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The International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF)

(1.3) Standard Scoring


1. Point Values

  1. The bullseye or black ring is worth 5 pts;
  2. The middle or red ring is worth 3 pts;
  3. The outer or blue ring is worth 1 pt;
  4. The green dot in each upper corner of the target, or Clutch™ is worth 7 pts.

2. ​Clutch  

  1. Players must declare their intention to throw for Clutch before they throw, also referred to as ‘Calling Clutch’ or to ‘Call Clutch’;
  2. Players can only throw for Clutch on the 5th and final throw of each 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 the Clutch point area is valid and all other point areas (1, 3 and bullseye) are worth zero points (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. Once the axe has stuck in the target the majority of the blade is measured along the side of the blade at the surface of the target
    See Image 1.3-A below:

    1. Any amount of blade buried deep into the target past the surface is not relevant; the measurement happens at the surface the target
    2. If players cannot agree on how to score a specific throw or throws, they must call for a third party measurement using the device;
  3. Clutch is an exception to the majority rule:
    1. When throwing for Clutch, as long as any part of the axe blade is breaking the green Clutch paint at the surface of the target, the throw is good and counts for points:
      1. Green paint refers to the originally drawn circle that represents the Clutch and not any paint drips or deviations from that circle;
      2. If paint is missing from the circle due to being knocked out by previous throws, players are to use the assumption of the originally drawn circle (ie. imagining the circle is fully intact).
      3. If players cannot agree on how to score a specific throw or throws, they must call for a third party measurement using the device;

4. Drops

  1. i. If the axe strikes the target and falls, or sticks in the target and then falls out, it is worth zero points, no matter how long the axe has stuck in the target before falling:
    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.
    3. If the axe falls from the target as a 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;
  2. If a player rushes to the target to prevent a wobbling 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 (see section 1.6)

5. Device

  1. The device is a set of calipers used to determine the point value of an axe that has landed crossing two scoring rings when the point value is unclear based upon where the majority of the axe lies: See Image 1.3-B below
    1. ​A ‘device’ or measurement may be called by either thrower in the match or performed at the League Runner’s discretion.
  2. A third party must use the device to measure the axe blade. Competitors cannot use the device to measure for points in their own matches;
  3. 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.
  4. 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; 
  5. Axes are measured against the face of the target, regardless if there are cuts or pieces missing from the face boards of the target itself.
  6. 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;
  7. Again, 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;
  8. 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.

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

  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.​

6. Declaring your intention for Final Axe

  1. Once reaching the 5th throw of any given round in regular play, both players are encouraged to confer with each other about their intentions for their final axe. At that time:
    1. Players may declare their intention to call Bullseye,
    2. Players may declare their intention to call Clutch,
    3. A player may decide to not make a call at this time, waiting to hear what their opponent intends to throw first or simply wanting their opponent to throw first.
  2. If both players agree on a course of action, regardless if those actions are different, and that is made clear to the scorekeeper, players may proceed with their final throws.
  3. If both players cannot agree on a course of action, cannot decide their throw order within a round, or both refuse to declare their intention, this will be considered a ‘stalemate’ and will be resolved by:
    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; or,
    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.
  4. After the players have discussed their calls with each other, agreed on their courses of action and mutually made those calls official to the scorekeeper of the match, these decisions are considered ‘locked in’
  5. Locked in calls, once confirmed with the scorekeeper, can be changed or rescinded if both players mutually agree to make a change together.
  6. If a competitor throws their final axe in a round without conferring with their opponent or scorekeeper and without calling Clutch, that throw is a regular throw and not a Clutch attempt by default regardless of whether or not their axe hits the Clutch.
  7. If a competitor calls Clutch and throws without conferring with their opponent or scorekeeper, that throw is considered a Clutch throw and scored accordingly. Their opponent may then decide whether they want to also throw for Clutch or simply throw for bullseye.

7. Big Axe Tiebreakers

Reminder: As of spring 2021, ‘paint then points’ has been eliminated for all league throwing, regardless of ruleset.  This was the process of throwing three axes that only needed to stick within the blue target ring to count as a good throw before going to the standard scoring system for the tie breaker.  This is no longer the case, and instead, Big Axe tie breakers are always standard point scoring.

  1. Players use Rock-Paper-Scissors or another randomizing method to determine who throws first prior to beginning the tiebreaker: winner chooses whether they wish to throw first or second;
  2. Players are allowed 1 practice throw prior to their first big axe tiebreaker in a night and none thereafter.
  3. Players alternate one throw each per big axe round
  4. A Big Axe round is played in “sudden-death” fashion, highest scoring throw wins; 
    1. If Player A scores a 5 and Player B, scores a 3 or lower, Player A wins;
    2. If both players score equal point values then they throw again;
    3. Play continues until players throw unequal scores and a winner is declared;
  5. Clutch can be called on any big axe throw during the tiebreaker under the following conditions:
    1. Throwers must have thrown a bullseye, scoring a 5 in the tiebreaker round before being able to call a big axe Clutch in the same match tiebreaker.
    2. Once both players have thrown a bullseye, each scoring a 5 at some point in that tie breaker, Clutch can then be called by either player at any time through the rest of their tiebreaker. 
      1. Clutch can be called for the remainder of the tiebreaker, regardless of whether those Clutches are hit or missed when called.
    3. If bullseye has not been successfully thrown in a tiebreaker, Clutch cannot be called during the round by that player.
    4. This process will repeat during each big axe round a player finds themselves in during a match.

8. Declaring your intention for Big Axe Tie Breakers

  1. Players use Rock-Paper-Scissors or another randomizing method to determine who throws first prior to beginning the tiebreaker: winner chooses whether they wish to throw first or second;
  2. With big axe tiebreakers both players are encouraged to confer with each other about their intentions. At that time: 
    1. Players may declare their intention to call Bullseye,
    2. Players may declare their intention to call Clutch (if they have already hit a bullseye as outlined in Big Axe Tiebreaker rules above)
    3. The player that has been determined to throw second (through Rock-Paper-Scissors, coin flip, etc.) may decide to not to declare their intention at this time, waiting to see what their opponent throws first.
      1. This player must declare their intention before they throw
    4. The player that has been determined to throw first (through Rock-Paper-Scissors, coin flip, etc.) must make their call to the scorekeeper, even if their opponent has decided not to declare their intention at this time.
  3. After the players have made their calls official to the scorekeeper of the match, these decisions are considered ‘locked in’
  4. Locked in calls, once confirmed with the scorekeeper, can be changed or rescinded if both players mutually agree to make a change together.

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

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