A large group of axe throws crowds together in building, one half red brick and one half white brick. They smile and wave for the camera.

Urban Rules

Examining Urban Rules

TL;DR and what's next for our new ruleset!

We’ve got a LOT of information we’ve been working through and are excited to share with you after the Urban Open and the Cincinnati Chili Classic. We’ve condensed it down into a TL;DR on this page, so you can get a quick overview of the key points and changes, as well as expanding these topics into three blog posts, for anyone interested in further data and analysis!

Further reading:

Urban Rules – Analysis: Delves into Urban Rules tournament statistics and what they can tell us about how the ruleset impacts thrower choices and match outcomes.

Urban Rules + Swiss Survey Results: A look at some of the common responses to our Urban Rules and Swiss tournament survey questions and how we plan to address them.

Urban Rules Updates: We discuss the changes we're making to Urban Rules and how we believe they will improve our tournaments.


  • Stats from our Urban Rules Tiered Swiss Tournaments and the Cincinnati Chili Classic can now be found at tournaments.urbanaxes.com
  • Urban Rules reduces the difference in average points per axe between throwers of different tournament tiers and encourages higher clutch call percentages under multiple fifth-axe scenarios by throwers from all tiers as well – See more in our Urban Rules Analysis post!
  • Big Axe tiebreakers are more decisive under Urban Rules with the addition of 4- and 2-point values and the inclusion of touch and Premier Clutches
  • Swiss tournaments significantly increase the playtime for most of a tournament field while maintaining a similar amount of playtime for tournament finalists as they would receive in a Double-Elimination tournament. Check out our tournament format comparison here!
  • We will uphold the “one axe” rule as 66.7% of survey respondents support allowing competitors to throw only one hatchet and one Big Axe in each match – Click here to read more of our survey feedback!


Urban Rules Updates

We are changing the Clutch values from 5/8 to 6 for touch Clutch and 7 for Premier Clutch.

  • This change was requested by many respondents to our Urban Open Survey.
  • It will increase the frequency of Big Axe tiebreakers by offering more opportunities for competitors to tie on fifth axe.


Our Swiss tournament standings will now be ranked by 1) Match Wins/Losses, 2) Rounds Won, 3) TB (Tiebreaker), and 4) Rounds Lost.

  • Least Rounds Lost previously ranked before highest TB in the tournament standings.


Learn more about these changes in our Urban Rules Updates blog post!