A zoomed out photo of all the participants of the 2019 Urban Open outside of Urban Axes Baltimore

Tournaments & Events

2023 Urban Open

What to expect at this year's event!

urban open event cover sans ticket sales

Multiple events make up the Urban Open weekend. Here's a run-down this year's events and their formats so you know what to expect in Baltimore!

Jones Cup

Friday, August 4th

Jones Cup returns to the Urban Open this year and we look forward to crowning a new king and queen! Jones Cup is a unique doubles format featuring mixed gender teams, and each match between two teams consists of three rounds:

  • Round 1: Singles, best of 5 throws
  • Round 2: Singles, best of 5 throws
  • Round 3: Mixed doubles, best of 5 throws


Jones Cup features two stages: a Group Stage and a Single Elimination tournament. Teams are randomly placed in groups of 4 and face-off against each of the other 3 teams in their group in a round-robin format. Each team plays 3 matches in their Round Robin group before any elimination occurs. The top two teams in each group progress from the Group Stage of the event to the Single Elimination tournament.

The Jones Cup will be using IATF Premier rules for the duration of the event!

The Jones Cup Group will be split into two timeslots "Jones Cup 5pm" and "Jones Cup 6pm." Teams will register for either timeslot and will receive warm-ups the hour prior to their scheduled Group Stage matches. The top 16 teams from each timeslot will advance to the Single Elimination portion of Jones Cup immediately following the completion of the Group Stage.

Tickets are $65 for a team of 2 and will be available for each timeslot on a first come, first served basis. Only one member of each Jones Cup team will register their team and should include both partners Axescores or axethrowing.org URLs in the notes section of their booking. A Team Name is also a mandtaory field when signing up!

Visit our event page on June 27 at 8pm EDT to purchase!

Skills Events

Friday August 4th

Lucky 7's Blackjack

This game was first introduced at our Ladyblades & Urban Madness tournaments in Durham last march. Throwers have 7 throws to score 21 points while throwing 1.5 rotation hatchet. If they successfully hit 3 Clutches in a row during the first three throws, they may stop throwing and end on a perfect score. If not, Clutches are closed and they must throw all 7 throws and reach 21 points through the main target, including throwing for zeroes if necessary. 

As in most Blackjack variations, throws must be fully within a single point value to score those points. Any blade that crosses between two point values scores zero. Drops are -4 points and Clutches are touch scoring.

Variety Show Yahtzee

This game features of teams of 4 trying to score 6 specific areas of the IATF target.

Round 1: 1 point ring

Round 2: 3 point ring

Round 3: Bullseye

Round 4: Zero (Blades must stick in zero point region of the  3 target boards)

Round 5: Straight (Players must elect to throw either a 1, 3, 5, or Clutch)

Round 6: Clutch

Teams receive points when all 4 players successfully hit the target area for the round within 3 throws. Each missed attempt by an individual player loses 10 points, and if any player misses the target area 3 times in a row, the team scores no points for that round.

Variety Show Yahtzee adds the additional fun and challenge of assigning each player a different throw they must use in all 6 rounds. Teams will throw Big Axe, Underhand, 1.5 rotation, and Ambidextrous, with one player of the team assigned to each type of throw.

For the player throwing Ambi, they must hit the target area for the round with both axes to close that round. If both axes hit, no points are deducted. If one axe hits and the other does not, 10 points are deducted and the player must throw again with the hand that missed the target area on the previous throw. If both axes miss, 10 points are deducted and the player must throw both axes again.

At the end of the game, the points and deductions accumulated by each team are used to calculate their final score and rank them among all the teams competing. The top 2 teams will play again in the event finals.

Ticket for both Skills will go on sale June 27 at 8pm EDT. Click here to visit our event page and purchase!

Urban Rules Tiered Swiss

Saturday, August 5th

This one-of-a-kind tournament is comprised of three elements that each require a little explanation, so let's break it down.

Tiered Tournaments

All throwers competing in Urban Rules Tiered Swiss tournaments will sign up for the event together. Throwers will then be ranked by their IATF average over the last 12 months (Standard or Premier + 15%, whichever is higher). For any WATL throwers, we will calculate an equivalent IATF average for use in this ranking. We will use this ranking to split the field into their respective tiers, and the number of tiers and how many throwers are in each will be determined by the amount of registrations we receive for this event.

