Amateur wrestling

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This article is about the traditional sport. For amateur pro-wrestling-inspired performances put on by untrained fans, see Backyard wrestling.
Amateur Wrestling
Wrestling badgers den.jpg
Two competitors in an Amateur Wrestling match
Focus Grappling
Parenthood Ancient greek style of wrestling

Amateur wrestling is the most widespread form of sport wrestling.[citation needed] There are two international wrestling styles performed in the Olympic Games under the supervision of FILA (Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées or International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles): Greco-Roman and freestyle. Freestyle is possibly derived from the English Lancashire style. A similar style, commonly called collegiate (also known as scholastic or folkstyle), is practiced in colleges and universities, secondary schools, middle schools, and among younger age groups in the United States. Where the style is not specified, this article refers to the international styles of competition on a mat. In February 2013, the IOC voted to remove the sport from the 2020 Summer Olympics onwards. On 8 September 2013, the IOC announced that wrestling would return to the Summer Olympics in 2020.[1]

Scoring[edit]

Greco-Roman and freestyle differ in what holds are permitted; in Greco-Roman, the wrestlers are permitted to hold and attack only above the waist. In both Greco-Roman and freestyle, points can be scored in the following ways:

  • Takedown: A wrestler gaining control over his opponent from a neutral position.
  • Reversal: A wrestler gaining control over his opponent from a defensive position.
  • Exposure or the Danger Position: A wrestler exposing his opponent's back to the mat, also awarded if one's back is to the mat but the wrestler is not pinned.
  • Penalty: Various infractions (e.g. striking the opponent, acting with brutality or intent to injure, using illegal holds, etc.). (Under the 2004–2005 changes to the international styles, a wrestler whose opponent takes an injury time-out receives one point unless the injured wrestler is bleeding.)[2] Any wrestler stepping out of bounds while standing in the neutral position during a match is penalized by giving his opponent a point.[2]

Scores only awarded in collegiate wrestling[edit]

As in the international styles, collegiate wrestling awards points for takedowns and reversals. Penalty points are awarded in collegiate wrestling according to the current rules, which penalize moves that would impair the life or limb of the opponent. However, the manner in which infractions are penalized and points awarded to the offended wrestler differ in some aspects from the international styles. Collegiate wrestling also awards points for:

  • Near Fall: This is similar to the exposure (or danger position) points given in Greco-Roman and freestyle. A wrestler scores points for holding his opponent's shoulders or scapulae to the mat for several seconds while his opponent is still not pinned.
  • Time Advantage or Riding Time: On the college level, the wrestler who controlled his opponent on the mat for the most time is awarded a point; provided that the difference of the two wrestlers' time advantage is at least one minute.
  • Escape: A wrestler getting from a defensive position to a neutral position. This is no longer a way to score in freestyle or Greco-Roman.

Period format[edit]

Women's wrestling

In the international styles, the format is now two thre-minute periods. A wrestler wins the match when he was able to get more points than his opponent or 10 points lead in two rounds. For example, if one compititor get 10-0 lead in first round he was won by supiriority of points. Only a fall, injury default, or disqualification terminates the match; all other modes of victory result only in period termination.[3]

One side effect of this format is that it is possible for the losing wrestler to outscore the winner. For example, periods may be scored 3–2, 0–4, 1–0, leading to a total score of 4–6 but a win for the wrestler scoring fewer points.

In collegiate wrestling, the period structure is different. A college match consists of one three-minute period, followed by two two-minute periods, with an overtime round if necessary.[4] A high school match typically consists of three two-minute periods, with an overtime round if necessary.[5] Under the standard rules for collegiate wrestling, draws are not possible; this rule is sometimes modified for young wrestlers.

Victory conditions in the international styles[edit]

Two U.S. Air Force members wrestling in a Greco-Roman match.

A match can be won in the following ways:

  • Fall: A fall, also known as a pin, occurs when one wrestler holds both of his opponents' shoulders on the mat simultaneously.[6]
  • Technical Superiority: If one wrestler gains a 10-point lead over his opponent at any point in the game, the game is declared over, and he is the winner of that match. Also, and he is the winner of that game by technical superiority.he is then the winner of the match by technical superiority.[7]
  • Decision: If neither wrestler achieves either a fall or technical superiority, the wrestler who scored more points during the period is declared the winner of that period. If the wrestlers have gained the same number of points at the period's end, then the winner is determined in the following order:
    • 1. The number of cautions given to each wrestler for penalties
    • 2. Most three-point moves
    • 3. Most two-point moves
    • 4. Most one-point moves
    • 5. Last technical point scored.

