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Rules to play Sumo Wrestling
21. The wrestling ring
Sumo matches take place in a dohy a ring, 4.55 metres 14.9 ft in diameter and 16.26 square metres 175.0 sq ft in area, of rice straw bales on top of a platform made of clay mixed with sand. A new dohy is built for each tournament by the bout callers or yobidashi. At the center are two white lines, the shikiri sen, behind which the wrestlers position themselves at the start of the bout. A roof resembling that of a Shinto shrine may be suspended over the dohy.
22. Professional sumo
Professional sumo is organized by the Japan Sumo Association. The members of the association, called oyakata, are all former wrestlers, and are the only people entitled to train new wrestlers. All practicing wrestlers are members of a training stable heya run by one of the oyakata, who is the stablemaster for the wrestlers under him. Currently there are 47 training stables for about 660 wrestlers.
23. Sumo divisions
There are six divisions in sumo makuuchi maximum 42 wrestlers, j?ry fixed at 28 wrestlers, makushita fixed at 120 wrestlers, sandanme fixed at 200 wrestlers, jonidan approximately 185 wrestlers, and jonokuchi approximately 40 wrestlers. Wrestlers enter sumo in the lowest jonokuchi division and, ability permitting, work their way up to the top division. A broad demarcation in the sumo world can be seen between the wrestlers in the top two divisions known as sekitori and those in the four lower divisions, known commonly by the more generic term rikishi. These differences in compensation, privileges and status are enumerated here.
24. Amateur sumo
Sumo is also an amateur sport, with participants in college, high school and grade school in Japan. In addition to college and school tournaments, there are also open amateur tournaments. The sport at this level is stripped of most of the ceremony. The most successful amateur wrestlers in Japan usually college champions can be allowed to enter professional sumo at makushita third division rather than from the very bottom of the ladder. This rank is called makushita tsukedashi, and is currently makushita 10 or 15 depending on the level of amateur success achieved. Many of the current top division wrestlers entered professional sumo by this route. All entry by amateur athletes into the professional ranks is subject to them being young enough under 23 to satisfy the entry requirements, barring qualification as a makushita tsukedashi under 25.
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