Axe Throwing Target Dimensions

Learning about the axe throwing target dimensions is crucial for you if you intend to take up this game as a hobby or become a professional thrower. In modern axe throwing, competitors throw an axe at a target as you do in knife throwing, trying to hit the bullseye as closely as possible. The hatch-throwing competition is incredibly popular among the woodmen. Their enthusiasm for the hatchet’s craftsmanship and the target is remarkable.

IATF (International Axe Throwing Federation, formerly National Axe Throwing Federation) and WATL  (World Axe Throwing League) are well-known leagues. Targets for the IATF have 4 zones: 3 main and 1 additional, called the clutch. WATL targets have 5 primary zones and 1 additional zone.

The throwing line should be around 12 feet (3.7 m) from the target to allow the axe to rotate only once. Every league has its own rules for games, distance, boards, and even axes.

Let’s follow the steps below to make a perfect hatchet-throwing target!

Axe Throwing Target Dimensions
Axe Throwing Target Dimensions

WATL – Axe Throwing Target Dimensions

  • The WATL also organizes international axe throwing tournaments, including the World Axe. 
  • In the Throwing Championship, axe throwers from all over the globe compete for the title of world champion.
  • It offers training and certification programs for axe throwing coaches, resources, and support for member locations.

The World Axe Throwing League (WATL) has developed a code of conduct that specifies the equipment requirements, target dimensions, and game rules and regulations.

The WATL’s mission is to promote and develop the sport of axe throwing on a global scale while ensuring all participants’ safety. To that end, the organization has established a set of rules and regulations that all member locations must follow, including guidelines for axe throwing target dimensions, axe specifications, and safety measures.

The Target-Consists of 1 bullseye, 4 rings, and 2 special zones called “the clutch.”

The target should be made of wood and have a diameter of 36 inches (91.44 cm). The target is marked with two lines: the “kill line” and the “throw line.The kill line measures 13 feet (3.96 meters) from the target, marking the most distance a player can stand while throwing.

The throw line should be 12 feet (3.66 meters) from the target and keep the minimum distance a player must stand behind while throwing.

The target is made of three layers of wood

  • The first layer is called Backboard and comprises a minimum of five 2 x 10 feet long vertically aligned boards. The Backboards’ primary function is to stabilize the second and third layers.
  • The second layer is the playing board.
  • The third layer is the same quantity of 2 x 10-inch boards as the Backboards, known as the Target Boards. Targets, Header, and Footer are the two sections that comprise this layer. The Target Boards’ top and bottom are covered with 2 2 x 10-inch boards used to create the Header and Footer boards.

Target Rings

BullseyeDiameter – 7 inchesRadius – 3.5 inches
First Ring (Red)Diameter – 17 inchesRadius – 8.5 inches
Second Ring (Blue)Diameter – 27 inchesRadius – 13.5 inches
Axe Throwing Target Dimensions

The Clutches

There are two little blue spots on the target’s upper side. One is placed on the higher left, and the other on the upper right. On the axe throwing target, they represent a high-risk and high-reward scoring point. Typically, a clutch has a diameter of almost 2 5/8 inches.

The Bullseyes – One Bullseye Makes the Difference

The bullseye should measure 7 inches (15.24 cm) in diameter and be placed in the center of the target. The bullseye is divided into five rings, with the inner ring worth 5 points and each later ring worth one less point than the previous, and so on.

It’s important to note that these axe throwing target dimensions are specific to the WATL, and other axe throwing organizations may have slightly different target dimensions. However, these guidelines are widely accepted within the sport and are commonly used by many axe throwing facilities worldwide.

Points to remember!

  • Use black color for the circles.
  • The bullseye should be red.
  • Use blue for clutches. 


  • The objective of the game is straightforward: throw the hatchet, and if it lands inside an exact ring, you score points.
  • You collect the points for the ring with the highest value if your axe lands between two rings. Depending on the ring they strike, these points can range from 1 to 4.
  • The center bullseye is worth six points. You will get 10 points if you engage entirely in the clutch.

Axe Throwing Lane Dimensions

The dimensions of an axe throwing lane can vary slightly depending on the specific venue or organization, but there are some general guidelines that are commonly followed.

The Table area

The table area is a designated place for a table where individuals gather before and after their throws. It is typically 6 feet by 3 feet in size.

Safety zones

A 6′ x 6′ safety zone is located between the throwing lane and the table. In essence, it serves to keep players away from the axe thrower. It decreases the probability that players will be struck by or injured by a thrown axe. The safety zone is typically marked with red cones, ropes, or other barriers to discourage people from entering the danger zone.

Throwing lane

The throwing lane is where the axe flies into the air. The axe thrower and target are on opposite ends of a 12-by-6-foot area.

21′ x 6′ are the total axe throwing lane dimensions.

Axe Throwing Target Dimensions
Axe Throwing Target Dimensions

How to throw an axe-axe throwing tips

  • Pick up the axe with your dominant hand, holding it loosely yet firmly at the base of the handle.
  • Put your opposite foot 170 inches from the target or at the front of the throwing line.
  • In the bullseye, put your hand on the axe and stretch your arm out in front of you.
  • Your wrist should be locked while the axe is perpendicular to your forearm.
  • For support and direction, encircle your nondominant hand around your dominant hand.
  • Breathe in, shift your weight to your back foot, and draw the axe back over your head.
  • Begin to exhale, puff up your chest, lead with your chest, move your body and axe towards the target, shift your weight to your front foot, and release at the bullseye.

IATF – Axe Throwing Target Dimensions

The International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF) requires a standard target size and dimensions for their competitions. Here are the target dimensions according to the IATF rulebook:

  • The target face should measure 36 inches (91.44 cm) in diameter.
  • Usually, the target face is made of softwood (pine) and should be 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) thick. 
  • The bullseye should be centered on the target face, 60 inches (152.4 cm) from the ground.
  • There should be four evenly spaced scoring zones around the bullseye, every 4 inches (10.16 cm) in width.
  • The outermost scoring zone awards one point, two points for the next, and three for the next. In the middle, the bullseye receives five points.

It’s important to note that these axe throwing target dimensions may vary slightly depending on the league or organization hosting the competition. Still, the IATF target dimensions are widely used and considered the standard for axe throwing competitions.

Axe Throwing Target Dimensions
Axe Throwing Target Dimensions


Here are some famous axe throwing associations around the world:

  1. World Axe Throwing League (WATL)
  2. National Axe Throwing Federation (NATF)
  3. International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF)
  4. American Axe Throwing League (AATL)

Pine, Spruce, cottonwood, Poplar, and Willow are the best wood for axe throwing targets.

The standard axe length should be 36 inches.

An axe throwing lane measures 12 to 15 feet (3.7 to 4.6 meters) from the throwing line to the target. Yet, this can depend on the venue and the regulations of the tournaments.


Remember, safety is always the top priority in axe throwing competitions. Follow all the rules and guidelines in making Axe throwing target Dimensions. The terms are provided by the competition organizers or governing body like that of all the other sports and are always thrown with caution and care.

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