Carlin Kennelly (right)
lifts his opponent to finish a double-leg takedown.
Freestyle is one of two styles of wrestling practiced in Olympic and
international amateur competition. In freestyle, under international rules
nearly any fair hold, trip or throw is permitted. Wrestlers are
encouraged to maintain the offensive, and can be penalized for failing to
do so (passivity). High-amplitude throws are encouraged, and an
additional point is awarded for takedowns where one wrestler is taken from
his feet directly to his back. Wrestlers are cautioned for
irregularities, and three cautions mean disqualification. The bout is
supervised by a referee on the mat, a mat chairman, a judge and a
timekeeper. A fall is awarded when one contestant holds both of his
opponent's shoulders to the mat for a length of time determined by the
competitors' age group. Freestyle and Greco-Roman
wrestling (the other international amateur style) are great complements,
one reinforcing the other. In the United States, freestyle is the
more popular of the two, due to its similarity to
folkstyle, because attacks below the waist are permitted.
Freestyle wrestling appeared in the 1904 Olympic games. The first World
Championship took place in Helsinki in 1951.
Petition to Change the Rules of High School
and College Wrestling to
International Standard: FILA