International Rules of Competition

Translators Note
. . . this rulebook is an accurate translation of the rules promulgated by FILA (The International Amateur Wrestling Federation). Certain passages were inserted where the AAU Youth Program rules differ from those of the International Organization. 

This translation differs in some instances from the English rulebook printed by FILA. Since the French text only is considered as official in any event, an effort was made to render the translation more readable rather than use often confusing literal translations. This translation was prepared by individuals who are not merely fluent in French, but who are wrestlers familiar with the sport of wrestling and its unique usage's of language.

These rules were drawn up incorporating all circulars and bulletins distributed by FILA, as well as proposed rules modifications used at the Atlanta Olympic Games.

They supersede all previous provisions of the rules of Wrestling and represent the only rules that should be applied.


Wrestling, like all other sports, obeys rules which constitute the "Laws of the Game" and define its practice, the aim of which is to "pin" the opponent or to win on the basis of points earned.

These regulations apply to the styles recognized by modern wrestling, the Greco-Roman style and Freestyle. Basically, they differ as follows:

a. In Greco-Roman wrestling, it is formally forbidden to grasp the opponent below the hips, to trip him, or to actively use the legs in the execution of any action.

b. In Freestyle wrestling, on the contrary, it is permissible to grasp the legs of the opponent, to trip him, and to use the legs actively in the execution of any action.

c. Double nelsons are strictly forbidden in women's wrestling.

Frequently modified and always subject to modification, the rules set forth herein must be known and accepted by all. They call upon those who practice the sport to fight totally and universally, with complete honesty and fair play.

NOTE . . . These rules apply to all international wrestling events under the sponsorship of FILA. They are to be used as the framework for all AAU Wrestling events. Articles 6, 7, 12, 13 through 63 (which govern the technical aspect of the bout itself) are to be strictly observed at all AAU Wrestling events at any level of competition. All other sections of the FILA rules contained herein should be observed as closely as possible, but they may be modified to suit local conditions unless such modifications are specifically prohibited in this rule book.


The International rules of wrestling have as their specific objectives:

a. To define and specify the practical and technical conditions under which the bout must take place

b. To fix the values assignable to wrestling situations and holds

c. To list these situations and all prohibitions

d. To determine the methods of classification, penalization and elimination of competitors, etc.

e. To determine the technical functions of the Officials

Being subject to modifications in light of practical observations as to their application and their effectiveness, the international rules set forth herein constitute the framework within which the sport of wrestling takes place in the Greco-Roman and Freestyle forms. Points specific to women's wrestling are found in Chapter 11. Traditional (folkstyle) wrestling is governed by specific national rules to the style.

NOTE . . . The International Wrestling Rules presented in this publication are the official rules of the Federation Internationale de Lutte Amateur (FILA) and are in effect for all competitions at the Open, Espoir, Elite, and Cadet levels. Certain modifications have been adopted by the AAU Youth Program for use in the Schoolboy, Novice, Midget, and Bantam levels. These modifications are presented periodically, preceded by the word "NOTE:".


The FILA Technical Committee is the sole authority empowered to clarify the exact meaning of the articles that follow in cases of disagreement. The French language shall be considered the authoritative text.

NOTE . . . During tournament competition, the Executive Committee of the AAU Wrestling Officials Organization or their representative as Head Official will be responsible for the interpretation of the rules contained in this book.


International wrestling competitions consist of two parts, the preliminary rounds and the Finals. This rule applies to all individual competitions having four or more wrestlers in a weight class. If there are only three or two wrestlers, the system of "one against the other" (round robin) is applied and the preliminary rounds are omitted.

NOTE . . . The procedures above apply to all AAU competition and USA Wrestling Competition below the Senior Age category, and is different from the modified double elimination procedure used at international events sponsored by FILA.


WEIGHT CLASSES . . . all youth divisions from what was Schoolboy and younger no longer have weight categories. The weight classes for Cadet and above are as follows:


(15-16 years old) (17-18 years old)

1. up to 83.5 lbs. 1. up to 98 lbs.

2. up to 88 lbs. 2. up to 106 lbs.

3. up to 92.5 lbs. 3. up to 115 lbs.

4. up to 99 lbs. 4. up to 123 lbs.

5. up to 105.5 lbs. 5. up to 132 lbs.

6. up to 114.5 lbs. 6. up to 143 lbs.

7. up to 125.5 lbs. 7. up to 154 lbs.

8. up to 139 lbs. 8. up to 165 lbs.

9. up to 152 lbs. 9. up to 178 lbs.

10. up to 167.5 lbs. 10. up to 192 lbs.

11. up to 182.5 lbs. 11. up to 220 lbs.

12. up to 209 lbs. 12. up to 275 lbs.

13. up to 242 lbs.


(19-20 years old) (open division age) (30 and older)

1. up to 105.5 lbs. 1. up to 105.5 lbs. 1. up to 105.5 lbs.

2. up to 114.5 lbs. 2. up to 114.5 lbs. 2. up to 114.5 lbs.

3. up to 125.5 lbs. 3. up to 125.5 lbs. 3. up to 125.5 lbs.

4. up to 136.5 lbs. 4. up to 136.5 lbs. 4. up to 136.5 lbs.

5. up to 149.5 lbs. 5. up to 149.5 lbs. 5. up to 149.5 lbs.

6. up to 163 lbs. 6. up to 163 lbs. 6. up to 163 lbs.

7. up to 180.5 lbs. 7. up to 180.5 lbs. 7. up to 180.5 lbs.

8. up to 198 lbs. 8. up to 198 lbs. 8. up to 198 lbs.

9. up to 220 lbs. 9. up to 220 lbs. 9. up to 220 lbs.

10. up to 286 lbs. 10. up to 286 lbs. 10. up to 286 lbs.

WEIGHT . . . All contestants are presumed to be participating of their own free will. They can enter an event in only one weight class -the one corresponding to their body weight at the time of the official weigh-in. However, they can opt for the weight class immediately above the one in which they were entered, except for the heavyweight class. For Espoirs and Seniors to enter the heavyweight class, they must weigh over 220 lbs. at weigh-ins.

The age categories are as follows:

Tots 5 or 6 years of age 

Bantam 7 or 8 years of age 

Midget 9 or 10 years of age 

Junior 11 or 12 years of age 

Schoolboy 13 or 14 years of age 

Cadet 15 or 16 years of age 

Elite 17 or 18 years of age 

Espoir 19 or 20 years of age 

Senior (open) 21 - 29 years of age 

Masters 30 years old & over (Masters events are normally run in 5-year age groupings)

NOTE . . . A participant's age category is established by the wrestler's year of birth, thus the above age categories are approximate.


Competitors should show up to the mat in a single piece outfit in the color assigned to them (red or blue) with protective undergarments or supporter underneath.

The outfits (singlets) should be tight fitting, cover the body from the mid-thigh and should not be cut away more than the width of two palms around the neck and arms. Each competitor must have two complete outfits (one red and one blue) which comply with these provisions. Each competitor must also carry a handkerchief. The use of knee pads is permitted.

Nothing else may be added to this outfit, except in cases where the bout is interrupted because of injury. During such times wrestlers can cover themselves with warm-up garments.

Competitors should wear appropriately soft, lightweight sport shoes without soles which cover the ankle. The use of shoes with heels or spiked soles or shoes with buckles or metal parts is forbidden. Special attention should be given to the laces, the ends of which should be cut off if they are metallic or rigid.

It is also forbidden to wear bandages on wrists, arms or ankles except in case of injury or medical prescription. To coat the body with greasy or sticky  substances or present oneself in a sweaty state wear any object which could injure the opponent such as rings, bracelets and the like.

At the weigh-in, each competitor must be closely shaven or have a beard of several months' growth. Hair must be short or tied back if the referee deems it necessary.

Headgear are both permitted and encouraged in AAU wrestling events, but they must be tight-fitting with an adjustable strap and provide no possibility of injury to the opponent.


All wrestlers must submit to a special medical examination in their own country three days before departing for all official FILA authorized tournaments, in accordance with Article 7 of the FILA statutes.

Tournament organizers are required to provide medical attendants to oversee the weigh-in and the bouts and detect possible drug use. The medical attendants shall include in their number an adequate number of doctors and medical assistants. The medical attendants will be called upon to work throughout the duration of the event. They are under the authority of the FILA Medical Commission.

Doctors will examine the competitors and determine the state of their health before weigh-ins. Competitors who are not considered to be medically in good health or who present any condition dangerous to themselves or their opponents will be forbidden from participating in the event. The medical examination will look for contagious diseases, in particular skin or venereal disease.

Medical attendants should be ready at all times to intervene in case of accident and determine whether the wrestler should continue or stop the bout. The doctors of the participating teams have the right to intervene in the care given to their injured wrestlers, but only the coach or team leader can assist the team doctors.

NOTE . . . Technical requirements for facilities, scheduling and personnel contained in this section are recommended for all AAU Youth Wrestling tournaments, but are subject to modification by the Tournament Committee to accommodate local conditions.


The medical attendants described in Article 10 above have the right and duty to stop a bout at any time they consider that there is a danger to either competitor. Their intervention is through the Mat Chairman. They may end the match immediately by declaring one of the wrestlers unfit to continue.

Wrestlers should not leave the mat area during injuries or controversies, except in cases of severe injury which require they be withdrawn immediately.

