National Champions • All-Americans • Intermountain Champions • State Champions • Outstanding
Kyle Wood (top)
assumes the advantage position.
Folkstyle is practiced only in the United
states, and is most similar to freestyle wrestling, where use of the legs
is an integral part of the sport. Where the rules for folkstyle vary
sharply from those of international freestyle, is that folkstyle places
emphasis on control of the opponent, rather than on physical dominance.
Requirements for near fall points are much more demanding. Points are
awarded for takedowns and reversals, but rather than award bonus points
for high amplitude throws, they are prohibited. Escaping from an opponent
is a scoring maneuver, and controlling him can earn a point for time
The evolution of folkstyle rules dates back to when Art Griffith, the
second great coach at Oklahoma State, developed a points system that
finally gained acceptance in 1941. A year later, collegiate wrestling
moved out of its raised, roped (boxing) ring and onto open mats laid flat
on the floor of a gymnasium. These were the two most significant rules
changes of the century, although a host of minor revisions would follow.