Freestyle wrestling

Freestyle wrestling

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Freestyle wrestling is a style of amateur wrestling
Amateur wrestling
Amateur wrestling is the most widespread form of sport wrestling. There are two international wrestling styles performed in the Olympic Games under the supervision of FILA : Greco-Roman and freestyle. Freestyle is possibly derived from the English Lancashire style...

 that is practised throughout the world. Along with Greco-Roman
Greco-Roman wrestling
Greco-Roman wrestling is a style of wrestling that is practised worldwide. It was contested at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every edition of the summer Olympics held since 1908. Two wrestlers are scored for their performance in three two-minute periods, which can...

, it is one of the two styles of wrestling contested in the Olympic games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

. It is, along with track and field
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

, one of the oldest organized sports in history. American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

 and college
College
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

 wrestling is conducted under different rules and is termed scholastic
Scholastic wrestling
Scholastic wrestling, sometimes known in the United States as Folkstyle wrestling, is a style of amateur wrestling practised at the high school and middle school levels in the United States. This wrestling style is essentially Collegiate wrestling with some slight modifications. It is currently...

 and collegiate wrestling
Collegiate wrestling
Collegiate wrestling, sometimes known in the United States as Folkstyle wrestling, is a style of amateur wrestling practised at the collegiate and university level in the United States. Collegiate wrestling emerged from the folk wrestling styles practised in the early history of the United States...

.

Freestyle wrestling, like its American counterpart, collegiate wrestling, has its greatest origins in catch-as-catch-can wrestling
Catch wrestling
Catch wrestling is a style of folk wrestling that was developed and popularised in the late 19th century by the wrestlers of traveling carnivals who incorporated submission holds, or "hooks", into their wrestling to increase their effectiveness against their opponents...

 and, in both styles, the ultimate goal is to pin your opponent to the mat, which results in an immediate win. Freestyle and collegiate wrestling, unlike Greco-Roman, also both allow the use of the wrestler's or his opponent's legs in offense and defense.

According to the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA)
International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, also known in French as Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées , is an international wrestling federation that holds events around the world. It is the governing body of international amateur wrestling...

, freestyle wrestling is one of the four main forms of amateur competitive wrestling
Wrestling
Wrestling is a form of grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position...

 that are practised internationally today. Others of the main forms of wrestling are Greco-Roman
Greco-Roman wrestling
Greco-Roman wrestling is a style of wrestling that is practised worldwide. It was contested at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every edition of the summer Olympics held since 1908. Two wrestlers are scored for their performance in three two-minute periods, which can...

 and Grappling
Grappling
Grappling refers to techniques, maneuvers, and counters applied to an opponent in order to gain a physical advantage, such as improving relative position, escaping, submitting, or injury to the opponent. Grappling is a general term that covers techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial...

 (also called submission wrestling
Submission wrestling
Submission wrestling or Combat wrestling in Japan, is a formula of competition and a general term describing the aspect of martial arts and combat sports that focus on clinch and ground fighting with the aim of obtaining a submission using submission holds...

).

Wrestling



Freestyle wrestling, according to FILA
International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, also known in French as Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées , is an international wrestling federation that holds events around the world. It is the governing body of international amateur wrestling...

, is said to have originated in Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 by the name of "catch-as-catch-can" wrestling
Catch wrestling
Catch wrestling is a style of folk wrestling that was developed and popularised in the late 19th century by the wrestlers of traveling carnivals who incorporated submission holds, or "hooks", into their wrestling to increase their effectiveness against their opponents...

