Beyond the Size

A Comprehensive Guide to Axe Throwing: History Target Dimensions and DIY Targets

Axe throwing has been around for centuries, tracing back to lumberjacks and loggers who practiced the skill to survive in the wilderness. Now, it has become a competitive sport played globally with the establishment of the World Axe Throwing League (WATL).

In this article, we will dive into the history, governance, and target dimensions of axe throwing. Whether you are a seasoned axe thrower or just starting, this information will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the sport.

History and Governance of Axe Throwing:

Axe throwing is a traditional skill that originated with the lumberjacks and loggers who used it as a tool for survival. These early pioneers used axes to cut wood to build their homes, among other uses.

As a result, they became skilled at throwing axes at targets, aiming to hit a specific spot. This skill eventually led to friendly competitions among them, which became popular and continued to evolve.

As the sport grew, a need for governance emerged, leading to the establishment of the World Axe Throwing League (WATL). The league oversees the competitive sport of axe throwing and maintains a code of conduct and set of rules and procedures that participants must follow.

WATL also sets standards for axe throwing equipment to maintain safety and fairness during competitions. Axe Throwing Target Dimensions:

The WATL has specific target dimensions that competitors must adhere to for successful axe throwing competitions.

The targets consist of four components: backboards, target boards, header and footer, and oriented strand board (OSB) or plyboard. The backboards measure 68 inches tall by 94 inches wide and are positioned perpendicular to the throwing line.

The header and footer measure 31 inches tall by 94 inches wide and sit above and below the backboards. The target boards measure 8 inches wide and 36 inches tall, with five rings, including the bullseye and the Killshot.

The bullseye is in the center of the target, measuring 2.5 inches in diameter, with four rings around it. The four rings are colored Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow, and each ring is 4 inches wide.

The fifth and last ring is the Killshot, colored black, and is 6 inches wide. The Killshot is located on the top edge of the seventh ring, which is 36 inches from the floor.


There you have it, an informative article about the history, governance, and target dimensions of Axe Throwing. Now that you have a better understanding of the sport, why not grab an axe and head to your nearest axe-throwing venue?

You never know, you might even discover a hidden talent!

Axe Throwing Target Placement and Throwing Distance:

In addition to understanding the dimensions of the target, it is important to know where and how to position it for safe and effective axe throwing. The target must be placed perpendicular to the thrower, with the backboards securely fastened to a wall.

The target should also be positioned at a safe distance from any surrounding objects to avoid any accidents during throwing. The recommended distance from the axe throwing target to the thrower is 12-15 feet, and the ceiling must be at least 10 feet tall to prevent any mishaps.

The throw line should also be marked at the appropriate distance to ensure proper and consistent throwing. Once set up, the thrower should adhere to the WATL guidelines, ensuring they always throw with both feet behind the designated throw line.

Hatchet throwing is different from big axe throwing, and, as a result, requires a different distance between the target and the thrower. In hatchet throwing, the required distance is approximately 12 feet, while big axe throwing requires a minimal distance of 15 feet.

Building a Homemade Axe Throwing Target:

If you want to try your hand at axe throwing at home, building your axe throwing target is an excellent option. However, it is essential to make sure that you construct the target according to WATL guidelines to maintain safety and fair practice.

The first step in building the target is to gather the necessary material, including OSB or plyboard, four backboards, and two header/footer boards. These materials can be easily purchased from hardware stores or online.

The target board should be measured and cut to WATL target dimensions, which are 48 inches by 96 inches, with a 2.5-inch bullseye in the center. Next, attach the four backboards securely to the OSB or plyboard.

The header and footer boards can then be placed above and below the backboards and attached securely. It is important to ensure that the target boards are placed at the right height and in the proper location perpendicular to the thrower.

The target boards should also be fastened firmly to the wall, ensuring that they do not move when hit. Building a homemade axe throwing target might seem like a daunting task; however, it can be achieved with a little patience and attention to detail.

Remember, constructing a homemade target provides a room for error compared to purchasing a pre-made one, but only if you follow the WATL guidelines to the tee!


Axe throwing is a fun and exhilarating activity that requires adequate knowledge of history, governance, target dimensions, and placement. Positioning the target to avoid accidents is a crucial aspect that should always be given proper attention.

Whether you’re throwing for competition or as a pastime, you should always adhere to the WATL guidelines and regulations concerning homemade target construction. So, grab that axe and get ready to hit your first bullseye!

Dimensions of a Throwing Axe:

Understanding the different types and limitations of throwing axes used in the sport is essential to ensure safety and appropriate competition standards.

Hatchets and big axes are the two types of axes that are commonly used in throwing competitions. Hatchets are typically lighter in weight, ranging between one to two pounds, while big axes are heavier, weighing between two to three and a half pounds.

The size of the blade also varies between the two types; hatchets have a smaller blade size, while big axes have a larger blade. Throwing hatchets require less power as they are lighter in weight, making them suitable for beginners.

However, because of their small size, hatchets require a higher degree of accuracy and precision. Throwing big axes require considerable skill and strength, and because of their larger blade size, they require more power to throw.

Limitations in axe throwing regulations specify that competitors must use throwing axes that conform to the weight limits set by the WATL. The big axes should weigh between two to three and a half pounds, while the hatchets should weigh between one to two pounds, with size guidelines also adhered to.


Axe throwing is a fun and competitive sport that requires mastery of the right equipment, including the throwing axes’ size and weight, in addition to the rules and regulations set by WATL. A good understanding of the history and governance of the sport, the dimensions of the target and proper placement, and building a DIY target can significantly enhance your throwing skills.

To achieve a winning score in axe throwing, select a suitable axe you’re comfortable with and one that fits your skill level. A hatchet is ideal for beginners and requires less power to throw, while a big axe is suitable for more experienced throwers based on its weight, size and requires more strength to throw accurately.

Implementing proper target placement and throwing distance is critical as it ensures the safety of the thrower and spectators. Building a DIY target is also a great way to hone your skills while ensuring that you adhere to the WATL guidelines, which provide adequate room for error.

In conclusion, axe throwing is an exciting sport that can be enjoyed by anyone with the right skills and equipment. Familiarizing yourself with axe throwing regulations, dimensions, and equipment will help you to maximize your potential and work towards improving your throwing accuracy.

Remember to always prioritize safety during competition practice and always use appropriate safety equipment when throwing axes. In conclusion, this article has explored the various dimensions and aspects of axe throwing, from the history and governance of the sport to target placement and throwing distance, building a DIY target, throwing axe dimensions, and types.

Understanding all of these aspects of the sport is crucial to maximize your potential, achieve accurate throws, and ensure safety during practice and competition. With the right equipment and knowledge, anyone can enjoy the thrill and excitement of axe throwing.

Here are some frequently asked questions and their respective answers:


1. What is the history of axe throwing?

– Axe throwing is rooted in the history of loggers and lumberjacks who used it as a tool for survival, evolving into a friendly competition among them. 2.

What are the limitations for throwing axes used in competitions? – The WATL sets guidelines for the weight and size of the throwing axes competitors can use.

3. How far should the throwing line be from the target?

– The recommended distance between the thrower and the target is 12-15 feet for hatchet throwing and a minimum of 15 feet for big axe throwing. 4.

Can I build a DIY axe throwing target at home? – Yes, you can build a DIY target at home, but it is important to adhere to the WATL guidelines and regulations to ensure safety and fair practice.

5. What type of axe is suitable for beginners?

– Hatchets are easier to throw and are lightweight, making them ideal for beginners as they require less power to throw accurately.

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