The Equipment Checklistby Rob Teet on 03/02/15
I’ve received a lot of inquiries asking for help on how to host a Sand Wrestling tournament. The majority of those inquiries are asking about what is needed to host an event. That’s what I’m going to talk about in this blog entry. Basically, for those who have purchased the book “Hosting Beach Wrestling Events”, I’m mostly looking at page 27 and will expand by sharing key elements that are also within that section (which is Chapter 4 of the book).
First, before I dive into that checklist, you need a location where the sand is level and free of debris (garbage, rocks, etc.), and the sand shouldn’t be composed of pebbles. Not all sand is suitable for sand wrestling. If you wouldn’t want to wrestle in it, then the athletes aren’t going to want to wrestle in that sand either. Also, you need insurance coverage. Here in the United States, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and USA Wrestling sanction Sand Wrestling (Beach Wrestling) and offer insurance. There are conflicting reports on whether or not the NUWAY affiliates sanction Sand Wrestling; some states do and it seems that some states do not. If you get a sanction (insurance) through one of these established wrestling leagues, then the host club must become a member of that league, if it isn’t already. Also, each wrestler must also be a member of that same wrestling organization. You can also choose to go the route of getting insurance, but it will be pricier than getting coverage through the leagues; the benefit is that it opens your competition to all athletes without requiring them to purchase a membership card that they might only use once, since membership of the leagues previously listed expire at the end of August. For countries outside of the United States, please check with your official National Wrestling Federation.
Ok, now that I have that out of the way, let me continue with the checklist...
You will need at least two or three Wrestling Rings. The wrestling rings should be a color that conflicts with the sand, letting it stand out for the wrestlers and the spectators. Rope is the most cost-effective option when making a ring. Using a yellow rope is a cheap route, but it also looks cheap too, and difficult for athletes and the audience to see. Rings are supposed to have a diameter of 23 feet, which means to measure out 72.5 inches for the diameter of the rope. Secure the ends with zip-ties, and also secure at least 4 (I prefer 8, it holds the circle in place much easier) plastic stakes to the ring in an equal distance from each other. Hammer the stakes to the ground. The time it takes to conduct one scholastic match is 6 minutes, and on average a sand match will last around two. So each ring should be able to have as many matches as 3 wrestling mats in the same amount of time. Three rings = nine wrestling mats.
The sand will become unleveled during the tournament, and a Landscape Rake is the ideal way to level the sand quickly. They can be pricey, so if you are on a budget than consider opting for another rake or means of leveling the sand. Also, the sand can become very hot and you will need a Water Hose to cool off the sand from time to time. Leveling and cooling the sand does not need to happen between each match, only when necessary.
Each wrestling ring should have a Table, and each table should have a Pair of Chairs (for the scorekeeper and timer, although these duties can be done by one person), a Stopwatch, Plenty of Pens, a Portable Scoreboard, and a Bucket of Water with a Soft Sponge in front of the table. The bucket of water is so any wrestlers who get sand on their face can quickly wash it away. The stopwatch is to keep time of the match (matches have a 3 minute limit) and pens are used to mark the Preprinted Bracket Sheets. With the winner of each match being the first to score three points, I find it easier to score directly on the bracket sheets instead of using a separate bout sheet. Just be sure that the winning wrestler confirms with the table that they are correctly identified on the bracket sheet. If you are having a team-dual tournament, then you will also need Team-Dual Sheets.
Each ring will need a Referee, and each referee will need a Whistle, and a pair of Colored Wristbands (blue or green and a red wristband). The wristbands correspond to the color of the wrestler who is wearing the corresponding Colored Ankle Bands. This isn’t anything new for experienced wrestlers, but I’m stating this for the growing number of nonprofit groups that are hosting sand wrestling contest without any other wrestling experience. One wrestler wears one band on their ankle while the other wrestler wears the other color. When a wrestler scores, the referee uses the hand with the corresponding colored wristband to let the scorekeeper know which wrestler scored.
If predetermined weight classes are being used, then you will need a Scale to weigh the wrestlers during the registration process before the contest begins. Also needed are Registration Forms, and they should include the age and weight (approximate weight if a scale isn’t used) so wrestlers can be divided into their proper age group and then further segmented into weight classes. Awards should be given to the top wrestlers for each weight class, which could be medals, trophies, cash (not for kids though, there are rules against cash prizes that could strip them of being eligible in scholastic sports), or a wide variety of unique rewards for performing well.
That is all that is required to get you started on hosting a Sand Wrestling contest. There are other things that can help you, which include Canopies, a Megaphone (or another speaker system), Areas to Promote Your Sponsors, an Area to Sell Merchandise and Food, and a Radio.
If you’d like more tips on how to boost your upcoming Sand Wrestling event, I would strongly recommend investing in the book, “Hosting Beach Wrestling Events”. There are multiple links to purchase the book from Lulu, or you can search Amazon for the book. If you have any questions, leave a comment on this blog and I will do my best to assist you. I would prefer you leave a comment so we can help everyone else improve the quality of their Sand Wrestling completion as well.