Six women crowd around one woman on the ground, clutching one another and cheering ecstatically. One woman wears a shirt that says "Urban Open" on the back and is wearing a backwards baseball cap. Another has purple hair.

Urban Rules

Urban Rules Updates

Changes to our ruleset based on your feedback!

Clutch Values Update

We have decided to shift the Urban Rules Clutch values from 5/8 to 6 for touch Clutch and 7 for Premier. This change has been requested by a lot of the throwers that have tried Urban Rules, and we’re excited to try it out and see where it takes us.

The biggest benefit we hope Urban Rules will receive from 6/7 Clutch values is in increasing the frequency of Big Axe tiebreakers. Using our existing data from both the Swiss and Bracket matches of the Urban Rules Tiered Swiss tournaments, and with the assumption that Clutch call behavior doesn’t change too dramatically from what we saw in Baltimore with the new scoring values, a 6/7 Clutch point scheme would have resulted in the following Big Axe changes:

Over Tier

  • There were 110 Big Axe tiebreakers under 5/8 Clutch values
  • With a change from 5/8 Clutches to 6/7 Clutches:
    • Loss of 10 Big Axe tiebreakers
    • Gain of 53 Big Axe tiebreakers
    • Net result is 43 more rounds of Big Axe


Mid Tier

  • There were 136 Big Axe tiebreakers under 5/8 Clutch values
  • With a change from 5/8 Clutches to 6/7 Clutches:
    • Loss of 13 Big Axe tiebreakers
    • Gain of 74 Big Axe tiebreakers
    • Net result is 61 more rounds of Big Axe


Under Tier

  • There were 30 Big Axe tiebreakers under 5/8 Clutch values
  • With a change from 5/8 Clutches to 6/7 Clutches:
    • Loss of 3 Big Axe tiebreakers
    • Gain of 17 Big Axe tiebreakers
    • Net result of 14 more rounds of Big Axe.
    • Note: the Under tier had half the competitors/half the matches of the Mid and Over tiers, hence why these numbers are much smaller. This tier also had a lower Clutch call percentage, resulting in less changes in round outcomes due to Clutch value changes.


The same held true for the Cincinnati Chili Classic, in which we had 42 rounds of Big Axe under 5/8 Clutch values. Shifting to 6- and 7-point touch and Premier Clutch values would have resulted in 6 fewer Big Axe tiebreakers but would add 29 tiebreakers, a net gain of 23 more Big Axe rounds.

We are hopeful that changing the Clutch values to 6 for touch Clutch and 7 for Premier Clutch can accomplish two requests of Urban Rules throwers with one rule change, by raising the value of touch Clutches and adding more Big Axe at the same time.

Swiss Standings Update

Our Swiss tournament standings currently rank throwers based on the following factors in order: 1) Match Wins/Losses, 2) Rounds Won, 3) Rounds Lost, and 4) TB or “tie breaker.” TB is a version of a Buchholz System and represents the total number of 5-throw rounds won by all of a player’s opponents during the Swiss bracket. A higher TB means a player’s opponents have won a lot of rounds, suggesting a greater degree of difficulty for that player’s match wins or losses, i.e. they’ve played harder opponents.

Under our current ranking system, players that enter the final match of the Swiss bracket 4-0 are at risk of falling multiple spots in the ranking if they lose their fifth match without winning a round. This hurts both their Rounds Won and Rounds Lost stats and can cause them to fall to the bottom of the 4-1 record group, despite reaching their fifth Swiss match undefeated.

We feel Rounds Won is an appropriate factor to include in our standings as it rewards players for taking 1 or 2 rounds in any matches they lose. However, Rounds Lost has the potential to penalize players for matches they lost during later stages of the tournaments. These round losses are also already included in the players’ TB stat, as any loss a thrower takes contributes to their opponents record and a higher TB score.

Going forward, our Swiss standings will shift the TB stat before Rounds Lost. This new system first rewards players for taking 1 or 2 or rounds in any matches they lost, an advantage they earn over throwers with the same record who may have been swept in their lost matches. Ranking by TB next will ensure players with tough opponents are ranked more accurately in their 4-1 or 3-2 record group, placing them ahead of players who may have the same number of match wins & losses while playing less challenging opponents.

We believe swapping the TB and Rounds Lost stats will make the Swiss tournament rankings fairer for throwers who win their first few matches and end up playing the highest-ranking opponents in the final Swiss rounds. These players receive a higher TB for playing opponents that end up with a 5-0 or 4-1 record and are now more likely to rank in the top of their 4-1 or 3-2 record group. Losing rounds is more likely in those matches, and this system rewards them for the difficulty of the match and for any rounds they may take off their opponent without penalizing them as heavily for any lost rounds.


We want to thank all of you that have played Urban Rules or provided your feedback on the ruleset thus far. Our goal is to provide a ruleset shaped by the axe throwing community and for the axe throwing community, and it is only possible through your participation. We remain committed to open and transparent proposals as we improve Urban Rules, and we appreciate the trust all of our throwers have placed in us as we work to drive axe throwing forward.