Belt Wrestling is a form of wrestling that is one of the oldest historically recorded sports. It involves contestants aiming to knock each other over by grappling with a belt.

Every country has its own kind of struggle. Originally, wrestling was intended as a means of survival for ancient civilizations. Put literally, the struggle for existence was carried on in much the same manner as natural selection.

Belt wrestling has two types i.e. standard rules and a standard costume. Their reasoning is that some styles do not permit trips and some do. However, to compete without trips is called ‘classical style’ and with trips is called ‘free style’. The standard costume is an attractive feature, which allows for all styles to be completed so that no participant can conclude that his or her national style or costume has been slighted.


Competition arena represents a flat horizontal surface with the special mat of not less than 5 cm thickness.

The mat is marked by the working and defensive areas.

The working area is a circle with a diameter ranging from 6 to 9 meters and is located at the center. During the official competitions the diameter circle is only 9 meters. The zone that separates the working and protective areas, is called "zone of passivity" and is part of the working area. By contrast it is usually marked in red. It has a width of one meter. The "zone of passivity" is called "protective zone" and its width should be 1,5-2,0 meters. Left side from the corner of the Mat Referee table is marked by green, and the right one by blue. Note: In case where the wrestlers are in the "zone of passivity", the judge loudly pronounces the word "ZONE". At this command the wrestlers must move into the middle of the mat without interruption of the bout.

To improve the field of view the arena can be situated on a platform not higher than one meter. The sides of a platform must be at an angle of no more than 45.

The arena surface should be plain. There mustn’t be any hollows or ledges in the places of junction. The floor around arena must be covered with soft surface or carpet. The working zone and “zone of passivity” must be cleaned and disinfected.

It is necessary to put carpets for participants to wipe their feet before they enter the arena. The left angle from judges table is green, the right one is blue.The chairs and tables for officials, referees and maintenance staff are placed after arena installation.

The working zone is separated into official and part and the part of the audience. There is advertisement, electronic indicator board, cameras and video cameras, places for referees, officials and press in the official zone.

There is advertisement, electronic indicator board, places for judges-timekeepers (judges attached to the participants), places for medical staff and audience.

The working zone is enclosed. People who are not related to competitions can’t cross the fence. There are flags of countries participants on the perimeter of the gym. The place where the national flags of winners will be risen must be equipped in advance. The podium must be situated near.

The rules and variation of the rules

Different parts of the world have different variations on certain rules in the sport. As the name suggests, the central component to the sport is a simple device, such as a belt, ordinary towel, or girdle. It is distinguished by throwing an opponent by tearing him away from the floor or from the mat without using one’s legs. Such rules are usually specific to that particular region. As a result, the rules of the game can differ between continents or even countries.

However, today it is necessary to understand the differences between:

1) the rules of national wrestling in every single country or region, of which there are surely thousands of variations;

2) and a common, well-defined system of belt wrestling rules, which makes it possible for athletes from around the world to come together in a competition as equals.


The belt wrestling is a kind of a single combat, in which the principal goal for the wrestler is to throw a competitor on his back (PURE VICTORY), by using any of the competent techniques, after the wrestlers starting position in the stand.
The posture in wrestling:

1. Standing (the stand) – position of the wrestlers in which they touch the mat only with the soles of the feet (standing on legs).

2. Lying flat on one’s back – wrestlers position in which one of the wrestlers is touching the mat by any part of the body, except the soles of the feet. In this case bout is IMMEDIATELY stopped.

During the fall a wrestler might be:

a) "on the back" – a position in which the wrestler touches the mat by both shoulder-blades or rolls on his back touching the mat by the shoulder-blade;

b) "on the bridge" – a position in which the wrestler is with the back to the mat and it the only touch is by the soles of the feet and head;

c) "on the side" - a position in which the wrestler touches the mat by a shoulder-blade, and the back of the shoulder-blades form the angle less than 90 degrees to the mat. The position "half-bridge" in which the wrestler is back to the mat and touches it with the soles of the feet, head and shoulder; the position matching to one "on the side";

d) "on the chest, belly" – a position in which the wrestler touches the mat by the chest or belly, and the back of the shoulder-blades form the angle of over 90 degrees to the mat;

e) “on the buttocks” – a position in which the wrestler touches the mat by one or both buttocks, hip or waist;

f) "on the shoulder" – a position in which the wrestler touches the mat with the shoulder, pressed to the body (shoulder joints).

