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Beach wrestling returns to Charleston April 1

Action from a Charleston Beach wrestling event

No foolin': The third edition of Charleston Beach Wrestling will return to Folly Beach, S.C. on Saturday, April 1 -- April Fools' Day.

What could be better than competing in the world's oldest and greatest sport -- in the warm, soft sand of a South Carolina beach, in a relaxed, fun-filled wrestling event?

And, if that doesn't give you warm thoughts in the middle of winter, consider this: sign up for Charleston Beach Wrestling III online before March 10 and pay just $25 -- a savings of $15 over waiting to register on-site the day of the competition.

As in the past, this year's Charleston Beach Brawl III will feature separate men's and women's competitions in all age groups and weight classes. There are three basic weight classes -- light, middle and heavyweight -- for each age division. The actual weights are different for kids (ages 6-12) and youth (13-17) compared to women and men over 18. Details -- including specific weight ranges for various competitive groups -- are available at the registration page at Trackwrestling.com.

As the name suggests, in beach wrestling, the action takes place in the sand, not on a traditional wrestling mat. The wrestling area is inside a circle measuring 23 feet across. All action occurs with the wrestlers in the standing position, so there's no ground wrestling.

Scoring is easy to understand, even for the first-time participant or observer. There are no issues with riding time or escapes; takedowns and push-outs are the only scoring options. Matches are a single three-minute period or when the first wrestler scores three points, so the action moves quickly. "There's constant movement," Mark Dollins, one of the event organizers, and himself still competing as a wrestler at the Veteran/Masters level. "The action is fast-paced, with quick matches."

As in previous events at Folly Beach, the Charleston Beach Wrestling III event will have a relaxed environment. Wrestlers compete in swimwear, not singlets. No headgear required. Beach wrestlers compete barefoot, so no need for wrestling shoes.

Note: Charleston Beach Wrestling III is a USA Wrestling sanctioned event, so all competitors must have a valid USA Wrestling competitor's card. However, for wrestlers who don't have that card but wish to purchase a membership solely for the purpose of competing in the June 4 event can purchase a temporary card at the Charleston Beach Brawl for $15.

To learn more about Charleston Beach Wrestling III, visit the event's Facebook page and the official website.

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