Knife Throwing Rules for the World Knife Throwing League

Knife Throwing Rules

Code of Conduct

The mission of The World Knife Throwing League (WKTL) is to promote competition through sportsmanship and fair play. Our leagues/events should be played in a sportsmanship-like manner. Although competition may become intense, we expect our participants to maintain a high degree of sportsmanship up to and after the final throw. As a participant in any WKTL tournament or event, you must pledge to:

  • Respect the game, play fairly, and follow all rules and policies.
  • Accept & respect the decisions of WKTL officials.
  • Demonstrate good sportsmanship before, during, and after games, win or lose.
  • Be responsible for the sportsmanship of teammates and assist in maintaining a respectful environment for all participants.
  • Be courteous to opposing players, teams, officials, spectators, monitors, or facilitators and treat all players and WKTL officials with respect.
  • Help to maintain and keep all equipment and conditions at the facility in good condition.
  • Obey all facility rules, while respecting all equipment, common areas, playing areas, parking areas, and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Refrain from the use of abusive language or profanity.
    • Including but not limited to: contemptuous, discriminatory, or denigratory words or actions concerning race, color, language, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
  • Not engage in any other behavior which would endanger the health, safety, or well-being of any player, official staff member, or spectator.
  • Not engage in verbal, written, or physical threats or abuse aimed at any participant, official, staff member, or spectator.
  • Not initiate a fight, scuffle, or exchange with any individual
    • Including but not limited to: pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, verbal threats, or harassment.
  • Not use alcoholic beverages at any location unless permitted by the facility/venue.
  • Not allow, use or encourage illegal drugs at any location.
  • Wear/use all required and issued equipment and/or uniforms.
  • Under no circumstances are live targets allowed. No thrower is to throw a knife at a target while there is a person or live object in between or in front of the thrower.

Sportmanship

Sports are filled with judgment calls and, as a result, disputes between players, opponents, and staff may occur from time to time. However, it is important that participants respect and handle all disputes that may occur in a civilized manner. WKTL has the absolute and sole discretion to investigate and review any and all evidence available to maintain the integrity of the rules & the sport in any match. Protests for player eligibility or rule misapplications/misinterpretations are time-sensitive and must be made before the next throw. Non-throwers do not have the right to argue or challenge any calls made by the league judge or referee. Competitors under the age of 18 may name a representative to speak on their behalf. The representative is only able to challenge calls for the said competitor. Each representative is to be named before the start of the league/tournament. The representative is expected to follow all rules of play as if they were the competitor.

All decisions made by on-site WKTL Officials must be respected and obeyed. Any feedback regarding rules, players, officials, or staff members should be brought to the attention of a WKTL Director during normal business hours in written form. Any behavior deemed unacceptable by WKTL officials may result in a verbal warning, ejection, suspension, and/or expulsion as outlined below. Repeated Code of Conduct violations by the same player or team could result in expulsion from the league without refunds. All Code of Conduct violations during and outside of matches may result in disciplinary measures.

Any intimidation, trash talk, abusive language, profanity, threats, or general disrespect during any league or tournament towards any presiding Certified Judge or WKTL Official will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate removal from the league or tournament. Pending a formal investigation, WKTL reserves the right to suspend the player or spectator in question for a minimum of 6 months.

Disciplinary Procedure

Upon an offense needing disciplinary action, it is recommended that the WKTL official issue disciplinary action in this order:

  • The offending thrower will first receive a verbal warning.
  • Should similar offenses continue a second time then their most recent match points will be brought to 0 and the match will count as a loss.
  • Upon a third offense by the same player, then the offending player will be suspended from the season or tournament.

A WKTL official is not required to follow disciplinary measures in this order.

Gameplay Rules

Section A: Safety

  1. Knives
    1. Each and every knife is inspected prior to each league night to ensure the knife is up to standard.
    2. Broken knives may not be used.
    3. Participants are instructed to grip the knife by the handle and only the handle.
    4. If a knife breaks or if a player would like to switch knives, they must notify the presiding official and are allowed up to 1 minute to switch knives.
  2. Injuries
    1. If an injury occurs during league play and the player is deemed to be unable to finish the remaining matches by a judge or medical professional then they may make up their matches the following league night with no penalty.
      1. This will not count towards the player’s right to miss 2 weeks
      2. If throws are remaining in the current match, then those scores are counted as zero
    2. If an injury occurs during any tournament and the player is deemed unable to progress by a Judge or medical professional, then any matches pending will be marked as 0 points scored and matches forfeit.
  3. Throwing
    1. Knives shall never be thrown when a participant is picking up their knives from the target area or when a judge is in the lane. This will result in an immediate disqualification (counted as a loss) for that match and may be subject to additional disciplinary action.

Section B: Pre-Game Rules

1. Minimun Age

WKTL does not enforce any age requirement or limit. Each affiliated location is allowed to have an age requirement if they so choose. Please contact your local participating league location to inquire about their age rules.

