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Rules and Regulations

 

1.1. IFA Referee Panel
1.1.1. is responsible for the international educational program for referees, its
implementation, as well as timely information about current changes in the rules.
1.1.2. is responsible to elect the Referee-in-Chief which will work with the Panel on the
rules and collective decision making for any disciplinary action and rule enforcement. The
Referee-in-Chief will represent the Panel in front of the Congress.
1.2. Tournament Head Referee
1.2.1. is responsible for an assignation of referees to IFA tournaments
1.2.2. is responsible for conducting a short briefing for the tournament referee before the
competition
1.2.3. is responsible for supervision and assessment of referees during the competition
1.2.4. is responsible for proper applying of IFA rules during the competition
1.2.5. is responsible to handle protests during the competition
1.3. Tournament Referee
1.3.1. is responsible to wear proper IFA dress code for referees with below specifications:
- referee t-shirt with 1 inch thick of black and white stripes
- referee level on the right hand sleeve
- black formal pants and black shoes
1.3.2. is responsible to know thoroughly IFA rules
1.3.3. is responsible to conduct themselves in an unbiased and professional manner (not to
referee family members or partners if there is possibility to replace with other referee, to
not coach anyone, to not cheer competitors in referee t-shirt, etc)
1.4. General referees’ rules
1.4.1. During the match, two referees are used: one referee at the table (the head referee
of the match) and one assisting referee (second/downside referee) or technical/camera
referee
1.4.2. The referee starting the match will be deemed Head referee of that particular match.
Assistant referee will watch for elbow fouls at start of match and assist in ensuring a fair
start. After the match has started, the two referees will watch each their side for fouls or a
pin.
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International Federation of Armwrestling
1.4.3. If there are video cameras on the table for tracking elbow fouls, only the Head
Referee of the match is at the table, and the second referee (technical referee) monitors
elbow fouls through the camera monitors.
1.4.4. A technical referee must be able to work on equipment for elbow cameras, do
playbacks, etc.
1.4.5. Once a referee is set at a table, he/she cannot be removed, unless for lack of
competence, sickness or unsolved dispute.
1.4.6. Assistant referee position at the table for better exposure of the matches:
- Assistant referee will not stand in front of the table area unless setting up the strap or the
referee grip. They may stand aside from the table corner to the exterior.
- Before the match starts, assistant referee will not stand with his/her back to the public.
- Before the match starts, assistant referee will show hand signs only under the pin pad
level.
- The setup of the referee grip and strap match will be made with one hand from the sides
of the table if possible.
- No match can start if the second referee is standing in front of the table area.

2.1. Rules of the Tournament
2.1.1. Athletes are obliged to show up at least 15 minutes before the start of their category
for a check list verification. A category will be announced and a start list will be checked.
Athletes who don’t show up at the verification will not be allowed to participate.
2.1.2. Athletes are called to the stage when it is their turn to compete. They will be
accounted for as per draw sheet. Then the matches will begin. A s pecified area will be
secured for the pullers whose class is being run. The officials will send these pullers to this
specified area.
2.1.3. Athletes are not allowed to wear any type of wrist wraps, straps, elbow
bandages/supports or cups, protective wraps, rings or bangles on the competing arm.
An arm is defined as a portion of the body starting from the shoulder and continuing on
and ending at the fingertips.
For religious reasons only a female competitor may have their arm covered. This covering
must be made of a sheer material that cannot be so tight as to be considered as a tension
bandage. Also it must be inspected by an appointed female to ensure there is nothing
beneath the garment.
2.1.4. Individuals (unless authorized by the Head referee at a table) may not approach a
table to within 20 feet. Strict penalty may be enforced.
2.1.5. Poor sportsmanship will not be tolerated and it could lead to a penalty and including
being barred from the tournament.
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International Federation of Armwrestling
2.1.6. No challenge matches allowed during or immediately preceding the competition. No
disruption of scheduled proceedings allowed.
2.1.7. IFA tournaments can be refereed with a camera refereeing system instead an
assistant referee. The following requirements have to be met:
- The two elbow pads must be different colors from each other.
- The size of the screen must be a minimum of 22” inches.
- The size of the pad displayed on the screen must be at least 5” inches.
- Recording equipment must have instant replay as well as recording.
- There must be two-way microphone communication between the technical
referees and the starting referee at the table.
- The camera angles and display must be set up to the satisfaction of the Head
Referee.
2.1.8. Video replay will be limited to protests only.