. "Catch-as-catch-can" wrestling had a particular following in Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 and the variant developed in Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

 had a particular effect on freestyle wrestling. "Catch-as-catch-can" wrestling gained great popularity in fairs and festivals during the 19th century. In catch-as-catch-can wrestling, both contestants started out standing and then a wrestler sought to hold his opponent's shoulder to the ground (known as a fall). If no fall was scored, both wrestlers continued grappling on the ground, and almost all holds and techniques were allowable. A Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 variant of Lancashire wrestling also became popular which began with both wrestlers standing chest to chest, grasping each other with locked arms around the body and, if no fall was made, with the match continuing on the ground. Also, there was the Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 collar-and-elbow
Collar-and-elbow
Collar-and-elbow wrestling is a style of folk wrestling native to Ireland that can be traced back to the 17th century but it has ties to the Games of Tailtinn between 632 BC and 1169 AD. Though originating in Ireland, the style flourished in America. The style is often compared to Catch wrestling,...

 style, where wrestlers started out on their feet with both wrestlers grasping each other by the collar with one hand and by the elbow with the other. If neither wrestler then achieved a fall, the contestants would continue both standing and on the ground until a fall was made. Irish immigrants later brought this style of wrestling to the United States, where it soon became widespread, especially because of the success of the wrestling champion of the Army of the Potomac
Army of the Potomac
The Army of the Potomac was the major Union Army in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War.-History:The Army of the Potomac was created in 1861, but was then only the size of a corps . Its nucleus was called the Army of Northeastern Virginia, under Brig. Gen...

, George William Flagg from Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

. Catch-as-catch can was the style performed by at least a half dozen U.S. presidents
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

, including George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

, Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass...

, Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States . As Vice-President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter's assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American...

, Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

, and Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

.

Because of the widespread interest in and esteem of professional Greco-Roman wrestling and its popularity in many international meets in nineteenth century Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, freestyle wrestling (and wrestling as an amateur sport in general) had a tough time gaining ground on the continent. The 1896 Olympic Games had only one wrestling bout, a heavyweight Greco-Roman match. Freestyle wrestling first emerged as an Olympic sport in the Saint Louis Olympics of 1904. All 40 wrestlers who participated in the 1904 Olympics were American. The 1904 Olympics sanctioned the rules commonly used for catch-as-catch can, but imposed some restrictions on dangerous holds. Wrestling by seven weight classes: 47.6 kg (104.9 lb), 52.2 kg (115.1 lb), 56.7 kg (125.0 lb), 61.2 kg (134.9 lb), 65.3 kg (143.9 lb), 71.7 kg (156.7 lb), and greater than 71.7 kg (158.1 lb) was an important innovation in the Summer Olympics.

Since 1921, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA)
International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, also known in French as Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées , is an international wrestling federation that holds events around the world. It is the governing body of international amateur wrestling...

, which has its headquarters near Lausanne
Lausanne
Lausanne is a city in Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and is the capital of the canton of Vaud. The seat of the district of Lausanne, the city is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva . It faces the French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura mountains to its north-west...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, has set the "Rules of the Game", with regulations for scoring and procedures that govern tournaments such as the World Games and the competition at the Summer Olympics. These were later adopted by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)
Amateur Athletic Union
The Amateur Athletic Union is one of the largest non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.-History:The AAU was founded in 1888 to...

 for its freestyle matches. Freestyle wrestling gained great popularity in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 after the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. By the 1880s, tournaments drew hundreds of wrestlers. The rise of cities, increased industrialization, and the closing of the frontier provided the affable environment for amateur wrestling, along with boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

, to increase in esteem and popularity. Amateur wrestling teams soon emerged, such as the wrestling team of the New York Athletic Club, which had its first tournament in 1878. Professional wrestling also developed (which was not like today's "sports-entertainment" seen today), and by the 1870s, professional championship matches offered allowances of up to $1,000.

Nineteenth century wrestling matches were particularly long, and especially Greco-Roman
Greco-Roman wrestling
Greco-Roman wrestling is a style of wrestling that is practised worldwide. It was contested at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every edition of the summer Olympics held since 1908. Two wrestlers are scored for their performance in three two-minute periods, which can...

 bouts (where holds below the waist and the use of the legs are not allowed) could last as many as eight to nine hours, and even then, it was only decided by a draw. In the 20th century, time limits were set for matches. For more than forty years into the twentieth century, freestyle and its American counterpart, collegiate wrestling
Collegiate wrestling
Collegiate wrestling, sometimes known in the United States as Folkstyle wrestling, is a style of amateur wrestling practised at the collegiate and university level in the United States. Collegiate wrestling emerged from the folk wrestling styles practised in the early history of the United States...

