Folkstyle Wrestling

Folkstyle Wrestling
Folkstyle wrestler (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 advantage.

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.

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