Axe Throwers turn to technology to compete during the COVID-19 quarantine

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (WABC) -- The global coronavirus pandemic has stalled social events and activities, but that has not stopped an avid group of axe throwers from competing.

"We're used to high-fiving, hugging and being so close. We are a family, we're a community and this has torn us apart," said Steve Malvey, a competitive axe thrower based in Burlington, New Jersey.

Using applications like Instagram, FaceTime and zoom, axe throwers from around the world have connected virtually to form the Quarantine Axe Throwing League, which allows them to compete with one another using their cellphones and laptops in the comfort and safety of their own home.

"We expected maybe 30-40 people, we have over 300 people who built a target in their garage, in their backyard to compete," said Mario Zelaya, Founder of the World Axe Throwing League.

Through this virtual league, participants are more connected than ever. They now have to opportunity to compete with players as far as Australia, who they wouldn't typically compete against unless they qualified and traveled to a tournament.

The quarantine league is expected to continue after the pandemic is over, changing the conventional way of competitive axe throwing which usually took place in person.

"It is going to continue. We have to fully adopt the technology we have but we are 100% going to keep this league going forward," said Zelaya.

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