Rules of Kyykkä

The rules for Kyykkä "kueuekkae"



The idea of Kyykkä is to remove the team’s own kyykkäs from their playing square by throwing at them with karttus. The team which has removed more kyykkäs wins the game.




The kyykkä field is 20 metres long and 5 metres wide. A 5-metres-times-5-metres playing square is drawn to each end of the field. The distance between the playing squares is 10 metres. The field is drawn on a suitably large and even area.



3.1. Kyykkä

A kyykkä is a cylinder-shaped object made of wood. The height of a kyykkä is 10 cm and the radius is 6 to 8 cm. For a game of Kyykkä a total of 80 kyykkäs are needed: 20 pairs on the front line of each playing square. It is advisable to have some extra kyykkäs in case some are broken during the game.


3.2. Karttu

A karttu is a baseball bat-like heavy wooden object with a handle. The allowed maximum length of a karttu is 85 cm and the maximum radius is 8 cm. When manufacturing karttus, painting and performance-enhancing fortifications are allowed.


For a game of Kyykkä a total of 4 karttus are needed. The World Championships of Academic Kyykkä offers karttus for all of its games. The players are also allowed to use their own karttus, provided that their opponent can also use them.



Throwing square

The square from which the team throws their karttus. The teams play from opposite squares, which is why the square names are exactly vice versa for the teams.

Playing square

The square from which the team tries to remove the kyykkäs by throwing at them with karttus.


Akka (Not a very pretty name for a woman, also the name of an ancient Finnish goddess)

A kyykkä left in the playing square, on the front line or on the outer border of the playing square less than 10 cm from the front line.


Pappi (Priest)

A kyykkä left on the outer border, more than 10 cm away from the front line.


Kuokkavieras (Gatecrasher)

A kyykkä that has bounced to the area between the playing squares.



A game consists of two halves, between which the players change sides of the field. Each player throws 4 karttus during a half.




A Kyykkä team consists of four players. In the World Championships of Academic Kyykkä it is possible to change players between games but not during one.



There are three types of referees presiding over the games at the World Championships of Academic Kyykkä: field referees, regional referees and tournament referees. The referees are always right and they are to be obeyed and helped at all times.

6.1. Field Referee

Each field has a field referee who fairly and justly presides over the games at that field, regardless of any bribes. The field referee oversees the game and writes down the game scores abiding by these rules. Any complaints about the field referee’s actions must be directed to the tournament referee. In case a field referee is broken, the tournament referee assigns a new referee to the field.


6.2. Regional Referee

Regional referees oversee the games in their region, helping the field referees in emerging disagreements.

6.3. Tournament Referee

Field referees and regional referees are lead and supervised by one or more tournament referees. The tournament referees are in charge of all the games and are the highest authority in solving possible disagreements in games.



At the beginning of each half, 20 pairs of kyykkäs are set on the front line of each square. The kyykkäs in one pair are set on top of each other, creating a tower. 10 cm of free space must be left on both ends of the front line. The players are allowed to set up the field before the game and between halves. At all other times only the referee is allowed to maintain the field. Any extra items or people not in throwing turn are removed from the field by the referee.

The players are responsible of setting up the field for the next game or half.




8.1. Choosing Sides And Throwing Order

Before starting a game, the sides and the starting team are decided by hutunkeitto, which is used in Finnish baseball games.

The referee summons the team captains to the field. One of the captains throws an upright karttu for the referee, who catches it from the air. The other captain then places his hand above the referee’s hand, little finger touching the referee’s hand. The referee lets go and the captains continue taking grips in turns until one of them is holding the karttu so that the other cannot grab it anymore. The last one holding the karttu wins the hutunkeitto. The winner’s team then chooses whether they want to decide on the starting team or on the sides. The losing captain’s team decides on the matter not decided by the first team.


8.2 Playing

8.2.1. Throw

A throw starts when the player lets go of the karttu being thrown, and ends when the karttu exits the playing square or each piece of playing equipment stops moving. Per se, the karttus are thrown using only one hand but in Academic Kyykkä players are allowed to throw using both hands.

8.2.2. Opening Throw

Men start the game by throwing the opening throw from behind the field. Women begin the game behind the front line of their throwing square.

An opening throw is successful if at least one kyykkä exits the playing square. If not, the players continue playing using opening throws until they manage to remove at least one kyykkä from the playing square. After a successful opening throw, the players are allowed to move over to their normal throwing line. The men’s throwing line is the front line of the throwing square. Women are allowed to throw from their own line 2 meters closer to the playing square.


8.2.3. Turn

During a turn, two players of a team throw two karttus each, making the total amount of karttus thrown four per turn. Players must take the two karttus with themselves to the throwing square and throw their two karttus one after another. A player is not allowed to exit the throwing square between his or her throws. The player can only change karttus from the throwing square with the referee’s permit.

If a karttu, thrown with little force, stops and stays in the playing square, it is only removed after the whole turn. A kyykkä is considered to be out immediately after it exits the playing square. In case a successfully removed kyykkä bounces back to the square, the referee removes the kyykkä after the throw.

