Action - The referee's
command to begin wrestling.
Ankle lace - A hold in which
the wrestler grasps the opponent by the ankles with his arms
and exposes the opponent's back to the mat.
Ankle pick - A takedown, a
lightning snatch, by a wrestler as he reaches out and grabs
the back of the opponent’s opposite ankle (right hand, left
ankle) and lifts it to his waist. From there, he can use the
captured leg as leverage to trip the other wrestler to the
mat. In both the single- and double-leg takedowns, the
wrestler will shoot under the opponent’s hands and clasp one
or both legs to his chest, and then lift and turn to force
the other wrestler to the mat.
Arm bar - A method of
turning an opponent who has been broken down from stomach to
back on the mat by wrapping an arm around the opponent's
elbow and using the leverage of that hold to flip him over.
The opponent using the arm bar gets his opponent's arm back
and places that arm between his arm and back.
Arm throw - A wrestling move
in which a wrestler throws the opponent over his shoulder by
holding the opponent's arm.
Backpoints - Match points
gotten by having exposed an opponent’s back to the mat. In
freestyle wrestling, any exposure leads to backpoints, while
in folkstyle, or catch as catch can, the back must be
exposed for a certain length of time.
Back-step - The action
(footwork, level changes, etc.) taken to begin back-step
throws (headlock, hiplock, etc.)
Back pressure - To drive
your back into your opponent's chest.
Belly down - When a wrestler
places his belly or stomach down on the mat.
Biting - Biting is an act of
flagrant misconduct. If in the referee’s opinion, a wrestler
has bitten an opponent it will be flagrant misconduct.
Bleeding (Blood) time - If a
wrestler is found to be bleeding he may have a bleeding
time-out. Total time not to exceed 5 minutes for the match.
No limit on how many times it may be taken.
Body lock - A hold in which
a wrestler locks his arms around the opponent's body and
takes him to the mat.
Body press - Occurs when one
wrestler is trying to use all of their body weight to pin
the other wrestler who is on their back.
Body throw - A move in which
a wrestler locks his arms around the opponent's body and
throws him to the mat.
Bottom position - In
par terre, the wrestler
who is on hands and knees is in the bottom position. Bottom
position is one of two components of
position; the man goes down to his knees, his
hands on the
in front of him, sitting back toward his feet.
Boundary line - A 28-foot
circle that marks the boundary. Wrestlers are in-bounds when
at least one wrestler has his
inside the outer circle. Control is important when this line
is crossed, as it determines the starting position when
wrestling resumes. If neither player is in control,
wrestlers start at the starting line in the neutral
position. However, if one wrestler is in control, he can
choose to start in any position: top, bottom, or neutral.
Wrestlers choose a position that suits their wrestling
Bout - A match between two
wrestlers, which is made up of two periods of three minutes
each. A bout ends before the regulation time in the event of
technical fall, an
If the bout is tied or neither wrestler has three points
after time expires, there is an
- The process of breaking an opponent beneath you to
his stomach or side. This often makes turning him over for a
pin easier. Breakdown moves include the spiral ride, near
arm crunch, tight waist to cheap tilt, Iowa ride, and crab
ride among others.
Bridge - An arched position
adopted by a wrestler, with his back above the mat, usually
to avoid being pinned but sometimes as an offensive move.
This movement includes raising the back and hips off the mat
using only the wrestler’s head and feet.
Bridge out - An escape move
in which a wrestler rolls from a
bridge onto the stomach.
Bye - When there aren't
enough wrestlers in a weight class to fill each line of a
tournament bracket, one wrestler is given a bye and he
advances to the next round without wrestling.
Cauliflower ear (also
hematoma auris or perichondrial hematoma) - A a condition
most common among amateur wrestlers, rugby players, mixed
martial artists and grapplers. If the external portion of
the ear suffers a blow, a blood clot or other fluid may
collect under the perichondrium. This separates the
cartilage from the overlying perichondrium that is its
source of nutrients, causing the cartilage to die. This
leads to a formation of fibrous tissue in the overlying
skin. When this happens, the outer ear becomes permanently
swollen and deformed, resembling a cauliflower.
Caution - Wrestlers who
false start or assume an incorrect starting position will be
warned up to 2 times then penalized 1 point for each
violation. A wrestler cannot be disqualified on cautions.
