Rule Book

This page contains the current rules to Cornish Wrestling, if you would like to download our Rule Book in a PDF format so it is easier to read or print please see below:

– Download the Rule Book as PDF Document  (579KB).

Otherwise you can continue to read the rules here:

Cornish Wrestling Association

Official Rule Book

 Table of Contents

Aims and Objectives. 3

Senior Championships. 3

Junior Championships. 3

The Constitution. 4

Affiliated Local Organising Committees. 6

Membership And Membership Fees. 7

Welfare Of Young Persons. 8

Tournament Rules. 9

The Rules Of Cornish Wrestling. 11

Foul Moves In Cornish Wrestling. 13

Points Allocation For Seasonal Awards & Novice Determination.14

The Wrestlers Oath.15

The Sticklers Guidelines. 16

Tournament Guidelines. 17

Record Of Updates And Amendments. 18

Appendix. 19



Aims and Objectives


1.1.        To promote and foster wrestling in the Cornish Style.


1.2.        The affiliation of Local Organising Committees and the observance of certain rules and conditions.


1.3.        To prevent the clashing of dates and fixtures.


1.4.        The registration of all wrestlers in the Cornish Style together with their correct names, addresses and weights and for Wrestlers under the age of 18 years on the 1st May in the current year (the date by which all age limit classifications are set), their correct dates of birth, and also the registration of Sticklers.


1.5.        To promote and hold yearly championships, with 5 Senior and 5 Junior Championships in the following classifications:




Senior Championships

Featherweight          –           10 stone 5 lbs.

Lightweight               –           11 stone 0 lbs.

Middleweight                        –           12 stone 0 lbs

Light-Heavyweight  –           13 stone 0 lbs.

Heavyweight             –           No Limit


Junior Championships

Under 10 years

Under 12 years

Under 14 years

Under 16 years

Under 1 8 years


The Constitution



2.1.        That the Association be known as the CORNISH WRESTLING ASSOCIATION (CWA).


2.2.        The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held not later than the thirdweek of November in each year. At least two weeks’ notice shall be given to each member. The quorum for the AGM shall be ten members.



2.3.        The A.G.M. shall have the power to alter or amend the Rules/Regulations.


2.4.        An Extra Ordinary General Meeting may be called upon written demand of Either 33% of Senior Membership, or the Chairman or a 2/3 majority of the Council of Management.


2.5.        The office bearers of the Council of Management of the Association shall consist :
President, Vice-President, Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Child Welfare Officer and a minimum of eight ordinary members including two representatives nominated by each affiliated committee, two registered Wrestlers and registered sticklers.


All the above shall be entitled to one vote at Council meetings.
The quorum for Council meetings shall be six Council Members


2.6.        The Council shall have the power to nominate Life Members and Patrons, who shall be elected at the AGM.

A Life Member or Patron shall retain the title until death or resignation, or until the title is withdrawn by resolution of the Council. A Life Member or Patron may attend all General Meetings and shall be entitled to vote at such meetings


2.7.        The Council of Management shall have the power to deal with anything not provided for within the rules.


2.8.        The accounts of the Association shall be closed each year and be duly audited by an Auditor appointed at the A.G.M.


2.9.        The CWA shall annually, in January, join the British Wrestling Association which is recognised by Sport England as the leading body for wrestling in England.


2.10.     The CWA shall comply with all those regulations issued by the BWA for insurance purposes, however The BWA recognises that the Cornish style is unique and the CWA shall have the power to regulate its own affairs.


2.11.     If at any General Meeting of the Association a resolution be passed calling for the dissolution of the Association, the Secretary shall immediately convene a Special General Meeting of the Association to be held not more than one month thereafter to discuss and vote on the resolution.


2.12.     If at that Special General Meeting the resolution is carried by at least two thirds of the Full Members present at the meeting, the General Committee shall thereupon, or at such date as shall have been specified in the resolution, proceed to realise the assets of the Association and discharge all debts and liabilities of the Association.


2.13.     If upon winding up or dissolution of the Association there remains, after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, any property or money, this shall not be distributed among members but shall be applied to approved sporting or charitable purposes i.e. given or transferred to a CASC, a registered charity or sports body.



Affiliated Local Organising Committees


3.1.        All Affiliated Committees shall hold their Tournaments under the recognised Rules of the Association

Membership And Membership Fees



4.1.        Individual Membership fees and those for Club or Affiliated Committees shall be set annually at the Annual General Meeting. Fees shall be paid annually and shall be due on the 1st January


4.2.        The Council of Management is empowered to admit the affiliation of such Local Organising Committees as shall agree to the Rules and Regulations herein set forth and on payment of an Annual Affiliation Fee as set by the Council of Management.