Referees can stop the wrestling for up to two minutes per bout as injury time for nosebleeds or a fall to the head or because of any other acceptable incident beyond the control of the wrestlers, provided where the pause is approved by the FILA or Tournament Doctor.

An injured wrestler can be allowed to continue the competition in the next round at the advice of the doctor. This medical advice must be presented to the technical head of the competition by the Team Leader of the injured wrestler's team before the pairing chart of the next round is posted or before the weigh-in for the next day. The delegate of the FILA Medical Commission will ask the officials to stop the bout in case of any dispute over a medical order, notwithstanding the right of the team doctor of the wrestler involved to intervene in any possible treatment or to form his own opinion concerning the intervention or decision of the medical attendants.

At international competitions where the FILA Medical Commission is not represented, the decision to interrupt the bout will be made by the FILA delegate after consultation with the tournament director and the team doctor of the injured wrestler.


Drug use is formally forbidden. To combat it, FILA reserves the right to subject wrestlers to examination or testing at all competitions it sanctions, in accordance with the provisions of Article 6 of the FILA statutes. Competitors or leaders cannot oppose such checks for any circumstances, under penalty of sanction.

The FILA Medical Commission will decide the time, the number, and the frequency of these checks, which will be undertaken by any means deemed effective. The appropriate measures will be carried out by a doctor accredited by FILA, in the presence of a member of the Executive Bureau and one of the team leaders of the wrestler or wrestlers called upon to be tested.

In any case where the measures are not carried out in accordance with the conditions above, the results thereby obtained may be considered void.


NOTE . . . In AAU Youth competition, modifications to the requirements concerning officials may be made when necessary.

At all tournaments, the officials for each bout shall consist of:

1 mat chairman + 1 referee + 1 mat judge, rated or qualified according to the rules on international officials.

Officials cannot be changed during the course of a match, except in the case of a severe medically confirmed problem. Two officials of the same  nationality cannot officiate the same bout simultaneously. In addition, officials cannot officiate matches contested by their countrymen. The dress of the mat chairmen, the judges, and the referees shall be white.


Officials carry out all functions provided for by the rules for organizing wrestling events and by whatever particular arrangements are set forth for the organization of the various events. Their duty is to observe each bout with the greatest care, from beginning to end, and to evaluate moves, in order that the result appearing on the judge's bout sheet accurately reflects the countenance of the bout.

Mat chairmen, referees, and judges assess holds individually in order to arrive at a correct consensus decision. They collaborate under the direction of the mat chairman, who coordinates the officials. Officials should assume all functions of refereeing and judging, of scoring, and of pronouncing sanctions provided for by the rules. The bout sheets of the judge and the mat chairman record the points for all holds carried out by the two wrestlers. The points, Cautions (O) and Warnings for Passivity (P) must be recorded with the greatest possible accuracy, in the order corresponding to the various phases of the bout. These score sheets must be signed by the Judge and Mat Chairman, respectively.

If a bout does not end by fall, superiority, default, or disqualification, a decision should be given by the mat chairman based on the scoring for all moves made by each wrestler, as recorded from the start of the bout to the finish on the bout sheets of the judge and the mat chairman. All of the judge's points should be made public as soon as awarded, by paddles, by light apparatus, or other appropriate method. Officials should express themselves using the basic FILA vocabulary terms to conduct and fulfill their respective roles. However, they may not speak with anyone during the bout, except the other officials, where necessary to properly carry out their duties.


Referees are responsible for the normal running of the bout, conducted in accordance with the rules.

Referees should command the respect of the competitors. They should exert authority over them, in order that all orders and instructions be immediately obeyed. Referees should conduct the bout without tolerating any irregular or inopportune outside interference. Referees are to work in close collaboration with the judge, under the supervision of the mat chairmen, and should follow the action of the bout without intervening in any thoughtless or inopportune way. The referee's whistle starts, stops, and ends the match.

Referees alone return the wrestlers to the center of the mat when they go into the protection area, either in parterre or neutral position, depending on the condition of the wrestlers when landing in the protection area. Referees score points. They are required to have a red wrist band on their left arm and a blue wrist band on their right. After a hold is executed (if it is valid, if it was carried out within the bounds of mat, etc.), the referee should indicate with fingers the number of points scored, raising the right arm if the wrestler dressed in blue scored the points, and raising the left arm if the wrestler dressed in red scored them.

Referees, as circumstances require, should never hesitate to:

  • Discipline passive wrestlers.
  • Stop the bout at required times, neither too soon nor too late.
  • Indicate whether holds executed at the edge of the mat are in or out.
  • Visibly count the five seconds during which a wrestler is held in danger, and award the additional points for this situation.
  • Signal and declare TOUCHE (fall) after seeking confirmation from the judge or, alternatively, from the mat chairman. To determine that a wrestler was actually pinned to the mat with both shoulders touching simultaneously (see Article 48), the referees should say the word "tomber" (TOM-BAY), raise their hand for confirmation from the judge or mat chairman, slap the mat, and then blow their whistles.
  • Indicate to the Judge and the Mat Chairman the wrestler whom he/she considers passive, without interrupting the bout. After receiving approval, indicate passivity to the wrestler at fault, using correct procedures.

Referees must:

  • Especially be careful not to get too near the wrestlers while they are standing, since their legs would be difficult to watch up close. They should stay close when the wrestling is on the ground, however.
  • Rapidly and clearly order the position in which the wrestling  must be resumed, standing or parterre, when he/she sends the wrestlers back to the center of the mat.
  • Not stand so close to the wrestlers that he/she obstructs the view of the judges and public, particularly if a fall appears imminent.
  • Ensure that the wrestlers do not rest during the bout, on the pretense of wiping their bodies, blowing their noses, tying their shoelaces or feigning injury. In such cases, he/she must signal the timekeeper.
  • Be able to change his/her position from one moment to the next, on the mat or around it, and particularly to fall flat to the mat immediately onto his/her stomach to obtain a better view of an imminent fall.
  • Stimulate a passive wrestler without interrupting a bout, standing in such a way to prevent the wrestlers from leaving the mat.
  • Be ready to blow the whistle if the wrestlers approach the edge of the mat.

Referees are also expected to:

  • In GRECO, closely observe the legs of the wrestlers,
  • Require the wrestlers to remain on the mat until the result is announced,
  • Ask for an opinion at any time from the judge who is situated at the edge of the mat facing the mat chairman,
  • Vote for or against elimination or disqualification, along with the other officials,
  • Declare the winner, with the concurrence of the mat chairman.

  • Referees can request sanctions for infractions of the rules or for unnecessary roughness.

    Referees must stop the bout upon the intervention by the mat chairman to declare victory by technical superiority (10-point margin).


Judges are to assure that all duties generally provided for in the rules of wrestling are carried out.

Judges should attentively observe the bout taking place without being distracted in any way, and record the points they score on their bout sheets. 

Judges give scores for all moves. Following each move, judges should write down the number of points to be scored for that move based on the score given by the referee (which they should compare with their own assessment) or failing this, on the basis of the Mat Chairman's indication, he/she should indicate the result with scoreboards placed next to them, which should be equally visible to the spectators and wrestlers. Judges can score points or signal passivity independent of the referee. The Judge verifies and signals the fall (touche) to the referee. If the judges see something they think should be brought to the attention of the referee during a bout, when the referee could not see or could not pay attention to it (such as an illegal hold or unfair position), they should bring the matter up by raising the paddle which is the color of the wrestler involved, even if the referee has not asked for an opinion. Judges should always draw the referee's attention to everything which seems abnormal to them or irregular as regards the running of the bout or the behavior of the wrestlers.

Judges should sign the bout sheet brought to them upon receipt and, at the and of the bout, clearly indicate the result of the bout, crossing out the name of the loser.

If the calls made by the judge and the referee agree, those calls alone decide the points scored without further recourse to the mat chairman, except for declaring victory by technical superiority. The judge's bout sheet should clearly indicate the time elapsed in the bout when it is stopped, in the case of total victory, technical superiority, withdrawal, or whatever.

In order to facilitate their view of the bout, particularly in close situations, judges are authorized to move about, but only along the edge of the mat where they are stationed. Judges should indicate each instance where the wrestler is warned for passivity on their bout sheets, in the place provided. Judges must indicate on their score sheet with the letter "P" each time a wrestler is cautioned for passivity.

Judges must also indicate, by underlining, (1 or 2) points received by a wrestler for executing a gut wrench. Cautions for Fleeing The Mat, Fleeing The Hold, Illegal holds, incorrect resumption of the parterre position, or brutality are noted by an "O" in the column of the wrestler at fault.


The mat chairman is the ultimate authority and should assume all duties provided for in the rules of wrestling.

Mat chairmen coordinate the work of the referees and the judges. He/she shall order the bout to go into overtime in all cases set out by the rules. Mat chairmen should attentively observe the bout taking place without being distracted in any way, and assess the comportment and work of the other officials, in accordance with the rules.

In cases of disagreement between referees and judges, the duty of the mat chairmen is to side with one or the other to determine the result, the number of points, or total victory. Mat chairmen may not signal their score first. In awarding a decision on points or by evident superiority, mat chairman should take into account the notations recorded on the judge's bout sheet, where the various corrections and the scores for the bout involved were recorded after agreed upon by the officials. The chairmen can check the correctness of any notations using their own bout sheet.