2. Target Quality

  1. Targets should be relatively new and of sound quality prior to league commencement.
    1. When targets deteriorate to a point where excessive movement or ‘wiggling’ of the knife or knives occur when they land in the damaged area causing or risking good throws to fall out, the boards should be switched out to ensure fair play.
    1. If a large piece of wood or chunk falls out during play, the player may request to have the board changed but the ultimate decision will fall on the knife throwing referee (judge).
    2. Requests for board changes must be made before a game begins.
      1. Requests for board changes cannot be made between games of a best 2/3 match set. The request must be made before the match begins.
    3. Targets should be sprayed with water from a spray bottle prior to the start of league play.
      1. If boards are continually hard, league members may request to have more water sprayed on the boards.
  2. No-one other than the official judge may alter the boards before, during, or after any match unless authorized by the presiding official.
    1. This includes pulling out pieces of boards, chopping or softening the board with their knife, watering the boards, etc

3. Warm Up Throws

  1. The number of warm-up throws allowed applies to all WKTL sanctioned leagues and tournaments.
    1. Players may have up to 5 practice throws prior to their first match.
    2. Players may have 1 practice throw prior to any subsequent match
      1. Players may have 1 practice throw between match games in the case of a best 2/3 match set
    3. A WKTL employed official (i.e. The Commissioner or Head Judge) may, at their sole discretion, determine a different amount of warm-up throws during any official WKTL event
  2. The knife throwing judge will notify players when their match will commence.
  3. The league will allow practice throws before official league start time subject to availability, fairness, and consent of the referee on premises.

Section C: Gameplay

For the inaugural 2021 summer season, one knife will be thrown and retrieved until the match, totaling ten throws to be completed for a full match. In subsequent seasons, matches will consist of throwing multiple knives before retrieval.

  1. Each league week allows every participant 4 matches.
  2. Subject to league numbers and attendance, each match is played against different opponents, selected at random, and consists of the following:
    1. Each match consists of 10 throws
    2. Players must switch sides after 5 throws 
    3. During the set of 5 throws, A player must throw one knife then retrieve the knife once the knife is stationary and scored by the Judge, including the opposing player’s knife.
      1. After 5 knives have been scored, then both players switch lanes as detailed above in Section C.2.2.
      2. For clarity, players must wait for the opposing player to finish throwing their knives prior to retrieving their knives from the boards or floor, as long as all knives are stationary
  3. Starting targets will be determined by the random selection initially made by the app.
  4. The winner of the match will be the person with the most points after 10 throws.
  5. In the event of a tie after 10 throws, there will be sudden death:
    1. See Section D Scoring: 5.
  6. The match points and win/loss then be recorded and uploaded to the leaderboards.
  7. After 7 weeks, the 8th and final week of each season will be the playoffs and final match to determine the season champion. See Section M: Playoffs section for details.
  8. Each official league run by a knife throwing venue is self-contained and may not be combined with other leagues.
    1. Players may only compete at the venue and league they are registered for. There will be no scores recorded outside of that league or venue for their single registered league.
      1. For example, a player may not compete in week 2 of league at venue A, then compete in week 3 for that same league in venue B.
  9. No wearing earphones while throwing unless earphone use is required for a medical disability.
  10. Pauses in play
    1. A presiding official may call a pause in play for any reason deemed necessary (rules review, confirmation, second opinion, etc…)
    2. Should a Pause in Play occur, all match play must cease immediately and will resume at the discretion of the presiding official, where the pause began.
      1. For Example: If one player has thrown but the opposite player has not and there is a Pause in Play called, the match will resume with the opposite player throwing as normal.
    3. Players are able to challenge a call or ruling which will create a pause in play
      1. During this challenge, gameplay will be paused at that moment in time
  11. Throwing in a Wheelchair
    1. For individuals who use wheelchairs, all standard league rules apply with the exception of the foot fault line.
      1. Individuals in wheelchairs must have one wheel behind the 10 ft line for 1st distance and 15ft for 2nd distance when throwing in competition play.
      2. Any wheel on the wheelchair is acceptable as long as one of them is behind the line.

