A large group of axe throwers stand and sit in the parking lot in front of a building. The building is red brick on the left with the Urban Axes logo on the front and white brick on the right. The throwers make up a mix of ages, genders, and races and they smile for the camera.

Baltimore, MD • Tournaments & Events

2024 Urban Open

What to expect at this year's event!

2024 Urban Open event cover

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 2nd

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, and the winners are crowned the Jones Cup King and Queen!

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

Tickets for Jones Cup will be released along with Skills tickets closer to the event, and we'll announce their sales date on our event page and on our Facebook event.

Urban Rules Tiered Swiss

Saturday, August 3rd

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

Tiered Tournaments

All throwers competing in Urban Rules Tiered Swiss tournaments will buy the same ticket and register for the same event. Throwers will then be ranked by their IATF average (Standard or Premier whichever is higher). We're in the process of determining how to best compare Standard and Premier averages with the higher averages players achieve under the updated Premier Rules, as well as how to calculate an accurate 12-month average due to merging of old and new Premier Rules stats. We'll announce how we plan to address this prior to ticket sales. For WATL throwers, we will calculate an equivalent IATF average for use in this ranking.

The resulting average ranking is used to split the players 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 on throwers as they experience the thrill of appearing in  their first tournament finals.

Urban Rules

As their name suggests, the Urban Rules Tiered Swiss tournaments are played under Urban Rules, our new scoring system which combines elements of the IATF Premier and Standard rulesets. We introduced Urban Rules with the goal of allowing throwers of all ability levels to throw together under the same ruleset at our events. We've run many Urban Rules tournaments over the past year, and we made updates to the ruleset last fall thanks to the feedback of throwers at last year's Urban Open and other events. Click here to view the current ruleset.

The key differences in Urban Rules are the 2, 4, and 6 point values it introduces into the target. A Premier bullseye remains 5 points, but an axe that crosses the black line between a bullseye and a three receives 4 points. Similarly, a blade crossing the red line between the three and one receives 2 points. For Clutches, a touch Clutch scores 6 points and a Premier Clutch scores 7 point.

Swiss Tournaments

Urban Swiss is a tournament format we've hosted at many Urban Axes events over the past few years. This format allows us to provide more matches to all the throwers that enter. 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, so everyone who enters is guaranteed to play a set minimum number of matches; this number is dependent on registrations, but we aim for a minimum of 5 matches per player. 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. To learn more, read our blog post explaining the Swiss tournament format and player strategy.

Our Swiss tournaments will be divided into brackets of up to 32 players, which allows us to finish the Round Robin with 1 undefeated competitor from each bracket. Players are then ranked by their 1) Match Wins/Losses, 2) Rounds Won, 3) TB (Tiebreaker), and 4) Rounds Lost, with the top throwers advancing to a Single Elimination bracket. We then play through the Single Elimination bracket until a champion from each tier is crowned!

Morning and Afternoon Sessions

We want to accommodate as many throwers as possible in our Urban Rules Tiered Swiss tournaments and will likely run morning and afternoon Swiss sessions as we did during last year's event.

Once we know how many throwers will be competing, we will split the field as appropriate 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 include the most throwers with less overcrowding while still providing everyone more matches for their money! The tournament finals for all tiers will take place after the afternoon Swiss session has concluded, so all throwers that advance will need to be present Saturday evening.

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 the updated 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 in an open tournament with no qualification required.

The Urban Open is designated as a Grand Slam in the IATF Tournament Circuit, meaning the top 4 throwers will qualify for Round 2 of the 2025 International Axe Throwing Championship!

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, Joe Nessler, and Cameron Dubrow. 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 Rules Tiered Swiss Tournaments will be $120 and tickets for the Urban Open will be $100. Tickets for both events go on sale Thursday, May 30th at 6pm EDT.

Tickets for Jones Cup and Skills events will go on sale at a later date! We will announce their sale date on our event page and on our Facebook event, so please RSVP so we can keep you up to date on all things Urban Open.