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Position

In folkstyle wrestling, position is very important. Improving your position (i.e. defensive to neutral) is worth points and certain near falls can only be scored from the offensive position. Before you can understand scoring, it is important you understand the positions.

  • Offensive Position

    The wrestler who is on top of and/or behind the opponent and is physically controlling them. Also, the wrestler on top in the referee’s starting position. Only the offensive wrestler can score a 2, 3, or 4 point near fall.

  • Neutral Position

    When neither wrestler has control over the other and they are both on their feet or knees and facing each other. Only a neutral wrestler can score a 2 point takedown.

  • Defensive Position

    The wrestler who is underneath and is being physically controlled. Also the wrestler on the bottom in the referee’s starting position. Only the defensive wrestler can score a 1 point escape or a 2 point reversal.

Match Points

During a match the referee will award points to wrestlers by holding up one of their hands. Their wrist bands (red or green) match the ankle bands of the wrestlers indicating which wrestler has scored points. At the end of the match the wrestler with the most points wins the match.

  • Takedown (2 points)

    Awarded after one of the neutral wrestlers gets behind the opponent and forces them down to the mat to their stomach or side or knees or weight on all fours OR takes them directly to their back or buttocks without getting behind them AND becomes the offensive wrestler.

  • Escape (1 point)

    Awarded after the defensive wrestler gets out from underneath the opponent’s control and gets into the neutral position AND is facing the opponent. Defense to Neutral is a one point escape.

  • Reversal (2 points)

    Awarded after the defensive wrestler gets out from underneath the opponent’s control and gets on top of and/or behind the opponent in one move AND becomes the offensive wrestler. To earn a reversal, you do not have to return your opponent to the mat as you would on a takedown. Defense to Offense is a two point reversal.

  • Near Fall (2 points)

    Awarded after the offensive wrestler turns the defensive wrestler over onto their back and holds them at a 45 degree angle or less for between 2-4 seconds. Also awarded when the match is stopped due to the defensive wrestler being injured and/or screaming out to stop the match (unethical unless they are really injured) while being turned toward their back (imminent near fall) before the near fall count starts or before 2 counts by the referee. Only one set of near fall points can be awarded for each pinning hold, and they cannot be awarded until after the pinning situation has ended.

  • Near Fall (3 points)

    Awarded after the offensive wrestler holds the defensive wrestler within near fall criteria for five or more seconds in a row (5 counts by the referee), instead of the two point near fall. Also awarded when the match is stopped due to the defensive wrestler being injured and/or screaming out to stop the match (unethical unless they are really injured) after being held within two point near fall criteria (2-4 count by the referee), instead of the 2 point near fall.

  • Near Fall (4 points)

    Awarded when the match is stopped due to the defensive wrestler being injured and/or screaming out to stop the match (unethical unless they are really injured) after being held within near fall criteria for five or more seconds, instead of the 3 point near fall.

  • Penalty/Caution Points (1 or 2 points)

    A wrestler in any of the three scoring positions can earn one or two penalty/caution points when their opponent breaks the rules of wrestling.

  • The Fall (a.k.a. the pin) (Victory!)

    Awarded when a the offensive wrestler holds the defensive wrestler on their back with their shoulders to the mat for 2 seconds. The offensive wrestler immediately wins the match.

  • Technical Fall (a.k.a. tech) (Victory!)

    If at any time a wrestler has a 15 point advantage over his opponent they immediately win the match.

  • Penalty Points (1 point, 2 points, disqualification)

    A wrestler can earn penalty points when their opponent breaks the rules of wrestling. On the penalty chart, any first penalty is 1 point. Any second penalty is 1 point. Any third penalty is 2 points. Any fourth penalty is disqualification. Unsportsmanlike conduct and flagrant misconduct can lead to immediate disqualification.

  • Caution (0 or 1 point)

    A wrestler can earn one caution point from the opponent’s third caution from the referee. A wrestler is allowed two cautions before the penalty points begin.