In freestyle, if neither wrestler has scored a point at the end of the two-minute period then a procedure known as The Clinch is used to decide the winner. The referee flips a colored disk with a blue side and a red side. This determined which wrestler will take the opponent's leg while kneeling in front of his opponent. Once the referee blows his whistle, the kneeling wrestler has 30 seconds to score a point and win the period. If he does not score or his opponent scores first, then the wrestler whose leg was taken to start the period is declared the winner.[8]

In Greco-Roman, the Clinch procedure is slightly different. The first 60 seconds of a Greco-Roman wrestling period feature both wrestler attempting to gain takedowns and other points from a neutral position. At the end of the first minute, in general, the wrestler who has scored the most points is awarded an Olympic lift from an open par terre position on the other wrestler. This position is known as The Clinch in Greco-Roman wrestling. If neither wrestler at the end of the first minute of the period has any points, the wrestler receiving the Olympic lift will be the winner of a colored disk toss. At the end of thirty seconds, the clinch position is reversed with the other wrestler receiving the Olympic lift, and the period is decided by who accumulated the most points during both standing and ground phases. During the ground phase if the top wrestler cannot score, the other wrestler is awarded one point. In the case of no scoring moves being executed during either ground phase the score will be 1–1, and in this case generally the wrestler to score last will be awarded the period.[8]

  • Default: If one wrestler is unable to continue participating for any reason or fails to show up on the mat after his name was called three times before the match begins, his opponent is declared the winner of the match by default, forfeit, or withdrawal.[3]
  • Injury: If one wrestler is injured and unable to continue, the other wrestler is declared the winner. This is also referred to as a medical forfeit or injury default. The term also encompasses situations where wrestlers become ill, take too many injury time-outs, or bleed uncontrollably. If a wrestler is injured by his opponent's illegal maneuver and cannot continue, the wrestler at fault is disqualified.[9]
  • Disqualification: Normally, if a wrestler is assessed three Cautions for breaking the rules, he is disqualified. Under other circumstances, such as flagrant brutality, the match may be ended immediately and the wrestler disqualified and removed from the tournament.[10]

Victory conditions in collegiate wrestling[edit]

An example of medals that are usually rewarded to the winner of a tournament.

While having similar victory conditions with Greco-Roman and freestyle, such as wins by fall, decision, injury, and disqualification, victory conditions in collegiate wrestling differ on some points from the international styles:

  • Fall: A fall, also known as a pin, occurs when one wrestler holds any part of both of his opponent's shoulders or both of his opponent's shoulder blades (scapulae) in continuous contact with the mat. The fall must be held in collegiate wrestling for two seconds in high school wrestling matches[11] and one second in college wrestling matches.[12] A win by fall is worth six team points in a dual meet.[13]
  • Technical fall: If, at any break in action, one wrestler leads the other by 15 points and a pinning situation is not imminent, the match ends.[14] The winning team is then usually awarded five team points. On the college level, five team points are awarded if the winner in the course of the match received points for a near fall; four team points are awarded if the wrestler did not score near fall points.[13]
  • Major decision: In collegiate (scholastic or folkstyle) wrestling, a decision in which the winner outscores his opponent by eight or more points is a "major decision" and is rewarded with four team points in a dual meet.[15]
  • Decision: After the three wrestling periods have expired and the winning wrestler possesses a difference of one to seven in points, the wrestler is given a "decision", and the team is awarded three team points in a dual meet.[15]
  • Default: If a participant cannot continue wrestling for any reason during the course of the match (e.g. illness, injury, etc.), his opponent wins by default,[14] worth six team points in a dual meet.[13]
  • Disqualification: For flagrant misconduct or for a certain number of penalties assessed, a wrestler is disqualified from the match, and his opponent is declared the winner.[16] In a dual meet, this victory is worth six team points.[13] Rules for how penalties and disqualifications are determined vary somewhat in collegiate wrestling from the international styles.
  • Forfeit: If one wrestler fails to appear on the mat at the start of the match for some reason, and the other wrestler appears on the mat, the wrestler on the mat at the start of the match is automatically declared the winner.[16] The winning team in a dual meet is then awarded six team points.[13] If during the course of a tournament, a wrestler wishes to no longer participate because of illness or injury, then his opponent wins by medical forfeit,[16] worth the same number of individual and team tournament placement points as a forfeit.[17]


Dual meet scoring is very similar on the high school level.[18]

Illegal moves[edit]

Andrell Durden (top) and Edward Harris grapple for position during the All-Marine Wrestle Offs.

Amateur wrestling is a positionally-based form of grappling, and thus generally prohibits the following:

  • Biting
  • Pinching or poking with the fingers, toes, or nails, including fish-hooking the nose or mouth
  • Gouging or intentionally scratching the opponent – eye-gouges especially are grounds for disqualification and banned status in most amateur wrestling competitions
  • Strikes using the hands, fists, elbows, feet, knees, or head
  • Joint locks, including armlocks, leglocks, spinal locks, wristlocks, and small joint manipulation.
  • Chokeholds, strangling, suffocating, or smothering
  • Spiking, or lifting and slamming the opponent head-first to the mat]] (though other forms of slamming are generally allowed in the international styles; in collegiate, slamming per se is illegal)
  • Grasping or holding the opponent's genitals
  • Using a triangle (grappling hold) scissors (where one knee is bent at a 90° angle and placed behind the other knee) on the head. Scissors can be used on the body or limbs, while the figure four has been made completely illegal as of 2011.
  • Most types of amateur wrestling also discourage or prohibit the use of one's own or the opponent's clothing for grasping or performing any type of hold.
  • Full Nelson, When both arms are under both opponent's forearms or arm and both hand are behind his neck or head, although, it is now legal in Junior and Senior, if you do it to the side and do not bend the head down.

