Format Doors will open an hour before competition begins at all venues to allow for practice time. In the preliminary round, players will be randomly split into groups of four. Players will take to their assigned lane, then throw the equivalent of 3 matches (a total of 45 throws) and 9 Big Axes:
In this round, competitors are not facing off one on one against an opponent, as in standard competition, rather, the goal here is to throw for the highest point total possible;
In this round, competitors will be ranked against others from the same organization:
This is to ensure that each organization has their proper percentage of representation in the final stage of the tournament:
See “Stage 2”.
Once each group of 4 competitors has taken to their assigned lane, they will throw 15 axes in a row, scoring points under standard NATF scoring rules with the option to call and throw for clutch every 5th throw;
Every 15 axes, scores will be tallied and competitors will move one lane to the right and throw another 15 axes until everyone has thrown 45 times:
Competitors on the far right lane will move to the far left lane of the arena when necessary;
Between every set of 15 throws, competitors can request a board change similar to regulation competition.
Each set of 15 throws will count as the score for 1 match totaling 3 match scores for every competitor. Players will receive the average match score from these 3 matches:
e.g. for a competitor’s first set of 15 throws they throw a total match score of 42, in their second set, a 67, and in their third set, a 61. The total axe points obtained over the 3 matches is 170, divided by 3 to obtain an average score of 56.67. This average score is the determining factor that will decide who goes on to the next stage.
Competitors will also throw 9 big axes, recording their total score. In the event of a tie in average score, the cumulative big axe score will be used as the tie breaker:
For example, 2 competitors finish with a 56.67 average score:
Thrower “A” scores 3 points on all 9 of their big axe throws, giving them a cumulative big axe score of 27;
Thrower “B” throws seven 3 point throws and drops 2 axes, giving them a cumulative big axe score of 21;
Thrower “A” will be ranked above thrower “B” in this stage of the tournament.
Ranking Once all preliminary rounds are complete, competitors will be ranked based on their average score, using the cumulative big axe score as a tie breaker if needed. These rankings will be used to determine who moves on and who gets eliminated:
The 2018 NATC tournament is currently set to have 128 competitors move on to the final stage:
This number may increase at the discretion of the NATF.
Their position within this stage of the tournament is determined by the champions points accumulated throughout the calendar year, not the preliminary round scores.