Central circle - The inner
circle, 1 meter in diameter, on the wrestling
Central wrestling area - A
circle, 8 meters in diameter, inside the
Changing levels - Raising
and lowering the body to attack and defend
Chicken wing - A wrestling
move where you capture the opponent's arm and pull it back
to his side and then put your elbow in his back to pry his
arm all the way up so that you can put in your arm. Once the
opponent is immobilized, you can walk your hips around your
opponent's hips as you pull your opponent onto his back. The
Double Chickenwing is twice as deadly as the regular Chicken
Wing and twice as painful. The Double Chicken Wing move
starts by placing each of your opponent's arms in a chicken
wing, and then you move around your opponent's head while
posting your head to pull him onto his back. You must dig in
both the chicken wings to keep control his arms as he is
Chop - To pull the
opponent's near elbow towards the mat.
Classification points - In a
are awarded classification points for each bout won. The
points are used to determine seedings in the final round.
The following table is used:
The loser of a match by decision or technical superiority
wins 1 point of he or she accumulated any technical points
during the bout. In the case of an
overtime period, the
winner and the loser both receive the same number of
classification points as the number of
technical points in the bout.
Coach misconduct - Penalty
following a conference with the referee to discuss
misapplication of the rules when it is determined that the
rules were properly applied.
Contact - When the referee
commands a wrestler to put both of his hands on the back of
his opponent, who is knelling with his hands and knees
touching the ground. Wrestlers in the standing position put
their hands on the opponent’s shoulder blades.
Control - A wrestler who has
a dominant position that restricts the opponent's mobility,
usually, the one on top is the one said to be in control. In
neither wrestler has control until a takedown is achieved.
Cradle - A hold in which one
arm is around the neck of the opponent, the other around the
neck, with the hands gripped tightly together.
Cross-face - A move in which
the wrestler's forearm is pressed across the opponent's face
to turn his head and maneuver him.
Crossleg - To reach under
the opponent's chest or stomach, and grab the knee/calf of
their far leg.
Crotch lift - A hold in
which the arms are wrapped around the opponent's upper
thigh, often used to turn the opponent over for a
Cut them loose - A term that
means let your opponent go when you are in the top position.
This may be done for a number of reasons: You are about to
be called for stalling because you can't break your opponent
down. This action will save a penalty point, which you may
be able to make up by scoring a takedown. If you don't let
them go you'll be penalized, then if they escape, they will
score 2 points instead of the one you gave up when you cut
them loose. You are about to be reversed; therefore let them
go and give up only 1 point. A coach may decide that you are
better off to take your opponent down and let them go, and
repeat the process, rather than trying to ride them.
Return to top
Danger position - A position
in which a wrestler's back is at less than a right angle to
Daylight - This refers to
the distance between you and your opponent. Defensively you
want to create daylight; offensively you want to eliminate
Decision - A victory in
which the winner leads the opponent by 1 to 9 points.
Compare technical fall.
Default - A default is
awarded when one of the competitors is unable to continue
for any reason. A default is worth 6 team points in duel
meet competition. A win declared because of the opponent's
Defensive starting position
- Wrestler who is on hands and knees in a
par terre. From this position, the wrestler
attempts to avoid being pinned,
or perform a
Defensive wrestler - The
defensive wrestler is considered to be the wrestler who is
in a position in which he is being controlled or restrained
by his opponent. The defensive wrestler is often referred to
as the "bottom man", the wrestler in the bottom position.
Defer - When a wrestler
defers his right to choose top, bottom or neutral until the
Disqualification - A
wrestler may be disqualified for brutality or
Dictating the action - A
wrestler who is moving their opponent, wrestling
aggressively by trying to score a takedown, escape,
reversal, or near fall depending upon their position.
Double inside - Where both
of the wrestler's hands or thumbs are inside of their
Double-leg tackle / double-leg
takedown - A move in which a wrestler takes the
opponent down by grasping both of the opponent's legs and
Drag - To pull your
opponent's arm towards you.
Draw - Occurs when two
wrestlers have the same amount of points when the match is
Dual meet - A dual meet is
competition between two wrestling teams and consists of
wrestling matches in each of the state-certified weight
classes. Each competitor will wrestle an opponent from the
opposing team who is in the same weight class. Current GHSA
are 103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171,
189, 215, and 285. Each match consists of 3 two-minute
Duck-under - A takedown move
in which the wrestler ducks under the opponent's arm to get
behind him and then uses a lift, throw, or trip to take the
opponent to the
and complete the
Edge of mat calls - A
wrestling move must be complete with either wrestler
inbounds or the feet of the scoring wrestler finishing down
on the mat inbounds.
Elbows in - To keep your
elbows on the same alignment as the sides of the body; it
does not necessarily mean that the elbows are against the
side of your body.
Elevate - A move that is
made when the wrestler is on their back, with their opponent
on top of them, in order to raise the opponent's hips and
legs further off of the mat. This can be done by using a
neck bridge, hand, legs, and/or feet depending upon where
the wrestler's body is in relation to your opponent. It can
be done from the bottom position, or as part of a throw from
the neutral position.
