The World Championship in Knife and Axe Throwing 2016 took place in the Italian Dolomites - evoking memories of the 2012 event. From July 21st to 24th, the knife town of Maniago was host to the EuroThrowers World Championship - and in parallel holding a knife festival. As a historical knife manufacturing town, Maniago has a reputation similar to Solingen in Germany - and showed off its craft: On the central piazza, Damascus steel was treated, and in the Palazzo d'Attimis, custom knife makers presented their beauties. My personal highlight were two young smiths, him and her hitting the hot iron in turns, artfully producing a catchy tune.
The championship was organised by the Italian club SILCA, with the team around president Stefano Cristini being alert to flexibly solve any arising hiccups in the orchestra of the competitions. The food provided directly on the walled-in competition grounds (called "La Centa Dei Conti") was also very Italian: City volunteers had set up a kitchen, and offered freshly made specialities such as Frittata and Caponata. With the temperatures going beyond 30°C, it was a good thing the bar was open all day. To deal with sweaty hands, the participants had their own remedies, such as a bag with fine sand from Brittany (Pierre's solution).
Again, the World Championship was the largest gathering of knife and axe throwers worldwide: 133 participants (104 of them male) from 11 nations came to the traditional Big Throwers Meeting to exchange ideas and compete. The Russian team, a strong presence since several years, for the first time made it to the podium in the country ranking.
During the weekend, there were always 15 spectators on site, who came over from the knife festival in town. They were often more interested in the diverse throwing activities at the training targets, then in the very orderly precision throwing in the competition area (which was also roped off more generously).
Apart from the World Championship walkback event, the speed throwing and long distance throwing, there were two new experimental events, selected by the organiser SILCA: with slanted target the goal was to stick knives into planks being put up on a slanted angle to the ground, target areas being painted on. The key was to adjust the distance by choosing where to look. For hunter, a hoop was thrown onto the ground, and the participant had to remain in it for the throws - without knowing the distance. Two targets where slanted, and one tree round even swinging - a challenge putting new faces onto the podium.
The instinctive throwing event saw a participation of 31 throwers that used unique styles to throw their knives without them spinning. The no spin aficionados were very active in giving brief courses in their art to curious people from the vast majority of traditional spin throwers, to educate them about their throwing philosophy.
For the speed throwing event, stylish knives were provided. The sponsor LionSteel designed and produced them specifically for the Championship, and each participant was offered one to take home as highly polished memory.
Again, many knives changed hands in Maniago - mostly bartered for other knives, but beside the arbiter tent there also was a table with custom made knives (hand made or produced in small batches) offered for sale by participants. As usual, the interaction between the participants of the throwers meeting was very friendly and open.
The World Championship in Knife and Axe Throwing was a great success. The athletes were delighted by the cordial, relaxed atmosphere, the clearly structured event grounds, the great food and the varied events. Many thanks to Stefano Cristini, Maurizio Davani and all the helping hands from SILCA for making this World Championship happen!
The EuroThrowers umbrella organisation (with currently 18 member clubs) has the concern of making sure that there is a common Championship each year, and negotiates standard rules for it. The organisation of a Championship is always accomplished by a local club – this year it was hold by KATTA UK. The EuroThrowers assist in planning, and care for the international promotion of the event.
A big Thank You to Jacqueline Boof, the treasurer, who tended to the lists, and collected the membership fees on site!
The hosting club SILCA, represented by the organiser, Stefano Cristini.
Maurizio Davani for working tirelessly in the preparation, and in the recording the official results.
Tiziana Di Carlo
Duri Vetsch and Christian Thiel of the EuroThrowers for the international promotion and coordination.
The rules used for the Championship in Maniago were published months before. They are listed below.
One change to the published rules was announced on site by SILCA:
The organisers could not put a human or animal silhouette on the target board, as this would have violated local customs, and would not have been compatible with the image of the sport that they are promoting. Hence, the silhouette was replaced with a narrow geometric structure, closer to the target circles, and the scoring was simplified to +5/0/-5 points.
For each event, the thrower has to show up with three throwing tools (knives/axes). Exceptions only for throwing tools damaged during the meeting.
If ties need to be resolved, the following additional ranking factor will be used: The number of times a participant scored a 5-point stick (further using 4-3-2 sticks if necessary).
For the precision events, there will be four combined virtual rankings (without titles to win): For women, men, knives and axes separately. Knives combine the 3m, 5m and 7m events, axes combine the 4m, 5m and 7m events.
The points achieved in each event will first be normalised, and then summed up. Normalisation here means that in each event, the best thrower will receive 100 normalised points. This ensures that a point in a more demanding event (like 7m knives) also carries more weight in the combined ranking.
The combined precision rankings are the basis for the qualifications for World Championship Precision, and the ranking of countries. There are no other rankings that combine several events.
For the title of World Champion in Knife/Axe Precision Throwing, we will use the walk-back-mode.
Only the 20% best throwers from the standard precision events (including axe 5m) are qualified for this event. Minimal number of participants per title: men 20, women 5.
The event will be held at the following marked distances: Knife 3, 4, 5, 6, 7m, axe 4, 5, 7, 8, 10m.
The thrower will throw at 4 target groups (we say he makes 4 “runs”). At each target group (consisting of three targets), he will throw one round of three throws per distance mark - starting behind the closest distance mark and moving back behind the next distance mark after completing the previous round. He will thus throw at all distance marks in one run. The number of throws in one run at a target group is thus: 5 distances x 3 throws per round = 15 throws.
The thrower does not have to stand at the distance mark, but can move back a maximum of 100cm minus the length of his foot.
The three countries with the best throwers will be recognised.
The country ranking will be based on the normalised cumulative precision scores of the 5 best throwers of each country (male and female combined). The score is thus based on the results of the six knife and axe precision events. Countries with less than five participants who have thrown the full six precision events will not be included in the ranking.
Knife throwing into targets that are grouped around a silhouette. Hits inside the silhouette will cost you a penalty of minus 10 points. Distance minimum 3m.
Detailed Silhouette rules: PDF / OpenOffice