In general, mat chairmen should live up to the technical competence and particulars set forth in the rules for international officials. Where mat chairmen determine that a decision by the referee or the judge does not correctly reflect what occurred, they must immediately stop the bout. After consulting with the judge and the referee they may, by majority vote (2 to 1), immediately correct the decision.


Referees signal the score by raising their arms in a well-defined manner. If the referee and the judge agree, the points are scored. The Mat Chairman is not entitled to influence or change a decision if the Judge and Referee agree. In case of an obvious violation of the rules, the Mat Chairman must ask for a consultation.

Where there is disagreement and a vote of the officials is required, the judge and the mat chairman should show their scores with paddles. There should be eleven paddles per set in GRECO and FREESTYLE painted different colors (blue, red, and white) as follows: (Two sets per mat)

  • One white
  • Five red, which should be numbered l, 2 ,3 and 5 to indicate points scored, and one blank, to be used for warnings and to get the attention of the wrestler concerned.
  • Five blue, which should be marked like the red ones and one blank.

The paddles should be placed within reach of those using them. Judges and mat chairman cannot abstain from voting and should give their vote clearly, leaving no room for doubt.

In general, the score is determined by the judge and the referee. Where there is a disagreement, the score is decided by the mat chairman. This tie-breaking vote should be decided between the contradictory scores given by the judge and the referee. This requires the mat chairman to choose one or the other of the scores already given.

If the bout goes to the end of the time allowed, the bout sheet the mat chairman is used to determine the winner.
If there is no difference of points on the bout sheets (a tie bout), or neither wrestler has scored at least three points, a sudden death overtime period is employed to determine a winner.


If a vote on the score by the officials concerns a single wrestler, the only paddle that can be raised is the one that is the same color as the wrestler concerned, provided the final decision favors that wrestler. If the decision is against, the white paddle.

Mat chairmen signal their votes only when the judge and the referee disagree.

If a vote on the score by the officials concerns both wrestlers, any of the three colored paddles can be used, red, blue or white. Only the red and the blue paddles can decide the score.
If the judge and referee disagree, the mat chairman will decide the score, except where it consists of elimination or disqualification, which can only be decided by a unanimous vote of the three officials.


Points scored by judges and referee as shown in each case set forth below will result in the final official decision indicated in the chart. (R = red wrestler, B = blue wrestler, 0 = zero points).

Vote of the:

Mat Official

Referee, Judge, Chairman, Result

1. R 1. R - 1. R

2. B 2. B - 2. B

3. R 3. R - 3. R

5. R 5. R - 5. R

Remarks . . . In these examples, the judges and referees agreed and the mat chairman did not intervene.

1. R 0 0 0

1. B 1. R 1. R 1. R

2. R 1. R 2. R 2. R

2. B 0 2. B 2. B

2. R 2. B 0 0

3. R 2. R 2. R 2. R

3. B 0 3. B 3. B 

3. R 3. B 0 0 

5. B 2. B 5. B 5. B 

Results . . . In these examples, the judges & referees disagreed on points scored. The mat chairman intervened and the result was determined by majority vote.


In addition to the measures provided for in Chapter Three of the FILA disciplinary rules, FILA shall have the right, on the advice of the Officials Commission, to undertake the following measures against officials who have made technical mistakes:

  1. Warn them.
  2. Remove them from the tournament.
  3. Demote them to a lesser category.
  4. Temporarily suspend them.
  5. Permanently expel them.


Referees shall wear an all-white shirt or pullover. Pants and shoes shall also be white. They may wear a vest when they are not refereeing.

The Judge/Referee shall wear the FILA logo on his/her chest and may not wear the name of a sponsor, although a number on the back may include the name of the FILA sponsor. The Mat Chairman also must be dressed in white, but while performing their duties must wear a blue vest.


A final list of competitors must be submitted by each team leader to the Organizing Committee before the weigh-ins are to take place. Competitors will be weighed nude and examined by officially designated doctors who will exclude any wrestler posing any danger whatsoever of contagious disease. Competitors should be in perfect physical condition. Fingernails should be cut short and will be checked at weigh-in. Wrestlers have the right, in turn, to step on the scale as many times as they wish up until the end of the weigh-ins. At tournaments lasting several days, the contestants shall be weighed in each day. Initial tournament weigh-ins shall take place the night before the first day of competition. Weigh-in of wrestlers on the second and third day will be held immediately after the completion of the category concerned. 

The tournament host is responsible to provide a separate dressing facility for the weighing-in of female competitors. During those weigh-ins, the ladies have the option of weighing-in with or without clothing. Should they decide to weigh in the nude, the weight allowance that has been provided for clothed individuals will not be in effect. 

NOTE . . . At AAU-sanctioned wrestling tournaments of more than one day of competition, a wrestler will be allowed a one-pound weight allowance at weigh-outs.


NOTE . . . In AAU competition, annotations regularly published by the officials' committee shall apply. Also, vertical pairing rules will be used and two pools shall be used when there are more than 5 competitors.

The participants in an event should be pooled into two elimination groups and paired for each round according to a draw number assigned to each by the drawing of lots at the time of the weigh-in, prior to the beginning of the Tournament.

How the process takes place . . .

  1. The drawing should be public.
  2. Wrestlers will be placed in pools and paired according to draw numbers which they themselves draw upon leaving the scale.
  3. This number should immediately be written down on the posting board, in full public view, as well as on the preliminary list.
  4. IMPORTANT: If the person responsible for the weigh-in and the drawing of lots ascertains any error in the regulation procedure set forth above at the time of the drawing, THE DRAWING FOR THAT WEIGHT CLASS WILL BE NULLIFIED.
  5. The drawing of lots for that weight class will start over.
  6. Preliminary Classification
  7. Immediately after the weigh-in is finished, wrestlers will be listed in order of classification, going from the smallest to the largest number.

The forming of pools . . . 

  1. Wrestlers assigned odd draw numbers will form pool "A".
  2. Wrestlers assigned even draw numbers will form pool "B".

Example: 14 wrestlers registered.
               12 wrestlers weigh in.


A prospectus setting forth the procedures and timetable for the event should be drawn up furnishing all necessary details on the planned running of the Tournament.

The pairings for each round and the results should be posted on charts for the benefit of the contestants, who should be able to check them at all times.

In each pool, if there is an odd number of contestants, the one who drew the largest number (exempt or bye) will advance to the next round without points and will be moved to the top of the pairing chart in the next round.

That wrestler will remain at the top until another competitor becomes the unmatched wrestler and is in turn moved to the top of the pairing chart.

A bye results in exemption from wrestling for one round. It is a right acquired through the drawing of lots. This right may not be taken away except where having a bye makes it impossible to pair the other contestants that round, or where taking it away permits the pairing of a greater number of bouts in the round.

The pairing of the other rounds will be done in the following manner:

Begin with the name of the contestant at the top of the chart. Their opponent will be the contestant with the number closest to theirs whom they have not yet wrestled.

Examples . . . Pairing for a weight class with 19 wrestlers:


1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round

1 - 2 1 - 3 1 - 5

3 - 4 2 - 4 2 - 3

5 - 6 5 - 7 7 - 10

7 - 8 6 - 9 8 - 9

9 - 10 8 - 10 

In the second round, 4 and 6 were eliminated with two defeats.


1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round

1 - 2 9 - 1 8- 9

3 - 4 2 - 3 1 - 4

5 - 6 4 - 5 2 - 6

7 - 8 6 - 7

9 - Bye 8 - Bye

In the second round, 3, 5, and 7 were eliminated with two defeats.

The pairings drawn up for the various rounds of the tournament shown above should be modified each time a wrestler who has not been eliminated due to injury or medically established illness withdraws from the event. 

It is the responsibility of the withdrawing wrestler (or the wrestler's team leader) to immediately make known the withdrawal. A new pairing must be drawn before the next round of the weight class involved.

In events where several wrestlers from the same country participate in the same weight class, they may be called upon to wrestle each other beginning with the first round, if so required by the pairings, and the pairings were drawn by lot.


Elimination rounds will be conducted in two pools "A" and "B" for each weight class.

Duration of rounds . . . 

    Elimination rounds will be conducted until all competitors are progressively eliminated. They will continue until the top three can be determined in each pool. Standings in Pool "A" and "B"

    The standings in each pool will be determined by the positive points acquired by each of the last three uneliminated competitors after wrestling the other two remaining competitors. The one who earned the most positive points in two bouts shall be first.

    If only two wrestlers remain after the last round of elimination's, the one who wins the bout between them will be first. The other will be second. The wrestler who acquired the most points among the eliminated wrestlers in the next to last round will be third. If two wrestlers have an equal number of points, their standing is determined by the result of the bout between them, which will have to be wrestled if it did not occur previously.

    If three undefeated or once-defeated remain in the final round, they must wrestle one another, unless they met in the preceding rounds. If so, the result of their earlier match will decide the standings.

Round Robin Finals in the elimination pools . . . 

    Will take place among undefeated wrestlers or wrestlers having no more than one (l) defeat.

    If, due to circumstances, a wrestler with two defeats would be in the round robin for that pool, that wrestler will automatically be third in the pool without wrestling the other two contestants.

