Since the debut of our Premier Ruleset we’ve paid close attention to the feedback from our Premier League players as well as the rest of the axe throwing community. While Premier Leagues have accomplished several of the key goals we identified when constructing the ruleset, we believe that no ruleset is free from the ability to grow and improve.
The move from majority scoring to ‘no bleed’ scoring for standard throws was a logical progression for our more advanced throwers competing in Premier Leagues, and the shrinking of the clutch to 2 inches on all targets was shown to be necessary in both Standard and Premier streams where ‘going for clutch’ was beginning to lose its sense of challenge.
While our clutch requirements for Premier have had the desired effect in regards to bringing successful clutch attempts made by high level players down, making them harder to hit and, therefore, more exciting to achieve, measuring these clutches has taken away a sense of spectacle and immediacy from the final throw of each round and affected the pace and flow of premier rules matches.
With that said, we are happy to announce an amendment to this rule and an addition to our clutch design to alleviate this issue moving forward. A 1 inch wide, 1.5 inch tall vertical rectangle will be drawn inside the center of each clutch. To achieve a Premier Clutch, a player’s axe must now come to rest with the blade breaking the top and bottom of this rectangle on the surface of the target.
Best practices for drawing these stripes, recommended equipment, and stencil offerings can be found here and this information has been relayed to all IATF member organizations. This rule will go into effect officially at the beginning of the 2022-2023 Season in March, however, clubs may institute these changes early for their Premier Leagues competing this year if they so wish.