The type of wrestling at Bute Highland Games is properly called Scottish Backhold, this is a type of folk wrestling originating in Scotland but almost identical to that found in the North of England where it is called Cumbrian-Westmorland.
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 opponent’s right shoulder. When the referee is sure that both wrestlers have 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 bouts are usually best of five falls. Main differences from styles such as Greco-Roman are that in this variation trips and holds to the legs are not permitted, in Scottish Backhold they are fundamental.
Wrestlers are free to enter on the day, if you feel like having a go just contact one of the officials, and can be male or female. They are matched against each other by weight and the competitions proceed on a “Knock Out” basis.