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Sand Wrestling: The Rules
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United World Wrestling has modified the rules of International Beach Wrestling (Sand Wrestling) in January, 2015! The press release that covers these changes can be officially read at the following link:
Keep in mind, that the following are the official international rules of Sand Wrestling. Certain events might be slightly adjusted to better suit that contest's needs, so it's a good idea to contact the tournament director of the upcoming contests that you are preparing for.
-Wrestlers compete within a ring with a diameter of 7 meters (23 feet), on a level sand surface. The sand should be free from debris, which includes pebbles.
-The first wrestler to score THREE points is declared the winner.
-One point is earned when their opponent goes out-of bounds (also called a "push-out"); out-of-bounds is awarded when a wrestler goes beyond the perimeter of the wrestling ring, but generally includes whenever a wrestler's body part lands on or underneath the wrestling ring perimeter.
-One point is earned when a wrestler scores a takedown.
-Two points is earned when a wrestler scores a takedown with back exposure.
-Matches are three minutes in duration if neither wrestler can score three points, with no overtime.
-When a wrestler scores, they are both returned to their feet in the starting (neutral) position.
-If the match is tied at the end of three minutes, the tie-breaking criteria is as follows: 1.) The wrestler who earned the highest scoring action (takedown with back exposure) is the winner. 2.) If both or neither wrestler scored a takedown with back exposure, the last wrestler to score is the winner. 3.) If the match is tied with neither wrestler scoring a point (0-0), the referee shall determine the winner. (Note that many local tournaments use an overtime round, and the first wrestler to score a point during the overtime round is determined the winner. This is not the official international rules, but common at the local level.)
-Punching, kicking, head-butting, biting, attacking the face, and throwing the sand are not allowed. Athletes who violate any of these rules shall be disqualified and removed from further competition. The referee reserves the right to stop the match if they believe a hold or wrestling action is potentially dangerous. Wrestlers are not allowed to be slippery (from sweat, water, or sun block); if they are, the referee should instruct that wrestler to dry off before the match.
-Please note that pins are no longer used; if a wrestler lands on their back or their shoulders touch the sand, it is scored as a 2-point takedown.
-There are a total of seven official international weight classes for the Senior (adult) Division; four for men and three for women. The weight classes for men are 154 lbs./ 70 kg, 176lbs./ 80 kg, 198 lbs./ 90 kg, and Heavyweight (which does not have a maximum weight). The weight classes for women are 132 lbs./ 60 kg, 154 lbs./ 70 kg, and Heavyweight (which does not have a maximum weight).
- Regional and local sand wrestling events have been known to create weight classes after the athletes weigh-in during registration. Some have predetermined weight classes before registration, especially for team-dual competitions. Before wrestlers are grouped into a tournament based on their weight, they are first separated into the athlete's appropriate age group, and appropriate gender group when contests offer both a male and female division for any given age group.