Soft axe throwing

Includes: Axe throwing, target axe throwing, soft tomahawk throwing, throwing angels, throwing stars Indoors, Outdoors, Sport

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Want to give younger girls a taste of axe throwing? Soft axe throwing is easy to run and just as fun!


Throw your plastic axes into a target made up of bristles. Can you hit a bullseye?

You'll need to be either inside or outside for this activity. You'll need to ensure that you have enough space to safely set up the equipment.

For soft axe throwing there's no requirement for a qualified instructor. You should feel comfortable that you can manage the safety of the participants in the environment you choose to run the activity in.

Did you know International Axe Throwing Day is on the 13 June each year!


What you need: what equipment is required & adaptions to the activity that can make it more cost effective

To do soft axe throwing with girls, you'll need a soft axe throwing kit. It’s an ideal way to introduce Rainbows to axe throwing before they can use axes as Brownies. For more information on axe throwing have a look at our webpage.

Ways to make activity suitable for each section

The target line can be moved backwards for older age groups – ensure that you still have enough space for the safety areas required.

Play some games – you could have an individual or a team competition, or you could try and aim for the axes in a certain colour.

Planning checklist

  • Complete a risk assessment for the activity.  
  • If outside, check the weather forecast on the day and if needed postpone or move indoors.  
  • Check the equipment before use. Is it safe and intended for the purpose of the activity?  

  • The external provider may come to the unit or you may meet them at their venue.  
  • Check with the provider that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the requirements for your group. 
  • Source any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity not provided by the provider, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose. 
  • Check that any equipment is suitably insured by the provider and agree what happens to the equipment if it gets damaged. 

Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents and/or carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form.

Parents and carers should
be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation. 

If you or another member of your leadership team is running the activity at an external venue or location, follow these extra steps:  

  • Check that you have the correct forms and ratios in place for this activity. If you can complete this activity at your usual meeting place make sure you have enough space for girls to run and move around in. 
  • Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know if you make any changes to your plans. 
  • Do a risk assessment for the activity elements you’re responsible for with your unit leadership team. Update this as and when things change. 
  • Check out the guidance on joint activities if you are involving other organisations.
  • Tell your local commissioner.
  • Tell the activity provider about the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions that need to be considered when running the activity.
  • Choose a reputable and licensed activity provider (where applicable).
  • Get copies of the instructor qualifications and public liability insurance of the activity provider before you book.
  • Ask for a copy of the providers' safety guidelines and risk assessment.
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls and volunteers).

You don’t need a qualified instructor to run soft axe throwing with girls. 

Before the activity starts, make sure the instructor briefs the group on: 

  • How to safely throw the axes or stars at the targets.
  • That they must only throw axes or stars in the direction of the targets.
  • Explain the different sections on the range: The waiting area (when not throwing, participants should remain in this area), throwing line and target area.
  • Participants can only collect the axes or stars when instructed to do so. 

  • Ensure girls are wearing appropriate clothing and closed toe shoes. 
  • The area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.
  • Make sure girls tie their hair back and remove or tuck in any lose clothing. They also need to remove all jewellery including earrings, rings and necklaces.

If this activity takes place outside of your usual meeting place the leadership team adult to girl ratio is mandatory.  

  • Rainbows 1:5 (minimum of 2 adults)  
  • Brownies 1:8  (minimum of 2 adults)  
  • Guides 1:12  (minimum of 2 adults)  
  • Rangers: N/A (1 leader with a recommendation of a second adult)