OFFICIAL RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE CANADIAN ARM WRESTLING FEDERATION (REVISED September 2023)
A) All weigh-ins will be done on an approved scale that has been certified accurate by the Canadian Weights and Measures or approved agent.
B) All weigh-ins will be done in the nude if an athlete wishes to make their weight class. (underwear permitted)
C) Weigh-ins cannot commence until 6pm of the Friday preceding Nationals, 4pm for CAWF Executive.
D) Weight classes will be as follows: (age classes are your age at the end of the calendar year of the competition) Senior Classes Men's Right and Left: 60kg, 65kg, 70kg, 75kg, 80kg, 85kg, 90kg, 100kg, 110kg, 110+kg. Ladies Right and Left: 55kg, 60kg, 70kg, 80kg, 80+kg. Master's (40yrs+) Men's Right and Left: 70kg, 80kg, 90kg, 100kg, 100+kg Ladies' Right and Left: 70kg, 80kg, 80+kg Grand Masters (50yrs+) Men's Right and Left Hand: 75,kg, 90kg, 90+kg Disabled Men’s Right and Left: 75kg, 75+kg Ladies Right and Left Open Junior Classes 13yrs and Under Mixed 25kg, 30kg, 40kg, 50kg, 60kg, 60+kg 14yrs - 18yrs Girls: 60kg, 60+kg Boys: 60kg, 70kg, 80kg, 80+kg
E) All competitors will be weighed in by a person of the same sex if they so desire.
F) At the Canadian Championships, contestant may compete in their own class, and can pull up as many classes as they wish. Contestants may compete in both right and left hand classes.
G) Without prejudice or discrimination contestant with an artificial limb have the option of weighing in with or without the limb. However if the person chooses to weigh-in without the limb then they must also compete without the limb. Any person who weighs in without the artificial limb and then competes with the limb on will be disqualified as follows:
1) Comes to the table and places their elbow on the elbow pad with the limb on - 1 foul
2) Competes with the limb on - 1 loss 3) If he/she competes in more than one match with the artificial limb on, they will be dropped immediately form the tournament and placed in last place. If it is determined at the conclusion of the tournament that the person competed two or more times with the artificial limb they must forfeit their prize and be placed at the bottom of the standings. All persons below them in the standings will move up one position. Failure the forfeit all prizes will result in that person being banned from all future tournaments until such prizes have been returned.
H) Any person weighing in with a cast must have a note from a certified medical doctor attesting to the weight of such cast. The note must include the date the cast was installed, the hospital or institution and phone number where the cast was installed, the doctor's name printed neatly and his/her signature. Failure to supply such note will result in the weight of the cast included in the total body weight of the contestant.
I) Without prejudice or discrimination Pregnant women will not be allowed to compete in C.A.W.F. competitions. They will not however, be forced to forfeit any prizes if it is discovered that they competed while pregnant. This section should be written on all registration forms.
J) Referees will not be allowed to compete at Circuit, Provincial and National Championships. Substitutes may only be used in case of injury or sickness of designated referee. Substitutes are forbidden to officiate their own class.
A) All National classes will be double elimination.
B) Draw sheets will be done according to brackets.
1) Competitors are aligned by "luck of the draw", in the first round only. There will be no seeding of competitors.
2) Winners stay on the "A" side while losers drop to the "B" side.
3) All classes will be run down to the quarter-finals before starting another class. If two or more tables are to be used for the competition each class must be kept on one table and can only be split up if more than 16 competitors. Once quarter- finals have been reached all classes will be run through once starting with the “A” side vs “B” side, if the “A” side loses, then they will be matched again before semi-finals. At the semi-finals all classes will then be run through completely again with a “B” vs “B” side. The loser takes third place. At the finals all classes will then be run through again in the same succession. If the person on the "A" loses, then a re-match will be run immediately following the completion of the last match of the finals. If more than one rematch is required then all re-matches will be run in the same order as the classes were run during the tournament.