, did not have a scoring system that decided matches in the absence of a fall. The introduction of a point system by Oklahoma State University wrestling coach Art Griffith that gained acceptance in 1941 influenced the international styles as well. By the 1960s international wrestling matches in Greco-Roman and freestyle were scored by a panel of three judges in secret, who made the final decision by raising colored paddles at the match's end. Dr. Albert de Ferrari from San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

 who became vice president of FILA, lobbied for a visible scoring system and a rule for "controlled fall", which would recognize a fall only when the offensive wrestler had done something to cause it. These were soon adopted internationally in Greco-Roman and freestyle. By 1996, before a major overhaul of FILA rules, an international freestyle match consisted of two three-minute periods, with a one minute rest between periods. Today, wrestlers from Post-Soviet states
Post-Soviet states
The post-Soviet states, also commonly known as the Former Soviet Union or former Soviet republics, are the 15 independent states that split off from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in its dissolution in December 1991...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, U.S.A., Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, have had the strongest showings. Alexander Medved
Alexander Medved
Alexander Vasiliyevich Medved is a famous Soviet/Russian Belarussian wrestler. He is considered by most to be the best freestyle wrestler of all time. He was the first person ever to win three gold medals in freestyle wrestling. FILA recognizes Medved as The Greatest Wrestler of the 20th Century...

 of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 won 10 world championships and three Olympic gold medals, in the period of 1964-1972. Many collegiate
Collegiate wrestling
Collegiate wrestling, sometimes known in the United States as Folkstyle wrestling, is a style of amateur wrestling practised at the collegiate and university level in the United States. Collegiate wrestling emerged from the folk wrestling styles practised in the early history of the United States...

 wrestlers have moved on to freestyle competition, particularly internationally with great success.

Weight Classes




Currently, international men's freestyle wrestling is divided into six main age categories: schoolboys, cadets, novice, juvenile, juniors, and seniors. Schoolboys (young men ages 14–15; or age 13 with a medical certificate and parental authorization) wrestle in 10 weight classes ranging from 29 to 85 kg (63.9 to 187.4 lb). Cadets (young men ages 16–17; or age 15 with a medical certificate and parental authorization) wrestle in 10 weight classes ranging from 39 to 100 kg (86 to 220.5 lb). Juniors (young men ages 18 to 20; or age 17 with a medical certificate and parental authorization) wrestle in eight weight classes ranging from 46 to 120 kg (101.4 to 264.6 lb). Seniors (men ages 20 and up) wrestle in seven weight classes ranging from 50 to 120 kg (110.2 to 264.6 lb). For men, there is also a special category for some freestyle competitions, "Veterans", for men ages 35 and older, presumably featuring the same weight classes as seniors. Also, all of the men's age categories and weight classes can be applied to Greco-Roman wrestling
Greco-Roman wrestling
Greco-Roman wrestling is a style of wrestling that is practised worldwide. It was contested at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every edition of the summer Olympics held since 1908. Two wrestlers are scored for their performance in three two-minute periods, which can...

.

Women currently compete in freestyle wrestling in one of four age categories on an international level: schoolgirls, cadets, juniors, and seniors. Schoolgirls (young women ages 14–15; or age 13 with a medical certificate and parental authorization) wrestle in 10 weight classes ranging from 28 to 62 kg (61.7 to 136.7 lb). Cadets (young women ages 16–17; or age 15 with a medical certificate and parental authorization) wrestle in 10 weight classes ranging from 36 to 70 kg (79.4 to 154.3 lb). Juniors (young women ages 18 to 20; or age 17 with a medical certificate and parental authorization) wrestle in eight weight classes ranging from 40 to 72 kg (88.2 to 158.7 lb). Seniors (women ages 20 and up) wrestle in seven weight classes ranging from 44 to 72 kg (97 to 158.7 lb). Wrestlers after weigh-in may only wrestle in their own weight class. Wrestlers in the senior age category may wrestle up a weight class except for the heavyweight division (which starts at a weight more than 96 kg (211.6 lb) for the men and more than 67 kg (147.7 lb) for the women). Different nations may have different weight classes and different age categories for their levels of freestyle competition.

