1. Objective of the game

Objective of the game is to remove kyykkäs from playing square by throwing them with karttus. The team which has removed more kyykkäs from playing square or the team which used less throws to remove kyykkäs wins the game.

2. Technical part

2.1. Field

Field is an even 5 x 20 metres area with 5 x 5 metres playing squares drawn to both ends. Distance between playing squares is 10 metres. Women’s throwing line is drawn 7 metres from each back line.

2.2. Equipment


Kyykkäs are wooden cylinder-shaped objects. The height of a kyykkä is 10 cm and the radius is 6-8 cm. Edges may be rounded within 5 mm width.


Karttu are made out of wood. Karttus are round from the shaft and they have a handle. Maximum width of a karttu is 85 cm and maximum radius of a karttu is 8 cm. Coating karttus with paint or varnish is allowed. Reinforcing karttus with metal from the base and the handle is allowed.

Measuring stick

A stick with a 1,5 cm radius, sharpened from one end is needed to check kyykkäs left at the outer border of the playing square. Index finger is an appropriate replacement for the measuring stick if one is missing.

2.3. Kyykkä vocabulary

Throwing square

The 5 x 5 m square from which the karttus are thrown.

Playing square

The 5 x 5 m square where kyykkäs are placed.

Opening throw

The throw which is thrown behind the back line by men or behind the front line of the throwing square by women. Successful opening throw must remove at least one kyykkä out of the playing square.

Throwing turn

One throwing turn consists of four thrown karttus per team/pair/player.

Akka (-2 points)

Akka is a kyykkä which is left in the playing square. Akka has a value of two minus points.

Pappi (-1 point)

Pappi is a kyykkä which is left on the outer border of the playing square. Pappi has a value of one minus point.

Corner pappi (-1 point)

Corner pappi is a kyykkä which is touching both the back line and the sideline of the playing square.

Kuokkavieras (-2 points)

Kuokkavieras is a kyykkä which has moved to the area between playing squares. Kuokkavieras has a value of two minus points even if it touches any border. Minus points (plus points if you are skilled enough)

Points indicate the result of the game. Winner has more points, or less minus points.


A game consists of two halves. Teams switch throwing direction between halves.

Women’s throwing line

Women may throw every throw in an already opened game from the women’s throwing line which is located 7 metres from the backline of the throwing square (2 metres in front of the throwing square).

3. General rules of the academic kyykkä

3.1. Judge

Each competitive match must have a judge. If the match doesn’t have a separate judge, players take on the judge’s duties together.

The judge counts the results after each half and match and declares the winner of the match. The judge shall also write down points to the provided statistics sheet if personal throwing statistics are collected.

The judge observes that the match progresses according to the rules and provides solutions to special cases. Judge makes the decision in a disputed case.

The judge must be reliable and impartial.

3.2. Hutunkeitto

Finnish baseball style hutunkeitto shall decide the starting team for the first half unless the rules of the competition decide the starting team.

  • Karttu is thrown first to the judge
  • Team captains take turns moving hands up the shaft until the other cannot take a hold of the karttu anymore
  • Winner shall decide the starting team or side of the field
  • Loser shall decide the option which hasn’t been decided yet

The lottery may be concluded by other means like rock-paper-scissors or by just agreeing on it.

3.3. Duration of the match

One match consists of two halves. Between halves sides and the starting team are switched.

3.4. Overhaul of the field

Players may overhaul the playing squares and the area between the squares before the start of the game. The field may be evened out only without tools and by foot or by hand during an ongoing match. Players may even out the ground beneath sunken kyykkä with judges permission.

3.5. Progression of the match (half)

3.5.1. Opening throw

Men carry out the opening throw from the opening throw area which is located behind the throwing square. Women carry out the opening throw inside the throwing square.

Match is opened when the first kyykkä is removed from the playing square. Kuokkavieras or pappi does not count as removed kyykkä.