C) If two competitors who are in the same weight class for the same arm and on the same side whether "A" or “B” side side and are mistakenly matched and a winner is determined the match will stand.
1) The two armwrestlers who were to compete against the above two will then be matched against one another.
2) If a situation occurs whereby the competitors in C1 have already competed against one another then they will be matched against other armwrestlers on the same side. This will be done by taking the first competitor and matching them against the third and the second will be matched against the fourth.
D) When a competitor breaks their arm during the match and the match is stopped before a winner is determined then that person will be declared the loser of the match.
1) Any person who breaks their arm on the "A" side can only be dropped to the "B" side. They will then be dropped from the class in the order they would have been called, should they have been able to compete and lost the following match.
E) It is the responsibility of each competitor to make sure that they are accounted for in each and every match.
F) A winner of each match must be determined. Both competitors cannot be fouled-out (loss). However both competitors can be disqualified for being abusive to the officials or for unsportsmanlike conduct. Any person being expelled from the tournament for these reasons will be dropped to the bottom of the standings. No matter where they would otherwise finish.
G) Team points will be tabulated as follows: 1st - 5 points, 2nd - 4 points, 3rd - 3 points, 4th - 2 points, 5th - 1 point. Points will accumulate in all classes men's right and left and women's right and left.
H) The first name called (which will be the name closest to the top of the draw sheet) will get their preference as to which side of the table they wish to compete from.
EXCEPTION: In case of learning or speech impaired competitor, they may choose the side in which they will see the referee giving the "SIGNAL"
A) Contestants have one minute to get to the table or have the draw sheet table informed that they will be delayed. Failure to do so will result in the contestant being declared the loser of that match. The draw sheet table and the head referee will decide if the excuse is valid. An invalid excuse will result in the contestant losing the match.
B) Arm wrestlers will report to the table ready to compete.
1) They must have arms bare from the end of their fingers to 4 inches above the elbow.
2) Watches, rings, and support bandages are not permitted on the competing arm.
3) Shirt with large collars must be turned inward.
4) Head wear without a brim/bill, such as religious headwear, due rags and toques may be worn at the table. No offensive language or symbols is permitted. Any long garment must be tied back, as not to interfere with the match. Long hair must be tied back.
5) Finger nails must be shortened to referee's satisfaction.
6) Shoes or bare feet are permitted.
7) Chalk, rosin and stickum are permitted. Vaseline or any like substance that will cause slippage are not permitted.
C) Once a match starts it cannot be stopped unless there is a win, a foul, slip-out, a mistake in the draw match up, or table breakage.
D) There will be no time limit on matches.
E) Once a referee has been set at a table they cannot be replaced. Interpreters will be used only when called for.
F) A referee’s decision can only be overruled by a protest (during the finals) where designated CAWF video replay is used. If one referee calls a win and the other referee calls a foul then the match will be restarted without a call being made. However, if one referee clearly saw both actions and is certain as to what happened first then that call will stand.
G) The referee is not there to armwrestle, he/she will lightly touch competitor's hand to align them.
H) Before the grip is taken competitors will:
1) (in sit-down) Seat themselves with feet under table in a manner as not to interfere with their opponent. If a disagreement occurs between the two competitors then the officials will make the competitors place their feet with their right feet to the farthest right for right hand matches and left feet farthest left for left hand matches. The other feet will be staggered. There is no foot rule in stand-up. However, competitors have preference on their side of the table.
2) Grab the peg at the side.
3) Place their elbow on the pad.
I) The grip will be a grip if thumb knuckles are showing on both hands. Grip can be either under or over the thumbnail. Competitors can squeeze as tightly as they wish as long as the other competitor can close his/her hand. Finger tips must be placed flatly on the back of their opponent's hand. You cannot dig your nails into the back of your opponent's hand in an attempt to inflict pain or injury.
