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Recommended Reading for All Wrestling Parents

"Parent's Guide to Youth Wrestling" by Bill Campbell, © 2000, article reprinted with permission from USA WRESTLING.

"The Ten Commandments for a Wrestling Parent" (author unknown)

"Why Wrestle?" (author unknown)

"How Safe Is Wrestling?"

"How a Match Works - What Takes Place in a Wrestling Match"

How A Match Works - Scholastic (Folkstyle) Wrestling

What Takes Place in a Wrestling Match

Before - The wrestlers are each given leg bands of opposing colors (typically red and green).  The referee is wearing wrist bands with corresponding colors.  The referee awards points throughout the match by raising the corresponding hand.

First - Both wrestlers come forward from the corners of the mat, receive the instructions and shake hands.

Next - The referee blows his whistle and signals, "Wrestle."

Next - Each wrestler tries to take control of the opponent by getting behind or on top of him - a "takedown."

Point - The first points are likely to be given for a takedown.  When one wrestler gets a takedown, the referee signals 2 points with the appropriate hand.

Then - The DEFENSIVE (or "down") wrestler tries to escape or reverse his position to get on top or behind.  The OFFENSIVE (or "top") wrestler tries to stay on top and get a hold with which he can keep his opponents shoulders on the mat for 2 seconds - a fall or pin.

Every match has three periods.  Each period is typically 1-1½ minutes long.

First Period
Starts from standing or neutral position.
Second Period
Choice of position is decided by toss of coin.  The winner may choose either up, down, neutral, or defer choice to 3rd period.
Third Period
Contestant with choice may choose up, down, or neutral.

Basic Bout Scoring*

Takedown - 2 points
When a wrestler takes control and is on top of his opponent from the neutral or standing position.
Escape - 1 point
Getting out from underneath to a standing position or neutral position facing opponent.
Reversal - 2 points
Getting out from underneath and gaining control over your opponent either on the mat or in a real-standing position.
Near Fall (back points) - 3 points
Restraining the defensive wrestler's shoulders/scapulae to the mat for 5 continuous seconds or more under one of the following conditions:  one shoulder/scapula touching and the other at an angle of  45° or less, both shoulders/scapulae held within 4" of the mat, or when the defensive wrestler is held in a high bridge or on both elbows.
Near Fall (back points) - 2 points
Same as above except for a period of greater than 2 and less than 5 continuous seconds.
Stalling - Warning followed by a 1 or 2 point penalty (progressive)
When one or both wrestlers fail to make an honest attempt to stay within the 10-foot circle in the center of the mat and wrestle aggressively.  In neutral position this usually means that one or both wrestlers are not attempting to secure a takedown.  When down on mat, the offensive wrestler may be called for stalling if he isn't making a conscientious effort to secure a fall and the defensive wrestler may be called for stalling if he fails to attempt maneuvers which ultimately may lead to an escape or reversal.
Illegal Hold, Unnecessary Roughness, Unsportsmanlike Conduct by Contestants During the Match - 1 or 2 point penalty (progressive)
Locked Hands (offensive wrestler), Grasping of opponent's clothing/headgear or mat - - 1 or 2 point penalty (progressive)

* NOTE:  By no means should this material be considered a complete & exhaustive set of scoring rules.  It's intend is to provide parents with a basic understanding on how a wrestling bout is scored.  Should parents have questions concerning scoring, moves, or potential infractions, please talk with the coaches on our team.  The coaching staff will do their best to address any questions you may have.