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Guide for Wrestlers

The Wrestling Season Survival Guide - Tips on how to survive the season...

The Wrestling Season 

Survival Guide

(Helpful hints on surviving the wrestling season) 



Bring the following –

Good Luck, Wrestlers!!

  • Headgear (if it is your new Brute headgear – write your name on it!!) 
  • singlet
  • wrestling shoes and socks
  • Warm up gear – sweats, shorts, etc.  
  • HMS wrestling shirt
  • kneepads if desired
  • Sports water bottle (put your name on it), sports drinks, etc., etc.  (Bring plenty - as you need to drink a lot before, during and after the meet.) 
  • snacks:  suggestions - fruit, power bars, granola bars, peanut butter sandwich, fruit, veggies, etc, ec. 
  • book, ipod, homework, a booklight, etc., for the bus ride, for waiting for the bus to arrive and waiting for the other team to arrive, etc. 
  • finger nails clipped








Number 1:  Don’t laugh the first time you see your son/daughter in a singlet! 

Number 2:  Bring lots of snacks and water to matches!  Not only for yourself, but no matter how many times you reminded your wrestler to bring his/her own snacks and water for after school – he/she will forget and search you out in the stands – hungrier than a hibernating grizzly that just woke up!!      Wrestlers are known for being hungry, all the time, a few wrestlers can devour a package of cookies in nanoseconds.  On second thought, you better hide your own snacks! 

Number 3:  Don’t ask me why a fungus is called a “worm” but stock up on Tinactin – and make sure your wrestler realizes that jumping in a pool does not count as a shower.  Don’t be upset when you see the ringworm, all wrestlers get it at one time or another, despite the scouring and sanitizing of the mats.  It’s just a fact of wrestling… Wrestlers should shower immediately after practice/match. Practice clothes should be washed after every use.

Number 4:  When you are out in public with your son/daughter, whose face is covered with bruises and or mat burn, don’t bother trying to explain to strangers that you didn’t put them there. 

Number 5:  I’m not sure who is in charge of weigh-ins, but your wrestler will always have to wrestle someone who is a foot taller and about 15 pounds heavier – growls – and has facial hair.  It’s a fact! 

Number 6: If your son/daughter is in a headlock, his/her face is turning purple and he/she is mouthing the words, “I can’t breathe”, don’t run out on the mat…the referee will notice eventually. 

Number 7:  Sit with other wrestling parents – it helps to join hands when you want to run on the mat for an injury….or to attack an official…they will hold you back! 

Number 8:  There are a lot of ways wrestlers score points. I still don’t understand how a wrestler gets called for stalling when he is losing. 

Number 9:  Put your wrestlers name on all of their wrestling equipment. There's so much floating around, don't risk losing it.  Shoes and headgear are found beneath the bleachers all the time.  And the reply to coach’s -  “Whose is this?”  Is always, “Not mine!” 

Number 10:  Remember – the majority of wrestling coaches are screamers – don’t take the coach’s screaming and jumping around personally, on behalf of your wrestler – your kid is used to the screaming from practice, anyway, and probably has him tuned out anyway! 

Number 11:  Keep a pair of nail clippers in your wrestling bag. Wrestling referees have a “thing” about wrestlers with long fingernails!! 

Number 12:  Finally, as a parent, you will never understand how your gentle, sweet child, could possibly love to wrestle…to be stretched and twisted in ways nature never intended…but he/she does!  So be happy when he/she wins, supportive when he/she loses. 

Have a great wrestling season!!















How To Watch a Youth Wrestling Match

 What is wrestling and why is it so different than other sports?

  • Wrestling is considered the world’s oldest sport. It was first started by the Greeks and is still part of the Olympics today.
  • This is a sport of physical engagement between two people in which each tries to get an advantage or control over the other.
  • Wrestling is an individual sport that is unique. Unlike soccer, baseball or football where you need a team effort to win, a wrestler must rely on his own ability and strength to be successful.
  • The wrestler who dedicates his time and effort will eventually achieve success, but must remain patient andpositive throughout the learning process, especially at the beginner’s level.
  • Wrestling is the sixth most popular sport in our nation’s schools today.

 Folkstyle Wrestling

 Folkstyle (scholastic) is the style common to high school and college competition in the United States.

Folkstyle concentrates on control, with points awarded for controlling an opponent. The wrestler on top must constantly work towards a pin, while the wrestler on the bottom must continually try to escape or reverse.

 What You Will See at a Match

 Here are a few things you should be aware of in order to understand the match you are watching: 

  • A wrestlingmeetconsists of severalmatches– usually around 14 – 20. 
  • Weight classes: 83, 90, 98 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220, and heavyweight. Wrestlers can wrestle in their weight class or up one.
  • Each match consists of 3 periods. 1stis 1minute, 2ndand 3rdare 2 minutes each.
  • During a match each wrestler tries to score points by executing various moves – escape, take down, reversal, near fall, etc. 
  • The wrestler with the most points at the end of the match wins.
  • Points are kept on a scoreboard or a flip type scoring mechanism in plain view. (Please be kind to our scoring volunteers!!) 
  • In the first period each wrestler starts in theneutral position(standing up).
  • To start the second period, the referee flips a coin and the wrestler who wins the coin flip is given the choice of:

                  - starting in the neutral position or…

                  - top or bottom in thereferee’s position(in this position one wrestler is on hands and knees and the             other wrestler kneels beside on one knee grasping the other wrestler’s waist and elbow) or…

                  - the wrestler can defer to the other wrestler and let them decide.

