Knife-throwing as a sport
THE HALL OF FAME HOLDS A THREE-DAY NATIONAL THROW EVERY YEAR TO ESTABLISH THE BEST IN VARIOUS CATEGORIES
do it, it’s a reward and it dumps endorphins in our brain and it gives us immediate confirmation of a job well done — right there, right then.”
‘Thunk junkies’ drove hours to Maccarone and O’Brien’s house for the competition.
“This is one thing we have in common,” said David Cox, a chef from Rowley, Massachusetts, who wore a crude knife tattoo on the inside of his left forearm, a result of blue ink, a sewing needle and thread, and the fact that he was 13 when he decided it would be a good idea to create it.
Knife-throwing has been big since the 1970s, contended Bobby Branton, who also makes knives. The internet’s emergence in the 1990s connected fellow aficionados and provided a forum for competition in virtual and real contests around the world.
As far as recognised champions in the sport, the Hall of Fame holds a three-day national throw every year to establish the best in various categories. Then again, the hall isn’t the only group of throwers; other champions exist, too. Someday perhaps, there will be a grand merger.
As for the typical knifethrower, he or she is hard to describe, since anyone can throw.
“There’s really no ageing out,” said Rick Lemberg, an organiser of the online Aim Games, in which people compete by posting their scores. Because there is no physical contact, injuries are rare, he added.
In no rush
Yet knife-throwing — and its variations — linger on the fringe of professional sports. Contests amble. Participants approach the designated distance with the urgency of opening a door, size up the target and thrust their forearm forward. Take a few steps back. Repeat.
The sport can be described as a hybrid of archery, because people are aiming at a target from a distance, and darts, because a sharp object is being tossed.
“It’s kind of boring if you really look at it, because it’s ‘thunk’, ‘thunk’,” Branton said. “It’s exciting for people to throw and everything. But as far as a visual sport, it’s not.”
TV opportunities have been discussed, according to Maccarone and Dagger. “While we have yet to carry knife-throwing on ESPN, we’d consider it if there is an audience for coverage of this kind of competition and if the action is compelling,” Bill Hofheimer, ESPN’s senior director for communications, said in an email.
Is it dangerous? Actually, most of the knives used in throwing, Dagger said, resemble “weird-shaped tent pegs” — the tip is sharp because the handle and the blade are both held in making the toss. Overall, then, the knives are not that intimidating. In addition, someone is always designated to be a range master when throwing takes place to keep the target lanes clear of other people.
Dave Greene throws a Tomahawk while competing in the 2017 Finger Lakes Fling in Ithaca, New York. There are a growing number of devotees who love the sound of knife or axe hitting wood.