If you are looking to plan a wife carrying event in your area, it's quite simple. Below you will find key information including required rules and regulations to ensure that your event will be considered a sanctioned event by the North American Wife Carrying Championship.
What is Wife Carrying?
Wife carrying is based on husband-and-wife teams racing with the husband carrying the wife through a regulation length obstacle course featuring log hurdles, sand traps, and the always popular "widow maker" water hazard. The fastest two teams from the qualifying round then compete head-to-head in a final heat. Competing couples do not have to be married, though they must be comprised of a man and a woman and both must be at least 21 years old to enter. How the wife is carried is the competitors' choice, though most use the "Estonian carry" where the female participant holds the male around the waist and tightens her legs around his neck, thereby freeing his hands.
What do they win?
This is entirely up to you. For our event, we give away the wife's weight in beer, and 5 times her weight in cash. Plus the top three teams get medals. We also give medals away to the winners of the fastest couple collectively weighing over 350 pounds and for the fastest couple whose combined age is over 80.
North American Rules & Regulations
The North American rules and regulations for wife carrying vary slightly from the World Championship rules on several points. The list below is the official set of rules and regulations for the North American Championship and are followed by most state and regional qualifying events.
- Teammates are not required to be legally married.
- Helmets are not required for the carried competitor.
- The only special equipment allowed to be worn by the carrier is a belt, which is optional.
- There is no minimum weight limit for female competitors.
- Competitors run the course two at a time in initial heats, with each team being timed. The two fastest teams qualify for a final heat, which may be timed or untimed, with the winner of the final heat being the winner of the event. Because the final heat is determined by time, qualifying teams do not necessarily have to win their initial heat. Additional heats may be run for third place, and on.
- If a competitor drops his teammate, the team will be penalized with five seconds added to their time.
- Teams may not advance on the course without the wife being carried and will be disqualified if they do so.
- There is no restriction on how the female teammate is carried. Several types of carry are commonly used including the Piggyback and Fireman's Carry (over the shoulder), but the most popular is the Estonian Carry (the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around the husband's shoulders, holding onto his waist).
- Length of course is 254 meters / 278 yards. North American courses are typically run on uneven ground with some level of elevation change.
- Course design consists of two dry obstacles and one water obstacle. Specific obstacle designs may vary by course and by year.
Sanctioning an Event
- Ensures a commitment by the event organizer that the event will be conducted in accordance with the North American Wife Carrying sanctioning guidelines.
- Ensures that the event will be conducted in a fair and safe manner.
- Ensures that the event meets a standard of quality required for sanctioning by North American Wife Carrying.
- Allows new event organizers to reach out to the North American Wife Carrying organizers at Sunday River for advice where needed, and connects people who request events around the world relative to their area.
- Adds a level of prestige to new events, and increases awareness through a listing on Sunday River's event page.
To sanction an event, send the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Event director name
- Event director address
- Date of event
- Location of event
- Start and end time
- Entry fee