Folkstyle Wrestling Vs Freestyle Wrestling
The style of wrestling used in the high school and college contests is referred to as “Folkstyle” wrestling in the United States, whereas the style seen in the international matches (in Olympics) is referred to as “Freestyle” wrestling. Even though they have got different names, these two styles are quite similar. There is a difference though, which relates to distribution of points and the structure of the match (regarding number of rounds and length of each match). There is a third style too called Greco-Roman which is less famous. It restricts the assault on the legs of the opponent.
In folkstyle, matches contain three periods which can vary in length from one minute for younger age groups, to up to three minutes for college wrestlers. Either of the wrestlers wins the match if he is able to pin his opponent at any time and develop a lead of over 14 points. If this doesn’t happen, the wrestler who accumulates more points by the end of the 3rd period is declared the winner. Referees can start or carry on the match from only two positions, viz. neutral position wherein both wrestlers stand facing one another and referee’s position wherein one of the wrestlers start on his knees and hands down and the other starts on his top, behind and in control.
The 1st period starts always with a neutral position. For the rest of the periods, each wrestler gets his own choice to choose the top or the bottom position, or the neutral position.
Freestyle matches are usually condensed within 1 or 2 periods based on the age group. Two ninety-second periods are offered to younger wrestlers, while one five-minute long period is offered to older groups. Periods start with both wrestlers posing in neutral position. Just like a folkstyle match, a freestyle match may be stopped before time if each wrestler scores a pin or acquires technical dominance. A takedown situation is when both wrestlers carry on to wrestle on the mat, called “par tarre” position; in this, the bottom wrestler is not compelled to work for a reverse or escape, like that in a folkstyle match. Instead, the top wrestler is responsible for working carefully to execute a hold to expose his opponent’s back. If he doesn’t get success in doing that, the match is stopped and restarted in a neutral position.
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