A “CAWL to Arms”: Penn State Aims for Arm-Wrestling Championship

The Nittany Lions are well-known for their NCAA-champion wrestling team, but can its success be matched by Penn State’s arm-wrestling team? We’ll see, because Penn State will be one of four schools competing in the inaugural tournament of the co-ed sport CAWL TO ARMS — “CAWL” being short for the “College Arm Wrestling League.”

A league it may be, but only four schools will participate in the inaugural CAWL TO ARMS competition. Penn State will battle Rutgers in the first round (which somehow doubles as the semifinal), while Syracuse will face the University of Connecticut. The winners of these two matches will then arm-wrestle it out for the grand prize: $10,000 in cash.

For a “sport” that is most commonly thought of as a drunk man’s bar game, the league has a frustratingly intricate system of rules and scoring. I tried reading it over a few times, and I still couldn’t tell you how one would win a CAWL To Arms match.

The rules are as follows:

“Each time an arm wrestling match is won, the winning competitor will be awarded five points for his/her team while the losing competitor will get no points.

Once those 16 matches conclude, there will be a SUDDEN DEATH Round in which each team will get to pick who they think is their best female and male arm wrestlers. The female competitors will go head-to-head with one another first in a SUDDEN DEATH match worth TRIPLE POINTS (15 points). The referee will flip a coin to determine which arm the students will have to use in that contest.

Once that match concludes, there will be a second SUDDEN DEATH match between the chosen male arm wrestlers on each team in another TRIPLE POINT bout worth 15 points. The referee will again flip a coin to determine which arm the students will have to use in that contest.

The team with the most points at the end of all 16 regular matches and The SUDDEN DEATH Round will be declared the winners.

If, however, the two opposing teams are tied in points at the end of all 16 regular matches and The SUDDEN DEATH Round, then the team who’s member scored the FASTEST win in The SUDDEN DEATH Round will be declared the winner…and move on in the tournament.”

And, once we finally do begin to understand these rules, the league promises, “The show will not just be a ‘wake-up call’ to all sports fans, it’ll be a national…CAWL TO ARMS!!!”

The event will air in three segments in May on ESPNU.

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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