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Sports you didn’t know existed: Toe Wrestling

Eirik Bjørnø
Staff Writer

A classic competition in bars all over the world is armwrestling. Enormous amounts of beer is lost, or won, every Saturday over this form of competition. If you are not an anabolicgymrat, you probably have lost more than you won over the years. Well, here is the solution for you: Toe Wrestling.

Yes, the competition is exactly what it sounds like, a far relative to the arm wrestling, where the ultimate goal is to out conquer your opposition and smash his toe to the ground. With shoes off, the competitors face each other toe-to-toe across the ‘toedium,’ where they interlock their big toes and try to force each other to touch the foot rest on the opponent’s side. This motion is called a “Toe Down” and wins you the set.

Every matchup has three legs: right big toe, left big toe and right big toe again (if a decider is needed). The game is started and decided by a referee, who screams, “Toes Away” to start the competition. You can win a set by either successfully performing a “Toe Down,” or a competitor may surrender by calling out the words “Toe Much.” The winning toewrestler must then release their toe-hold immediately.

If you are worried about the hygiene at a toe wrestling championship you don’t have to, as all competitors need to have their feet inspected for any funny business; such as, hidden daggers or fungus between their webbed weapons. It is also common courtesy that you help your opponent with taking off shoes and socks before entering the ‘toedium’ if needed. This tradition dates all the way back to the first World Toe Wrestling Competition held in Derbyshire, UK.

Toe Wrestling is not a new sport, as it can be dated all the way back to 1976 and even further in various homes throughout the world. Toe wrestling, and its less popular cousin thumb wrestling, has been popular child games for decades. While thumb wrestling is still not accepted as an official sport, toe wrestling has its own annual World Championship and in 1997 its originators applied for it to be inducted to the official Olympic program. The application was notsurprisingly denied.

Even with the set back in 1997, the sport has kept
growing over the last 10 years and the number of participants has been increasing. Still, a few people have dominated the sport since the 2000s. On the men’s side, either Alan “Nasty” Nash or Paul “Toeminator” Beech have been on the top of the podium since the start of the new millennium. On the women’s side, Lisa “Twinkle Toes” Shenton, and Heather “Mrs. Toeminator” Beech have been the predominant figures.

For most, the next World Championship in Derbyshire, England, on July 14, is too soon, and you should focus on smaller events first. Head out to the garage and build your own “toedium” and battle to be the neighborhood champion. Just make sure you get yourself a proper artist name and make sure you tell your neighbors to wash their feet before the competition. If you don’t fancy getting to know your neighbor’s toes this close, you could always invite them to a game of TicTacToe instead…

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