Wrestling aficionados think they’ve found a formula to put their sport back on the map. Just put the contestants on the beach—and make them take their shirts off. That last part is key. “High school girls love cut and in-shape high school guys,” says one USA Wrestling board member. The beach version also sports simpler rules and less technical play, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The international wrestling authority, FILA, made beach wrestling an official international sport following the 2004 Olympics. Its next world championships will be held later this month in Bulgaria. Advocates nurture a distant hope that it could someday be included in the Olympics. “It’s a great atmosphere,” says the board member. “It’s the old gladiator type of wrestling.”