Section D: Scoring

Points

  1. Scoring Area of Knife
    1. The scoring area will be the knife tip and the knife edge but not the handle or past the guard
      1. The tip of the blade must be in the board in order for the point to count.
  2. Knives must be inside the black scoring line in order to count for that value:
    1. 6 points for any of the three bullseyes.
    2. 5 points for the 1st rings surrounding the three bullseyes (same score for the upper, center, and lower).
    3. 4 points for the 2nd ring.
    4. 3 points for the 3rd ring.
    5. 2 points for the 4th ring.
    6. 1 point for the 5th ring.
    7. 8 points for the Killshot.
    8. If the knife falls before the presiding official scores the knife, the knife is counted as a drop
  3. Killshot Throw
    1. The Killshots are active for any throw during the 10 throw match. Before throwing for the Killshot, the player must make clear to the Judge and opponent they intend on throwing for the Killshot.
      1. This is referred to as “calling the Killshot” and activates it for the full 8 points.
      2. The player cannot change their call (Killshot or non-Killshot) once a Judge confirms, for that specific throw.
    2. Players are allowed 2 Killshot attempts per match
      1. Once a player hits a Killshot during the match, that Killshot cannot be attempted again until the opposite one is hit
        1. If a Killshot is attempted but missed, the player may throw for that Killshot again.
        2. Does not apply to overtime (OT) throws. Killshots are reopened in OT play.
        3. Players may start their OT throws utilizing either Killshot, but must continue to alternate Killshots on subsequent OT throws.
      2. In the event of a stalemate caused by throwers refusing to call the Kill Shot first, this will be solved by a coin toss.
        1. The winner of the coin toss will choose who will call first.
  4. In the event of a drop, the player may opt to take a 3rd additional Killshot attempt during the regular 10 throw match.
    1. A drop must be correctly recorded in the app and the match to allow a 3rd Killshot attempt
      1. Example: If a player has taken their 2 Killshot attempts and a drop occurs on the 9th throw, they are eligible for a third Killshot attempt on the 10th throw.
      2. Example 2: If a player has a drop on their 10th throw, they are not eligible for an additional Killshot attempt or throw.
  5. Previously stated rules regarding alternating Killshot throws will still apply
    1. If the player does not indicate that they are making a Killshot attempt, the Judge will assume it will be a standard throw (a non-Killshot attempt)
      1. If a Killshot attempt is made prior to a Judge confirming the Killshot call, the throw will be counted as a fault
  6. If the Killshot is called but the player’s knife does not hit the Killshot, then no points are awarded.
  7. Sudden Death
    1. In the event of a tie after 10 throws in a single match, the match enters into sudden death.
    2. Sudden Death consists of a single knife thrown and scored.
    3. ONLY Killshots are allowed during all sudden death throws.
    4. Players will remain at their respective targets for sudden death throws (no switching of targets required).
    5. Players must throw from the 15ft line for all sudden death throws.
    6. Players may not score on the same Killshot twice in a row. Players must alternate Killshots.
    7. Once the Judge confirms that the lane is open both players must throw within 10 seconds of each other.
    8. Should both players have their knife drop or they both hit the Killshot resulting in a tie, with confirmation by the judge, the players will retrieve the first knife and make an additional single knife throw.
      1. In the event a second throw is needed, players may not score on the same attempted Killshot twice in a row. Players must alternate Killshots.
    9. In the event that both players miss the Killshot during Sudden Death, a measuring tape or accurate measuring device will be used to measure the distance from the closest valid scoring area of the knife head to the closest edge of the Killshot. The player with the shortest distance will be awarded the match.
      1. If Player 1 has a knife that has dropped and Player 2 misses the Killshot but is on the board, Player 2 will be awarded the match.
      2. If a player touches their knife before a measurement is made, the match is awarded to the opposing player.
    10. Points are not counted or tallied during sudden death.
  1. Tallying Scores
    1. When all knives are resting in their final place, before retrieval, they will be scored.
    2. The points from the knives will be determined by where the closest scoring area of each knife head meets the surface of the wood that the knife head is embedded into.
    3. All scores must be verified by a presiding official or Judge. If a presiding official is also competing in the league then their scores must be verified by another third party.No thrower regardless of position in the venue or WKTL may submit scores for themselves without verification from a third party.
    4. If a thrower touches any part of the knife before the presiding official announces the score, the thrower’s points are marked as 0.
    5. If the score is too close to make an accurate call by eye, the presiding official will benefit the thrower and give the higher points.
    6. If a thrower attempts to touch any part of their opponent’s knives at any time during a match without permission they will be suspended from the match.

Technicalities

  1. A Break (breaking) is defined as when the surface of the knife is embedded in the wood and has the marked surface of the target area visible on both sides of the knife scoring line.
  2. If the knife breaks multiple sections of the target simultaneously, then the player is awarded the points for the higher valued section.
    1. Knives must be inside the scoring line in order to count for that value
      1. Touching the scoring line will not give you the point value; the knife must be inside the higher scoring area to receive those points
        1. For example: Touching the black line of the outer bullseye counts as a 4.  Breaking it (unmarked wood of the outer bullseye on both sides) counts as a 5.
    2. If the knife hits only the outer line of the bullseye located at the top or bottom, in the 2 & 3 point section of the board, the score will be awarded as follows:
  3. The Killshot must have a red outline using a ballpoint pen which will count as a scoring area, but any blue that bleeds outside of the red outline will not. To gain points for the Killshot, the knife must break red or blue if inside of the red outline.
  4. The inner bullseyes must have a black outline using a ballpoint pen which will count as a scoring area, but any red that bleeds outside of the black outline will not. To gain points for the inner bullseyes, the knife must break red or black if inside of the black outline.

Section E: Throwing

Knife Throwing Distance

  1. One foot must be touching the floor while knives are thrown.
  2. Players must throw from two distances during a match.
    1. 1st distance: The first 5 throws of a match will be thrown at 10 ft.
      1. The 1st distance may not exceed 15 ft.
    2. 2nd distance: The second set of 5 throws will be thrown at 15ft
  3. Players may not have any feet cross the 10 ft or 15 ft line until both players have thrown their set of 5 throws and their knives are scored.
  4. Once all knives have been thrown, players must return behind the respective fault line (10ft or 15ft) until all knives are scored.
    1. Crossing the respective fault line before the judge scores all knives will result in a foot fault and the player’s throws will all be scored zero.
    2. An exception is made for throwers in wheelchairs. See section C: Gameplay. 8.
  5. Players are allowed to switch knives during any throw in the game.
  6. All Non-throwing Spectators must be to the side or at least 5ft behind throwers.