8.2.4. Checking The Field

After a turn (2 players, 4 karttus), the referee checks up the field, announces removed kyykkäs and rights pappis (the kyykkäs left on the outer borders of the field). Karttus left inside the square can be removed with the referee’s approval. After checking the field, the referee allows the other team to start their turn.

8.2.5. Game Progress

Teams continue their turns until a half has been played i.e. each player has thrown a total of 4 karttus or both teams have played 4 turns. In Academic Kyykkä each player of a team must throw once (2 karttus) before any player of the team can throw again. The team must keep their throwing order during a half.

After a half, the referee counts the teams’ points and writes them down. When the referee is ready, he or she announces the half ready and allows the players to set the field up for the second half. For the second half the teams change sides and the starting turn moves over to the team that played second during the first half. The teams can change their throwing orders between halves.


8.3. Ending

After the second half, the referee sums up the teams’ scores from both halves and declares the team with the least negative points the winner.



9.1. Player provocation

In World Championships of Academic Kyykkä, verbal, game-related provocation of a player is allowed to a sensible extent from both teams. This excludes all inappropriate, personal and physical harassment.

9.2. Foul Step

When throwing, a player is not allowed to cross the line behind which he or she is throwing. In case the player’s feet cross the line, the referee returns all kyykkäs removed by the throw to the front line of the playing square, starting from the centre. Kyykkäs rolled to the square behind the front line are left where they stopped. The player cannot throw again.

9.3. Running Start

Players are allowed to speed up their throw by taking a running start behind the field, as long as they do not touch the opponent’s kyykkäs.

9.4. Lingering

Redundant lingering and procrastination during a turn is forbidden. If the team deliberately slows down the game by lingering and does not react to a warning from the referee, the referee can give the team a time in which the team must throw their remaining karttus. The time limit is 30 seconds per karttu.

9.5. Broken Kyykkä

If a karttu, thrown by a player, scatters a kyykkä into two or more pieces, the position of the largest piece is considered the kyykkä’s position after the throw. The biggest piece is replaced with a new kyykkä while the rest of the pieces are removed from the field. In case the pieces are exactly the same size and one piece is out, the kyykkä is considered out. If both same-sized pieces are inside the playing square, the player can decide which piece is replaced and which removed from the game.

9.6. Moving Kyykkäs During A Game

The players are not allowed to move the opponent’s kyykkäs in the field. If a player kicks or otherwise moves any of the kyykkäs in his own team’s throwing square, the referee will give them a warning. After two warnings the referee can order the player to throw the rest of their karttus from behind the field.

If a player deliberately or accidentally moves the opponent’s kyykkäs out of the square, the removed kyykkäs will be considered out. If the opponent’s kyykkäs moved by the player stay in the square or bounce to the area between the squares, the referee places them back to their original places.

9.7. Arriving Late

If a team arrives late to their game, the referee can order the teams to play a half-game to catch up on the timetable. A half-game is described in section 9.8.

If a team is not present in its entirety at the field 10 minutes past the start of a scheduled game, the tournament referee can declare the other team the winner of the game.

9.8. Half-Game

A half-game, different from a half of a game, is played like a normal-length game with only a half of a normal-length game’s throwing turns. Thus, both teams are allowed only two turns per half, making it a total of 2 karttus per player per half. Just like in a normal game, in a half-game the teams’ scores are calculated and sides are changed between halves.


9.9. Tie In Play-Offs

A tie in the play-off rounds will result in a short replay. In a short replay four pairs of kyykkäs are placed on one of the front lines evenly spaced, leaving 1 metre of space on both sides of each pair.

  • The teams throw from the same throwing square, one team at a time. The first team to throw is the one who started the original game.

  • Each player throws exactly one karttu. The team may decide on the throwing order freely.

  • The team’s score is calculated normally as described in section 10.1.

  • After the first team has finished throwing and received their score, the field is set up again for the other team.

  • The winner is the team with a better score.


9.10. Complaints In A Game

If a team detects a foul in their opponent’s throw or other actions, they must report it immediately to the referee. The referee will then act as necessary to resolve the situation, allowing the game to continue when all is clear. The team’s right to complain expires immediately when a karttu is thrown after the presumed foul.



10.1. Game Scoring

  • A kyykkä left in the playing square or on the front line, i.e. akka: -2

  • A kyykkä between the squares, i.e.kuokkavieras: -2

  • A kyykkä on the outer borders of the playing square, i.e. pappi: -1

  • An unused karttu: +1


10.2. Group Scoring

A team receives 2 group points for a win, 1 group point for a tie and 0 points for a loss.


10.3. Group Winner

  • The team with the most group points wins the group.

  • If two or more teams are tied at the same group points, the group winner is the team who has more group points from games against the tied teams.

  • If the group points from the games between the tied teams are still even, the group winner is the team with the best overall score from games against the tied teams.

  • If the overall scores from the games between the tied teams are still even, the group winner is the team with better overall score from all of the team’s games.

  • If the tied teams have the same overall score, the winning team will be resolved by lot.


World Academic Kueuekkae Federation (WACKF)
Updated 2.2.2017