Just a little information that might be helpful to those new to the sport of wrestling.
There are are designated weight classes for all wrestlers. There are usually different age groups for youth wrestlers and are sometimes grouped by weight, grade in school and, when possible, by ability level. The high school level consists of grades 9-12 while jr. high is 7-9.
Each bout consists of three periods. Both wrestlers start the first period in the neutral (standing) position. One wrestler has his choice of starting the second period in the offensive (top) , defensive (bottom), or neutral position or they can defer to their opponent. In the third period, the other wrestler has the choice of starting position. In the event of a draw at the end of the three periods, a sudden death one-minute overtime period is wrestled. The wrestlers start from the neutral position. If there is no winner at the end of the overtime period, there is an additional 30-second tiebreaker period. The wrestler who scored first during the match will choose offensive or defensive position. If no points are scored during the tiebreaker, the offensive wrestler is declared the winner.
Definitions and Scoring
The advantage position occurs when one wrestler is in control, maintaining restraining power over his opponent. In the neutral position, neither wrestler has control. A takedown occurs when one wrestler gains the advantage position over his opponent, down on the mat, starting from the neutral position. A takedown scores two match points. The supporting points of either wrestler must be inbounds. Common examples include a double leg tackle, single leg tackle, high crotch, duck-under, and fireman's carry.
An offensive wrestler, to increase his degree of control, uses breakdowns and rides. Breakdowns bring the opponent to the mat. Examples include the head-arm bar, and leg raises. Rides help place the opponent in a position where a pinning combination can be used. Examples include the grapevine, chicken wing, and tight waist.
An escape occurs when the defensive wrestler gains the neutral position, while the supporting points of either wrestler are inbounds. An escape scores one match point. A common example of an escape is a stand-up.
A reversal occurs when the defensive wrestler gains control, either on the mat or in a rear standing position. A reversal scores two match points. The supporting points of either wrestler must be inbounds. Common examples include a switch, and a roll.
Near fall criteria occur when both shoulders are held within four inches of the mat, or one shoulder touches the mat and the other shoulder is held within a 45 degree angle of the mat, or when the defensive wrestler is held in a high bridge, or on both elbows. Any part of both shoulders must be inbounds. A near fall is scored by the wrestler in the advantage position when the defensive wrestler is placed in a pinning situation and near fall criteria are met for at least two seconds. A two second near fall scores two match points. A five second near fall scores three match points. A near fall is ended when the defensive wrestler gets out of a pinning situation. If a defensive player suffers injury or bleeding just prior to near fall criteria being met, the match is stopped, and a two point near fall is awarded. If injury or bleeding occurs after near fall criteria have been met, a three point near fall is awarded. If injury or bleeding occur after a three point near fall has been earned, a four point near fall is awarded. Common examples of pinning combinations include a cradle, half nelson, and headlock.
A stalemate occurs when both contestants are interlocked in a position, other than a pinning situation, in which neither wrestler can improve his position. In this situation, the referee will restart the match, as for an out-of-bounds.
Certain illegal holds are not allowed. Examples include: a slam (lifting and returning the opponent to the mat with unnecessary force); a hammerlock above a right angle; a headlock without encircling an arm or leg; a head scissors; a full nelson; strangleholds; twisting or forcing a limb beyond its normal limits; a figure four scissors around the body or legs; or any hold used for punishment.
The referee should verbally caution wrestlers about potentially dangerous holds prior to the hold becoming illegal, without interrupting action, if possible. Examples of technical violations include: an incorrect starting position; false start; going out of bounds or forcing an opponent out of bounds to avoid wrestling; leaving the mat without permission; a figure four head scissors form the neutral position; grasping of clothing or headgear; and locking the hands around the body of the defensive wrestler, unless the opponent is standing or has met near fall criteria.
Unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct, of course, are not permitted. For flagrant misconduct, the wrestler is disqualified and immediately removed from the premises for the duration of the event. Two team points are deducted. Failing to wrestle aggressively is considered stalling. In the neutral position, both wrestlers should be working to secure a takedown. In the advantage position, a wrestler must be working to secure a fall. An exception is made when the offensive wrestler intentionally allows an escape, for the purpose of immediately attempting to secure a takedown. The defensive wrestler should be attempting to escape or score a reversal. The defensive wrestler is not stalling when his opponent overpowers him. Penalty points are awarded to the opponent in the case of an infraction. For illegal holds, technical violations, stalling, unnecessary roughness, and unsportsmanlike conduct, the first and second penalties each score one match point. The third penalty scores two points, and the forth penalty results in disqualification.
For stalling, a warning is given for the first offense. For a false start or incorrect starting position, cautions are given for the first and second offense; subsequent violations are each scored one point.
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