Points are awarded for various reasons during a high school ( also refereed to a folkstyle or collegiate style) wrestling match. Understanding the situations that bring about these points will do much to enhance the enjoyment of any match. Knowing the referee hand signals associated with the awarding of the point will also help.
There are three types of points in high school wrestling. Match points, dual meet team points and tournament team points. Every wrestling event will keep track of match points. The type of team points scored will depend on the event, usually either dual meet or tournament; though there are some multi-day events where it is possible for wrestlers to compete in both formats and therefore earn both types of team points.
These are the points scored by an individual wrestler during a single match. The points are only for that match and may decide the winner of it but have no bearing on the outcome of later matches or the tournament. There are eight basic ways to score match points in high school.
- TAKEDOWN (2 points) — Awarded after one of the neutral wrestlers gets behind the opponent and forces them down to the mat to their stomach or side or knees or weight on all fours OR takes them directly to their back or buttocks without getting behind them AND becomes the offensive wrestler. Neutral to Offense is a two-point takedown. If you go from neutral to defense, you were taken down.
- ESCAPE (1 point) — Awarded after the defensive wrestler gets out from underneath the opponent’s control and gets into the neutral position AND is facing the opponent. Defense to Neutral is a one point escape.
- REVERSAL (2 points) — Awarded after the defensive wrestler gets out from underneath the opponent’s control and gets on top of and/or behind the opponent in one move AND becomes the offensive wrestler. To earn a reversal, you do not have to return your opponent to the mat as you would on a takedown. Defense to Offense is a two point reversal.
- NEAR-FALL 2 (2 points) — Awarded after the offensive wrestler turns the defensive wrestler over to their back and holds them at a 45 degree angle or less for between 2-4 seconds (2-4 counts by the referee). Also awarded when the match is stopped due to the defensive wrestler being injured and/or screaming out to stop the match (unethical unless they are really injured) while being turned toward their back (imminent near fall) before the near fall count starts or before 2 counts by the referee. Only one set of near fall points can be awarded for each pinning hold, and they cannot be awarded until after the pinning situation has ended. Defense on their Back.
- NEAR-FALL 3 (3 points) — Awarded after the offensive wrestler holds the defensive wrestler within near fall criteria for five or more seconds in a row (5 counts by the referee), instead of the two point near fall. Also awarded when the match is stopped due to the defensive wrestler being injured and/or screaming out to stop the match (unethical unless they are really injured) after being held within two point near fall criteria (2-4 count by the referee), instead of the 2 point near fall. Defense on their Back Longer.
- NEAR-FALL 4 (4 points) — Awarded when the match is stopped due to the defensive wrestler being injured and/or screaming out to stop the match (unethical unless they are really injured) after being held within near fall criteria for five or more seconds, instead of the 3 point near fall. Defense on their Back Longer and Injured.
- PENALTY POINTS (1 or 2 points) — A wrestler in any of the three scoring positions can earn one or two penalty points when their opponent breaks the rules of wrestling. These rules include no stalling (one stall warning is given before penalizing for stalling), no swearing, kicking, scratching, biting, hitting, body slamming an opponent to the mat, bending any body part beyond its normal range of motion (the referee will try to stop these situations as potentially dangerous before someone is injured), or using holds from the illegal holds list. On the penalty chart, any first penalty is 1 point. Any second penalty is 1 point. Any third penalty is 2 points. Any fourth penalty is disqualification. Unsportsmanlike conduct and flagrant misconduct can lead to immediate disqualification.
- LOCKED HANDS PENALTY — A wrestler in the neutral position or defensive position can lock hands around the torso or both legs of the opponent. But it is a penalty for the offensive wrestler to lock hands around the torso or both legs of the defensive wrestler unless the opponent is standing on their feet or within a near fall count. Overlapping fingers is considered locked hands by the referee. Click here for more info.
- CAUTION and CAUTION POINT (0 and 1 point) — A wrestler in any of the three scoring positions can earn one caution point from the opponent’s third caution on for each time the opponent is cautioned by the referee for starting too quick before the whistle OR by lining up incorrectly when starting from referee’s position or from on the feet. A wrestler is allowed two cautions before the C1 penalty points begin. Also caution points are separate from penalty points and do not count on the penalty chart towards disqualification.
DUAL MEET SCORING
In a dual meet event multiple teams will attempt to win the competition by earning the greatest amounts of points possible. However, only two teams will go up against each other at a time until every team has wrestled the others. A complete team will have one wrestler in every weight class (there are 14 regardless of whether it is coed or girl’s wrestling in CIF). If a team doe not have wrestler at a specific weight and goes up against a team that does they forfeit that match.
- PIN FALL (6 team points) — Awarded to the team whose wrestler holds both of the opponent’s scapulae to the mat for two consecutive seconds in high school. The match is over as soon as the fall occurs, and the one who is pinned loses automatically even though they may have been way ahead in match points at the time. The referee slaps the mat when a fall occurs. You can pin or be pinned in any of the three scoring positions.
- TECHNICAL FALL (5 team points) — Awarded to the team whose wrestler has scored 15 match points more than the opponent. The match is stopped as soon as the 15 point margin is achieved, except in a pinning situation where the referee will allow the offensive wrestler to try to score the fall.
- MAJOR DECISION (4 team points) — Awarded to the team whose wrestler wins by a margin of 8-14 match points more than the opponent has scored.
- REGULAR DECISION (3 team points) — Awarded to the team whose wrestler wins by a margin of 1-7 match points more than the opponent has scored.
- DRAW OR TIE — There are no more ties in wrestling as the match will be decided by sudden victory overtime from the feet and/or by tie breakers from referee’s position.
- DISQUALIFICATION (6 team points) — A wrestler wins a match by disqualification when the opponent is disqualified from the match because of too many penalties OR when a wrestler is illegally injured by an opponent’s illegal hold and cannot continue wrestling. If you were injured by an opponent’s illegal hold (not a technical violation like locking hands or grabbing the uniform, unless it was their fourth penalty chart penalty), you will win the match by disqualification. It will not do a wrestler any good to intentionally try to injure an opponent because they will lose.
- INJURY DEFAULT (6 team points) — A wrestler wins a match by injury default when the opponent is injured accidentally during the match and cannot continue wrestling.
- FORFEIT (6 team points) — A wrestler wins a match by forfeit when the other team does not have a wrestler to compete against them.
TOURNAMENT SCORING (High School)
At individual tournaments teams can still be named tournament champions by earning points based on how far their team members advance during the tournament.
- ADVANCEMENT POINTS — 2 or (1) team points for each win on the championship side of the bracket and 1 or (1/2) team point for each win on the consolation side of the bracket. You do not receive advancement points for a bye unless you win your next match after the bye, unless your specific tournament allows it. Also, you do not receive advancement points for winning your 1st, 3rd, 5th, or 7th place matches.
- EXTRA MARGIN OF VICTORY POINTS
- 1 or (1) extra team point for each major decision (8-14 match point victory margin).
- 1.5 or (1.5 with a near fall) extra team points for each technical fall (15 or more match point victory margin).
- 2 or (2) extra team points for each fall, default, disqualification, forfeit.
- PLACEMENT POINTS
- 1st place = 16 team points
- 2nd place = 12 team points
- 3rd place = 9 team points
- 4th place = 7 team points
- 5th place = 5 team points
- 6th place = 3 team points
- 7th place = 2 team points
- 8th place = 1 team point