Who will be the Battle Axe Champion?

A group date activity involving sharp implements and competition = a dubious decision?

Group date night. My hubby and I are fortunate enough to be a part of a circle of friends that make such a thing a reality roughly every 4 months or so. Among the 7 couples, we take turns planning the dates, involving activity and food. Then on the appointed days, we ditch our kids with babysitters, and enjoy some company, food and  activities with only adults.

This past spring, the planned activity was battle axe throwing. https://badaxethrowing.com/ In general, the point of it all is to throw the axe 10 meters and have it stick in the plywood target as close to the bullseye as possible. The bullseye scored you 6 points, with the score decreasing the with each subsequent ring of the target. To make things interesting, there are two small blue circles worth 10-points located within the 1-point ring, at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions.

The nine of us split into two teams. Eric was captain of Team Axe FX; Aneil the captain of Team Buns on the Run. The teams battled over the course of 3 different tournaments, each tournament with a different objective to achieve. The day ended with a forth tournament: the individual knockout.

Who will be battle axe champion?

The final two contestants in the final round of our individual knockout tournament read the scoreboard before going to their lanes. Arthur = 29 points. Stan = 32 points. They gripped their respective axes for their 10th and final throw. Facing a deficit of three points going into this last round, Arthur let Stan step up to the line first.

Stan took a deep breath, raised the axe over his head, and hurled the sharp instrument to the target 10 meters away.

“Four points!” Stan now had a total of 36 points. You could see Arthur quickly calculating the score, and the dawn of realization showing on his face. Arthur no longer had the possibility of tying, never mind winning, the match with a bulls-eye throw of 6 points. He would need to either go for the notoriously small and riskily placed targets of 10 points, or concede defeat.

Arthur had reason to consider to just concede the loss. His performance in this final round was wildly inconsistent, including several axes that failed to strike and stay in the target at all. Not only that, but in the prior team tournament game, he and the rest of the AxeFX team continually tried and failed to hit the 10-point markers.

But Arthur had reason to believe too. Earlier that afternoon, he was throwing like a battle axe champion, and became the first of our entire group to successfully hit one of the 10-point circles.

Which Arthur would show up for the final throw?

Game on

Arthur stepped up to the line. He squared his hips and shoulders toward the little blue circle. Our small crowd of friends hushed. He raised the axe over and behind, leaned back slightly, and then snapped his upper body forward. The axe sailed towards the target.

“10 points!!!” Our little crowd burst into mayhem and rushed forward to congratulate Arthur. The other groups in the facility looked over to see what the commotion was about. Stan reached Arthur with a big smile and a congratulatory handshake.

Final score: Stan =  36. Arthur = 39, Battle Axe Champion.axe_throwing_score

With that throw, Arthur joined his sports heroes in the tasting of sweet victory that comes from making the clutch shot in the final key moments for the win. Congratulations, Arthur!