How It All Started at BATL, The Backyard Axe Throwing League
The Backyard Axe Throwing League pioneered the sport of urban axe throwing back in 2006, so it’s no surprise that we’re known across the world as the best at what we do. It all began with group of friends were bored at a cottage outside of Toronto, Canada 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. Upon returning home to Toronto, BATL founder and CEO Matt Wilson decided to set up a target in his backyard and invite some friends over to show them just how cathartic throwing a sharp axe into wood could be.
Fast forward to 2011 when BATL opened it first indoor location in a nondescript warehouse in the west end of Toronto, and the rest is history. BATL began its expansion with a second location in the east end of Toronto in the winter of 2013. Now, in 2018, there are 14 BATL venues across North America (including Toronto, Niagara Falls, London, Kitchener, Pickering, Hamilton, Ottawa, and Calgary in Canada, and Metro Detroit, Chicago, Scottsdale, and Nashville in the United States).
What We Offer
With all BATL locations spearheaded by our expertly trained axe gurus, you can expect the same great experience at each of our 14 venues across North America. While our weekly league play is what made us famous, each of our locations offer other more casual ways to get involved with axe throwing. Our private event group bookings are offered for groups of 2 and up and are perfectly suited for any occasion – adult birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, corporate team building, or just a summer outing with friends. Private event bookings include one on one coaching from our expert staff, followed by a round robin tournament and playoff. If you’re looking to get involved in our sport with less commitment, BATL also offers weekly public walk-in sessions with no advance booking required; just show up and hone your skill! Most BATL locations offer a fully licensed bar and food menu, meaning all you have to do is worry about aiming for the bullseye and leave the rest to us.
The Evolution Of Axe Throwing
With the growth of urban axe throwing undeniable across the world, we quickly realized that a governing body to regulate the sport was necessary. Enter The National Axe Throwing Federation (NATF), of which BATL is a founding member. The NATF was established in 2016 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. Currently sitting at over 4000 league members worldwide, being part of the NATF gives you access to the most advanced statistic tracking in the sport of urban axe throwing.
The NATF also hosts yearly tournaments at BATL, most notably the Summer Skills Competition and the National Axe Throwing Championship (NATC) and All-Star Weekend. The top four members in each league from all NATF members qualify for the pre-tournament, which ends up as a top 192 double elimination tournament. On top of a cash prize, the winner also gets to take home the Wilson Cup – named after BATL founder Matt Wilson.
We at BATL are thrilled to announce that we have teamed up with Giants & Gentlemen to bring our newest (and best to date) marketing campaign. Giants & Gentlemen are world-renowned for what the do, working with such companies as RBC (Royal Bank of Canada), Circle K, Wyndham Hotel Group, Indie88, and more. The companies mission statement is simple:
“We are a full-service, strategy, advertising & design agency offering stand-out ideas and zero attitude. As entrepreneurs, we bring a grow or die philosophy to help brands tower like giants, while always acting like gents.”
Our new “Extreme. Sorta.” campaign is as simple as it sounds: Get extreme, without the potential consequences. While axe throwing is far from a routine activity for most people, we have proven over the past 12 years that its much safer than one might think. All of our coaches go through extensive training to ensure that our guests get the safe and comfortable experience that we’ve become world famous for. We’ve timed the launch of our new campaign to coincide with the launch of our newest venue in Arizona: BATL Scottsdale – with free open house axe throwing starting this December.
At BATL, we teach over 300,0000 people how to throw an axe each year – and couldn’t be prouder to be expanding the Backyard Axe Throwing League to over 20 locations across North America. Next on our list is bringing axe throwing to Texas with BATL Houston.
Stay tuned to our coming soon page for all the info about our expansion into the United States in 2019 and beyond! Get out to a BATL venue near you and try your hand at axe throwing with us. Get Sorta Extreme Today!