2023 Knife Throwing Rules Update

Thank you to our WKTL community members who provided feedback on the proposed rule changes for the 2023 knife throwing rules. Especially those who were active in discussions on the WKTL online communities. We made a commitment to the community (throwers and venues) to communicate these proposed changes and receive your feedback before the rules were solidified and documented.

We highly recommend reading through the rules in full, however, we will highlight some of the larger changes below.

The 2023 Rules Update will take effect on January 1st, 2023.


Knife Quality

  1. Each player should check their knives to ensure no damage that may cause an injury is present.
  2. Before the start of a match, judges should identify the knife tip on each of the players knives (see Section D; Technicalities; 1.b.i). Players may mark their knives to help identify the tip edge so that when the knife is scored, the tip can be easily identified by the judge.

Warm Up Throws

  • 1.a. Throwers may have up to 3 practice throws before their first match

Section D:


  • 1.a.ii. If the guard of the knife is penetrating the target boards, the score does not count.
    • 1.a.ii.1If the knife tip is embedded past the surface of the wood, but the guard is also embedded in the wood, the throw is scored as a 0.
  • 1.b. The tip of the knife is the point of the valid scoring area that is the farthest from the end of the handle (or pommel)
    • i. There can only be one tip of the knife.

Section I: Knives

  • 1.b. throwing Knives can have an allowance for a minimum length of 13″ due to natural wear and tear
    • i.e. Chipped tip of the blade or similar equipment wear & tear

  • 3. The cheek of the knife may be a maximum of 2.35 inches wide. 
    • 3.a. Due to variances in production at the factory level, there will be an upward allowance of 0.1” inches, allowing a cheek width of 2.45” inches, only for this particular circumstance.

  • 8.a Sharpening
    • 8.a.i Knives may be sharpened or thinned up to the factory bevel of the blade only. See examples below.
  • 8.c. Handle alterations
    • 8.c.i. Shape and surface modification, including the addition of handle wraps and/or padding. Examples: adding scales to knife handle, reducing handle width for comfort, adding holes to the handle, etc.
  • d. No Gross knife modifications:
    • “Gross Knife Modifications” is defined as an altering of the knife that is excessive more than is necessary, normal, or immoderate. Examples of gross knife modification include re-forging, cutting the knife apart and welding back together, etc.
    • Alterations to the length of the knife, the width of the cheek, or any part of the guard from the listed factory sizes of the knives is prohibited
    • An exception is made for natural wear and tear which will allow a downward/decrease measurement of 1 inch.

For those who may not see a particular rule suggestion they made that was accepted into the 2023 rules, please keep in mind that many decisions were made based on varying factors including future plans for 2024 and beyond and we’re confident that these will help the sport move in the right direction as we continue to grow.