Competition Blog

The Ten Rules of Shin Kicking

Written by: Kompster

Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olympicks is celebrating its 402nd year this May.  The Olympicks are held in Gloucester, England each May, and feature a variety of great competitions including Champion of the Hill, Tug-O-War and Shin Kicking.  Shin Kicking is exactly what the name implies and not for those with a low tolerance for pain.  Orthopedic surgeons love this kind of contest.


Intrigued? Here are the ten rules of Shin Kicking and some tips on competing in this pain inducing competition.


Competitors will be assigned bouts at random, with winners of all rounds gaining entry to a final bout. Usually, there will be a maximum of 12 contestants.

  1. Equipment – Competitors must wear long trousers or tracksuits and may cushion their shins by using straw (provided). They will be provided with white coats, representing the traditional shepherd’s smock. Footwear may be trainers, shoes, or soft-toed (i.e. un-reinforced) boots. Any form of metal-reinforced toe on footwear is expressly forbidden. This will now be checked both before and after your bouts! Failure to comply will result in instant exclusion, and barring from future events!
  2. Stance. A competitor begins by holding his or her opponent by the shoulders (or lapels) with arms straight.
  3. The contest will be started, finished (if necessary) and judged, by an arbiter, known as a Stickler. The Stickler decides the fairness of a contest.
  4. A contest is decided on the best of three throws – i.e. two successful throws results in a win.

Further Guidance: – viz.
How to Shin-kick Successfully.

  • The aim is to weaken an opponent by kicking his or her shins. Once the legs have been weakened, a competitor may throw an opponent to the ground off-balance over a leg, provided that the grasp of the shoulders is kept.
  • A successful throw involves unbalancing the opponent, in the course of a kick. It does NOT involve kicking the opponent to the ground, NOR pushing the opponent to the ground.
  • Shins must be kicked before a throw can be achieved. Contact must be made.
  • A throw is not valid unless the thrower is in the process of kicking and has one foot off the ground.
  • If the stickler deems that the kicker has made an intentional trip, the throw goes to the opponent.
  • If a kick is above the knee, the throw goes to the opponent.
  • The first person to hit the ground loses the throw.
  • The Stickler’s decision is final!

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