Elimination - During
tournaments there are many rounds of competition. Generally,
if a wrestler loses twice he is eliminated from the
End-of-match procedure - The
wrestlers will remain in the center circle while the referee
verifies the score. The wrestlers will shake hands and the
referee will raise the winner's hand.
Equipment (in wrestling) -
Wrestling equipment is minimal. A wrestling uniform is a
one-piece singlet. Wrestling shoes are light and heelless
and are laced tightly to provide firm support for the
ankles. A protective ear guard must be worn anytime
wrestling takes place, usually of two main styles:
traditional and halo.
Escape - If a wrestler frees
himself from being under
and gains a neutral position, creates space, and faces the
opponent, it is an escape, which scores one point. Stand-ups
and sit-outs are common escapes.
Exposure - Having a
wrestler’s back angled toward the mat- Turning an opponent's
shoulders to the mat, thus exposing him to the possibility
of a pin.
Fall - (or
pin) occurs when both
shoulders or scapula of either wrestler are held in contact
with mat for two continuous seconds, in high school
wrestling. Both shoulders or scapula must be inbounds. If a
fall is awarded, the match ends immediately and the wrestler
who is awarded the fall wins the match.
Fall back - Occurs when a
wrestler is able to score a takedown by holding the other
wrestler from behind and then falling over backwards.
Fireman's carry - A
move in which the wrestler brings the opponent temporarily
over his shoulders, similar to the manner that fireman carry
people out of buildings, then to the
Flagrant misconduct - This
will be called against competitors for such actions as
striking, biting, butting, elbowing, or kicking an opponent.
A flagrant misconduct can also called against coaches and
team personnel for actions that warrant their removal.
Fleeing a hold - Occurs when
one wrestler breaks contact with the other wrestler so the
second wrestler is unable to get a desired hold.
Fleeing the mat - Occurs
when a wrestler moves off the mat to get away from an attack
by the other wrestler. This may result in a warning or,
eventually, a penalty point.
Folkstyle - A style of
wrestling generally used in high schools and colleges, which
is similar to
wrestling but with more emphasis on control and safety. This
is the style used in high schools and colleges. It is also
referred to as scholastic.
Forfeit - A wrestler
receives a forfeit when his opponent, for any reason, fails
to appear for the match. A forfeit is worth 6 team points in
dual meet and 2 in
Freestyle - A style of
wrestling in which the legs may be used to execute attacks
and the opponent's legs are a legitimate target for attack.
Also known as " catch as catch can." It is contrasted to
wrestling. It is a style of wrestling emphasizing dramatic
Full nelson - A hold in
which both of the wrestler's arms are passed under the
opponent's armpits and both hands are on the back of the
opponent's head. This hold is illegal in amateur wrestling.
Return to top
Get 90-Degrees - A term that
means to create a right angle to the opponent with the body.
This is especially important when applying a pinning
combination, which requires the wrestler to be
chest-to-chest to their opponent.
Get Inside their Hands - To
position the hands inside the opponent's hands and remain in
a good defensive stance.
Grand amplitude -
Descriptive of a throw in which a wrestler lifts the
opponent completely off the mat, sweeps him through the air
in a curve, and brings him down in the
Granby (Granby roll) - A
wrestling reversal named for Granby High School in Norfolk,
Virginia, where it was popularized by teacher and hall of
fame wrestling coach Billy Martin. A Granby roll is
performed from an inferior position, usually when the top
wrestler has a hold upon the lower wrestler's waist from the
side or when moving to "take the back." The bottom wrestler
rises slightly and cross steps under his own body, using it
to post as they kick high with the other leg and perform a
shoulder roll to the inside shoulder, either achieving an
escape or an arm lock on the other wrestler.
Grapevine - A hold in which
a wrestler wraps a leg around one of the opponent's legs,
often preparatory to a
Greco-Roman - A style of
wrestling in which the wrestler may not attack the
opponent's legs nor use his own legs to execute attacks.
This places a great emphasis on throws.
Guillotine - A wrestling
hold named after the decapitation device, is a move in
amateur wrestling that is mostly taught in high schools. It
is a pinning move that is deployed from upper referee
position. It is a combination of leg riding and an open side
Gut wrench - A moved used
when the opponent is face down on the mat. The wrestler puts
both arms around the opponent's mid-section, gripping as
tightly as possible, then goes into the
position and rolls the opponent over his own torso onto the
Half nelson - A hold in
which the wrestler's arm is passed under the opponent's
armpit and the hand is on the back of the opponent's head.