4.3.        Membership of the Association is open to all individuals provide they comply with the rules of the Association. The Council of Management reserves the right to refuse any application for membership without being required to give any reasons for its decision.

All applications for membership shall be by the official membership application form which shall be sent by the Secretary



4.4.        Fully paid up Members over the age of 14 years shall be entitled to attend and vote at General Meetings.


4.5.        Fully paid up Members may be elected and serve on the Council of Management.





Welfare Of Young Persons


5.1.        The CWA shall adopt and comply with all regulations concerning Child Welfare as shall be advised by the BWA.


5.2.        All members of the Cornish Wrestling Association shall take all reasonable precautions to

safeguard the moral and physical welfare of young participants. When training sessions

are being conducted in a place where the general public or observers are not present, a

suitable chaperone shall be present. Official checks shall be made to ensure the propriety

of those involved.



Tournament Rules



6.1.        The Chairman of the Promoting Committee or Tournament Director has overall responsibility for the Tournament and he will co-opt sufficient colleagues and Delegate responsibilities


6.2.        The Tournament Director is responsible for adherence to the C.W.A. Rules.


6.3.        The Chairman of the Promoting Committee or Tournament Director shall ensure that a risk assessment shall be made before wrestling commences. This shall in accordance with the requirements of the CWA generic risk assessment as contained in the Appendix.


6.4.        The Promoting Committee must invite and receive acceptance from at least four C.W.A. registered Sticklers. Any Stickler who is also a Wrestler cannot stickle in any bout in any classification that he is himself registered to wrestle in.


6.5.        The Tournament shall be open to all-comers unless it be confined to the local area of the Promoting Committee, or where permission from the C.W.A. has been obtained for it to be otherwise.


6.6.        .Exponents of Judo, graded Brown Belt or above, are to be excluded from Novice Competitions. They will, of course, be eligible to enter any other Championship or Open events.


6.7.        6.7. A Wrestler shall be deemed to be a Novice until such times as he has been awarded a total of 16 points, in a season, from bouts in which he is qualified to enter.


6.8.        Any Wrestler who wrestles at a Tournament or takes part in any Cornish wrestling match which is not held under the rules of the C.W.A., or without the sanction of the Association shall be debarred from wrestling at any Tournament promoted by an Affiliated Committee, or a Committee which has been sanctioned by the C.W.A. to promote such a match or tournament, until such times as he is re-instated.


6.9.        Anyone promoting or taking part in a wrestling contest not sanctioned by the Council of Management shall be debarred from future activities under the Rules and Regulations of the C.W.A. during the pleasure of the Council of Management.


6.10.     A member of the Promoting Committee must be appointed as the Weighing-in Steward for any contests subject to weight classification and must use a suitable weighing device.


6.11.      All Championship Wrestlers to be invited to be present at the weigh-in.


6.12.     Championship draws to be made and announced publicly on completion of the respective weigh-in.


6.13.     The minimum age of a wrestler entering a senior championship shall be 16 years.


6.14.     The winners in each round of bouts, the Standing Men, proceed to the next round until the final, where the winning wrestler is decided upon. The losing wrestlers in the semifinal, hitch to decide third and fourth places.


6.15.     The Sticklers shall indicate to the Wrestlers when the bout is to start.


6.16.     Duration of bouts


All senior championships. Preliminary rounds 1 x 10 minutes. Final 2 x10 minutes

Under 18 years. 1 x 8 minute round.

Under 16 years. 1 x 6 minute round.

Under 14 years. 1 x 5 minute round.

Under 12 years. 1 x 4 minute round.

Under 10 years. 1 x 3 minute round.

If extra time is necessary it shall be equivalent to a half round.

The duration of non-championship bouts shall not exceed the afore mentioned times.

For first touch ground see Rule 7.19.



The Rules Of Cornish Wrestling



7.1.        The object of Cornish Wrestling is to lift and throw your opponent so that he falls flat onto his back.


7.2.        The Back in Cornish Wrestling is the area between the shoulders and the buttocks and each corner of the back is called a Pin.


7.3.        All throws are made from the standing position.


7.4.        Wrestlers must compete in bare or stockinged feet, sports shorts and the regulation wrestling Jacket. Female wrestlers in addition to the above mentioned apparel shall wear a leotard (or similar such as a swim suit) underneath the shorts and jacket.


7.5.        All items of jewellery and metal objects must be removed before wrestling begins and fingernails must be kept short.


7.6.        On being given the signal to commence wrestling, the Wrestlers shake hands and play for a Hitch.


7.7.        All grips must be taken on the jacket with no gripping of the flesh permitted.


7.8.        The flat of the hand may be used on the opponent’s body above waist level and the forearm or elbow may be used to ward off your opponent’s attack.


