Sixteen axe throwers of multiple races and genders stand in an axe throwing arena in front of two axe throwing targets. There are smiling and some are holding up peace signs or "rock on" signs with their hands.

Urban Rules

Urban Rules + Swiss Survey Results

Feedback on Urban Rules & Swiss vs. Double-Elimination Tournaments

Survey Feedback

We sent out a survey following the Urban Open to generate feedback about the event. It included many specific questions about Urban Rules and the Tiered Swiss tournaments. Here were some of the common responses:

There wasn’t enough Big Axe.”

Our data seems to bear this out, as when throwers were separated by 1 or 2 points, it was not possible to end the round in a tie. Throwers tied on fifth axe remained tied less often than in Premier Rules as well, as the possibility of a Premier Clutch, touch Clutch, or missed Clutch attempt makes throwers less likely to achieve the same result on their final throw of the round. The latter is to be expected when introducing touch Clutch points, but we can increase the number of ties when players are apart by 1 or 2 points by adjusting the Clutch values. Note that Big Axe tiebreakers will always be inherently shorter with the addition of a 4-point value and touch Clutch, but more decisive Big Axe tiebreakers has been largely popular in the feedback we’ve received and rewards the more accurate Big Axe thrower.

Touch Clutch should be worth more.”

This was the most common suggestion to improve the ruleset we received, and we will be following suit and raising the touch Clutch value to 6 pts. We were initially hesitant to do this as we expected the touch Clutch percentages of many of the top players to be very high and thought this would remove much of the risk from a Clutch attempt. The average successful Clutch attempt (Premier and touch combined) percentage for each tier was:

  • Over: 67%
  • Mid: 39%
  • Under: 26%


This would suggest top tier players would benefit most from a higher touch Clutch value. However, only 25 throwers out 158 had a better Clutch percentage than Premier bullseye percentage: 10 in the Over, 7 in the Mid, and 8 in the Under. This shows that there are players at all levels that will benefit from a higher touch Clutch value, and most players still have a better chance of hitting a Premier bullseye than a touch Clutch. Having data and statistics like this is also beneficial for showing throwers how their performance compares to others in their current tier and offering benchmarks to which they might aspire as they grow in experience and attempt to progress to the next tier.

How do you feel about the one axe rule?

We were unsure where throwers would fall on this rule, but 66.7% of respondents were in favor of the rule while 13.9% were opposed. Another 19.4% were neutral, expressing no preference or an ability to see both sides of the equation. We will uphold the one axe rule, as we feel it does provide an additional challenge that is beneficial with the introduction of touch and Premier Clutch.

The Swiss bracket should be Double-Elimination.”

We’re committed to running Swiss + Single-Elimination tournaments because we believe they provide the best value experience for the broadest set of tournament competitors, and we’ll delve into that later in this Blog post. We also hope people will understand that Swiss + Single-Elimination and Double-Elimination tournaments are like apples and oranges. The benefit of Swiss is it produces a seeded order of throwers for Single-Elimination, rewarding those that performed best during the Swiss rounds. The disadvantage of an unseeded Single-Elimination is mitigated by the second round of matches, i.e. Double-Elimination. We believe that seeded throwers coming out of Swiss already have the advantage they need to progress through a Single-Elimination bracket, without the need for Double-Elimination.

Other notable takeaways from the survey:

  • 64.1% named Urban Rules Tiered Swiss their favorite event of weekend
  • 77.8% enjoyed Urban Rules
  • When asked which ruleset they would choose if they could only play one:
    • 50% chose Urban Rules
    • 25% chose Premier Rules
    • 25% chose Standard Rules
  • When asked how they feel about Swiss tournaments versus Double-Elimination tournaments:
    • 61.1% said they enjoy both equally.
    • 30.6% said they prefer Swiss tournaments.
    • 8.3% said they prefer Double-Elimination tournaments


Swiss vs. Double-Elimination: A Value Proposition

Most of our Urban Rules events thus far have been held as Swiss tournaments. We believe Swiss Tournaments + Single-Elimination provides a better value proposition for the majority of the tournament field than the traditional Double-Elimination format. Here’s a comparison of how each tournament format impacts the number of throws for its participants:

  • During the Swiss portion of the Urban Open tiered tournaments, the average amount of hatchets thrown for each competitor was 98.5 and the median was 99 (this ranged from 120 to 71). During the Urban Open Double-Elimination tournament, the average was 77.5, median 69 (this ranged from 230 to 25). This excludes any axes from the Single-Elimination portion of Urban Rules Tiered Swiss tournaments in which the top 8 or 16 players from each tier played additional matches. Every player in Swiss threw more axes than the median number in the Double-Elimination tournament, and this has the largest impact for players that would otherwise finish 0-2 as it can easily triple the amount of throws they receive in a tournament.
  • Players that reached the finals of the Single-Elimination Bracket of the Urban Rules Tiered Swiss threw almost as many axes as the finalists in the Double-Elimination Urban Open. Cameron Dubrow threw the most hatchets in the Urban Open at 230 while Graham Bassett threw the most hatchets in Urban Swiss at 210. Furthermore, the Urban Swiss tournament in which Graham competed had 64 competitors, half the size of the Urban Open. Throwers that finish at the top of a Swiss tournament get a similar amount of play to what they would in a Double-Elimination tournament.
  • 29 of 128 throwers (22.7%) threw over 100 hatchets on Sunday during the Urban Open, while 96 of 158 throwers (60.8%) threw over 100 hatchets on Saturday during Urban Rules Tiered Swiss.
  • More than half the field of the Urban Open (69 people) threw fewer than 71 hatchets, which is the least number of hatchets thrown by any player in the Swiss tournaments.


These numbers show Swiss tournaments significantly increase the playtime for most of a tournament field while maintaining a similar amount of playtime for those that progress to the final stages of a Double-Elimination tournament.

Click here to learn about our Urban Rules Updates and how we hope they will improve the current ruleset!