Leonard Harkless – President of the United States Armwrestling Assn., Inc.
Leonard started Armwrestling in 1978. He has held State Titles since 1981 in Washington, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota and Wyoming. In 1989 he placed 4th at the World's Wristwrestling Championships in Petaluma, California. At the Canadian National Championships in 1991 he placed second. In 1996 he wrestled in the "Gold Bear" International Armwrestling Championships and placed in the top 5 in his weight class. In August 1998 he placed third in the 1998 International Armwrestling Tournament that was held in Rochefort, Belgium. His greatest accomplishment was placing 2nd in 2000 at the World Armwrestling Federation (WAF) Championship in Rovaniemi, Finland. Although Leonard doesn’t compete much anymore, he has trained many past and current, World Champion Armwrestlers. Leonard began refereeing in 1980 and has been a Head Referee since 1983. For 16 years he was the Head referee in Petaluma, California at the World's Wristwrestling Championships and was "Deputy" Referee for 5 years at the "Gold Bear International Championships" in Moscow, Russia. Leonard was appointed as the Head Referee for the World Armwrestling Federation under the direction of Fred Roy (Canada) in 2002. Leonard has trained literally thousands of referees all over the World. Each year at the World Championship he organizes a “referee clinic” for the International officials. How a referee scores, on both a practical and written test, will determine their skill level. There are 3 levels of referees, Junior, Senior and Master. Only Senior and Master Referees are allowed to officiate at the World Level. Leonard is also responsible for scheduling qualified staff for the 20-30 events that USAA hosts each year. He also advises and guides all our USAA Certified Promoters.
Denise Wattles – Executive Director of the USWA/USAA
Denise was first introduced to the sport of Armwrestling in 1981 at a local tournament held at a shopping mall in Billings, MT. by Leonard Harkless. The excitement and competition of that event “hooked” her on the sport, and the rest is history. Only competing a few times, the last time in 1987, Denise found that the promoting factor of the sport was more to her liking. It also fell into her line of education, finance and business management. Growing up in northern California, and having been involved in sports as she was growing up, bracketing Armwrestling events was natural to her. After not only competing in sports, but also scorekeeping for the wrestling teams she now had another sport to become involved in. Denise is one of the founding members of USA (now USAF) and composed the original United States ArmSports Constitution in 1998. Denise has also served as the Team Manager for the United States athletes, from 1992-2009, that have attended International and World Championships in Russia (1992-1998), Canada, Japan, Finland, Poland, Italy, Bulgaria and South Africa. She was responsible for all the flight arrangements, lodging and transportation for the U.S. teams, which can number up to 60 wrestlers. Denise was also the Team Manager for the 1998 USA Team that won first place in the XIX WAF World Armwrestling Championship that was held in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and also first place at the XXIV World Championship held in Springfield, Illinois in 2002. For 34 years she has been announcing and bracketing for the USWA/USAA. From 1990 to 2005 Denise had the duties of announcing and bracketing at the World's Wristwrestling Championship in Petaluma, California and in 1996 bracketed the "International Tournament of Champions" in Kelowna, British Columbia. In addition to the National Championship events, she has worked at over 900 tournaments. As large as the USWA/USAA has grown, it takes a lot of her time to assist in the promotion of the tournaments and make sure that the advertising is done and that all the wrestlers are notified of the events. Denise's strong background includes marketing, accounting, and her ability to speak Spanish and Russian has also been an asset to her profession. She is extremely capable as owner of DeLeon Designs, the National Accounts Manager for M.L. Schuman Promotional Products, and being the Executive Director of one of the largest Armwrestling associations in the World.