This is an elementary maneuver used to turn over an opponent
who has been broken down for a pin. See also
Hammerlock - Pulling the
opponent’s arm too high on the back or pulling the arm away
from the back.
Hand control - To hold one
or both of the opponent's hands with your hands. It is
generally preferable to grab your opponent's hand instead of
Head up - With very rare
exceptions, a wrestler will always want their head up so
that they can look directly ahead.
Headgear - Gear worn to
protect the ears during wrestling.
Headlock - A hold in which
an arm is around the opponent's neck and the hands are
locked together. The opponent's arm must be gathered into
the hold to prevent accidental choking.
Hip heist - A move where the
bottom wrestler "flips" his hips from pointing down to the
mat to pointing up to the ceiling and vice versa.
Hip lock - This position is
used to execute many upper body throws such as: head locks
and whizzers. The wrestler places their buttocks in front of
the opponent's hip, and pulls the opponent's upper body
forward to execute the throw. By blocking their hips, the
opponent cannot maintain a good defensive position.
Hip pop - An explosion of
the hips upward and forward into the opponent, creating a
quick lifting action. A hip pop is necessary after the
initial penetration of an opponent to finish the takedown
Hip position - One of the
major sources for success or failure in wrestling is the
ability to use the hips correctly and to take the opponent's
ability to use their hips. The hips and thighs are the most
powerful parts of the body. If a wrestler can drive forward
or backward with their hips, they can move their opponent
out of a good defensive position. All lifting in wrestling
should be done with the hips and thighs, not the back.
Hip toss - One attacking is
positioned in front of the other wrestler and the attacker
will grab his opponent's right arm across the front of his
body. The attacker then drops onto his right knee and moves
his left hip into his opponent and then throws the other
wrestler forward across his back into a pinning combination.
Hook - A move to hook an
opposing wrestler under his arm or leg to execute a
Illegal holds - Wrestling
holds that are dangerous and can cause injury. Whenever a
referee witnesses one of these holds being used, he awards
one point to the offender’s opponent. Illegal holds include,
but are not limited to full nelsons and body slams.
Inbounds - Wrestlers are
inbounds if the supporting parts of either are inside the
lines. Supporting parts are those parts of the body bearing
the weight of a wrestler which generally include the knees,
the sides of the thighs, the buttocks, and the hands.
Wrestling continues as long as one wrestler is inbounds, if
there is no action, the referee may stop the match & restart
in the center. If the defensive wrestler is on his back
while supporting points of either wrestler are inbounds,
wrestling continues as long as there is the chance for the
offensive wrestler to bring him back. Shoulders or scapula
are supporting parts in this case.
Injury default - A win
rewarded to a wrestler when the opponent cannot continue to
compete because of an injury. Worth four
Injury time - A period
during which a match is halted because one of the wrestlers
is injured or bleeding. If the wrestler cannot continue
within two minutes, the match ends with an injury default.
Injury timeout - Injury
timeouts are 1-˝ minutes and may be taken twice, provided
the total time does not exceed 1-˝ minutes. Treatment of
previous conditions is injury time. If a second timeout is
taken, the opponent will have choice of position on the
Inside - Also known as Near.
A term that is used to describe something that is closest to
you. For example, if you are in the top position, and your
body is located adjacent to the left of your opponent's
body, then their left arm and leg and your right arm and leg
are considered 'inside'.
Inside position - A term
that generally applies only when the wrestler is in the
neutral position. It means that their hands and/or elbows
are inside their opponent's hand and/or elbows. This is
usually the dominant position when in the neutral position.
Return to top
Joint locks - Various moves
including arm locks, leg locks, spinal locks, wristlocks,
and small joint manipulation. Some can be illegal depending
on the movement of the joint.
Leg bands - In tournaments,
the contestants wear leg bands to identify which one is
being scored as the home wrestler and which is the away
wrestler. The green leg band is for home, the red for away.
Scoring cards, when used, are also green and red. The
referee's coin is green on one side and red on the other. It
is used to determine which wrestler chooses the starting
position at the beginning of the second period.
Leg shot - A quick move,
involving an attempt to get a
where a wrestler changes levels and quickly thrusts toward
an opponent's legs to gain a lock on one or both.
Level change - Bending at
the knees to raise or lower the hips in order to get into a
new position for a hold or
Lift - A move used to take
an opponent off the mat entirely (both feet). An efficient
lift involves positioning the hips lower than the opponent's
and using them to lift by arching into the opponent.
Limp arm - A method used by
a wrestler in the neutral or top position to release an
opponent's over hook or whizzer.
Locked hands - Interlocking
or overlapping hands, arms or fingers around the opponent's
body is illegal, except when both wrestlers are on their
feet or in a pinning (near fall) situation.