Players continue throwing after a successful opening throw. Women are able to utilise the women’s throwing line.

Opening throws are repeated if they are not successful.

3.5.2. Throwing turn

Four karttus are thrown during a throwing turn.

The player must throw all karttus one after the other during their throwing turn. The player must keep their karttus inside the throwing square during the throwing turn.

Karttu must not be removed from the playing square until the end of the throwing turn if it remains inside. Only the judge shall permit to change the karttu inside the playing square for
another if needed.

3.5.3. Observing the field

The judge shall observe the playing field after the throwing turn (4 karttus) and check how many kyykkäs are out, on the outer lines and inside the playing square. Finally karttus are removed from the playing square if there’s any inside.

3.5.4. Progression of the throwing turns

Throwing turns continue until each team/player has thrown maximum amount of throws defined by the competition or if the playing square is emptied. Judge counts the total points from the game half and marks them down.

3.5.5. Counting the points

Each kyykkä which is either inside the playing square, kuokkavieras, is left at the front line or is on the side line and less than 10 cm from the front line is worth two minus points. Each pappi (kyykkä which is on the side or back line) is worth one minus points.

3.5.6. Clearing the game square

If the game square is cleared from kyykkäs with fewer throws than what’s in use in the variant of the game, the result of the half is the positive amount of points equal to the amount of unused karttus.

3.5.7. Ending the game

After the second half, the results from both halves are summarised. The winner of the game is the side that collected the most points.

4. Team play

4.1 Team structure

A playing team consists of four players. Additionally, the team is allowed four substitute players.

4.2 Substituting a player

A team is allowed to substitute players during the halftime, if the entire team consists of more than four players.

4.3 Playing order

The playing order of the team’s players remains the same for the duration of the game.

4.4 Setting up the field

The kyykkä blocks are set up on the front line of the square so that there is 10 cm of free space left on either side of the playing square, measured from the sidelines. A total of 20 pairs of kyykkä blocks are stacked evenly spaced on both front lines of the playing are.

4.5. Throwing turn in a team play

During the team’s throwing turn, two players each throw two karttus. Each player must throw their karttus consecutively.

4.6. Number of clubs in use

In team play, each team has 16 clubs available per round.

5. Individual play

5.1. Playing order in individual play

The individual game is played alone. During the throwing turn, four karttus are thrown.

5.2. Setting up the field

The kyykkä blocks are set up on the front line of the square so that there is 1.25 meters of empty space left on either side of the playing area, measured from the sidelines. A total of 10 pairs of kyykkä blocks are stacked evenly spaced on the front lines of both game squares.

5.3. Number of clubs in use

In the individual game, 20 clubs are used per half.

6. Doubles game

6.1. Team (pair) structure

The doubles game pair consists of two players. No substitute players are allowed in doubles play.

6.2. Doubles game order

The pair’s players may change their throwing order during the halves. However, the first player must always throw both their karttus before the second player can throw.

6.3. Setting up the field

The doubles game field is identical to the individual game (see section 5.2.).

6.4. Number of clubs in use

In the doubles game, 16 clubs are used per half.

7. Quick rematch

7.1 Setting up the field

Four pairs of kyykkä blocks are placed on each side of the playing area, one metre apart, starting one metre from the sideline. The two outer pairs are stacked as towers, and the two middle pairs are placed lying down in a row facing the striker.

7.2 Starter

The quick rematch is started by the same team, pair or player that started the regular game.

7.3 Number of clubs in use

Each player on the team throws only one club into their pattern, and the team may determine their own throwing order. In doubles play, both players throw two clubs. In the quick rematch of the individual game, the player throws four clubs. After that, comes the opponent ‘s turn to throw into a corresponding pattern.

7.4 Determining the winner

Points are counted according to section 3.5.5. Counting points. The playing field is then set up as described above and the field sides are switched. The starting team, pair, or player is also switched. The second half of the game is played as above, and the winner of the quick rematch is the team, pair, or player with the higher combined score.