3.1. Double Elimination Seeding
3.1.1. IFA tournaments are double elimination. All contestants must lose twice. No specific
seeding prior to championships. Contestants are placed on draw by randomized scoring
system.
3.2. General Guidelines
3.2.1. Contestants for each weight class will be announced and they will come to the stage
to verify the categories and the draw.
3.2.2. Once a contestant’s names are called, they will approach the table, shake hands with
their opponent and then take a grip as instructed by the referee. Competitor has 60
seconds after his name has been announced to come to the table. Otherwise a loss will be
called in this particular match.
3.2.3. Anyone with long hair will have to have their hair restrained properly as to not
disturb the opponent or interfere with the referees. Headwear (including those for
religious reasons) is allowed as long as this doesn't interfere with the opponent or interfere
with the referees during the match (hats with brim or bill are not allowed)
3.2.4. A referee will lightly touch competitor hands and wrists to see that they are properly
aligned, wrists straight, thumb knuckle is visible and arm centered to the table top, failure
to comply will result in the competitor getting warnings.
3.2.5. No breaks are allowed during a match, unless there is an equipment failure, draw
sheet mistake or authorized by officials.
3.2.6. No competitor will be matched twice against the same opponent unless for place
standing.
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International Federation of Armwrestling
3.2.7. Athlete can only pin their opponent on their winning side of the table. A person
cannot win or lose in the neutral zone.
3.2.8. A competitor may protest any call by the table referees.
3.2.8.1. Protest procedure: The competitor has until the start of the next match to
lodge their protest. The next match has begun when both competitors have arrived at
the table. The competitor must inform their Team Captain and pay the protest fee for
the Protest to commence. The Referee in Chief or their designate will write down the
Protest and collect the protest fee. The protest will be decided based on the
conversation with the table referees or/and video playback, if it’s available.
3.2.8.2. The Referee in Chief or their designate will then discuss with the table referees
if their call stands. If the table referees disagree on the call or they are not completely
sure about their call, then the protest will be upheld and the match will be restarted
with no fouls given. If the table referees stand by their call and no video is available
then the protest will be denied.
3.2.8.3 . In case of reviewing a video playback:
Video playback must be conclusive for the protest to be upheld. If the video footage
does not clearly show that the table referees made a mistake or missed the Protested
call, then the call stands.
If a Protest concerns a foul and it is observed during the video playback then the foul
will be issued to the offending party.
If any other infraction is observed during the video playback that doesn't involve the
Protest that infraction will be disregarded.
3.2.8.4. If the Protest is upheld the 3.3. Setting up / Start of Match
3.3.1. The grip is palm to palm, grip at thumb, thumb knuckle must be visible. The grip
should be at the center of the table. Free hand will grip the hand peg provided at the table
edge. This arm may or may not touch the table top. Fingernails should be trimmed so as
not to injure your opponent. Stickum/ rosin/ chalk are permitted.
3.3.2. Back pressure to the extent that it pulls your opponent's arm across the marked
center of the table will not be allowed. Referee will instruct the athlete to release the back
pressure to centralize the grip or a warning will be given for delaying the fair setup.
3.3.3. Shoulders must be square. Difference in heights for left and right shoulder is
allowed.
3.3.4. There should be at least 1 fist size between hand and chin, shoulder, chest before
the “Ready?..Go!”.
3.3.5. The signal to start a match given by the Head Referee is “Ready?...Go!” Athletes are
only allowed to start on “GO” and only stop the match when referee give verbal “STOP”
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International Federation of Armwrestling
and hold the competitors hand. Referee will then show signal either foul or winner to the
athlete.
3.3.6. A pin is when any part of the natural wrist line to fingertips touches or goes below
the touch pad.
3.3.7. Competitor’s legs can be wrapped around the table leg or braced against an opposite
table leg prior to the start of the match, providing they are not interfering with their
opponent. Feet can be off the ground during competition and legs can be moved in any
fashion as long as they don’t interfere with their opponent. At least 1 leg must touch the
ground before the “GO”.
3.3.8. In case of injury during competition, the competitor’s name will still continue in the
double elimination system until he/she has fulfilled the two loss commitment. The match
that the competitor was injured will be regarded as a loss.
3.3.9. There is no time limit during a match.
3.3.10. Competitors can start a match in strap or in referee’s grip or referee’s grip in strap
if both athletes agree to do so. competitor or their Team Captain will be
reimbursed.
If the Protest is denied the money will be forfeited.

