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The International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF)

(1.5) Throwing Etiquette & Foot Faults


  1. Axe Throwing Style and Rotation
    1. A 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. 5th Throw Etiquette
    1. On the 5th axe of a round, it is customary and sporting for the point leader to throw first:
      1. This is so the underdog can know how many points they must get on their final throw to win (e.g. Clutch needed to win);
      2. If a match is out of reach (> 7 point lead), or for any other reason, the losing player can choose to throw first.
  3. Foot placement for a standard throwing axe
    1. When setting up to throw, a players lead foot may be on top, beside, behind, or in front of the black line:
      1. ​​At that point, their back foot must be planted completely behind the black line;
      2. The back 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. ​During the motion to throw the axe, the player may take a full step forward bringing their rear foot to the front of their body and planting it as the motion to throw continues:
      1. This foot that has now moved from the back of the player to plant on the floor in front, once planted, must not leave the ground again until the axe has left the hand of the player and has been thrown;
      2. ​​During the motion of the throw, any steps taken before crossing the back plane of the black line do not count towards the legal step count.
  4. Foot placement for a Big Axe
    1. When setting up to throw, a player’s lead foot may be on top of, beside, behind, or in front of the blue line.
      1. At that point, their back foot must be planted completely behind the blue line.
    2. During the motion to throw the axe, the player may take a full step forward bringing their rear foot to the front of their body and planting it as the motion to throw continues:
      1. This foot (that has now moved from the back of the player to plant on the floor in front) once planted, must not leave the ground again until the axe has left the hand of the player and has been thrown;
      2. ​​During the motion of the throw, any steps taken before crossing the back plane of the blue line do not count towards the legal step count.
  5. ​The Red Foot Fault Line
    1. The red foot fault line is a solid red line between the throwing block and target:
      1. The Red Foot Fault line is 110” from the back of the plywood backboard, measured as if the backboard reached all the way to the ground.
    2. Players must not cross the red foot fault line until both players have thrown their axe :
      1. After throwing there must be a conscious 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:
        1. ​This means every player must stop all forward momentum for a moment in time before approaching the target to retrieve, even if they are the second player to throw​ at that time.
    3. The penalty you receive from a fault increases with the amount of times you fault on that night of regulation play:
      1. On the first fault, you forfeit the throw on which the fault occurred;
      2. On the second fault, you forfeit the round in which the fault occurred;
      3. On the third fault, you forfeit the match in which the fault occurred and in regulation play you are done throwing for the night:
        1. ​This could also count as an absence if that player is not able to make up those matches on another night.
      4. Faults reset each week of regulation play.
    4. ​In a playoff tournament the 3 fault rule still exists for that night and if a third fault occurs, that player forfeits out of the playoff tournament.
  6. ​Crossing the Red Foot Fault Line
    1. ​On the final axe of a round, the red foot fault line may be crossed but only to clarify the point value of the axe thrown:
      1. ​​both throwers must acknowledge that the fault line will be crossed before either player approaches the target:
        1. ​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 block and only then may the second player take their next throw:
        1. After which both players may approach and retrieve their axes under the fault line rules for approach.
      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​.
  7. The Big Axe Fault Line
    1. When throwing Big Axe, the Black Line becomes the Big Axe Foot Fault Line:
      1. If a player crosses the black line while throwing, it counts as a fault;
        1. ​​​A throwers foot may touch, but not cross the Black line.
    2. If a fault occurs, the throw the fault occurs on becomes an automatic zero and play continues.

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