Aztec Atlatl Battle

We are at the Pennsic War this week (through August 9). We will be within phone and computer reach and are able to handle orders while at Pennsic. Check out if you want to know more about this annual event.

One of the things we enjoy most about Pennsic is the opportunity to have three to four Aztec Atlatl Battles during the time we are at Pennsic. For those who have not had an opportunity to play Aztec Atlatl Battle, it is a lot of fun and a great game for all abilities of atlatlists.

Here are some of the guidelines for the game: (Please note the rules can be adapted to your own situation and are certainly not set in stone).

Aztec Atlatl Battle was developed in 2000 by Bob Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl. The first year attempts at this game turned out to be great fun.

Atlatlists are welcome to try this game at any events. Please let us know what you think of the game and any variations you’ve adapted for your atlatl meets!

Aztec Atlatl Battle is a field game that pits two equal sized teams of atlatlists against each other. Each team will have one person designated “Chief” and one person designated “Shaman”. All other players are designated “warriors”.

The 12 yard by 80 yard playing field represents a section of causeway that once linked the Aztec city of Tenochchitlan with the mainland. Each atlatlist must have an atlatl and three darts. In addition each contestant must be represented by a target.

The field of play is cordoned off with rope or tape in a rectangle 12 yards by 80 yards inside a safety zone 50 yards by 120 yards. The playing field is divided into eight 10 yard sections called zones.

The play occurs in rounds. In each round each person shoots the amount of darts allotted to him or her from directly behind his or her respective target.

Each person starts with 3 darts. Regardless of the order of shooting everyone gets to shoot all of his allotted darts for that round. For safety’s sake only one shooter is allowed on the field at a time.The Chief or safety officers may allow more than one person to shoot to speed up the play based on position and safety considerations. The order of shooting is of no importance and may be determined by the Judge.

After everyone has shot, the round is over and the “dead” are removed from the field. The wounded give up one or two of their darts depending on where their target was hit.

The Shamen reside in their respective end zones. Shaman are not allowed to move.

Chiefs are allowed to move to any zone except their opponents’ end zone at the end of a round. No one may move beyond or into a zone occupied by a “live” opponent. In other words a person may not move past the “war front”. However after a round where all opposing soldiers are killed in a particular zone the zone may be occupied by any one who is in position, when the round is over.

Warriors may be in any zone except the end zones, however they must move only one zone at a time between rounds.

At the beginning of the game the Chief and Shaman start in the end zone. Warriors start in a zone in front of the shaman to be determined by the respective chiefs.

It is the duty of the Chief to direct his team, be he dead or alive. At the beginning of the game the chief determines the placement of his team members’ targets. A very important part of the game is the strategy and game plan.

A field judge shall be chosen who is familiar with the rules of the game and general safety rules of the sport. All decisions of the Judge are final as to scoring.

This game is work in progress. The rules may need to be changed as necessary to assure the safety first of all and the fairness of play.

This game is authored by Robert S. Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl. Copyright 2000.

Get together a few teams and enjoy Aztec Atlatl Battle!

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