Wrestling Styles

The most common wrestling style in the United States for student athletes is Folkstyle wrestling. However, there are two other styles that are more commonly practiced and contested on an international level – Greco-Roman and Freestyle. When the folkstyle season ends is typically when freestyle and Greco begin, and training in these styles is the best way to improve and become a more well-rounded wrestler.
Folk Style

Folkstyle wrestling, also known as scholastic wrestling, is a style of amateur wrestling practiced at the High school level and below. In essence, it is Collegiate wrestling with some slight modifications. In scholastic wrestling, points are awarded based on control of your opponent, or being in the position of advantage. Scoring can be accomplished by takedowns, escapes, reversals near falls, and penalty. The main difference between folk style and freestyle in the ability to make moves from the bottom in a folkstyle competition. To pin your opponent your must hold their back to the mat for 2 seconds. During a folkstyle competition, you can only lock your hands while trying to pin or complete a takedown – clasping while riding an opponent is illegal. Folk style matches can also be won by Technical Superiority, whoever finishes the match with the most points wins but matches will end when one wrestler gains a 15 point lead.
Free Style

Freestyle wrestling is a style of amateur wrestling that is practiced throughout the world and is one of the two styles of wrestling contested at the Olympic Games. The main difference between folk and freestyle is that a freestyle wrestler does not try to perform and maneuvers while on the bottom, besides trying to not get turned, referred to as “par terre”. Like all wrestling styles, the goal is to pin your opponent by holding their back to the mat. In freestyle however, you may lock your hand at any point during the match. The wrestler with the most points at the end of the match will win, however, a match can be won early when one wrestler has gained a lead of 6 points.

Greco-Roman wrestling is practiced worldwide and has been contested in the Olympic Games for over 100 years. This style of wrestling differs from the others in that competitors are not allowed to make holds below the waist. This means that wrestlers must rely on throws, arm drags, head locks, bear hugs, and suplexes as a means of taking their opponent to the mat, tripping an opponent is restricted. Alternately, a wrestler on the defensive can not hook or grab legs to avoid being thrown. Once on the ground, a wrestler must then also find a way to turn the opponents back to the mat without using their legs.
Wrestling explained for beginners & parents
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A Wrestling Parents Survival Guide​​

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

Number 2: 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…

Number 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: Bring a stadium seat for the bleachers! Or avoid bleacher butt by keeping one pillow in the wrestling bag for every butt that’s going to be in those bleachers for the meet. Grandparents especially appreciate your thoughtfulness on behalf of their tails!

Number 7: 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 8: 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 9: Keep a pair of nail clippers in your wrestling bag. Wrestling referees have a “thing” about wrestlers with long fingernails!!

Number 10: Don’t bother the coaches during a match (as mentioned above, they’re a little high strung!) When they come to you after the match, it’s not to talk about your wrestler, but to ask you for aspirin.

Number 11: Tournaments – be prepared – they run from sunup to sundown! Don’t expect to see the light of day! Bring a cushion to sit on, a book to read, a picnic lunch, a cooler and a lawn chair in order to sit out in the hallway when the gym becomes a sauna of hot, sweaty, and smelly wrestlers.

Number 12: 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, and always have your phone ready to record.

Don’t impose your ambitions or expectations on your child. Remember that wrestling is your child’s activity. Improvements and progress occur at different rates for each individual.

Don’t judge your child’s progress based on the performance of other athletes and don’t push them based on what you think they should be doing. Be supportive no matter what. There is only one question to ask your child, “Did you have fun?” If meets and practices are not fun you should not force them to participate.

Don’t coach your child. Your job is to support, love and hug your child no matter what. Conflicting advice and criticism work against the coach’s efforts and only serve to confuse and demotivate your child. If you feel you have the experience and ability to contribute to the team as a coach, volunteer your services through the proper channels.

Do get involved. Your club needs your help and support. Attend parent and club meetings to find out how you can help. And most importantly, show your child that you care by attending as many meets and tournaments as possible.

Do acknowledge your child’s fears. Their opponents appear to be much more intimidating through their eyes than through the eyes of a grown-up. Consider their perspective and don’t expect them to compete with the confidence and mental toughness of a seasoned expert.

Don’t criticize the officials. Unless you have been there, you have no idea how challenging officiating can be. Expect that in some matches your child could lose as a result of an error on the part of an official or score keeper. That’s life. Help your child to understand that the official does their best to score the match fairly, and that it is important that we respect the ruling of the officials regardless of how we feel about the situation.
“Once you've watched your kid wrestle, everything else in life is easy”
Wrestler's mom