Wrestling Points of Emphasis - 2017-18

By NFHS on July 20, 2017

Stalemate/Fleeing the Mat
There are occasions that during a wrestling match the contestants are interlocked in a position other than a pinning situation in which neither wrestler can improve his/her respective position or gain an advantage. As soon as that situation is identified, the referee shall stop the match and wrestling shall continue. Hands locked around one leg of an opponent without the intent of taking him/her down or preventing the opponent from scoring is considered stalling. There is no passive wrestling. Wrestling is an aggressive endeavor and should be coached and executed in that manner. Regardless of the position, top, bottom or neutral, stalling is not acceptable. The referee shall be firm in enforcing the letter and spirit of the rule and consistently penalize any stalling infraction without hesitation.

Conversely, fleeing the mat to avoid wrestling at any time during a match is not permitted and will be penalized. Wrestlers shall make every attempt to stay inbounds and compete. Leaving the mat without permission from the referee or forcing an opponent out of bounds is a technical violation.

Illegality of Straight Back Salto and Suplay
Risk minimization of the wrestlers is paramount. With the advent of new and innovative holds/maneuvers influencing our sport from other levels of combat sports, grappling and various martial arts, we have to remain vigilant for any holds/maneuvers used in a way that endangers life and limb of our students. Any act that exceeds typical aggressive wrestling becomes unnecessary roughness. The use of a full straight back salto and straight back suplay are two examples that when applied (regardless of which body part hits the mat first) are illegal holds and should be stopped immediately.

Consistency of the Start of Each Match
Consistency of the start of the match is imperative for the wrestlers, coaches and spectators. There is a uniformity that creates a familiarity for the wrestling world. Knowing what to expect each and every time speaks to the professionalism of the referee and the importance of conducting the match in a professional businesslike manner. The referee starts the match from the neutral position, the wrestlers shall be between the referee and the scorer’s table. The referee will glance at the scorer’s table to make sure that they are ready and then indicate to the wrestlers to shake hands (not hand slaps). After the handshake, the referee
moves in partially between the two wrestlers to discourage a false start. Then the referee will blow his/her whistle while simultaneously giving the signal to start the match. Understanding the positioning for the referee in relationship to the two wrestlers and the scorer’s table is critical to have and necessary in maintaining control of the match. For officials, they have to hone their skills in being consistent with the start of each wrestling match they work.


• Three Regular Periods of Wrestling

• No winner, one minute, Sudden Victory, Start in Neutral unless Injury Time Out Rule

• Flip Disk if Still Tied

• Wrestle Tie-Breaker 1

• Wrestle Tie-Breaker 2

• If Still Tied, First Point Scored has Choice UNLESS Unsportsmanlike Conduct has occurred (2008 rules change)

• One final 30-second Ultimate Tie-Breaker SUDDEN VICTORY PERIOD

• Quickly verify that overtime (sudden victory period) is needed.

• Remember that all penalties, cautions, warnings, time-out and injury time are cumulative throughout the regular match and the overtime period. • A fall or disqualification terminates any of the overtime periods, match is over.

• No rest between regulation match and sudden victory period.

• In sudden victory one minute period, wrestling starts in the neutral position. (Note: the only thing that could change this would be the second injury timeout)

• The wrestler that scores the first points in the sudden victory period is declared the winner TIE-BREAKER 1 & 2

• If no winner is declared at the end of the sudden victory period, then two 30 second tie-breaker periods will be wrestled.

• Both periods will be wrestled unless, disqualification or a fall occurs.

• The referee shall flip the disk to determine choice for the starting position of the first tie-breaker period. Choice may be top, bottom or defer. NO NEUTRAL!

• At the conclusion of the first tie-breaker period the opponent will have the choice of top, bottom.

• Which ever wrestler has scored the most points in the two 30 second tie-breaker periods will be declared the winner.

• Remember if a fall or disqualification occurs in either of the 30 second tie-breaker periods the match is over.



• Should the score be tied at the end of the two 30 second tie-breaker periods, one ultimate 30 second tie-breaker period will be wrestled.

• Choice for position in the 30 second ultimate tie-breaker period will be given to the wrestler that scored first point(s) in the 6 minute regulation match. Double stalling points or simultaneous penalties shall be considered as no points for the purpose of choice in the ultimate tie-breaker.

• If no points were scored, choice will be determined by a flip of the disk. They must choose top, bottom or defer.

• The wrestler who scores the first point(s) during the ultimate tie-breaker will be declared the winner.

• If no points are scored in the ultimate tie-breaker period, the offensive wrestler will be declared the winner and one match point shall be added to the offensive wrestler’s score.

• Remember a fall or disqualification terminates any of the overtime periods.

• Remember that the Ultimate tie-breaker period is different than the rest of the match.

• The goal of the top wrestler is to control the bottom wrestler and the goal of the bottom wrestler is to get away or score.

• Controlled wrestling should not be confused as stalling in this situation only.

• There would be times when the top wrestler could be considered stalling, like grabbing a leg and hanging on.

• Ultimate Tiebreaker Period stalling will be called differently as the objective is for the top wrestler to control the bottom wrestler and the bottom wrestler to score.

• Controlled wrestling by the top wrestler will not be considered stalling during the ultimate tiebreaker period. Examples of what would not be control wrestling:

            o Repeatedly grasping leg o Stalemate first, then

            o Stall warning (or penalty)

            o Rear standing position without attempting to return opponent to mat

            o Stalemate first, then

            o Warning (or penalty) for stalling

            o Lifting opponent into air

            o Stalemate first, then

            o Warning (or penalty) for stalling