The High Five Rule Set

Version 2024

Section 1 – Equipment Specifications 

1.1 Table: 40" from floor to top of table. 

1.2 Tabletop: 36" across and 26" deep. Legs will be 28” minimum inside leg and 18”  minimum from leg to leg. 

1.3 Elbow Pads: 7"x 7" square shape. 2" thick, made of heavy high quality foam material,  covered with a vinyl/resin type cover. A definitive 1/4” outline of the elbow pads edge (1/8” on the top and 1/8” on the side wall of the pad) that will be denoted by a contrasting  color to the rest of the pad.  

1.4 Pin Line: 10" long x 4" high.  

1.5 Placement: Elbow pads should be set 2" from their respective edge. They should  overlap each other by 1/2 to the right of center for a right arm table and overlap each  other by 1/2 to the left of center for a left arm table. 

1.6 Hand Pegs: Should be placed midway at 13" on each edge of the table, 1" in from the edge. The peg itself should be 1" in diameter and 6" high form the tabletop. 1.7 Material: The best material to use is square tubing although tubular steel, flat iron or  angle iron may be used, but not more than 2" in diameters or width. The tabletop is normally made of 3/4" thick plywood. The tabletop may have a thin sheet of foam,  covered with vinyl/ resin type material to add a comfortable finished look. No plexi-glass or reflective tape is to be used on the tabletop. 

1.8 Riser Platforms: Riser platforms can be used by competitors who have a height  disadvantage. Riser platforms can be used in combination with platform shoes or multiple 

platforms, to raise the competitor, to at least bring their waist to the tabletop. Competitors  can use a personal riser with prior permission of the Head Referee before the start of  contest. For consistency and ease of handling reasons, riser platforms will be built of 1/2"  thick plywood, 4" high x 36" wide x 32" deep. They will be notched at the top part, as to  fit the table legs on each their respective side, to prevent them from slipping out during  competition. Approximately 3" from the top, the notches, on either side will be located. A  hand slot will be cut in the center to facilitate the removal and installation of the riser platform. 

1.9 Straps: When used, they will be of a standard 1” style with a plastic or metal buckle  and not of Velcro. The straps used will be 1” inch wide. 

Section 2 – Competition rules 

2.1 Setting up / Start of Match 

2.1.1 The grip is palm to palm, grip at thumb, thumb knuckle must be visible.  Gripped hands should be level on a plain at the webbing of the thumb to index  finger. Free hand will grip the hand peg provided at the table edge. This arm may  or may not touch the tabletop. Fingernails should be trimmed so as not to injure  your opponent. Stickum/ rosin/ chalk are permitted. 

2.1.2 Back pressure to the extent that it pulls your opponent’s arm across the  center of the table will not be allowed. This infraction will be deemed the same as  a false start. 

2.1.3 Shoulders will be kept square to the table. They may slope to either side  before the start. 

2.1.4 There will be a hand width between the shoulder and forearm of each 

competitor as well as between the chin and hand prior to the start. 

2.2.1 The signal given by the Head Referee is “Ready...Go!” in an unspecified  cadence. At the end of the match the referee will say “Stop” and indicate the  winner by raising his arm towards him/her. All effort must be made by the referee  that the competitors are aware the match is stopped. 

2.2.2 A pin is when any part of the natural wrist line to fingertips, touches or goes  below the touch pad. 

2.2.3 Competitor’s legs can be wrapped around the table leg or braced against an  opposite table leg prior to the start of the match, providing they are not interfering  with their opponent. Feet can be off the ground during competition and legs can  be moved in any fashion as long as they don’t interfere with their opponent and  no portion of the competitors leg can make contact with the top of the table. If any  portion of the competitors leg makes contact with the top of the table that will be  considered a foul. 

2.2.4 In the event of an injury during competition, the competitor’s name will  continue to be brought forward until he/she has fulfilled the two loss commitment.  The match that a competitor was injured in will be regarded as a loss. 

2.2.5 There is no time limit during an actual bout. However, if in the estimation of  the Head Referee or an authorized physician, that a competitor is deemed unfit to  continue, the match will be stopped. 

2.2.6. Competitors can start a match in straps if both agree to do so. If one  competitor requests the referees grip this will result in the match starting in the  referee’s grip regardless of the other competitor agreeing. 

Section 3 – Warnings 

3.1 Any early movement with shoulders, arm, hand, or fingers will be a warning both in  and out of the referee’s grip followed by a foul for the second offense. 

