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Urban Axe Throwing 101 – Rule and Guidelines You Ought to Know

Do you think an axe is only used to chop wood, or as a prop in murder and thriller movies? Think again! If you’ve ever seen people throwing axes to hit a bullseye target, then you’ve probably witnessed the amazing sport of axe throwing.

How does axe throwing work? Think of a darts game where you throw a small missile at a circular target. Replace that missile with an axe thrown at a much larger target. Ta-da! Axe throwing!

The sport of axe throwing started in a simple backyard, way back in 2006. Soon enough, it gained popularity and became an event in most lumberjack competitions. Today, there’s a global governing body for the sport known as the World Axe Throwing League. This league defines and sets the league play, safety, and the sport’s growth.

In this blog, we’ll cover thebasic rules of axe throwing set by the governing body. Keep on reading to learn more!

1. Age

Age minimum in axe throwing

When it comes to axe throwing, age does matter. The governing body wants to make sure that one can handle a real axe and play by the rules. There is a minimum age for participating in axe throwing, which typically ranges from 18 to 21 years old in most countries. In Canada, the minimum requirement is 16 years old, while in the US, it’s 17 years old. Basically, you need to be old enough to handle an axe without harming yourself or the people around you.

2. Target

The target can’t be just any old target. The target used in axe throwing is required to be of good quality wood. It also has to be sprayed with water for the axe to stick. Once the target looks too loose, or if it’s hit by the axe one too many times, then it needs to be replaced immediately. The board is vital as it is where you will be hitting your steel blades, so it needs to be in top shape at all times.

3. Warm-up

As far as a warm-up is concerned, each participant is allowed to have five throws before the actual play. One practice throw is given before any other subsequent matches.

4. Throwing distance and techniques

Throwing distance and techniques

The throwing distance needs to be properly set, so that you can adjust your techniques required to pull off the play. As for distance, the line is marked on the floor. This is usually 12 to 14 feet away from the target. Now, when it comes to the throwing technique, you have two options, as follows:

  • You can have one hand holding the axe over or behind the head.
  • You can use two hands to hold the axe over or behind the head.

5. Actual play

When it comes to the actual play, each participant gets ten throws per match with five throws on each side of the designated space. The winner is the one who earns the highest points. Should there be a tie, another additional throw is given until someone gets a higher point added. The top 16 participants will then move to the final, where they play the best of five matches.

6. Scores

As for the score values, they are marked on the targets so that everyone will know. For your reference, the point system is as follows:

  • 6 points for the bulls-eye
  • 4 points for the blue ring
  • 3 points for the red ring
  • 2 points for the green ring
  • 1 point for the black ring


As you can see, the axe throwing rules are pretty straightforward. While it may seem easy on paper to hurl an axe at the nearest target, the actual play requires a great deal of strength and technique. It’s also important to understand the basic rules and guidelines so that you play fair and play safely.

We provide a local, premium axe throwing venue in downtown Vancouver. If you are looking to go axe throwing in Vancouver, get in touch with us today, or come on down to our Port Coquitlam location to see what all the buzz is about!

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