getting a handle on Axe Throwing

The axes: Hatchets are used for the standard and dual events. Handles are limited to 19 inches, blades to four inches and three pounds. Big axe events use axes with four-inch, three-pound blades, with handles from 23-30 inches.

The target: Made of 1.5-inch thick cottonwood boards, and painted with five concentric circles. The bull’s-eye is 3.5 inches in diameter, painted in red, and worth six points. Each circle is 3.5 inches further out, and are worth four, three, two and one point; anything outside the circle, or a throw that does not stick in the board, is worth zero points. In the outer circle, at the upper left and upper right positions, smaller “killshot” targets, 1.5 inches in diameter, are painted in blue and worth eight points.

The throw: Must be from at least 12 feet away at release, with blade facing the board, and rotate once as it’s in the air. For big axe events, thrower must be at least 17 feet away.

The game: Five throws per competitor. The fifth throw can be at the “killshot” target and must be declared before throwing. In duals matches, teammates throw simultaneously.

PHIL MILLER