League Gameplay

The Rules of Axe Throwing Competition

Yes, we’ve thought all this out far in advance. The list of rules for our axe throwing club leagues is a little long, but trust us, it’ll become second nature to you in no time.

Section A:

Pre-Game Rules

List Item Icon

1. Minimum Age:

  • There is no minimum age as long as one person on the team is 18 or over, or a legal parent/guardian of one of the team members is present during throwing. All waivers must be signed by the minor’s legal parent/guardian.
List Item Icon

2. Target Quality:

  • Targets should be relatively new and of sound quality prior to league commencement.
  • 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.
  • 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 (coach).
  • Targets must be sprayed with water from spray bottle prior to the start of league play.
  • If boards are continually hard, league members may request to have more water sprayed on the boards.
List Item Icon

3. Warm Up Throws:

  • Players may have up to 5 practice throws prior to their first match.
  • Players may have 1 practice throw prior to any subsequent matches.
  • The axe throwing referee will notify players when their match will commence.
  • The league will allow practice throws before official league start time subject to availability, fairness and consent of referee on premises.

Section B:


List Item Icon
  • Each league night allows every participant 4 matches and a weekly rotating skills game.
  • Each match is played against different opponents, selected at random.
  • 10 throws per match.
  • In each match, players will take 5 throws, then switch sides. This ensures fair play when there’s varying density in wood.
  • The winner of the match will be the person with the most points after 10 throws.
  • In the event of a tie after 10 throws, there will be sudden death.
  • The players will throw again (11th time) and the winner will be the person that scores the higher points during that throw.
  • If both players tie again, they must continue with sudden death throws until there is a winner.
  • Points are not counted or tallied during sudden death.
  • The match points and win/loss are then recorded and uploaded to the leaderboards.
  • After 7 weeks, the 8th and final week of each season will be the playoffs and final match to determine the season champion. See Playoffs section for details.

Section C:


List Item Icon


  • The black line awards points associated with the ring.
  • 6 points for the bullseye.
  • 4 points for the 2nd ring.
  • 3 points for the 3rd ring.
  • 2 points for the 4th ring.
  • 1 point for the 5th ring.
  • 10 points for the bonus balls.
List Item Icon

Bonus Balls

  • The bonus ball shot is only available on the tenth and final throw of the match.
  • Otherwise, the bonus balls are worth 1 point (the value of the ring they are in).
  • During the final throw of the match, the coach will provide a countdown starting from 3 (3,2,1), to indicate when the axes are to be thrown.
  • On this final throw, axes MUST be thrown at the same time. If an axe hits the target before the second player’s axe leaves their hands, the late thrower will be given 0 points.
List Item Icon

Touching the Line

  • If the axe is in 2 rings simultaneously, then the player is awarded the points for the higher valued ring.
  • As long as the axe is touching the higher value ring, the higher amount of points is awarded.
List Item Icon

Stick and Stay Policy

  • The axe must remain in the target for the throw to count.
  • If the axe falls out before the axe is retrieved, then the throw will be counted as 0 points.
List Item Icon

No Delays in Throws

Players may not “delay” in throwing the axe in hopes that opponent’s axe may fall out of the target or use delays for strategic advantage.

List Item Icon

Oddball Throws

On the rare occasion that the axe sticks to the target with the back of the blade, the shaft of the axe or any other part of the axe, the throw still counts and points are awarded accordingly.

Section D:

Axe Throwing

List Item Icon

Axe Throwing Technique

  • Players are allowed to throw axes in one of two ways:
    • 1 hand holding the axe and over or behind the head.
    • 2 hands holding the axe and over or behind the head.
  • No other style of throws are permitted.
  • Rotation: The axe must make approximately 1 rotation in order for it to count.
    • 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.
List Item Icon

Axe Throwing Distance

Players will throw from the boxed area marked on the floor, 12-15 feet away from the targets. Each box is 3 feet wide.

  • Players must have their lead foot in the boxed area when throwing the axe.
    • The other foot (back foot) may be behind and outside the boxed area.
    • Players will not be penalized if their back foot is touching any lines in the box.
  • A player’s lead foot is allowed to touch the front line during the throw, but no part of their foot may cross the line.
    • If any part of their foot is over the front line at the commencement of their throw, or at or after the release of the axe throw, their throw will be counted as a zero.
    • If any part of their foot is over the line after the axe is released the throw is valid and counted.
      • Players may not step forward, over the line during their axe throw.
      • This exception is after the axe has been thrown/released and the player’s momentum pushes them forward, past the line.

