Axe Throwing Lane Rules

Axe Throwing Lane Rules

Given the dangerous nature of axe throwing, its rulebook is comprehensive to ensure fun and safe play for all involved. The confines of the lanes in which throwing takes place are defined by two of the major leagues: the World Axe Throwing League and the International Axe Throwing Federation. Keep reading to discover what axe throwing lane rules are the most important.

WATL Lanes

Axe Throwing WATL Lanes

The World Axe Throwing League specifies dimensional rules in their handbook for safe throwing. The area in which throwing takes place in a competition is termed a throwing lane and includes two targets. Only three individuals are allowed within the throwing lane at a time: two throwers and one judge. This area is blocked off from the other competition space with walls for safety reasons.

The lane should be at least 12 feet wide, 15 feet long, and have ceilings 10 feet high to allow for enough space to safely throw axes. The typical fault line should be around 12 feet from the target’s frontside. However, it should be 15 feet from the target in a 20-foot-long lane for Big Axe competitions. 

IATF Lines

Axe Throwing IATF Lanes

The IATF rulebook takes safety seriously, so lane dimensions are carefully detailed in order to keep all parties throwing safely and fairly. Each line has different meanings and appearances.

Red Line

The red line is an alert to stay behind the mark until both throwers have completed their turn. It is meant for safety, and penalties like a foot fault can occur if specific guidelines are broken. The line itself must be 110 inches (9 feet, 2 inches) from the target’s subframe (the layer behind the backboard). To notify all throwers, it must be painted at least six inches thick and continue across the entire arena’s length.

Black Line

The black line represents the mark where throwers prepare to throw a standard axe with their back foot positioned entirely behind the line. The start of the line begins 170 inches (14 feet, 2 inches) from the target’s subframe, and the line is centered in the lane, 10 inches wide and 52 inches (4 feet, 4 inches) long. When Big Axe competitions take place, this line can also act as the foot fault line.

Blue Line

The blue line acts as the starting line for Big Axe players. However, this line is farther from the target, at 220 inches (18 feet, 4 inches). Because this line is not always used during standard axe throws, it is dotted and only two inches wide. It is parallel with the black line and also 52 inches (4 feet, 4 inches) long.

Yellow Line

The yellow line divides the area of the throwing lane from the rest of the participants, judges, and spectators. Even if a thrower is competing in the venue, they may not pass the yellow line if they are not actively competing in the lane. Because this line is more of a lane separation than a safety specification, the IATF does not have set dimensions.


Are all axe throwing lanes the same?

Most axe throwing lanes are similar, because both the IATF and the WAFL specify similar rules for lanes. While not identical, axe throwing competitions consist of specified dimensions for ceiling height, lane width and length, fault lines, throwing lines, and target placement. All of these rules are designed to keep play safe and fair.