Wrestling Rules



Wyoming weight classifications are the following: 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220, Heavyweight (285).

All wrestlers will be certified by a doctor at the minimum weight class prior to January 15. A wrestler may not wrestle below this weight and can only wrestle one weight class above. the weight. Any wrestler not certified by a doctor before this date will not be able to compete for the remainder of the season. Any method of quick weight reduction (sweat boxes, whirlpools, plastic type of suit, and diuretics) is prohibited and shall be disqualified from competition. A 2 pound growth allowance is added to the weight class after January 15.

Weigh Ins
Wrestlers will weigh in at the home site. At duals, 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 can not leave the weigh in area and can not do any exercise to lose weight. Tournaments will provide the wrestler 1-2 hours before competition to make weight. During consecutive days of competition, there shall be a 1 pound additional allowance to each weight class. All contestant failing to make weight will be ineligible to wrestle.

Weight Control Program
Wyoming’s weight control program will involve the wrestler, parents, coaches, athletic trainer, and doctor. This group of people will determine the proper weight class for each individual based on body fat percentage, work ethnic, and dedication to the program. The wrestling association recommends body fat percentage is 7%.

The Wrestler’s Uniform and Grooming
All wrestlers will wear a close fitting, one-piece uniform called a singlet. The wrestlers equipment is headgear, heelless shoes with shoelaces taped, and knee pads. Any other equipment must be checked before the match by the referee. All wrestlers must be clean shaven, although a mustache is permitted. Sideburns cannot be lower than the earlobe, hair must be above an shirt collar in the back, and above the bottom of the earlobe. No jewelry is allowed.

The Referee
The referee has full control of the match. His decisions, which are based upon the National Federation High School Wrestling Rules Book, are final. The referee supervises weigh-ins, he start and ends each period, awards points, issues warnings, and at the end of each match, he declares the winner. While the referee oversees all aspects of the match, his primary concern is the health and safety of the wrestlers.

During the match, the referee will indicate which wrestler has the position of advantage (which wrestler is in control) by pointing to him. When a wrestler makes a move for which he is to receive points, the referee will hold up fingers to indicate how many points the wrestler is to be awarded. (If that wrestler is representing the home team, he holds up the hand with the green band on his wrist; if the wrestler is representing the visiting team, he holds up the hand with the red band.)

During the match, the referee must make sure that the wrestlers stay in-bounds (in the circle). When a supporting part of both wrestlers is out-of-bounds, the referee stops the wrestling and the wrestles return to the center of the mat. There they start in the same positions they were in when they went out-of-bounds.

The official scorer is seated at the scorer’s table. He records points as indicated by the referee.

The Length of the Match
High school matches will consist of 3 two minute periods. Once a wrestler loses a match in a tournament, the first period will be 1 minute. If the score is tied after the match, an overtime period will be used to declare a winner. The first overtime period is from the neutral position. The first takedown will declare the winner. If the score remains tied after the period, a second overtime will declare the winner. The referee will flip a coin and the winner will either take top, bottom, or defer the choice. First score will declare the winner or the top man will win the match.

Starting the Match
Wrestlers will report to the score keeper and then enter the mat. Wrestlers will shake hands and begin the match from the feet (neutral position). The home wrestler will wear green leg band and visitors will wear red.

Wrestling Positions
While the first period begins with the wrestlers in the neutral position, a coin toss determines which wrestler gets his choice of starting positions for the second and third periods. If the home wrestler gets to choose his starting position second period (top, bottom, or neutral), the visiting wrestler gets to choose third period. (The wrestler who chooses second period has the option of deferring his choice until third period.)

Neutral - 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 the green starting line and the visiting wrestler has one foot on the red starting line.

From the neutral position, wrestlers will change levels to create an opening in their opponent’s defenses, and they will try to initiate an attack and score a takedown by using setups like the collar tie, wrist tie, and arm drag.

