The World Mobile Phone Throwing Championship took place yesterday in the small town of Savonlinna, Finland. In this international, no-holds-barred competition, people from across the globe throw phones as far as possible to win the sought-after grand prize – a new phone.
Contestants can’t actually use their own phones (which is probably for the best). Instead, they must select one of the models provided by the organizers. Choosing the perfect phone requires a lot of strategy. There’s a bit of a Goldilocks principle at work – the perfect phone can’t be too light, too heavy, or too pink.
Once competitors have selected their phones, it’s time to let the games begin!
There are two official styles of throwing. First is the traditional over-the-shoulder throw, which is judged solely on distance. This throw has men’s, women’s, and junior divisions. Each competitor gets 2 throws, and only the longest one is measured.
But for non-traditionalists, there’s also the freestyle throw, where contestants are awarded points for creativity. Each competitor only gets one shot – and it better be pretty! An honorable jury evaluates these throws on style and aesthetics, awarding each contestant a score of 1 to 6. Almost anything goes -- some folks toss the phones while juggling or performing acrobatic feats. Others throw with their mouth or punt the phone.
There are also team divisions in both the original and freestyle categories, where groups of up to three people can compete.
The Fate of the Phones
So what happens to the phones once they’ve been tossed? When the winners have been crowned, everyone gathers them up and tapes them up so they can be reused the following year. After all, it would be a shame to waste a perfectly good throwing device.
The Mobile Phone Championship -- first organized by the translation company Fennolingua in 2000 -- is about more than furiously chucking cell phones. It’s also a respite from today’s plugged-in world. The organization’s website states, “A part of the philosophy is also a spiritual freedom from being available all the time.”
It’s also a tongue-in-cheek jab at Finland’s consumers. When it comes to cell phones, Fins are notoriously fashion conscious, frequently replacing perfectly functional phones the instant newer, sleeker models come around.
And the Winner Is...
Ete Ere Karjalainen took home the gold and set a new record, chucking his mobile device an astounding 101.46 meters (333 feet). The 18-year-old told Reuters he prepared for the event by "mainly drinking."
For the rest of results, check out the competition’s website.