Scots Backhold

Scottish Backhold (Scots: Carachd)

Scottish Backhold is a style of folk wrestling originating in Scotland. The wrestlers grip each other around the waist at the back, with the right hand under the opponent’s left arm and the chin resting on the opposite right shoulder. When the referee is sure that both wrestlers have taken a firm grip, he shouts “hold” and the bout starts. Should either wrestler break his hold or touch the ground with any part of his body except his feet, he loses. There is no ground work and the bouts are usually best of five falls. In Australia the style is played as a round robin with each wrestler matching each other in the group and the falls are totalled to decide the winner, there can be only one winner.


Every fall is decided by two judges and a referee, who makes the final decision if the judges disagree. On taking hold the wrestlers stand up chest to chest, each placing their chin on their opponent’s right shoulder and grasping them around the body, each placing their left arm above the right arm of their opponent.

When both wrestlers have got hold, the referee calls “hold” and the wrestlers. With the exemption of kicking, they are allowed to use every legitimate means to throw the other.

If either party breaks their hold, they shall be declared the loser, if the other retains their grip.

If both fall to the ground, the first person down loses.

A fall is defined as touching the ground with any part of the person, the feet excepted.

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