Defense (bottom wrestler) - If the wrestler is down, he is the bottom wrestler, and he begins in the defensive position, also known as the position of disadvantage. In the defensive wrestling position, the wrestler is at the center of the circle, on his hands and knees. It is important for the defensive wrestler to control his opponent’s hands, to be very aggressive, and to go for an escape, sit-out, switch, or a roll as quickly as possible.

Offense (top wrestler) - If the wrestler is up, he is the top wrestler, and he begins in the offensive position. This is also known as the position of advantage. In the offensive wrestling position, the wrestler is at the right or left side of his opponent with at least one knee on the mat. The offensive wrestler’s head is on or above the spinal column of his opponent’s back and his arm is placed loosely around the defensive wrestler’s body.

The offensive wrestler can also position himself on either side or to the rear of his opponent, supporting all of his weight on both feet, one knee, or both knees. In this optional offensive position, he places his hands on his opponent’s back between the neck and waist.

Throughout the match, wrestlers are awarded points for the following moves: takedown, escape, reversal, and near fall. The referee can also award points to a wrestler when an illegal hold has been used by his opponent or when his opponent is stalling.

Takedown (2 points): A takedown occurs when either wrestler, starting from the neutral position, gains control of his opponent on the mat. Takedowns can be accomplished by attacking an opponent’s legs or by attacking the opponent’s upper body. The wrestler will use movement, ties, set ups, and shots (takedowns) to attack the opponent’s defense. Wrestlers will look for these moves to takedown their opponent: single leg, double leg, high crotch, firemans, and throws.

Escape (1 point): The defensive wrestler is awarded one point for an escape when he moves to a neutral position. The stand up is the most commonly used escape.

Reversal (2 points): The defensive wrestler is awarded 2 points for a reversal when he gains control of his opponent. This may take place while the defensive wrestler is either on his feet or on the mat. The switch is a common reversal.

Near Fall (2 or 3 points): Points for a near fall are awarded when the offensive wrestler has control of his opponent in a near pinning position. The occurs when the defensive wrestler’s shoulders are restrained four or fewer inches from the mat, one shoulder is touching the mat and the other is held at a forty-five degree angle to the mat, or when the wrestler is in a high bridge or supported on both elbows. If the near fall criteria is met for a period of two consecutive seconds, a two-point near falls earned; if the near fall criteria is net for five continuous seconds, a three-point near fall is earned.

END of the MATCH
A match ends when one of the following occurs: a pin (fall), a technical fall, or time expires.
Pin (Fall): A pin is awarded when a wrestler holds any part of both of his opponent’s shoulders (or scapulas) to the mat for two continuous seconds. Common pinning holds are halves, cradles, arm bars, and leg moves.

Technical Fall: When a wrestler has earned a 15 point advantage over his opponent, the referee will end the match.

Time Expired: If there has not been a fall or a technical fall by the end of the third period, the winner of the match is determined by the number of individual points scored. The wrestler with the most points wins the match by decision. If the score is tied at the end of the three regulation periods, an additional, overtime period is added.

Once the match is over, the wrestlers return to the 10-foot circle, shakes hands with the opponent, and the referee declares the winner by raising his hand. The winning wrestler’s team is awarded the following points:

Dual Meets
Decision (wrestler win by fewer than 8 points) 3 points
Major Decision (wrestler wins by 8-14 points) 4 points
Technical Fall (15 or more points) 5 points
Fall (pin) 6 points

Decision (wrestler win by fewer than 8 points) 1/2 points
Major Decision (wrestler wins by 8-14 points) 1 points
Technical Fall (15 or more points) 1 1/2 points
Fall (pin) 2 points

Teams also receive points when the opposing team has forfeited, defaulted, or been disqualified.

Default: a wrestler is unable to continue wrestling for any reason.

Disqualification: a wrestler is removed from participation for flagrant misconduct, unsportsmanlike conduct, or for an accumulation of penalties.

Forfeit: the wrestler fails to appear on the mat ready to compete or he fails to make weight.

In a dual meet, 6 points are awarded for a forfeit, default, or disqualification; in a tournament, 2 points are awarded for each.