1) The referee has the discretion to ensure a fair grip. The referee will ensure the positioning of the hands, with the thumb up and palms together
J) Wrists will be straight, still and in the centre of the table. Back or side pressure can be used as long as the hands do not deviate from centre.
K) Prior to the start of the match shoulders must be square with the table, although they may slant to either side. The referee must be able to pass his fist between each competitor's shoulder and their hands. There must also be a hand's width between the arm wrestler's head and his hand.
L) The start phrase is "ready go" will be given to start match. The match will end when the referee says "stop".
M) Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated and could lead to being expelled from the tournament. Sanctions can vary from a warning to being disqualified from the competition. If a person is disqualified from the competition then they are placed at the bottom of the standings with no ranking. They will have the initials "dq" placed in front of their name.
N) If both competitors wish to start in the straps, referee's grip or both they may do so.
O) If both competitors wish to start in the straps, referee's grip or both they may do so.
P) A competitor may not place any part of their body below their waist on the top of the table. They will be told to remove it. Failure to remove it will result in a foul.
A) Any early movement with shoulders, arm, or hand.
B) If one competitor is causing a delay "locking up".
C) Letting go of the peg. The warning will be issued without stopping the match. If however an advantage is taken the match will be stopped and restarted with a foul. Contact with the peg must be above table. Persons with one hand will be allowed no peg contact.
The following will result in one foul:
A) Competitors will be given 30 seconds to get a grip satisfactory to the officials. Failure to do so will result in a referee's grip. Any movement during the setting up and prior to the go will result in a foul.
1) Competitors have 30 seconds to “Grip Up”. If in that time, they have not gripped up, they will be given a referee’s grip. Competitors also have the right to ask for referee grip providing that both athletes agree to do so. No movement is allowed during referee grip. Any movement after a referee says “Don't move" will result in a foul. A referee’s grip consists of the following procedure:
1)Referee will ask competitors if they want their thumbs to be closed, up or down with showing both types of grips to assure proper understanding.
2) Referee will set open palms on the centre of the table and call “don’t move”
3) Second referee will assist head referee by holding competitor’s wrists to feel any possible movement
4) Head referee will set shoulders square for both competitors and call “don’t move”
5) Head referee will start setting grip by announcing which competitor will be closed first. Referee closes fingers and thumbs with the manner competitors asked for, while ensuring both competitors have their wrist straight.
6) Once the first hand is closed the second referee will return to their designated position for starting a match.
7) After the second hand is closed the head referee starts a match with a command “Ready?… Go”
B) Any two warnings.
C) Failure to keep your shoulder on your own side of the table. "Your own side of the table" being defined as an imaginary line across the table from one hand grip to the other. Will result in a foul.
D) There will not be any contact between a competitor's hand and any other part of their body. Such contact will result in a foul.
E) For "causing a slip-out" in one of the following manners:
1) You lift your fingers off your opponent's hand prior to a slippage.
2) You close your fingers as to make a fist inside your opponent's hand.
3) You are in break wrist position and you pull your fingers inside your opponent's hand, therefore you are unable to hold the grip.
4) Straps will be used when a clean slip out occurs (non-intentional slip). If the referee is not certain if the slip is clean or intentional, proceed with a strap match. Referee must see the intentional slip to award the competitor with a foul. Straps can be used also when competitors ask for it. Strap match procedure:
a) Referee will ask competitors to put their elbows down on the elbow pads and open their hands. Referee may ask competitors to move their elbows in order to properly apply the strap.
b) Referee will set the competitor's hands on the same level, palm to palm, without unnecessary gap between thumbs.
c) Second referee will assist the head referee in maintaining the proper hand position by holding both hands during applying straps. They will hold the strap in place to keep the strap from slipping.
d) Head referee will apply straps starting from the competitor’s hand on his side of the table.
e) Referee will ask competitors if they want straps applied UP or DOWN. (UP means the strap will be applied on the wrist line, and DOWN means not more than 1 inch from the wrist line).
f) Referee will make sure that the strap remains tight as they wrap the wrists.
g) After going around the second wrist the end of the strap will then be fed below the wrist and above the strap between the wrists.
h) Referee will tighten the strap to their own discretion. Competitors may ask to tighten or loosen the strap. If both competitors agree, then the referee will apply necessary changes in the strap if necessary. When tightening the strap it must be pulled in the direction away from the knuckles.
i) Once the strap is applied, competitors are allowed to take their grip.
