North American Grip Sport Organization

The purpose of this page is to provide information about the various events contested in the Sport of Grip.

Grip Sport Rules

The International Grip Collective has assembled a Rules Book, which can be downloaded here.

Rules Sets for Some Common Events

Grippers - Parallel Set/20mm Block Set

If the Grippers used in the contest have been properly rated using an approved device, they can be counted for potential Elite Status qualification. To further be considered for Elite Status qualification, the set used must be no deeper than parallel.

The object of this event is to close the heaviest rated gripper as possible. The gripper can be "set" with the off hand by pre-positioning the handles with the off-hand. After taking off the setting hand, a clear view of the Gripper handles must be available for the judge. If the view is blocked by the judge, the athlete's attempt does not count and he/she can try again without losing their turn.

NAGS-sanctioned events allow for 4 attempts per person. This is not a Rising Bar event, so if an athlete misses an attempt ona Gripper, they are permitted to drop down to an easier gripper on a following attempt.

At no time should the judge touch the hand or forearm of the athlete making an attempt on the gripper.

In the future, clarification will be given as to which Gripper Rating Devices will be used.

In the event that a competitor has an open cut on their setting hand, they may be able to cover it with up to 2 layers of medical tape, to keep bleeding and contamination under control.

Choked Grippers

Set-up: Grippers rated on a Gripper Rating Device are set in chokers (hose clamp) with the handles set at parallel. The hose clamp will be positioned around the top of the handles. Tape may be used to protect the knurling. All grippers with be choked so the “dogleg” will be in the palm of the hand for a right handed person and the smooth part of the clamp against the palm of the hand.

Execution: Place the gripper in your closing hand. You may position the gripper with the off hand but you can make no effort to advance the position of handles with it. Take your off-hand away completely and squeeze. The handles must touch for a good close. Lifters get four attempts and may go up or down in strength on your attempts (not rising bar).

Axle Deadlift

The axle must be grasped in a double overhand (both hands pronated) grip (Hook Grip is not permitted). A conventional or sumo stance is permitted. The axle must be lifted to a full lock-out, with the knees locked in a straight position and the shoulders back, and the athlete standing erect. The judge will then signal the athlete to return the bar to the floor with a downward movement of the arm and the audible command "Down".

Clearing the floor with one or both sides of the axle will count as an attempt. Once the attempt has begun no downward movement of the axle, nor re-bending of the knees, is allowed until the athlete reaches the lock-out position. It is permissible for the axle to settle as the athlete pulls his shoulders back and relaxes his shrugged shoulders.

Supporting the bar on the thighs before the "Down" command is not permitted.

Stepping backward or forward or moving the feet laterally before the "Down" command is not permitted. Rocking the feet between the ball and the heel is permitted.

Both hands must be in contact with the axle as it is returned to the platform.

Two Hand Pinch (Euro Pinch / Napalm Pinch)

Legal Lift Requirements: The athlete must lift the apparatus in a Double Overhand Pinch Grip and touch the loading bar to the cross-bar, which sits 16.5-inches high, measured to the bottom of the stick. The lifter does not have to be erect upon completion of the attempt.

The athlete's hands may not be separated by more than 3 inches between the index fingers during the lift.

Because this is a quick lift based on friction, there is no referee's down signal. The referee, however, must be ready to judge that the loading bar makes proper contact with with the cross bar during each attempt.

The lifter must lower the weight under control. If the outer discs accidentally touch the stick before the bar itself, referee’s discretion will be used to judge whether the correct height was attained. Pinch gripping the discs using an unorthodox underhand grip will not be allowed.

This is a Rising Bar Event

Equipment Set-up Requirements: The apparatus has to be loaded with the same number of discs on each side, in the same order, and has to weigh similar (maximum 2-lb tolerance between the total weight of the weights at the front, and weights at the rear).

The heaviest discs should be loaded nearest to the adjustable pinch discs themselves.

The spacer/collars that hold the inside adjustable discs together should be the same length.

The discs added should be smaller in height than the adjustable discs you grasp, so that the view of the lifters hands are not totally obscured, and the lift starts from the proper height.

Other Information about the Device and Event: The width of the pinch apparatus is adjustable to suit different hand sizes, but to keep it within the spirit of a pinch lift the minimum width allowed is the 2 outer steel discs and 2 rubber spacer discs, a width of 24mm.

The smooth-sided, adjustable-width disc is held on a 2” thick metal rod by a pair of collars. Extra weights will be added to the outsides.

Before the event starts, all lifters will be given the opportunity to try it and find your best width.

Weaver Stick

Equipment Dimensions: A round stick (dowel) is used which has the following dimensions – diameter about 1”, length 42”. Half an inch from one end a notch is cut. Exactly 36” from the center of this notch, a line is draw around the stick. Two metal right angles are screwed into the top and bottom sides of the stick so that the rear edges of the right angles come exactly to the circled line. The topside of the stick is the side where the notch is cut. This leaves a handle just 5 ½” long.

