A pillow fight is a common game played by kids and as well as teens and adults during sleepovers. It is when they engage in mock physical conflict with pillows as their weapons. Since pillows are soft, they rarely cause any injury to people. Back in the earlier eras, pillows can easily break, causing them to shed feathers in a room. However, modern pillows today are stronger and filled with a block of foam and other materials.
But did you know that pillow fighting is not just for slumber parties anymore? It’s because it is actually considered a sport. That’s mind-blowing, right? Pillow fight is a real-life semi-professional women-only sporting event that was founded by Pillow Fight League Commissioners Stacey P. Case and Craig Daniels in 2004 in Toronto, Canada. If you are curious about this sport, read on as we’re giving you more information about it.
How Does Pillow Fighting as a Sport Works?
The pillow fighting sport is similar to a wrestling match, and it is held in a fighting arena. The sport was first launched in a Canadian Goth bar named The Vatikan in downtown Toronto. There are other cities that have hosted the event as well, such as Quebec, Montreal, and even New York City. But the main seat of the Pillow Fight League stays in Toronto and Ontario, Canada.
A pillow fight match lasts only for five minutes. When the time limit ends, and there is still no winner, the judging committee will then declare the winner. As long as the player uses a pillow to attack, leg drops, punching, submission holds, and other moves are not allowed within the match. The player is prohibited from holding her attacker’s arms when she decides to attack with her pillow. When that happens, she will be warned or can also be disqualified from the game.
Even though pillow fighting is a relatively safe sport, there are still times when players end up with bruises, cuts, scrapes, black eyes, and split lips. It may look like a very easy sport, but it is actually challenging.
Pillow Fighting in Japan
In Japan, pillow fighting is called Makura-Nage. It is a game wherein kids throw pillows at each other. One of the usual occasions that it occurs is after the futon, or traditional Japanese beddings, are prepared in summer camp.
The pillow fight that most of us know takes the form of beating each other with pillows. But in Makura-Nage, players throw the pillows at each other. It’s because “makura” means pillow, and “nage” means throwing.
There are no rules in this Japanese game, but in the present time, some Japanese ryokan holds Makura-Nage Games for advertisement. It is also featured in lots of anime and manga, which creates a nostalgic atmosphere when describing childhood.
Organized Pillow Fights
During the early 2000s, World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE occasionally staged pillow fight matches among female wrestlers known as Divas. These were mostly booked as Lingerie Pillow Fights, wherein women compete in lingerie or pajamas with little to no actual wrestling taking place. The final match of this event was held in 2008.
In 2007, a Pillow Fight League was operating in bars in Toronto, Canada. They pay small amounts to pre-selected female participants with stage personalities to stage regular and unscripted fights. Based on the rules, no lewd behavior and moves like leg drops and ticking are allowed, as long as a pillow is used. However, the league stopped its operations in 2011.
The first World Pillow Fight Day was on March 22, 2008. It was organized in the United States by Newmindspace, a group made by two students from the University of Toronto. According to The Wall Street, there were about 5,000 people who participated in the event in New York that coincides with the day.
In July 2015, the Guinness World Record for the largest pillow fight was set during a St. Paul baseball game. There were 6,261 participants in the said event, and it was sponsored by a local manufacturer called My Pillow. Later on, the record was broken in May 2018 at an evangelical Christian concert in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with 7,861 participants. It was also sponsored by the same local manufacturer.
It’s amazing to know that the simple game we loved when we were kids had become a serious sport in some parts of the world. Pillow fighting is definitely a fun sport that everyone can join in. If given a chance, would you join a pillow fight competition?
We hope you’ve learned a lot about pillow fighting as a sport in this article. If you want to read more about strange sports, you can check out our list of Unusual Sports You’ve Probably Never Heard Of for more information.