Mat - The mat for
international wrestling competition has a central wrestling
area, 9 meters in diameter, with a
1 meter in diameter. Inside the contest area is a red band,
1 meter wide, known as the passivity zone.
Match - A series of matches
between two teams, involving wrestlers from different weight
classes or an individual competition between two wrestlers.
Meet - An organized
competition involving wrestlers from two or more teams.
Motion - One of the seven
basic wrestling skills, which consists of keeping proper
position and balance when defending and attacking. Most of
the time, it involves moving the feet in a circling or
Near arm - In the neutral
position, this means the arm that is closest to you. This
occurs only when you or your opponent is in a staggered
Near fall - If a wrestler
exposes the opponent's shoulders four inches or less above
the mat or has one of the opponent's shoulders on the mat
and the other at an angle of less than 45 degrees to the
mat, it is a near fall, worth two
Near fall criteria/Near fall points
- The criteria for earning a near fall is when the offensive
wrestler has control of his opponent in a pinning situation
and both shoulders or scapula of the defensive wrestler are
held within four inches (or less) of the mat; or when a
shoulder or scapula is touching the mat and the other
shoulder or scapula is at an angle of 45 degrees (or less)
with the mat. The defensive wrestler's shoulders or scapula
must be inbounds to earn near fall points. If these criteria
are met for two continuous seconds, two points are earned.
If these criteria are met for five continuous seconds, then
three points are earned. Near Fall Points are also called "back
points". The half nelson, arm bar, cradle, and
tilt leg ride often result in a near fall.
Neutral position - The
neutral position is one in which neither wrestler has
control; the wrestlers are both on their feet, opposite each
other. The home wrestler has one foot on one starting line
and the visiting wrestler has one foot on the other starting
line, neither wrestler in contact with the other. This is
also known as standing position.
Return to top
Offensive starting position
- The offensive wrestler takes a position on either side of
the defensive wrestler. He must place the palm of one hand
on or above the elbow. One knee must be on the mat on the
same side of the elbow being touched. The other arm is
placed around the defensive wrestler’s body with the hand
loosely on the navel. The order of placement is, feet/knees;
belly; elbow. The head must be over the spine and the legs
or feet of the offensive wrestler may not be touching the
Offensive wrestler - The
offensive wrestler is the wrestler which maintains a
position in which he controls and maintains restraining
power over his opponent. The offensive wrestler is typically
referred to as the "top man" or in the top position.
Open - A command from the
referee telling a wrestler to change his position and adopt
more open tactics. If the wrestler doesn't respond, the
referee will issue a caution for
Optional start - Instead of
taking top position, a wrestler can choose this variation;
the wrestler places both hands on the bottom man's back and
leaves his knees off the mat. When this option is chosen,
the referee must inform the bottom man so he may adjust his
position. Optional start usually is used when you intend to
let the bottom man go immediately, but not always.
Optional starting position -
The defensive wrestler assumes his starting position. The
offensive wrestler notifies the referee that he wants an
optional start. The referee notifies the defensive wrestler
of this choice and allows him to adjust, if needed. Then,
when called by the referee, the offensive wrestler places
his hands (thumbs touching) on the back (neck to waist) of
the defensive wrestler. He may then stand or kneel any place
in the area around the defensive wrestler from the front
starting line on one side to the other. He may not straddle
or place his feet or knees inside the feet of the defensive
wrestler. The offensive wrestler may notify the official
that he wants to release the opponent prior to the restart.
An escape will be awarded, with 1 point, and the match will
start in neutral.
Other illegal holds - These
holds or movements include bending, twisting, or forcing the
head, knee, or any limb beyond its normal limits of
movement, pulling back the thumb or fingers, and any hold
that is used as punishment.
Out of bounds - Out of
bounds happens when each wrestler has a supporting point on
outside the line.
Overhook - An overhook is a
clinch hold that is used to control the opponent. An
overhook is performed from any direction by putting an arm
over the opponent's arm, and encircling the opponents arm or
upper body. Having an overhook with one arm is called a
single overhook, while having overhooks with both arms is
known as double overhooks. Overhooks are typically employed
in response to underhooks by an opponent.
Overtime period - If the
score is tied or neither wrestler has three points when time
runs out on a bout, a three-minute overtime period begins
immediately. The first wrestler to score a point wins.
Par terre - A re-starting
position in which a wrestler is on the mat, on hands and
knees, and the other wrestler kneels beside him, with both
hands on his back. (This term is French for "on the
Parallel - When a wrestler's
body is on the same alignment as their opponent's body.