  • To start the third period the other wrestler is given the choice.
  • The match starts when the referee has both wrestlers come forward from their sides, shake hands, and return to their starting marks in the center of the mat. The referee will then signal them to begin wrestling. (Please be kind to our referee’s – they really are nice guys/gals!). 
  • Sometimes during the match the referee will stop the action for various reasons:

            - out of bounds(beyond the large circle)

                  - headgear or shoes might have fallen off

                  - potentially dangerous hold


  • The referee will restart the match by bringing the wrestlers to the center of the mat and - if neither wrestler had control of the other when the match was stopped, they will restart in the neutral position.
  • If one wrestler had control of the other when the match was stopped, that wrestler will get to restart on top, in the referee’s position.
  • If the referee stops the match for any reason, time is also stopped. Time is restarted when the referee restarts the match.
  • The match ends when time has expired or one wrestler pins (seeScoringbelow) the other or scores a Technical Fall (seeScoringbelow).
  • Each wrestler will be brought back to the center of the match and the referee will raise the hand of the winner and instruct both wrestlers to shake hands before leaving the mat.
  • It is common practice for each wrestler to also shake the hand of the opposing coach – and thank the referee.  










There are several ways for a wrestler to score points in a match: 

  • Takedown– 2 points – Accomplished from a neutral position when one wrestler takes the other to the mat and gains control of that wrestler. Many times you’ll see the points for a takedown delayed until the referee determines that one wrestler has control.
  • Escape– 1 point - A wrestler that is being controlled by the other wrestler breaks that control.
  • Reversal– 2 points - A wrestler that is being controlled by the other wrestler breaks that control and immediately gains control of the other wrestler.
  • Near Fall– 2 or 3 points – Points are awarded for holding opponents shoulders at 45 degrees or less, to the mat, for two seconds (2 points) or five seconds (3 points).
  • Penalty– 1 or 2 points – Awarded to a wrestler for illegal holds, infractions, technical violations, stalling, or unsportsmanlike conduct committed by the other wrestler. Wrestlers are usually given a warning for the first offense. If the violations continue the referee could disqualify the offender and award the match to the opponent.




Frequently Used Wrestling Terminology

CAUTION:A ruling made by the referee where one wrestler is called for stalling, a false start, wrong starting position, etc. A second offense is a penalty. See: Stalling, Warning.

CONTROL:A position of advantage where one wrestler maintains restraining power over the other. This usually means that the other wrestler is off his feet and on the mat.

CRADLE:A pinning situation where the offensive wrestler has his opponent's head and one of his legs encircled, usually with his arms. In a pinning situation, locking of the hands is legal.

ESCAPE:When the defensive wrestler gains a neutral position and his opponent has lost control while either wrestler is inbounds, Counts for one (1) point.

FALL:Also called a "Pin." When either both shoulders and or both shoulder blades are held in contact with the mat for two (2) continuous seconds. It terminates the match and is worth six (6) team points.

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.

LOCKING 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.

MATCH:Individual contest between two wrestlers.

MEET:A contest between two wrestling teams. Each team may have one wrestler in each weight class. Team points are awarded on the basis of the results of individual matches between wrestlers. See: Points (Team), Tournaments.

NEAR FALL:A near fall occurs when the offensive wrestler has control of his opponent in a pinning situation. It involves holding the shoulders or shoulder blades within four (4) inches of the mat or holding one (1) shoulder or shoulder blade on the mat and the other is held at a 45-degree angle for two (2) seconds. It is awarded when the defensive wrestler gets out of the pinning situation. A nearfall is two (2) points if held for two (2) seconds or three (3) points if held for five (5) seconds.

NEUTRAL POSITION:A position where neither wrestler has control.

POINTS (MATCH):Awarded for a takedown (2 points), escape (1 point), reversal (2 points), and nearfall (2 or 3 points). Penalty points are awarded for warnings. See: Warnings.

REFEREE'S POSITION:A starting position where one wrestler is in a defensive position (on hands and knees) and the other is in an offensive position (positioned over the other, normally with at least one knee on the mat).

REVERSALWhen the defensive wrestler comes from underneath and gains control over his opponent either on the mat or in a near-standing position, while either wrestler is inbounds, Counts two (2) points.

STALLING:A caution by the referee when one of the wrestlers fails to make a reasonable effort to wrestle aggressively. An offensive wrestler must make a reasonable effort to pin his opponent; a defensive wrestler, to escape.

STARTING POSITION:The wrestlers begin each period either in the neutral or referee's position. The first period always starts in the neutral position. For the second period, a coin toss decides which wrestler chooses the starting position. He elects the neutral, offensive or defensive position, or he may defer his choice. Unless he defers, the other wrestler chooses the starting position for the third period. When the wrestlers go out of bounds, either the neutral or referee's starting position is used, depending on whether one wrestler has control. See: Leg Bands, Neutral Starting Position, Referee's Starting Position.

TAKEDOWN:When one wrestler gains control over the other down on the mat from a neutral position while either wrestler is inbounds. A takedown is normally awarded when one or both of the defensive wrestler's knees are down on the mat, Counts two (2) points.

TECHNICAL FALL:It occurs when one wrestler has accumulated fifteen (15) points more than his opponent. It terminates the match and is worth five (5) team points.

TOURNAMENT:A contest between several schools where wrestlers are divided into weight brackets. Each school may have one or more wrestlers per bracket. Normally, wrestlers in each bracket are seeded according to past records. Team points are given on the basis of the final placement of its wrestlers. See: Leg Bands.

WARNING:A ruling made by the referee when one wrestler has made an illegal or potentially dangerous hold or other serious violation. False starts or stalling is given a caution for the first offense. A first or second warning awards the opposing
wrestler one (1) point, a third two (2) points; a fourth results in disqualification of the offending wrestler. See: Caution.


Questions or concerns –

John Chapman  919.528.0091, ext 128;



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