4.1. Each competitor should know the following words
Center Coincidental Dangerous
position
Don’t move Down
Elbow Foul Grip Intentional Knuckles
Losing position Pad Peg Pin Ready Go
Referee Grip Shoulders Slip out Stop Strap match
Thumb Up Warning Winner Wrist
SECTION 5. WARNINGS
5.1. Any movement of arm during or after “Ready” before “GO” will results in False Start which
equal to 1 warning.
5.2. If competitor causing delay for setup either in grip, backpressure, covering thumb knuckles,
wrist, knifing and arm-center, after 3 rd notification by referee, he/she will get a warning.
5.3. Losing contact with the peg will result in a warning without stopping the match. Referee will
look to the competitor and call one warning and show proper hand signal. If letting go of the peg
results in gaining an advantage for the athlete or remains off for more than 2 seconds, then the
referee will stop the match and give the foul to the athlete. If the athlete already carry 1 warning
earlier, then letting go of the peg will results in a STOP and a foul for 2 warning.

5.1. Any movement of arm during or after “Ready” before “GO” will results in False Start which
equal to 1 warning.
5.2. If competitor causing delay for setup either in grip, backpressure, covering thumb knuckles,
wrist, knifing and arm-center, after 3 rd notification by referee, he/she will get a warning.
5.3. Losing contact with the peg will result in a warning without stopping the match. Referee will
look to the competitor and call one warning and show proper hand signal. If letting go of the peg
results in gaining an advantage for the athlete or remains off for more than 2 seconds, then the
referee will stop the match and give the foul to the athlete. If the athlete already carry 1 warning
earlier, then letting go of the peg will results in a STOP and a foul for 2 warning.

6.1.1. Elbow Fouls
A foul will be given when a competitor’s elbow loses contact with the elbow pad. A
competitor is considered to lose contact with the pad when:
- The elbow lifts vertically of the pad with clear spacing between elbow tip and the pad. It is
not considered an elbow foul if the competitor is maintaining the elbow tip above the pad
and his triceps or forearm is touching the elbow pad. An elbow foul will be called if the
competitor is riding on their triceps or forearms and the elbow extends beyond any side of
the elbow pad,
- Competitor’s elbow slips off from any side the elbow pad surface.
6.1.2. Intentional Slip Out
The foul for an intentional slip out will be called when one of the competitors caused the
slip out.
The foul will be called when:
- a competitor lifts his fingers off his opponent’s hand prior to a slippage;
- a competitor closes his fingers as to make a fist inside his opponent’s hand;
- a competitor is in a flip wrist position and he pulls his fingers inside his opponents hand,
therefore he is unable to hold his grip.
6.1.3. Dangerous position
When a competitor puts themself 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 dangerous position will be given.
Two dangerous positions are distinguished:
- A competitor does not keep their arm and shoulder in a straight line and turning their
head and shoulder in an opposite direction,
- A competitor who drops his shoulder below the level of the elbow pad on his losing side.
6.1.4 . Competitor’s shoulder must not cross the centerline between pegs during
competition. This will be a foul.
6.1.5. Competitor hand cannot touch any part of their body such as chin, shoulder or head.
A foul will be given.
6.1.6. Intentionally making the opponent get a foul will result in the offender getting the
foul. Example: pushing your opponent’s elbow off the pad using a forward motion.
6.1.7. Any movement during a referee grip will result in a foul.
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International Federation of Armwrestling
6.1.8. A competitor cannot compete with a straight arm in any position. This is considered
a non-armwrestling move. This will result in immediate stoppage and a FOUL issued.
6.1.9 Foul language, poor sportsmanship or abuse towards an official will result in a foul. If
it continues, competitor or official will be barred from the tournament.
6.1.10. Any foul given when competitor’s hand is in a losing position is a loss.
A losing position is defined as 2” above the pin pad on the losing side of the table. This is
equal to the height of the hand pegs.
6.1.11. Any foul that occurs simultaneously between both competitors are considered as
coincidental foul, the match will be stopped and restarted without any foul given to both
athletes.
6.1.12. 30 second rest is permitted after a foul.

