BATL’s Oath for Leagues
What's the oath about?
For those that aren’t aware, the Oath is recited before we compete at the start of a league event. We have been doing it since league play began in the backyard in 2006!
The Oath is about bringing people together by doing something as a group. The fact that we do it before we compete each week is part of connecting the positive experience of competing together and spending time together. It helps reinforce positive emotions and builds bonds in relationships.
When you look around the room and see your close friends and competitors passionately yelling these words together to get fired up to compete - it’s a strong and memorable thing. We remember who was there doing that with us - who we looked at, how they smiled, and the overall shared experience.
History of the Oath (from Matt Wilson, CEO of BATL)
I wrote the original Oath the night before the very first League in the backyard in 2006. I had been watching Conan the Barbarian earlier that week so I wanted it to have a very epic “over-the-top” fantasy feeling to it. I wanted it to feel like it was coming from the ancient times (since axe throwing is an ancient activity that has always been around in some form). So that was part of the inspiration.
In its first draft, it was several pages long and was absolutely ridiculous. That first day I asked everybody to repeat the lines after me as I was working through it. Early on everyone started laughing at how ridiculous it was. But we stuck to it and asked everyone to do this “call and answer” saying until we got through it. It probably took close to 15 minutes. After that day I went through and selected a handful of key lines and that was what became the original Oath.
It has also been amazing to watch over the years as we went from a dozen people in the backyard saying it together - to hundreds of people at tournaments all over North America. And then to several hundred people saying it together before competition at the IATC tournaments. It has been really special to watch it mean something to so many people.
With that in mind, we are excited to launch the revised version of the Oath. It is a great update that better reflects our growing community. It supports all people that come into our space to make sure they feel included, and to ensure it represents them, the community that we have built together and the sport we love.