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Freestyle & Greco-Roman Wrestling


Freestyle Wrestling
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.

Greco-Roman Wrestling

Greco-Roman Wrestling
William Kilpack (in white and blue) throws
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 19121948, after which the Soviet Union and other countries came to the fore.


Petition to Change the Rules of High School and College Wrestling to
International Standard: FILA