Nachwuchsschwingertag (Youth Swiss Wrestling Day)
The Baselstädtische Nachwuchsschwingertag is a competition of Swiss-style wrestling, or “Schwingen” for youths. It is typically held two days after the Baselstädtischer Schwingertag, this time on Barfüsserplatz.
Schwingen has been around for hundreds of years. In contrast to traditional wrestling, the events are held outdoors, on circular arenas matted with sawdust. In addition to their traditional clothing, the two wrestlers wear short pants made of burlap and held up by a belt. To start the match, the wrestlers hold each other by those pants and then, as in traditional wrestling, try to trip or throw their opponents so that they end up on their backs. There are numerous throws they can use, many similar to those used in traditional wrestling or judo. The match ends when the winner manages to throw his opponent to the ground so both of his shoulders touch the ground while holding on to the loser’s pants. At the same time, the fighters are awarded points for the throws they use, so if neither of the two manages a winning throw after a given period of time, the more active fighter receives the higher number of points. As a sign of respect for each other, the competitors shake hands before and after each bout, and the winner brushes the sawdust off the loser’s back after the bout.