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Wrestling 101: Scoring

Wrestling 101: Scoring
Posted at 9:51 AM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 12:10:42-04

Ways to win

  • Pinning the opponent: Also known as a victory by fall.
  • Technical superiority: Amassing a 10-point lead in freestyle or an 8-point lead in Greco-Roman before time runs out.
  • Victory by points: Outscoring the opponent at the end of the match.
  • Injury, withdrawal, default or disqualification of the opponent

Match tiebreakers

If a match ends in a tie, the following criteria is used to break to the tie (in order):

  • Highest value of holds: The wrestler who scored the most points on a single hold is the winner. For example, a wrestler who scored a 2-point hold would beat a wrestler who scored nothing higher than 1-point holds.
  • Fewest number of cautions: If both wrestlers had equal-value holds, then number of cautions would be the next tiebreaker. A wrestler that received one caution during a match would beat a wrestler who received two cautions.
  • Last technical point(s) scored: This is the final tiebreaker in freestyle wrestling. Whichever wrestler was the last one in the match to score a point would be declared the winner.
  • Last activity: If a Greco-Roman match ends in a 0-0 scoreless tie, the victory goes to whichever wrestler was deemed to be the most active last. (Freestyle matches can't end in a 0-0 tie.)

Technical points

In Olympic wrestling matches, technical points are awarded as follows. Note that penalty points are added to the opposing wrestler's score, rather than subtracted from the offending wrestler's total.

1 point

  • for applying a correct hold while in standing or par terre position - three support points of the defensive wrestler must be touching the mat (two arms or hands and one knee, or two knees and one arm or hand) [freestyle]
  • for completing a hold despite the opponent maintaining an irregular hold [freestyle]
  • for reversal of control, when the wrestler underneath in par terre position comes out on top
  • penalty for fleeing the hold, fleeing the mat, refusal to start, committing illegal actions or committing acts of brutality [freestyle]
  • penalty for stepping in the protection zone with one entire foot (in standing position) without executing a hold
  • penalty for injury stoppage without bleeding or any visible sign of injury
  • penalty for losing a challenge
  • penalty for failing to score a point when placed on a 30-second shot clock for passive wrestling
  • penalty for refusing correct par terre starting position after first verbal warning [freestyle]

2 points

  • for overcoming and controlling the opponent by passing behind with three points of contact
  • for applying a correct hold while in standing or par terre position with three points of contact but no secure control [Greco-Roman]
  • for executing a hold that puts the opponent in a danger position
  • for completing a hold despite the opponent maintaining an irregular hold [Greco-Roman]
  • for rolling the opponent onto his or her shoulders
  • for blocking the opponent from executing a hold in the standing position, while in a danger position
  • for executing a grand amplitude throw that does not place the opponent in a danger position [freestyle]
  • penalty for fleeing the hold, fleeing the mat, refusal to start, committing illegal actions or committing acts of brutality [Greco-Roman]
  • penalty for refusing correct par terre starting position after first verbal warning [Greco-Roman]
  • penalty for fleeing a hold out-of-bounds and lands in a danger position
  • penalty for committing an illegal hold that hinder the execution of an opponent's hold or fall

4 points

  • for performing a short amplitude throw while in standing or par terre position that puts the opponent in a danger position [Greco-Roman]
  • for performing a throw that puts the opponent in a danger position, with or without short amplitude [freestyle]
  • for executing a grand amplitude throw that does not place the opponent in a danger position [Greco-Roman]

5 points

  • for a grand amplitude throw from the standing position or from a lift from par terre that places an opponent in an immediate danger position. The throw must be a high, sweeping action that exposes the opponent's back to the mat. The grand amplitude throw is the most spectacular maneuver in wrestling. [Greco-Roman]

Classification points

Classification points are credited at the end of each match in the tournament and serve as the primary tool for ranking wrestlers at the end of the tournament. Classification points are different than technical points, which are the actual points that wrestlers score during the matches themselves.

Winner 5, loser 0

  • Victory by fall (with or without technical point for the loser)
  • Winning by injury, withdrawal, default or disqualification

Winner 4, loser 0

  • Victory by technical superiority, with the loser scoring no technical points

Winner 4, loser 1

  • Victory by technical superiority, with the loser scoring at lease one technical point

Winner 3, loser 0

  • Victory by points (no technical superiority), with the loser scoring no technical points

Winner 3, loser 1

  • Victory by points (no technical superiority), with the loser scoring at least one technical point

0 points to both wrestlers

  • Disqualifications to both wrestlers
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