SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) – “They thought, maybe we’ll have a dozen or 20 people but now we’re at over 325 people competing globally,” said Mario Zelaya, Founder of the World Axe Throwing League and the CEO of Bad Axe Throwing.

What started as a simple idea has now become the Quarantine Axe Throwing League, with competitors all over the world.

“So the idea is, if I have a match against someone in Ireland, Europe, the U.S. or Canada I can just pick up my phone and call them through messenger and we can have a virtual game,” said Zelaya.

Axe throwing has grown in popularity over the last few years as a fun way to spend a night out with your friends. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the sport has moved to a different venue.

“Building a target itself is easy, it’s about $50 worth of lumber from your local hardware store,” said Zelaya.

Zelaya told me setting up your own, at-home axe throwing lane is simple, and getting the right gear can be found easily online.

Just like if you visit a Bad Axe location in person though, safety comes first.

“When you have two targets side-by-side you throw together and retrieve the axes together. So the idea is you aren’t throwing when someone is getting their axe from the target. That’s a key concept and rule,” said Zelaya. “The other thing is to make sure you’re throwing from the 12 foot mark and you aren’t crossing that mark. And you retrieve the axe when it is completely still, whether on the floor or target, at that point you cross the line to pick it up.”

As long as safety rules are followed, joining an axe throwing league may be the perfect hobby to pick up during these times of social distancing.

“It’s a thing people can do instead of watching NETFLIX all day they can do something that’s challenging and pick up a new sport. It’s a great way to relieve stress and there’s something thrilling about throwing an axe and having it stick in the target,” said Zelaya.