Axe Throwing Terminology To Know Before Your Booking

Are you interested in trying axe throwing for the first time? Here at Hotshots Axe Throwing, we love teaching beginners the ins and outs of this great target sport. As with all sports, axe throwing is filled with terminology that might be confusing for someone who is barely starting out. This is why we want to make a list of some of the most common axe throwing terms used while at Hotshots Axe Throwing. And who knows, you might even earn some brownie points from your axe coach! So whether you are preparing for a friend’s night out, a birthday celebration, a corporate event, etc., here is the axe throwing terminology you want to know before you hurl that first axe and hit that bullseye! 


You already know where it is even if you don’t know the name for it. A “Bullseye” is the sought-after red circle in the middle of the axe target. It is any player’s ultimate goal to throw their axe at the target in an attempt to hit the bullseye as near as possible. If your bullseye sticks, you will most commonly be met with a celebratory cheer around the lanes and earn 6 points towards your overall score!

Sticking An Axe

Sticking an axe means that you’ve successfully embedded your axe on the wood target from a throw. However, don’t confuse “sticking an axe” with momentarily sticking an axe and then having it fall back to the floor or an axe that is holding on the target by other means of support such as the link fence.


Rotation is the spinning motion that occurs when you hurl an axe towards the target. It is important to be wary of the rotation of your axe because the number of spins your axe completes will dictate if it will hit the target with its head or the handle!

Over Rotation/Under Rotation

Over rotation is the situation in which your axe has rotated too much and didn’t stick to the target, while under rotation is when your axe didn’t rotate enough to stick. To fix both of these problems, you can alter the standardized axe throwing distance to your own liking in order to see which distance makes the axe rotate less and stick more. 

Kill Shot

The two blue circles at the top of the target are commonly referred to as a “kill shot” or “blue balls” in the axe throwing community. Before throwing for the kill shot, the player must make clear to the judge and opponent that they intend on throwing for the kill shot. This is referred to as “calling the kill shot” and activates it for the full 8 points. The player cannot change their call (even when missed) and is allowed 2 kill shot attempts per match.

Now, you might encounter different terms depending on the axe throwing venue you go to, but these are some widely used ones that should come in handy for your first booking. Plan your next birthday, bachelor/ette, or Friday night out at Hotshots Axe Throwing for the ultimate axe throwing experience in Tempe, Arizona!

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Axe Throwing Terminology To Know Before Your Booking

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