"Sprint" – the mode used by the wrestler from the position standing with the gap and the result is that the opponent loses the balance and falls on the mat by any part of the body.

"Overthrowing" – reception method without dropping the opponent from the mat.

"Curling" – method used with dropping or not from the standing position with the result that the opponent falls on the mat by any part of the body.

"Covering " – a counter-mode in which the attacker is at the bottom.

"Outside the mat" – a position in which one or both wrestlers are beyond the working area of the mat with one or two feet.


The dress of the participant in belt wrestling consists of white pants, green and blue sleeveless sports shirts and red belt of 110-150 cm for adolescents and young men, and 150-180 cm for adult athletes. The width of the belt is 4-7 cm.

The shirts and pants must be made of hard-wearing fabric. The belt of a participant must be solid enough.

The sleeves must be long enough to cover elbows and there must be 5-8 cm between a hand and a sleeve.

The participants should wear sports shoes with warm wool socks or short felt-boots with not-sliding soft sole. To avoid injuries they also should wear shoulder pads, elbow and knee pads and ankle-guards from foam. The laces with metal or hard ending must be cut off. The wrestler should have a handkerchief to use it in case of a minor injury. The handkerchief should be kept by the Judge-timekeeper during the bout.


The bout begins by a whistle of the Referee (short acute signal).

The bout ends:

- at the awarding of the PURE VICTORY to one of the wrestling;

- at the apparent technical advantage (a difference of 6 or more points);

- at the withdrawal or disqualification of one or both wrestlers;

- at the end of the bout time.

The termination of the fixed bout time is notified by a beep (a gong), after which the Referee stops the bout by the whistle (long acute signal).

Note 1: The beep (a gong) must have a good resonance and a sufficient force of sound. At the end of the bout the Referee takes place in the center of the mat, her/his face is turned to the Mat Referee, the wrestlers stay on both sides of the Referee according to the color of the Referee over sleeves and the participants’ dress. Only after the announcement of the bout result the Referee raises one’s hand of the wrestler whom won the bout. Then the Referee turns together with the wrestlers one’s back to the Mat Referee (one’s face to the audience) and raises again the hand of the winner. After that the wrestlers exchange handshakes. The Referee shows by gesture that they may withdraw from the mat.

Note 2: The technical action begun before the beep (the gong) or simultaneously with it as well as finished after it, estimates the unanimous decision of the Refereeing Panel. Otherwise, the Refereeing Panel takes the final decision after consulting and viewing, if necessary, the videos.

Note 3: If after the fixed bout time the wrestlers will have no points or both wrestlers will have an equal number of points, the bout continues until the first technical action in the short hold in a minute.


In case of the announcement of punishment, the Referee should explain by a simple gesture the reason for the punishment.

The NOTE is announced for the following fouls for:

- taking a low protective stand;

- leading a passive wrestling;

- falling on the knee (knees);

- taking slowly the starting position;

- deliberately going away from the mat with one or two feet or pushing the opponent from the mat;

- cuddling the opponent without trying to carry out the action and to hold her/him in this position for a time;

- preventing from the hold in the starting position.

The WARNING is announced for the following fouls for:

- the repeated observation;

- deliberately dismissing the hold or not permitting to carry out the hold;

- making deliberate breakdown by imitating counter action;

- setting head against the face, shoulder or chest of the opponent;

- setting with fits against the ribs, side or belly of the opponent;

- chatting during the bout;

- carrying out the action being in the posture "outside the mat";

- carrying out the action when the opponent with undone her/his belt turned the back upon the assaulter wrestler;

- after carrying out the action to finish pressing out the opponent on her/his back;

- preventing from the carrying out the short hold.

The wrestler (wrestlers) can be taken away from the bout for the following forbidden actions:

- inappropriate shouting, comments, gestures which are offensive for the opponent and judges during or after the bout

- not obeying the instructions of the Referee;

- having hard or metal items (not visible or apparent);

- non-appearance on the mat in three (3) minutes;

- after the announcement of two Warnings.

The Disqualification may be declared for the following fouls:

- carrying out the various blows of the opponent;

- carrying out the actions which could cause injury to the opponent;

- leaving the mat without permission of the Referee;

- any demonstration of the unsportsmanlike behavior;

- repeated non-appearance on the mat;

- preliminary agreement on the outcome of the bout (fictitious wrestling);

- deception of the Judges.

