The World Arm Wrestling Federation, which oversees the Arm Wrestling World Championships, among other things and whose  rules we refer to in this article, is the primary arm wrestling organization in the world. Nevertheless, despite not being globally standardized. Different authorities and federations have fairly similar regulations for arm wrestling, and they frequently only change in the smaller, less significant nuances. Everywhere in the globe, an Arm Wrestling match basically follows the same arm wrestling rules.

The object of the Game

To win an arm wrestling match, you must pin your opponent’s hand to the touchpad of the table. Strength and skill are used in tandem to accomplish this. Despite being largely a physical sport, arm wrestling can be quite psychological, with competitors “psyching themselves up” to reach their best mental state and frequently attempting to scare or distract their rivals.

In addition to striving to win their own individual matches at the World Arm Wrestling Championships, contestants aim to score points for their nation’s team in the competition’s team championship.

Players & Equipment

Because physical strength and size are correlated, athletes compete against one another in weight divisions to guarantee that matches and tournaments are fair. Players must also dress accordingly, donning sports shirts with short sleeves or no sleeves and sports leggings with minimal to no advertising. No jeans may be worn, and no arm, elbow, or wrist supports are permitted.

The following characteristics and WAF regulations must be met for the tables to be used in official World Arm Wrestling Tournaments. Tables mostly include the following:

  • Elbow pads – These are where each contestant lays their elbow down to wrestle. They are cushioned to reduce pain and stop injuries.
  • Touchpads: Each contestant attempts to shove his opponent’s hand onto one of the raised pads on the opposing sides of the table.
  • Hand pegs – Competitors use them to hold onto when grappling, giving themselves more leverage.

Depending on whether arm wrestling is to be performed seated or standing, a different style of arm wrestling table is employed. Tabletops for sit-down competitions should be 28″ off the ground. The tabletop should be 40″ from the ground for stand-up play. The table top’s other measurements, which are 36″ long and 26″ broad, are all the same.

Did You Know !

Arm wrestling has been practiced as a sport for thousands of years, with evidence of matches dating back to ancient Egypt.

Legs must be at least 18″ apart and have an inside leg measurement of no less than 28″. Elbow pads should be constructed of thick, high-quality foam that is 7″ × 7″ and 2″ thick, and they should be placed 2″ from the edge. A touchpad should be 5″ out from the inner corner of the elbow pad to the inside corner of the pad, measuring 10″ long by 4″ high.

Each table’s edge should have hand pegs halfway up, spaced apart by 13″; similarly, chairs should be a standard 18″ square, 18″ off the floor. Additionally, a line that divides the table into two halves should be painted or taped onto the surface of the table in the middle.


Scoring in individual matches is fairly easy since it follows a basic win/lose pattern over one round. However, there is a team competition at the World Arm-wrestling Championships where points are given for each competitor’s performance in their category and combined with those of their nation’s team. Therefore, in each weight class, the following points are awarded:

  • 2nd – 7 points
  • 3rd – 5 points
  • 4th – 4 points
  • 5th – 3 points
  • 6th – 2 points
  • 7th – 1 point
  • Winning the Game

    The participant who successfully pins their opponent’s arm onto the touchpad wins an individual bout. Each battle lasts one round in the World Arm Wrestling Championships, but in other events governed by various federations, rules, and regulations, matches may be contested on a “best of three,” “best of five,” or other bases.

    The team that receives the most points from its members’ performances in their separate individual events wins the team competition at the World Arm wrestling Championships. This frequently holds true for different kinds of arm wrestling events and championships.

    Rules of Arm Wrestling

    • To let the officials view the participants and their grip from both sides, each match is overseen by two referees, one on each side.
    • A match has no set duration, but the referee has the right to end it if they believe one or both contestants are not in a condition to continue.
    • The contestants should walk up to the table, settle in, and then take their opponent’s hand. The thumb knuckle should be visible, and the grip should be palm to palm. Other hands of competitors shall hold their corresponding hand pegs.
    • If both contestants agree, they may opt to begin a match in the referee’s grip or in a strip.
    • The match will start as soon as the officials are satisfied with both competitors’ grip. Each contestant should strive to pin their opponent’s arm against the touchpad.
    • Apply sideways pressure to compel their opponent’s hand to the touchpad. It is not permitted to apply back pressure in an effort to move the adversary toward the middle of the table.
    • When a participant pins their opponent’s hand to the touchpad, they have won the match. If the head referee is satisfied that this is a legitimate pin at this point, they will exclaim, “Stop! and instantly raise their arm to denote the inner.
    • A competitor’s natural wrist, or any portion of it, touching the touchpad constitutes a legitimate pin.
    • Arm wrestling has a wide variety of infractions that may be committed. These include, among other things, touching a part of one’s own body while playing, crossing one’s shoulder into the region of the opponent, lowering one’s shoulder below the height of the touchpad, using vulgar words or abusive gestures, or acting unsportsmanlike.
    • Two warnings equal one foul, two fouls equal disqualification, and thus, the opponent wins the Game right away.


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