Adding Weight: Weight is added with a wire or string in the notch that sits 1/2" from the end, creating a leverage effect when you lift the stick by the handle.

Execution of the Weaver Stick Lift: For the lift to the rear, you face away from the stick, grasping the handle with your little finger towards the weight and lift the stick and weight off the table. You may bend your body forward as the lift is attempted. The stick must be lifted approximately parallel to the floor. If the weighted end slopes downwards, the lifter may carry on with the event till the stick is level. The lifter will then get the referee's command to lower the stick. There must be no rocking of the stick on the table before lifting. The lifter's hand and arm must remain free of the body. The heel of the hand must remain on top of the stick; if the hand twists around under the stick, the lift is not allowed. The grip has to be a normal grip with the thumb opposing the fingers.

Event Variations:There are two versions of this lift, one with a wrist wrap, and the other without. The wrist wrap should be no bigger than 12" x 3".

Supported Sledge Lever

Set-up / Positioning: The lifter’s arm will be supported on a table or stand so it is level to the floor when standing. The lifter will lay their arm on the table and grasp the sledge handle at the end (the hammer may be handed to them by a judge or the off hand may be used to steady it and then be removed). The end of the sledge will be just off the front edge of the stand. The lifter may place their body so that their head is directly in line or off to the side of the hammer aiming towards the shoulder.

Execution: The lifter will lower the hammer under control until when viewed from the side the head of the hammer either touches the head or would have touched if it were so aligned. (Arm length and other factors may not allow it to actually touch the lifter’s head) The judge will signal when proper depth has been achieved with a verbal call and the lifter will then reverse direction and attempt to raise the hammer. The hammer must be raised back to a vertical position to complete the lift.

Other Points: No bounce, rebound off the head, or “head butt or toss” may be used to return the sledge to a vertical position. The shoulder and arm must remain flat on the platform at all times. The free hand may be held at your side or on the table but may not touch the hammer in any way once the lift has begun. A safety “spotter” may be used, but if the spotter has to touch the hammer in any way, it will fail the lift.

Hammer Size: Sledges come with different handle lengths (length is measured by standing the sledge upright on the floor and measuring from the top of the “head” to the tip of the handle), the most common lengths being 31” and 32.5”. For competition purposes, all hammer handles must be 31” or marked to 31”. Regular white athletic tape may be used on the handles.

Grip Aids: Chalk is allowed but no stickum, tacky, or gloves etc are allowed.

Hammer Weights: Either hammers of different weight (6lb, 8lb, 10lb, 12lb, 16lb, 20lb) may be used or an adjustable hammer may be used. If an adjustable apparatus is used, the weight must be attached on the end “away” from the lifter for safety.

Vertical Bar Lift

Set-up / Positioning: Weight plates are put over the vertical bar and rested upon the base.

Execution: The lifter grips the top of the vertical bar with one hand. The lifter must pull the vertical bar at least 2 inches off the ground and then return the vertical bar to the floor under control. If the vertical bar is not lifted 2 inches or if the vertical bar slips out of the lifter's grip, the attempt is failed.

Other Points: The off-hand may not be placed in contact during any part of the attempt. It can however be used to sturdy the bar as the lifter gets ready to lift. During the lift it can be posted on the hip or leg or left out to the side. Four attempts per athlete. An attempt is defined as one pull on the implement in effort to bring it to legal height.

Grip Aids: Chalk only is allowed. At no point can the lifting hand or fingers come into contact with the the thigh, crotch, or leg of the lifter in a mnner to secure the grip or to keep from dropping the vertical bar. Incidental contact with the pants or shorts of the lifter is permitted based on the judge's discretion.


Set-up / Positioning: Various implements/challenges are situated around the competition area. The athlete tries to complete as many of the implements/challenges as possible within the time limit.

Execution: Implements may be lifted to height (Example: Vertical Bar lifted to 2"), deadlifted to lockout (Blob), lifted over an object (Block Weight moved over a board), loaded onto a platform (Inch Dumbbell), carried for distance (Farmer's Walk Handles), thrown for height (Keg over bar), held for time (Scale Weights for 10 Seconds), bent to degree (Nail in Reverse Style), bent to distance (Nails, ends within 2"), torn (Deck of Cards), turned (Wrist Roller), etc.

Other Points: The specific demand for each implement shall be distinguished by the event promoter. Order of implements as well as Point values per implement shall also be assigned prior to the event. The object is for the lifter to meet as many required feats during the time allowed in the medley in order to get as many points as possible. Medleys are usually conducted with time limits. These are decided by the promoter based on the number of implements/challenges in the medley, number of competitors and time permitted.

Grip Aids: Normally, chalk is the only grip aid allowed. However for certain leverage events, such as a Weaver Stick or Slim Lever, the promoter may allow a Wrist Support in order to accomplish those specific implements/challenges. This shall be pointed out prior to beginning the event.

