World Axe Throwing League

The World Axe Throwing League (WATL) is the global governing body of urban axe throwing.[1][2]

World Axe Throwing League (WATL)
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2022 WATL season
World Axe Throwing League Sign.jpg
SportAxe Throwing
FoundedJanuary 2017 (5 years ago) (2017-01)
Inaugural seasonSpring 2017
CommissionerMike Morton
Most recent
Mike Philabaum

WATL was founded in 2017 by representatives from Canada, the United States of America, Brazil and Ireland. It has 19 axe throwing nations with membership. Members including over 175 member companies (affiliates). It organizes international tournament events such as the U.S. Open, Canadian Open, European Open, the North American Arnold Open, South American Arnold Open, and most notably the World Axe Throwing Championship.[3][4]

It also appoints the Judges that officiate at all sanctioned leagues and tournaments. It promulgates the WATL Code of Conduct, which sets professional standards of discipline for Urban Axe Throwing.

International Axe Throwing DayEdit

This day (13 June) was created by the World Axe Throwing League to celebrate, and raise awareness and unify the sport of urban axe throwing. Though primarily celebrated with affiliates in the WATL, it is also celebrated by anyone with a passion for the sport around the world.[5]



The founding of WATL.

The founding of International Axe Throwing Day (June 13).

Representatives from 5 countries joined the WATL. From the United States, Canada, Ireland, Brazil and Denmark.

The first annual World Axe Throwing Championship is held.


Evan Walters is announced as the Commissioner of WATL.

Representatives from 10 countries joined the WATL. From the United Kingdom, Turkey, Russia, Spain, the Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, New Zealand, Slovenia, and Indonesia.

The first annual U.S. Open tournament is held.

The second annual World Axe Throwing Championship is held and is the first Urban Axe Throwing production to be featured on ESPN


Representatives from 4 countries joined the WATL. From South Africa, Australia, Belgium and China.

The first annual Canadian Open tournament is held.


The Spring and Summer leagues for 2020 have been cancelled as a result of the global pandemic of 2020 (COVID-19). Due to the pandemic and many locations around the world enforcing a quarantine, the WATL helped establish the Quarantine Axe Throwing League with co-founders Tristan Ledbury and Mike Morton. This made headway continuing the sport from the homes of players so they can continue axe throwing despite the mandatory restrictions on social contact.[6]

WATL implements a new style of playing online with WATL Live.

Mario Zelaya is announced to be the new Commissioner of the World Axe Throwing League, and Evan Walters is moving to Head of Development for the World Knife Throwing League.


With Covid-19 Restrictions lessened around the world the World Axe Throwing League seasons reopened for standard League play.

The first affiliated location in India started.

The World Axe Throwing League announced the formation of a new sister league, the World Knife Throwing League.

At the 2021 World Axe Throwing Championship, Mario Zelaya announced he would be stepping down as Commissioner with QATL founder, Mike Morton to be his replacement.


An example of WATL targets with the points shown in their respective zones

Scoring is a match system where ten axes are thrown per match. The player with the highest points of their ten thrown axes wins the match. In case of a tie a "Sudden Death" throw is made for the highest score. Sudden death throws are done until one thrower scores higher than the other. Scoring is determined by where you strike your axe into the target. The WATL targets have a red bullseye ring, followed by four empty rings, and then a blue ring. The scoring is 6, 4, 3, 2, and 1 point respectively. Additionally, there are blue dots in the 1 point ring, known as "Kill-shot," and can only be used when called, twice per match for 8 points. Point designation is based on the highest point value the axe touches when it lands and sticks.

WATL TournamentsEdit

In 2018, WATL started working on a tournament format to help include any throwers who couldn't regularly participate in the WATL axe throwing seasons. This started off by working with Columbus Axe Throwing, to bring Urban Axe Throwing to Columbus, Ohio, for the Arnold Sports Festival (also known as the Arnold Classic or just "the Arnold" and named after Arnold Schwarzenegger)[7] Currently there are plans to move forward with more tournaments in more locations but currently have only announced three annual tournaments: The Arnold, the U.S. Open, and the Canadian Open.

