Some of the best times I’ve ever had involved mercilessly pummeling my brother’s, sisters’, and father’s heads with wrapping paper tubes. So I was thrilled to catch wind of the Cardboard Tube Fighting League, where foes face off in organized duels wielding this old-school, low-impact weaponry that provides all the satisfaction of vengeance without the bodily harm.
“The CTFL was created out of a desperate need to better train and arm citizens with cardboard tubes,” says the website of the organization, which has hosted tournaments in San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Sydney.
“Where others see storage for posters, I see the means by which I can battle my oppressors. Or a few friends,” writes author Sherman Alexie, a CTFL fan, on the “Stuff I Like” section of his website.
In a CTFL duel, the technical goal is to break your opponent’s tube without breaking your own—but of course it’s a bonus if you get in a few sweet shots at their torso or melon. (While the rules ban face shots, they don’t say anything about the head.) There’s no body slamming or stabbing, and only official CTFL tubes are allowed. You’ve got to sign the obligatory waiver, too, which covers risks that “include but are not limited to the loss of eye(s), decapitation, impalement, bloody lips, bruises, welts, paralysis and/or death,” according to SFGate.
Duel if you dare. Me, I’m going to go find a tube and hit someone.
Image by Julian Cash, courtesy of the Cardboard Tube Fighting League.