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Wrestling Scoring Summary

Posted by Jeffrey Pape on


If you’ll be returning to the mat in the fall after some time away, or if you’re just starting out, it will be a good idea to get back up to speed on the rules involved with scoring in this highly skilled sport. Here are some reminders for you to bookmark and return to until you have it all down.

Collegiate Wrestling Objective

You know that the ultimate goal of all types of wrestling is to pin your opponent – on his back with his shoulders on the floor for 2 seconds. If this is impossible throughout the match, then the athlete with the most points wins.

How Points Are Scored

2 or 3 points – near fall: If you are nearly able to pin your opponent, you receive 2 or 3 points depending on the length of time you hold him down (2 points for 2 seconds, 3 points for 5 seconds). A near fall is determined to be when both your opponent’s shoulders are held 4 inches or less from the mat, when the opponent is held on the back or in a high bridge position on both elbows, or when one of the opponent’s shoulders is touching the mat and the other is at a 45-degree angle coming down to the mat.

2 points – reversal: If your opponent has you on the mat and you’re able to free yourself and gain control, you’ve completed a reversal and are awarded 2 points.

2 points – takedown: When you take your opponent down to the mat and have control, you score 2 points.

1 or 2 points – penalty: If your opponent commits an infraction, you can receive points. You get 1 point each for your opponent’s first 2 penalizations, and 2 points for the third. In general, after the fourth infraction, your opponent will be disqualified. Penalty points can be awarded for the following infractions by your opponent:

  • Incorrect starting position or false start
  • Technical violations, such as grabbing the opponent’s wrestling headgear or wrestling singlet
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct, unnecessary roughness, or flagrant misconduct
  • Illegal holds
  • Stalling

1 point – escape: If you escape or return to a neutral position when your opponent has had you down on the mat, you receive 1 point.