Will the WKTL work?
Knife throwing is the older sibling of axe throwing. Recently the World Axe Throwing League (WATL)has announced they are entering into the realm of Knife throwing with the creation of the World Knife Throwing League or WKTL for short. The WATL is hoping the community and customers they have built over the last couple of years will carry over into the knife throwing world. But there are questions as to how well knife throwing will take off.
Knife throwing has been around for many years and many people who visit a venue to throw an axe for the first time have had some experience throwing a knife at some point in the past. To many people that have gotten into the competitive side of axe throwing, they first threw an axe because it was something new and fun to do with a group of friends or family. This one-time activity turned into an addictive hobby for many competitive throwers. To the average customer, knife throwing will not have the novelty appeal that throwing an axe has. The initial appeal to get people throwing knives will likely be more difficult than throwing axes because of this. It will be interesting to see how the WTKL goes about attracting new throwers from outside the axe throwing community.
The WKTL claims there is no governing body for the sport of knife throwing. But knife throwing seems to certainly have quite a few active competitive throwers as there are a great deal of knife throwing clubs, groups and alliances throughout the world. The site http://throwzini.com/events.html has a great list of established knife throwing groups and events located in the USA and around the world. So, we'll be watching to see how well the WKTL will compete with the many other well-established organizations around the world.
One of the great things about the axe throwing world is that throwers are free to throw which ever axe they choose, as long as it meets basic size and weight requirements. At the moment the only knife that is allowed to be thrown in a WKTL match are the knives made and sold by the WKTL. Many of the existing throwing knife designs do not meet the requirements of the WKTL knives. Which will ultimately drive away many seasoned knife throwers who do not want to replace they knives they have been throwing for years. This also means that if you want to compete in a sanctioned WKTL event you must purchase your knives through the WKTL at the price they choose. The axe throwing community is one that loves to collect and throw many different axes, as is evident in that many of throwers carry around a bag full of axes. It brings into question how well the axe throwing community will take to knife throwing if they can only use one type of knife sold by one manufacturer.
The WKTL also requires all future knife designs to be tested and approved by the WKTL. This will certainly be a sticking point for many potential knife throwers and knife manufacturers. One has to wonder what will it take for a knife to be approved by the WKTL? Will simply meeting the size, weight and safety requirements be enough or will the WKTL require some sort of royalty or fee for any new design to be used in a WKTL sanctioned event to offset the revenue lost by knives being sold not through the WKTL?
To kick off the WKTL the WATL is having a knife throwing tournament during the WATL US Open in early April. The level of competition at this event will be something to look at. A couple of months and no leagues is a short amount of time and practice for tournament to gain enough skilled competitors within a new sport. Having the first WKTL event at a marquee WATL tournament is a good move to generate interest and exposure to many axe throwing competitors however.
Ultimately, time will tell how well the WKTL will do as a league and as a business. There will certainly be speed bumps along the way as there are in any new business but it will certainly help that they have the WATL to back them and learn from along the way. Working with the many existing knife throwing organizations and businesses will be key early on which is something that the WATL has not done a very job with. Then they will need to find a way to attract non axe throwers to the sport to truly be successful on its own. We will watch with anticipation to see how the community of axe throwers takes to knife throwing, if at all.
Find your next non certified WKTL throwing knife at