Armwrestling History
The beginning of Armwrestling


This year will be our 50th year 
of the organized sport in Petaluma, CA

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Bill Soberanes and Dave Devoto

The matches began In Gilardi's saloon In Petaluma, CA. in 1952. Bill Soberanes, a young journalist was the founder of the organized sport. He was the Inspiration for the annual Petaluma, then Northern California and then the California armwrestling championship. In 1962 Bill and Dave Devoto got together to form the World's Wristwrestling Championship, Inc. and take it to one of Petaluma's largest auditoriums. The event was tremendously successful and exciting things began to happen.

In 1968 Charles Schultz did 11 comic strips where snoopy was coming to Petaluma to win the World's Wristwrestling Championship. Unfortunately In the final strip he was eliminated because the official armwrestling rules stated you must lock your thumbs with the opposing competitor. Snoopy had no thumb. Drats. These comic strips were done in dozens of different languages and distributed through out the world.

In 1969 Dave Devoto contracted with the American Broadcasting Corporation and the World's Wristwrestling Championship began a wonderful l6 year relationship with ABC's Wide World of Sports. Armwrestling came of age.


A story in Playboy magazine substantiated the fact that our televised event was the highest rated show in the young history of Wide World of Sports. Most of the competitors in the sport today first became aware of Armwrestling through ABC's productions of the Wide World of Sports World's Wristwrestling Championship. The televised championships ran from 1969 through 1984. We love Wide World of Sports.

In October 1995 the event was filmed by the Learning Channel and shown four times throughout the World. The World's Wristwrestling - Armwrestling Championship is always held the second Saturday in October in Petaluma, California.

On October 12, 1996 the event was filmed by NBC's World News Today and shown throughout the World on October 13, 1996.

On October 14, 2000 the event was filmed by CBS and shown on the 16th on the Bryant Gumbel show.  Part of the event was also shown on the Evening Magazine weeks later.

ArmSports, armwrestling and wristwrestling are all the same sport using the same type table with pegs.

We have been consultants on movies and television videos regarding ArmSports, Armwrestling and Wristwrestling and are making our facilities available to all Armsports competitors and organizers. Our goal is to provide information and organization to all who have interest in our sport.

United States ArmSports
Dave Devoto 707 441-0780

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