Basic Wrestling Info


The primary objective in folk-style wrestling is to gain control of your opponent and to ultimately pin your opponent by holding your opponent with their back (both shoulder blades simultaneously) on the mat for a period of at least two seconds.

Match Basics
Wrestling matches consist of three periods. Periods can vary in length from one minute in duration for younger age groups, to as long as three minutes for college wrestling. Either wrestler can win the match at any time if they are able to pin their opponent or develop a lead of more than 14 points. Otherwise, the wrestler that can accumulate the most points by the end of the third period (or after overtime in the case of a tie) wins the match.

There are only two positions from which referees start, or continue a match. The first is neutral position, with both wrestlers standing and facing each other. The other is the referee’s position, where one wrestler starts on his hands and knees down on the mat, and the other starts on top, behind and in control. The first period always begins in the neutral position. Each wrestler has their choice in one of the remaining periods, to choose to start from top or bottom referee’s position, or in the neutral position. If the action must be stopped before the end of a period, the referee restarts the wrestlers in the starting position that best reflects the position the wrestlers were in when the action was stopped.

The scoring system is rather simple. Take-downs (when from a neutral position one wrestler is able to bring the other to the mat and gain control) are worth two points. Escapes (when the bottom wrestler is able to break free from the top wrestler and revert back to a neutral position) are worth one point. Reversals, (when a wrestler on the bottom is able to reverse the control so that the opponent is on the bottom) are worth two points. Back points(also called near fall) are awarded when one wrestler comes close to pinning the other (i.e. exposing the other wrestler’s back) and are worth two or three points depending on the length of time that the opponent’s back is exposed. In addition, penalty points can be awarded when the opposing wrestler performs illegal moves or is penalized for excessive stalling. 

Point System for Matches 
Take-down 2 points
Near Fall 2 or 3
Escape 1 point
Reversal 2 points 

Point System for Team Score 
Decision 3 points
Major Decision 4 points
Tech Fall 5 point
Fall 6 points 

Basic wrestling equipment includes a headgear, wrestling shoes, and a singlet. Wrestling shoes offer more ankle support than the traditional shoe and are designed lightweight and tight to the foot to promote freedom of movement. Headgear can prevent outer ear injuries and bruises during practice and competition. The standard wrestling uniform, known as a singlet, is designed to fit snug to the body so that it does not restrict the movement of either wrestler. Knee-pads are sometimes worn by choice. 

Unlike boxing, where no one (not even the boxers) knows the score, the scoring in wrestling is precise and both the spector and wrestler alike can follow the progress of the match.

The point used in wrestling is an evaluation of the activity on the mat. It is the referee’s duty, among other things, to analyze the situation and signal the points to the scorer. 

First Period
Starts from standing or neutral position. Both wrestlers come forward, shake hands, and step back to their designated red or green area in the center of the mat.

Second Period 
Choice of position is decided by the toss of a coin. The winner of the toss may choose either up or down in “Referee’s Position” or “Neutral Position” or “Defer” to the other wrestler.

Third Period 
Choice of position is decided by the wrestler who did not win the coin toss or if the choice was defered in the second period, the wrestler may choose up or down in the "Referee's Position" or "Neutral Position". 

The Winner
The winner of the match shall be declared by the wrestler who scores the most points or by a fall.

1. Don't be afraid to lose, have an offensive philosophy going in, and constantly use a proper attack.
2. Make your opponent wrestle your style. Force the match and keep him off balance by attacking first and continuously.
3. If you have reach, speed, or balance on a man, use these to your advantage. Mix them up in your attack, the odds favor you.
4. If you are stronger, overpower him. If you are weaker, don't fight his strength but instead concentrate on perfect technique. Technique will win over strength nearly every time.
5. If you are in better shape, set a pace he can't stand but don't do all the work. Make him lift your weight every time possible.
6. Keep a cool head and remain poised and confident. Never allow calls by the referees or actions by your opponent or the fans to upset your wrestling attitude or technique. Never make the referee mad at you.
7. Never stop wrestling until the whistle blows. This includes not giving up a defensive move until the referee calls the points.
8. Do not do anything in a match that you haven't worked hard to perfect in practice.
9. Never let your opponent know that you are tired.
10. Be a "chain wrestler", always performing a second move if the first doesn't work. Use holds which blend together, either as a fake to set-up, or as a follow-up.
11. A desperation move is risky and should only be tried at the end of the match when you "must" get points. Remember, a loss by one point is as bad as a loss be several points. 

A tournament involves numerous teams. In tournaments, each individual wrestler competes in his own weight bracket, while scoring points for his team. Individual wrestlers are competing for individual medals and glory. The bracket is drawn so that the known superior wrestlers are seeded and separated from competing against each other in the opening rounds. This is in an effort to set the best possible final match. A bye occurs when the number of wrestlers in the bracket is not a power of 2, i.e. 4, 8, 16, 32 wrestlers. A bye is randomly drawn into the bracket. A bye should only occur in the first round of championship and the first round of consolations. The wrestlers advance in the bracket as long as they continue to win. If a wrestler loses, the format of the tournament determines whether or not he will wrestle in the consolation bracket. 

Definition of Terms
TAKE-DOWN – From a neutral position, a wrestler gains control of his opponent and takes him down on the mat.
ESCAPE – When the defensive wrestler gains a neutral position and his opponent has lost control.
REVERSAL – When the defensive wrestler comes from underneath and gains control of his opponent.
NEAR FALL - When the offensive wrestler has control of his opponent in pinning situation and both shoulders or scapulae of the defensive wrestler is held beyond perpendicular to the mat or when the defensive wrestler is in a high bridge or on both elbows for 3 seconds 2 points is awarded and for 5 seconds 3 points is awarded.
FALL – When any part of both shoulders or scapulae are held in contact with the mat for 2 seconds, also known as PIN.
TECH FALL - When the winner wins by 14 points or more.
DECISION – Earned by the wrestler who has earned the greater number of points.
MAJOR DECISION - Winner wins match by more than 8 points.
DEFER – A strategy that gives the original wrestler the choice in the final period.
FORFEIT – Received by a wrestler when his opponent, for any reason, fails to appear for the match or complete the match.
NEUTRAL POSITION – Position in which neither wrestler has control.
REFEREE’S TOP POSITION – Position known as “Top”, is the control position where most pins (falls) occur. The top man is positioned after the bottom is set. The top man is required to grasp the bottom mans elbow with one hand and the other hand to wrap around the bottom man’s waist.
REFEREE’S BOTTOM POSITION – Position of the man on his hands and knees on the mat. There are two parallel lines twelve inches apart. The bottom man is required to have his hands in front of one line and his knees behind the other.