Note: There are no places nor medals and prizes for the disqualified participants.


PRESENTATION OF PARTICIPANTS – after the challenge of the wrestlers to the mat, they should stand in the center of the mat with one’s back to the table of the Mat Referee. The wrestlers are indicated by turns (first the wrestler in the green dress, then – one in the blue dress) by straight hand with opened palm stretched forward towards the wrestler.

WRESTLERS TO THE CENTER OF THE MAT – blow a whistle and show simultaneously in the center of the mat with both hands extended with open palms.

TAKE THE STARTING POSITION – show with both hands the imitation of the carrying out the hold.

START THE BOUT – at the beginning of the bout (at the brief stop and continuing of the fight), after taking the starting position, give a short sharp whistle signal and step back.

NET VICTORY – raise a hand bent at the elbow up, with an open palm forward.

TWO POINTS – raise a hand compressed into fist in the direction – up at an angle of 45 degrees. The big finger and forefinger of the raised hand are straightened.

ONE POINT – raise a hand compressed into fist in the direction – up at an angle of 45 degrees. The big finger of the raised hand is straightened.

ACTIVITY – indicate on the active wrestler by stretched straight arm with an open palm down.

ACTION NOT EVALUATED – two or three cross-movements in the horizontal plane are made by both extended hands to different sides and with palms open.

CANCELLATION OF THE ERRONEOUS ESTIMATION – show the erroneous estimation, then by the other hand wave two to three times over the head. Then show the correct estimation.

NOTE – without stopping the bout indicate the wrestler by a hand with its palm down and compressed into fist.

WARNING – stop the bout, facing the table of the Mat Referee raise a hand bent at the elbow up, with an open palm forward and compressed into fist. By the other hand show ONE POINT to the opponent if necessary.

PASSIVITY (without leading wrestling fight) – the forearm of a hand rotation with an open palm to oneself and on the outside to oneself.

WITHDRAWAL FROM THE MAT – show by the forefinger of a hand in the direction of a wrestler who deliberately left the working area of the mat, by the other hand with an open palm down on yourself make two or three times the waving away from yourself outwards.

EXTRUSION FROM THE MAT – show by the forefinger of a hand in the direction of a wrestler who deliberately pushed out the opponent from the mat, by other hand, with a palm compressed into fist make an action away from yourself to onward.

ACTIONS OUTSIDE OF THE MAT – with open palms down both hands, make an action away from yourself outwards.

ON THE KNEES POSITION – touch your knees with both hands and then show the forefinger in the direction of a wrestler who kneeled (on a knee or knees).

BLOCK – pull down a hand with a palm compressed into fist down at an angle of 45 degrees in the direction of the punishable.

BREAKING UP OF THE HOLD – bend the hands at the elbow up and cross them in lock up, and then break up the hold and using the forefinger tell the wrestler to break up the hold.

WRESTLERS TO THE CORNERS – blow the whistle as a signal and point into the corners with extended straight hands and palms opened forward.

TERMINATION OF THE BOUT – show by the forearm of the hands with open palms edge ahead before yourself cross-wise.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE RESULT – standing in the center, face to the desk of the Mat Referee, hold the hands of the wrestlers and raise the hand of the winner, then together turn round and repeat the same action.

INVITATION OF THE DOCTOR – show by the forefinger in the direction of the injured wrestler, and by other hand, with an open palm upwards show to the medical staff and say the word "DOCTOR".

TAKE A TIME – keep the forearm of one hand with an open palm down horizontally, and the fingers of other hand set against from bellow to this palm.

Note 1: At the implementation of all gestures the color of the oversleeves of the judges must be in conformity with the color of the dress of the wrestler.

Note 2: The duration of each demonstration of abovementioned gestures should be from 3 to 5 seconds

The sport today

Today wrestling, as a national sport, cannot be ascribed to any single country. In a similar way, people generally do not refer to soccer as an English sport or basketball to be American. Belt wrestling does not have any national boundaries. It is unique, and gathering more and more fans. The circle of contestants is widening considerably. This is a spectacular and democratic sport and one that does not require much financial expenditure. As it was proved, the correction of this or that wrestling rules popularized this kind of sport. Nowadays world and continental championships are being held in different parts of the world.