Never mind the World Cup qualifiers, you would rather be out ‘duelling’ with a cardboard tube
A cardboard tube fighting league’s armoury? That’s at least four teams worth of improvised swords! Image by DJ Halcyonic (via Shutterstock).
We blame Star Wars. If it wasn’t for any of the lightsabre scenes in George Lucas’ monster franchise, we wouldn’t have thought twice about this at all. As well as keeping our tinfoil or toilet tissue in place, cardboard tube has another fine use. That of surreal sports, or replicating the lightsabre scene with Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.
What may surprise you is the fact that cardboard tube fighting is recognised as a pastime in itself. Formed on the 22 July 2007 by Robert Easley, its core aim is to get people to play more. A typical CTFL match is either a battle or tournament. The latter has 24 to 64 people in a match. The former involves teams with different colour bands to denote each side. At many events, bagpipe music forms part of the soundtrack.
The Three Core Beliefs of cardboard tube fighting
People need to play more and take themselves less seriously;
You don’t need alcohol to have a good time;
Cardboard sword fighting is fun.
There is also a proper set of rules. The CTFL favours fun and a good clean fight. As they aim to keep things simple, there are only ten rules. Stabbing opponents with a cardboard tube is frowned upon, so much so that offending participants can be ejected from the duel. Looked upon with similar disdain is holding your cardboard ‘sword’ halfway along the tube. Breaking the tube is another cardinal sin.
The game has progressed further with another five chapters. As well as Mr. Easley’s pioneering Seattle chapter, there are now cardboard tube fighting chapters in Washington DC, San Francisco, Sydney, Bristol, and Belgium. The Bristol team is the only one of its kind in the UK.
We think it’s pretty zany. If there’s anyone interested in forming a cardboard tube fighting chapter in Greater Manchester, this video clip gives you a flavour of what to expect. It’s mad but hey, we love it.