A dart is placed on the bearing surface of the atlatl and launched by the thrower using an overhand motion, similar to the throwing of a football.
Atlatl is an individual activity where participants use an ancient wooden throwing device to launch darts or arrows at targets. Competitions consist of challenges of distance and accuracy. An atlatl is a primitive device used to launch darts. It was the most effective weapon of the ancient world, prior to the bow and arrow. Use consists of loading a dart onto the bearing surface, then throwing in an overhand motion. Today the atlatl is used for sport hunting and accuracy/distance competitions.
The atlatl was first used by primitive man 27,000 years ago. Capable of killing even the largest of animals, the atlatl was the most effective weapon of its time. It was replaced in Europe by the advent of the bow and arrow, but still used in the Americas during colonial times. Today it is used in sport hunting and accuracy/distance competitions. A large competition is held annually in Rhode Island.