A Guide to Wrestling
Starting the Match
Wrestlers begin each match on their feet facing each other in the “neutral position.” The wrestler wearing a green leg band is considered the home wrestler and the wrestler wearing the red leg band is considered the visiting wrestler. The wrestlers shake hands and the referee blows the whistle to begin wrestling.
While the first period begins with the wrestlers in the neutral position, a coin toss determines which wrestler gets his choice of starting positions of the second and third periods. If the home wrestler gets to choose his position for the second period (top, bottom, or neutral), the visiting wrestler gets his choice the third period. The wrestler that wins the coin toss, after the first period has been completed, has the opportunity to chose position or defer his choice to the third period.
- Scoring Points
Scoring points throughout the match, wrestlers are awarded points for the following moves: takedown, reversal, escape, and near fall. The referee can also award points to a wrestler's opponent for illegal holds or stalling by the wrestler.
- TAKEDOWN (2 points) A takedown occurs when either wrestler, starting from the neutral position, gains control of his opponent on the mat.
- ESCAPE (1 point) The defensive wrestler (on bottom) is awarded one point for an escape when he moves to a neutral position.
- REVERSAL (2 points) The defensive wrestler (on bottom) is awarded 2 points for a reversal when he gains control of his opponent and becomes the offensive wrestler (on top). This may take place while the defensive wrestler is either on his feet or on the mat.
- NEAR FALL (2 or 3 Points) Points for a near fall are awarded when the nonoffensive wrestler has control of his opponent in a near pinning position. This occurs when the defensive wrestler’s shoulders are restrained four or fewer inches from the mat, one shoulder is touching the mat and the other is held at a forty-five degree angle to the mat, or when the wrestler is in a high bridge or supported on both elbows. If the near fall criteria are met for a period of two consecutive seconds, a two-point near fall is awarded; if the near fall criteria is met for five consecutive seconds, a three-point near fall is earned. End of match A match ends when one of the following occurs: a pin (fall), a technical fall, or time expires.
- PIN (FALL) A pin is awarded when a wrestler holds any part of both of his opponent’s shoulders to the mat for two continuous seconds.
- TECHNICAL FALL When a wrestler has earned a 15 point advantage over his opponent, the referee will end the match.
- TIME EXPIRED If there has not been a fall or a technical fall by the end of the third period, the winner of the match is determined by the number of individual points scored. The wrestler with the most points wins the match by decision.
- OVERTIME A two minute overtime period begins immediately after the regulation match. Both wrestlers are in neutral position. The first wrestler to score is the winner.
- INFRACTIONS, PENALTIES AND INJURY, TIME-OUTS, ILLEGAL HOLDS Illegal holds are dangerous and can cause injury. Whenever a referee witnesses one of these holds being used, he awards one point to the offender’s opponent. Illegal holds include, but are not limited to:
- SLAM– lifting and returning an opponent to the mat with excessive force
- HAMMERLOCK– pulling the opponent’s arms too high on the back or pulling the arm away from the back.
- HEADLOCK– arms or hands are locked around the opponents head without encircling an arm.
- FULL NELSON– arms are under both arms of the opponent and behind the head.
Potentially Dangerous holds occur when a body part is forced to the limit of the normal range of movement. The referee will caution a wrestler against forcing a hold into an illegal position, however, he will not stop wrestling action unless it is necessary to prevent an injury.
Technical Violations may cause the offending wrestler to be penalized one point. The referee may give cautions or warnings about some violations but not all. Technical Violations include assuming an incorrect starting position, false start, grasping clothing or headgear, interlocking hands, and leaving the wrestling area without permission from the referee.
- CONDUCT INFRACTIONS
- UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS– Physical acts that exceed normal aggressiveness.
- UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT– physical and non-physical acts that can occur before, during, or after a match. Examples: shoving, swearing, failing to follow referee instructions, baiting and taunting.
- FLAGRANT MISCONDUCT- any physical or non-physical act occurring before, during or after a match that the referee considers to be serious enough to disqualify a contestant from a match or tournament. Examples: biting, hitting, head-butting, elbowing etc.
- STALLING– Each wrestler is required to make an honest attempt to stay within the 10 foot circle and wrestle aggressively at all times. When a referee recognizes stalling, he will warn the offender. Further violations will be penalized.
Penalties and warnings are cumulative throughout the match and overtime. Penalty points are awarded to the offender’s opponent. He is awarded one point for the first and second offenses, and two points for the third offense. On the fourth offense, the offending wrestler is disqualified.
Last Modified on November 20, 2013