CWWA Wrestling Rules


  1. That the Secretary of this Association shall supply copies of the Constitution, Bye-Laws and Wrestling and Academy Rules on request, and shall impress upon competitors and all Sports Bodies the necessity for having and studying them.


  1. That all competitions be open for FREE COMPETITION TO THE WORLD (in the Cumberland and Westmorland Style) except otherwise specified. Male and female competitors may compete together in up to, and including, Under 12 years classes.
  2. That no competitor be allowed more than one entry in any one competition, and that at the end of every round a fresh draw shall be made and that no further entries be taken in any competition after the draw for the first round has begun. All tickets used in the draw must be identical.
  3. That the name of every wrestler shall be called three times and anyone not answering the third time shall be blown out. All competitors shall enter in their own names, but an assumed name may be adopted by a competitor provided that he has the same registered with the Secretary of this Association.
  4. That no competitor shall be odd man more than once in any competition, unless all remaining wrestlers have been odd-man in previous rounds. The odd man will always be the last ticket left on the table or in the hat.
  5. Any wrestler attempting sham wrestling, personation, buying or selling a fall, getting into any weight to which he is not entitled, or otherwise misconducting himself, or in any way attempting a barney tending to bring discredit on fair and manly wrestling, shall upon detection be at once expelled and at the discretion of the Governing Board debarred from again contending at any sports meeting affiliated to this Association and his name shall be forwarded to all sports bodies who are members of and affiliated with this Association.


  1. All wrestlers shall weigh-in when called by the weighman. Any wrestler so weighed in is weighed in for the whole competition unless the referee order him on the Scale again.
  2. An allowance of 2lb only shall be made to any wrestler beyond the weight specified. No-one shall be allowed to weigh-in in any other costume than that in which he intends to wrestle, and no wrestler be allowed to wrestle except in becoming costume.
  3. In all Championship events the referee appointed by the Governing Board will act as weighman. At other events an official appointed from the judges or a person appointed by the promoter will act as weighman. No other person shall carry out weighing-in duties.
  4. All wrestlers are to be weighed-in before the draw is made.
  5. The weighing machine shall be placed near the edge of the wrestling ring and all wrestlers shall be weighed-in in full view of the public as far as is possible.
  6. That all objections to wrestlers after the first round on account of overweight or otherwise must be referred to the referee whose decision shall be final.


  1. Wrestlers must wear a wrestling strip complying with the CWWA’s standards at all Senior Championships.
  2. Where the wrestling Promoter stipulates that wrestlers should wear “traditional costume”, the standards adopted by the CWWA will apply.
  3. Whilst the CWWA prefers wrestlers to compete in a strip, it acknowledges that the long-standing tradition of wrestlers coming forward from the crowd means that at many venues wrestling strips wiIl not be compulsory. In such instances the wishes of the promoter will be accepted, provided that basic standards of decency are observed.
  4. The strip consists of four parts:
    1. a pair of socks.
    2. leggings which fit tightly to the leg ( such as long-johns, and tights).
    3. a centre-piece elasticated round the waist and the legs. In the absence of a purpose-made garment, a bathing costume is acceptable. (Please note that shorts are not accepted as a substitute).
    4. a singlet vest or tee-shirt. In under 18 classes, Senior classes and all Championships the wearing of two vests shall not be allowed. This does not apply to female classes.
    As an alternative to (b) and (c) above wrestlers may wear an elasticated tracksuit (without zips).
  5. The strip may be any colour and of any suitable material.
  6. Torn and muddy strips are unacceptable unless the damage has occurred on the same day.
  7. Wrestlers competing on mats may choose whether or not to wear socks.


  1. That every fall in every competition shall be judged by two judges and a referee, who shall be appealed to only if the judges disagree. The decision of the referee shall be final, and further he shall be empowered to decide any point not provided for in these Rules. All falls must be by a majority decision. The only exception is a break of hold seen by a single official. Where the referee and judges all have differing opinions the bout shall be declared a “no fall” and wrestled again.
  2. The referee shall inspect the wrestling ring before any wrestling take place to ensure it is clear of any dangers. For outdoor competition the recommended size of the ring is 14 metres across with a 2 metre safety zone between the ring and any spectators. The minimum size of the ring shall be 10 metres across with a 2 metre safety zone all round. For indoors there shall be a 1 metre safety zone all round. It is accepted that the size of the ring indoors may vary but safety should always be paramount.
  3. That wrestlers who still “follow the ring” will not under any circumstances be permitted to officiate as judges, or referees, and any wrestlers known to officiate in these capacities render themselves liable to suspension at the discretion of the Governing Board. However, Senior wrestlers may officiate for Boys’ competitions.


