Freestyle Wrestling Rules

Want to know about freestyle wrestling rules? Originating in Great Britain and the U.S., freestyle wrestling is an internationally accepted amateur wrestling discipline. The main goal is to pin the opponent on floor or to win points.

  1. Governing Body.  Freestyle wrestling, like any other sport, obeys the “rules of the game” and, since 1921, modern wresting rules are structured, modified and controlled by International Federation of Associated Wrestling styles (FILA).
  2. Enforcement. Enforcement of the rules is the responsibility of the organizing committee which established prior to the tournament. Freestyle wrestling rules are frequently modified and must be strictly obeyed by the wrestlers, referees and coaches.
  3. Designated officials. A referee, a judge and a mat chairman are the only designated officials for all competitions, and officials and wrestlers must wear a homologated dress approved by FILA.
  4. Repercussion for rule violations. If you are found in violation of the rules, you are suspended from the competition.
  5. Competitor’s license. To compete in freestyle wrestling matches, you must hold an international competitor’s license and tournaments are categorized based on your age and weight.
  6. Weigh-in. Freestyle wrestling rules strictly regulate rapid weight reduction techniques such as excessive exercise, sauna and calorie restriction.  Physical fitness is examined by a physician and the referee checks your dressing and weigh-in 30 minutes before the match.
  7. Bout periods. FILA rules clearly define the structure, duration and format of tournaments. A bout in wrestling will consist of three periods, each having two-minute durations. Between the periods there will be a break for 30 seconds.
  8. Ordered holds. At the end of the two-minute period, the ordered hold determines the winner of a period ending 0-0. The wrestler who wins the first point becomes the winner. The maximum time for ordered hold is 30 minutes.
  9. Moves. In freestyle wrestling, you can use your arms and legs for your own defense, or to pin your opponent on floor. Tripping the opponent by grasping his legs is also permissible. A scissor-lock with feet crossed on the head, body or neck is not allowed. 
  10. Winner. The wrestler who wins two periods is declared the winner.  In a freestyle wrestling competition, the final winner is determined by various rounds including the qualification, elimination, repackage round and finals.
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