Timed Wrist Roller Pull for Distance

Set-up / Positioning: The Wrist Roller is fastened to a sturdy, stationary object. A strap or other connecting device is run from the Wrist Roller to the object being pulled. A starting line and ending line is marked clearly on the ground or floor. A stop watch, Gym Boss, or similar instrument is used to keep time.

Execution: The athlete grips the Wrist Roller with both hands and upon the starting whistle begins to turn the Wrist Roller and keeps turning until the object being pulled reaches the finish line or until time expires.

Other Points: Thumbless grip is allowed. Loading tension into the connective device is acceptable provided the object being pulled does not cross the starting line before the starting call is given.

Scoring: Score is based on the distanced pulled in the event. The furthest pull is awarded 100 points and is used as the denominator. The other performances are assigned a proportionate score. For instance if the best pull is 75 feet, a second-place pull of 60 feet is scored like so: 60/75 X 100 = 80 points.

Grip Aids: Chalk only is permitted on the Wrist Roller.

The Sledge Hammer Choke

Sledge Hammer Specs: An unmodified 12 lb wooden handled sledgehammer is to be used. No tape is allowed on the handle. The handle will be marked with inch increments from the bottom of the head towards the end of the handle with lines no thicker than ¼” designating those increments.

Platform Specs: The platform height is precisely 18”. It must be level and rigid.

Set-up / Positioning: The sledgehammer will be laid on the floor with a quarter placed on head in the upright position. The lifter may position the sledge on the floor per their preferences, ie, orientation to the platform. The lifter will ensure the quarter is squarely placed on the hammer’s head before grasping the handle. When grasping the handle they will pick an inch increment to place their hand behind. That inch will be their score for that lift.

Execution: The lifter will use one hand to lift the hammer onto the platform without the quarter falling off the head. If the quarter falls off before the head is placed on the platform it will be a no lift. Other than the lifting hand, no other part of the sledge may come in contact with the body or nearby object. The head may, however, bump into the platform top if deemed not for the purpose of cheating the lift. If a part of the body inadvertently touches the sledge, a foul is called and the lifter may re-grip. A second foul constitutes the loss of a turn. The increment line must be visible in front of the lifter’s hand. The hand may cover some of the line but the judge must be able to see the line throughout the lift. If the line goes out of the judge’s sight, there will be one warning for the offense. A second foul will result with a no lift. This ensures no cheating too forward of the inch’s line.

Other Points: The free hand must remain free of any part of the sledge, platform, and quarter during the lift.

Scoring: The weight lifted to be scored is actually the inches grasped away from the hammer’s head. E.g., 17” is a score of 17. This is a best out of 4 attempts event with a non-rising bar format. Since the hammer weight is a constant, the level of difficulty is the inches.

Grip Aids: Chalk is allowed but no stickum, tacky, tape, or gloves etc are allowed.

Pinch Block Curl

Equipment Specs: An unmodified Diesel Power Pinch Block Durl devicee must be used.


    1. During the lift, the athlete's head, shoulder blades, and their butt must remain in contact with the wall.
    2. The lift begins with the Pinch Block Curl (PBC) standing on the loading pin. The athlete leans their butt against the wall and bends down to apply their grip on the PBC. The off-hand can be used to steady it.
    3. The athlete lifts the PBC off the ground and positions their head, shoulder blades, and butt against the wall. Once the forearm of the lifting hand is in a vertical position, and all three required contact points are against the wall, the judge will say "Lift." The athlete then can begin his/her attempt at any time.
    4A. The objective is to curl the PBC from the starting position, upwards. The concentric portion of the lift is complete when the forearm and the PBC are in the top position, vertical.
    4B. Once the lifter's forearm and the PBC reach vertical the judge will call, "Good." At this point, the lifter must lower the PBC back down to the starting position under control, so the forearm is vertical once again, without the head, shoulder blades or the butt losing contact with the wall. The judge will then call "Down."
    5. The athlete must place the PBC back onto the floor under control. If he/she loses his/her grip on the implement, it is a failed lift. When returning the PBC to the floor, the head, shoulder blades and butt may leave the wall.
    6. Weights Used: The largest weight permitted is a 10lb/5kg plate. It must be at least 20mm in thickness in two separate locations. There must be a minimum of 50mm between measurement locations.
    7. When Changing Weights: The minimum weight increase for each attempt will be 1.25lbs, until the athlete's final attempt, at which time they can ask for a smaller weight change.
Other Points:

Scoring: The athlete's score includes the total weight of the implement and the weight added to it.

Grip Aids: Chalk is allowed but no stickum, tacky, tape, or gloves etc are allowed.

Important Note

Additional Events: As events are defined for NAGS-sanctioned contests, their rules will be added here.
Rules Document: In 2012, the International Grip Collective assembled a Rules Book, which can be downloaded here.

Changes: Changes to rules may be modified here. Efforts will be made to notify athletes, promoters, and fans.

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