Axe Throwing: A pastime for Vikings, Lumberjacks, and Chicagoans

bad axe

Written by Dustin Ford

It’s possible that most Chicagoans know nothing about the world of competitive axe throwing. This exciting new sport brings together people of all backgrounds to play a more manly version of darts! This craze spread to Chicago in the last few years and found an audience among locals.


Axes are some of the first tools that human-kind has ever used, dating back to the stone age. In the 3rd century, the Franks developed the francisca, an axe that was meant to be thrown. Since then throwing axes have been used in battle, for hunting, and for passing time. Eventually, this sport found its way to North America where it became popular among lumberjacks. In recent years commercial axe throwing arenas started opening up in Canada and have moved to southern cities like Chicago.

The Rule

The National Axe Throwing Federation states that the game consists of 3 rounds with each round consisting of 5 axes thrown, 15 throws in total. The best of 3 wins. The axes are thrown at boards with a 3 ringed target with two small circles, clutches, hanging about the target. The bullseye counts as 5 points, the middle ring counts as 3 points, and the outer ring counts as 1. In addition, the player can score 7 points if he/she hits a clutch after calling it.


While there are many different techniques for throwing axes, the main goal is to have fun. You don’t have to be a pro in order to start throwing today. These arenas are accessible, cheap, and family-friendly. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon with friends.

Check out these Axe Throwing Arenas Near you:

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