What to Expect

What to Expect at Wrestling Practice

  • Wrestlers should wear clean t-shirts and comfortable athletic shorts.  Choose clothing free of pockets, buttons, zippers, or loops.  No jewelry should be worn.
  • Wrestling shoes are not required but are recommended.  They may wear tennis shoes as long as they are clean and not worn into the wrestling room from the parking lot.  No street shoes are permitted on the wrestling mats.  We want to keep them as clean as possible.
  • Please check your wrestlers fingernails before each practice and trim as required.
  • Practices normally begin with warm-up and conditioning exercises such as stretching, running, push-ups and sit-ups.  Next will be technique demonstrations by the coaches followed by practicing the demonstrated moves with a partner.  Each child will be paired with another child of comparable weight and skill.  Practices may include live wrestling or games.
  • Wrestlers are expected to listen and behave during practice so as not to distract the coaches and other wrestlers.

What to Expect at a Youth Wrestling Tournament

  • Most tournaments have a 4-man round-robin format grouping wrestlers together by grade and weight and sometimes by level of experience. This grouping of wrestlers is known as the bracket.
  • Tournament personnel are typically filled by volunteer parents and high school students.  The referees are usually high school wrestlers doing their best.  Always display good sportsmanship win or lose.
  • Parents and fans wait in the stands until their wrestler is called to the mat for his/her matches.
  • Most tournaments begin with Pre-K and work up through the remaining grade levels.
  • Most tournaments charge an entry fee for spectators.

What to do when you get to a tournament:

  1. Register your wrestler and pay at the door.
  2. Go to designated room for weigh-in and skin check.
  3. Go to gym and warm-up on the mats.
  4. Listen for wrestler’s grade to be called then report to the staging area.
  5. Go with your wrestler and others in the bracket to your assigned mat where the matches will take place. Be sure to stay near the mat and listen for your wrestler’s name. Numerous brackets will wrestle on each mat to give the kids time to rest in between matches. Your wrestler needs to be ready to go when his/her name is called.
  6. Go to the awards table after your bracket is completed to collect your award.
  7. Cheer on your teammates.

Folkstyle Wrestling Rules

Object: The objective of wrestling is to pin your opponent’s shoulders to the mat for ~2 seconds. A pin (a.k.a. fall) ends the match immediately. However, if neither wrestlers is pinned, the winner is the wrestler with the most points at the end of the match. There are five ways to score points in a folkstyle wrestling match: Takedown, Escape, Reversal, Near-Fall, and Penalty.

Length: Typically three 1 minute periods. Older children may wrestle three 1½ minute periods.

1st Period: Starts from the standing or “Neutral” position.
2nd Period: Choice of position is determined by a coin toss. The winner may choose top or bottom in “referee’s” position or may opt to start in the neutral position.  The winner may also defer their choice until the 3rd period.
3rd Period: Choice of position is given to the wrestler who lost the coin toss before the second period. The same options apply.

There are five ways to score points in a wrestling match

1. Takedown – (2 points) You score two points for taking your opponent down to the mat and controlling him/her.
2. Escape – (1 point) You score one point for getting away or getting to a neutral position when your opponent has you down on the mat.
3. Reversal – (2 points) You score two points when your opponent has you down on the mat and you come from underneath and gain control of your opponent.
4. Near Fall (Back Points) – (2 or 3 points) You get near fall points when you almost but not quite get your opponent pinned. A near fall (near pin) is when…

-both shoulders are held for two seconds within four inches of the mat, or…
-one shoulder touches the mat and the other shoulder is at a 45 degree angle coming down to the mat, or…
-the wrestler is held in a high bridge or back on both elbows.If a near fall lasts for two seconds, you get 2 points. If a near fall lasts for 5 seconds, you get 3 points.

5. Penalty Points – (1 or 2 points) Rarely awarded in youth wrestling. Your opponent is awarded points if you commit illegal holds, technical violations, unsportsmanlike conduct, stalling, incorrect starting position, or false start.

The first and second time you are penalized, your opponent is awarded one point. The third time you are penalized, your opponent is awarded two points. The fourth time you are penalized, you are disqualified. (Except for illegal starting position or false start – you are cautioned twice, then one point awarded for each infraction, but you will not be disqualified. In the event of Flagrant Misconduct, you are ejected from the match on the first offense, you lose the match, and 3 team points are deducted).

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