics, and there are certain pieces of equipment that are necessary to ensure that the game is played safely and efficiently.

In this second part of the article, we will delve into the types of axes that are used in axe throwing and the equipment that is necessary to play the game correctly.

Types of Axes Used for Throwing and Their Characteristics

In axe throwing, players use different types of axes for throwing. The following are some of the most common types of axes that are used for axe throwing:


Tomahawks Tomahawks are lightweight and small enough to be thrown with one hand. They are perfect for players who are just starting with axe throwing.

They are also popular in competitions as a “trick” throwing axe. 2.

Hatchets Hatchets are small axes that can be used with one hand, but they are also versatile enough to be used with both hands. These axes are perfect for people who are just starting out with axe throwing, as they are easier to handle than larger axes.

3. Splitting Axes These are heavier than most axes and are meant for splitting logs or chopping wood.

They have a larger blade that is designed to cut through thicker pieces of wood. 4.

Double Bit Axes Double Bit Axes have a blade on both sides of the head and are typically larger than other axes used for axe throwing. They are not commonly used in competitions but can be used for recreational axe throwing.

Necessary Equipment for Axe Throwing

To play axe throwing safely and effectively, certain pieces of equipment are necessary. The following are some of the most critical pieces of equipment that every player needs:


Axe The axe is the most critical piece of equipment in axe throwing. The axe must be sharp enough to stick in the target, but not so sharp that it is dangerous to handle.

Most axe throwing facilities provide axes, but players can also bring their own. 2.

Protective Net/Boundary A protective net or boundary is necessary to keep axes from flying out of control and hitting bystanders or furniture. The net or boundary should be placed at least 8 feet behind the target.

3. Wood Target The wood target is the object that players throw the axe at during the game.

The target should be large enough to accommodate the size of the axe being thrown. The target should also be made of softwood to prevent damage to the axe.

Throwing Techniques: Different Ways of Throwing and Important Tips for Throwing Mechanics

In axe throwing, there are different ways to throw the axe depending on what feels most comfortable for the player. Here are some of the different throwing techniques commonly used in axe throwing:


Over the Shoulder This is a technique where the axe is thrown over the shoulder, with the dominant hand positioned high up on the handle. One benefit of this technique is that it produces a high-volume arc, which can be useful when trying to hit a specific target on the wood target.

The potential disadvantage of this technique is that it may be challenging to generate enough power to get the axe to stick in the target. 2.

Two-Handed Over the Head This technique involves standing directly in front of the target and using both hands to throw the axe over the head. This technique is easy to master and can generate a lot of power, making it a popular option for beginners.

However, it requires more room to execute safely than other techniques. When considering the most comfortable position for throwing, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Firstly, the dominant hand should should be the center of gravity for the axe. Secondly, it’s important to find a stance that is comfortable and balanced.

The feet should be positioned shoulder-width apart, with the dominant foot slightly behind the lead foot. When preparing for the throw, the axe should be positioned so that the tip is slightly above shoulder height.

Another crucial aspect of throwing is the rotational movement of the axe. It should rotate in a horizontal, rather than vertical, direction when released.

It can be helpful to practice the movement of the wrist until it feels comfortable. Finally, pay attention to the follow-through movement after releasing the axe.

It’s essential to point the arm towards the target to ensure accuracy.


Axe throwing is an exciting sport that requires specific types of equipment and proper throwing techniques to maximize safety and enjoyment. Knowing the different types of axes and their characteristics can help players choose the right axe for their skill level and preferences.

Furthermore, being familiar with the necessary equipment and throwing techniques are critical elements of being a successful axe thrower. With practice and patience, anyone can become skilled at axe throwing.

Objectives and Gameplay: Different Games Played and Throwing Techniques

Axe throwing can be played in a variety of different formats and games, ranging from standard play to horse. Each game has different rules and objectives, but all focus on hitting the target consistently and accurately.

In this section, we will explore some of the most popular axe throwing games in greater detail, as well as the rules and regulations that players must follow to ensure safety and proper gameplay.

Different Games Played in Axe Throwing Competitions

1. Standard Play This is the most popular form of axe throwing and is played with two players.

Each player takes turns throwing the axe at the target, and the one with the highest score at the end of the game wins. The game consists of 10 rounds where each player throws three axes per round.

The maximum score for one round is 30 if all three axes hit the bullseye. 2.

Around the World In this game, players start by aiming for the bullseye, but after each successful hit, they move on to the next number on the target (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.). Players must hit each number consecutively, and the winner is the player who hits all the way around the board to 20.

