What is Freestyle Wresting?

Freestyle wrestling is a style of amateur wrestling that is practiced throughout the world. The ultimate goal is to throw and pin your opponent to the mat, which results in an immediate win. Freestyle, unlike Greco-Roman, allows the use of the wrestler's or his opponent's legs in offense and defense.

The Sport's History

Modern freestyle wrestling originated in Great Britain by the name of "catch-as-catch-can" wrestling and gained popularity in fairs and festivals during the 19th century. Nineteenth century matches were exceptionally long, especially Greco-Roman ones, and could last as many as nine hours!

Immigrants later brought this style of wrestling to the United States, where it soon became widespread.

Freestyle wrestling first emerged as an Olympic sport in 1904- which employed the common rules used for catch-as-catch-can, but restricted dangerous holds and introduced weight classes.

In the 20th century, time limits were set for matches. By 1996, before a major overhaul of FILA rules, an international freestyle match consisted of two three-minute periods, with a one-minute rest between periods.

Equipment to Compete

Shorts and a t-shirt are worn at practices and it is allowable at youth tournaments. Wrestling singlets are required for high school tournament.

  • Singlet: A tight, one-piece wrestling uniform made of spandex. Usually, one wrestler competes in a red singlet and the other in a blue one.
  • Shoes: Usually made with rubber soles, are light and flexible and give the wrestler better grip on the mat and increase his/her mobility and flexibility. We can usually find shoes to loan or purchase at a reasonable price of about $40-50.
  • Handkerchief: (aka a bloodrag) is carried in the singlet in the event of bleeding
  • Headgear: Optional, it protects the wrestlers ears.

Ways to Win a Match

A match can be won in the following ways:

  • Win by Fall (Pin)
  • Win by Technical Superiority (when a wrestler gains a ten-point lead over his opponent)
  • Win by Decision (if neither 1 or 2, then by most points)
  • Win by Default (by default, forfeit, or withdrawal)
  • Win by Injury: (if opponent unable to content becausee of injury)
  • Win by Disqualification: (if then opponent has more than 3 warnings)