Although there is no love lost between the greasers and Socs, the hatred of their rivalry does not extend to that of murder. Both the Socs and the combined greaser gangs--those of Tim Shepard, the Brumly Boys and the Curtis brothers--all agreed to a basic set of rules governing the rumble. The boys would use "skin" only--no guns, knives or other weapons would be allowed. The greasers apparently requested these restrictions; it was Cherry Valance who relayed the information to Two-Bit and Pony that
"They play your way. No weapons, fair deal. Your rules." (Chapter 8)
Cherry assured the boys that "Randy told me. He knows for sure." But Randy would not show up for the rumble, and his Soc pals were soon driven from the vacant lot by the greasers. The fight started when the two strongest boys--Darry and his old football "buddy," Paul Holden--circled each other, "sizing each other up." The other boys waited until the first punch was thrown and then everyone began "slugging it out." The "skin only" rule was not followed by everyone, however. One of the Brumly boys had broken this rule and their leader "was working over one of his own men because... he used a piece of pipe."