Pool standings will be determined by the points which each of the three contestants have acquired after meeting the other two contestants. The one with the most points will be first; however, in a match ending with the loser being disqualified for passivity and the winner scoring no technical points, both wrestlers will receive 0 classification points. Symbols for the match would be PASS in red-loser and WDO-winner. Due to the above rule change, a wrestler in the round robin could conceivably win both of his matches in the round robins and have a total of 0 classification points. If this situation occurs, that wrestler would still be awarded first place as a result of winning both of his matches in RR. The remaining wrestlers would be awarded their placement based on the match between them, the winner taking 2nd and the loser taking 3rd. In cases where the positive points of several wrestlers are equal, the final standings will be determined by the successive application of the following criteria:

    The most points accumulated in the course of the entire tournament,

    The most victories,

    The most "falls", including the most wins by technical superiority (10-point margin).

    The most victories by 4:0 not counted as falls (default, forfeit, etc.)

    The most victories by 4:1.

    The least defeats.

    If at this point the wrestlers are still equal, check the number of technical points scored by each contestant in the two matches which counted as part of the round robin, and the one who scored the most technical points will be ranked above the other,

    In cases where each of the three wrestlers won one bout by total victory against one other wrestler, the standings will be based on the fastest fall.


Wrestlers who are defeated twice in the elimination rounds of each pool are eliminated from the tournament.

Wrestlers who suffer their second defeat in a round robin final of their pool will not be eliminated. They must wrestle against the remaining wrestler whom they have not met.

If, after their second defeat, in the elimination rounds, it is necessary to list them to be able to rank the top 3 in their pool, they will automatically occupy third place.

If two wrestlers with the same number of points qualify for this third place, the result of the bout between them will determine who is ranked third. If there was no such bout, it must automatically take place.

The round in which wrestlers are eliminated should be indicated on the pairing sheet, as well as on the charts. Competitors eliminated in the same round will be considered as having gone out at the same time and will be ranked according to the positive points they acquired.

Wrestlers who do not show up for the weigh-in or fail to appear to wrestle when their names are called will be disqualified and not ranked, unless they have a medical excuse or some notice from the official Secretariat, as required by the rules. Wrestlers who fail to make weight are eliminated and not ranked. (See Article 28 of these rules).


The fundamental principle behind any wrestling match is that it cannot end without a technical point being scored.

In principle, elimination by disqualification by cautions should be applied to only one wrestler, and neither wrestler should be disqualified for passivity warnings.

NOTE . . . In cases of disqualification by cautions, positive points will be awarded as specified in Article "48." The eliminated wrestler may continue in the tournament if it is the wrestler's first defeat through cautions. 


Wrestlers who commit an obvious breach of "fair play" or of the spirit and conception of FILA's total, dynamic wrestling, in a situation clearly involving cheating or the intentional execution of an illegal hold causing serious injury to the opponent, will be immediately disqualified from the tournament by majority vote of the officials and with the concurrence of the head official or his representative.

The wrestlers will then place according to where they stood at the time of their disqualification.

Wrestlers disqualified for serious fouls (brutality) will be disqualified from the tournament and will not place. Such a ruling requires unanimous consent of the officials.


The contestants placing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each pool will participate in the finals.

The third place finishers in each pool "A" and "B" will wrestle for 5th and 6th place.

The second place finishers in each pool "A" and "B" will wrestle for 3rd and 4th place.

The first place finisher in each pool "A" and "B" will wrestle for 1st and 2nd place.

The results of these head-to-head bouts will determine the final standings.


For this event, a vertical chart good point system is used until the top three individuals are identified in both pools. At that point the tournament converts to a regular bracket sheet from of competition. In the first round, the champions of Pool A and B receive byes and are in opposite brackets. The third place finisher of each pool is paired with the second place finisher from the opposite pool. The winners of those bouts meet the champions of Pool A and Pool B in the semi-finals. The first round losers compete against one another for 5th and 6th place. The semi-final losers wrestle off for 3rd and 4th place. 


Bouts which determine the final standings for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th place must end with one wrestler winning.

In any case, a fall, or a victory by technical superiority (10-point margin) will stop the bout and determine the winner.


Wrestlers who are disqualified for unnecessary roughness or improper dress will not finish the tournament and will not place.

Wrestlers who are hurt, immobilized or hospitalized, and as a result cannot go on the mat according to FILA or tournament doctor, may forfeit or be declared beaten, but not disqualified.

Those wrestlers may place, or continue on in the competition if not eliminated.

Finally, wrestlers who otherwise place but are required by the official doctor to withdraw, may place according to where they would have ended up at the end of the event.

In cases where two wrestlers are eliminated for passivity in the final bout, they will both be classified 2nd or 4th or 6th, without the higher place being awarded (no 1st, 3rd, or 5th place).


The top ten place wrestlers in each weight class will participate in the award ceremony and receive a certificate.

NOTE . . . In AAU competition, the top six place wrestlers in each weight class will receive a medal according to how they finish . . . 

1st: Gold 2nd: Silver 3rd: Bronze 4th: Copper 5th: Copper 6th: Copper


In international competition, ten places are scored for team competitions in tournaments. The first place wrestler earns 10 team points and so on till the tenth place wrestler earns one team point.



SECOND PLACE..........................5 POINTS

THIRD PLACE..............................4 POINTS

FOURTH PLACE...........................3 POINTS

FIFTH PLACE...............................2 POINTS

SIXTH PLACE...............................1 POINT

Additional Points . . . The top wrestler (highest place winner) may score team points for his team. No pre-tournament designation is required for that wrestler: If a team has more than two wrestlers in the weight class, the top wrestler will score, regardless who he is. A complete, unalterable team roster must be submitted at the end of the weigh-in on the first day. No team points are scored for falls.


In international competition between two teams only, the result is determined by adding the positive points awarded to each wrestler at the end of a bout as described in the enclosed rules. The team with the most points will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, consult the USA Wrestling Manual.

NOTE . . . In AAU Multisport Team competition, team scores are established by rules within the Multisport structure.


The duration of bouts is fixed as follows:

  1. For Tots and Bantam Divisions, two 90-second periods with a 30-second rest between periods
  2. For Midget, and Novice Divisions, two 2-minute periods with a 30-second rest between periods.

  3. NOTE . . . Tots, Bantam, Midget, and Novice divisions are not FILA age categories.

  4. For Schoolboy, and Cadet Divisions, one 4-minute period.
  5. For Elite, Espoir and Senior Divisions, one 5-minute period.
  6. For Masters Division, two 2-minute periods with a 1-minute rest between periods.
  7. For Masters Division of age 60+ two 90-second periods with a 1-minute rest between periods.

NOTE . . . These time periods are mandatory at all AAU Regional and National Championships, but may be modified at local and Association competitions.


During the rest between the periods in the bantam, midget, junior and masters age categories, the competitor's coach can come to the edge of the mat to coach and attend to the competitor.

During the rest period, wrestlers may, as they wish, remain standing in their corner or sit down on a small stool situated no more than 50 centimeters (20 inches) from the mat. During this time period, the wrestlers may receive instructions from their coach.

Referees must maintain control over the activities of the coach, since it is strictly forbidden to give wrestlers any solid substances or drugs to help them recover their strength.

Coaches should use completely dry towels to wipe off their wrestlers.

Wrestlers are permitted to drink liquids or to rinse their mouths during the rest period, provided the water does not contain any stimulants. The sanctions provided for violating this rule are:

1. The wrestler should be declared beaten.
2. The wrestler should be disqualified from the competition.

The bell following the referee's signal indicates the beginning of the second period of the bout. 

Note . . . Overtime Periods, when required, shall be as follows.

90 Seconds-Tots, Bantam and Masters

(60 and over) divisions.

120 Seconds-Midget, Novice, Schoolboy, Cadet,

Masters (30 to 59) divisions.

180 Seconds-Elite, Espoir and Senior Divisions.


Competitors should be called to the mat in a loud, clear voice.

Competitors who do not show up after their names are called will be considered beaten and eliminated from the tournament.

Beginning with the second round, competitors will be called three times, 30 seconds apart. If the wrestler called does not show up, that wrestler is disqualified, excluded from the tournament and not ranked. Calls to the mat will be made in French and English.

NOTE . . . In AAU competition, calls to the mat in French are not required.


In international competition, all competition in one category continues on one mat or on all mats at one time. At the beginning of competition, all the wrestlers participating in a category are announced to the public.

NOTE . . . These rules do not apply in AAU competition.


When their names are called for bouts, wrestlers should go to the positions assigned to them in their respective corners which are the same as the color assigned to them for their uniforms.

The referee in the circle at the middle of the mat will call the two wrestlers to the center, shake their hands, inspect their uniforms, check that they are not covered with any greasy or sticky material, that they are not sweating, that their hands are bare, that their fingernails are cut short and that they have a handkerchief in their possession.

The wrestlers should greet one another, shake hands, and, when the referee blows the whistle, should commence to wrestle.

NOTE . . . In AAU competition, sight-disabled wrestlers should be allowed the option of a touch start in the standing position, where the outstretched fingers and palms of one hand are over and one under the opponent's outstretched fingers and palm, as is done in high school and collegiate styles.


If competitors have to stop wrestling because of a fall to the head or for some other legitimate reason beyond their control, the referee can stop the bout for up to two minutes per bout as injury time.