7.9.        It is not allowed to use your feet above the level of your opponent’s knee. Kicking is deemed outside a wrestling context and is classified as a foul move.


7.10.     When any part of the body, other than the soles of the feet, touches the ground, then the wrestlers must immediately break the hold and resume a standing position. They shake hands and resume wrestling providing that a BACK has not been awarded by a majority of the Sticklers.


7.11.     Every fall is assessed by the three Sticklers. A BACK is scored when, on a majority decision, a Wrestler has been thrown onto his back so that three or four Pins hit the ground simultaneously. A BACK will win a contest and the bout is concluded with the Wrestler awarded the BACK declared the winner.


7.12.     Points are scored for each Pin that touches the ground simultaneously, one point for one Pin down and two points or two Pins down. The Sticklers mark their score-cards as the bout progresses noting points scored for and faults against each wrestler.


7.13.     No points are scored or BACK awarded if any of the Pins are grounded outside the Wrestling area even if the feet of either Wrestler were positioned inside at the commencement of the throw.


7.14.     When a Wrestler’s foot steps outside the Wrestling Area the nearest Stickler calls Break and escorts both Wrestlers back into the centre of the ring.


7.15.     If a Wrestler’s jacket comes off his shoulders and over his head, Jacket shall be called by the Sticklers and the Wrestlers separate, the jacket is put back on, the Wrestlers shake hands and resume wrestling.


7.16.     If no points are scored during a contest, a point will be awarded to the Wrestler who, in the opinion of a stickler, has made the most honest attempts to throw his opponent.


7.17.     The winning Wrestler shall be the one with the highest number of final total points on at least two of the sticklers score cards.


7.18.     Each stickler shall record every foul that a wrestler commits. Each foul shall result in one point being deducted from the wrestlers score.


7.19.     If at the end of a contest the sticklers are unable to decide on a winner, the wrestlers should be instructed to wrestle for a further two minute period. If during that period a wrestler should touch the ground with any part of his body other than the soles of his feet, either due to a throw or slip, he shall be declared the loser. If no decision has been reached at the end of the two minute period, the sticklers shall consult and may decide unanimously which wrestler shall be awarded the contest by virtue of having made the most honest attempt to throw his opponent. If no decision is reached the winner shall be decided on the toss of a coin.


7.20.     Both wrestlers shall remain in the ring until the result is announced and the winner is to raise his arm.


7.21.     No person shall enter the ring during a contest except the wrestlers, the sticklers and first aiders if required, except at the discretion of the sticklers. If a wrestler is considered to have gained any advantage from such action a penalty of disqualification may be given.


7.22.     Non combativity. This may be taken to exist when there have been no attacking actions for approximately 60 seconds by either or both contestants. An attacking action is deemed to be an honest attempt to throw an opponent.


One verbal warning shall be given to the contestants before faults are warded. One fault shall be awarded to a wrestler for each period of non-combativity.






Foul Moves In Cornish Wrestling



8.1.        Intentionally slipping out of the jacket to avoid being thrown.


8.2.        Placing the hand or knee to the ground to avoid being thrown.


8.3.        Persistent kicking deemed outside of wrestling context.


8.4.        Use of hands below opponent’s waist level.


8.5.        Use of feet above the level of opponent’s knee.


8.6.        Taking hold on opponents flesh.


8.7.        Verbal abuse.


8.8.        The Cross Collar. A choking action applied to opponents throat by crossing over the collars and pulling the jacket tight.


8.9.        Any other pressure applied on the throat/neck area of your opponent.


8.10.     The Crowbar Hitch. Where the arm is passed inside an opponent’s jacket and is used as a lever.


8.11.     Any extreme foul play may, on the decision of a Stickler, bring about immediate Disqualification and referral to the Council of Management before re-instatement.






Points Allocation For Seasonal Awards & Novice Determination.


9.1.        Performance points are awarded to Wrestlers as a result of their placing in tournaments sanctioned by and under the rules of the C.W.A. for the purpose of seasonal awards and for determining when a Wrestler ceases to qualify for Novice contests
They are as follows:
First place 6 points.
Second place 5 points.
Third place 4 points
Fourth place 3 points
All other participating Wrestlers 1 point.





The Wrestlers Oath.


(To be sworn by all Wrestlers prior to any wrestling taking place.)


In Cornish:







In English:










The Sticklers Guidelines



11.1.     Each wrestling contest is controlled by three Sticklers who see fair play between the two contestants decide which throws merit points or is a fair Back, or if a foul has been committed. Their decision is final and a two to one majority is sufficient to give a result.


