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The rules of pesupalloilu

The washproof rules of pesupalloilu  in other words the washing instructions

Pesupalloilu is sports where excitement stays until the last spin-dry on the washing day, even though it can be resolved already at the beginning of the race! Accuracy in centimetres or even millimetres doesn’t belong to the spirit of this competition, so any results won’t be measured. Every competition starts and ends with the way the circumstances and the competitors’ will and skill determine. Any distances won’t be measured in mölkky either! (mölkky is a finnish game)

This sport is individual sport in competitive series, but you can also compete in challenge series as individuals, teams or mixed teams.

Playing equipment

Washer: Competitor who tries to do a spotlessly clean performance.

Washing turn: Washing turn  of the washing day , the washer gets an own number of the washing turn.

Washing bear: The member of the jury who surveys that there won’t be used any dirty tricks. (in the finnish language the animal ’pesukarhu’ means a raccoon in English)

Washing machine:  Front-loading or top-loading , at least 70 years old, in original condition. All others are synthetic copies.

Washing ball: Generally available in stores,  it has to be accepted by the organizers.

Clothes spin: A throw sign (the washer puts the clothes spin to the point from where he/she thinks he/she believes to survive cleanly).

Washing area: Organized by the decision of the organizers; when needed, separated with clothes lines from the outside world. The laundry room in the world championships is situated in Santaskylä village building.

Backwash: Right after the distribution of prizes. ( Or later on the stage at Puntarikoski Pavilion dance hall in the evening of the washing day.)



  1. laundry washed by hand ( girls and boys under school age)
  2. fine wash (girls of the lower level school age)
  3. wool wash (boys of the lower level shool age)
  4. colored washing (women, regardless of age)
  5. white laundry (men)

The events of the washing turn in other words the washing cycle

  1. The washer will get the number of the washing turn and the amount of the washing balls that he/she has bought in the laundry room and goes to the washing area to wait for his/her turn.
  2. The opening throw is the opening of the event. The thrower of the opening throw has three balls offered by the organizers. The opening thrower takes part in the world championships in his/her own category and also in the drawing , if he/she gets the ball into the washing machine.
  3. The washer puts the clothes spin to the distance of the washing machine he/she wants to. He/she can reach for the third place, for example, if the leader’s spin is so far that the washer doubts his/her own washing cycle to be unable compared to the leader. To pass another washer you have to improve the result comparing to the one you want to pass at least by the breadth of the clothes spin. The scores being even the one who threw first will be leading.
  4. The washer spin-dries, freehand, without delay, an empty washing ball into the washing machine, from behind the spin that stays as a mark. The throwing style is traditional but free.
  5. If the ball stays in the washing machine, the washing bear accepts the clean throw and the clothes spin will be left in its place. The washing mark that the washer has marked in his/her washing turn will be fixed to the clothes spin.
  6. If the washing ball goes wide or the washer breaks the rules in some other way, the performance stays unclean.You won’t be able to renew the spin-dry or give away the washing ball to anyone else in any situation.
  7. The washer spin-dries all the washing balls one after another during the washing turn. You can move the clothes spin in between the spin-dries avoiding unnecessary delay. For the second washing turn the washer can get more washing balls with the same washing turn number.
  8. The following two forms of the competition are possible. The organizers will announce before the opening throw  which form will be applied.

The simple competition

The three best spin-dries of each serie will be marked. The fourth best clothes spin will be removed and the washer’s washing mark will be put into the washing machine. All the washmarks that have been dropped out of the three best during the washing day will take part in the drawing . If you improve your result, you’ll also get a rafle to the lottery.

The final competition

This is the so called back wash. The five best spin-driers of each category will take part in the back wash. Before that all the results will be reset, only the succession of the competitors matters. In the back wash each player has five(5) washing balls at his/her disposal. The one who is at the fifth place starts by throwing the washing balls from the distance he has chosen. After that throws the fourth place and so on in reverse order. The medalists will be solved in this way. If more than two competitors don’t have any result, they solve their mutual order with three balls in a renewed match. If the renewal doesn’t lead to any result, the order will be determined by the original order. In the renewal even a good result doesn’t pass the order of the back wash.

9. In the hand washing category the washing result is not so decisive. In this category every competitor who has spin dried a washing ball into the washing machine will win for example a certificate of honour but won’t take part in the drawing of lots. The little competitors who are smaller than a washing tub can have an assistant washer. The assistant washer can stand by or carry the little washer during the spin-dry, as long as he/she doesn’t himself/herself spin dry the washing ball. There’s no minimum age in the world championships, so anyone can take part in the official competing categories no matter how small you are.

Competition of style

  1. There is also a competition of style among the competitors during the games. In this competition attention will be paid to the dressing of the competitor, the style to throw and washing speeches that can be nonsense. The winner of the style competition will be chosen by the washing bears.  

Challenge category and washing in teams

  1. The washers can issue challenges to each other one by one or as a team. The challenged competitor accepts the challenge or finds it too ”acidid”. The challenge matches will take place by throwing in turns with the purchased balls between the race itself. These results don’t have any affect to the general washing ball categories. The teams themselves are responsable for the prizes and the possible backwash.
  2. A typical challenge: teams of 4 persons, where there is one head washer. Both teams have 9 washing balls. The head washer starts and the opponent team’s head washer responds. Then is the assistant washer’s turn,  they take turns like they do in curling. The head washers also end the competition because they have more balls than the assistant washers.
  3. As a typical prize in the teamwashing is just being the clean winner. You can tease or be nasty to the loser team during the long winter evenings, but you should be careful there, because the loser team may have got some strengthening or they may have even practised desperately. Though, practising may lead to overtraining, because the rules may be changed before the next games.

General rules for the washing day

  1. The competition starts when the first washing ball is clean dried within the time that the washing bear orders. The first clean drier has to check before the first throw that the washing machine is clean.
  2. The clean drying ends when the competitors have clean dried their washing balls within the time that the washing bear has settled. The same thing concerns the challenge categories.
  3. To use the laundry washed by hand or some kind of wooden washing beetle during the washing day and the backwash is absolutely forbidden. To avoid that every washer, the audience and especially the washing bears have to behave themselves in a decent and spotless way.
  4. The washers are allowed to use fabric softeners unless their softening effect is not visually apparent. Stronger spot removers can be used only when the circumstances and the law make that possible. Chemical detergents, rinsing and spot removers are usual especially at the end of a tiring washing day or the following day.
  5. The washer can put money in the laundry water as much as he/she wants to, but money laundering and using money that has been washed elsewhere is absolutely forbidden in the whole competition area.
  6. All the profit got from the world championships goes uncut to the maintenance of Santaskylä Village building, especially to the warming of the laundry room.

The group of the washing bears can change the washing instructions any time during the competition, with the aim that the washing cycle will stay impartial. The washing bear can’t help the weather conditions and the laundry getting wet or the mild wind that dries the laundry is only coincidence.