NOTE . . . In AAU competition, equipment, alterations and contact lens problems will also be treated as injury time situations. Injury time-outs may be granted one or more times, but if a wrestler uses up more than two minutes of injury time in a single match, the bout cannot continue. The wrestler involved will be declared beaten. The injured wrestler and the wrestler's coach should be advised, minute by minute, the injury time elapsed.

Injury time cannot exceed a total of two minutes per match for any other injuries and every 30 seconds elapsed should be announced. The medical attendants will decide whether the bout can continue after two minutes have passed. Wrestlers can continue to compete in the tournament the following round if they have not been eliminated and the FILA doctor does not disapprove.

NOTE . . . In AAU competition, if bleeding is involved, a "blood time" of approximately five minutes in length is used in lieu of "injury time." In the event a wrestler is using his injury or "blood time," his opponent should return to his corner with his coach.

Mat chairmen can interrupt bouts if there has been a serious mistake made by the judge or the referee. They should consult with the judge and the referee, settle any differences, and start the bout again.

Contestants cannot interrupt a bout themselves and send opponents back to the middle of the mat from the edge.


The bout ends when:

  1. A fall or technical superiority (10 points) is established,
  2. When one of the two wrestlers is eliminated or disqualified,
  3. When there is an injury, or
  4. When the time allowed for wrestling has expired, as signaled by the bell and referee's whistle. In this situation, at least one of the two wrestlers must have scored three points or the match will continue into a three-minute overtime period. All overtime periods in AAU competition will be as indicated in Article 31 above.

If the referee has not heard the gong, the Mat Chairman must stop the bout by throwing a soft object onto the mat to attract the referee's attention.

Once the bout has ended, referees should return to the middle of the mat and face the officials' table. The wrestlers should shake hands and stand beside the referee to await the decision.

As soon as the decision is announced, wrestlers should shake hands with the referee.

Each wrestler should then shake hands with the opposing coach. Wrestlers who fail to comply with these requirements should be sanctioned.


The rules are the following:

Wrestling in the standing position must be stopped and resumed in the STANDING position at the center of the mat if:

  1. One foot touches the protection area.
  2. A hold ends in the protection area.
  3. A hold in the zone is not executed in a continuous manner.
  4. Wrestlers enter the zone without executing hold and three or four feet remain there without motion.
  5. Wrestlers leave the wrestling area while wrestling.
  6. A wrestler flees the mat in a standing position.

Wrestling in the parterre position must be stopped and returned in the STANDING position at the center of the mat if:

  1. Wrestling in the zone is not continuous (stops without a hold).
  2. A hold initiated in the parterre position ends in the protection area.

Wrestling in the parterre position must be stopped and returned at the center in PARTERRE position if:

  1. The defending wrestler is on his/her knees in the zone and is touching the protection area with both hands.
  2. The defending wrestler is flat on his/her stomach and is touching the protection with his/her head.
  3. A wrestler finds himself in a danger position in the protection area, or his or her shoulders are touching the area.
  4. The wrestler flees the mat in a danger position.
  5. The defending wrestler goes into the protection while dominated and controlled by the other.


A bout may be won by:

  1. A fall.
  2. Obvious superiority (10-point difference).
  3. Injury, withdrawal, forfeit or disqualification of the opponent.
  4. Points, with the winner having to score a minimum of three technical points in regulation time or overtime.
  5. A decision by the officiating team at the end of overtime, if no winner could be declared earlier.



  1. Overtime (Prolongation) - tie match.
  2. This overtime shall take place immediately following regulation time with no intervening rest period.
  3. The order to continue the bout into overtime shall be made by the mat chairman and the head official of the tournament, who may consult the bout officials at the end of regulation time.
  4. Sudden death will continue for three minutes or until one wrestler scores at least three match points and breaks any tie with his opponent.
  5. If the sudden death ends without either wrestler scoring three match points, the referee, judge and chairman shall select the winner.

During the Overtime, the clause regarding the advantage of risk shall be applied, and the wrestler applying the scored hold is always deemed to have scored the first point(s).

If points are unequal at the end of overtime, the one with more points wins. If points are equal at the end of overtime, the wrestler with more cautions (O) and warnings for Passivity shall be declared the loser. If points are equal and total of Os and Ps are equal, the wrestler with more Os will be declared the loser. If all marks and points are equal, the three officials will select a winner based on activity.


During the match, a coach can remain at the base of the platform or at a distance of at least four meters (13 feet) from the edge of the mat.

Coaches are forbidden from insulting the judges and referees or trying to influence the bout in any way, except for the coaching activity specifically authorized during the rest period and for assistance with the medical care provided by the doctor.

If these prohibitions are disregarded, referees are required to give the coach a "yellow" card (warning). If the coach continues, the referees should give the coach a "red" card (elimination).

From that moment on, the coach will be eliminated from the tournament and cannot be replaced, subject to the approval of the mat chairman.

NOTE . . . In AAU competition, coaches are required to be in a team warm-up or civilian clothes. If an official acts as a coach, his white uniform shirt must be covered so as to avoid the appearance of possible bias by having a referee in one corner. One coach is allowed in the corner during the match and two are allowed during the break between periods.


In order to force wrestlers to undertake a greater variety of holds in ground wrestling, the following rules should be applied:

  1. For the purpose of encouraging active wrestling with a risk factor, without penalizing the active wrestler, the attacking wrestler who lands in the parterre position because the hold was not executed properly will not be penalized a point. In this situation, the referee will ask the wrestlers to assume the standing position. On the other hand, if, during the hold, the defensive wrestler executes a counter attack and is able to bring his opponent to the mat, he/she will be awarded the points which correspond to the action.
  1. If the attacking wrestler executes a hold on his/her own bridge, holds this position for a period of time and then completes the action by placing their opponent in a danger position, he/she will not be penalized. On the other hand, if the offensive wrestler is blocked under control, it is clear the point will be awarded to the opponent.
  1. Where the holds being used by the two wrestlers change from one position to another, points should be given for each separate hold.
  1. The referees will score the points. If the judges agree, they should raise their paddles (if they disagree, the mat chairmen should intervene to decide the points).
  1. A move scores at the end of the period if it was completed before the bell. A counterattack by the wrestler underneath will not score if it takes place after the bell.
  1. When a total victory occurs at the moment the bout ends, the bell (and not the referee's whistle) is determinative.
  1. If there is a difference of opinion concerning the points scored for a move and all three officials disagree, the mat chairman will decide the points to be scored.
  2. The wrestler who remains in the parterre position because the hold was not executed properly will no longer be ordered to adopt the standing position.


In order to force wrestlers to undertake a greater variety of holds in ground wrestling, the following rules should be applied:

  1. The attacking wrestler can score only ONE consecutive gut wrench or ankle lace turn in each parterre situation until he scores at least one point with another technique in that parterre situation.
  2. After scoring with a gut wrench or ankle lace, the wrestler may use it again, even more than twice, to set up a different scoring hold, or to put his man in pinning position, but the additional gut wrenches or ankle laces won't score him any points. On any gut wrench, whether the offensive man scores l or 2 points or nothing at all, the defensive man scores if the offensive man rolls across his shoulders. In any situation where the wrestling has been interrupted and then started in a standing or parterre position, the wrestler may score again with a gut wrench.
  3. After scoring points with a gut wrench or an ankle lace, a wrestler must immediately break the hold and start a new attack elsewhere. 


Wrestlers are considered to be in a "position of danger" whenever the line of their back (or the line of their shoulders) faces the mat vertically or parallel, forming an angle of less than 90 degrees, and accordingly, they resist the "fall" with the upper part of their bodies. (See the definition of "fall" in Article 48). Wrestlers may resist with their heads, elbows, or shoulders.

A position of danger (back exposure) exists whenever:

  1. The defense wrestler bridges to avoid a fall.
  2. The defense wrestler is pressed against one or two elbows with back exposed while attempting to avoid touching the shoulders.
  3. The wrestler has one shoulder in contact with the mat and breaks the vertical line of 90 degrees with the other shoulder (forming an acute angle) less than 90 degrees.
  4. The wrestler is in instant or touch fall position, in other words, two shoulders touching for less than a second.
  5. The wrestler rolls across both shoulders.

Back exposure ("danger") ceases as soon as the wrestler breaks the vertical line of 90 degrees, with the chest and stomach turned towards the mat.


Judges should write down points scored by the wrestlers for moves and holds on a special bout sheet. They should write them down as they go along each period.

In order to have uniform scoring:

  1. The action bringing about a fall is to be encircled.
  2. Points awarded for a gut wrench are to be underlined.
  3. A caution for fleeing the mat, fleeing the hold, incorrect start, brutality and illegal holds shall be noted by an "O".
  4. A warning for Passivity shall be noted with a "P".


A move or hold is considered to be a "grand technique" if the move or hold:

  1. Forces the opponents to completely lose contact with the ground.
  2. Controls the opponent.
  3. Results in the opponent traveling through the air in a curve of great amplitude or height, and returns the opponent to the ground directly into a position of immediate danger (back exposure).