  1. That competitors shall shake hands on entering and leaving the ring.
  2. On entering the ring the two wrestlers will shake hands, take a slack hold, and keep hold, with their feet motionless and with chins over shoulders, heads touching and shoulders level. There will be no struggling for hold. The referee will instruct both wrestlers to be “On your guard” and when the referee is satisfied that each wrestler is on his guard he will shout “wrestle” and the bout will commence.


  1. With the exception of kicking the wrestlers are allowed to use every legitimate means to throw each other. To strike with the side of the foot shall not be deemed kicking.
  2. That in cases where wrestlers refuse to wrestle the referee shall intervene and instruct them to wrestle or both will be disqualified.
  3. That if either party breaks his hold, that is, loses his grip, though not on the ground, and the other still retains his hold, the one so leaving loose shall be the loser. That in the case of slipholds occurring in any bout the referee has the power to stop the bout, tell the offender to correct his hold, and warn him as to his future conduct. The referee may suspend one or both wrestlers from further participation in the contest.
  4. That if either man touch the ground with one knee only, or any other part of his body, though he may still retain his hold, he shall not be allowed to recover himself but shall be deemed the loser.
  5. That if both fall to the ground the man who is first down or falls under the other shall be the loser, but if they fall side by side, or otherwise that the judges cannot decide which was first on the ground, it shall be wrestled again.
  6. That if it comes to the knowledge of this Association, either at the time of the contest or afterwards, that any barneying or unfair arrangement has taken place it must inquire into the matter and deal with the parties concerned in such a manner as the Governing Board may determine. Any wrestler observed, or known to buy, sell, or to compromise a fall, or disobeying the judges will be refused payment of any portion of the prize to which he otherwise may become entitled. No wrestler shall be allowed to lie down to another under any circumstances without the consent of the referee. That in cases where judges and referee are unanimously of the opinion that a wrestle is a barney they shall have the
    power to suspend the wrestlers the matter to be reported to the Secretary of this Association within three days of the day of the said offence, and the Governing Board shall fix the term of suspension of the offenders.


  1. That where there are 12 entries or under in a championship the best of three falls shall be wrestled throughout. Where there are 13 or more entries in a championship the decision whether to wrestle the best of three falls or sudden death throughout shall be at the discretion of the organiser.
  2. That a reigning Champion may, if he wish, defend his title against a challenger. All applications must be made to the Secretary of this Association and the judges shall be appointed by the Governing Board. The system of allocation of championship events is retained.


These rules should be read in conjunction with the Constitution, Bye-Laws and Wrestling Rules as far as applicable.

  1. That an Academy shall consist of a President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Committee of not less than five other members, and shall be carried on for the benefit of sport and charity only, not for the profit of any private individual or individuals.


  1. That the Academy Shield will be competed for annually.
  2. A full team will have fifteen members to fit the following categories: 6st, 7st, 8st, 9st, 10st, 11st, 12st, 13st, 14st, 15st, All Weights, Ladies 8st, 10st, 12st and All Weights (2lb allowed for costume).
  3. In each weight the representatives of each academy will wrestle everyone else in that group in an American Tournament.
  4. The winning club will be the one with the greatest number of winning bouts.
  5. No wrestler may compete in more than two weights.
  6. If an academy is unable to find a competitor for a particular weight, that academy will score no points in that section.
  7. Competitors should be bona fide members or have a connection with the academy they represent. There will be no making up numbers from spare wrestlers who are spectating.
  8. Every wrestler will be weighed before the competition. Team organisers will have no right to allocate wrestlers tactically: the lightest wrestler will go first, the second lightest will go second, and so on.


  1. Teams to be invited from the South (the area served by the academies at Kendal, St. Michael’s on Wyre and Waberthwaite), the North (Northumberland and the area served by Carlisle Wrestling Club, and including wrestlers from the Borders of Scotland), and Scotland (the Scottish Wrestling Bond).
  2. The competition to be divided into five sections which reflect the commonest weights and ages used by Sports Committees:- Under 15 Years, Under 18 Years, 11½ Stones, 13 Stones, Open Weight.
  3. Each team to provide three wrestlers for each section, fifteen wrestlers in total. A wrestler may only compete in one section.
  4. When three teams or more, compete, each wrestler will have a single bout against each member of the other teams in his own category and each fall will count as one point to the team score. If only two teams are entered, best of three will be wrestled.
  5. Traditional costume will be worn. (For the Scots that means kilts).
  6. When weighing in, wrestlers will have the option to weigh in their wrestling costume with 2lb allowance, or weigh before putting on their costume without the 2lb allowance.
  7. Each club is asked to provide a judge.
  8. In the event of a tie, the two teams concerned will nominate one wrestler from each section to wrestle a single fall decider.