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The International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF)

(1.6) Throwing Etiquette & Foot Faults


1. Axe Throwing Style and Rotation

  1. An IATF regulation throw may be thrown in any one of three ways:
    1. 2 hands, over the head;
    2. 1 hand, over the head;
    3. 1 hand, under hand;
    4. No other style of throw is permitted.
  2. When a player gets ready for their throw and is in their throwing stance, the blade of the axe must be facing away from the body of the thrower.  Any throwing stances that start with the blade of the axe facing away from the target are not permitted;
    1. The axe must make roughly one rotation before impact for a throw to count.​
    2. At least one of the player’s feet must be planted completely behind the black line (ie; with no portion of that foot touching or crossing the horizontal plain of that line that faces away from the target);
    3. Only one step is permitted from this stance (see section 1.3.3).

2. Foot placement and throw motion when using a standard throwing axe

  1. When Setting up to throw at least one of the player’s feet must be planted completely behind the black throwing line (ie; with no portion of the back foot touching or crossing the black line)
    1. ‘Planted’ means a stationary placement; there is no requirement for the entire foot to be flat on the ground, merely a portion of it must be in contact with the ground (ie; simply the toes, just the heel, etc.)
    2. ​​A player’s lead foot may be on top, beside, behind, or in front of the black line.
    3. The planted foot may be planted off center to the left or right of the black line, as long as it is still entirely behind the back of the black line in relation to its distance from the target.
  2. ​A player must then Establish themselves as a thrower. This requires the player to make a noticeable pause in their stance prior to beginning their throw motion. 
    1. ‘Walk up’, ‘walk through’ or ‘Shuffle’ throws that don’t establish a player as a thrower by pausing before they throw are no longer permitted.
  3. During the motion to throw the axe, the player may take one step forward only from their established throwing stance.
    1. This motion may encompass either foot (lead foot or back foot), however, a player’s axe must be thrown while the stepping foot is being taken off the ground and replanted.
    2. After a throw, a player’s trailing foot may move but not pass beyond the replanted foot and neither foot may leave the ground again until both axes are at rest, either in the target or on the ground.
    3. ‘Triple Jump’ style throws where there are multiple steps involved in the throwing motion are not permitted.

3. The Red Foot Fault Line

  1. The red foot fault line is a solid red line between the throwing block and target:
  2. Players must not touch or cross the red foot fault line until both players have thrown their axes:
    1. After throwing there must be a noticeable pause from both throwers before crossing the red foot fault line to approach the target, if there is no pause, it will count as a fault, even if they are the second player to throw.
  3. The penalty a player receives from a foot fault increases with the number of times they fault during that particular session of play:
    1. On the first fault, the player forfeits any score attained on the throw where the fault occurred;
    2. On the second fault, the player forfeits the remainder of the throws within the round where the fault occurred;
    3. On the third fault, the player forfeits the match in which the fault occurred and if that fault occurs during league regulation play they are done throwing for the night:
      1. ​This could also count as an absence if that player is not able to make up any of their unplayed matches on another night (ie; being required to leave on Week 7 of league with matches remaining.)
    4. Faults reset each session of play.
  4. ​In a playoff or tournament scenario, the 3 fault rule still exists for that session and if a third fault occurs, that player forfeits and is considered out of playoff or tournament contention.

​4. Crossing the Red Foot Fault Line

  1. ​On any throw the red foot fault line may only be crossed by either player to clarify the point value of the axe thrown, not when actually throwing an axe:
    1. ​​both throwers must acknowledge that the fault line will be crossed before either player approaches the target.  ​This indicates that play has stopped.
    2. if the player is taking a closer look to confirm point value, they may do that while leaving the axe in target, report the point value, then cross the fault line back to the throwing line and only then may the second player take their next throw, after which both players may approach and retrieve their axes under standard fault line rules.
    3. if a device is needed, that may be called, again acknowledging that play has stopped​​:
      1. Once measured by a third party that axe may be removed from the target and returned to the player before their opponent throws their next axe​.
      2. This is contrary to standard rules where an axe must remain in a target until both players have thrown and registered their scores, however, since a measurement was asked for and confirmed, there is no longer a need for that axe to remain in the target during this scenario. 

5. Foot placement and throw motion when using a Big Axe

*Foot placement rules for Big Axe are identical to standard rules, replacing the black throwing line with the blue Big Axe line and replacing the red foot fault line with the black throwing line acting as the Big Axe foot fault line.

  1. When Setting up to throw at least one of the player’s feet must be planted completely behind the blue Big Axe throwing line (ie; with no portion of the back foot touching or crossing the blue line)
    1. ‘Planted’ means a stationary placement; there is no requirement for the entire foot to be flat on the ground, merely a portion of it must be in contact with the ground (ie; simply the toes, just the heel, etc.)
    2. ​​A player’s lead foot may be on top, beside, behind, or in front of the blue line.
    3. The planted foot may be planted off center to the left or right of the blue line, as long as it is still entirely behind the back of the blue line in relation to its distance from the target.
  2. ​A player must then Establish themselves as a thrower. This requires the player to make a noticeable pause in their stance prior to beginning their throw motion. 
    1. ‘Walk up’, ‘walk through’ or ‘Shuffle’ throws that don’t establish a player as a thrower by pausing before they throw are no longer permitted.
  3. During the motion to throw the axe, the player may take one step and one step only. 
    1. This motion may encompass either foot (lead foot or back foot), however, once the stepping foot is taken off the ground and replanted, a trailing foot may not pass beyond the replanted one and neither foot may leave the ground again until both axes are at rest, either in the target or on the ground.
    2. ‘Triple Jump’ style throws where there are multiple steps involved in the throwing motion are not permitted.

6. The Big Axe Fault Line

  1. When throwing Big Axe, the black throwing line is the Big Axe foot fault line:
  2. Players must not touch or cross the black foot fault line until both players have thrown their axes:
    1. If a player touches or crosses the black line while throwing, it counts as a fault;
    2. If a fault occurs, the throw the fault occured on becomes an automatic zero and play continues.
    3. After throwing there must be a noticeable pause before crossing the black foot fault line to approach the target, if there is no pause, it will count as a fault.

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