F) Losing contact with the elbow pad. A competitor is considered to lose contact with the pad when:
1) An elbow lifts vertically off the pad
2) An elbow foul will be called if the armwrestler is riding on their triceps or forearm and the elbow extends beyond any side of the elbow pad.
3) If at the beginning of, or during the match the elbows of both competitors lift off simultaneously the match will be stopped and restarted. This will be considered coincidental fouls whereby no foul will be given.
4) Any intentionally flagrant action that causes your opponent to get a foul will result in no foul for the opponent and you receiving the foul instead. Example: Intentionally pushing your opponent off the of the elbow pad.
G) Placing yourself in one of the following dangerous positions:
When a competitor puts themselves in a dangerous position, the referee will caution them loudly with a command 'shoulder'. If the competitor does not correct their position within 2 seconds or correct their position but then goes back to the dangerous position again, the match will be stopped and a foul for the dangerous position will be given. Two dangerous positions are distinguished:
1.A competitor does not keep their arm and shoulder in a straight line and turning their head and shoulder in an opposite direction,
2.A competitor who places his upper arm on a decline on his losing side or centre line. Centre in this instance is halfway between the hand pegs
H) When the upper arm is not on a decline, you cannot armwrestle with a fully straight locked arm
The following will result in a loss:
A) Any two fouls.
B) Any foul in the losing position. Losing position is defined as having your arm 2/3 of the way down from the start of the match to being pinned. This is an official's judgment call.
C) A person is pinned (loss of match) when any of their fingers or the wrist drop below the pin pads (touch pads). The pin line on the wrist is that of the lower part of the wrist where it meets the back of the forearm. To be pinned a person does not have to hit the pin pad as long as they go below it.
1) A person cannot be pinned on their own side of the table. Your "own side of the table" is that part of the table from centre (halfway between the pegs) to your winning pin pads.
The following are hand signals which are to be used to communicate between referees, competitors, draw sheet table and spectators.
No Call - Wave hands parallel to, and over the table with palms facing down.
Elbow Foul - Place elbow in palm and point your hand to the floor on the side of the offender.
Coincidental Elbow Fouls - Place elbow in palm while holding up 2 fingers. Then signal a no-call.
Slip-Out (straps) - Fists closed overhead with thumbs up.
Slip-Out (1 foul) - Place fingers of one hand inside the other hand then pull out in a slipping motion. Then point to the floor on the offender's side to signify a foul.
Shoulder Foul (across centre) - Tap shoulder and then motion to centre of table. Then point to the floor on the offender's side to signify a foul.
Shoulder Foul (blocking) - Palm of hand tapping shoulder. Then point to the floor on the offender's side to signify a foul.
Referee's Grip - Clinch fingers of your right and left hands together over head.
Break-Arm - Referee will place himself in break-arm position while pointing at offender. Then point to the floor on the offender's side to signify a foul.
Hyper-extension - Referee will stretch arm out and above him/her. Then point to the floor on the offender's side to signify a foul.
Bent Wrist – Downside will hold their hand straight out, parallel to the table
Knifing – Downside will hold their hand straight out parallel to the table and rotate their hand back and forth
Everything is Ok to Start the match – Downside will hold their hand straight out parallel to the table and give a thumbs up.
**Downside ref; when giving hand signals to the head ref should keep their hand signals no higher than the level of the table top.