Passive obstruction - If a
wrestler continually obstructs the opponent's holds, holds
both the opponent's hands, continually lies flat on the mat,
or deliberately runs off the mat, it is passive obstruction.
The opponent is given three choices: 1) To place the
offender in the
2) To continue the bout from the
neutral position; 3) To assume the down
position in par terre.
Passivity - Another name for
Passivity zone - The outer
band, 1 meter wide, outside the
central wrestling area.
Penalty points - Points used
in a negative scoring system, under which the wrestler with
the fewest points wins. They're essentially the same as
technical points, but
they go to the other wrestler. For example, the wrestler who
near fall is given two
Penetration - The distance
covered when driving into an opponent for a takedown. Good
penetration, getting in tight to the opponent, increases a
wrestler’s chance of a successful
takedown. Many wrestlers mistakenly think they
are penetrating by getting their head closer to their
opponent without moving their feet. However, penetration is
accomplished only by stepping forward with a foot and moving
the hips forward.
Pick up an ankle - A term
that applies when a wrestler is on top and behind their
opponent. They reach under and grab the part of the
opponent's foot where the shoelaces are, and lift it upward.
Pin - Forcing both of the
opponent's shoulders to the mat for a specified period of
time. The result is a fall, which wins the match. In both
international wrestling styles, this is for any instant. In
college wrestling, the specified time period is for one
second and in high school wrestling it is two seconds.
Pinch head lock - To carry
out this move, secure and underhook with one arm, and grab
the opponent's head in a 'collar tie'. Lock your hands
together, place your forehead in the opponent's temple, and
then simply drive the opponent down to the mat and onto
Post - To place a body part
onto a mat; in most cases this will be a head or foot.
Posture - A basic wrestling
skills, which consists of having good body position in
stances and during moves and counter-attacks.
Potentially dangerous holds
- Any hold that puts a body part at the limit of normal
movement or that can cause injury is a potentially dangerous
hold. The wrestler using the hold shall be verbally
cautioned against turning it into an illegal hold. If the
offensive wrestler turns the hold into an illegal hold, he
will be penalized.
Power half (Power half nelson)
- Another Nelson move which is a half nelson and with the
other hand applying force to the head used for turning
either for a pin or a turn for near fall points
Protection area - The border
of the mat, extending at least 1.5 meters beyond the
passivity zone, to help
prevent injury if a wrestler is thrown outside the ring.
Push-Pull -A means of
getting an opponent to push into you, thereby creating a
head and shoulder lead.
Return to top
Random draw - The random
draw determines the order of weight classes for the dual. It
will happen immediately after the conclusion of weigh-ins
and be supervised by the referee or authorized person. The
weight class drawn will be the starting weight and the
others will follow in traditional order. A random draw may
be used to set the order for finals matches in an individual
Recovery time - If a
wrestler is hurt with an illegal hold or act of unnecessary
roughness or unsportsmanlike conduct he may have a recovery
time-out. Recovery time is 2 minutes per incident and is not
Referee - The official in
charge of the wrestling match. This person moves about the
mat watching the wrestlers, enforcing the rules of
wrestling, and awarding points to specific wrestlers by
signaling with their fingers.
Referee's position - The
Referee's position is a starting position in which one
wrestler begins in the defensive position and his opponent
begins from the offensive position. The defensive wrestler
is located in the center of the circle on his hands and
knees. His hand and Knees must be parallel to the starting
lines on the mat. The offensive wrestler position himself on
the left or right side of his opponent with at least one
knee on the mat on the side is positioned. The offensive
wrestler must also place the palm of his hand on his
opponent’s stomach and the far hand on the opponent's elbow.
Referee’s time-out - If the
referee needs time to deal with something that is not
covered under the above he may use a referee’s time-out, as
many as needed.
Reversal - If the wrestler
completely reverses the situation and comes to the
top position in
it is a reversal, worth two points in high school wrestling.
Switches, rolls, and hip heists are popular reversal moves.
Reverse crossface -A move in
which the wrestler uses the tricep (backside of the upper
arm) to push the opponent's head towards or aw ay from them
Riding time - In high school
and college wrestling, the amount of time a wrestler is in
control of the opponent. One minute of riding time is worth
Rotate the wrist - When a
wrestler grabs their opponent's wrist, the opponent can
simply cause them to release it by rotating their wrist in
the direction of the tip of the wrestler's thumb.
Russian - A move from the
standing position grabbing an opponent's arm, dragging it
by, and the dragging him to the mat face down.
Scoring - Wrestling is all
about control. The main objective is to establish total
domination by pinning an opponent’s shoulders to the mat to
earn a fall and victory. If no wrestler can pin his
opponent, points are awarded to wrestlers as control
changes. The wrestler with the most points at the end of a
match is the winner. Establishing control from a neutral
position is called a takedown and is worth two points.
