By Brian Kaminski
For the Leader Times
Move over, volleyball. Another sport is about to take over the beach.
And it hopes to help take down diabetes.
The local Pride Wrestling Club is sponsoring a beach wrestling tournament Saturday at Crooked Creek Park in Ford City. Tournament proceeds benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in the name of Madison Pollick.
Pollick, 5, was diagnosed with Type I diabetes three years ago. She is the granddaughter of tournament director Steve Joseph.
"For the last two years, my family has participated in a walk for a cure held at St. Vincent's (College) in Latrobe, "Joseph said. "This year, my daughter, Beth, decided she wants to do something herself."
With a father who has organized Kiski Area junior wrestling for over 20 years and four brothers who all wrestled for the Cavaliers, a wrestling tournament was the obvious choice for Beth Pollick.
'"I'm doing a lot of the organizing and planning, but my brothers understand the wrestling,' "Beth Pollick said. '"It's a new sport, and we just thought we'd find a beach and try it out.'"
Rules for beach wrestling are remarkably simple. A 20-foot diameter circle is created in the sand with a rope. The two competitors wrestle ' "in beach trunks for males and a one or two-piece bathing suit for females. The first competitor to score two takedowns in the three-minute time limit wins the match.
A competitor can also win if they take down their opponent straight to their back and puts both shoulders in the sand for a pinfall.
'"It's similar to freestyle wrestling in that there is very little top and bottom wrestling,' "Joseph said. 'the only way that happens is if a person is going to their back but hasn't been officially pinned. The referee will let him work until the pin or the guy gets off his back.'"
Registration for the tournament is $10 and will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday with wrestling beginning at 2.
The competitors will be divided into four age brackets ' "under-10, Junior High (10-13), High School and Adult. They will also be divided into three weight classes, light, medium and heavy.
'"We're just going to ask people what they weigh,' "Joseph said. 'then, depending on how many people are close to each other is where we decide to cut off the weight classes.'"
With no pre-registration, the family is unsure just how many wrestlers will show up for the tournament, but their goal is to get at least 50 to feel that the money they raise can make a difference in Madison's life.
'"I want to be able to tell her that one day we won't have to prick her fingers eight times a day,' "Beth said. '"Lots of promising things are happening, but I know the only way her life is going to get better is if there's a cure.'"
And a day at the beach should help.