Structure of the Tournament


A typical international wrestling tournament takes place by direct elimination with an ideal number of wrestlers (4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc.) in each weight class and age category competing for placement. The competition in each weight class takes place in one day. The day before the wrestling in a scheduled weight class and age category takes place, all the applicable wrestlers are examined by a physician and weighed-in. Each wrestler after being weighed on the scale then draws a token randomly that gives a certain number.

If an ideal number is not reached to begin elimination rounds, a qualification round will take place to eliminate the excess number of wrestlers. For example, 22 wrestlers may weigh-in over the ideal number of 16 wrestlers. The six wrestlers who drew the highest numbers after 16 and the six wrestlers who drew the six numbers immediately before 17 would then wrestle in six matches in the qualification round. The winners of those matches would then go on to the elimination round.

In the elimination round, the ideal number of wrestlers then pair off and compete in matches until two victors emerge who will compete in the finals for first and second place. All of the wrestlers who lost to the two finalists then have the chance to wrestle in a repechage
Repechage
Repechage is a practice amongst ladder competitions that allows participants that failed to meet qualifying standards by a small margin to continue to the next round.- Types of repechage :...

 round
. The repechage round begins with the wrestlers who lost to the two finalists at the lowest level of competition in the elimination round. The matches are paired off by the wrestlers who lost to one finalist and the wrestlers who lost to the other. The two wrestlers who win after every level of competition are the victors of the repechage round.

In the finals, the two victors of the elimination round compete for first and second place.

In all rounds of the tournament, the wrestlers compete in matches paired off in the order of the numbers they drew after the weigh-in.

After the finals match, the awards ceremony will take place. The first place and second place wrestlers will receive a gold and silver medal, respectively. (At the FILA World Championships, the first place wrestler will receive the World Championship Belt.) The two repechage round winners will each be awarded third place with a bronze medal. The two wrestlers who lost in the finals for the third place are awarded fifth place. From seventh place down, the wrestlers are ranked according to the classification points earned for their victories or losses. If there is a tie among wrestlers for classification points, the ranking is determined in this order from the highest to the lowest:
  • Most victories earned by fall
  • Most matches won by technical superiority
  • Most periods won by technical superiority
  • Most points scored in the tournament
  • Least points scored in the tournament

Wrestlers who remained tied after that will be awarded placements "ex aequo." Wrestlers classified from the fifth to the 10th place will receive a special diploma. The wrestling tournaments in the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 and the Senior and Junior World Championships are designed to take place over three days on three mats.

Layout of the Mat


The match takes place on a thick rubber mat that is shock-absorbing to ensure safety. For the Olympic Games, all World Championships, and World Cups, the mat has to be new. The main wrestling area has a nine meter diameter and is surrounded by a 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) border of the same thickness known as the protection area. Inside the nine meter in diameter circle is a red band of one meter (3 ft 3 in) in width that is on the outer edge of the circle and is known as the red zone. The red zone is used to help indicate passivity on the part of a wrestler; thus, it is also known as the passivity zone. Inside the red zone is the central wrestling area which is seven meters 7 metre in diameter. In the middle of the central surface of wrestling is the central circle, which is one meter in diameter. The central circle is surrounded by a band 10 centimeters (4 in) wide and is divided in half by a red line eight centimeters (3  in) in width. The diagonally opposite corners of the mat are marked with the wrestlers' colors, red and blue.

For competition in the Olympic Games, the World Championships, and the Continental Championships, the mat is installed on a platform no greater than 1.1 metre in height. If the mat lies on a podium and the protection margin (covering and free space around the mat) does not reach two meters (6 ft 6 in), the sides of the podium are covered with 45º (degree) inclined panels. In all cases, the color of the protection area is different from the color of the mat.

