More women entering the arm wrestling ring

CHICAGO — It was only four years ago that the World Arm Wrestling League came to be. Before that, arm wrestling matches were kind of a basement bar sport, with an underground following.

A lot has changed since then, especially the kinds of people willing to belly up to that table.

WAL President Steve Kaplan says, "You could have a UPS Worker versus an investment banker, a dentist against a chemistry teacher, a fighter against a priest. All that matters is what we're made of at that particular moment."

That goes for the women, too.

WAL has dozens of female competitors muscling their way to the top. Some are kindergarten teachers, other mothers. All of them tough as nails when they approach the table.

"You don't know what's coming out of the person at the other end of the table. They don't have to look like an arm wrestler," says Tamara Mitts. She would know. At 5-foot-4, most would never guess Mitts is a WAL competitor. But time and time again, she has taken down women twice her size.

"That's what I love about this sport. There's no age barrier. No gender barrier. It's all about strategy, speed and technique."

For information about upcoming WAL matches, check out walunderground.com.