11.2.     A Back is scored when a wrestler has been picked up and dropped onto his back so that at least three of his four Pins hit the ground simultaneously. A Back will win the contest whenever it occurs and the bout finishes. The Sticklers shall indicate the award of a Back, in their opinion, by raising their stick in the air.


11.3.     The Back, in Cornish Wrestling, reaches from the shoulders to the buttocks and each corner of the back is called a Pin. Points are awarded for each Pin that touches the ground simultaneously as a result of a throw.
One Pin down scores ONE point.
Two Pins down scores TWO points.
Three or four Pins down is a Back
No points are scored or Back awarded if any of the Pins are grounded outside the Wrestling Area.


11.4.     If a wrestler’s jacket comes off during a bout, Jacket will be called by the Sticklers, the wrestlers separate, the jacket is put back on and the wrestlers shake hands and continue with the contest.


11.5.     To assist the TABLE with the assessment of Best Back awards, the Sticklers shall mark their score-cards by using the numerals 1, 2, 3 or 4 as appropriate to indicate their opinion as to the quality of the back, with 4 being the highest.


11.6.     If no points are scored during a contest then a point will be awarded to the wrestler showing most Play, that is the wrestler who has shown the most honest attempts to throw his opponent.



11.7.     The Sticklers shall not confer before handing in their score sheets to the Table.


11.8.      The handshake is a formality that is traditional and must take place before a contest begins, before each Hitch and at the end of every bout.


11.9.     All throws must be made from a standing position and there must be no grappling on the ground. The moment that any part of the body, other than the soles of the feet, touches the ground, the Hitch must be broken, the wrestlers return to a standing position, shake hands and play for another Hitch.





Tournament Guidelines



12.1.     The chairman of the organising committee has the overall responsibility for the tournament. He will co-opt sufficient colleagues, and delegate responsibilities. He must ensure that C.W.A. guidelines are adhered to as far as possible. All tournaments shall be started on time.


12.2.     It is the duty of the public announcer to welcome the wrestlers and spectators and to keep everyone informed of the course of events.


12.3.     One member of the organising committee is to be made responsible for the weighing-in of wrestlers as required


12.4.     All wrestlers concerned to be present at the weigh in and a proper draw is to be made for each class. Each class shall have a separate matching sheet that states the Class involved and duration of bout. Championship draws to be made and publicly announced.


12.5.     Spectators, seats, bales, cars, etc. shall be kept a minimum of two metres from the outer ring of the wrestling ring.


12.6.     The Sticklers are to indicate to the wrestlers when they wish the bout to commence and the timekeeper is to start timing from the first handshake.


12.7.     As each bout commences, the wrestlers for the next bout shall be called to the table in readiness.


12.8.     The timekeeper shall signify to the wrestlers the end of the bout/round with time-outs instructed only by the Sticklers.



12.9.     As these wrestlers leave the ring the next two wrestlers enter.


12.10.  Trophy presentation is to be organised so that there is no delay after the last bout.


12.11.  The completed class sheets are to be made available to the C. W. A. secretary for recording purposes.


12.12.  Properly qualified First-Aid personnel shall be in attendance throughout the tournament.


12.13.  On completion of tournament the Public Announcer is to thank all concerned.



Record Of Updates And Amendments




1994 Annual General Meeting Adopted as first issue

2003 AGM Amended to include requirements of British Wrestling Association membership

2006 AGM New rule 7.18 added.

2007 AGM Amended rules 1.5, 2.2 and 2.4 amended to 2.5.

New rule 2.4 subsequent paragraphs renumbered.

New rule 2.10.

New Section 4 all subsequent sections renumbered. Original paragraph 2.6

moved to 4.1.

2008 AGM Additions to rule 7.18

2009 AGM Senior weights changed

2010 AGM Junior weight categories removed, Under 10 category added, Rule 3.4 amended

to allow junior members over 14 years to vote, Rule 6.8 Cornish wrestling added

between any/match, Rule 6.10 “the weighing device provided by the CWA “ is

deleted and a suitable weighing device added, new Rule 6.13 minimum age of

wrestler in senior championship to be 16 years, original Rules 6.12 and 6.13 now

6.13 and 6.14, Rule 6.16 bout duration now added in Rule Boo9k. Rule 7.14

Hold” deleted and “Break” added, Rule 7.16 “the Sticklers” deleted and “a

Stickler added, new rule 7.18 added (old rule 7.19 now 7.19), Rule 11.9 changed

form “score cards” to “score sheets”, Rule 3.1 deleted(deemed covered by rule


Old Rule 3.2 now becomes 3.1, old rule 3.3 deleted.

2011 EGM Clauses 2.11, 2.12 and 2.13 added re Association dissolution.