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A countout (alternatively "count-out" or "count out") happens when a wrestler is out of the ring long enough for the referee to count to ten (or twenty), and thus disqualified. The count is broken and re-started when a wrestler in the ring exits the ring. Playing into this, some wrestlers will "milk" the count by sliding in the ring, and immediately sliding back out, forcing the referee to restart the match. With both wrestlers outside the ring, double countouts are possible and, although relatively rare, are an easy way to have a match end in a draw.

Since the count is restarted whenever a wrestling indise the ring exits the ring, a common ploy (especially among heels) is to slide underneath the bottom rope of one side of the ring, and instantly slide back out. As he was technically inside the ring for a split second before exiting again, it is sufficient to retart the count. Heels often use this tactic in order to buy tthemselves more time to catch their breath, or to attempt to frustrated their babyface opponents

If all the active wrestlers in a match are down inside the ring at the same time, the referee will begin a count (usually 10 seconds). If nobody rises to their feet by the end of the count, the match is ruled a draw. Any participant who stands up in time will end the count for someone else. In some promotions, Championships cannot change hands via a count-out, unless the on-screen authority declares it for at least one match, although in others, championships may change hands via countout.