The objective of wrestling is to pin your opponent's shoulders to the mat for 2 seconds. A pin (a.k.a. fall) ends the match immediately. However, if neither wrestlers is pinned, the winner is the wrestler with the most points at the end of the match. There are five ways to score points in a folkstyle wrestling match: Takedown, Escape, Reversal, Near-Fall, and Penalty.



Score Abbreviation Points Description
Takedown T 2 From a netural (standing) position, a wrestler gains control over opponent down on the mat, while the supporting parts of either wrestler are inbounds.
Common takedowns include single legs, double legs, shrugs, duck unders, fireman's carries, high crotches, arm drags, headlocks, and bodylocks.
Escape E 1 When a defensive / controlled (bottom) wrestler gains a neutral position and opponent has lost control, while at least one wrestler is inbounds.
Common escapes include stand ups and sit outs.
Reversal R 2 When the defensive / controlled (bottom) wrestler gains control of opponent, either on the mat or in a rear standing position, while the supporting points of either wrestler are inbounds.
Common reversals include switches, rolls, and hip heists.
Near Fall
(a.k.a. back points)
    A near fall criteria exists when the offensive wrestler:
  • holds any part of both shoulders of the defensive wrestler within four inches of the mat;
  • holds one shoulder of the defensive wrestler to the mat with the other shoulder held at an angle of 45 degrees or less; or
  • holds the defensive wrestler in a high bridge or on both elbows exposing his back to the mat.
NF2 2 If a near fall criteria is met for two continuous seconds, 2 points are awarded when the defensive wrestler is out of the predicament.
NF3 3 If a near fall criteria is met for five continuous seconds, a 3 point near fall is awarded when the defensive wrestler is out of the near fall situation.
NF4 4 Match is stopped to ensure safety of bottom wrestler. It usually occurs when bottom wrestler appears to be hurt or in pain.
Fall (a.k.a. Pin) F n/a When the offensive wrestler holds opponent's shoulders in contact with the mat for a full two-second count.
Common pinning combinations include half nelsons, three quarter nelsons, arm bars, cradles, and legs (e.g., double leg grapevine & guillotine).
Penalty P 1 or 2
(see Penalty Chart)
A wrestler is awarded point(s) for technical violations or infractions of the rules committed by his opponent. These points are awarded according to the penalty chart.



Won by Meet Tournament
Fall (a.k.a. Pin) 6 Points 2 Points
Forfeit, Default,
or Disqualification
6 Points 2 Points
Technical Fall
won by 15 or more
5 Points 1.5 Points
Major Decision
won by 8-14 points
4 Points 1 Points
won by less than 8 points
3 Points 0 Points
Draw 2 Points n/a
In tournament competition, each time a wrestler advances in the Championship bracket he scores an additional 2 team points, each time a wrestler advances in the consolation bracket he scores an additional team point. Also, a wrestler scores team points for placing in the tournament as follows:
1st -14 pts, 2nd - 10 pts, 3rd - 7 pts, and 4th - 4 pts.
1st -16 pts, 2nd - 12 pts, 3rd - 9 pts, 4th - 7 pts, 5th - 5 pts, 6th - 3 pts, 7th - 2 pts, and 8th - 1 pt.



Infraction Warning First Second Third Fourth
Illegal Holds No 1 point 1 point 2 points Disqualification
Unnecessary Roughness No 1 point 1 point 2 points Disqualification
Unsportsmanlike conduct No 1 point 1 point 2 points Disqualification
Stalling Yes 1 point 1 point 2 points Disqualification
Technical Violations No 1 point 1 point 2 points Disqualification

Technical violations include avoiding wrestling by leaving the mat, grabbing clothing or headgear, incorrect starting position, locked hands.
(A wrestler can lock hands around his opponent's body or legs only in pinning combinations, takedown situations, or when opponent is standing on both feet.)

Technical violations for false start or incorrect starting position are 1 point penalty for each infraction following two cautions. This infraction does not count toward disqualification.

Unsportsmanlike conduct - No warning, deduct 1 team point for first offense. On 2nd penalty deduct 1 team point, disqualify, and remove from premises. Includes coaches and nonparticipants.

Flagrant Misconduct - No Warning. Disqualify and deduct 2 team points. Remove from premises. Includes contestants, coaches, and non-participants.