In a tournament, additional points are added for placement (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.), depending on how many places are receiving awards.


Illegal Holds
Illegal holds 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:

Slam - lifting and returning an opponent to the mat with unnecessary force.

Hammerlock - pulling the opponent’s arm too high on the back or pulling the arm away from the back.

Headlock - arms or hands are locked around the opponent’s head without encircling an arm.

Full Nelson - arms are under both arms of the opponent and behind the head.

Other illegal holds 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.

Potentially dangerous holds occur when a body part is forced to the limit of the normal range of movement. The referee will caution a wrestler against forcing a hold into an illegal position; however, he will not stop the wrestling action unless it is necessary to prevent an injury. Potentially dangerous holds include the double wristlock, scissors, to holds, headlocks, and the guillotine.

Technical Violations
Technical violations may cause the offending wrestler to be penalized one point. The referee may give cautions (warnings) about some technical violations, but not all. Technical violations include assuming an incorrect starting position, a false start, the grasping of clothing or headgear, interlocking hands, and leaving the wrestling area without first receiving the referee’s permission to do so.

Conduct Infractions
When a referee witnesses one of the following conduct infractions, he will take the action specified.

Unnecessary Roughness - physical acts that exceed normal aggressiveness. An offending wrestler may be penalized one point.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct - physical and nonphysical acts that can occur before, during, or after match. They include failure to comply with the directions of the referee, shoving, swearing, taunting, baiting an opponent, throwing headgear, and spitting. An offending wrestler is penalized one point.

Flagrant Misconduct - any physical or nonphysical act occurring before, during, or after a match that the referee considers to be serious enough to disqualify a contestant from a match or tournament event. These acts include biting, hitting, head butting, elbowing, and kicking an opponent.

Stalling - Each wrestler is required to make an honest attempt to stay within the 10-foot circle and wrestle aggressively at all times. When a referee recognizes stalling (e.g., the wrestler is playing the edge of the mat, avoiding contact, not trying to improve his position or secure a takedown), he will warn the offender. Further violations are penalized.

Penalties and warnings (cautions) are cumulative throughout the match and overtime. Penalty points are awarded to the offender’s opponent. He is awarded one point for the first and second offenses, and two points for the third offense. On the fourth offense, the offending wrestler is disqualified.

Injury time-outs are cumulative throughout the match and overtime. A wrestler is limited to two time-outs totaling a maximum of 1 1/2 minutes. The number of bleeding time-outs is determined by the referee, who, if necessary, will stop the match. If the bleeding is not controlled within five minutes, the match is terminated and the opponent is awarded the match by default.


Bye: When there are not 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.

Decision: a win by the wrestler who has scored the most points. It is a regular decision if the winner’s score exceeds the loser’s score by fewer than eight points.

Dual Meet: a competition between two schools in which there are a series of matches, one in each of the 13 or 14 weight classes.

Seed: Because of their success in previous competition, seeded wrestlers are acknowledged as superior wrestlers. Seeds are usually selected according to criteria established by the tournament director and/or by the voting of participating team coaches.

Seven Basic Wrestling Skills: the US Wrestling Federation has divided wrestling skills into the following categories:
Posture - having good body position in stances and during moves and counterattacks.

Motion - keeping proper position and balance when defending and attacking.

Changing Levels - raising and lowering the body to attack and defend.

Penetration - moving forward to penetrate an opponent’s defenses and to gain a take down

Lifting - lifting an opponent off the mat.

Back-step - the action (footwork, level changes, etc.) taken to begin back-step throws (headlock, hiplock, etc.)

Back-arching - throwing an opponent from his feet to his back

Stalemate: two contestants are interlocked in a position other than a pinning situation, and neither wrestler is able to improve his position. The referee start the wrestlers again in the center of the circle.

Supporting Points: the parts of the wrestler’s body that are supporting most of his weight. These may include the feet, knees, side of thighs, buttocks, and sometimes hands.

Tournament: a competition which involves 3 or more schools. There are a number of different ways to organize and conduct a tournament.