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How does the scoring system in wrestling work at the Olympics?

Let us look at the various wrestling competitions in Olympics and how points are awarded to the wrestlers.

Bajrang Punia

Bajrang Punia


Abishek Sadanandam

Updated: 20 July 2021 4:57 AM GMT

Wrestling has been contested at the Olympics right from 1896. Wrestling has two different competitions, such as Greco Roman and freestyle. Greco Roman was the only wrestling competition at the 1896 games, and freestyle was added later at the 1920 Antwerp games.

Women's wrestling was added to the Olympics at Athens in 2004. Women in wrestling are contesting only freestyle, but men compete both in Greco Roman and freestyle. The significant difference between Greco Roman and freestyle is in Greco Roman, you are not allowed any holds below the waist, but in freestyle, you can even use your leg to pin down your opponent.

Let us have a look at the scoring system in both Greco Roman and freestyle wrestling:

Scoring system in wrestling

  • The duration of the bout is 6 minutes 30 seconds with two-three minutes halves with a 30 seconds break between them.
  • The match can also finish before the duration in the case of technical fall, that means the winner leads the opponent by 10 point margin or the opponent has a free fall with both the shoulders pinned down to the mat by the winner.

  • Takedown: You score 2 points if you pin down your opponent and have control on top of your opponent.
  • Reversal: When you are down on the mat after takedown, if you manage to reverse your opponent, you will get 2 points
  • Escape: One point is awarded to the wrestler if he/she goes to a neutral position escaping from the control of the opponent after takedown
  • Near fall: When you have your opponent not fully pinned down but to an angle of 45 or less for 2 seconds, you will score 2 points and will score 3 points if it is for five minutes or more.
  • Penalty points: Penalty points are awarded to your opponent if you do some code violations. Let us see some of the standard rules and code violations.
  • Stalling: One or both wrestlers not trying to wrestle each other and wasting time. Initially, a warning will be given, then one penalty point, then two penalty points, then again two penalty points, and then if it continues, it leads to disqualification.
  • False start: Wrestler starting before whistle blow will be given one penalty point for each time he does but no disqualification in this
  • Illegal holds: Illegal wrestling moves such as headlock without holding arms will lead to a penalty point, and you will be disqualified for the 4th time.
  • Technical violations: Technical violations include improper uniform, damaging the opponent's headgear, running away from the mat, injuring the opponent on purpose, which will lead to immediate one point, second-time two-point, then disqualification.

Total points are calculated from two halves, and then the wrestler with maximum points is awarded as the winner. If the score is tied, then the wrestler with the maximum point from a single move will emerge as the winner.

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