Scrambles, Stalemates & the 5-Count : Rob's Wrestling Rant
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Scrambles, Stalemates & the 5-Count

by Rob Teet on 01/10/16

Some questions that I get asked frequently include, “Why do we have Stalemates in Beach Wrestling? Why don’t we just allow the wrestlers to continue wrestling until someone scores? Why is there a 5-count when it comes to calling Stalemates?” These are great questions, and let me explain why we use Scrambles and Stalemates in this great sport, and the materialization of the 5-count.

Understand that this style of wrestling is based on stand-up wrestling. There have been many times in the past when a tournament would return wrestlers to the stand-up position immediately after a wrestler isn’t on their feet, which has severely limited the type of offensive options used by the wrestlers. That has been one of the problems in helping this style grow over the years. It restricts the wrestler’s from using all of their tools, and has also hinders the entertainment value of getting more spectators involved with Beach Wrestling. So first, we must understand that the purpose of allowing Scrambling is to make this style more exciting by allowing more offensive opportunities.

Why don’t we allow wrestlers to continue to Scramble until someone scores? I’ll answer that question with another question; should wrestlers be allowed to remain in the Scrambling position for the entire 3-minute duration of the matches? If we allow that to happen, this will very well lead to some boring, drawn out matches that diminishes many of the benefits associated with this style. Imagine a wrestler who attempts a double-leg shot and their opponent counters with a sprawl, and neither wrestler can better their positions to score. How many wrestlers want to be stuck in this scenario for three minutes? How many spectators want to see wrestlers stuck in this scenario for three minutes? Just as the Stalemate is designed to encourage more action in the matches, so is the use of Stalemates.

The 5-Count was merely a suggestion proposed by in an effort to establish consistency on the Stalemate calls issued by the referees. And it’s a suggestion that has started to be utilized in more and more Beach Wresting events around the world. The 5-Count only starts when one of the wrestlers is in the Scrambling position, and the referee stops the count if the wrestlers return to their feet before the count of 5 (or, of course, whenever a wrestler scores with a takedown or push-out technique). A count of 5 by the referee is plenty of time for a wrestler to finish their scoring attempt while also encouraging more action in the totality of a match.

An added perk of Stalemates and the 5-Count is that there is a defensive strategy that Beach Wrestlers should also implement into their game-plan. When a wrestler finds themselves in a bad position, they have a chance to prevent their opponent from scoring. And any good sport implements defense as well as offense.

Now the use of Scrambling, Stalemates & the 5-Count has been developed over the years by nations that have used the takedown method of scoring instead of the now outdated touch-rule. Keep in mind that the sport is still developing and these might be tweaked over the next few years. But using the Scramble, Stalemates and 5-Count are a step in the right direction.

Do you have a question about Scrambles, Stalemates and the 5-Count, or a suggestion on how to improve the use of these elements in Beach Wrestling? Leave a comment and I’ll try to answer any questions and examine any suggestions. Thanks for reading, and share the blog if you like this topic.

Comments (1)

1. Rob Teet said on 1/12/16 - 05:48AM
Another idea I was considering adding to this blog entry was comparing the 5-Count to the defensive strategy of simply not allowing your opponent to score in Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. I couldn't find the right place within the contents of the blog and maintain a smooth read, so didn't include it. But if it helps wrestlers and coaches understand it better, I feel it's worth noting it. Hope it helps! :D

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Quick Glance Profile: Rob Teet
Age: 36
Currently Resides: New Haven, MI, USA
Occupation: Certified Personal Trainer, Author

Beach Wrestling Resume:
-2011 U.S. Team Memeber (4th place FILA Worlds, 70kg)
-2x U.S. Team Alternate (2007, 2010)
-3x USA Wrestling All-American (2007, 2008, 2010)
-VAWA (Virginia USA Wrestling Chapter) Beach Wrestling Director
-Director of 2011 AAU World Championships
-2015 Michigan USA Wrestling State Champion

Other Major Wrestling Accomplishements:
-2x MI AAU Scholastic State Champion (2007, 2008)
-2008 Florida Ironman Champion
-Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Association Southern Regional (Salibury, Maryland) Qualifier (2010)
-Wrote the proposal for the AAU to sanction the sport of Beach Wrestling
-2010 Smart Mark Radio "Interview of the Year"
​-Author of "Hosting Beach Wrestling Events" (All 3 Editions)
-Contributing member of The Wrestling Insider community, Sand Wrestling expert
Teet (left) ties-up with fellow U.S. Teammate Donovan DePatto in the silver medal bout at the 2011 FILA/UWW World Championships. DePatto won 2-0, while Teet finished 4th at 70kg. Batumi, Republic of Georgia.
Teet (left) spars with co-webmaster Dwight Ashby on the sands of Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Teet Scores a takedown at the 2013 Beast of the Beach Championships in Port Huron, Michigan
Rob's Wrestling Blog
Rob Teet is a longtime wrestling veteran, who has dedicated his training and learning efforts to the international style of Beach Wrestling (Sand Wrestling) for the past 10 years. His experience in the Beach Wrestling style incudes being an athlete, a coach, a referee, and tournament director. On this blog page, Teet discusses all aspects of competitive wrestling, with emphasis on the Beach/Sand style.

Teet has been featured in numerous media outlets, such as television, radio, and newspapers promoting this style, and a huge advocate of getting Beach Wresting included in the Olympic Games.

If you have any questions to ask this Beach Wrestling expert, feel free to ask within the comments, or send him an e-mail at
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