US Open Results
Year Champion Location 2nd Place
2018   John Bradley   Chicago, Illinois   Eric Enriquez
2019   Mike Kump   Des Moins, Iowa   Sam Carter
2020 Canceled Canceled Canceled
2021   Mike Philabaum   Atlanta, Georgia   Michael Theadorou
2022   Mark Tishko   Minneapolis, Minnesota   Lucas Johnson

World Axe Throwing Hatchet ChampionshipEdit

World Axe throwing Championship trophy

The World Axe Throwing Championship takes place once a year in December. The format has slight changes from year to year, to be announced before the beginning of the yearly competition. 2018 marks the first time in the sport of axe throwing's history that a Championship has been presented on ESPN.[8]

Axe Throwing World Champions
  United States World Champion Location Represented Country 2nd Place 3rd Place
2017 Chris Morning Far Shot Recreation   Canada Jon Miller Michael Moore
2018 Benjamin Edgington Bad Axe Throwing Denver   United States David Cycon Paul Gammon
2019 Sam Carter Tap That Axe Throwing   United States David Cycon Straun Riley
2020 Ryan Smit Tribal Axe   United States Mike Kump Nick Rich
2021 Mike Philabaum Mountain Man Axe throwing   United States Garrett Gneiting Robert Young
2022 Dylan Teets Axe On Axe Off   United States Colby Dean Lucas Johnson/Mike Philabaum

Axe Throwing Duals World ChampionsEdit

The World Axe Throwing Championship added duals as a discipline in 2019. Duals is where two throwers are working together to throw a combined score.

Year World Champions Venues Represented 2nd Place 3rd Place
2019 Uncle Kump - Mike Kump and Will Gelatko
2020 Brown Johnson - Lucas Johnson and Hayden Brown Murfreesboro Axe Trigger Happy - John Hout and Shane Sheppard Valkyrian Steel
2021 Brown Johnson - Lucas Johnson and Hayden Brown Murfreesboro Axe Kingsmen - Michael Theodorou and Colby Dean Axe Mafia
2022 Brown Johnson - Lucas Johnson and Hayden Brown Murfreesboro Axe Vinnit to Win it - Vin Crescenzo and Kyle Durrant Sloth Ghost / Fancy but Loose

Commissioners of the World Axe Throwing LeagueEdit

The Commissioner of WATL heads the direction of the World Axe Throwing League.

WATL Commissioners
Years Active Name Country
2018 - 2020 Evan Walters   United States
2020–2021 Mario Zelaya   Canada
2022–Present Mike Morton   Canada

WATL Members Around the WorldEdit

Current WATL Members by Number of Affiliates Companies:
  10+ Members
  5 - 10 Members
  2 - 5 Members
  1 Member
  No Membership
Country Region Admitted No. of Locations
  United States of America North America 2017 157
  Canada North America 2017 20
  Finland Europe 2020 1
  Ireland Europe 2017 2
  Brazil South America 2017 2
  Denmark Europe 2017 1
  United Kingdom Europe 2018 3
  Turkey Europe 2018 1
  Russia Asia 2018 1
  Spain Europe 2018 2
  Netherlands Europe 2018 2
  Hungary Europe 2018 1
  Poland Europe 2018 1
  New Zealand Oceania 2018 1
  Slovenia Europe 2018 1
  Indonesia Asia 2018 1
  South Africa Africa 2019 1
  Australia Oceania 2019 1
  Belgium Europe 2019 4
  China Asia 2019 1
  India Asia 2021 1


  1. ^ Kirsch, Jesse (September 25, 2017). "Global Axe Throwing Showdown". ABC.
  2. ^ "World Axe Throwing League, founded by Burlington's Bad Axe Throwing, searching for champion". Burlington Post. Sep 30, 2017.
  3. ^ Miller, Ben (Jun 7, 2017). "Like throwing axes? Canadian axe-throwing chain to open in Denver". Denver Business Journal.
  4. ^ "The First World Axe Throwing League Championship is Set to Kick Off This Year". Global News. Oct 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "Celebrating International Axe Throwing Day". WDTV. Jun 13, 2019.
  6. ^ "Quarantine Axe Throwing League connecting throwers worldwide". 6 May 2020.
  7. ^ Manns, Sarah. "Compete for the Axe Throwing Championship Belt". Arnold Sports Festival.
  8. ^ Lacy, Eric (October 31, 2018). "World Axe Throwing League Championship secures ESPN deal, invites Lansing axe throwing business". USA Today Network.

External linksEdit