IATF LOGOCreated with Sketch.

The International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF)

(1.3) Scoring


  1.  Point Values
    1. The bullseye (on or within the black ring) is worth 5 pts;
    2. On or within the red ring is worth 3 pts;
    3. On or within the blue ring is worth 1 pt;
    4. The green dot in each corner, or Clutch(TM*) is worth 7 pts.
  2. ​Clutch*  
    1. Players must declare that they are going to throw for Clutch before attempting, also referred to as ‘Calling Clutch’ or to ‘Call Clutch’;
    2. Players can only throw for Clutch on the 5th and final throw of the round;
    3. An accidental Clutch is not valid, even on a 5th throw. No Clutch Call means no points;
    4. Once Clutch is called, only that point area is valid and all other point areas are worth zero:
      1. Meaning that if a player calls for Clutch but hits a bullseye, they receive no points.
  3. The Majority Rule
    1. All scoring is based on where the majority of the blade lands and stays in the target;
    2. The area to be counted on an axe sunk into a target is the area that is breaking the surface of the target:
      1. Any part of the blade that is not making contact with the wooden target does not count;
      2. The amount of blade buried deep into the target passed the surface is also not relevant;
      3. If they cannot agree, players must call for a third party measurement from the device;  See Image 1.3-A below
    3. Clutch is an exception to the majority rule:
      1. When throwing for Clutch, as long as any of the axe blade is breaking the green Clutch paint, the throw is good:
        1. Green paint refers to the originally drawn circle that represents the Clutch point and not any paint drips or deviations from that circle;
        2. call for referee if there is a debate, similar to a device* call.
  4. Drops
    1. If the axe strikes the target, sticks, and then falls out of the target, it is worth zero points, even if it sticks in for a moment:
      1. This includes any axe that falls out at any time before the thrower has approached the target and pulled their axe from it;
      2. This also includes any axe waiting to be measured by the device*.
    2. If a player rushes to the target to prevent a fallen axe, they must 
      1. Never do so before their opponent has thrown their axe that round.
      2. Still obey the ‘pause’ rule, preventing a foot fault.
      3. Always do so using caution to prevent injury.
  5. Device
    1. The device is a set of calipers used to determine the point value of an axe that has landed between two point areas and the point value is unclear based upon where the majority of the axe lies: See Image 1.3-B below
      1. ​A device measurement may be called by either thrower in the match or a League Runner.
    2. A third party must use the device, competitors cannot use the device to measure for points in their own matches;
      1. If the thrower being measured removes their axe from the board before the measurement is complete, they receive the lower point value of the values in debate.
    3. When measuring an axe blade that has landed across  two point areas, always use the outer edge of the paint line (the one farther from the center of the target) as the border for measuring point value; See Image 1.3-C below
    4. Axes are measured at the face of the target (as if it were not chewed up);
    5. If the Device is called and the axe falls out of the target before the third party arrives at the target surface with the Device then it is worth zero;
    6. If the axe falls from the target as the third party is actively measuring the throw (meaning the device is out and at the axe blade) then the thrower receives the lower point value of the two being measured:
      1. This is because the thrower is responsible for throwing well enough to have a solid stuck axe to be measured, but in case of third party error, if the axe has stuck up until the point of measurement they will receive the lesser value rather than zero;
    7. If a device is called and the thrower who is being measured takes the axe out of the target, the thrower being measured gets the lower point value.
  6. Final Axe Call (i) Final Call Within a Round
    1. In a given round, before both throwers throw their final (5th) axe, they may mutually agree upon, or individually choose, their ‘final axe call’, any of three courses of action for their final throw:
    2. 1. Bullseye, 2. Clutch, or 3. No call at this time (usually made because they want to hear what their opponent wishes to throw first).
    3. These decisions are considered ‘locked in’ once the throwers have discussed their calls with each other and made those calls official to the scorekeeper of the match. 
    4. These calls, once finalized with the scorekeeper together, cannot be changed or rescinded.PLEASE NOTE: If a competitor throws their axe without conferring with their opponent or scorekeeper AND without calling Clutch, that throw is to be considered a regular throw for points by default regardless of whether or not their axe hits the Clutch.
    5. IF both throwers cannot decide on a course of action, cannot decide their throw order within a round, or both refuse to choose one option before their opponent declares their intent, this will be considered a ‘stalemate’ and will result in:
      1. the point leader of that round being required to make their call and throw first; or,
      2. if there is no point leader in that round, the leader in rounds won over the course of the match will be required to throw first,
      3. if both players are in a true tie, then both players will be forced to throw for bullseye and Clutches will be considered dead.
  7. Final Axe Call (ii) Big Axe Calls
    1. With big axe, similar to the final axe calls, both players must make their intention known to the scorekeeper prior to either competitor throwing an axe, either 1. Bullseye, 2. Clutch, or 3. No call at this time (if the person is throwing second).
    2. Again, these decisions are considered ‘locked in’ once the throwers have discussed their calls with each other and made those calls official to the scorekeeper of the match. 
    3. These calls, once finalized with the scorekeeper together, cannot be changed or rescinded.
      PLEASE NOTE: The player that has been determined to throw first (through Rock-Paper-Scissors, coin flip, etc.) must make their call to the scorekeeper of either Bullseye or Clutch, even if their opponent has decided to call ‘No call at this time.’.

Image 1.3-A (sub-section 3.2.3): The Majority Rule

This diagram represents which portion of the axe counts when stuck in a target {as if the target was viewed from the side}. 1. Green area – Represents the blade of the axe at the surface of the target and what is counted when determining point value. 2. Red area – Represents what is not counted towards determining point value.

Image 1.3-B (sub-section 5.1): The Device

An example of standard set of calipers, used to measure precisely the amount of axe blade within a target area.

​Image 1.3-C (sub-section 5.3): Using the device

(1. The straight yellow line represents the blade of a stuck axe at the surface of the target, with the device measuring from the outside edge of the paint inward. In this example, the majority of the blade is within the bullseye, so 5 points are awarded.​)

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

Subscribe To The IATF News

Stay up to date on events in the IATF community.