Axe Throwing Hatchet Sudden Death Rules

Axe Throwing Killshots

Axe throwing has a complicated set of rules when it comes to scoring. One of the more complicated aspects of axe throwing is related to ties. If there is still a tie after ten throws in a single game, the game enters sudden death. In this case, the players would throw for an eleventh time. After this throw, the player with the highest score in this round wins the game.

If both players were to tie again, they would continue the sudden death rounds until someone scores higher and can end the game. While this seems pretty straightforward, there are quite a few guidelines that one should know when entering a sudden death round. Read on to learn about sudden death rules in axe throwing.


Sudden death rounds only allow for Killshots and points are not counted. The target board has four rings and a red circle (the bullseye) in the center. The target also has two smaller circles in the outermost ring. If a player hits either of these two circles during a designated time, it is considered a Killshot.

Players should remain at the target they have been using throughout the entire game during sudden death. The first attempt can be taken on either Killshot. However, every other turn must be alternated. If the right killshot was taken during the first round, the left must be taken during the second and so on and so forth. This is regardless of a hit, miss, or fault.

Hits and Misses

If all players hit the Killshot, then a second round of sudden death is necessary. In this case, all players must throw again but this time for the alternate Killshot. As with the first sudden death round, the players should remain at the same target they played at for the entirety of the game.

If all players miss the Killshot during the sudden death round, a measuring device is used to measure the distance from the closest scoring area of the axe head to the closest edge of the Killshot. Sometimes, no accurate measurement can be obtained and in this case, the round will result in another tie and will lead to another sudden death round with the same rules as above.

If a conclusive measurement can be obtained, the player with the shortest distance between the axe head and the closest edge of the Killshot will win the game. One important rule to note is that if one player has a dropped axe and the other player misses the Killshot but still hits the target, the other player will win the game.

Summary of Sudden Death Rules

  • If players have a tie after ten rounds, they move to the sudden death round.
  • Only Killshots may be used in the sudden death round.
  • Players must alternate between the right and left Killshot.
  • If both players make their Killshot, they will go into another sudden death round.
  • If neither player makes their Killshot, a measurement of the distance from the axe head to the Killshot will be obtained.
  • The shortest distance between axe head and Killshot will be declared the winner.
  • If no measurement is obtained, players will enter another sudden death round.
  • Sudden death rounds will continue until a winner is declared.


What is sudden death in axe throwing?

A sudden death round in axe throwing occurs when, after ten throws, the players have reached a tie. During a sudden death round, both players must accurately throw a Killshot. If both players manage to do so, another sudden death round is played. If both players miss the Killshot, a measurement will be obtained in order to determine which axe head is closest to the Killshot target. If no measurement is able to be obtained, another sudden death round will be played.