3. Horse Similar to the basketball game of horse, players take turns choosing a shot type (e.g. one-handed over the head or over-the-shoulder throws), and the other player must try to match it.

If they miss, they get a letter until they spell out the word horse. The first person to spell out horse loses.

Rules and Regulations for Gameplay and Safety

While axe throwing can be an exhilarating and fun sport, it is critical to follow rules and regulations to ensure the safety of both players and bystanders. The following are some of the most important rules every player should follow:


Inspection Before starting the game, all axes must be inspected to ensure they are in good condition and free from defects. If the axe is damaged in any way, it must be removed from play immediately.

2. Safety Safety is of the utmost importance in axe throwing, and all players must take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others.

This includes keeping a safe distance from the target, wearing appropriate footwear, and using only authorized equipment. 3.

Axe Contact Areas To score points, the blade of the axe must stick within the designated scoring area. If it sticks in the wood outside of the scoring area, it does not count and must be retrieved by the player before resuming the game.

Lingo: Common Phrases and Slang Used in Axe Throwing

Like all sports, axe throwing has a unique language all its own. The following are some of the most common phrases and slang terms used in axe throwing:


Bullseye A successful shot that lands in the center of the target. 2.

Badaxe This term refers to the act of throwing an axe badly or missing the target entirely. 3.

Blueballs This term refers to the practice of throwing multiple axes at once, with some of the axes landing on the target and others not. 4.

Deadwood An axe that is lodged deep into the wood target. 5.

Foul A foul occurs when a player crosses the foul line or touches the axe after it has been thrown.


Whether playing standard play or one of the other popular games in axe throwing, it is critical to follow rules and regulations to ensure safety and proper gameplay. Additionally, it is useful to become familiar with the unique terms, phrases, and slang used in this exciting sport.

By practicing throwing techniques and following the rules, axe throwing can be an enjoyable activity that enhances camaraderie and skill levels for all players. Players and

Leagues: The World Axe Throwing League and Its Professional Growth

Axe throwing has grown from a game played in backyards to a professional sport organized by various leagues throughout the world.

Professional players have emerged, competing in various competitions and earning recognition for their skills. In this section, we will explore the growth of professional axe throwing, famous players, and well-known leagues that have helped to establish the sport.

Recent Winners and Famous Players in Axe Throwing

The World Axe Throwing League (WATL) has gained significant popularity in recent years. It was founded in 2017 and recognized as an official governing body in the sport of axe throwing.

The WATL has sanctioned numerous competitions around the world, and the following are some of the most recent winners:

1. Chris Green A professional axe thrower based in the United States, he won the 2020 WATL World Axe Throwing Championship.

2. Taylor Huff Huff is also a professional axe thrower based in the United States.

She is the 2021 WATL World Womens Axe Throwing Champion. 3.

Matt Phillips Phillips is a well-known Australian axe thrower, having won several Australian National Championships, as well as the 2019 WATL World Championship.

The Growth and Establishment of Professional Axe Throwing

Professional axe throwing has grown in popularity in recent years, with the establishment of the World Axe Throwing League and its global representation. For players to achieve professional status, they must adhere to strict training regimens, compete in sanctioned competitions, and earn enough points to qualify.

The Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the sport, with many events and competitions being cancelled or postponed. However, the WATL established virtual competitions, allowing players to compete from the safety of their homes.

This contributed to the further growth of the sport, with more players and fans participating in virtual events.


1. The World Axe Throwing League The WATL is the most recognized body governing the sport of axe throwing; it specializes in professional axe throwing events and runs leagues in countries including the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, and Australia.

2. National Axe Throwing Federation The NATF is one of the largest rival leagues to the WATL.

It is based in Canada but has expanded into the United States, with leagues operating in various cities. 3.

ThrowHouse ThrowHouse is an axe-throwing establishment based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It has become known internationally as a popular destination for axe throwers.


Professional axe throwing is a rapidly growing sport, with organizations like the World Axe Throwing League and the National Axe Throwing Federation leading the way. The establishment of these leagues, along with their sanctioned events and competitions, has helped to elevate the sport and attract more fans and players.

With famous players emerging and new leagues popping up worldwide, it is evident that axe throwing is here to stay. Events and Competitions: Major Competitions and The Versatility of Axe Throwing

Axe throwing has become a popular sport played in various indoor and outdoor settings, with numerous events and competitions taking place worldwide.

In this section, we will explore some of the major competitions in the sport, as well as the

Popular Posts