A wrestling match begins with both wrestlers on their feet or neutral position. They are neutral because neither wrestler has a benefit of control. You start with one foot on the line and one wrestler will be distinguished from the other with a red or green ankle band. The wrestler puts the ankle band on before the match begins. The ankle band has Velcro and is self sticking. It does not matter which ankle you use.
The main goal of a wrestling match is for you to gain control of
your opponent, take them down, put them to their back and pin them. You can also win by having more points at the end of the match.
If you take your opponent down you are awarded with 2 points. You then must maintain control and work to turn your opponent to their back. Besides a pin (or also called a fall) there are also ways to further add to your score by here are 2 point and 3 point near fall and this is determined by how long you keep your opponents back exposed to the mat. When your opponents shoulder blades are flat on the mat at the same time for 2 seconds, you score a pin- or fall. If you hold your opponents shoulders beyond a 90 degree angle to the mat for 2-4 seconds you score 2 near fall points. If you do the same for 5 seconds or more you score a 3 point near fall. This is considered a tech fall and in a team scoring competition, you will score more points for your team.
At times you will start where one wrestler will be in the down or referees position and the other wrestler will be on top. This happens in the first period when one wrestler scores a takedown and the wrestlers end up going off the mat. The referee will restart you in the center of the mat with one person doen. The down wrestler will have their hands on the front line and knees he wrestler on top will start with one hand on the elbow of down wrestler and the other hand on the naval. The top wrestler must have one knee down next to the bottom wrestlers knee (this will be on the same side as the top wrestlers hand on the elbow of the bottom wrestler). The other foot needs to be behind the bottom wrestler. The top wrestler places their chin in the center of the bottom wrestlers back and the wrestlers begin when the referee blows the whistle. Both wrestlers must not begin wrestling before the sound of the whistle otherwise you will receive a warning. If the same wrestler starts too early a second time the opposing wrestler will receive one point. The top wrestler must continually work to turn the bottom wrestler to their back and the bottom wrestler must continually work to either escape to neutral position or reverse the top wrestler to gain top position and control. An escape to neutral position is worth one point and a reversal is worth 2 points.
A wrestling match consists of three periods and each period may be different in length depending on the age of the wrestlers and the tournament director. The youth level may be 1-1-1 or 3 one minute periods to 1 1/2- 1 1/2- 1 1/2 or 3 one and one half minute periods. The wrestlers always start in the neutral position for the first period and the second and third periods one wrestler will be on top and the other on bottom. The referee will most often flip a chip that has red on one side and green on the other side to determine which wrestler will start on top or bottom for the second period. If the referee flips the chip and it lands on your color, you can choose top, bottom or to defer which means you will wait until the third period to choose. In this case the other wrestler will decide top or bottom for the second period. At the end of the three periods the wrestler with the most points will be declared the winner. In the case of a tie, there are different ways to determine the winner in overtime. You can discuss this with your coach as this varies quite a bit.
You can keep track of your score by looking at the scorers table. Most often there will be a score chart that will display in red or green that will correspond with your ankle band color. There will also be a 1, 2 or 3 on the score chart to let you know what period you are currently in. This is a basic outline of a wrestling match and is intended for the beginner to get a basic understanding of what is expected of you to wrestle a match. This is for folkstyle because that is the main style of youth, High School and men’s college wrestling from November to March. There are also Freestyle and Greco Roman styles of wrestling that mainly take place in the summer months or from April to October. We strongly recommend you learn ALL styles of wrestling so you know which style you enjoy the most and which one you may have a stronger passion for. If you are a female wrestler, we strongly recommend you start wrestling in Freestyle immediately because this is the style for female collegiate wrestling in the USA and all international and Olympic female wrestling is Freestyle.
If you never wrestled before but want to, please leave us a message and we will help you find a program in your area. Female wrestling is the fastest growing female sport in High School right now in the USA. We strongly recommend that if you are a girl to give wrestling a try. More and more female wrestlers are learning that they are really good at wrestling and more importantly, they really enjoy wrestling. I also manage Illinois Girls Wrestling Team and we are starting an all girl wrestling practice on November 15 at G2 Training Center/ Gilbert Grappling in Country Club Hills, IL from 6-7:30PM. If you live in this area please come out and join us.
by Mike Houston, Manager True Wrestling Insider
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