Equipment

  • A singlet
    Wrestling singlet
    A wrestling singlet is a one-piece, tight-fitting, colored uniform, usually made of spandex, lycra, or nylon, used in amateur wrestling. The uniform is tight fitting so as not to get grasped accidentally by one's opponent, and allows the referee to see each wrestler's body clearly when awarding...

    is a one-piece wrestling garment made of spandex
    Spandex
    Spandex or elastane is a synthetic fibre known for its exceptional elasticity. It is strong, but less durable than natural Latex, its major non-synthetic competitor. It is a polyurethane-polyurea copolymer that was co-invented in 1959 by chemists C. L. Sandquist and Joseph Shivers at DuPont's...

     that should provide a tight and comfortable fit for the wrestler. It is made from nylon
    Nylon
    Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers known generically as polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers at DuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station...

     or lycra and prevents an opponent from using anything on the wrestler as leverage. One wrestler usually competes in a red singlet and the other in a blue singlet.
  • A special pair of shoes
    Wrestling shoes
    Wrestling shoes are active wear used in competition and practice for the sport of wrestling. Generally extremely light and flexible, they try to mimic the bare foot, while providing slightly more traction and ankle support and less chance of contracting a disease or hurting the opponent with...

    is worn by the wrestler to increase his mobility and flexibility. Wrestling shoes are light and flexible in order to provide maximum comfort and movement. Usually made with rubber soles, they help give the wrestler's feet a better grip on the mat.
  • A handkerchief, also called a bloodrag is carried in the singlet. In the event of bleeding, the wrestler will remove the cloth from his singlet and attempt to stop the bleeding or clean up any bodily fluids that may have gotten onto the mat.
  • Headgear
    Wrestling headgear
    Wrestling headgear is protection that a person wears over the ears and chin during wrestling matches.-Description:The main purpose of headgear is to protect the ears of the wrestler, not really the head as the name implies. Thus, wrestling headgear equipment are also simply called ear guards or ear...

    , equipment worn around the ears to protect the wrestler, is optional in freestyle. Headgear is omitted at the participant's own risk, as there is the potential to develop cauliflower ear
    Cauliflower ear
    Cauliflower ear is a condition that occurs when the external portion of the ear suffers a blow, blood clot or other collection of fluid under the perichondrium...

    .

The Match


A match is a competition between two individual wrestlers of the same weight class. In freestyle wrestling, a jury (or team) of three officials (referees)
Referee
A referee is the person of authority, in a variety of sports, who is responsible for presiding over the game from a neutral point of view and making on the fly decisions that enforce the rules of the sport...

 is used. The referee controls the action in the center, blowing the whistle to start and stop the action, and supervises the scoring of holds and infractions. The judge sits at the side of the mat, keeps score, and occasionally gives his approval when needed by the referee for various decisions. The mat chairman sits at the scoring table, keeps time, is responsible for declaring technical superiority, and supervises the work of the referee and judge. To call a fall, two of the three officials must agree (usually, the referee and either the judge or the mat chairman).

Period Format



In Greco-Roman and freestyle, the format is now three two-minute periods. Before each match, each wrestler's name is called, and the wrestler takes his place at the corner of the mat assigned to his color. The referee then calls both of them to his side at the center of the mat, shakes hands with them, inspects their apparel, and checks for any perspiration, oily or greasy substances, and any other infractions. The two wrestlers then greet each other, shake hands, and the referee blows his whistle to start the period.

A wrestler wins the match when he has won two out of three periods. For example, if one competitor were to win the first period 1-0 and the second period 1-0, the match would be over. However, if the other competitor were to win the second period, then a third and deciding period would result. Only a fall, injury default, or disqualification terminates the match; all other modes of victory result only in period termination. 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 freestyle, if the score is tied at 0-0 at the end of a two-minute period, the two contestants then wrestle in an overtime period known as The Clinch, that lasts for a maximum of 30 seconds. The referee will toss a colored disk, with a red-colored side and a blue-colored side. The wrestler who won the colored disk toss will have the advantage in the clinch position. The wrestler who lost the colored disk toss then places one leg in the middle of the central circle and the other leg outside of the central circle. The wrestler who won the colored disk toss then signals to the referee which leg he will place in the middle of the central circle. After doing so, the wrestler who won then wraps both of his arms around the leg of his opponent that is in the central circle and then places his head on the outside of his opponent's thigh. The loser of the colored disk toss then places both of his hands on his opponent's shoulders. When the referee verifies that the clinch position is correct, the two contestants then wrestle. The first wrestler to score a point wins the period. If after 30 seconds, the wrestler who had the advantage in the clinch fails to score a point, his opponent would then receive a point and be declared the winner of the period.

