WAL 2017 Updates!

September 23rd 2016

In just a few short years, the World Armwrestling League has grown into the premier destination for all things pulling, elevating the sport to a massive stage and showcasing the incredible stories of the planet’s best arm wrestlers. And today WAL Commissioner Steve Kaplan announced a series of major initiatives set to grow the league while making competition even more fun and addictive for athletes and fans alike.

“We are proud and humbled at the distance we have traveled together in such a short amount of time,” Kaplan said.

The 2017 Campaign

Next year will see the WAL soar to new heights under a revamped format that will up the competitive stakes while opening the doors to more talented athletes. Qualifiers will still largely be a puller’s first step to a WAL Hammer of Champions. But for the first time, WAL will host the WAL Majors, four super-events held from coast to coast in North America. These will run once a month from February to May and will offer an increased level of competition as pullers work toward the 2017 Championships.

These events and ALL local events, starting with the 2016 State Championships, will also incorporate the WAL’s new ranking system. More on that below.

For U.S. and Canadian pullers (both men and women), progression will work like this

- WAL will hold local Qualifiers around the country starting in January to start the season, where the top 2 arm wrestlers in each arm/class can move on to the next level - the "Great 8" tournament to be held in the spring.

- Additionally, anyone who places Top 8 at any of the first three Major events can also move on to the Great 8. At that tournament, the Top 8 per arm/class will move on to the 2017 Championships.

- The only exception will involve the rankings. After our first 3 majors, the Top 6 ranked arm wrestlers in each arm/class will move directly to the 2016 Championships - rather, they will not be invited or allowed to register at the Great 8. We hope this new structure will inspire intense competition among a large group of highly competetive athletes at the same time begins to integrate the use of the ranking system.

For more details, please visit this page.

Mexican pullers must qualify for the Great 8 event at their annual in-country tournament to progress up the WAL ladder in 2017. European pullers must also qualify in-country and then finish top 3 in their class at the European Super Regional.

Finally, all Overall right/left WAL State Champions are qualified directly to the Great 8 tournament. 
For ALL competitiors, however, there is a minimum competition threshold of 2 events prior to the Championships, no matter what. Read about it here.

Amateurs

Amateur arm wrestlers looking to advance to the 2017 Amateur Championships need to do one of two things:
1) Place Top 3 at a 2017 Local Amateur Qualifier, OR
2) Place Top 8 at a 2017 Amateur Major, OR
3) Compete any 3 events.

Any of these three qualifies an amateur to the WAL 2017 Amateur Championships.
For more details please visit this page.

International Qualifiers
European Super-Qualifier:
Those that place top 3 in each weight class will advance to the Championship, along with wild card winners.

Oceania Super-Qualifier:
Top 2 in each weight class will advance to the Championship

WAL Rankings

WAL introduced an online professional and amateur ranking system, the biggest and most ambitious mapping of talent in the history of arm wrestling.

“Nothing on this scale has been done before,” Kaplan said.

More details are coming, but pullers will earn points for each match, and the number of points will determine an athlete’s rankings. Rankings will play a huge piece in the WAL Majors, determining who will step on the stage and battle on the ESPN cameras. But the system will also offer a fun way to explore the WAL world. Users can check rankings by puller class and location. They can also see past event results going back to 2014.

Pullers and fans can view an athlete’s record, see progress and look up how their favorite puller fared against another arm wrestler. Viewers can also watch WAL live feeds on the site. The ranking system debuts this Saturday at 2016 lightweight champion “Iron Arm” Tony Kitowski’s Wisconsin State Championship in Madison. This “soft release” in the coming months will serve to hash out the kinks in the system before the 2017 season swings into high gear.

To hear more from WAL President & Commisioner Steve on this, click here.
To hear more from WAL Director of Operations Ben Murray on this, click here.
To hear more from the Architect & Designer of the WAL Ranking System Duan Beckett on this, click here.

2016 ain’t over yet.

With so much going on next year, it’s easy to forget that WAL is hosting the U.S. State Championship Series and the Canadian Provincial Championship Series in the next few months, with dozens of events being hosted across North America.

“With the continued support and great work from our network of talented local and dedicated regional directors and home and internationally, the best refs in the business, the rapidly growing community, and the best competitors on the planet, we look forward to continued success on all fronts,” Kaplan said.

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