Knife Throwing Technique

  1. WKTL players are allowed to throw knives in these ways:
    1. No Spin.
      1. Throwing the knife by the handle with 0 rotations
    2. 1 rotation
      1. Throwing the knife by the handle for 1 rotation
    3. 2 Rotations
      1. Throwing the knife by the handle for 2 full rotations
    4. 3 Rotations
      1. Throwing the knife from the handle for 3 full rotations
  2. Knives may not be thrown by holding the blade first. All throws must be performed holding the handle.
  3. No other style of throws are permitted.
  4. All throws must be toward the target that the player is facing
  5. No set of throws will be initiated without a verbal or gesture signal of an open lane from the presiding Judge and confirmed by all throwers.
    1. If no signal is given or confirmation received, and a throw is made by a thrower, then that throw will count as a throw fault.
  6. Each player must perform their throws in sync with the opposing player.
    1. For example, if a player throws his knife first, they must wait until the opposing player has thrown their first knife before throwing the second.
    2. The player that throws more than one knife before the opposing player is able will have their total match score set to zero and count as a loss.
  7. Individual throws must be taken within 10 seconds of each other.
    1. If a thrower throws after 10 seconds of the other thrower, this will result in a Throw Fault.

Rotations Permitted

  1. At 1st distance (10ft), only these rotations are allowed
    1. No Spin
    2. 1 or more rotations
  2. At 2nd distance (15ft), only these rotations are allowed
    1. 2 or more rotations

Section F: Attendance

Late Players and /or Early Departures

  1. Players are allowed to arrive up to 1 hour late, after the official league start time.
  2. Players are allowed to leave up to 1 hour early, prior to the end of the scheduled official league time once all their matches have been completed.
  3. If a player arrives late, after the 1 hour official start time, or leaves earlier than the 1 hour league completion time:
    1. Should a player leave the league night prior to all of their matches being completed, the player that was scheduled to go against the one who is now absent will be granted an automatic win but will perform 10 throws and have their points recorded.
    2. The late player will automatically receive a loss and a zero for all throws.
  4. Exceptions are allowed with the consent of opposing players affected that day and approval from the referee.

Tournament/Playoff Exception

  1. Players are required to arrive at the playoffs at the start of regulation play.
  2. If a player is not present when their match begins, a 10 minute grace period will be offered.
    1. If the player does not show up, they will forfeit their match and the player that is present will be awarded the win.
    2. If the player arrives during their grace period but is late for their next match, they will be immediately disqualified.

Absences

  1. Players are allowed to miss up to 2 days of regulation play during the season and make up their matches and throws in subsequent weeks:
    1. Players must make up any missed matches by week 7, otherwise, a loss will be attributed to their absence with a score of 0. If a player knows they’ll miss week 7 they must pre-throw any missed matches (up to 8 total for the season) before week 7 takes place.
    2. No missed matches and throws are to be performed during week 8 (playoffs) – Week 7 is the cutoff.
  2. In order to miss a regulation league night, players are required to give a minimum 1-day notice to the judge league manager of their absence.
  3. League participants are able to throw up to 2 weeks in advance, including weeks 6 and 7, in anticipation of an absence
    1. This will count towards the participant’s ability to miss up-to 2 weeks of league play
  4. If a League participant misses 3 weeks or more of league play, they cannot participate in playoffs as they have forfeited WKTL Championship eligibility requirements

Section G: Misconduct

  1. Purposeful Distractions are defined as, but not limited to: Excessive celebration, taunting, using abusive, threatening, or insulting language, trash-talking, stepping in the lane during a throw, excessive noises, offensive gestures to opponents, or any purposeful distractions with the intent to distract a player during a league match or tournament round will not be permitted during games.
  2. First Offense:
    1. The first purposeful distraction from an opposing player will result in a zero score for that throw, for the player causing the distraction
    2. The first purposeful distraction from a spectating league member or tournament participant will result in a zero in the first throw of their next match
    3. The first purposeful distraction from a spectator not participating in leagues or tournament will result in the immediate removal from the facility
  3. Second Offense:
    1. The second purposeful distraction from an opposing player will result in a forfeit for that match. Zero scores will be entered for the full match.
    2. The second purposeful distraction from a spectating league member or tournament participant will result in a forfeit from their subsequent match. Zero scores will be entered for the full match.
  4. Third Offence:
    1. The third purposeful distraction from an opposing player will result in a forfeit of the season for league play or forfeit from the tournament. The player will not be allowed to throw or spectate for the remainder of the season or the remainder of the tournament.
    2. The third purposeful distraction from a spectating league member will result in a forfeit of the season or tournament. The league member or tournament participant will not be allowed to spectate or participate for the remainder of the season or tournament.
  5. Match Fixing & Hippodroming in League Play or Tournaments:
    1. If any player is found to fix a match to achieve a desired outcome, during league play or tournaments, then that player will be banned from all WKTL tournaments & leagues. The player may appeal the ban, one year after the offense, pending review of the Commissioner.

