Axe Throwing Glossary Of Terms

Axe Throwing Glossary Of Terms

Axe throwing got its start in mid-1900s Canada. Since then, the sport has increasingly risen in popularity. The International Axe Throwing Federation was established in 2016 to provide regulations and guidance to athletes, and the sport is now formally played in at least nine different countries. With axe throwing venues popping up across the United States, now might be your time to give the sport a try. Listed below are some important terms you’ll want to know before embarking on your first axe throwing venture.

List of Axe Throwing Terms

Below is a list of axe throwing terms for beginners: 

Terms for Axe Throwing Venues

Arena: An area where games are played, typically made up of two lanes and four targets

Backboard: The plywood behind the target, supporting or holding it up

Big Axe Line: A line marked specifically for throwers using the big axe, cannot be passed by more than one step 

Bullseye: A seven-inch-wide red circle perfectly centered in the middle of each target

Double Arena: An area where games are played, made up of four lanes and eight targets

Fault Line: A line marked in red upon the floor of the arena that players should not cross or come in contact with while throwing

Fencing: Made of metal, the fencing designates lanes for the throwers to stand in, providing direction and protection in between players

Lane: A designated area for players to throw in that is 12 ft. wide and 15 ft. long, comprised of two targets

Target: Can be secured to a wall or floating, the “target” is where players aim and throw their axes, attempting to sink the axe within specified zones in the target.

Throwing Line: A line marked in black upon the floor of the arena that players should not take more than one step past while throwing

Axe Throwing Equipment Terms

Beard: The place at the bottom of the axe blade (or head), which lies between the handle and the heel of the hatchet

Big axe: Used for tie-breakers, an axe with a wooden handle that weighs between 2.75 and 3.75 pounds 

Device: Measuring calipers used to settle questions or disputes about where an axe blade has sunk for scoring purposes

Handle: The long base of the axe, beneath the blade, that players hold while they throw. Traditionally made of wood, though some leagues allow steel or plastic handles

Hatchet: This is the tool used throughout the majority of an axe throwing match, a 1.5 to 2.5 pound hand axe thrown by players towards the target

Head: Axe-throwers refer to the hatchet’s blade as the “head”

Axe Throwing Gameplay Terms

Around the World: A specific axe throwing competition in which players compete to sink their axes into specific zones of the target in a specific order

Calling the Kill Shot: The kill shot’s full point potential is only met by a player who first informs both their opponent and the match judge of their intent on hitting the kill shot circles. This announcing of intent is referred to as calling the kill shot, and players can use this strategy twice per game

Doubles: A game in which teams of two are formed; during gameplay, teammates throw toward the same target simultaneously

Drop: A failed throw, where the axe misses the target altogether

Fault: Called when a competitor crosses any of the arena lines (fault line, throwing line, etc.), voiding their turn

IATF: The International Axe Throwing Federation is the governing body of the sport that sets standards, rules, and regulations for official axe throwing

Kill Shot: Two blue circles, placed at the top of each target, also referred to as blue balls

Match: A game of axe throwing, typically consisting of 10 throws per player, although sometimes matches are played as any uneven amount of rounds or may have other variations of length, depending on league and venue rules 

Oddball Throws: A term used to describe when an axe non-traditionally sticks into the target, but points are still awarded. For example, if the back of the blade manages to lodge into the target

Over Rotation: Occurs when the spin of the axe is too great, thereby missing or failing to sink into the target

Perfect round: A perfect round is called when each throw of any given round results in a bullseye

Rotation: The spin created when an axe is thrown

Sticking an Axe: Accomplished when a player’s throw successfully sinks into and remains in the target

Throw: A single throw toward the target

Touching the Line: An axe throwing rule that states that if a thrown axe lands in a position touching two rings, the player will be awarded the higher of the two possible point amounts

Trick Shot: Players typically throw their axes overhead with either one or two hands, a trick shot is any throw that deviates from these standard stances and techniques

Under Rotation: Occurs when the spin of the axe is too little, thereby missing or failing to sink into the target