During the coronavirus pandemic, many things have shifted from in-person experiences to virtual experiences. Including an axe throwing league!
Even though all spring World Axe Throwing League (WATL) events were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, that didn’t stop some passionate members of the axe community. Members Tristan Ledbury, Gavin Caissie, and Mike Morton began the Quarantine Axe Throwing League (QATL).
Using the WATL’s rules and scoring app to keep track of the play, the QATL offers an unsanctioned alternative to the cancelled league, allowing players to keep up their skills and play against others globally. It is also a great way to relieve stress from current events.
“Originally there was just an online tournament,” said Lucas Johnson, owner of Murfreesboro Axe and participant in the QATL. “But after a week or so of the [COVID-19] shutdown, … a group of throwers decided that there should be an online-based league, and that the season would ‘unofficially’ continue. So, the same eight-week league that would have happened at each individual axe throwing venue, is now taking place online via Facebook, Instagram, and Zoom.” A Facebook Group was created for the QATL.
Most of the rules are the same as the regular league, but there had to be a few changes. For example, there isn’t a referee, so the rules are enforced using the honor system.
“Some players had a target before this started,” added Johnson, “while others started building theirs just a few days after the social distancing began.”
The WATL organization has backed the QATL, using their customer service team to input and record all scores from each match during the week. A link to the leaderboard listing all 323 participants can be found at https://axethrowing.org/bad-axe-throwing-waterloo on/league/unofficial_spring_quarantine_axe_throwing_league_spring_sunday.
The championships will take place on May 30- 31.
According to their website, “The mission of the WATL is to promote competition through sportsmanship and fair play. Our leagues/events should be played in a sportsmanship-like manner. Although competition may become intense, we expect our participants to maintain a high degree of sportsmanship up to and after the final throw.”