Scoring from the feet:

  1. A "grand technique" move or hold which brings the opponent to the mat in a position of direct and immediate danger, as described above, scores 5 points for the throw. (Total of 5 points)
  1. If the "grand technique" move or hold does not bring the opponent to the mat in a position of direct and immediate danger, it will score only 3 points for the throw. (Total of 3 points)

Scoring from parterre:

  1. A "grand technique" move or hold which lifts the opponent from the mat and brings them to the mat in a position of direct and immediate danger, as described above, scores 5 points for the throw plus 1 point bonus for the lifting technique (Total of 6 points). A "petit technique" move or hold which lifts the opponent from the mat and brings them to the mat in a position of direct and immediate danger, as described above, scores 3 points for the throw and 1 point for the lifting technique (Total of 4 points).
  1. If the lifting technique or hold which lift the opponent from the mat does not bring them to the mat in a position of direct and immediate danger, as described above, then the technique scores 3 or 5 points for the throw but does not score 1 point for the lifting technique (Total of 3 or 5 points).

Remark . . . If wrestlers executing "grand technique" holds touch their own shoulders in the process, they will receive 5 points and their opponents will receive 2 points because of the instant fall that occurred during the execution of the hold.


It is 1-Point for the wrestler who brings an opponent to the mat and goes behind them, in which position the attacking wrestler holds the opponent down and controls them (takedown) with 3 points of contact: two arms and one knee, or two knees and one arm. Or for the wrestler who correctly completes a hold (takedown) from standing or on the ground which does not place the opponent in danger of a fall (no back contact). For the wrestler who escapes and goes behind the opponent, holding them down and controlling them (reversal). For the wrestler who forces an opponent back onto one or two extended arms with the back exposed to, but not touching the mat (danger). For the wrestler whose completed hold is illegally blocked by an opponent. For the wrestler whose opponent flees the mat or flees the hold. For the wrestler who earns an escape from his opponent in parterre and turns to face him in a standing position. Additionally, for the wrestler who completes a grand amplitude (takedown) of his opponent to the mat (without danger). For the wrestler who holds his opponent in a position of danger for 5 seconds. For the wrestler who lifts his/her opponent from parterre into a 3 or 5 point grand amplitude throw.

It is generally 2-Points when an opponents back is put in danger during ground wrestling. It may also take place when the wrestler correctly completes a hold on the ground and places the opponent in a position of danger (back touching the mat) or into an instant (touch) fall. Also for the attacking wrestler who rolls an opponent across the shoulders. For the attacking wrestler whose opponent flees a hold and leaves the wrestling area touching both shoulders to the mat. For the attacked wrestler if the attacker lands on both shoulders (touch fall) or rolls across the shoulders while executing a hold. For the attacked wrestler if the attacker is blocked with back in contact with the mat. For the attacking wrestler if the opponent blocks the uncompleted move with an illegal hold.

It is 3-Points when the wrestler who executes a standing throw of small amplitude which directly takes the opponent's back to danger. 3-Point holds include those where the opponent is lifted from the mat, with a throw of small amplitude, even if the attacker has one or two knees on the mat, provided the attacked wrestler's back is immediately placed in danger. For the wrestler who lifts his opponent to a grand amplitude throw which does not end in a danger position.

It is 5-Points when grand amplitude is executed from the standing or parterre position and the opponent is brought into the danger position.


A bout cannot end without any technical points being scored (except in the case of disqualification or injury).

WRESTLERS GIVEN A BYE EARN NO POSITIVE POINTS but they advance to the next round without running the risk of losing a bout.

When a wrestler is disqualified for having wrestled in a manner contrary to the conception of total and dynamic wrestling, in other words, without action or points, he will be awarded 0 positive points.


4 points to the winner and 0 points to the loser in case of a fall, Technical Superiority (10 point margin) if loser has score no match points or Withdrawal, Forfeit, Failure to appear when called to wrestle or Disqualification of the opponent for unsportsmanlike conduct

4 points to the winner and 1 point to the loser in the case of Technical Superiority (10 point margin) if loser has scored match points.

3 points for the winner and 1 point for the loser when the bout ends with a margin of 1 to 9 points and the loser scored at least one technical point.

3 points for the winner and 0 points for the loser when the bout ends with a margin of 1 to 9 points and the loser scored no technical points.

Points in Cases of Disqualification

0 points for the winner and 0 points for the loser if, at the time of disqualification, the winner has scored no technical points.

In such cases, the disqualified wrestler or wrestlers will not place. The positive points earned by wrestlers determine their standing. If two wrestlers are eliminated in the same round with the same number of points, they will be ranked the same. However, if they wrestled, the wrestler who beat the other will be ranked higher. The odd wrestler (with the bye) who cannot be paired for a round will receive no positive points and the list for the round will indicate "bye."


A "Fall" (touch) occurs when one wrestler is held by the opponent with both shoulders touching the mat long enough to allow the referee to ascertain the total control needed for a pin (see Article 15f). For a fall to be recognized at the edge of the mat, both of the competitor's shoulders must touch the mat inside the protection (as stated above). The head cannot be touching the protection surface. If wrestlers touch both shoulders as a result of their own breach of the rules or else their own illegal hold, the fall will count.

A fall called by the referee will be deemed valid if the judge confirms. If the referee does not call the fall when it should have been, it can still be declared by the judge and mat chairman if both agree.

In order for the fall to be determined and confirmed, it is important that it be clearly held. In other words, the two shoulders of the pinned wrestler must lie flat against the mat simultaneously for the short period of time described in the first paragraph of this article, even in the case of a backward fall achieved by a standing rear body lock and lift. The referee should never slap the mat until after the judge confirms or, if the judge does not, the mat chairman. The referee should then whistle.

Note . . . In AAU competition, falls in the Tot, Bantam, Midget and Junior Divisions will be two seconds in length. 


Aside from falls elimination or disqualification, the bout should be stopped before the end of regulation time if there is a difference of 10 points between the wrestlers.

The match may not be stopped to pronounce technical superiority before the action is completed (attack and immediate counterattack).

The mat chairman will signal the referee when a difference of 10 points occurs. After confirmation by the other officials, the referee will declare the winner.


If two wrestlers have the same number of points at the end of regulation time, or if neither wrestler has scored three points in regulation time, a sudden death period lasting no more than three minutes will be wrestled. The winner will be that wrestler who first scores three points (and breaks a tie if one existed). See Article 38, Overtime.

NOTE . . . Sudden death periods in AAU wrestling will be as described in Article 31.


PASSIVITY is now defined as lack of scoring or lack of attempting to score in the center of the mat. Its use will be similar to that in the past except that it will be called more often during a match. In the event no scoring has taken place for 30 to 40 seconds, the referee should be speaking to the offending wrestler and seeking confirmation if no scoring occurs. The other wrestler will then be given a choice of parterre or standing, and the judge will place a "P" on the score sheet in sequence with other points in the match. Passivity may be called several times during a match. (including overtime) As a general rule of thumb, call passivity every 60 to 75 seconds if scoring is not occurring. Before asking for confirmation of PASSIVITY, the referee should have verbally warned the offending athlete with one of the following FILA terms: "open", "action", "continue", and "zone". Passivity can take three forms.

PASSIVITY in the center of the mat, including: Not undertaking proper holds; being satisfied with efforts aimed at neutralizing the opponent; not giving the impression of genuinely attempting holds; continually obstructing the opponent's holds; continually lying flat on the chest in a closed position; wrapping both legs around one leg of the opponent and lying flat without attacking; pushing the opponent in the center of the mat; voluntarily placing oneself down on the mat.

FLEEING THE MAT at the edge of the mat, including: Voluntarily fleeing the mat, from standing or parterre or pushing the opponent off the mat.

FLEEING THE HOLD in the center of the mat, including: Voluntarily avoiding contact with the attacking wrestler.

Flagrant use of ILLEGAL TECHNIQUES, including: Use of legs in Greco-Roman wrestling or false starts from parterre after one warning.

In general, PASSIVITY IN THE CENTER OF THE MAT should be penalized by awarding the opponent a choice of parterre or standing wrestling. Instances of FLEEING THE MAT, FLEEING THE HOLD and ILLEGAL TECHNIQUES should be penalized by giving a caution to the offending wrestler while awarding his opponent one match point and the choice of starting in the standing or parterre position.

Cases of FLEEING THE MAT should be penalized throughout the bout, from the first to the last minute, with a caution to the wrestler at fault.

Actions aimed at avoiding wrestling are considered fleeing the mat. Cautions shall also be given against wrestlers pushing their opponent off the mat. The official should be sure that the wrestler in question voluntarily left the mat and was not pushed out of bounds by his opponent.


In the event of fleeing the mat, fleeing the hold or illegal techniques, the referee will award one or two points to the opponent while giving him the choice of restarting the match on top in parterre or in a standing position. The caution should be noted on the bout sheet of the judge and mat chairman with a circle as a reminder. There will be a limit of three times in which this penalty can occur before a wrestler will be disqualified from the match.

As soon as the officials agree (2/3) to give a caution for fleeing the mat, fleeing the hold or illegal hold, the referee must stop the bout.

NOTE . . . The rules requiring ground wrestling when a dominated wrestler goes out of bounds under control should be applied as often as required.

Whenever wrestling takes place on the ground, the referee should allow as much time as necessary to undertake and execute a hold and never interrupt a hold in progress.

The referee should use the standard vocabulary when cautioning a passive wrestler.

The referee should clearly indicate the wrestler at fault and indicate the nature of the infractions.