Almost pinning an opponent scores two, three, or four points
and is called a near fall. A wrestler who is able to return
to a neutral position after being controlled by an opponent
earns one point for an escape. A wrestler who is controlled
by an opponent and reverses control earns two points for a
reversal. Points are also deducted for infractions of the
rules. Points are posted immediately and in plain sight so
spectators and wrestlers know the score. In order for the
match to end, one athlete must score at least three points.
A technical fall occurs and the match is ended when a
wrestler establishes a 15-point advantage over the opponent.
Seed - Term used in placing
wrestlers into brackets for a tournament. Because of their
success in previous competition(s), seeded wrestlers are
acknowledged as superior wrestlers. Seeds are usually
selected according to criteria established by the
director and/or by the voting of participating team
Setup - An action of some
sort designed to distract the opponent or cause a reaction,
allowing an easier
Shoot - To go for a
Single-leg tackle / Single-leg
takedown - A move in which a wrestler takes the
opponent down by lifting one of the opponent's legs.
Singlet - A tight,
sleeveless, one-piece outfit worn by wrestlers during their
Slam - The lifting of an
opponent from the mat and bringing him back down with
unnecessary force. A slam is illegal in amateur wrestling.
Slamming - The action of
lifting an opponent off the mat and bringing them back down
with unnecessary force. This is illegal in all addressed
Slipped throw - Occurs when
two wrestlers are are on their feet in a neutral position
and one tries an unsuccessful throw against the other.
Sprawl - A move used to
leg shot. The wrestler
throws the legs back and arches the hips into the opponent
to break the hold.
Stalemate - Two contestants
are interlocked in a position other than a pinning
situation, and neither wrestler is able to improve his
position. The referee starts the wrestlers again in the
center of the circle.
Stalling - Stalling is a
situation when a wrestler does not wrestle aggressively;
continuously avoids contact with his opponent; plays the
edge of the mat; delays the match; prevents his opponent
from returning to inbounds area; is not attempting to secure
a takedown. A wrestler will be warned one time and is
penalized on each successive stalling infraction.
Stance - footwork used when
in neutral position or when both wrestlers are facing each
other, neither in control. A good stance involves feet
shoulder-width apart, knees bent, back straight, elbows in,
hands out in front, and head up.
Standing arm-roll - This is
a standing throw where one wrestler brings the other
wrestlers arm across their body and through leverage is able
to roll the other wrestler unto the mat.
Standing position - See
Starting lines - Wrestling
begins or resumes here with each opponent behind his
starting line and at least one foot on the line.
Step and Slide - A term that
is used to describe how a wrestler moves their feet in a
circle or laterally. The wrestler steps sideways with one
foot (this is a small step, usually 6-12 inches), then
slides their other foot to keep an even distance between
Sucked out - The unsightly
physical appearance caused by excessive weight-loss and
Supporting points - The
weight-bearing points of the body, including feet, knees,
hands, and buttocks. The wrestlers are in bounds as long as
the supporting points of either wrestler are within the
Takedown - A takedown occurs
when, from a
a wrestler gains control over his opponent down on the mat
and is inbounds. A takedown is worth two points.
Takedown artists - Wrestlers
uncommonly good at forcing the opponent to the mat under
Technical fall - If a
wrestler accumulates a lead of 10 points or more, it is
called a technical fall and that wrestler wins the match.
Also known as
Technical points - Points
awarded during a match that help determine the outcome. The
following system is used: Five points for a
throw to an immediate position of danger; three points for
taking the opponent from a standing position to an immediate
position of danger; two points for a near fall; one point
for a takedown,
reversal, or for
applying a correct hold without causing the opponent to
with head or shoulder. Technical points must not be confused
classification points. See also
Technical superiority - A
technical superiority is
the same as a technical fall.
Technical violations - There
are seven major technical violations, including incorrect
starting position/false start (warning given), intentionally
going out of bounds, grasping an opponent’s clothing or
equipment, interlocking/overlapping hands, leaving wrestling
area without referee’s permission, improper/illegal
equipment, or applying a figure 4 (type of hold) from the
Throw - Any move in which a
wrestler lifts the opponent from the
mat, then brings him back down.
Tiebreaker - In
wrestling, a tiebreaker refers to the 30-second sudden death
period that is wrestler if two wrestlers are still tied
after a two-minute
overtime period. The
wrestler winning the coin flip will be able to choose up,
down or force his opponent to choose up or down. The first
wrestler to score wins, and if neither wrestler score the
offensive (top) wrestler ends.
