The tournament will be structured as a classic single elimination bracket with the number of rounds being determined by the number of entrants. Each war will feature a best of three battles. If a combatant wins the best of three, he or she will move on to the next round. The loser of the best of three is eliminated.
There will be both a men's tournament and a women's tournament. Prizes will be awarded to the top competitors in each division.
The men's champion and the women's champion may then face off in a head to head battle for exhibition purposes only should they wish.
(example of bracket size for 16 competitors)
The combatants will engage in three battles. The winner of the thumb war will be that combatant that wins 2 out of 3 of these battles.
If one combatant is left handed and one is right handed, the combatants will engage first in a battle of right hands, then in a battle of left hands. If each contestant wins one of the first two battles, a coin toss will determine which hand will fight the third and final battle.
(The referee will choose who gets to call the coin toss based on the colour of each combatants' sweaters and how well the referee feels those colours bring out the colour of each combatant's eyes).
Two combatants will sit across from one another at a conference table. The combatants will interlock fingers, thumbs facing up. When both combatants have agreed they are comfortable, the pre-battle ritual shall begin.
Prior to battle, contestants will chant "One-Two-Three-Four. I declare a thumb war" whilst moving their thumbs left and right over one another as they count. Once this is done, the two thumbs shall bow to one another as a sign of respect, and the battle shall commence!
The object of each battle will be to pin and hold your opponent's thumb down for three (3) seconds.
This time shall be counted out loud by the person who is pinning his or her opponent, NOT the referee.
Given the rigors with which thumb wars are often conducted, the referee may not be in a position to actually monitor and time the pin falls. Accordingly, combatants will be expected to bring a certain degree of civility and honestly to their matches.
Combatants will be expected to:
- avoid potentially injurious, excessive arm movement,
- count actual time when timing pin falls (i.e. not speedily in order to win),
- be honest, and
- win or lose gracefully.
Match-ups will be chosen at random and will be posted to this blog four days prior to the contest (Friday June 4th).
Referees Are The Law
While the referee(s) will not be charged with monitoring the and deciding the pin falls, he or she (they) will enforce the expected code of conduct as set out above. Combatants determined by the referee to be disregarding the rules of conduct will be eliminated from the tournament immediately and the match ruled a forfeit.
Should there be any discrepancy between contestants, the referees shall have absolute and final say and shall determine whether or not such action requires a "do-over", a time out, a chill pill or any other such disciplinary action.
Praise be to the referee, forever and ever. Amen.