8. Unusual situations

8. Unusual situations

A player in the throwing turn may not be disturbed during their throw. All others apart from the thrower must stay outside the playing field, including the player’s own team.

The judge is allowed to issue a warning to a player guilty of rule-breaking player interference.

8.2. Throwing with two hands

A player is allowed to support their throw with their other hand, if they are missing strength otherwise.

8.3. Run-up

Players are allowed to take run-ups within the boundaries of the playing square, women up to the women’s throwing line. However, players are not allowed to move the opponent’s kyykkä blocks during the run-up.

8.4. Overstepping the throw

Players must not step on or over the boundaries of the throwing area when performing a throw. A throw is considered to begin when the player takes the club in their hand within the throwing area and ends when they regain balance within the throwing area after the throw. When interpreting overstepped throws, it is assessed whether the player has crossed or cut through the middle of the throwing area’s boundary.

In the case of men, the throwing area’s boundary is considered to constitute of each side of the 5 m x 5 m throwing square, and in the case of women, of the 7 m x 5 m throwing area. However, in the case of opening throws, the borders considered for men are constituted of the back line and the extensions of the side borders, whereas for women, the boundaries constitute of the 5 m x 5 m throwing square’s borders.

If a player oversteps, all kyykkä blocks moved by the throw will be returned to their previous positions, and the overstepped throw will count as used, but its effects on the playing field will be cancelled.

However, the opposing team has the right to veto and may deny the cancellation of the effects of the overstepped throw. In this case, the overstepped throw will count as used, and its effects will remain as they are.

This veto right does not affect the cases defined in sections 7.8 and 7.10, in which kyykkä blocks are returned to their place as a result of an invalid throw.

8.5. Delaying

Unnecessary delaying of throwing is prohibited, and a judge can give a warning for such behaviour.

8.6. Split kyykkä

If a hit from karttu splits a kyykkä block, a judge decides based on where the larger portion of the split kyykkä went and replaces it with an intact kyykkä. If the splits are equal in size kyykkä is out if one part of it is out. If equal sized parts stay in the playing square the player who was throwing decides which part will be replaced with an intact kyykkä.

8.7. Kyykkä on the border

Kyykkäs on the border are checked with a measuring stick which is drawn via the centre of the border and the stick is held vertically. If the measuring stick touches the kyykkä, kyykkä is pappi. Otherwise, the kyykkä outside the playing square is removed and the kyykkä inside the playing square will remain as akka. If the kyykkä on the border is closer to the frontline of the playing square than 10 cm it is not pappi.

8.8. Moving the opponents kyykkäs

Player is not allowed to move the kyykkäs of the opponent in the throwing square. If the player kicks throws or by other way moves the kyykkäs in the throwing square, the kyykkäs will be returned back where they were, and the judge will give the player a warning.

If the player hits opponents kyykkäs during the throw and opponents kyykkäs hit kyykkäs at the playing square the throw is determined to be thrown. Besides moving the opponents kyykkäs back also the kyykkäs in the playing square that were moved by opponents kyykkäs will be returned to their original position.

8.9. Kyykkä returning to the playing square

If a throw removes a kyykkä from the playing square but it returns without external aid kyykkä will remain in the playing square. If the returning happens because of the external obstacles, uneven surface or any other similar reason the kyykkä is removed from the playing square. If kyykkä rolls over the border and spins back on a flat surface the kyykkä stays in playing square.

8.10. Karttu returning to the field

If a karttu returns to the field or playing square due to external obstacles, uneven surface or any other similar reason the throw is used, and its effect will be cancelled and kyykkäs will be returned as the position was before the karttu left the field.

8.11. Warnings

If a player gets two warnings during one game the judge determines the guilty player to throw all remaining throws from the back line.

8.12. Other harassment

If a player substantially interferences the game the judge can determine that the player or the team of that player must carry out the penalties mentioned in the section 8.11.