Updated: Mar 22, 2022
The duration of a sanctioned high school wrestling match is three two-minute periods with no breaks in between. By the end of the third period, the wrestler with the highest score wins. Wrestlers who pin their opponents before the end of the third period win by fall. If a match ends in a tie, overtime periods are added until someone wins. Matches may also end before the end of the six-minute regulation time via technical fall (outscoring an opponent by 15 points throughout the match) or
an injury default (one wrestler is unable to continue the match because of injury). Typically because of the head-to-head competition, wrestling is thought of as an individual sport. However, wrestling is additionally a team sport that utilizes individual point accumulations to decide the winning team. We will first review the individual scoring system, then the team scoring system. Positions of wrestlers during a match are as follows:
Neutral: Each wrestler stands about three feet apart, facing the other, ready for the match to begin.
Referee's Position: The starting position in wrestling is also called the referee's position. This is when one of the wrestlers begins or resumes the round on his hands and knees on the mat while the other wrestler starts on top, behind, and in control of his opponent.
Top Position (Advantage): The person on top in the referee's position.
Bottom Position (Disadvantage): The person on the bottom on all fours in the referee's position.
Takedown:(2 points) From the neutral position, when one wrestler takes the other wrestler down to the mat and controls them from the top, a takedown is scored.
Reversal:(2 Points) When a wrestler is on the bottom in the referee's position and reverses their opponent to the top in the referee's position, a reversal is scored.
Escape:(1 Point) When a wrestler is on the bottom in the referee's position and escapes to the neutral position without reversing the top wrestler, an escape is scored.
Near Fall: (2 Points) (back points/exposure) When the bottom wrestler has their back exposed to the mat on an angle of 45 degrees or less for a count of at least two seconds, but less than five seconds, a near fall is scored.
Near Fall: (3 Points) (back points/exposure) When the bottom wrestler has their back exposed to the mat at an angle of 45 degrees or less for a count of five seconds or more a near fall is scored.
Penalty Points: These can be awarded to the opponent of the wrestler in violation of certain rules and conduct. Here is a list of penalty points commonly awarded:
Stalling (1 point – 2 points – 2 points – Disqualification.) One or both wrestlers avoid initiating action or one wrestler is overly defensive and backing away from the opponent. First, a warning, followed by a penalty of 1 point, with each subsequent incident incurring penalties of 1 point – 2 points – 2 points – Disqualification.
False Start/Illegal Start Position: beginning before the whistle blows, top or bottom wrestler not positioned in the correct referee's position. Two warnings, then 1-point penalties for each additional offense. No disqualification.
Clasping: top wrestler clasping hands together despite having the bottom wrestler on their back. Initial 1-point penalty. Each subsequent offense is followed by incurring penalties of 1 point – 2 points – 2 points – Disqualification.
Illegal Holds: There are multiple illegal holds some include The Full Nelson, four-point figure, scissor headlock, etc. Initial 1-point penalty. Each subsequent violation is subject to incurring penalties of 1 point– 2 points – 2 points – Disqualification.
Technical Violations: Grabbing uniforms or headgear, improper gear, no headgear, untied shoelaces, fleeing the mat, unsportsmanlike conduct, unnecessary roughness. Immediate 1-point penalty. Each subsequent incident is subject to incurring penalties of 1 point – 2 points – 2 points – Disqualification.
Ejection Penalties: Gross misconduct, slamming an opponent, or any other illegal wrestling move that causes injury. That injury defaults the match.
Every match must have a winner. The following overtime scoring system will be used until a winner is declared if a match is tied at the end of regulation:
A one-minute sudden death period (the first person to score wins).
Two 30-second tiebreakers (wrestlers swap referee's positions). The match goes to a ride-out if it is still tied.
A 30-second ride-out (a wrestler who scored first has the choice in referee's position). The wrestler who escapes from the bottom position wins. A wrestler who is ridden out for 30 seconds loses.
Team scores are calculated by looking at the results of a wrestler's individual matches:
6 Points: The wrestler wins by pin, forfeit, injury default, or disqualification.
5 Points: The wrestler wins by technical fall.
4 Points: The wrestler wins by major decision (point spread of between 8 and 14 points).
3 Points: The Wrestler wins by regular decision (7 points or less).
Please note: Teams can also be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct or other violations by wrestlers or coaches.
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