Socially Distanced Sport: Wrestling

A spoof guide to wrestling (in accordance with social distancing regulations) 

If any aspect of social distancing continues beyond September, wrestling in its traditional form is an obvious no-go. It’s hard to imagine anything more conducive to disease transmission than a pair of sweaty athletes attempting to squish each other’s faces and straddle one another while wearing leather chaps and lycra (which is the basic premise of all professional wrestling, if Nacho Libre is anything to go by). 

Armed with absolutely none of the necessary expertise – I confess, I haven’t even seen Nacho Libre in its entirety – I’ve nonetheless come up with a few suggestions which should help the noble sport of wrestling to thrive and reinvent itself in these trying times. You’re welcome, please don’t fight me.

  1. Couples-only wrestling 

Couples who’ve already formed a social bubble (wink wink) will be at no additional risk from writhing around on the floor, albeit in a more rules-based capacity than they’re probably used to. Of course, some kind of weigh-in would be necessary to ensure there was no unfair advantage – as a result this option may be best suited any similar-sized couple who has a score to settle re: ‘who could beat who in a fight’. Strictly zero-tolerance to 6’3” men sitting on their 5’2” girlfriends and claiming any sort of victory.  

  1. Arm-wrestling: extended edition 

It’s arm-wrestling – but not as you know it. Each contestant will hold aloft a long stick, in the style of a litter-picker, and attempt to force their opponent’s down from one end of a very long table. Jousting would also work and would bring the added benefit of ‘making you feel like a medieval knight’, which will please the historical re-enactment fans in the room. 

  1. Wrestling with your conscience 

Agonising over how such a physical sport will work in a virtual setting? Look no further! Rather than wrestling one another, athletes can wrestle with themselves – all from the comfort of their own homes. Points will be awarded for a) the identification of past wrongs; b) the level of responsibility taken; and c) how the contestant plans to grow and make amends. Wrestling may initially struggle to go virtual, but it’s about to get a whole lot more real

Cathi Westall

Cathi is a Masters student with the PoLIS department and Deputy Editor (Print) for 2020/1.

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