When the period (or match) has concluded, the referee stands at the center of the mat facing the officials' table. Both wrestlers then come, shake hands, and stand on either side of the referee to await the decision. The referee then proclaims the winner by raising the winner's hand. At the end of the match, each wrestler then shakes hands with the referee and returns to shake hands with his opponent's coach.

Match scoring


In freestyle wrestling, as well as in Greco-Roman wrestling, points are awarded mostly on the basis of explosive action and risk. For example, when one wrestler performs a grand amplitude throw that brings his opponent into the danger position, he is awarded the greatest number of points that can be scored in one instance. Also, a wrestler who takes the risk to briefly roll on the mat (with his shoulders in contact with the mat) could give a certain number of points to his opponent. Scoring can be accomplished in the following ways:
  • Takedown (1 to 5 points): A wrestler is awarded points for a takedown when the wrestler gains control over his opponent on the mat from a neutral position (when the wrestler is on his feet). At least three points of contact have to be controlled on the mat (e.g. two arms and one knee; two knees and one arm or the head; or two arms and the head).
(5 points): Five points are awarded for a takedown brought about by a throw of grand amplitude (a throw in which a wrestler brings his opponent off of the mat and controls him so that his feet go directly above his head) either from the standing or par terre position into a direct and immediate danger position.
(3 points): Generally, three points are awarded for a takedown brought about by a short amplitude throw that does not bring his opponent in a direct and immediate danger position or for a takedown in which a wrestler's opponent is taken from his feet or his stomach to his back or side (a throw of short amplitude) so that he is in the danger position.
(1 point): One point is awarded for a takedown brought about by a wrestler taking his opponent from his feet to his stomach or side such that his back or shoulders are not exposed to the mat and while in this position holding him down with control.
  • Reversal (1 point): A wrestler is awarded one point for a reversal when the wrestler gains control over his opponent from a defensive position (when the wrestler is being controlled by his opponent).

  • Exposure also called the Danger Position (2 or 3 points): A wrestler is awarded points for exposure when the wrestler exposes his opponent's back to the mat for several seconds. Points for exposure are also awarded if one's back is to the mat but the wrestler is not pinned. Criteria for exposure or the danger position is met when 1) a wrestler's opponent is in a bridge position to avoid being pinned, 2) a wrestler's opponent is on one or both elbows with his back to the mat and avoids getting pinned, 3) a wrestler holds one of his opponent's shoulders to the mat and the other shoulder at an acute angle (less than 90 degrees), 4) a wrestler's opponent is in an "instantaneous fall" position (where both of his shoulders are on the mat for less than one second), or 5) the wrestler's opponent rolls on his shoulders. A wrestler in the danger position allows his opponent to score two points. An additional hold-down point may be earned by maintaining the exposure continuously for five seconds.
  • Penalty (1 or 2 points): 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. Other infractions (e.g. fleeing a hold or the mat, striking the opponent, acting with brutality or intent to injure, using illegal holds, etc.) are penalized by an award of either one or two points, a Caution, and a choice of position to the opponent. A wrestler whose opponent regularly refuses to take an ordered hold is awarded a point.
  • Out-of-Bounds (1 point): Whenever a wrestler places his foot in the protection area, the match is stopped, and one point is awarded to his opponent.
  • Stalling (1 point): A point awarded to the attacking wrestler whose opponent flees the hold or refuses to start.


Classification points are also awarded in an international wrestling tournament, which give most points to the winner and in some cases, one point to the loser depending on the outcome of the match and how the victory was attained. For example, a victory by fall would give the winner five classification points and the loser no points, while a match won by technical superiority with the loser scoring technical points would award three points to the winner and one point to loser.