Example: Red: Action

Blue: Contact

Red: Open

When the referees want to signal passivity to the judge or mat chairman, they should do so using the arm with the wrist band that has the same color as the wrestler at fault, clearly indicating the reason why he feels there is passivity.

Example: Red: Passive
Blue: Passive


Position: The competitor on bottom must kneel and place both hands on the mat, hands and elbows apart 20 centimeters (8 inches) from the knees. Arms should be straight and feet not crossed.

Contact: The wrestlers on top may start in any position they choose, after first making contact with the opponent by placing both hands parallel, flat on the opponent's back. After checking and approving the position of the wrestlers, the referee will whistle to start the match. At that point, the wrestler on top can attack the opponent. The wrestler on bottom is free to move from the starting position and can also attack or defend against the wrestler on top, as well as stand up. If one of the wrestlers is taken down in the course of the bout, wrestling will continue on the ground. The bottom wrestler can defend against the attacks of the opponent or stand up. A wrestler who takes an opponent to the mat must be aggressive. If the wrestler is passive in that situation, the referee can order the wrestlers back up and start the bout again standing. The passive wrestler will be given a caution. Neither the top nor bottom wrestler may start wrestling by "jumping" the whistle or assuming an incorrect starting position. The referee should warn the wrestler at fault after the first instance; on the second occasion such a false start or incorrect position occurs in a parterre situation, the referee shall caution the offending wrestler and give a point and choice of standing or parterre position to his opponent. The bottom wrestler does not have the right to interrupt the bout or to demand that wrestling be resumed standing. If the bottom wrestler leaves the mat as the result of some move and is not controlled by the opponent, wrestling will resume standing.


If a wrestler brings his/her opponent to the mat, and owing to good defensive action by the bottom wrestler is unable to complete an action, the referee, after a reasonable period of time, shall stop the bout and have the competitors resume in the standing position.

If during an action, the wrestler underneath leaves the mat without being controlled by his/her opponent, wrestling must resume in the standing position.


General Rules: The passivity zone is designed to show which wrestler is passive, and to eliminate systematic wrestling at the end of the mat, including leaving the mat inadvertently. All holds and moves begun in the central wrestling area and finished in the zone will score including back exposure (1, 2, 3, 5 points), counterattacks, and fall. Holds or counterattacks begun standing, in the central wrestling area of the mat (inside the passivity zone) will score, wherever they end up (wrestling area, passivity zone, or protection surface). However, if they end in the protection surface, the wrestling will be stopped, the wrestlers returned to the center standing and points will be awarded (1, 2, 3, 5 points). In the case of a hold correctly begun on the mat which, due to great amplitude, finishes beyond the passivity zone in the protection surface, points will be awarded only for the value of the hold. While executing a hold or move which began in the central wrestling area, wrestlers may enter the zone and, in a continuous motion, further develop the hold or move in any direction, provided there is no interruption in the execution (pushing-block-pull-scuffle). A move or hold cannot be started standing in the passivity zone unless the wrestlers involved have only two feet in the zone. In such a case, the referee will allow the wrestlers to remain in the zone for a limited period of time awaiting the development of the hold. Wrestlers can continue to develop their holds with three or four feet in the zone if they enter the zone in a continuous motion. If the wrestlers stop their moves in the passivity zone and become inactive, or if they enter the zone with 2, 3, or 4 feet without any action, the referee should stop the bout and return the two wrestlers to the central wrestling area without applying the passivity procedure. In all cases where one foot enters the protection surface while the wrestlers are standing (in other words beyond the passivity zone), the bout is automatically stopped. 

The moment a wrestler puts one foot in the passivity zone, the referee should loudly call out "zone". At this remark the wrestlers themselves should return to the middle of the mat without necessarily stopping any wrestling in progress. In ground wrestling, all holds or counterattacks effected at that edge or in the passivity zone are valid, even if they end on the protection surface. The referee and judge should award points for all moves begun on the ground in the passivity zone and completed on the protection area, but the bout will be stopped and the wrestlers returned to the center of the mat standing. In ground wrestling, attacking wrestlers can complete moves if, while executing the holds they go beyond the zone, provided the shoulders and the head of the opponent are still in the zone. In such cases, even four legs can be off the mat. 

Clarifications and Details: Counterattacks on the protection surface are invalid. The passivity zone does not change the rules regarding penalties for passivity. These rules should especially be applied: When one wrestler enters and remains in the zone without effecting any moves. When one wrestler pushes the opponent into the zone or keeps the opponent from returning to the central wrestling area. When one wrestler pushes the opponent off the mat, onto the protection surface, etc.

Fleeing the Mat and Fleeing a Hold: Whenever there is a case of fleeing the mat or fleeing a hold, standing or on the ground, a caution should be given immediately to the wrestler at fault. The points shown below should be awarded to the attacking wrestler:

Fleeing the hold/neutral: 1 point + 1 caution + choice

Fleeing the mat /neutral: 1 point + 1 caution + choice

Fleeing the mat while in danger: 2 points + 1 caution + choice

Nature of the Points: All points awarded for an opponent's fleeing the mat, fleeing a hold, or applying an illegal hold are considered technical points.


Cautions are now called for four offenses:

  1. Fleeing the mat.
  2. Fleeing the hold.
  3. False starts from parterre.
  4. Illegal holds.

In every case of a Cautions being called:

  1. A circle is placed in sequence in the score sheet of the offending wrestler.
  2. One or two points are awarded to the offended wrestler, as before.
  3. The offended wrestler is given choice of position, except during some false start situations.

An athlete may have only three Cautions during the course of a match, including overtime. The match is over after the third caution, without choice by the other wrestler.

While Cautions will continue to be called for Fleeing the Mat and Illegal Techniques as before, FILA has added two new situations in this category:

Fleeing the hold: This will be called in the standing position if one wrestler continually backs away from his opponent, refusing to make contact, presumably attempting to sit on a lead. Before asking for confirmation of a 

CAUTION, the referee should have verbally warned the offending athlete with the following FILA term: "contact", "contact." After confirmation, a point is awarded to the other wrestler and he is given choice of parterre or standing.

False Starts: These will be called against either the top or bottom man if they jump the whistle when starting. The sequence of penalties will be as below for each new starting situation:

Top Man Bottom Man

1st false start friendly warning, say "Attention" friendly warning, say "Attention"

2nd false start Caution, one point + choice Caution, one point + choice

3rd false start Caution, one point + choice Caution, one point + choice

Remember, the sequence of penalties starts all over again for each parterre situation. This situation may also be minimized if you start the athletes promptly.

Cautions for illegal holds which do not interfere with the development of the action are penalized 1 point.

By contrast, if they interfere with the development of the action, they are penalized 2 points.

The referee can make remarks to the wrestler at fault without confirmation from the judge or mat chairman. In GRECO and FREESTYLE, the choice of ground wrestling may be given to the above wrestler only with confirmation.

The mat chairman should decide between the referee and the judge in case of disagreement.

Stimulation of wrestling is the sole responsibility of the referee, who may do so as often as deemed necessary to compel moves or modify incorrect positions. He/she may also insist on genuine wrestling at all times and intervene in the bout to comment on ineffective attempts.

They should also distinguish between a wrestler who is being dominated and one who is passive. A wrestler who is being dominated should not be disqualified.

Looking For and Applying Penalties: It is important to observe and determine which of the two competitors is wrestling openly and which one is seeking to avoid wrestling, especially when no action is being undertaken by either wrestler.


It is forbidden to pull hair, ears, or genitals, to pinch skin, to bite, to twist fingers or toes, etc.

In general, it is forbidden to undertake any move, gesture or hold which is intended to hurt opponents or put them in pain so as to make them quit.

It is equally forbidden to punch, kick, butt with the head, strangle, push, apply holds that may endanger the lives of opponents, to fracture or dislocate arms and legs, walk on the feet of opponents, or touch their faces between the eyebrows and the line of the mouth.

It is more strictly forbidden to force elbows or knees into the chest or stomach of opponents, to do any twisting capable of hurting, to hold opponents by the trunks, to cling to or grab the mat, for contestants to speak to each other during the bout, to grab the sole of the opponent's foot (only holds above the foot and heel are permitted).


Fleeing the hold occurs when the defending wrestler openly refuses contact in order to prevent his/her opponent from executing or initiating a hold. 

These situations occur in both the standing and parterre positions. They may occur in the central wrestling area or from the central wrestling area to the passivity zone.

Fleeing a hold shall be penalized the same way as fleeing the mat, which is:

  1. A caution (O) to the wrestler at fault.
  2. 1 point to the opponent, and
  3. Choice for the active wrestler to resume the bout in standing or parterre position.


When a wrestler flees the mat, from either a parterre or standing position, a caution shall be issued immediately against the wrestler at fault. The following points shall be awarded to the attacking wrestler.

  1. A caution (O) to the wrestler at fault.
  2. 1 point to the opponent, except 2 points when fleeing in parterre danger position, and
  3. Choice for the active wrestler to resume the bout in standing or parterre position.


