Did you know that mobile phone throwing is a national sport in Finland?

Did you know that mobile phone throwing is a national sport in Finland?
Most of us, attentive and caring smartphone users, go to great lengths to protect our gadgets from harm. We buy armor cases and tempered glass screen protectors. We grip our smartphones with the force of an angered Darth Vader choke-holding a guilty imperial officer. And yet, here are the fine and ever so slightly withdrawn people from Finland doing something completely counter-intuitive — turning phone destruction into competitive sports! We're not even joking, welcome to the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships! Since 2000, the town of Savonlinna in the southeast of Finland has been the host of this technologically brutish event, with other countries in Europe hosting their own national competitions as the years came and went by.

So, what's the big idea? Well, you come to throw away your frustrations and your aging phone, and compete with other athletes for the maximum distance reached! Meanwhile, the local recycling center who's been partnering with the organizers collects all the toxic waste to repurpose it for something good. Most sensibly, attendees and athletes could also buy a new phone at the event. And there are prizes, of course! The first prize is, predictably, a new handset — one that's probably to be smashed to bits next year.

As with any organized sports event, phone throwing is governed by specialized rules. The organizer provides official WC mobile phones that are used in Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships. There are all kinds of brands and models to choose from. Every contestant can choose the best fitting phone for him/her. During the throw the competitor must stay within the throwing area. If the thrower steps over the area, the throw will be disqualified. The phone must land within the marked throwing sector. The official jury of the competition will accept or disqualify the throw. The jury’s decisions cannot be protested. Period.

Also, there are no doping tests. However, the jury can rule out the contestant if his/her mental or physical preparedness is not adequate for full a performance. Contestants can also be excluded from the championships if they are considered to be a danger for themselves, other contestants, or to the public.

Mobile phone throwing also has its Hall Of Fame. In August 2013, the three winners in men’s category were all from Finland. The longest throw was 97,73 metres, and the winner was Riku Haverinen. The second longest throw was 87,88 metres, done by Ilkka Aaltonen. Third was Otto Sammalisto and his throw was 86,09 m. Åsa Lundgren from Sweden was the winner in women’s category. She threw the phone 40,41 metres after just a few times practicing! Second was Louise Van De Ginste, a throw of 39.88 metres. Third was Finnish Tanja Pakarinen with a throw of 36,69 metres. How about that?


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