Most people think of pillow fighting as a fun childhood game or some scantly clad women putting on a show, but for the women participating in the Pillow Fight World Cup it’s a real sporting competition.
Eight women armed with fluffy pillows and dressed like athletes could be seen stepping into the ring during this first edition of the Pillow Fight World Cup, which took place on May 17, at The Warsaw Polish National Home, in Brooklyn, NY. Competitors were all girls and came from countries like Austria, Japan, Sweden and of course, the USA. “It’s less brutal than boxing, but you still need technique,” said Maylin Kretzschmar, 26, one of the three Austrians engaged in the tournament. “It’s a fun sport. I don’t want to punch someone in the face, but you can still get rid of your aggression.” The Austrians were the most experienced competitors seeing they have a pillow fighting league back home, and train constantly.
The man behind the Pillow Fight World Cup is Andrew Thompson, creator of Punk Rock Pillow Fight, a sporadic event where pillow-fighting men and women wack each other senseless with pillows. He was approached by the Austrians about a serious all-girl World Cup tournament, and he was happy to organize it. Everyone involved sees this event as an opportunity to raise the profile of a so-called sport most people probably haven’t played since childhood.
The rules of pillow fighting are pretty simple: matches are fought in two rounds, each lasting two minutes. Judges award points for hits to the head and body, and penalize fighters for turning their backs on their opponent or dropping to a knee. The most serious injury suffered by these brave pillow-wielding warriors is the occasional cuts on the knuckles.
Tickets for this year’s Pillow Fight World Cup were sold out, so I’d say there’s a good chance we’ll see a second tournament, in 2012.