Procedures and Specifications

Section H: Lanes

  1. Each throwing area is designated as a throwing lane.
  2. A regulation lane for competition must contain 2 targets.
  3. Fences or walls block this area from the rest of the facility to keep throwers and knives all contained in a safe environment.
  4. Only the two participating throwers and the knife throwing Judge are allowed inside the lane at one time. This includes ensuring the area behind the throwers is clear of any other person up to 5′.
  5. 10 ft minimum/clear ceiling height (within the throwing lane) is recommended for safety reasons.
  6. It is recommended for a lane to be a minimum of 12ft in width with the targets evenly distributed.
  7. It is recommended for a lane to be a minimum of 18ft in length to accommodate for a 15ft fault line and safe space to throw.
  8. It is recommended that fault lines be 3 inches wide and that the fault be measured from the target to the back of the line; if throwers step into/past the line, it is a fault.
    1. This is guidance from WKTL and is the sole discretion of the venue to create fault lines as they wish.

Section I: Targets

The Target

  1. Each Target should be made of 3 layers of wood.
  2. The first layer should cover the wall in OSB or plywood.
  3. The second layer is called the Backboards and should be made of wood.
    1. There should be horizontal 2x10s, that are 4′ feet long, drilled into the wall, and packed tightly together to cover the full space for the outer Targets. (This usually takes 6 – 8 boards) This will be the backboard where you will then drill your target boards against.
  4. The third and outermost layer is called the Target boards. These are also made of 4′ feet long 2×10 lumber. The targets consist of two components: 1) the targets 2) the headers and footers.
    1. End Grain wood is permitted for WKTL targets
  5. Approximate Measurements for the 2×10 boards:
    1. U.S: Thickness:1-1/2 in • Width 9-1/4 in • Length 4 ft.
    2. Metric: Thickness 38mm • Width 235 mm Length 1.22m
    3. A variance of these measurements is allowed. WKTL does not enforce the exact thickness or width of boards, rather, the proper and accurate size of target specifications.
  6. They should be arranged just like the example picture below.

Headers and Footers

  1. Above and below the targets, venues will install headers and footers. This will help protect the top and bottom areas of the target while allowing for branding of your company.
    1. Header: drill one 4′ foot long 2×10 pieces of wood horizontally on top of the target against the backboard.
    2. Footer: drill one 4′ foot long 2×10 pieces of wood horizontally on the bottom of the target against the backboard.
      1. The footer also provides the benefit of allowing you to change boards quicker and easier.
      2. The top of the footer should be 36 inches off the ground.
  2. The end product is a backboard that is 4′ feet x 6′ and another layer of wood that fully covers the back at 4′ feet x 6′ as well.

Target Design

  1. Each WKTL affiliated location shall purchase an official target protractor/stencil.
  2. The small hole on the left will have a screw that will be drilled through it into the center of the middle board. (Approximately 24 inches in the center of the board. That will make 60 inches from the floor).
  3. A black, 20mm marker will then be used to draw the remaining circles.
  4. Holes are 22mm thick to allow for a marker to fit that has 1/2″ thick felt.
  5. Lines are to be 20mm thick.
  6. The inner bullseyes are to be colored in red and outlined with a black, waterproof pen.
  7. The entire bullseye area (inner red circle and unmarked 5 ring) must be 3.5” inches in diameter inside the center ring. The center of the middle inner bullseye must be 24” inches (60.96 cm) from the bottom of the board. This should make the center of the middle bullseye 60″ from the floor.
    1. The inner bullseyes (inner red circles) should be 1.5” in diameter, outlined with a black, waterproof pen.
    2. The upper bullseye is measured 10” above the center of the middle bullseye.
    3. The lower bullseye is measured 10” below the center of the middle bullseye.
    4. All three bullseyes require their own 5 point circle – to be drawn prior to any other rings.
  8. The Killshot (2 blue circles) are 1.5” inches in diameter and positioned inside the 1 point ring.
    1. The bottom of the Killshot is positioned approximately 35.25 inches from the bottom of the board and 2.5 inches from the outer side of the board ensuring they are centered inside the 1 point outer ring.
    2. Killshots are to be outlined using a red waterproof ballpoint pen that clearly shows/denotes the Killshot, thereby eliminating overspray or bleeding caused by markers. The red outline of the ballpoint pen will count as a scoring area, but any blue that bleeds outside of the red outline will not.
  9. All targets must be level (no slanting of the targets is allowed).
  10. Targets will have no marking other than the lines, bullseyes, and Killshots
  11. “#WKTL” or #WATL is required to be listed prominently on either the header or footer boards
    1. For knife throwing tournaments, #WKTL will be shown
  12. WKTL requires proper lighting insofar as boards are able to be seen clearly from behind the throwers.
  13. Projected Targets are not WKTL compliant. Only boards with physical markings are permitted.

