Carlin Kennelly (right)
lifts his opponent to
finish a double-leg takedown.
Freestyle is one of two styles of wrestling practiced in Olympic and
international amateur competition. In freestyle, under international rules
nearly any fair hold, trip or throw is permitted. Wrestlers are
encouraged to maintain the offensive, and can be penalized for failing to
do so (passivity). High-amplitude throws are encouraged, and an
additional point is awarded for takedowns where one wrestler is taken from
his feet directly to his back. Wrestlers are cautioned for
irregularities, and three cautions mean disqualification. The bout is
supervised by a referee on the mat, a mat chairman, a judge and a
timekeeper. A fall is awarded when one contestant holds both of his
opponent's shoulders to the mat for a length of time determined by the
competitors' age group. Freestyle and Greco-Roman
wrestling (the other international amateur style) are great complements,
one reinforcing the other. In the United States, freestyle is the
more popular of the two, due to its similarity to
folkstyle, because attacks below the waist are permitted.
Freestyle wrestling appeared in the 1904 Olympic games. The first World
Championship took place in Helsinki in 1951.
William Kilpack (in white and blue)
his opponent with an Olympic lift.
Greco-Roman is one of two styles of wrestling practiced in Olympic and
international amateur competition. In Greco-Roman, the legs may not be
used in any way to obtain a fall, and no holds may be taken below the
waist. Other rules and procedures are the same as those for freestyle
wrestling, the other international amateur style.
In the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece, wrestling was an integral part of
the Pentathlon, a form of all-around athletic championship featuring
running, jumping, wrestling and throwing both discus and javelin. In
imitation of classical Greek and Roman representations of the sport,
modern Greco-Roman wrestling was created in France in the early 19th
Century. It became favored in Scandinavian countries from 1912–1948, after
which the Soviet Union and other countries came to the fore.