The full determinations for scoring are found on pages 34 to 40 of the FILA International Wrestling Rules.

Victory Conditions in Freestyle wrestling



A match can be won in the following ways:
  • Win by Fall
    Pin (amateur wrestling)
    A pin, or fall, is a victory condition in various forms of wrestling that is met by holding an opponent's shoulders or scapulae on the wrestling mat for a prescribed period of time. This article deals with the pin as it is defined in amateur wrestling.In amateur wrestling, a pin ends the match...

    : The object of the entire wrestling match is to attain victory by what is known as the fall
    Pin (amateur wrestling)
    A pin, or fall, is a victory condition in various forms of wrestling that is met by holding an opponent's shoulders or scapulae on the wrestling mat for a prescribed period of time. This article deals with the pin as it is defined in amateur wrestling.In amateur wrestling, a pin ends the match...

    . A fall, also known as a pin
    Pin (amateur wrestling)
    A pin, or fall, is a victory condition in various forms of wrestling that is met by holding an opponent's shoulders or scapulae on the wrestling mat for a prescribed period of time. This article deals with the pin as it is defined in amateur wrestling.In amateur wrestling, a pin ends the match...

    , occurs when one wrestler holds both of his opponents' shoulders on the mat simultaneously. In Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling, the two shoulders of the defensive wrestler must be held long enough for the referee to "observe the total control of the fall" (usually ranging from one half-second to about one or two seconds). Then either the judge or the mat chairman concurs with the referee that a fall is made. (If the referee does not indicate a fall, and the fall is valid, the judge and the mat chairman can concur together and announce the fall.) A fall ends the match entirely regardless of when it occurs.
  • Win by Technical Superiority
    Technical Fall
    In amateur wrestling, a technical fall, or technical superiority, is a victory condition satisfied by outscoring your opponent by a specified number of points. It is wrestling's version of the mercy rule...

    (Also called Technical Fall): If a fall is not secured to end the match, a wrestler can win a period simply by points. If one wrestler gains a six-point lead over his opponent at any time in the period, scores a five point throw (a throw where the person's feet go directly above his head, also called a throw of grand amplitude), or scores two three point takedowns (taking an opponent from his feet to their back or sides so that there is shoulder exposure), the current period is declared over and he is declared the winner of that period by technical superiority. If a wrestler wins two out of three periods in this way, he is then the winner of the match by technical superiority.
  • Win by 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 score is tied by points at the end of a period, the winner is determined by certain criteria. First, the number of cautions given to each wrestler for penalties; next, the value of points gained (that is, whether a wrestler gained points based on a one-, two-, or three-point move); and finally, the last scored technical point are taken into account to determine the winner of the period. Generally, the wrestler who scored the last technical point would be awarded the period. If the score is tied at zero at the end of a period, the wrestlers go through a 30-second overtime procedure known as The Clinch in which the wrestlers are required to enter the clinch position and wrestle until a point is scored, or until one of the wrestlers breaks the clinch.
  • Win by 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.
  • Win by 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.
  • Win by 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.

Team Scoring in Tournaments


In an international wrestling tournament, teams enter one wrestler at each weight class and score points based on the individual performances. For example, if a wrestler at the 60 kg weight class finishes in first place, then his team will receive 10 points. If he were to finish in tenth place, then the team would only receive one. At the end of the tournament, each team's score is tallied, and the team with the most points wins the team competition.

Team Competition


A team competition or dual meet is a meeting between (typically two) teams in which individual wrestlers at a given weight class compete against each other. A team receives one point for each victory in a weight class regardless of the outcome. The team that scores the most points at the end of the matches wins the team competition. If there are two sets of competitions with one team winning the home competition and one winning the away competition, a third competition may take place to determine the winner for ranking purposes, or the ranking may take place by assessing in order: 1) the most victories by adding the points of the two matches; 2) the most points by fall, default, forfeit, or disqualificaiton; 3) the most matches won by technical superiority; 4) the most periods won by technical superiority; 5) the most technical points won in all the competition; 6) the least technical points won in all the competition. This works similarly when more than two teams are involved in this predicament.

