Glossary of Terms

Wrestling Terminology


  • Bye

    A wrestler advances to the next round without wrestling.

    A wrestler is given a bye when there are not enough wrestlers in a weight class to fill each line of the tournament bracket.

  • D

  • Defer

    a strategy that gives the original wrestler the choice in the final period.

  • E

  • Escape

    When the defensive wrestler gains a neutral position and his opponent has lost control.

  • H

  • Headgear

    Protection to cover head and ears during matches.

  • N

  • Near Fall

    When the offensive wrestler has control of his opponent in a pinning situation and both shoulders of the defensive wrestler are held beyond perpendicular to the mat.

  • Neutral Position

    Position of both wrestlers at the beginning of the first period, where both are standing and neither has an advantage.

  • P

  • Pin or Fall

    When any part of both shoulders or scapulae is held in contact with the mat for 2 seconds.

  • R

  • Referees position

    starting position where one wrestler is on his/her hands and knees and the other wrestler is on top.

  • Reversal

    When the defensive wrestler comes from underneath and gains control of his opponent.

  • S

  • Singlet

    A one-piece, tight-fitting athletic suit made out of spandex /lycra or nylon used for competition.

  • T

  • Take Down

    from a neutral position, a wrestler gains control of his opponent and takes him down to the mat.

  • W

  • Weigh-in

    Usually held an hour or two before competition, a check point to determine which weight class a competitor will qualify for.

    The purpose of the weigh-in is to be sure competitors are evenly matched.

  • Weight Class

    A means of grouping wrestlers for competition by size. Wrestlers must weigh on or below their weight class.