Simplified Hatchet Rules

  1. Target – The Main target is 6 rings (1-6 points) centered at 60 inches.
    Four Corner targets with 3 rings (3, 5, and 7 points), 2 centered at 46 inches, and 2 centered at 74 inches.
  2. Hatchets must be at least 12 inches in length with an edge no more than 4.25 inches.
  3. Foul Line at 12 feet – both players must stay behind until both throw.
  4. Matches are 3 games of 5 throws
  5. Axes only need to touch the ring to score. They do not have to break through the paint.
  6. Corners can be called any time after the first throw – even if the first throw was a 0.
  7. If any ring in a corner is scored, the entire corner is closed out for that game.
    E.g., if you hit the bottom right 3, you can’t score any of the bottom right rings for the remainder of the game.
  8. The player who is behind on the last throw declares their intent first, but both people throw together.
  9. The match winner is the person who wins more games.

Official WBL Rules

  1. Targets
    1. The main target contains 6 concentric circles, labeled from 1-6 points, centered 60 inches from the ground.
    2. Outside of the main target, there are 4 smaller targets, one in each corner. An illustration is shown at the bottom of the rules.
      1. The 2 upper targets are centered 74 inches from the ground and the 2 lower targets are centered 46 inches from the ground.
      2. Each corner target is labeled with 3 rings, label 3, 5, and 7 points.
    3. Ring diameters:
      1. Main target:
        1. 6 – 2 inches
        2. 5 – 4 inches
        3. 4 – 6 inches
        4. 3 – 9 inches
        5. 2 – 15 inches
        6. 1 – 24 inches
      2. Corner Targets:
        1. 7 – 1.5 inches
        2. 5 – 4 inches
        3. 3 – 7 inches
    4. Throws that land in the boards outside of any circles score no points.
    5. The foul line is placed 12 feet from the target for adults, 10 feet for youth.
  2. Equipment
    1. Hatchets
      1. Hatchets must measure at least 12 inches in total length.
      2. Hatchets must have no more than one blade, spike, or sharp edge. The blade must measure 4.25 inches or less from point to point.
      3. Hatchets must be fixed in place with a wedge or a single-piece, all metal body. Tomahawk style heads are not permitted in the hatchet division.
    2. Big Axes
      1. Big Axes must measure at least 25 inches in total length.
      2. Big Axes must have no more than one blade, spike, or sharp edge. The blade must measure at least 3.5 inches, and no more than 4.75 inches from point to point.
      3. Big Axes must be fixed in place with a wedge. Tomahawk style heads are not permitted in the big axe division.
    3. Knives
      1. Knives must measure between 10 and 16 inches in total length and less than 2.5 inches wide at any point.
      2. Knives must have no more than point, clearly distinctive from the handle end. Live edges are discouraged, and may be restricted by the venue.
      3. Throwers must have a set of at least 3 identical knives.
    4. Tomahawks
      1. Tomahawks must measure at least 12 inches in total length.
      2. If a tomahawk has more than one point or edge, the scoring edge must be identified prior to start of play. The scoring edge must measure 4.5 inches or less from point to point.
      3. Throwers must have a set of at least 3 identical tomahawks.
      4. Throwers may also use hatchets in the tomahawk division, provided they have 3 identical hatchets.
    5. All Equipment
      1. All equipment may be inspected for safety by the venues before the start of play.
  3. Gameplay
    1. Hatchet and Big Axe
      1. Games consist of 5 throws. Matches consist of 3 games (total of 15 throws).
      2. Players must throw from behind the foul line. After releasing, both feet must contact the ground behind the foul line and the player must stop forward movement. Failure to do so results in a loss of throw. Touching or crossing the line before both players have thrown results in a loss of throw.
      3. The blade of the axe must be stuck in the target to score. Players score the innermost zone that the head of the axe is touching.
      4. The main target must be used for the first throw.
      5. Players must indicate if they are aiming for one of the corner targets
        1. If a corner shot has not been indicated, only the main target is in play.
        2. If a corner shot is indicated, the main target is not in play
        3. After hitting one of the corner targets, that corner is “closed out” and does not count for the rest of the game.
        4. Throwers can go for the corner after the first throw, even if they did not score on the first throw.
      6. During the first four throws, the person in the lead must declare their intent first (if requested by the other thrower). If the game is tied, either player may declare their intent or attempt to reach an agreement. If an agreement cannot be made and no player declares their intent, each player must aim for the main target.
      7. On the last throw of each game, the player who is behind must indicate their intent before the player in the lead.
      8. Both throwers must declare their intent before either person throws.
      9. Match win is awarded to the player who wins the most games. Ties count as half of a win.
    2. Knives and Tomahawks
      1. Games
        1. Games consist of 9 throws.
          1. 3 throws of one rotation from a minimum distance of 10ft.
          2. 3 throws of 1.5 rotation from a minimum distance of 13 ft.
          3. 3 throws of 2 rotation from a minimum distance of 16 ft.
        2. For each set of 3, knives are left in the target until all three have been thrown.
        3. The first throw of each set must be at the main target. Players may indicate a corner target for the second and third throw of each set.
        4. The knife point must be in the target to score. Each knife scores the innermost zone that the blade end is in. Guards and handles do not count for score.
      2. Point Play
        1. Throwers each score 4 games as outlined above for a total of 36 throws.
        2. Winner is determined by the total aggregate score.
      3. Match Play
        1. Throwers play head to head for 3 games.
        2. The winner of the match is the thrower who wins the most games. Total score does not matter.
  4. Choice of side/Order of Throw
    1. During the regular season, side is chosen by coin-toss or rock-paper-scissors. During playoffs, the higher seed may choose their starting side.
    2. During all throws, players throw together.
  5. Attendance
    1. Players must check in before matches start. Players who do not check in before the start of league are considered absent for the night.
    2. Players must attend 70% of the season to be included in the playoffs. No make-up games are provided.
    3. Each player gets 5 practice throws before their first match. Players may have 1 practice before each match thereafter.
    4. Each week of the regular season consists of 6 matches per player.
  6. League Playoffs
    1. The last week of league is a double-elimination tournament. All players compete for the championship.
      1. Standings are determined by player average.
      2. Ties in standings are broken by average, then wins, then total points scored, then a coin toss.
      3. OPTIONAL: Large leagues may elect to split playoffs into multiple divisions based on average.
    2. In the event of a tie game in the tournament:
      1. Each player will throw together until the tie is broken.
      2. Players start overtime aiming at the main target only.
      3. If both players have hit a bullseye, it is closed out and the corners are the only targets in play. Once a corner target is hit, it is closed out until all 4 corners have been hit.
      4. If both players are still tied after hitting all 4 corners, play continues in the same pattern, starting with the main target.
    3. Games per round
      1. Matches are played until one person wins 3 games (3 out of 5).
      2. When only four players remain, matches are played until one person wins 4 games (4 out of 7).
    4. Arena Selection
      1. The venue will designate arenas for use in the tournament. The first match called is played on the leftmost arena, the second is played on the arena to the right of that, and so on until all arenas are full.
      2. When a match is over, the next available match is played in that arena.
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