The following holds or moves are illegal and strictly forbidden:

  1. Throat holds,
  2. Bending arms behind the back (wrestling arm bar) more than 90 degrees,
  3. Gathering arms from above by the forearm,
  4. Headlock on the neck only with both hands,
  5. Double headlock (full nelson) unless executed from the side without using legs on any part of the opponent's body,
  6. Bringing the opponent's arm behind the back from above and applying pressure to it in a position where the forearm and upper arm form an angle less than 90 degrees (chicken wing),
  7. Holds stretching the backbone of the opponent,
  8. Holds with a headlock on the head alone (arms and hands locked)
  9. A full nelson is illegal for all wrestlers in the Cadet division or below.
  10. Three-Quarter Nelson.

In standing holds carried out from behind, where the opponent is turned upside down (reverse waist lock), the throw should only be executed to the side, and absolutely not downward from above (spike). In FREESTYLE and GRECO, some part of the body other than the feet of the wrestler executing the above must touch the mat before the upper part of the attacked wrestler's body.

The opponent's head or neck by itself can only be held with one arm when executing a hold.

Finally, it is forbidden to lift an opponent who is bridging and then throw them back to the mat (forceful slam). In other words, a bridge can only be compressed.

In addition, it is forbidden to drive forward on a bridge in the direction of the head.

In general, if an attacking wrestler violates a rule at any point during the execution of a hold, from the beginning to the end, the hold in question is completely voided and the attacker penalized.

Points awarded for illegal holds:

  1. Illegal holds (which do not adversely affect any move) -1 point.
  2. Illegal holds (which do adversely affect a move) - 2 points.


To protect the health of young wrestlers, the following holds are considered illegal and prohibited for the Schoolboy and Cadet categories:

  1. Double nelson from both the front and side
  2. In freestyle wrestling, a leg hook in addition to the double nelson


In GRECO-ROMAN wrestling, the opponent may be neither grabbed below the hips nor clenched with legs.

  1. Any push, press or "lift" by leg contact with a part of the opponent's body is prohibited.
  2. In GRECO-ROMAN wrestling, the opponent must be accompanied to the mat, but this is not required in freestyle wrestling.

In FREESTYLE wrestling, scissor locks with crossed feet or legs on the head, neck or body are forbidden (but they are permitted on arms and legs).

However, leg trips, foot sweeps or leg sweeps are permitted.


If the wrestler applying an illegal hold is disadvantaged as a result of the hold, the bout should continue without interruption until the action ends. The wrestler at fault will receive a caution and the opponent will receive one point additional to the points scored.

Any advantage gained by a wrestler from an illegal hold should be voided, even if the hold was released. The wrestler at fault will receive a caution and the opponent will receive one point.

Violations should be stopped by the referee without breaking the hold, if possible. Where the opponent is put in danger, the referee should allow the hold to continue and see what develops. After that, the referee is free to act, in other words accept the hold or void it and caution the wrestler at fault.

If hold begins correctly and then becomes illegal, points should be awarded up to the point where the hold became illegal.

For good cause, in cases of willful head butting or any other type of brutality, the wrestler at fault can be disqualified, according to the gravity of the case.

A wrestler who keeps an opponent from developing a hold by means of an illegal hold should be cautioned and the opponent given one or two points (see Article 50). The wrestler at fault should be given a caution.

The duty of the referee towards the competitor committing an infraction involves the following procedure:

  1. Stop the infraction,
  2. Break the hold, if dangerous,
  3. Give a caution,
  4. Declare the wrestler at fault, beaten or disqualified,
  5. Award points (1 or 2 points).


A written protest of any result involving an infraction of the rules of wrestling can be submitted to the President of the Officials' Committee no later than 30 minutes after the bout.

The reason for the protest must be specified in one of the official languages of FILA.

The protest will be reviewed by the Jury of Appeals which will decide the matter.

NOTE: In AAU competition, all protests will be handled by a tournament committee as follows:

This committee will consist of:

  1. The tournament director or his/her designee,
  2. Chief official or his/her designee,
  3. Chief pairing master or his/her designee,
  4. Two at-large members.

Any three of the five can act on the protest. The protest filing procedure is as follows:

  1. Protest must be of a technical (rule violation), not a judgment nature.
  2. Protest must be submitted to the tournament technical committee within 30 minutes of the alleged violation. Must have in writing the following:
    1. Names of contesting athletes or persons involved.
    2. Mat number or identification thereof.
    3. Names of any or all officials assigned to the incident in question.
    4. Nature of protest (rule identification by code number if possible).
    5. Desired settlement or adjustment.

    Protest must have a $50.00 cash deposit, which will be returned if the protest is upheld. For all international competitions, FILA has set the protest fee at $25 for the younger age groups and $60 for the Espoir and Senior World divisions.

    An unappealable final decision will be rendered by the tournament technical committee, as soon as possible, before the next round in that weight class can begin.

    The match protest filing procedure and the names of those on the technical committee shall be posted with the pairings information at the start of the tournament.

    7. All written materials pertaining to the protest, including the decision of the technical committee, shall be placed on file and recorded with the reports submitted to the National Officials Chairman.


    Mats used in AAU competition must have a circular wrestling area a minimum of 28 feet diameter or a rectangular area 24 feet per side. All mats must have a five (5) foot protection area around the wrestling area proper. The head mat official may reject a mat that is less than standard or for safety concerns, isn't acceptable.


    At the La Femme Nationale event in both the freestyle and folkstyle divisions, if there is only one contestant in a weight, she may either move up one weight class or one division. In no case may an athlete, male or female, compete in more than one weight class or division. Female age age divisions will be comparable to those of the male divisions. Similarly, weight classes will either parallel those of the males or block weights (the Madison System) may be employed. 

    The age categories and weight classes for women's wrestling shall be identical to those for men's wrestling listed in this book.


    Participants must present themselves for competition clothed as follows:

    ARTICLE 64 - Weigh In

    A separate area for female weigh-ins will be provided. Females will be permitted to weigh-in nude, but if choosing to do so will not be given the one pound weight allowance that is permitted. 

    Those selecting to weigh-in other than in the nude must wear at least a leotard. 


    Bouts are to be identical in length for men and women.


    All technical rules for men's wrestling apply equally in women's wrestling.


    As well as the general illegal holds established for men's wrestling, the following holds are illegal in women's wrestling:

    1. All double (full) nelsons, whether in parterre or standing position.


    Modifications of the preceding provisions deemed necessary for the improvement of the Technical Rules of Wrestling will be made only by the Executive Bureau, after consultation with the technical department. Such modifications will remain in force until the next congress, which will be called upon to consider them.


    All officials should know and apply the following vocabulary, which constitutes the official means of communication between them.

    In addition, wrestlers should familiarize themselves with the use of this vocabulary.

    1. Start...invitation to the wrestlers, standing at the corners of the mat to come to the center to be inspected and to shake hands, after which they will return to their respective corners and await the official's whistle which starts the bout.
    2. Time Out...the referee uses this expression to stop the clock when one wrestler stops wrestling, intentionally or as a result of injury, or for any other reason.
    3. Fault...illegal hold or infraction of the technical rules.
    4. Attention Disqualification or Attention Elimination...the referee is putting the passive wrestler on notice before requesting disqualification or elimination.
    5. Dawai...the referee is encouraging the wrestlers to be more active.
    6. Consultation...the referee is consulting the judge, as necessary, before declaring a disqualification or making a decision of any other question.
    7. Remarque...a referee's indication of passivity by one wrestler.
    8. O.K...the hold is valid (legal or correct). Used when the judge and the mat chairman are seated in a position where they cannot follow what happened on the opposite side of the mat. The referee should indicate with the arm whether a hold at the edge of the mat was inside or out of bounds.
    9. Out...the hold was out-of-bounds.
    10. No...word used to indicate an invalid move which should be voided.
    11. Place...pronounced while slapping the mat with one hand to remind the wrestlers not to leave the mat.
    12. Dange...put in danger.
    13. Totale...used to indicate that a wrestler has been beaten by total victory.
    14. Continuer...order given by the referee to resume wrestling. The referee also uses this word to continue wrestling if the wrestlers stop out of confusion and look as if they need an explanation. The same word is used each time the wrestlers stop for whatever reasons, while standing or on the ground.
    15. Centre...wrestlers should return to the center of the mat and resume wrestling.
    16. Up...the bout will continue standing.
    17. Intervention...the judge, referee or mat chairman requests intervention.
    18. Salus...wrestlers should shake hands.
    19. Zone...word loudly called out when wrestlers enter the passivity zone.
    20. Victory...the referee declares the winner.
    21. Stop...used to stop the bout.
    22. Deflaite...the opponent is beaten.
    23. Disqualification...disqualification is pronounced following an infraction.
    24. Elimination...elimination of one or both passive wrestlers.
    25. Gong...the sound of the gong indicates the beginning and end of the periods of a bout.
    26. Chronometre...the timekeeper, by this order of the referee, stops or starts the clock.
    27. Jury...the three officials.
    28. Arbitre...the official (referee) who runs the match.
    29. official who has passed a referee-judge's test, who assists the referee, and who records the points of the wrestlers during the bout. The judge should note, on the bout sheet, all moves successfully completed in the bout.
    30. Protest...a protest of any type of decision.
    31. Passif...remark made to a wrestler who is too passive.
    32. Docteur...the official doctor of the bout.
    33. Clinic...a technical teaching clinic.
    34. Declare Battu...decision taken at the end of a defeat by evident superiority.
    35. Open...the wrestler should wrestle more openly.
    36. Action...the wrestler should develop the hold undertaken.
    37. Contact...wrestlers should make contact with his opponent.