Rules of How to Wrestle Freestyle
Born out of the oldest sport in the world, freestyle wrestling combines elements from Greco-Roman wrestling, Judo, and Sambo wrestling. Wrestling in general may have been considered the earliest form of competitive fighting -- with ancient civilizations putting their top athletes to the test. Wrestling is also one of the first sports to be adopted in the Summer Olympics.
How to Freestyle Wrestle?
What separates freestyle from other styles of wrestling is that competitors can use their opponents legs in both offense and defense -- whereas other styles prohibit these techniques and focus more on upper body grappling.
Freestyle wrestlers are taught to keep a low center of gravity, focus on explosiveness, precision, and most importantly, technique. There isn’t much equipment used in freestyle wrestling aside from the singlet uniform, a blood rag, lightweight shoes, and optional headgear.
Rules of Freestyle Wrestling
- Freestyle wrestling is a free-for-all sport where competitors will climb the ranks in a tournament with third to first place awards. Matches will take place on a firm wrestling mat that is just over 40 feet by 40 feet with a 5 foot protection area.
- There are six different age groups, ranging from ages 14 to 35 and above, and 10 different weight classes to ensure each match is as fair as possible.
- Since matches are judged on technicality, there are three different types of referees. The general referee that’s on the competition area, a chairside judge to assist in technical scoring, and a mat chairman to keep time.
- Wrestlers commonly score on takedowns ranging from 3 to 5 points based off the cleanliness of execution and vulnerability of the opposing wrestler.
- A reversal counts as 1 point, an exposure counts from 2 to 3 points (when you get the opposing wrestler on their backs), being out of bounds can cost you 1 point, being passive can cost you several points, and penalties can be assessed at the end of the match -- often resulting in loss of points.
- The most common ways to win is off of points, technical superiority, injury, disqualification, and a fall (or pin). A pin occurs when you get both of the opposing wrestler’s shoulders on the ground for 2 to 3 seconds.
Different nations have been dominant in wrestling at different points in history. For example, Romans were overwhelmingly dominant in the beginning of the sport. The Soviet Union tops the overall medal count in Greco-Roman style. Finland, Sweden, and Hungary soon took over. And now the U.S. is considered a wrestling powerhouse -- especially in the Olympics.
Written by: Devin Pickell