Equipment[edit]

Two college wrestlers in the United States with headgear competing in collegiate (scholastic or folkstyle) wrestling.

While there is not much equipment that a wrestler wears, it is still highly specialized. A wrestling singlet is a one-piece, tight-fitting, colored, lycra uniform. The uniform is tight-fitting so as not to get grasped accidentally by the opponent and allows the referee to see each wrestler's body clearly when awarding points or a pin. Women wrestlers wear a higher cut singlet usually with a sports-bra underneath.

Wrestling shoes are light, flexible, thin-soled, ankle-high sneakers that allow maximum speed and traction on the mat without giving up ankle support. The current rules call for laces (if any) to be covered so that they do not come untied during competition.

In American high school and college wrestling headgear is mandatory to protect the ears from cauliflower ear and other injuries. Headgear is made from molded plastic polymer or vinyl coated energy absorbing foam over a rigid hard liner and strapped to the head tightly. In the international styles headgear is optional.[19]

Wrestling is conducted on a padded mat that must have excellent shock absorption, tear resistance, and compression qualities. Most mats are made of PVC rubber nitrile foam. Recent advances in technology have brought about new mats made using closed cell, cross-linked polyethylene foam covered in vinyl backed with non-woven polyester.

World participation[edit]

The countries with the leading wrestlers in the Olympic Games and World Championships are Iran, the United States, Russia (and some of the former Soviet Union republics, especially Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan), Bulgaria, Turkey, Hungary, Cuba, Japan, South and North Korea, Germany, and historically Sweden and Finland.

Women's amateur wrestling (a modified form of freestyle) is gaining popularity around the world, and has recently been added as an Olympic sport.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "India welcomes re-inclusion of Wrestling in Olympic Games". Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (2006-12-01). "International Wrestling Rules: Greco-Roman Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling, Women's Wrestling". p. 36. FILA. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  3. ^ a b International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (2006-12-01). "International Wrestling Rules: Greco-Roman Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling, Women's Wrestling". pp. 27, 30. FILA. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  4. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (2008-08-01). "2009 NCAA Wrestling Rules and Interpretations". pp. WR-10, WR-29-WR-31. NCAA. Retrieved 2008-10-30. [dead link]
  5. ^ National Federation of State High School Associations (2008-08-01). 2008–09 NFHS Wrestling Rules Book. NFHS. pp. 32, 35–36. 
  6. ^ International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (2006-12-01). "International Wrestling Rules: Greco-Roman Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling, Women's Wrestling". p. 41. FILA. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  7. ^ International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (2006-12-01). "International Wrestling Rules: Greco-Roman Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling, Women's Wrestling". pp. 27, 28, 41. FILA. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  8. ^ a b International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (2006-12-01). "International Wrestling Rules: Greco-Roman Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling, Women's Wrestling". pp. 30–31, 43–46. FILA. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  9. ^ International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (2006-12-01). "International Wrestling Rules: Greco-Roman Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling, Women's Wrestling". pp. 30, 52–53. FILA. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  10. ^ International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (2006-12-01). "International Wrestling Rules: Greco-Roman Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling, Women's Wrestling". pp. 31, 50. FILA. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  11. ^ National Federation of State High School Associations (2008-08-01). 2008–09 NFHS Wrestling Rules Book. NFHS. p. 23. 
  12. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (2008-08-01). "2009 NCAA Wrestling Rules and Interpretations". pp. WR-23-WR-24. NCAA. Retrieved 2008-10-30. [dead link]
  13. ^ a b c d e National Collegiate Athletic Association (2008-08-01). "2009 NCAA Wrestling Rules and Interpretations". p. WR-49. NCAA. Retrieved 2008-10-30. [dead link]
  14. ^ a b National Collegiate Athletic Association (2008-08-01). "2009 NCAA Wrestling Rules and Interpretations". p. WR-24. NCAA. Retrieved 2008-10-30. [dead link]
  15. ^ a b National Collegiate Athletic Association (2008-08-01). "2009 NCAA Wrestling Rules and Interpretations". pp. WR-24, WR-49. NCAA. Retrieved 2008-10-30. [dead link]
  16. ^ a b c National Collegiate Athletic Association (2008-08-01). "2009 NCAA Wrestling Rules and Interpretations". p. WR-25. NCAA. Retrieved 2008-10-30. [dead link]
  17. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (2008-08-01). "2009 NCAA Wrestling Rules and Interpretations". pp. WR-49-WR-51. NCAA. Retrieved 2008-10-30. [dead link]
  18. ^ National Federation of State High School Associations (2008-08-01). 2008–09 NFHS Wrestling Rules Book. NFHS. p. 48. 
  19. ^ International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (2006-12-01). "International Wrestling Rules: Greco-Roman Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling, Women's Wrestling". p. 10. FILA. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]