Section E:


List Item Icon

Late Players and/or Early Departures

  • Players are allowed to arrive up to 1 hour late, after official league start time.
  • Players are allowed to leave up to 1 hour early, prior to the end of the scheduled official league time.
  • If a player arrives late, after the 1 hour official start time, or leaves earlier than the 1 hour league completion time:
    • The player that was scheduled to go against him will be granted an automatic win, but will perform 10 throws and have their points recorded.
    • The late player will automatically receive a loss and a zero for all throws.
  • Exceptions are allowed with consent of opposing players affected that day and approval from referee.
List Item Icon

Playoff Exception

  • Players are required to arrive to the playoffs at the start of regulation play.
  • If a player is not present when their match begins, a 10 minute grace period will be offered.
    • If the player does not show up, they will forfeit their match and the player that is present will be awarded the win.
    • If the player arrives during their grace period, but is late for their next match, they will be immediately disqualified.
List Item Icon


  • Players are allowed to miss up to 2 days of regulation play during the season. If games are missed, those games must be made up within the following week. If the games are not made up within 1 week, all missed games will be marked as a loss and the team will receive zero points for all missed games.
    • Players must make up any missed matches by the following week of the missed matches; otherwise, a loss will be attributed to their absence with a score of 0.
    • No missed matches and throws are to be performed during week 8 (playoffs) – the seven-week mark is the cut off.
  • In order to miss a regulation league night, players are required to give a minimum 1 day notice to the referee of their absence.

Section F:


List Item Icon

All axes must conform to the following standards:

    • The axe head can weigh up to 2lbs maximum.
    • The blade on the head should be no longer than 4.75″ maximum.
    • The handle may be made of wood, steel or plastic and length be at least 12″ inches long, including the handle in the eye of the head of the axe. The length includes from the top head of the axe where the wood is inserted to the bottom of the shaft.

Section G:


List Item Icon

Coaches must always be present while members are throwing during league play.

    • A 6′ radius should be maintained around every participant holding an axe; however, the coach may approach the participants and enter this 6′ radius to provide instruction.
    • An axe should never be thrown until a coach has provided a demo and instruction for which the participant has been present.
List Item Icon


  • Axes from each player should be thrown at the same time.
  • If an individual throws an axe after the other axe has hit the target, the individual who threw their axe late will have their throw disqualified and counted as a zero.
  • Coaches may give up to 2 warnings per match to individuals who throw up to 3 seconds after the first throw (when both players are at the line and ready to throw).
  • Coaches may give up to 2 warnings per match to individuals who are throwing too early.
  • Axes are to be retrieved only when both axes have hit the target or the floor.
  • Axes shall never be thrown when a participant is picking up an axe from the target area. This will result in an immediate disqualification (counted as a loss) for that match.

Section H:


List Item Icon
  • Each and every axe is inspected prior to each league night to ensure the axe is up to standard.
  • Broken axes may not be used.
  • Coaches ensure the blades of the axes are sharp enough to hit AND stick to the target, but are not razor sharp to the touch.
  • Participants are instructed to grip the axe by the handle and only the handle.

Section I:

Regular Season

List Item Icon
  • The entire season lasts 8 weeks, including playoffs.
  • 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.

Section J:


List Item Icon
  • The top 16 of players with the most points will make it to the final week of playoffs, where a champion is crowned. In the event of a tie at the end of the season, the amount of match wins will determine the standings for playoffs.
    • If fewer than 16 players, then it will be the top scoring 75% of players.
    • A Minimum of 8 players to a Maximum of 16 players may qualify for the playoffs.
List Item Icon
  • Initial tournament match-ups will be determined as follows:
    • The player with the highest score will throw against the player with the lowest score. The second highest scorer from the regular season is matched against the second lowest scorer of qualifying players, and so on so that the two players with the median scores are matched up.
List Item Icon
  • The tournament follows a single elimination structure for each round except final round.
    • The winner of each match consisting of 10 throws, except in case of tie-breakers, advances to the next round.
List Item Icon
  • The final round between the two potential league champions will be at most 50 throws. Each player will throw 5 times on their respective target before switching to the other target.
    • The Winner: will be the person who wins 3 out of the 5 matches.

Reach Out Today

Any questions about the gameplay in our axe throwing leagues? Reach out to Dueling Axes Las Vegas for answers.

Contact Us Today