Schwingen is a sport of the folk wrestling discipline which originated in the German speaking region of Switzerland. It is a full combat sport in which the objective is to force the opponent’s shoulders to touch the ground. Schwingen has traditionally been a male only sport, but it has recently been opened up for women also.
Schwingen matches are conducted on a circular field, 12m in diameter, which is completely covered with sawdust. Wrestlers wear modern attire for the fight, but are required to wear a "Schwingerhosen" - shorts made of jute with belts. The belts are used to hold, lift and throw the opponents onto the ground.
Matches are adjudged by referees who award points for each throw. A wrestler who takes down an opponent is the clear winner of the match. In matches where there is no clear winner, the wrestler with the most points is declared as the winner.
Schwingen tournaments are mostly conducted as festivals. In a tournament, each wrestler competes against six (or eight) opponents. Two wrestlers with the most number of points at the end of five (or seven) matches are selected for the final round fight.
Eidgenössisches Schwing und Älplerfest, conducted every three years, is the most popular schwingen festival.
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