End Grain Targets

  1. End Grain Targets
    1. End grain targets are allowed providing they meet all target design measurements and specifications as shown in Section I: Target Design

Section J: Knives

  1. Throwing knives must be at least 13.5 inches and may be no longer than 16 inches.
    1. This is to be measured from the tip of the knife to the opposite end of the knife in a straight line.
  2. All knives must have guards that are at least 4” inches in width
    1. This helps ensure that knives are not able to ricochet off the target and through the fencing at existing facilities. No exceptions.
  3. The cheek of the knife may be a maximum of 3.5 inches wide. 
  4. There may only be one tip of the knife
    1. No throwing stars or multiple tipped knives
  5. Handle Max Length can be no more than 7in from the bottom of the handle to the guard.
  6. Maximum weight of a knife must be no more than 1.65 lbs
  7. Only WKTL knives are approved for use in official league play
  8. Broken Knife
    1. If the Judge determines that a thrower’s knife has broken during a match in a significant way. The thrower must provide a replacement knife to be verified and approved by the Judge.
      • If they do not provide another non-broken knife within 90 seconds, the current throw will count as 0 points.
    2. If a thrower has a broken knife, they may continue with any remaining throws which will be scored by the Judge.

Section K: Judges

  1. A Scoring official, known as a Judge, must always be present while members are throwing during league play.
    • Judges must verify all scores taken for official league play.
    • A 5′ radius should be maintained around every participant holding a knife, however, the judge may approach the participants and enter this 5′ radius to provide instruction.
  2. Affiliate/Judge/presiding officials are forbidden from cheating of any kind. Any caught cheating in any way such as but not limited to, falsifying data, making biased calls in a match, etc. then it will result in a one-year ban from participating in any WKTL Sanctioned events including leagues, tournaments, etc.
  3. Certified Judges: 
    • At least 1 Certified Judge is required to be present for WKTL Leagues or Local Tournaments
    • At least 2 Certified Judges are required to be present for Seasonal Tournaments
    • At least 3 Certified Judges are required for Major Tournaments
    • There must be at least 1 Certified Judge for every lane scored for Televised Tournaments, including the World Championship
    • Certified Judges are allowed to participate as throwers but may never score their own matches.
  4. For Seasonal, Major, or Televised Tournaments, Judges will not take advice, second opinions, or consultation from any throwers.
    • Under no circumstances, are Judges allowed to accept advice or consultation from any active thrower in a match.
    • Judges are only allowed to take advice or guidance directly from a hosting venue’s owners, tournament runners, or a WKTL employed official. Judges found to be heeding the advice of throwers will be asked to concede their lane immediately and undergo a review of their certification.
    • Any throwers found to be attempting to influence an official judge will be disqualified immediately and undergo a review of their eligibility for competing the remainder of the year.
  5. Any intimidation, trash talk, abusive language, profanity, threats, or general disrespect during any league or tournament towards any presiding Certified Judge will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate removal from the league or tournament. Pending a formal investigation, WKTL reserves the right to suspend the player or spectator in question for a minimum of 6 months.
  6. If another judge or thrower believes that a judge is not following current rules and regulations or is making incorrect calls, they must report it directly to a Head Judge or persons in charge of running the tournament immediately.
    1. Any gross misconduct from Certified Judges may be reported to wktl@worldknifethrowingleague.com.

Section L: Regular Season

  1. The entire season lasts 8 weeks including playoffs.
  2. There are 7 weeks where players can add to their season total allowing for 280 throws that officially contribute to each player’s season standings.
  3. Levels of Competition – Sanctioned Leagues and Recreational (Rec) Leagues
  4. Rec Leagues are not mandatory and will not count for league qualifiers.
  5. Sanctioned League
    1. A Sanctioned League is the knife throwing league hosted at a participating WKTL affiliated venue that follows the rules and regulations of the World knife Throwing League.
    2. A Sanctioned League winner in a season, is crowned Local Champion and is eligible for the World Championship.
    3. A WKTL Sanctioned League must have a minimum of 6 different players.
    4. A WKTL Sanctioned League may not have more than 60 players. If recruiting more than 60 players at the WKTL Venue, then they must host Multiple Sanctioned Leagues.
    5. Sanctioned Leagues must begin within 1 week from the official WKTL start dates for each season.
    6. Sanctioned Leagues must end within 1 week from the official WKTL start dates for each season.
      1. WKTL must be notified at least 2 weeks in advance, before the end of the season, of delays to the end of a season tournament due to acts of God or national holidays.

Multiple Sanctioned Leagues

  1. A WKTL affiliated venue may host more than one sanctioned league per season.
    1. If hosting more than one sanctioned league, each sanctioned league must have a minimum of 2 different players not participating in another WKTL sanctioned league.
  2. The winner of each Sanctioned League is considered to be a Local Champion for the sake of determining who is eligible for the World Championship.
    1. This will allow one location to potentially have multiple Local Champions for the World Championship invitations.
  3. Throwers may participate in as many sanctioned leagues as they wish, but only one league will be considered for World Championship eligibility.
    1. Throwers participating in multiple sanctioned leagues may use the same profile and Player ID to compete in all leagues.
    2. Throwers will declare an official league to be considered for World Championship eligibility via their player profile, by the last day of the Official WKTL season.
    3. Once players choose their official league, they cannot change the decision.
    4. If throwers fail to select an official league by the deadline, their official league will default to the last one they were added to.