We've found our Tiered Tournaments to be some of the most exciting and popular events at the Urban Open and other Urban Axes tournaments. We believe they represent one of the best ways to make sure that ALL levels of throwers can experience a competitive tournament environment, and we all love cheering throwers on as they experience the thrill of appearing on the Live Stream of a tournament finals for the first time.

Urban Rules

These tiered tournaments won't be run under separate Premier and Standard rulesets. Instead, all competitors will be playing under a brand-new scoring system we recently announced called Urban Rules. We've developed this ruleset expressly for use in Urban Axes tournaments, and it is intended to address some of the feedback we’ve heard from the axe throwing community about the divisions caused by Premier and Standard rulesets. We've designed Urban Rules to accommodate both Premier and Standard axe throwers, and these rules provide us another way to bring throwers of all ability levels together at our tournaments while remaining challenging, strategic, and fun! Click here to read more!

We will be running trial events with Urban Rules between now and the Urban Open, and we will be updating the ruleset based on the results of our testing and feedback from the axe throwing community. We will publish any changes to the ruleset in advance of the Urban Open, but the current iteration gives a good picture of how the Urban Rules Swiss tournaments will be scored

Swiss Tournaments

For those unfamiliar with Swiss tournaments, this is a new tournament style for axe throwing that Urban Axes has hosted at our Ladyblades/Madness and Urban Only tournaments within the past year. Urban Swiss is a two stage tournament comprised of a Round Robin stage and a Single Elimination Bracket.

The Round Robin portion of the Swiss format is non-eliminating, which guarantees everyone who enters will play at least 5 matches before anyone gets eliminated. No more 0-2! The Swiss format is also self-leveling, so opponents in each round will have the same (or a very similar) win/loss record, offering more evenly skilled matches as the Swiss tournament progresses. For a more in-depth explanation, check out blog post from last year's Urban Only Swiss tournament.

Our Swiss tournaments will be divided into 32-person brackets, which allows us to finish the Round Robin with 1 undefeated competitor from each bracket. Players are ranked by their wins and losses throughout the Swiss portion, and only the top 8 from each bracket will advance. These throwers will join the other qualifying competitors from their tournament tier in a Single Elimination bracket, and we will crown a champion from each tier!

Morning and Afternoon Sessions

Our Urban Rules Tiered Swiss tournaments will be one of the first opportunities for the wider axe throwing community to try out this new scoring format, and we want to extend that opportunity to as many throwers as possible.

We'll be running two Swiss sessions, a morning and an afternoon. We will split the field as appropriate once we know how many throwers will be competing and notify everyone of the timeslot and tier in which they will be throwing. Some throwers will arrive early but have the afternoon off to relax and some throwers will arrive later but won't receive the afternoon break. The morning and afternoon sessions will allow us to accomodate the most throwers with less overcrowding while still providing everyone more matches for their money!

If you sign up to compete in the Urban Rules Tiered Swiss tournaments, please plan to attend both Saturday and Sunday of the Urban Open weekend. The Single Elimination tournament may be played on either day depending on scheduling, and its timing will be announced with the full tournament schedule in advance of the event.

Urban Open

Sunday, August 6th

This is the flagship event of the tournament weekend and the one that started it all. The Urban Open will be played as a random-seeded, double elimination tournament. The tournament begins on Sunday morning, and we will work our way through the bracket until we reach the finals in the late afternoon. This event will be scored under IATF Premier Rules but is open to throwers of all ability levels. It presents a great opportunity experience the scale and challenge of a major tournament like the International Axe Throwing Championship but with no limits on qualification.

In addition to prize money, the winner of the Urban Open receives the Clutch Jacket and joins the ranks of throwers such as Stefan Herda, Mike Kump, Shane Shep, and Joe Nessler. It's a coveted trophy representing a significant accomplishment, and you could be the one to wear it home this year!

Ticket Information

Tickets for the Urban Open have SOLD OUT but there is a waitlist available. Urban Rules Tiered Swiss tournaments tickets are on sale now but only a few remain! Click here to purchase!

Tickets for Jones Cup & Skills events go on Tuesday, June 27 at 8:00 PM EDT! Urban Open After Party tickets will go on sale at a later date, and we will announce their sale in advance here and on our the Facebook event page. Be sure to check back often for updates and other information!