3.2 Letting go of the peg will result in a warning being called to the offender, without stopping the match. If an advantage is gained prior to re-gripping the peg, the match will  be stopped, and the offender will be given a foul. Contact with the peg must be above the  table. One armed or one hand persons do not have to grip the peg. 

Section 4 – Fouls 

Note: Two warnings equal one foul. Three fouls equal to a loss to that particular match. 

4.1 Fouls 

4.1.1 Competitor’s shoulder must not cross the “centerline” between pegs during  competition. This will be a FOUL. 

4.1.2 Competitor cannot touch any part of their body such as chin, shoulder, or head. A foul will be given. 

4.1.3 Intentionally pushing of your own hand into an opponent’s shoulder will result in you getting a FOUL. 

4.1.4 Competitors cannot drop the competing shoulder below the level of the elbow pad on his losing side of the table. The losing side of the table starts after crossing the center of the table. When a competitor’s shoulder goes below the elbow pad, the referee will caution them loudly with a command 'shoulder'. If the competitor does not correct their position within 3 seconds or correct their position but then goes below the elbow pad again, the match will be stopped and a foul will be given.

4.1.5 Any obviously intentional action that causes your opponent to get a foul will  result in no foul for the opponent and you receiving the foul instead.
Example: obviously intentionally pushing your opponent off the back or side of the elbow pad.

4.1.6 Foul or abusive language towards an official will result in disqualification from the match at the discretion of the organizers.  

4.2 Elbow Fouls 

4.2.1 A foul will be given when a competitor’s elbow loses contact with the elbow  pad and an advantage has been gained based on the discretion of the referee. An advantage gained is described as the hand moving in either the winning or losing direction. If there is any dispute by either of the competitors regarding the  advantage of the elbow foul, the referees are required to view the instant replay to better assess the call. 

4.2.2 If an elbow foul occurs in a losing position a decision will be made based on the discretion of a referee. Any elbow fouls made intentionally to avoid being pinned, contact is made with the table, or contact with the side of the pad for an extended period of time, which arises from the attack that leads to the pin will be considered as a loss. Any other situations when the elbow loses contact with the top of the pad for a short period of time, but doesn't matter to the match will be ignored.
A losing position is defined as 2” above the pin pad on the losing side of the table. This is equal to the height of the hand pegs.

4.2.3 It is not considered an elbow foul if the elbow has lifted off the pad, but the competitor still has contact with the elbow pad with their triceps or their forearm. An elbow foul will be called if the competitor is riding on their triceps or forearms and the elbow extends beyond any of the highlighted top edge. 

4.2.4 Any foul that occurs simultaneously with a foul by your opponent will be  considered coincidental, the match will be stopped and restarted, and no foul will  be given. 

4.3. Intentional slip outs
4.3.1. A slip out occurs when both competitors have lost complete contact with one another.
4.3.2. There are no fouls for intentional slip outs. Every slip out goes to the straps.
4.3.3. If an intentional slip out occurs in the losing position to avoid being pinned, the competitor will be given a loss.

4.3.4. Intentional slips are described as when you lift your fingers off your  opponent’s hand prior to a slippage, you close your fingers as to make a fist inside your opponent’s hand, or you’re in break wrist position and you pull your fingers inside your opponents hand, therefore you are unable to hold your grip. 

5. Referee Grip 

5.1 Competitors have 30 seconds to “Grip Up”. If at that time, they have not  gripped up, they will be given a “referee’s grip”. A referees’ grip consists of the  following procedure: 

5.2 Prior to the hands being wrapped the referee asks the competitor if he/she  wants their thumb covered or not. Competitors’ hands are placed palm to palm by  the referee, the thumbs are pushed down by the referee, the fingers are wrapped  by the referee, first one competitor, then the other. Thumb knuckles will be  showing, webbing level, wrists straight and arms centered. Competitors are not to  move from this set up. 

5.3 Examples of movement are fingers re-gripping, back pressure, bending  wrists, early start or elbow lifting off the pad. 

5.4 Any movement from the waist up by any competitor will result in a warning being given against the one that moves. 

6 Straps 

6.1 Straps will be used when any match ends by way of a slip-out.
6.2 When straps are employed, the officials will ask competitors to place their  elbows to the center of their respective elbow pads, place their hands palm to  palm, fingers extended and thumbs up. Opposite hand will grip hand peg. In this  position the strap can be quickly installed. Only the official can adjust the strap.  The strap cannot be lower than 1" below the natural wrist line. The referee will  always wrap the buckle side wrist first. When going around the last wrist the strap will be threaded above the strap on that wrist. 

6.3 After the strap is installed, competitors may take their grip while the elbow  is placed on the pad.