As sports leagues around the world shut down, the World Axe Throwing League (WATL) got creative to keep their spring season alive.
Three members of the organization from Ontario, Canada created the Quarantine Axe Throwing League (QATL) as a way for throwers to keep their skills sharp with axe throwing facilities everywhere closed.
What began as twenty people erupted into 320 participants in six different countries – the United States, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Among the participants are Beau Warren, Cam Fye, and Justin Caldarelli; owner, manager, and bouncer at Rochester’s Axes & Ales bar respectively.
Each week Warren, Fye, and Caldarelli throw in four different matches against opponents over a video chat. They throw out of the East and Alexander location, while many of their other opponents are creating boards in their backyards, garages, etc.
“You get to know these people by talking to them in their home setting,” said Fye. “It’s really warm, allows your personality to come out rather than your competition side, so you get to see the development of the community of axe throwing world.”
The three lanes at Axes & Ales are more than the CDC requirement of six feet apart for social distancing, allowing for safe play. The competition is different than the group’s regular spring league, which is against local throwers.
“The only time we’re going to be able to throw against the best players in the world is at these major tournaments and you have to get a bid for them, so to be able to throw with them in a casual league setting only helps develop that family camaraderie,” said Fye.
Even without the normal league, all three of the guys are keeping their game sharp, ready to coach prospective throwers when they can safely open the bar.
“I don’t care who you are, someone needs an outlet, whether it’s mental or physical. I’m blessed to be able to utilize both of those concepts,” said Warren. “What we do here is meeting other people, experiencing a new thing, something you’re not comfortable with, so our enthusiasm with the QATL will reflect from here on out.”
If anyone would like help setting up a target in their home, the team will help you get started. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.