Tie-up - A wrestler grabbing
his opponent's upper body, usually in preparation for a move
or to gain a measure of
over his motion. Commonly the upper arm and back of the neck
Tilt - To turn an opponent
so that his back goes from an angle of 45 degrees or more to
less than 45. Also, when
Top position - One of the
two components of
position. After the bottom man has positioned
himself, the other wrestler places his knee down to one side
of his opponent, his knee up behind him with his foot also
behind. The hand on the same side as the down knee grasps
the opponent's near elbow, and the other hand reaches around
the waist to rest on the navel. At this point, the referee
will signal to begin wrestling. The man in
is called the top man.
Tournament - A series of
bouts to determine championships in various
weight classes. A wrestler is eliminated after
two losses. Elimination rounds continue until only three
wrestlers remain in each pool. Finalists are seeded by
If any of the finalists have not wrestled each other, they
meet in a bout.
Technical points or
penalty points from
previous matches are then carried over and added to the
points accumulated in the final round.
Trap - To hold a part of the
opponent's body with part of your body. You may 'trap' or
squeeze their head with your knees, trap an arm by squeezing
your elbow to your side, and so on.
Under the near arm - A term
applies when the wrestler is behind or beside their
opponent, in which they reach under the opponent's near arm.
with their outside (far) arm.
Underhook - An underhook is
a grappling term for a clinch hold that is used to control
the opponent. It is performed from any direction by putting
an arm under the opponents arm, and holding the opponents
midsection or upper body. Having an underhook with one arm
is called a single underhook, while having underhooks with
both arms is known as double underhooks. The typical
response to an underhook is to try to break it, or to
establish an overhook.
Unnecessary roughness -
Called for actions that are unreasonably aggressive.
Unsportsmanlike conduct (UC)
- Called for disobeying or arguing with a referee, or other
acts of poor sportsmanship such as swearing, spitting,
taunting, or throwing equipment. UC is any act, physical or
non-physical including but not limited to:
- Failure to comply with directions of the referee
- Throwing equipment
- Failure to keep straps up on the mat
- Dropping to one knee to break locked hands,
- Clearing the nasal passage other than in a proper
- Failure to comply with end of match procedure
Verbal warning - When a
referee warns a wrestler for misconduct or stalling.
Violation of position - A
term that can apply to the neutral, top, and bottom
positions. There are certain positions that are correct, and
certain positions that are incorrect; an incorrect position
prevents a wrestler from defending actions by their
opponent. This means, in order to improve their chances of
success, a wrestler wants their opponent to violate
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Walk the fingers forward -
If when in the top or bottom position, a wrestler wants to
improve their position, but cannot freely move their hand
forward because of their opponent's, they may 'walk the
fingers forward'. To do this, they place their palm down on
the mat, keeping their elbow next to their side, and begin
pulling their arm forward by walking your fingers forward
and grasping the mat with their fingertips.
Weigh ins - Wrestlers will
weigh in at the home site. At dual meets, the wrestler will
have 30 minutes to make the weight class. Weigh in will
start at the lowest weight class and proceed to the highest
weight. Any wrestler over weight will get 2 more chances to
make weight. These chances are immediately following the
completion of all weights. The wrestler cannot leave the
weigh in area and cannot do any exercise to lose weight.
will provide the wrestler 1-2 hours before competition to
make weight. During consecutive days of competition, there
is often a 1-pound additional allowance to each
All contestants failing to make weight will be ineligible to
Weight class / Weight classes
- Groupings determined by weight; the wrestler must be
exactly on or below the specified weight to qualify for the
weight class. Weight classifications are as follows: 103
lbs., 112 lbs., 119 lbs., 125 lbs., 130 lbs., 135 lbs., 140
lbs., 145 lbs., 152 lbs., 160 lbs., 171 lbs., 189 lbs., 215
lbs., and 285 lbs.
Whizzer - An elementary
counter move used when an opponent is attempting to gain a
hold on his legs (or has gained a hold). An arm is firmly
placed under the arm grasping the leg, and the hips are
driven suddenly and roughly toward the opponent, in an
attempt to break the grip.
Wing - When a wrestler is
able to hold the other wrestler to the mat with an arm lock
and then is able to roll them over.
Wrestling mats - Are made
out of shock-absorbing materials to provide a safe surface
for wrestling. Wrestling mats are padded mats that must have
excellent shock absorption, tear resistance, and compression
qualities. Most mats are made of PVC rubber nitrile foam.
Recent advances in technology have brought about new mats
made using closed cell, cross-linked polyethylene foam
covered in vinyl backed with non-woven polyester.
Wrist control - To control
your opponent's wrist.
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