The final stage of the tournament pits the top 192 throwers against each other in a double elimination playoff bracket at the National Axe Throwing Championships. The rules and format of the final stage are the same as regular season playoffs (see section 4):
These competitors are the top throwers from each organization as determined in the preliminary round: Their position or 'seeding' within this round of the tournament is determined by each player's preliminary round average score.
The winner of the previous year's NATC tournament is guaranteed entry into the final stage of the tournament, and does not throw in the prelimanry round:
The winner is still seeded in the playoff bracket based on their average score from Round 1.
If there is a tie in two competitor’s Round 1 average scores, their Round 1 big axe scores will be used to break the tie.
If a competitor is late for their first match and misses it, then they automatically forfeit that match and move to the “B” Bracket and their opponent will automatically advance to the next set of matches:
If the same competitor who missed their first match also misses their second match in the “B” bracket, they automatically forfeit that match and are eliminated from the tournament.