7.1. Referee’s Grip
7.2.1. 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 command “Don’t Move” and before “Ready Go” will result in a
warning, and any movement after a referee says “Ready” and before “Go” will result in a
foul.
7.1.1 . 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 center of the table and call “don’t move”
3) Second referee will assist head referee by holding competitors 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 second hand is closed head referee start a match with a command “Ready?… Go”

not certain if the slip is clean or intentional, proceed with strap match. Referee must see
the intentional slip to award the competitor with foul.
Straps can be used also when competitors ask for it.
8.1.2. Strap match procedure:
1) 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.
2) Referee will set competitor’s hands on the same level, palm to palm, without
unnecessary gap between thumbs.
3) 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.
4) Head referee will apply straps starting from the competitor’s hand on his side of the
table.
5) 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).
6) Referee will make sure that the strap remains tight as they wrap the wrists.
7) After going around the second wrist the end of the strap will be then be fed below the
wrist and above strap between the wrists.
8) 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.
9) Once the strap is applied, competitors are allowed to take their grip.

- Winner - Hand pointing in the air to the left or right side to signify the winner
- Warning - Finger pointing at one competitor - Warning.
- 2nd Warning - 2 Fingers pointing at competitor
- 1 Foul - Hand (with 1 finger out) pointing at the ground on the side of the offender.
- 2nd Foul - Hand (with 2 fingers out) pointing at the ground on the side of the offender.
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International Federation of Armwrestling
- Elbow Foul - Tapping elbow and pointing at the ground on the side of the offender.
- Wrist bent - flexion - Downside Ref with arm and hand straight.
- Wrist bent - pronation/supination - Downside Ref with arm straight and rotating hand
- Foul - Losing position - Show the sign for the foul. Then make a side to side motion with
hand over the pin pad, then signify the winner.
- Shoulder Foul - across centre - Tap shoulder and signify centre. Then point at the offender
and motion for the foul.
- Shoulder Foul - Touching - Tap shoulder. Then point at the offender and motion for the
foul.
- Straps - arms straight in front with fist closed and thumbs up.
- Referee Grip - Hands clenched together overhead
- Intentional Slip-Out - Put your fingers of one hand inside the grip of your other hand and
pull them out. Then point at the offender and motion for the foul.
- Dangerous position - Break-Arm -Referee will put themselves in Break-arm position. Then
point at the offender and motion for the foul.
- Dangerous position - Hyper Extension - Referee will put themselves in hyper-extension
position. Then point at the offender and motion for the foul.

Back Pressure - Pressure which when applied pulls the grip to one side of the table.
Elbow - For calling and elbow foul it is the centre point of the elbow joint. For persons with no
visible point it will be the centre of the elbow.
Elbow Pad - A 7’ x 7” dense foam pad where the elbow must have contact at all times.
End of the Table - That part of the table where the referees stand which is 26” long.
False Start - Starting before the Referee says Go.
Head Referee - The referee that starts the match.
Intentional Slip-out - When one competitor cause the grip to come apart.
Losing Position - That area on the losing side of the table from 2” above the pin pads to the pin
pads. This is equal to the height of the hand pegs.
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International Federation of Armwrestling
Losing Side - That area of the match from the centre of the table to the pin pad. In a right hand
match it will be on the right side of the table.
Neutral Zone - A neutral zone is an area within the elbow pads. From the front corners of the
elbow pads to the front corners of the opponent’s elbow pads but below the level of the pin pads.
Pin - When the wrist or fingers go below the level of the pin pads on the winning side of the table.
Pin Pad - A 2” wide by 10” long x 4” high pad that determines a win.
Protest - An act that allows a competitor to appeal the decision of the referees.
Referee Grip - When the competitors can’t get a grip in 30 seconds and the Referee will close the
hands.
Referee-in-Chief - The Referee that oversees the referees at the competition.
Side of the table - That part of the table where the armwrestlers stand which is 36” long
Straight Wrist - Wrist must be parallel to the end of the table. Straight is defined as not having any
flexion, extension, pronation or supination. A wrist may have adduction (radial deviation) or
abduction (ulnar deviation).
Strap - A piece of material 1” (2.5cm) wide and approx 40” (100cm) long with a plastic buckle that
is used to hold the competitor’s hand together when a slip-out occurs and no foul is issued.
Winning Position - That area on the winning side of the table from 2” above the pin pads to the pin
pads. This is equal to the height of the hand pegs.
Winning Side - That area of the match from the centre of the table to the pin pad. In a right hand
match it will be on the left side of the table.

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