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How Wrestling is Scored

Wrestling isn’t a popular spectator sport for many students because of a general lack of knowledge people have about it. Understanding the scoring system is a good way to become more familiar with the sport.

The main objective in the sport of wrestling is to put your opponent on his back and keep him there–to pin him. A pin, or fall, is when both of a wrestler’s shoulders make contact with the wrestling mat and are held there for two seconds. When a wrestler pins his/her opponent the match is ended and he wins the match. If neither wrestler pins the other, the victor of the match is determined by whichever wrestler has more points when the time in the match expires.


There are five ways to score points:

1. Takedown – (2 Points) A takedown is awarded when a wrestler has taken down his/her opponent to the wrestling mat and has control. Control usually means that none of the wrestler’s limbs are being held by his/her opponent, and the wrestler is behind his/her opponent keeping him/her from getting up off the mat.

2. Escape – (1 Point) An escape is awarded when a wrestler gets away from his/her opponent and gets into the neutral position.

3. Reversal – (2 Points) A reversal is when a wrestler goes from the bottom position to the top position reversing positions with his/her opponent.

4. Near Fall – (2 or 3 Points) Near fall points are awarded when a wrestler nearly pins his opponent. Near fall points are awarded when:
-The wrestler holds both of his opponent’s shoulders within four inches of the mat for two seconds.
-The wrestler holds one of his opponent’s shoulders on the mat and also keeps his opponent’s other shoulder at a 45 degree angle to the mat.
-The wrestler holds his opponent in a high bridge or back on both elbows.
-If the wrestler on his back gets injured during the period where near fall points are being awarded, another point is tacked on to the points scored from the near fall itself.

5. Penalty Points – (1 or 2 Points) Penalty points can be awarded when a wrestler commits an infraction. Most start with a warning, followed by one point, two points, and disqualification if the infraction is committed a fourth time. Although there are small sport related infractions, like lining up with the wrong foot, the call is always at the discretion of the referee. If a wrestler does something like throw a punch he will forfeit the match.

Another thing to note is that wrestling requires managers that are in charge of keeping track of the scoring in each individual match that their team has. If there is a dispute in the score of a match the managers from the two teams participating in the match will compare their scores in order to resolve the dispute.

Wrestling can seem difficult to comprehend but once the basics are learned it shouldn’t be too difficult. Knowing the scoring system of the sport should help to make the sport more approachable for those that don’t know a whole lot about it.

The East wrestling team heads out to Shawnee Mission Northwest this weekend for the Sunflower League tournament.

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Alex May

Alex joined staff at the beginning of his junior year. He is currently the business and public relations manager. In his free time, he enjoys lacrosse, football, wrestling, and getting big. Read Full »

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