When your head hits the pillow tonight, you may count sheep, go over your grocery list, or seamlessly drift off into dreamland. But on Tuesday, the contenders in the first ever Pillow Fight World Cup will be using their pillows as weapons — and they’ll do anything they can to avoid being hit by one.
The first-ever Pillow Fight World Cup is being held on Tuesday, May 17 at The Warsaw Polish National Home at 261 Driggs Ave. in Brooklyn. Two clubs well-versed in the art of pillow-fighting, the Austrian Pillow Fight League and Punk Rock Pillow Fight, organized the competition to crown one person the best pillow fighter in the world.
Andrew Thompson, who founded the Punk Rock Pillow Fight club, said his goal in organizing the tournament was "to bring together the various pillow fighters from around the world and to have as much fun as possible."
Thompson said eight female fighters from Sweden, Austria and Japan would be competing Tuesday night, including the 45-year-old Swede Helle “Thunder” Forslund, a boxer and fashion designer, and the 25-year-old Austrian Doc Nele Meier, a cultural and social anthropologist who will use her lucky pillow in the ring. Three American fighters will also be competing.
Doors open at 7 P.M., and the tournament starts at 8 P.M. Tickets can be purchased online for $15 or for $20 at the door.
"We are hoping to have a couple hundred audience members to witness the event," Thompson said, adding that the first 50 people to RSVP would be allowed in for free.
In addition to the pillow fighting, there will be musical performances by the post-punk group The Controversy and by Fake Hooker, which describes itself as a Chinese Pop-Hawaiian-Mexican Regional band. DJing the competition will be NightSpitter, a dubstep DJ duo, and DJ Blue Steel.
Tuesday night's showdown follows the fourth annual International Pillow Fight Day, observed on April 2 around the world, including in New York City’s very own Union Square.
If you choose to head to the Pillow Fight World Cup on Tuesday night, here are the rules, as outlined by the organizers:
1. No deliberate physical contact between the fighters. Whoever violates this rule will be disqualified. No punching, kicking, headbutting, etc.
2. No offensive shoving. Offensive shoving looks like a Sumo Wrestler pushing someone down, while defensive shoving happens naturally as pillows get tangled and must be separated.
3. A knock down is a victory. One knee down, you're still around but you lose a point. Two knees down, you're out.
4. The fighters must face each other during the fights. If a fighter turns his or her back to their opponent, a point reduction. The second time this happens, there will be another point reduction. The third time this happens, the fighter will be disqualified.
5. Points: 1 point for hits to the head of the opponent (face and side) and 1 point for hits on the body. Hits to the arms and legs doesn't count as points. Same goes for hits to the back of the head and back. If a fighter with hand or elbow touches the mat, there is a point deduction. Similarly, a point is deducted if a fighter drops the pillow. If the pillow is dropped 3 times, this is considered as a technical K.O. One knee down, you're still around but will be punished with a point reduction. Two knees down, you're knocked out
6. Fighting is done in two rounds at 120 seconds. In between, there are 60 seconds of rest. An extension of the round is not provided. In a tie, the judges with help of the audience will decide the winner.
7. A referee and two point judges are needed for a pillow fight. The referee has the right to cancel a fight.
8. Only standard bed pillows are allowed. The pillows must not be heavier than 750 grams.
9. The battles take place only after nightfall.
Updated 10 AM