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The International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF)

​The International Axe Throwing Federation was established in 2016 to service the sport of axe throwing globally with the vision of creating a standardized rule system to enable broad and accessible competition amongst players.

To view the latest stats and global rankings visit axescores.com.

(1.1) Pre-Match Rules


1. Handling Your Axe

  1. The blade must be covered or sheathed while carrying an axe, regardless if that axe is in a bag, holster or outside of the thrower’s hands;
  2. Sound isolating devices are not permitted while throwing axes unless specifically required due to a medical condition;
    1. e.g. including, but not limited to, headphones and earplugs.

2. Lane choice (Rock-Paper-Scissors)

  1. Players may use Rock-Paper-Scissors (or another randomizing method) to choose their starting lane if there is any disagreement:
    1. ​Winner = best 2 of 3 rock paper scissors;
    2. Players may ‘opt out’ of Rock-Paper-Scissors effectively giving the lane choice to the other player.
    3. As noted, players may choose another random, time effective method of choosing a lane (eg: a coin flip)
  2. Players get 3 practice throws before their first match of the session;
  3. No practice throws are allowed once a player has completed their first match.  

3. Signalling Match Start

  1. After warm up throws are complete but before a match officially begins, players may perform a courtesy clinking of axe heads, side against side;
    1. If this does not happen, there is no penalty: It is strictly a courtesy and sign of sportsmanship that harkens back to the beginning of the sport.

4. Changing Target Wood

  1. League runners may change a target’s face boards at any point in between matches or otherwise deemed necessary.
  2. Any player may request a change of a target’s face boards but that request should be made before the match begins, before players determine their starting target choice
  3. Board changes must be approved by the League Runner or a match official and may be denied if the board is considered ‘fine’ to throw on by either of those people.
    1. If a player has completed their warm up throws then requests a board change, those boards may only be changed if the request is approved by the League Runner or Match Official, and not once the match has officially begun.
    2. If a large piece of wood falls from the target during match play, creating a void or large gap on the target, it is acceptable for the League Runner or match official to add screws to reattach this piece and repair the target;
    3. Similarly, if the corner of a board pulls away from the backboard during match play, screws may be added during the match to re-attach that board to the backboard by a League Runner or match official;
    4. Keep in mind: Only a League Runner or Match Official may decide mid-match to change a faulty board (ie: when axes aren’t sticking, there are too many knots, the board is too dense, etc.) If that decision is made;
      1. It can only be made at the discretion of the League Runner or Match Official and cannot be simply at the request of either thrower.
      2. Can only occur once both players have thrown an equal amount of times on the board in question. (Eg. after round 2 when both players have each thrown 5 axes on the board in question, before continuing to round 3)

5. Target Interference

  1. No spectator or thrower, whether involved in a match or observing, may interfere with any in-play target, be that striking the target, chopping at Clutches, adding screws to said targets, etc., outside of their official counted throws.
      1. A player may use the back of their axe to hammer loose target wood back into place in between throws.
  1. Should a target require maintenance or any outside manipulation, the throwers will request the League Runner and/or Match Official to make any necessary adjustments. This could include replacing boards, hacking out knots, screwing in a split piece of board, repainting an errant target line, etc.
  2. This does NOT include wetting or watering the boards, which can be done at any point during the match by either thrower involved in the match or any third party.

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