2024 Knife Throwing Rules Update

This rules update may seem a bit small in terms of standard league play as it’s mostly just corrections, elaborations, and wording updates to the current set of rules. But for those expecting more drastic changes please know that we’ve been listening to the knife throwing community and the WKTL Advisory Council members and Commissioner have great ideas for some changes in the future, but we want to do those right so you can expect larger changes in 2025 but for now, the exciting change is the introduction of Duals leagues and tournaments!

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on our knife throwing rules. Especially those who were active in discussions on the WKTL online communities.

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

The 2024 Rules Update will take effect on January 1st, 2024.

SECTION D.7 Sudden Death:

  • In the event of a tie after 10 throws in a single game, the game enters into sudden death.
    • Points are not counted or tallied during sudden death.
    • Only Killshots are active during all sudden death throws.
      • Both killshots are open for the entirety of sudden death, regardless of any hits.
    • Sudden Death throws are taken from the 15ft line.
    • Throwers will remain at their respective targets for sudden death throws (no switching of targets required).
    • Sudden Death consists of up to three knives, thrown in the thrower’s best effort to hit the killshot.
      • Each round of sudden death consists of one knife thrown by each thrower.
        • Knives are not retrieved in between sudden death rounds (unless additional rounds are required after round 3)
      • If one thrower hits a killshot while their opponent misses in any round of sudden death, that thrower is awarded the win.
      • If both or neither thrower hits the killshot during the first two rounds of sudden death, sudden death continues.
    • Unless a player is awarded the win for a hit killshot in rounds 1 or 2, Sudden Death ends after round 3.
      • If neither or both players hit the killshot on throw 3, a measurement will be made to the single closest knife which missed the killshot for each thrower.
      • A measurement will be done by the presiding official to determine the closest knife to the killshot and the thrower with the shortest distance between one of the thrown knives on the board outside of the killshot will be determined the winner.
      • Any dropped knife or knife stuck outside the traditional target boards (the wall, headers, footers, etc.) will be considered to be 15′ from the killshot.
      • If a thrower touches their knife before a measurement is made, the match is awarded to the opposing thrower.
    • Additional Sudden Death Rounds will be had based on the following criteria:
      • If measurements are inconclusive, resulting in a tie.
      • If all three knives are in the killshots by both players.
      • If all knives thrown result in a drop by both players.
      • In this case scenario, throwers will throw all subsequent sudden death rounds from the 10′ line.

Rule Change Notes:

The update of the sudden death rules remains mostly the same. The alteration comes from the change of throwing up to 3 knives before measurement. Subsequently, if no winner is able to be determined after those three throws, then they continue the round again from the 10ft line. This does not mean players can purposefully drop to try and do a second round as the sudden death throws must be done in the “thrower’s best effort to hit the killshot”. The second round will be a very edge-case scenario but is designed to help speed things along, particularly for newer players that have difficulty with the 15ft rotation.

Section C Gameplay: Match timeouts

  • Throwers may request a pause in play for a point review on throw 9 of the match. 

Rule Change Notes:

There have been many requests to have timeouts particularly for throw 9 so we’ve decided to implement this in the rules. This will allow players to be able to call a timeout and get a better bearing of where they stand in the match or recoup for a moment before the final two throws (throws 9 and 10).

Section C Gameplay: Stalemates

  • If a stalemate is caused by throwers waiting on their opponent to throw, then the person in the lead may have the advantage of waiting, and the judge will ask the trailing thrower to throw.
    • If the game is tied, the judge will flip a coin to determine the first thrower.
    • Once prompted by the judge, the trailing player will have 10 seconds to complete their throw, after which time, the throw will count as a fault.
  • If a stalemate occurs, either thrower may ask the judge for the current scores of the knives in the board.
    • The scores given by the judge during a stalemate situation listed above are not final until after the set of throws is complete but are considered when determining the trailing/leading thrower.

Rule Change Notes:

There was a stalemate rule implemented with the Killshot rule but we’ve decided that there should be a more blanket version in case stalemates happen outside of the killshot throws. This rule is slightly updated and integrated into the general gameplay which includes the killshot throw but now applies to all throws.

Section K Regular Season: Sanctioned Leagues

A WKTL® Sanctioned League must have a minimum of 4 different throwers with at least 12 games played in the league season.

Rule Change Notes:

This rule of 4 players has been implemented already but we’ve added that those 4 players must also have 12 games played to sanction the league.

WKTL Duals

Due to this being a full new discipline the full rules for Duals can be found here on our rules page but we’ll offer a summary here.
Duals is a partnered competition where two competitors each throw their standard knives simultaneously at the same target from a distance of at least 10 feet from the shared target. Duals will follow standard WKTL® Gameplay, Regular Season, Playoff, and Qualifying rules that apply with the exception rules detailing two players throwing together.

In Conclusion

This year will give us not just an exciting new discipline that has been much asked for, but also solidify our current rule set without any major changes in gameplay which we are very happy about. This means our base is becoming more finalized as a rule set and will give us a bit of time to look at some major gameplay upgrades going into 2025. We’ll be making sure to be watchful for any ideas and thoughts this great community has as we continue to grow and we look forward to an amazing year of knife throwing for 2024!