APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – While the World Cup is held in Qatar, Appleton is hosting the 2022 World Axe Throwing and World Knife Throwing Championships.

Scheduled for Friday, December 2, through Sunday, December 4, throwers from 38 states, including 26 competitors from Wisconsin, along with throwers from four countries, will compete for world titles in four categories.

The categories are knife, duals, hatchet, and big axe.

The Fox Cities Exhibition Center will be the hosting location, and officials began setting up 48 lanes to accommodate 576 throwers who are coming to compete for $50,000 in prizes.

Local 5 News was able to catch up with Mike Morton, the Commissioner of the World Axe Throwing League, to talk about preparations for this weekend’s big event.

“This is absolutely amazing. Appleton has been so accommodating for us, and they’ve been absolutely wonderful,” said Morton. “They have rolled out the red carpet for the World Axe Throwing League, and we couldn’t be happier to be here.”

Axe throwing has continued to gain popularity throughout the last several years, and officials say that the United States is the sport’s biggest market.

“I think it’s just the satisfaction of the axe hitting that board and hearing the thunk,” said Morton when asked why he thought the sport was growing in popularity. “There’s a nice rush of adrenaline that hits you, and it’s a very satisfying experience.”

The public is being invited to come out and watch the professionals compete to be named a world champion.

“We would love to have as many people here making as much noise as possible,” stated Morton.

The throwing on Friday and Saturday will be free and open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday’s ESPN Finals will be ticketed with a capacity of roughly 400 spectators.