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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Urban Axes

The first American axe throwing club. 

You stand behind a line with your weight on your back foot, facing a wooden target. Raise your arms behind your head and with a flick of the wrist your weapon spirals through the air and (hopefully) slices into the inner circle of the target—bullseye. That’s really all there is to axe throwing.

The bullseye is five points, the second circle is three points, and the third circle is one point. In the last round a thrower can call one of the “clutch boxes” in the upper corners for seven points if they hit their mark. It’s a lot like darts, but instead of tiny pointed arrows the players chuck deathly sharpened axes. 

Axe throwing has likely been around for centuries, but this kind of organized club can be traced back to Toronto, where a Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL) has expanded its operations across Canada. The brutal sport hasn’t caught on in the States quite yet though, and that’s where Urban Axes comes in. “Axe Master General” Lily Cope hopes that axe-throwing will take hold like other obscure sports (shuffleboard, cornhole, bike polo) have.

Despite appearances, the directors of Urban Axes promise the sport is safe, as long as proper precautions are taken. Anyone can do it, physical strength or athleticism don’t necessarily determine your skill at the game, and a little practice goes a long way.