Marathon Leagues

  1. A Marathon League is an officially sanctioned WKTL league as long as it meets the following requirement:
    1. A Marathon League is a league that is held, in its entirety, over the span of one day
    2. The must be labelled using the following naming convention: “[Venue Name] [League Night] Marathon League” when creating the League in the WKTL app
    3. Marathon Leagues may be held once per venue, per regular league season
    4. Marathon Leagues must be held during the last 3 weeks of the end of the regular season; during Week 6, 7, or 8
    5. All rules pertaining to regular season play, playoffs and qualifying apply

Section M: Playoffs

  1. During the 8th Week playoff tournament, all league members will participate in a single match, Double Elimination bracket.
  2. Seeding is done in the traditional manner based on the total match wins from weeks 1 through 7.
    1. In the case of a tie for match wins the seeding will be based on the total points gained during weeks 1-7 between the two tied players.
  3. All competitors eligible for playoffs will be put into two sets of brackets, the winner’s bracket and underdog bracket (A and B brackets for short) after the first round. The first-round winners proceed into the A bracket and the losers proceed into the B bracket. The A bracket is conducted in the same manner as a single-elimination tournament, except that the losers of each round “drop down” into the B bracket.
  4. The final Championship round is between the winner of the A bracket and the winner of the B bracket consisting of best of 3 matches. Allowing for one practice throw between each match.
    1. The Winner: will be the person who wins 2 out of the 3 matches first.
      1. The A winner must lose twice in order for the B winner to win the Championship.
      2. This means that if the B winner beats the A winner in a best of 3 matches, they must play another best of 3 matches in order for the B winner to win the Championship.
  5. For WKTL sanctioned tournaments, bracket tiebreakers will be determined by the average bullseye hit percentage in the tournament.
    1. For example, in a tournament, if players A & B are tied in 5th and 6th place, the Player with the highest average bullseye percentage hit will be in 5th place and the subsequent player will be in 6th place.

The World Knife Throwing Championship

Section N: Qualifying

  1. The World Knife Throwing Championship will be comprised of 64 competitors and be held at the end of each calendar year.
  2. A maximum of 11 qualified players per season with the top high scores will earn their bid to Worlds from league play.
  3. Scores for participants who have already earned a bid and unofficial league play scores will not be considered in calculating high scores that may qualify for bids each season.
  4. Up to 11 players will earn their bid to Worlds from league play as long as the following criteria are met
    1. Players must win their End-of-Season Tournament.
    2. A maximum of six (6) runner-ups or 3rd place competitors globally may also earn a bid to the World Championship.
      1. Players must come 2nd or 3rd place in their End-of-Season Tournament as long as the person who placed above them has either previously earned their bid or did so during the current season.
      2. If any of the above criteria are not met, up to 3 bids will be passed down to players that have reached no lower than 25th place players on the global leaderboard for that season. These players must also be End-of-Season Tournament champions, runner-up or 3rd place behind a player that secured a bid previously or in the current season. Any remaining bids not earned will then be allocated to the wildcard.
      3. Example 1: A venue has 4 competitors that are in the top 25 globally for points and are competing in their End-of-Season Tournament. The top 22 high scores on the leaderboard only have one competitor from another venue that does not qualify for a bid, passing the bid down one position to the next highest qualified player in the 23rd to 25th high scores.
        1. Player 1: 1650 points (6th place globally)
        2. Player 2: 1640 points (8th place globally)
        3. Player 3: 1600 points (22nd place globally)
        4. Player 4: 1590 points (23rd place globally)
          1. Player 1 wins, they have a secured bid to the Championship.
          2. If Player 2 & 3 come in second and third place they have secured a bid to the Championship.
          3. If Player 4 came in fourth, they do not have a secured bid. If player 4 and player 2 come in 2nd and third place, both have secured a bid to the championship.
      4. Example 2: 18 players in the top 22 highest points on the leaderboard meet their End-of-Season Tournament requirements for a World’s bid, and 4 have not. Only 2 players from the 23rd to 25th highest points on the leaderboard meet their End-of-Season Tournament requirements. There will be only those 20 total players from league play that season securing a bid to worlds.
      5. Any bid placements not allocated in that season will be added to the Wildcard pool.
  5. All qualified Seasonal Champions winners that have secured a bid for the World Championship must play at least 1 additional sanctioned WKTL season to maintain and keep their placement bid
    1. Example 1: If you qualify for the World Championship during the winter season, you must then complete 1 additional WKTL season during the same calendar year to maintain your bid. Whether it’s Spring, Summer, or Fall.
    2. Example 2: If you earn a World Championship bid through a WKTL Sanctioned Tournament and you have completed a WKTL season prior to the tournament, or complete a WKTL season after the tournament, during the same calendar year, you maintain your bid.
    3. Exceptions:
      1. Competitors that earn a bid during the Fall season.
      2. A venue did not have enough participants in subsequent seasons to have a WKTL sanctioned league.
      3. Competitors that do not have a WKTL venue within their metropolitan area or are further than 1-hour of drive-time from their primary residence.
        1. Drive time as measured from their home, to their venue, during the time when a WKTL sanctioned league would normally take place.
      4. Competitors that have a WKTL venue in their metropolitan area or within 1 hour of their primary residence but the venue did not have enough participants to run a sanctioned WKTL season.
  6. The top 10 finishers at the Canadian Open & US Open will have a secured placement to the World Championship
    1. If the top 6 qualifiers have already earned a bid, the placement will not be passed down to subsequent participants.
      1. Any remaining bid placements that are not allocated to winners will go into the open qualifiers.
  7. If any season is unplayable or canceled from the standard 4 season year, those bids will be distributed to upcoming tournaments or open qualifiers to be announced.
    1. Example: Due to WKTL beginning the 2021 year after the winter and spring season is over, those 22 bids for the winter season will be distributed to tournaments or open qualifiers later in the year.
  8. All qualified tournament winners must play at least 1 sanctioned WKTL season to maintain and keep their placement bid to the World Championship
    1. Competitors that do not have a WKTL venue within their metropolitan area or are further than 1-hour of drive-time from their primary residence.
      1. Drive time as measured from their home, to their venue, during the time when a WKTL sanctioned league would normally take place.
    2. Competitors that have a WKTL venue in their metropolitan area or within 1 hour of their primary residence but the venue did not have enough participants to run a sanctioned WKTL season.
  1. For WKTL sanctioned tournaments, tiebreakers will be determined by the average tournament score.
    1. For example, in a tournament, if player A & B are tied in 5th and 6th place, the Player with the highest average will be in 5th place and the subsequent player will be in 6th place.

