The World Blade League provides a framework of rules for both independent venues seeking an alternative to joining larger organizations and for affiliated venues that want to offer more than just one type of league. Our commitment to inclusivity means that we support and respect each venue’s choice regarding the type of target they wish to feature, without imposing restrictions.
The World Blade League (WBL) is dedicated to fostering the growth and development of the global bladed sports community by promoting inclusivity, sportsmanship, and athletic excellence. We strive to create a sustainable platform that ensures long-term success and satisfaction for all throwers, supporters, and organizers. Our commitment lies in making participation more accessible by offering cost-effective resources, user-friendly training programs, and competitively priced gear.
We are committed to fostering an environment where everyone feels welcome, empowered, and treated with dignity and respect, regardless of age, gender, race, or background. We believe in equal opportunities and strive to eliminate barriers to participation and success, including providing accessible resources and education to new venues and throwers.
We champion the spirit of friendly competition and encourage throwers to demonstrate integrity, respect, and adherence to established rules and guidelines. Fair play and sportsmanship are the cornerstones of our community.
The WBL aims to be a force for good, both in and out of the arena. We are dedicated to creating initiatives that support education and personal development while making a positive difference in the lives of everyone in the bladed sports community.
We value open dialogue and active engagement with the worldwide bladed sports community. Through transparent communication and providing a platform for all voices to be heard, we foster partnerships, collaboration, and a sense of belonging among our stakeholders.
Transparency and Consistency
We prioritize open communication and uphold consistent standards throughout our organization. Decisions will be made with input from community representatives and accessible, publicly disclosed procedures. Clear and concise rules will be established to provide a consistent experience across all venues. By doing so, we eliminate confusion and ambiguity, ensuring that throwers, supporters, and organizers have a shared understanding of the expectations and guidelines within the community.
My father introduced me to knife and tomahawk throwing over a decade ago at a local conservation club. I learned techniques early on from the club experts, Gary and Uwe. My introduction to bladed sports was rudimentary, throwing at playing cards tacked onto rotted log rounds. Hitting the log scored a point, while hitting the card scored 3. There were no distance markers. The only rule was that it had to make one rotation, and the unwritten rule was “don’t get so close that it looks like cheating.” Throughout college, I would visit the range from time to time, bringing classmates and friends, introducing them to the sport. I worked my way through college partially as a tutor, so this appealed to my teaching spirit.
After college, my engineering career fizzled due to the lack of stimulating work. I returned to tutoring and eventually found myself working as a coach when axe throwing emerged as an organized sport. Striving for more neighborhood appeal than the current bar offerings in major downtown areas, I opened Total Axe in the Fall of 2018 and I’ve been here 361 days a year ever since.
I have taken pieces of knowledge gleaned from my personal experiences, multiple associations, other target sports, and other sports in general to create what has been known as “Michigan Rules” up until this point. If you go back to one of my very first Instagram posts, you can see my dad throwing the first axe at the very first target we built here: massive bullseyes, massive 8’s in each corner, and a point just for making it stick to the board. Our target has gradually evolved with the help of the community. The bullseye was reduced, the 8’s were shrunk, and simply landing it on the board no longer guarantees a point.
Our focus at Total Axe has always been on community and fair play. As the success of Total Axe and the Michigan Rules grew, we realized the potential to create a more inclusive and flexible framework that extends beyond our walls. This is the inspiration behind the World Blade League. Our aim is to bring together throwers, supporters, and organizers from various backgrounds, providing them with a comprehensive set of rules that focus on community, fair play, and continuous improvement. While you can’t please all of the people all of the time, our motivation to create a sport that appeals to a diverse audience drives us to continuously refine and adapt our ruleset. Despite our small size and the lack of amenities available at some of the larger venues, we have successfully built some of the largest unaffiliated leagues in the country, demonstrating that our dedication to the core values of community and fair play resonates with many players. We feel that now is the best time to share what we’ve learned with the community as a whole.
As we embark on this new journey with the World Blade League, we are determined to create a sport that not only belongs to the throwers, but also empowers them to shape its future. We invite you to join us in building a legacy that celebrates the spirit of fair play, inclusivity, and continuous improvement. We believe the sport belongs to the throwers and together, we can write a new chapter in the history of bladed sports.
-Chris Ross, founder of Total Axe and The World Blade League