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The International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF)

(10.0) Axe Throwing Terminology


The International Axe Throwing Federation uses the following terminology across member organizations. To check out the competitive axe throwing terminology in action view our IATF league records and stats on axescores.com.

Venue Axe Throwing Terminology:

  1. Arena: one set of four axe throwing targets.
  2. Lane: one target setup from block to bullseye.
  3. Perimeter Wall: the four foot wall that separates throwers from spectators.
  4. Fencing: 9 gauge heavy chain link fencing to separate the lanes from one another as well as the outside social area.
  5. Target: five 2×10 boards screwed to a backboard comprising four point areas.
  6. Backboard: 3/4 inch plywood backing to support and mount target boards.
  7. Sub-Frame: the three layer wooden framework that attaches to where the backboard is mounted.
  8. Blocka small block that some throwers may place on the black line to position their lead foot while throwing.
  9. Helmet: there is a lower and an upper helmet on each lane. The upper is made of high density rubber and the lower of wood mounted below the target. Helmets protect axe heads  from damage on a missed throw.
  10. The Black Throwing Line (Standard Axe Throwing Line): the standard throwing line where players must position themselves for competitive throwing. This also doubles as the Big Axe foot fault line.
  11. The Blue Line (Big Axe Line): the standard throwing line where players must position themselves for competitive throwing of the Big Axe.
  12. The Yellow Line (Perimeter Line): the yellow line represents the separation of the throwing arena and the viewing area. Spectators are not to cross this line. ​

Equipment Terminology:

  1. Axetechnically a hatchet used in all standard competition
  2. Big Axe: the full size felling axe used for tie-breakers. Big axes are 2.5 pounds with a 27-28 inch wooden handle.
  3. Head: the metal blade portion of the axe.
  4. Device: a set of vernier calipers used in measuring the point score for instances of an that axe sticks between two ring values on a target.

Competition Terminology:
In addition to the following terms, an explanation of terminology specifically relating to Board Throwing standings and statistics is available here.

  1. Match: also sometimes referred to as a game, is set of three rounds totaling 15 throws.
  2. Round: one set of 5 throws, three of these make up a match, sometimes referred to as a game.
  3. Clutch*: green dots located in upper left and right sides of target worth 7 points.
  4. Drop: an axe that does not remain sticking in the target, and falls out before being retrieved, resulting in 0 points.
  5. Out of reach: a match or round that can not be won by any throw value
  6. Rubber Match: a match in which the 3rd round of throwing determines the match winner (.i.e.  third match played when first two rounds are tied).
  7. Perfect Round:  occurs in which all 5 throws are bullseyes, totaling 25 points.
  8. Unnatural Perfect Round: occurs  when round score is 25 points, but is achieved by throwing 3 bullseyes, a 3 point and a clutch.
  9. Supernatural Perfect Round: occurs when the total score of a round is 27 points.  Achieved when the first 4 throws of a round are each a bullseye and the 5th throw is a clutch.
  10. Perfect Match: occurs when the total score of a match totals 75. 
  11. Supernatural Perfect Match (aka ‘an 81’): occurs when the total score of a match equals 81 points., represented by 3 super-perfect rounds.  The highest score possible in a standard season match.

*Clutch:  the term ‘clutch’ is a registered trademark of BATL Global Corporation, used under license to the International Axe Throwing Federation and its members.

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