It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and we’re not talking about Christmas. With our yearly league seasons entering their final weeks, everyone has their eyes on the stats in anticipation of the upcoming National Axe Throwing Championship (NATC) and the 2019 All-Star Weekend hosted by BATL, The Backyard Axe Throwing League. The event takes place February 17th-18th across the Greater Toronto Area, and features the best axe throwers in the world.
BATL, The Backyard Axe Throwing League
Wondering how this all came about? By now, you’ve probably already heard the story. Back in 2006, a group of friends were bored at a cottage outside of Toronto and decided to throw an axe at a stump. Little did they know that this innocent way to pass the time would soon evolve into the creation of a worldwide sport.
Fast forward to 2018, the Backyard Axe Throwing League now has 14 locations across North America (including Toronto, Pickering, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, London, Kitchener, Hamilton, and Calgary in Canada; in addition to Novi, Nashville, Scottsdale and Chicago in the United States) offering up the urban axe throwing experience that we pioneered over 12 years ago.
The National Axe Throwing Federation
In 2016 The National Axe Throwing Federation (NATF) was established to service the sport of axe throwing globally, with a vision to create broad and standardized competition amongst players, while providing member support through a mandate to promote universal safety, sportsmanship and competitive protocol. All league play falls under the National Axe Throwing Federation umbrella, the worlds foremost governing body of the sport of axe throwing (of which BATL is a founding member). Currently sitting at over 4500 league members worldwide, being part of the NATF gives you access to the most advanced statistic tracking in the sport of urban axe throwing.
All qualifying league competitors from all over North America, including many from the Backyard Axe Throwing League, will be facing off for their chance at not only bragging rights but also prize money for the top 3 competitors. After that, we begin the 2018 Winter Skills competition, showcasing the most skilled throwers battling it out for their chance at glory. You can find all the details on the National Axe Throwing Federation website.
The National Axe Throwing Championship
First up, it’s the Wild Card Tournaments. The Wild Card Tournament (taking place at all BATL venues across North America December 16th) is open to any thrower at The Backyard Axe Throwing League who has competed in at least one league season in 2018 and has not yet qualified for the NATC. The format for the Wild Cards will be a double-elimination tournament, similar to a regulation league playoff. Each tournament will be venue-based, so be sure get in touch with your home BATL location for more details and registration. Winners of the Wildcard tournament will get an instant qualification to the first round of the NATC.
Once the dust has settled, all remaining qualifiers will throw down in Round 1 of the NATC. The preliminary round is a competition within each NATF member organization to determine which players will represent them in the final stage of the tournament. In the preliminary round, players will be randomly split into groups of four. Players will take to their assigned lane, then throw the equivalent of 3 matches (a total of 45 throws) and 9 Big Axes. From there, your overall average will be ranked against all other participants across North America.
Enter the NATC. The top 192 ranked players from Round 1 will meet in an all-day affair, culminating in one champion. The National Axe Throwing Championship in Toronto as part of the 8th annual All-Star Weekend hosted by The Backyard Axe Throwing League. All qualifying league competitors from all over North America, including many from the Backyard Axe Throwing League, will be facing off for their chance at not only bragging rights but also prize money for the top 3 competitors. After that, we begin the Winter Skills competition, showcasing the most skilled throwers battling it out for their chance at glory.
The Axe Prom & Awards Ceremony
Once the dust has settled, we’ll be ending it all off on the evening of February 18th with our annual Axe Prom & Awards Ceremony, taking place at Palais Royale in Toronto. Joining an axe throwing league is a great excuse to get out of the house and engage in some weekly friendly competition. But more than that, it’s a chance to meet new friends and be part of an extremely tight-knit community. At BATL, our mission is to show people the power of being good to each other, using the axe as a tool to build community inspired by our backyard roots. Our league members come from all walks of life, and are some of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet – and we can guarantee that will be on full display that this year’s Axe Prom and Awards Ceremony. Hundreds will gather dressed to the nines and put their axes down to enjoy a night of food, dancing, and fun.
Get ready for an action-packed weekend – and be sure to join us for the after-party at the Dock Ellis bar, taking place immediately after Axe Prom. Don’t forget to grab your tickets to the All-Star Weekend at BATL while you still can!