If you’ve ever dreamed about becoming a woodsman, keep in mind that now you can experience all the best parts without having to devote your life to cutting down trees. Axe throwing leagues in Ottawa have brought the sport born in the great Canadian wilderness into the city, and now they’re also running teen events. Until recently, this was an adult-only sport, but increasingly, leagues are opening up their venues to teenagers aged 16-18 in tournaments for that age group only. Before you go and register, there are some things you should know about this sport.
#1 Learn from the best – The people who will teach you how to throw an axe have been doing this for years, and mostly because they love it. Many of them began when small groups like the Backyard Axe Throwing League were playing in small backyards. Then they found indoor spaces and opened up to the public, and have recently opened up to teens.
#2 You can make it a party – Besides their teen events, you can also book one of their venues for your own party, whether it’s a birthday or a graduation. Their venues allow you to bring your food and beverages, so whether it’s cake, pizza, or sushi, you can have the event you want. Hosting a BATL axe throwing party for teens will make your birthday or graduation bash one to remember.
#3 Axe throwing in Ottawa isn’t just for guys – The sport is known for its gender equality; even at high-level tournaments, there are no gender divisions. Men and women play against each other, and at many leagues, roughly half of the players are women.
#4 Practice first – Every event takes two and a half hours, with the first part going to learning the basics. Coaches teach you how to throw axes. You start off by locating your target: either the bullseye or the trickier clutch (more on that later). Then you swing your arm down by your side, bring it back up over your head, and as you move your arm forward again, you release the handle when the hatchet is at eye level. Don’t forget about the follow through, either – after you release the handle, let your arm continue on its path to make sure you’ve stayed on target, the way you would in baseball.
#5 Five throws – Axe throwing rules are simple: each player gets five throws per turn at BATL. In a round robin tournament, every player faces everyone else. You’re aiming for a target (1, 3, and 5 points for each circle), but on the last throw, you can aim for the clutch. The clutch is the ultimate tiebreaker, worth 7 points, but surrounded by zero-scoring ground. You either make it or break it when you aim for those two green dots in the top corners.Go out and meet the real world swinging – but first, try your hand at the newest sport to go viral.