To qualify for the National Axe Throwing Championships players must qualify via four possible routes for NATC Round 1 to advance to the Final Round.
Qualification for National Axe Throwing Championship Round 1 is possible via four routes:
1. Winning a Regional Tournament
2. Earning a spot in the top 4 Champion Points of a axe throwing league (The Top 4 Rule)
3. Having an average of 70 or better in three non-concurrent axe throwing league seasons (The 70 Rule)
4. Winning a Wild Card Tournament
1. Regional Tournament
Regional tournaments are one day double elimination tournaments for axe throwing competition within a single regional division to qualify for Round 1 of the NATC.
2. Top 4 Rule
Champions Points are awarded at the end of every regulation axe throwing league season and totaled at the end of the calendar year. The top 4 Champions Points earners in each NATF league qualify for Round 1 of the NATC.
Four players will qualify from each league. The top 4 players, ranked by Champion Points earned in a league, qualify to represent that league. Players that have already qualified by winning a Regional tournament are removed from consideration, meaning a league's top 4 may adjust, with the fifth player moving into the top 4 if a regional winner is removed.
Players are encouraged to play in multiple axe throwing leagues, however a player can qualify to represent only one league (called their Home league). If a player is among the top 4 players, ranked by Champion Points, of more than one league, their Home league becomes the league where they earned the most Champion Points; they represent that league and the player is removed from consideration from the other leagues, meaning the other leagues' top 4 adjust, with the fifth player moving into the top 4.