Women's wrestling




Freestyle is the only style used for international competition in women's wrestling. The rules for women's freestyle wrestling, with some modifications, are largely the same as those for the men. The period lengths are the same, with a 30-second break between two periods. Women wear a special singlet, so that they will not simply have to wear a male's singlet with a T-shirt
T-shirt
A T-shirt is a style of shirt. A T-shirt is buttonless and collarless, with short sleeves and frequently a round neck line....

 underneath. Some small United States college wrestling clubs have women wrestle freestyle against Canadian universities mostly because of the limited number of wrestling programs in the United States. Most of the U.S. athletic organizations such as the NCAA do not sponsor women's wrestling, while the Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada, comprising the majority of degree granting universities in the country. Its equivalent body for organized sports at colleges in Canada is The Canadian Colleges Athletic Association...

 association does. (The National Collegiate Wrestling Association
National Collegiate Wrestling Association
The National Collegiate Wrestling Association is a post secondary athletic association built to help the promotion of collegiate wrestling...

 sponsors a women's division, in which competition largely based on collegiate wrestling
Collegiate wrestling
Collegiate wrestling, sometimes known in the United States as Folkstyle wrestling, is a style of amateur wrestling practised at the collegiate and university level in the United States. Collegiate wrestling emerged from the folk wrestling styles practised in the early history of the United States...

 rules.) Women's wrestling made its Olympic debut at the 2004 Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

.

Grassroots organizations, such as Beat the Streets, which has run a Girls Wrestling Program targeted toward inner city girls since March 2010, are increasing participation in Women's Freestyle Wrestling. Other notable organizations devoted to increasing participation in Women's Freestyle Wrestling include the WOW Wrestling Club in Pennsylvania. In March 2011, the Beat the Streets Girls Wrestling Program hosted New York City's first ever all-female Freestyle Wrestling tournament, drawing over 40 participants from all five boroughs and several surrounding states.

See also

  • List of World and Olympic Champions in men's freestyle wrestling
  • United States results in men's freestyle wrestling
    United States results in men's freestyle wrestling
    -List of Results by the United States in Men's Freestyle Wrestling at the Olympics and World Championships:Men's freestyle wrestling competition began in the Olympics in 1904...

  • Professional Freestyle wrestling in Germany
  • Amateur wrestling
    Amateur wrestling
    Amateur wrestling is the most widespread form of sport wrestling. There are two international wrestling styles performed in the Olympic Games under the supervision of FILA : Greco-Roman and freestyle. Freestyle is possibly derived from the English Lancashire style...

  • Folk wrestling
    Folk wrestling
    A folk wrestling style is a traditional wrestling discipline which may or may not be codified as a modern sport. Most human cultures have developed their own sort of grappling style unique from other styles practiced...

  • Greco-Roman wrestling
    Greco-Roman wrestling
    Greco-Roman wrestling is a style of wrestling that is practised worldwide. It was contested at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every edition of the summer Olympics held since 1908. Two wrestlers are scored for their performance in three two-minute periods, which can...

  • Collegiate wrestling
    Collegiate wrestling
    Collegiate wrestling, sometimes known in the United States as Folkstyle wrestling, is a style of amateur wrestling practised at the collegiate and university level in the United States. Collegiate wrestling emerged from the folk wrestling styles practised in the early history of the United States...

  • Submission wrestling
    Submission wrestling
    Submission wrestling or Combat wrestling in Japan, is a formula of competition and a general term describing the aspect of martial arts and combat sports that focus on clinch and ground fighting with the aim of obtaining a submission using submission holds...

  • Luta Livre Esportiva
    Luta Livre Esportiva
    Luta livre esportiva was created in the mid-20th century in Rio de Janeiro by Euclydes "Tatu" Hatem who fought and defeated George Gracie in the 40s.The system focused on Ground fighting and submissions due to their importance in Vale tudo matches....


External links