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Folkstyle Rules


There are three basic victory conditions in a wrestling match:

  • Pinning your opponent (Win By Fall)

  • Scoring more points than your opponent in the time alotted (Win By Decision)

  • Scoring 15 points more than your opponent at any point during the match (Win By Technical Fall)

    • In team tournaments and meets, different points are awarded to the team, depending on whether or not a pin occurred, how large the point spread was at the end of the match one.

The Format

  • Three periods

    • Can be different amount of time for periods depending on the league

      • For College the Norm is usually 3-2-2

      • For High School the Norm is usually 2-2-2

      • For Modified and Youth the Norm is usually 1-1-1

The Five Positions

  • Neutral

  • Referee's Position

    • Top

      • Optional/Freestyle

    • Bottom

Ways to Score

There are 5 ways to score-

  • Takedown- Defined as taking opponent from feet to mat. This is worth 2 points.

  • Escape- Defined as escaping opponent's control and facing him. This is worth one point.

  • Reversal- Defined as coming from mat, and taking opponent to mat, in a single move/move combo, which is worth 2 points.

  • Nearfall- Points gained when opponent's back/shoulders break the 45 degree plane with respect to the mat for a duration of time. A two-four count awards you 2 points, then a 5 count awards you 3 points.


  • Stalling

    • Fleeing the mat

  • locking hands around waist on ground without 2 points of body

Note:(When a wrestler lifts another off the mat, it is the lifting wrestler's responsibility to ensure the other's safe return to the mat.)

  • Locking hands strictly around an opponent's waist while on the mat.

  • Potentially Dangerous

    • Choking

    • Full Nelson

    • Body Figure Four

    • Head Scissors

    • Chicken wing (extended past a certain point)

    • Arm across the back above 90 Degrees

  • Unsportsmanlike conduct

    • Swearing

    • Striking

    • Unnecessary Roughness

    • Grabbing of the singlet

    • Throwing your headgear

    • physically hurting your opponent for revenge of previous match

    • Smack Talking

    • Allowed to talk back to the ref



For more information on rules and age group modifications please visit the ISWA website  

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