Section O: Open Qualifiers

  1. Qualifying throws taking place in person at a WKTL venue with the purpose of qualifying a number of players to a Major or Televised Tournament.
    1. Open to anyone that has participated in a WKTL Sanctioned League in the preceding year
      1. Exceptions for the 2021 year:
        1. A WKTL venue was open but was unable to have enough participants to run a sanctioned league; participants are eligible to participate in Open Qualifiers as long as they live within a 1-hour driving distance to a WKTL venue from their primary residence
        2. Participant does not have a WKTL venue within a 2-hour total travel distance from their primary residence to do their Qualifying Throws
          1. Where travel is defined as driving, ferry, but does not include public transportation or air travel
    2. Open Qualifiers will consist of 50 throws
      1. Mandatory Killshot on every 5th and 10th throw
        1. Standard league play of open Killshots does not apply
      2. 10 overtime Killshot throws (used as tie-breakers)
  2. Venues set a time to hold their Open Qualifier before the stated deadline
  3. Venues may set Open Qualifier prices as they wish. WKTL suggests the following price:
    1. $25 per person
  4. Venues will pay WKTL a qualifier fee of $5 per thrower
    1. WKTL will place a minimum of 50% of qualifier fees in the main tournament prize pool
  5. Local venues must have at least one WKTL Certified Judge on-premise to judge throws and collect scores
    1. Any participant found to be scoring themselves will immediately be disqualified from the qualifying competition and be removed from all lottery availability for the remainder of the year
  6. Open Qualifier Rules for those wishing to compete without a participating WKTL venue nearby will make their throws at home or at a non-WKTL venue:
    1. Must not have a participating WKTL venue within a 2-hour drive
    2. Scoring and processing:
      1. Intent to participate must be emailed to WKTL 2-6 weeks prior to the event date:
        1. wktl@worldknifethrowingleague.com
        2. Subject Line: Open Qualifier [Tournament]
        3. Body text: please include your home address including a picture of your driver’s license for verification. State your intent to participate in the upcoming Open Qualifier
      2. Upon receiving the final video submission, WKTL will send a video processing invoice of $25 plus any applicable taxes to be paid in full for scores to be processed
    3. Guidelines for video submissions (All criteria must be met):
      1. All throws must be recorded in at least 1080p quality, uploaded to Youtube, and the link submitted directly to WKTL, wktl@worldknifethrowingleague.com.
      2. Throws must also be streamed live to a Facebook page/group as determined by WKTL during a specified time frame.
      3. During each throw, the thrower and fault line must be visible.
        1. Refer to this video for correct camera placement
      4. The camera must be taken to retrieve knives to show knives scoring on each throw, zooming into each side of the knife to ensure the paint is broken on both sides.
      5. The player must show, on their stream, on a secondary device, the time as shown on the following website: https://time.is/.
    4. Any player found intentionally cheating during qualifiers will be immediately suspended for a period of 12 months from any WKTL sanctioned event 
    5. Players caught abusing the system through multiple submissions or cherry-picked throws will be immediately suspended for a period of 12 months from any WKTL sanctioned event

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