Boston Globe: 1st Annual Thumb Wrestling Tournament

Here's a killer write-up from the Boston Globe!

One, two, three, four, Allston declares a thumb war.

People with strong — or evasive — opposable digits are being encouraged to attend the First Annual Boston Thumb Wrestling Tournament at POP Allston this weekend, and try their hand at winning a championship belt and local bragging rights.

Oliver Best, a marketplace event planning company, is hosting the thumb wrestling competition from noon to 6 p.m. at the pop-up community space on Brighton Avenue. The event is open to all ages, and will feature a live DJ, a beer and cider bar for those of legal age, and raffle prizes.

Oh, and there will be guaranteed theatrics.

“We’re encouraging people to wear costumes, and trying to keep it as fun as possible,” said Justin Pomerleau, owner of Oliver Best.

The one-on-one matches will take place inside a four-foot-by-four-foot arena surrounded by spectators. Competitors will step into the space before sitting down at a table and slipping their thumbs through two holes carved into a miniature wrestling ring.

While the rest of each player’s hand grips a stabilizing handle attached to the bottom of the ring, to prevent any sneak attacks, each player’s thumb will go to war.

The homemade ring is based on a US patent for a “wrestling game apparatus” for thumbs, designed by Richard B. Hartman and filed in 1990.

A referee will monitor all the action, and announce each player’s stats, special moves, and thumb wrestling history as the elimination-style battles rage on, according to event organizers.

The match-ups will be based on age, weight, and possibly thumb size, they said.

“It comes down to two thumbs, and the winner gets a $50 gift card to Vivant Vintage,” said Pomerleau, who founded the store.

Not to mention the championship belt.

Oliver Best had considered hosting an arm wrestling competition, but feared it could get too aggressive.

“So we took it to the thumbs,” Pomerleau said. “We haven’t heard of anything like it ... and we were trying to think of things in Boston that people haven’t really seen before.”

Those interested in participating can pre-register for the free event by contacting Oliver Best, or signing up the day of the contest, upon arrival, according to event details.

In the meantime, participants should get in shape. Thumb pushups, anyone?

Steve Annear can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.