Toe Wrestling

toe wrestling

Forget the classic classroom favourite of playful thumb wars, because the increasingly popular craze of toe wresting will be sure to (quite literally) knock your socks off.

This outrageous sport is much more than a craze, however, as it has been holding World Championships since way back in 1976. Toe wrestling was born in the UK in a pub called the Royal Oak Inn in Wetton, Derbyshire, apparently out of a desire from British walkers to thrive at a sport.

Much to their disappointment, a Canadian competitor took out the title of the first Toe Wrestling World Champion. Today, the sport draws in competitors from all over the world who not only compete with their toes but also with their nicknames. The competitor’s comedic names range from the ‘Toeminator’ to the ‘Itatoelion Stallion’.

Repeat and most recent World Champion Alan ‘Nasty’ Nash reveals that the sport is not as innocent as it may seem. Over 18 years of toe wrestling competitions, Nash has suffered through a nasty nine broken toes. In 1997, the forerunner broke 4 toes, however after packing them with some ice, he persevered to go on and with the Championships. Nash believes that people in their mid 30s are at the prime toe wrestling age. He says a lot of the newcomers are in their 20s and hail from Australia, Japan and South Korea. Yet apparently these youngens are “easy to beat”.

Toe Wrestling Rules

Wrestlers first take their seat at the ‘Toedium’ on either side of the centre line before interlocking big toes. Upon the words ‘Toes Away’ escaping from the referee’s lips, competitors begin a fierce battle attempting to either force their opponent’s big toe to the ground or force the outer edge of their foot to touch the toesrack. When either of these manoeuvres occurs, the referee will call ‘Toe Down’ and the round is complete.

The first round is conducted using the right foot, the second the left and if a decider is required, the third round goes back to wrestling with the right toe. The unused foot must stay off the ground at all times during the competition and some part of the bottom must always remain on the ground. If the pain becomes too much, competitors are able to surrender by yelling ‘Toe Much’ and toes will unlock immediately.

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